My First Bidet

Here it is, in Kansas City, of all places. You’d think I would have come across one when I was visiting France a couple of years ago, but no, it was in America’s Heartland where I walked into my hotel bathroom and encountered it. My first reaction to it was “wow, that’s my dog’s dream waterbowl,” which I think pretty well accurately displays my level of lavatory sophistication.

No, I haven’t used it. I have no idea how to use it. I mean, it seems relatively intuitive, as long as you know what it is and what it’s supposed to be used for, and in any event, even if I was using it wrong, who’s gonna know but me? There are no bidet gods, snickering at my foot placement or whatever. But it’s still something I wouldn’t want to mess up. I suppose I could find instructions on the Internet; everything’s on the Internet. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’m ready to handle the illustrations. Especially since I’m sure the first link will be some brain-staining bidet porn. No bidet porn, please. Thanks.

I think it’s in everybody’s best interest if I stop talking about the bidet now.

104 thoughts on “My First Bidet

  1. It’s a sink John. I heard Crocodile Dundee say it was sink (albeit a low one) , so it must be a sink.

  2. Many toilets in Japan come with them standard – the nozzle is retractable and isn’t in the way when you’re using the toilet normally. You can also adjust the water temperature on them. The controls on ours were on a little armrest. The nozzle would not come out until your butt sat on the pressure switch in the seat, too.

    One of our cats liked to walk on the pressure switches on the keypad – he either liked the sensations on his paws, or liked the little beeping noises it made. In any case, he made using the toilet a little like sitting on a Claymore. You never knew when the little nozzle was going to blast your ass with a spray of boiling hot or freezing cold water.

  3. People complain about waterboarding, but THIS kind of atrocity goes virtually unnoticed. Just keep telling yourself it’s a canine water fountain, which, essentially, it is because no sane and/or self-respecting human would use one.

  4. We special-ordered it for you, John. It originally came from the second-best little whorehouse in Texas. A twenty-mule team accompanied it on the cattle drive all the way from Paris (Texas). We treat our guests right!

    (Yes, we sterilized it first.)

  5. A recent tweet from the most excellent Graham Roumieu, who writes and illustrates as Bigfoot:

    If coordinated enough, big bottle of Mountain Dew squeeze between knees make excellent bidet

    – @hellobigfoot

    *****

    Downtime project idea for you, John: round up some of those glow-in-the-dark rave necklaces, place them in the bowl, and take video of you activating the thing in time with The Final Countdown.

  6. A bidet? Damn those uppity elitist red states. They probably have Grey Poupon in the fridge instead of, say, some mustard made by a good American company like Kraft.

  7. “Especially since I’m sure the first link will be some brain-staining bidet porn.”

    Ow! My mind’s eye!

  8. Ah, I fondly remember my first bidet (and only, now that i think about it. I was sixteen and on a trip to Cancun with my parents. Usually my dad likes to travel cheaply and simply, but this time we were in a big hotel where I got my own huge suite with my own huge balcony and my own huge bathroom and my very own bidet. Both toilet and bidet were in a closet-like enclosure. When I first went in t use the toilet, there it was, sitting right across from me, taunting me with its weirdness.

    When I was really young, and saw Crocodile Dundee, I asked my dad what the bidet was for. He responded, “what did Crocodile Dundee say?” I had to meditate upon those words, “for washing your backside,” before I really understood that it wasn’t just a back-country, potty movie joke. It didn’t help that at that age, I didn’t fully appreciate that “backside” didn’t just mean, “back.”

    Thank god for Crocodile Dundee. How else would we know about them?

  9. My last apartment had a bidet.

    My partner and I never used it, but we did indeed get my cat to drink from it, and it was hilarious.

  10. A bidet is something I’ve never used but I thought they were more or less everywhere? In “good” hotels here in Oz at least. Or, don’t you Amurricans go in for that fancy butt washin’ thang? The first time I ever saw them practically everywhere was in Italy. Every 2 or 3 star hotel had ‘em.

    I must admit though for the first 5 minutes I saw one I thought it was some kind of fancy foot washing thing.

