Our bathroom habits are notoriously difficult to process for the average American. We’re proven to be far more squeamish than many other cultures around the world. The result is that our squeamishness is making us more poopy than other people around the world. In countries like France and Japan it’s expected that people will use bidets, but Americans are so squeamish about anything touching their buttholes, so they favor toilet paper which leaves traces of fecal matter smeared around.
So let’s get to the bottom of this. Really push it out. Drop the kids off at the pool.
There are a lot of interesting reasons why Americans have an aversion to bidets. Aside from the general squeamishness around touching booty holes, the bidet was first introduced to American and British troops during service in World War 2. Soldiers believed that the bidets were meant as a pregnancy prevention measure and they associated the bidet with French libertine culture.
Vice Online (of course) published an article called Let’s Be Real: Americans Are Walking Around With Dirty Anuses. The VERY clickable title leads to an article about how bidet makers are having difficulty breaking into the American market.
Several bidet companies have tried to market their products in North America on a variety of different measures, from their technological impressiveness to the evidence of the health benefits they offer. But they have yet to overcome the significant hurdle that exists because North American consumers simply aren't used to considering the purchase of a toilet for any reason but an immediate need for one.
"The toilet in North America is not seen as an upgradable item in the home," says Rose George, author of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters. "You only get a new toilet if you move or if your toilet breaks. There has been some change in the industry at marketing a toilet as a desirable, upgradable object rather than what is known as a 'distress purchase,' but it's slow-going."
So there you go. We’re all gross here, and it’s because we don’t want to think about gross stuff. You can read the rest of the article here. In the meantime, maybe pick up Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. And check out the video on the history of bidets below.