Look, I’m not anti-bidet. I have one at home and I appreciate it. But there are some nonsensical bidet related myths going around that need to be flushed away. Chief among them: the idea that if you don’t use a bidet, you are walking around with a poop-encrusted butthole.
This is a myth often repeated by bidet users — either lifelong, or new converts who won’t shut up about it — and it makes no sense. Discussions about the pros and cons of different butt-cleaning methods often read like this Reddit thread, in which people who don’t know how bidets work talk past people who don’t know how toilet paper works. Folks, people the world over clean their butts via a variety of different methods that all work just fine.
Poop sticking to your butt is not a normal occurrence
I shouldn’t have to spell this out, but here we are. Americans (or non-bidet-users in general) are not walking around with dirty butts — or with “dingleberries, skid marks, and more!” as bidet seller Tushy claims. The proof? If you were, you’d know.
If you have ever wiped incompletely, you’ll know that your skin does not enjoy being in contact with faecal matter. That shit itches and burns. Anybody who has cared for a child in diapers also knows this — if poop sits on the skin for a few hours, it leads to diaper rash. The rash clears up within a few days of being kept clean and dry.
So, yes, it’s possible to have poop on your butt. But you’d know it if you did. It would be a problem, and you would seek to remedy it. If your butt feels fine, I promise that you are not walking actually around with your pants full of poop, no matter what Big Bidet wants you to believe.
Bidets are cool though
Now that we’ve established that you don’t need a bidet, can we talk about why you might want one? Even if you’re happy using toilet paper, you’ll probably find that a bidet cleans you thoroughly without having to use much of it (just a few squares to pat yourself dry), and it can be gentler on your skin than repeated wiping.
If you have issues with hemorrhoids or if your poops are messy enough (for whatever reason) that you have a hard time getting clean with toilet paper, washing with cool or lukewarm water can be gentler on your skin. Washing with water can also be more accessible to people with disabilities or mobility limitations.
Depending on where you are in the world, typical ways to rise your nethers may include using a cup of water, a squirt bottle, a standalone bidet installed next to the toilet, or a washlet attached to the toilet seat. Japan’s famous electronic toilets include butt-washing (and butt-drying) features.
In my house, we have a basic toilet-seat type of bidet, like this one. It cost about $US25 ($35). It connects to the same water supply line as the toilet itself, so installing it didn’t require any extra plumbing work. And even though it doesn’t heat the water — only fancier models do that — cold water actually feels perfectly comfortable.
So, yes, I’m a bidet fan. I also don’t mind using toilet paper when I’m travelling. It’s not as nice as the pooping experience I have at home, but it’s not like I’m walking around with a dirty butt. You aren’t either.
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