  11. #5: Sir, I like the way you think. I believe our host would be well-advised to give your suggestion serious consideration.

  12. When I was living abroad in Italy, our apartment had one. During the four months I was there, I never used it once…

  13. “I think it’s in everybody’s best interest if I stop talking about the bidet now.”

    I believe that is the definition of “dropping a live hand-grenade in the conversation.”

  14. I’ve never used one. Looking at that picture, I, too, am flummoxed. Do you sit facing the wall, so you can work the knobs, or do you get it to the right pressure/temperature first and then position yourself?

    For that matter, are you supposed to sit, or supposed to hover? That basin doesn’t look intended for sitting, not in the way a toilet does.

    Which raises another logistical question: how are you expected to get to the bidet? Does one shuffle over from the commode, pants around the ankles? Or are you expected to do up your clothes, walk over, and then undress again? Or is it only for special occasions, when you’re getting ready to go out, so you’re between outfits anyway?

  15. I really don’t recommend denying the Bidet Gods John. The lightning strikes used as divine vengeance by the less hygienically motivated gods are nothing, nothing I say, on Bidet God divine vengeance.

  16. Ah, you need “Show Me How”: http://www.showmenow.com/. It’s got just what you need, plus the images won’t produce shock and awe. Seriously I totally recommend this book as it’s both lots of fun and useful.

  17. We had one of these in the house I grew up in. Not a big or fancy house – the previous owner just wanted a sauna and a bidet. The water pressure in that house was so good that if you turned the bidet’s tap enough you could hit the ceiling.

    The only one who ever used it was my little sister. One day we couldn’t find her and she was in there with her dolls, playing with “the barbie fountain.”

  18. Sounds like the makings for a good blues song. Something delta, perhaps.

    Anyway, when I rented a house in Holland, I had a bidet in my bathroom. It made a nice ashtray.

  19. When I was a kid my dad’s friends redid their bathroom, and put in two things that confused me – a phone, and a bidet.

    The phone was explained that it wasn’t meant for when you were actually on the toilet, but for when his wife was in the bathroom getting ready or whatever.

    The bidet was explained as something to wash your butt, and I remember being like 8 and thinking “That’s what toilet paper is for, why do they need this giant thing next to the toilet?”

  20. Scalzi @ 21

    Well, that will certainly teach me not to make smartass comments before I’m actually awake.

    Kansas, Missouri, whatever – from here it all sort of looks the same :)

  21. Once you get used to having one, you feel deprived when it’s not there. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did.

  22. 28 comments from Scalzi’s Horde of International Minions and I count only one adventurous bidet user. This is somehow disappointing.

    Make that 29. I have stayed at a few places that had them but I only stared at them in fear.

  23. The water pressure in that house was so good that if you turned the bidet’s tap enough you could hit the ceiling.

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say YYYEAAAARRRRRGHHHHH.

    You could just turn it on whenever the phone rings, like the guy in All of Me.

    Not without permission from a judge, because now Obama’s president he’s going to crack down on unlicensed tap-phones.

  24. I’ve only ever mucked with one once. At the hotel that I spent the night after I got married. I knew what it was, of course, although the operation of such a device was a mystery to me. I gingerly pressed some valve-button thing and–standing above it fully dressed and looking at it askance, mind you–promptly got a face full of water.

    Leaping back from it in horror of having a face full of whatever it is that lurks in bidet water, I saw that the jet was splashing on the ceiling of the bathroom of this umpity-expensive hotel room. My (newly-married) wife came in at just that moment, took one look at the entire spectacle, and calmly told me that wasn’t a drinking fountain.

    On the bright side I was able to chase her around the hotel room, threatening to kiss her with my germy face in retaliation.

    Those things can put your eye out.

  25. I went to an open house once when we were house hunting. Great little house, if in need of some work. Bathroom had a bidet, but no toilet. Not even a place for a toilet. Let’s just say that we decided to look at other houses.

  26. Well, the first thing that came up when I typed “How do I use a bidet?” into Google was nothing close to mind-scarring bidet porn, but I dared not look any further, either.

