Why Don't Americans Use Bidets?

December 04, 2018

 

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 water. Today bidets are either part of a fancy toilet or are a separate fixture that looks like a toilet's younger sibling.

According to historian DUDES, 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 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, bidets were a tough sell in America because there typically 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 multiple ways to get a bidet in your bathroom. You can buy bidets that attach to your toilet. People even walk around with their own bottle 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 wipes.

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.

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.