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Why Don't Americans Use Bidets?

When you start traveling outside the US, you quickly realize — bidets are everywhere!

Yet in America, you'd be hard pressed to find one. What gives?

There are good reasons why bidets haven't been adopted in the US, which we'll cover in a bit, but first let's talk about bidet basics for the uninitiated.



What's A Bidet?

Put simply, a bidet is something that allows you to clean your butthole with a stream of warm water so you don't have to use toilet paper. Today bidets are either part of a fancy toilet or are a separate faucet like fixture that looks like a toilet's younger sibling.

According to historians, bidets started in France in the early 18th century. Bidet means short-legged horse in French, which is a reference to how you straddle a bidet seat and also the fact that the French nobility used bidets to clean themselves after long rides on their horses.

As the popularity of bidets spread, the British turned their noses up at them, thinking they were a form of birth control, like any form of douching was back then. Norman Haire, a birth-control pioneer, said in 1936, "The presence of a bidet is regarded as almost a symbol of sin."

During World War II, American soldiers commonly saw bidets in the brothels they frequented during their downtime, which made them think they were for prostitutes.

Given America's puritanical past, and the fact bidets were first embraced by French cowards, you can understand why they never took off in postwar America.



Are Bidets Worth It?

Before advances in bidet technology (such as higher water pressure), they were a tough sell in America because typically there weren't pipes in the walls to install them.

In the 1960s, one of the best bidets ever was invented by an American, Arnold Cohen, aka "Mr. Bidet." When he started selling his new creation in the US, he found 99% of Americans had never heard or seen a bidet, which made selling them a difficult proposition.

Today there are multiple ways to get bidet attachments in your bathroom. You can buy bidets that attach to your toilet seat or toilet bowl. Some high-tech bidets come with a remote control to adjust the water temperature. People even walk around with their own handheld bidets, which...is a little bizarre.

And while a bidet may feel refreshing on your butthole, there's no evidence that they actually do a better job of cleaning your ass than wiping.

Dr. John Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, told Wirecutter there's no hard evidence that bidets make your ass any cleaner or less germ-ridden than wiping. Although it's probably less painful if you're plagued by a butt rash, or worse, hemorrhoids.

For those of you who don't want the hassle of calling your plumber to install an expensive bidet, but want something better than the standard sandpaper feel of TP, grab some DUDE Wipes.

They're the perfect addition to your throne, with aloe and vitamin E to soothe your third pit and keep you fresh for whatever the day brings.

If you're sold, you can browse the best bidet brands like Toto and Kohler on Amazon.