    Here’s what came up, for what it’s worth: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Bidet

    Call me crazy or lowbrow, but there doesn’t seem to be a thing a bidet can do for me that a roll of toilet paper can’t do just as well, and without the awkwardness of having to stumble around the bathroom with my pants around my ankles, at that.

  27. Ah bidets! When my kids were little we lived in Portugal and every house we lived in had one in every bathroom. One early morning after discovering how to get out of their cots, my 18 month old twin sons figured out how to turn the taps on (the taps being at perfect hand height if you are 18 months old) and flooded the entire house. I woke up to 2 inches of water in my bedroom and a waterfall cascading gently down the stairs. I count myself lucky they didn’t drown themselves.

    I had all the bidets disconnected after that!

  28. Are you staying at the Hyatt, John? The same hotel as was used for the Heinlein Centennial two years ago? Because I don’t remember there being any bidets then…

  29. The only one I’ve seen was in a hotel in Buenos Aires.

    I made the mistake of turning the knob as if it were a sink faucet. I got the ceiling wet. And the water was cold.

    Needless to say, I never actually used it as directed…

  30. Jim Wright – Kansas – endless cornfields. Missouri – rolling hills nestled with little German towns. Totally not the same.

    Anyway, I hope you are having fun in my hometown, John. I was wanting to try to go to the con and buy you a drink, but, it turns out I am not going to be able to. :(

  31. Austin at 36: Thanks for the link! By clicking around I learned that I’m taking “Navy Showers”… interesting! I just assumed that’s the way everyone does it that way…

    (And a bidet can do things that toilet paper can’t, at least when you’re female.)

  32. The idea is good and well… it just seems … well… invasive…

    My boyfriend’s cat, Cat, would love it. (Yes, he named his cat, Cat. I would have named him Gandalf, but that’s just me.)

  33. Looks pretty much like the bidet in my in-laws house. And yeah, the dog always pokes his nose in there, and the two year old has figured out how to squirt the dog in the face when he does so. Which leads the dog to keep poking his nose in the bidet incase he might find some water…which leads the two year old to…I think you can see the cycle that has developed.

  34. Bidets are awesome. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried. How to use it:
    1. Adjust water to comfortable temperature.
    2. Sit on it.

    It’s not going to give you either the gay gene or the straight gene if you don’t have them already.

  35. Austin, a bidet gets you MUCH cleaner.

    I was going to explain how, and how you can tell, and why it’s important, but I think you should just trust me.

  36. The Japanese toilets made much more sense to me, what with no stumbling around to another device.

    I’ve always been too cowardly to try them, though, given that most of the Japanese toilets have more buttons on them then Captain Kirk’s chair.

  37. Are all you bidet-haters people a bunch of troglodytes? I mean come on people… Bidets are a wonderful way to stay clean and fresh AND cut down on your use of toilet paper. As a woman I find them particularly nice during that special time of the month and also during the hot summer months. There’s a reason everyone in Southern Europe and Japan has one…it’s because they’re awesome! Thank you Sonja and Leo Petr for your positive posts. Long live the bidets!!!

  38. Guys aren’t supposed to understand bidets, John. All we need to know is that, in an emergency, you can pee in it, despite the fact that this will, as usual, annoy any females in your life.

  39. Mr. Scalzi, get thyself to Japan at your earliest convenience.

    They have the world’s most amazing toilets. Ever. Sure you’ll feel weird, but afterwards, the idea of dropping a grand on the marvel that is the Japanese technological toilet seat with bidet function becomes very, very conceivable.

  40. This thread is horribly eye-opening. How can you all be so proud of never having used a bidet? It’s appalling, I’d be less horrified if you boasted that you don’t need toothbrush and toothpaste because your salivary glands provide all you need to ensure your dental hygiene.

  41. Bidets are a wonderful way to stay clean and fresh AND cut down on your use of toilet paper
    That may be but you’d use more water and that is bad in country like Oz during water restrictions. We have half flush and full flush toilets to cut down on water usage for example.

  42. In re bidets vs toilet paper, a simple question: if you had gotten poop on your face (parents of infants/toddlers will know that this is sadly often not such a weird scenario), would you clean it off using only dry paper towels?

