‘B’ is for bidet

One thing I like to do, when I’m at a party for example, is point out how things don’t have to be the way they are. I might mention that, in other countries, it’s common to shut down for a couple of hours in the afternoon so that a nice, relaxing lunch can be enjoyed, perhaps followed by a nap. Doesn’t that sound great?

In some countries, I’ll observe, everyone has health coverage and access to higher education. I could go on — dedicated bicycle lanes, plenty of clean public bathrooms, etc. The point I’m trying to make is that many things can be different, and in some ways certainly better, than they are here.

When I espouse this line of thinking, invariably I’ll get some version of, “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you just leave?”

Often it’s not as polite as that, but you get the drift. Please note that I’m not saying I don’t like it here. I, in fact, love living in the northeastern corner of the greatest country in the world. I just like to point out that there are other ways of doing things, that’s all.

A lot of us make fun of some other countries because the people there don’t bathe as often as we do. That is true in some cases, but here’s the thing: They use bidets, which is something we generally don’t do here.

I guess the thinking is, if you can keep that delicate area clean, it’s easy to keep everything else clean without that much fuss. Well, I’m about to put that to the test myself, as I now own and use a bidet.

It used to be that you had to buy a dedicated bidet or a conventional toilet. However, now all you have to do is replace your toilet seat, and voilà, you have a bidet. To get water for the bidet, you install a tee on the water supply to the toilet.

Then you have to plug it into a GFCI [ground-fault circuit interrupter] outlet, because it requires power. Once you do that, you’re all set for quite a new experience.

The one I have is fine; however, as with a lot of products, the instructions aren’t the best. There is a combination off/turbo button. Yes, turbo. The way this works is, if any bidet function is operating — and there are a lot of them — you can hit the off button at any time to stop it.

But, if you hit the off button a second time, you activate the turbo function, which jacks up whatever is happening to make it more intense. So the first time I used it, I completed the wash function and then had activated the dryer function. This actually blows hot air on your nether region to dry you off.

The thing is, it blows for five minutes and I didn’t want to sit that long. So I got up, hit the off/turbo button, and immediately shot a huge plume of water over my head and into the sink in front of the toilet.

Turns out the dryer function is not related to the off/turbo button. When you select “dryer,” it just blows warm air for five minutes, period. Of course, they should have said that in the manual. Sigh.

This bidet has many functions. There is the general wash function, which shoots a stream of warm water right up your rear end. There is a male button and a female button.

Other members of my family who have used the female button at first told me it wasn’t “hitting the right place.” However, in a case like this, you have to think like an engineer.

Consider: They have to design this for both genders and all ages, heights, and weights. So what really helps is if you use good posture when sitting on the bidet. I assure you, if you do this, the water will hit the right spot.

This particular bidet has as many functions as a high-end car. While the bidet is running, you can adjust the temperature of the water, the position of the wand that shoots the water, and even engage an “oscillating” function that is almost like a perineal massage, if you can believe that.

There is also a heated-seat function as well, but I never use that. I prefer my toilet seat, just like my whisky, to be at room temperature, thank you very much.

Despite the plethora of functions, most times I just want to do my business and move on to the next thing in life, so I wind up just using the basic wash and dry functions. Even just using it this way is pretty good, though. You really do feel a lot cleaner down there.

You may be thinking at this point that this bidet business is all a lot of silliness and a big waste. I mean, we’ve all been wiping forever, right?

But think about this: When the pandemic started, what was the first item that cleared off the store shelves? If you said toilet paper, you are right.

So now, between the bidet and the miracle that is Metamucil (go ahead and make fun if you must, but this stuff is just great), I literally do not need toilet paper anymore. So there you go. I’m ready for the next pandemic, haha.

It seems obvious to me that, if you eat a lot of fast food, or have a bad diet in general, or have some other stomach or digestive issues, a bidet can be a game-changer. You still have to shower now and then of course, but this could really help to eliminate a lot of daily wiping. However, cleaning up your diet is always a good thing health-wise, bidet or no bidet.

If you’ve never used a bidet, I’ll admit it does take some getting used to. But like so many things in life, just because bidets aren’t big in this country doesn’t mean they can’t be a good thing. The bidet won’t eliminate my daily showers — I don’t think I’ll ever get there — but it is nice to have it for sure. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.