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Bidet Lovers Come Out of the Closet: What About You?

People in Europe, Japan and South Korea think bidets are a normal bathroom fixture. Americans, not so much. There are bidet lovers in the U.S. Find out why!

We don’t understand why most Americans are shy about bidets. Bidets are commonplace in Italy, France, Portugal, Japan and South Korea, to name just a few countries that have embraced these bathroom accessories. Bidets were once reserved for upper class Europeans. But now, bidet lovers come from all walks of life.

People in Japan are especially fond of bidets. The Japanese company TOTO dominates the marketplace. Americans have been slow to embrace bidets. Instead, we have bought into wet wipes. But readers of our syndicated newspaper column have let us know in no uncertain terms that they love their bidets.

Bidet Lover Sings Its Praises for Hemorrhoids:

We were recently chastised by a reader of this column for not mentioning:

“one of the most important solutions for the pain and itching of hemorrhoids: a bidet!”

This person went on to state:

“I have found long-term relief with a bidet toilet. No toilet paper aggravating the sensitive tissues and no residue to cause itch. The bidet seat has an air dryer. It won’t cure hemorrhoids, but it certainly helps relieve symptoms.”

Bidet Lovers Are Truly Enthusiastic:

Since then we have heard from dozens of bidet lovers. They sing the praises of this bathroom fixture.

Here is one salute to Japanese ingenuity:

“My son and daughter-in-law traveled to Japan. When they came back, they bought and installed two Toto Washlets in their house. After trying it, we bought one for our master bath.

“We LOVE it! The comfort and clean feeling are wonderful. We travel, and it’s hard to say which I look forward to more…coming home to my own bed…or to my Toto Washlet!”

Visitors to Japan Become Bidet Lovers:

Visitors to Japan often come back convinced that a toilet/bidet is an essential bathroom appliance:

“After traveling to Japan I immediately purchased a heated TOTO toilet. I will never not have one! I feel so much cleaner than just wiping with tissue. Why is this not a thing in the United States? Every place in Japan has them, including restaurants, airports, and hotels.”

Diane has been using a bidet for years:

“We have used a TOTO Washlet for the past decade. I was first introduced to this combination toilet seat/bidet in the 1990’s in Japan. It substantially reduces the need for toilet paper and is superior hygienically. Win. Win.”

Rosie is also a bidet lover as a result of a trip to Japan:

“We loved the toilets in Japan so much we bought a similar top for our toilet, installed with water and electronic controls ( we used a plumber). We never saw a separate bidet in Japan; every toilet has the bidet like the one we installed–a bidet as part of the seat.

“Once you try these you’ll never go without! Gets you very clean without wipe, wipe, wipe with only paper, which still doesn’t clean thoroughly.

“Some toilets in Japan also have a ‘privacy’ button—-it plays music!”

Bidet Solves Problem of Frequent Bathroom Trips:

Another reader shared similar bidet enthusiasm:

“I go to the bathroom far more than the average person. My bottom was so sore. Think about facial tissue and your nose when you have a drippy cold!

“I got a bidet seat, and it was like dying and going to heaven. I swear by my bidet. I don’t know anyone who has tried it and does not love it.”

Unexpected Uses for a Bidet:

There are other uses for a bidet.

This person suggested one:

“Having European parents, I know that the bidet is not only for private parts, but also washing feet.”

Another bidet lover recounts:

“I have never tried to use a bidet the way it is intended. However, when traveling in Europe, after a full day of walking and sightseeing in warm weather, my feet were killing me. Upon returning to my hotel, I took the desk chair into the bathroom, filled the bidet with cool water, sat down (on the chair, of course) and soaked my feet for about 30 minutes while reading a book. Ahhhh…what relief!”

A “Virginia farm boy” shared this perspective:

“My father worked for British American Tobacco in India, Africa, and Argentina in the 1930’s and ’40s. The homes of his fellow employees from British society introduced him to bidets. He installed one in our Virginia farm home in 1951, so I grew up with one. As barefoot farm boys, we also used it to wash our feet.”

Bidet Options:

You can spend less than $100 to retrofit an existing toilet with a bidet attachment.

Here is Paul’s report:

“There are add-on’s for regular toilets for less than $100. They are easy to install. I have been using one (actually on my third) for over 20 years. It’s better than great. It is also soothing and very clean.”

Bridley is a true bidet lover for these reasons:

“Why I love my bidet:

* The feeling of being really clean after a b.m.!
* They cut down on showers, which dry out your skin and use lots of water.
* There is less anal itching due to fecal residue (I can’t believe I just typed the words ‘fecal residue’) and less anal irritation from rubbing with toilet paper.
* I buy less toilet paper.
* Can sometimes help with constipation.
* As flexibility decreases with age it becomes harder to twist and reach where one needs to wipe. A bidet can save your back and do a much better job cleaning.”

“My husband bought me a toilet-top one for my birthday a few years ago with many bells and whistles. (On sale at Costco about $270). It is the best gift I have ever received!”

At the high end, you could spend several thousand dollars. These combination bidet toilets have adjustable water pressure and temperature, adjustable heated seats, blow dryers, air deodorizers and UV lights to kill germs.

Bidets have been slow to catch on in the U.S. That said, if our readers are any indication, once people try them, they become bidet lovers. Judging from our comment section, there are a lot of enthusiasts eager to share their story. Should you wish to read more, here is a link:

Would You Ever Use a Bidet to Clean Your Bottom?
Americans love toilet paper, but people in Europe and Japan have gone in a different direction–the bidet! One reader says it really helps his hemorrhoids.

Share Your Bidet Story:

Please share your own bidet love in the comment section below. If you have tried a bidet and found it unpleasant, uncomfortable or silly, please share your story as well.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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