  43. Over in this part of Europe, nobody’s ever had a bidet, but quite many bathrooms do have a little handshower device next to the toilet. So you don’t have to get up from the toilet and squat anywhere else, but do the washing right there with the press of a button.

    That said, I really don’t understand how anybody would absolutely need a bidet to take care of their hygiene. I use the regular shower for that.

  44. Doctor Memory, while I agree with you that anuses should be kissably-clean at all times, I can see why that might not be a priority for some people.

  45. We are fixing up a house (foreclosure, currently uninhabitable condition) and I have insisted that the bathroom will have a bidet–something longed for since I saw my first one, yes in a hotel, in London, when I was sixteen.

    My husband doesn’t understand why this seems like an important luxury. I suspect that will change. :)

  46. And just to bring the conversation further down, for those who want smickest of anuses there is always anal bleach.

  47. When we were hunting for a house to buy here in Toronto, one of the houses I looked at and rejected had a basement apartment, the bathroom of which had a bidet. The bathroom also had a hole in the wall through which you could see part of the living room. The hole in the wall was right behind the bidet.

    I never did figure that one out, but the floor plan of the ground floor was totally unsuitable and it wasn’t in a good location, so we just gave it a pass and continued looking.

  48. Geez, it’s not that hard to figure out — you put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in and you shake it all about…

    Wait — no, that’s the hokey-pokey…

    Actually, during Desert Shield our lav had squatters instead of toilets. And beside the squatter was a standard kitchen sink sprayer for washing your ass when you were done.

  49. Also, when I was stationed in Korea a group of us took a trip up to Osan to do some shopping. The hotel we stayed in had a garbage can next to the toilet with a sign asking you to deposit your used toilet paper in the garbage can instead of flushing it.

    The conventional wisdom amongst the GI population was that they sent the sewage directly to the rice fields for fertilizer and didn’t want paper solids mixed in. (Not sure how true that was, but I have to admit that the rice paddies sure smelled like human feces…)

  50. I suspect the bidet came into greater use in countries in which people don’t normally shower/bathe every day.

    Me, I like the idea of being extra clean when things are, shall we say, extra icky, but I can accomplish most of the same thing with those handy little flushable wipes thingies. Much cheaper than an entirely separate plumbing fixture.

  51. Wow, I didn’t realise North America was such a bidet-free zone.

    Austin @ 36 “but there doesn’t seem to be a thing a bidet can do for me that a roll of toilet paper can’t do just as well”

    Um. and there’s nothing a shower can do for you that a dry towel can’t do just as well, right?

    seriously, try the bidet, people….

  52. Xopher @45

    Yeah, it is kinda bizzare to read so many posts that seem to boil down to… “I’m proud to have a thin smear of dried poop on my backside! What sort of deviant mind wouldn’t?”

  53. Austin @ 36:

    Thanks for the link. Not brain-staining porn. But these advisories were…disturbing:

    1. Some people use bidets to bathe babies. This should not be done unless this is the sole use for the bidet; be sure to ask the caregiver if this is the case, as bathing bidets are quite similar to traditional ones.

    2. Drinking from a bidet is not recommended. The stream can ricochet off a soiled area and become contaminated.

  54. “Feh… If I wanted to squirt water up my ringpiece I’d just go waterskiing…”

    So… the consensus seems to be that men don’t get the point but women really love these things. At which point, if you still think it’s only about hygiene, you’re being pretty naive.

  55. I think it’s about certain straight men having gay panic at the thought of using something that can simulate a rimjob. Also, female sexuality is taboo.

  56. Leo, I think it’s more about straight men having gay panic about anything that might actually involve anal pleasure. The very phrase strikes fear into some straight men’s hearts.

    As a straight man I know who does NOT have this hangup says, “C’mon, guys, it’s the 21st Century. Anal pleasure is not just for gay guys anymore!”

