Soon we'll all want a bidet!
The Shower WC is gaining ground. When you have it at home you will understand why.
De Volkskrant reports on what we have been noticing at Bidet Shower for some time now. Everywhere we see signs of a return of the bidet. The zeitgeist has never seemed more ripe for the bum bath. Few plumbing fixtures are as shrouded in mystery and controversy as the bidet. For one half of the world's population, it is an indispensable tool for getting around clean and fresh after a visit to the toilet, for the other half the bidet is nothing more than a ceramic puzzle, which they only encounter in foreign bathrooms. I used to be fascinated by the bidet in the bathroom of my grandmother's 1960s bungalow. I initially assumed it was a second toilet, especially for children and small people, or else a very serious foot bath. When Grandma told me the thing was there to 'wash your butt with', I thought it was as hilarious as it was unimaginable. I am not alone in my giggly ignorance. The internet is full of manuals and instructional videos on how to use a bidet ('Step 2: straddle the bidet'). In this slightly awkward video, American youths try an electric bidet for the first time. "It's like a massage for my butt…but wet," one of the girls says eagerly, but there's also a boy who makes cramped faces as if electricity is being pushed through his anus.
Still, the bidet seems to be making its way, very slowly, into our bathrooms.
The German sanitary company Geberit has been running a fairly successful advertising campaign in the Netherlands for a few years to promote the butt bath, full of women dressed in white dresses who dance through savage splashing water to celebrate their clean buttocks. A resurgence in the popularity of the bidet in all its forms is not so strange. There's something to be said for rinsing your faeces with lukewarm water, perhaps better than wiping rough paper between your buttocks until no visible traces remain. It is more hygienic and more pleasant. If for some reason poop ends up on your hands, you'd most likely rather run to a tap to wash than reach for a paper towel The bidet is also a lot more environmentally friendly than any roll of toilet paper that you sweep through it. With a bidet you use slightly more water per toilet visit, but that is not compared to all the water that is needed for the production of one roll of toilet paper. Especially if you use 'degradable' wet wipes to keep your anus fresh, the bidet is a much greener alternative (wet wipes also stick to grease residues, which can lead to terrifying grease blockages in the drains). And perhaps it is also the shift from the fixation on breasts to buttocks in the Western beauty ideal, which leads to a greater need for bidets. If you do a hundred power squats every day to keep your butt nice and round, you don't want leftover poop stuck in between. The fact that the butt receives more attention in the mainstream media means that it also receives more attention in the private sphere. Moreover, there are indications that with the unbridled interest in the buttocks, anal sex is becoming more and more popular; also among heterosexual couples. And that too can be a cause of a greater awareness of the area between the buttocks. To put it bluntly: the more you baffle, the more you need a bidet. The zeitgeist has never seemed more ripe for the bum bath.