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Why you’ve been wiping your ass wrong (and how a bidet can fix it)

Who needs TP?


Colette Bennett


Despite these trying times of empty paper product aisles at your local Target and being forced to see our coworkers, family, and friends via video calls, there are some good things springing up unexpectedly. One of them is that people are suddenly very worried about how to wipe their asses, or what to wipe them with. And this is a good thing, because Americans are not very good at this. At all.

What’s wrong with how we do it, you ask? Before we even dive into that, let’s consider the fact that one of out every six phones has fecal matter smeared on it, probably because we bring them to the bathroom with us. So y’all are clearly doing that part wrong. But washing your hands should help with that, which is being hammered into our heads so hard right now that it might actually make people realize it’s a thing that, you know, we should all do.

Read on to find out the right way to keep your bum clean–and why the best way to do that involves touching it as little as possible.

Ok, wait: what’s wrong with how I wipe?

Anal hygiene is very different in the rest of the world. A quick look at how people do it in Japan, India, France and more will illustrate how pedestrian we are about how to handle having taken a crap. So let’s take a few cues from them and look at how our way differs from theirs.

One weird American belief is that toilet paper is sufficient to clean yourself with after you poop. My question to you is this: if you got poop on your arm, would you wipe it off with a stray receipt and call it good? No, you would not. Because all that nasty stink and bacteria would still be on your arm. Your butt is no different.

Also, one quick swipe is not enough no matter what you are using. If you change a baby’s diaper, you use wet wipes until everything is nice and clean. So think of this as self-care for your butthole. Also be gentle as you go. It may be sturdy, but for the love of all things holy don’t hurt yourself. The exam table at the proctologist’s office is not a fun place to be, especially if you have to explain how you ruptured yourself trying to wipe.

Lastly, there’s no better option to stay clean than a bidet. Once considered the domain of the rich, there are now so many affordable options in the bidet world it’s staggering. A properly sanitized butt can be yours with very little investment! And considering that toilet paper is pretty difficult to get right now, it may be worth checking out options that can help you use less of it.

How to use a bidet

Bidets are actually really easy to use. You don’t need a toilet with one built in anymore because bidet attachments have become really popular. Bidet makers have also gotten wise to appealing to a wider consumer base as well, so you can spend less than $100 or well into the thousands on a bidet if you so choose, although the most crucial function–washing–is a part of all of them.

Most bidets either feature buttons or a remote control these days. Before you plop your butt on it you should get familiar with what they do so you don’t go squirting water in the wrong places. I have the Omigo (highly recommended, but more on that later) and as you can see, there are lots of functions to get to know at first.

You might feel intimidated looking at all those buttons right out of the gate, but when you sit on a warmed seat and feel the gentle sensation of being cleaned and air-dried, you’ll wonder why you lived like such a savage. In fact, if you have a few minutes to spare (and we know you do because you read your phone while you’re on the can anyway), you can even perfect the art of going number one with no toilet paper whatsoever.

But bidets are sold out, like, everywhere

Correction: almost everywhere. A few businesses that specialize in bidets actually have them in stock. The fine folks at Omigo kindly sent us one to try so we could experience the bidet difference. It came pretty quickly too, so there was no waiting on a backorder. At the time of this writing the Element+ is temporarily out of stock, but the other three models are ready to ship.

Starting at $71, Omigo offers several options to upgrade your toilet to unprecedented heights. The Element series are bidet attachments that do not require a plug and pop right under your toilet seat. If you want something more luxurious like a warmed seat and a self-cleaning system, the Omigo series features a full toilet seat to replace the one you have and would be the best way to go. It’s worth noting you will need a nearby plug for the latter (and preferably one very close to the toilet as the cord is not very long).


Another one to check out is Tushy, which offers bidet models for Classic, Spa, and Travel (although we won’t be needing that last one anytime soon, sorry to say). The Classic starts at $89 and the Spa at $109. You can even buy accessories like a toilet ottoman, bamboo towels, and t-shirts that say “ask me about my butthole.” If you don’t want to wear that everywhere, what are you even doing with your life? Use the code TUSHY5OFF at checkout it takes $5 off your order.

All these options are leaps and bounds better than scratching your ass with flimsy paper, so if you don’t want to fight a local housewife over a four pack of Charmin next time you go out into the wastelands, we would suggest you check out the bidet life.

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