  57. I have always found that a bidet makes an exceptional beer cooler if there is no mini-fridge in the hotel room.

  58. Thanks, John, for a post that made me look forward to reading the comments with great relish. I would think, though, that after bearing the burdens of internet-bacon-fame, you would be more careful about which topics you hitch your wagon to. Do you really want to have to set up a Canonical Bidet Page?

  59. I entered this alternate reality because “Everything’s Up to Date, etc.” immediately started playing for me – iPods are no longer necessary when you have a bionic 8-track. Somebody got to it around #16, so they’ve gone about as fur as they can go. Caught something about a “Heinlein Centennial”, though, so that piqued my interest. Kansas City would be the right place though (Mom? Mommy? Where are you? I need you!). What are the kids up to these days? I still want a personal reactor and a spacesuit, and I want to live forever as soup. But now I need to climb Mt. Shasta and bring the Lemurians a bidet – I know they could use one.

  60. Never used one, but I wasn’t entirely against the idea … until I went to one of those ‘home shows’ and saw one on show with a special button marked – truthfully, now – ‘enema setting’. Anyone for a colonic? For me, there is a WORLD of difference between cleaning your ass and ‘enema setting’. And I wish it to stay that way!

  61. –E @18

    You mean you don’t completely strip down every time you go to the bathroom? Everyone else does. Right? Right?

  62. That looks kinda nice, actually. Maybe if I get one with a comfy seat, I can install it at my computer desk and just leave the water running while I type away. I’ll bet it would be quite cooling.

    Not that you guys should picture that or anything.

  63. When I was a teenager traveling on a college tour in Italy (mid 60s), we found that they made great wine chillers.

  64. Do you know that if you put “bidet porn” into Google, you have 1,210 hits to choose from?

  65. The Japanese style Toilet is really a toilet bidet combination and although nice is also very expensive. You can keep your current toilet and get the same benefits by adding a hand bidet sprayer for very little cost. A hand held bathroom bidet sprayer is so much better than a stand alone bidet and this is why:: 1. It’s less expensive (potentially allot less) 2.You can install it yourself = no plumber expense 3. It works better by providing more control of where the water spray goes and a greater volume of water flow. 4. It requires no electricity and there are few things that can go wrong with it. Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com

  66. First of all, bidets are not primarily intended for men (though they may derive some benefit from them) but for women. And their primary purpose is not cleaning your butt. You can do that with the squirty fountain type bidets, but not with the ones which have a faucet with an adjustable nozzle in the front, i.e. the type that is more common here.

    The main purpose of a bidet is for a woman to wash her genitals. Sticky stuff oozes out of women’s vaginas and sometime sticky stuff goes into it (which you guys should know about). Dry toilet paper does not remove the sticky stuff as effectively as running water does and wet toilet paper contains alcohol and all sorts of additives which hurt and burn and cause allergies (the area down there is very sensitive). Showering or bathing is no real alternative either, because at a certain time of the month you will want to clean yourself down there more often than you want to shower. So if you are a women, a bidet is a very useful thing to have. And no, Mark@69, it has no sexual purpose. Squirting water between your legs is not arousing.

    They are also really useful for washing your feet, more practical than either the wash basin (which requires some gymnastic contortions to reach with your feet) or the shower (sometimes, just your feet are dirty and you don’t want to strip off and shower).

    I have had a bidet in my bathroom since I was four, though I didn’t realize the benefit until I was a teenager. Nowadays, I hate going without one on travels and would never choose a house or flat that did not have a bidet or the space to install one. In fact, I absolutely hated it when mine broke down and I had to wait a few days for the plumber to repair it.

    It’s weird that people as hygiene-obsessed as Americans would choose to forego something as useful as a bidet and mock it, too.

  67. A hand held bathroom bidet sprayer is so much better than a stand alone bidet or bidet seat and this is why:1. It’s less expensive (potentially allot less) 2. You can install in yourself = no plumber expense 3. It works better by providing more control of where the water spray goes and a greater volume of water flow. 4. It requires no electricity and there are few things that can go wrong with it. 5. It doesn’t take up any more space, many bathrooms don’t have room for a stand alone bidet. 6. You don’t have to get up and move from the toilet to the bidet(for the stand alones) which can be rather awkward at times to say the least. Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com One review: http://jonathanandandrea.blogspot.com/2009/04/spray-it-or-scrub-it.html

  68. John,

    If you don’t mind saying, what hotel are you in? I grew up in KC, and still have family there, and I can’t figure out which hotel would be that…European.

