When you start traveling outside the United States, you quickly realize that a lot of the world has its toilet game on lock; from heated seats, remote controls and night lights to deodorizers and, of course, the bidet!
Bidets are everywhere! What's not to love about a bidet toilet seat? A warm stream of water and a spray nozzle to help with post-poop clean-up?
Throw in a warm air dryer and SOLD.
Yet in America, you'd be hard-pressed to find one. What gives? We love our smartphones. Why not a smart toilet?
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 warm water, so you don't have to use toilet paper. Today, bidets are either part of a fancy toilet or are a separate faucet on an existing toilet.
According to historians, bidets started in France in the early 18th century. Bidet means short-legged horse in French, which refers to how you straddle a bidet seat and 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, making 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 (such as adjustable water pressure control and water temperature control panels), they were a tough sell in America because typically, there weren't pipes in the walls to install them.
Bidets are also a must-have for anyone suffering from dreaded hemorrhoids. Less wiping means less irritation. Think of it as personal healthcare.
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 are multiple ways to get bidet attachments in your bathroom. You can buy DIY bidets that attach to your toilet seat or toilet bowl. People even walk around with their own portable, handheld bidets (travel bidets).
Those of you who don't want the hassle of calling your plumber to install an expensive bidet, read more about how easy it is to use a bidet attachment. If you're looking for something better than TP's standard sandpaper feel, consider the DUDE Wiper 1000.