  69. We also had a bidet at my parents (Austria).
    It had two main uses:
    Washing your feet
    Washing your hands after using the toilet for children under the age of four (as the bidet also has an overflow outlet like a basin there is no danger of flooding and the height is much more convenient for a small child)

    I never used it for its original intended purpose although I am female as a shower with a showerhead that is freely moveable (in contrast to a fixture that is always above your head) is much more practical.

  70. Guys aren’t supposed to understand bidets, John. All we need to know is that, in an emergency, you can pee in it, despite the fact that this will, as usual, annoy any females in your life.

    Isn’t that what sinks are for?

  71. Anna’s right, a hand held bidet sprayer that is movable is much more practical. They have them in Thailand in most of the bathrooms. They are the best!

  72. Dawn ! There are bidets in Europe, in Japan, in Argentina and now…they are presents in Kansas!!! This is an invasion, call de Congres !
    BTW #52, some one had to link bidet with Frenchbashing!
    Congratulations you won the Happy Moron first prize…

  73. Hardly a bashing of the French, besides he has the wrong country, it’s the Spanish who use it primarily to wash their feet and that’s not such a bad idea. I could use one for that. But I have the hand held bidet sprayer and until you’re tried one you are seriously missing out! I got mine at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com/ and it’s the best invention since the toilet (the sit-down toilet that is, not the squat toilet).

  74. A bidet in the “Show me” state? Uhhh, I’d check for cameras before I go near that thing…

    Oh and E–, I can tell you from experience that you do not want to adjust the pressure unless you are in position. I’ve left water-stains on the ceiling to prove it.

  75. Those ass-blaster things only connect to the COLD water line? Forget it. Squinch.

    In China, we newcomers were instructed to put used TP into the little basket next to the toilet, supposedly because the city’s sewage treatment system, such as it was, could not handle anything except poop. You can imagine what that busy office bathroom smelled like at the end of the day.

    In Hawaii, my hotel bathroom was equipped with a Toto Washlet. What an amazing device: heated seat, washes with warm water, dries, polishes. But they’re expensive, not many US bathrooms have a power outlet behind the toilet, and the combo of water and electricity in a device aimed at my exhaust was always a little worrisome.

    Bidets, yeah, I’ve used the faucet-on-the-back kind a few times but none like this one which looks like you could give yourself an accidental colonic. They’re kind of awkward and you do have to stumble over to it after making a deposit with your pants around the ankles, but dang, you feel all minty-fresh afterwards!

  76. You know, I wonder why there aren’t any of these things in Scotland? I mean, it’d seem a perfect fit: we’ve got way more water than anybody wants (no such thing as a low-flow anything, here), plus a far greater percentage of people wearing skirts (and no pesky undergarments to get in the way). Yep, they ought to be huge, here … but, alas, we have to go over to the continent to find them.

    Fabulous commentary, all. Dancing about all manner of subjects with such grace and delicacy!

  77. Whenever one of my Italian relatives or friends comes to visit, problem Number One, totally, WAY before the language, is the absence of bidets. My mom has a special basin in my house that she fits over the toilet bowl.

    My uncle drew me into an intensely embarrassing conversation about how in Heaven or Hell do the Brits cope without bidets? I told him, squirming, that they shower. “What?” he said, horrified. “They have a shower every time they take a dump?” I changed the subject real quick.

    The funniest bidet I’ve seen is my boyfriend’s British house. Obviously it was installed because it was a posh house and that’s what posh houses have, but whoever designed the arrangement of the bathroom furnishings didn’t really know its purpose, clearly, because as in many British houses, the toilet is in a separate little room… and the bidet is next door.

  78. The only thing I can imagine that is more COMPLETELY un-Amurican than a bidet is SOCCER. The first time I HAD to use one was in a house with no REAL toilet and the predictable happened: I caused a mini-flood in the residents shiny new ultra-modern bathroom (which served them right).

  79. Yes I want to listen to someone’s opinion named “coolstar” on what is “un-AmUrican” !!! Please don’t leave whatever small, hick town you live in again so the rest of us won’t be embarrassed by your small minded attitudes.

  80. Dude, bidet is the awesomeness. Never used them before I went to Argentina. Now, I miss them more than empanadas. If you’ve ever had an itchy ass they fix this. If you take a particularly gross dump, they got you covered. They are your friend. Americans seriously need to discover what it means to have a good ass washing.
    Word of warning: turn the beast on slowly. I guarantee that you will have an eruption at least once during the learning process. This is normal. Just towel down the walls and try again.

  81. Davimack@94,
    You should see the public toilets in Okinawa. They are literally a slit trench (and it’s even a porcelain molded slit trench that flushes)! Some, in remote locations like a beach, don’t even have a door on them. They are just a porcelain slit trench in a open ended stall. No modesty here. Anyhow, the flush mechanism is at the far end and stands just tall enough that if you want to face it you can hold onto the pipe to steady yourself. Of course, you could face the other way and risk said accidental colonic should you lose your footing. The whole flush arrangement reminded me of playing miniature golf when they had the little tunnel you hit the ball into to send it down a level. You press the handle and away it goes down the pipe in the end… kind of like your gold ball. Then again, this particular “toilet” was on a small rise looking over the beach and the pipe end pointed to the ocean. I never dove on that beach again after that seeing how I could not get that analogous image out of my head whenever I thought of where my poo went. Luckily, the Japanese do believe in sending the paper products down the same pipe. I’m not sure I could handle the whole hot, humid, putrid stench if they didn’t.

  82. I must say, this has been quite an eye-opening comments thread! I had heard of bidets, obviously, but had only the vaguest idea of what they were really for, and no real idea why someone would want one.

    Pre-moistened wipes (like baby wipes, but for adults) have become very popular in the US in the last few years. These serve the same purpose as bidets (for men and women both). But they are expensive, and I can understand why someone would prefer to keep chemicals away from “sensitive areas.”

    I also think – if I may generalize – that many Americans have learned to time their morning poop so that it happens pre-shower. And as a girl, there are “certain times” when I will take a 2nd shower at the end of the day, if clean-up beyond the ability of wipes is required.

    America is indeed a bidet-free zone. I’m 36 and I’ve never seen one in person.

  83. Yes we are bidet “free” if you want to call it free = free to wipe with toilet paper and hope you timed it right with your morning shower…right, never had a burrito I’m guessing. Just joshing. Bidet Sprayers are the way to go. Why Buy a Bathroom Bidet Sprayer? Because you win. With a Bathroom Bidet Sprayer you win in so many ways if it was a woman I’d marry it. First off you win by saving money, and what in these times is better than that, well ok a bailout may be better but get in line. By almost eliminating the need for toilet paper the savings are immediate and long lasting. Not saying you have to give it up, you can even buy the soft stuff and not feel guilty because you will be using so little. Next you win by giving yourself some healthy side benefits namely a lessening of hemorrhoids, should you have them, and the virtual elimination of rectal itch. Now we move onto the fact that you are helping the environment by lowering the amount of toilet paper used and therefore manufactured which saves water, electricity, and pollution. Now there is the hygiene factor and unless you think wiping your hands off with a dry paper towel is cleaner than washing them then you get the point. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: “if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn’t wipe it off with paper, would you? You’d wash it off” There is the convenience of having such a handy means of washing up with after which at times, say after that big burrito you had at lunch, can get a might messy. That is the main reason why stand alone conventional bidets were invented but they are too expensive and don’t even work as well as the Hand Bidet Sprayer. Lastly there is the least practical but potentially the most influential reason of all……it just feels good. Cleaner, fresher, rejuvenating even. Can you imagine not brushing you teeth after a big meal? I can’t, and I can’t imagine just wiping with dry toilet paper and leaving it at that…..shudder. This is the best thing since the toilet was invented, give it a try. http://www.bathroomsprayers.com

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