“The only thing we have to fear is… fear of the rear itself.” Bidets are back…

‘When Did you and the Bidet First Meet?‘ According to the majority of dictionaries a Bidet is still described as, ‘A small, low bath in which a person washes the lower part of their body.’ That’s exactly how I remember seeing a ‘bidet’ for the first time in a relative’s bathroom. I didn’t have a dictionary to hand, there was no, ‘Okay Google…’ so I figured it was time to introduce myself. With the bathroom door firmly locked I checked out the white stand-alone low-level oval porcelain tub with taps. Positioned between the bath tub and the toilet, why would I even think about shuffling from the WC (with my trousers around my ankles) to go wash my bum? I guessed it was for washing my feet and I did. I ended up using 3 rolls of toilet paper to mop up the shower of water I’d sent cascading across the floor and took five attempts to flush the soggy evidence down the toilet. Departing none the wiser, until my second acquaintance on a trip to France by which time I’d figured it out and finally, in Japan, I got to feel the real deal. The question that struck me most, prior to trying out a bidet was, ‘Why having grown up with toilet paper would I want one?’ But the new bidets are easy to install, hygienic and above all they’re changing peoples perspectives.

Why Bidets Got a Bum Rap. Way before my first encounter, America a big potential market for bidets, had failed to adopt them (the low-level sit and wash version) because they got a bum rap. Many Americans associated the stand-alone bidet with sex-workers, having seen them being used in European brothels during World War II. The question of space and additional plumbing for bidet fixtures in, ‘the smallest room‘ didn’t help its cause either, added to which the use of toilet paper was gathering pace. Travelling even further back in time, long before the Romans sat in their rows of toilets with a ‘sponge on a stick‘ to mop up after themselves, the world was already awash with ‘washers.’ The options for the finishing touches included; stones, leaves, grass, corn cobs, animal furs, sticks, snow, bits of porcelain, seashells or simply your hand.

Toilet Paper is ‘On a Roll.’ The Chinese are credited with inventing the new alternative, toilet paper, as far back as 1391 and by the late fifteenth century it was widely available throughout China. Fast forward to 1596 and, rather like computers, the invention of the modern WC/Toilet provided the hardware for a wider audience. The software sales (toilet paper) took a further 260 years to take off when eventually in 1857, Joseph Gayetty of New York, marketed a modern commercially available toilet paper, ‘Medicated Paper, for the Water-Closet.‘ The first perforated toilet paper rolls were finally introduced in 1890 and by 1930 toilet paper was widely manufactured and ‘splinter free.’ Since then toilet paper has gone ‘on a roll‘ (pun intended) for wipers worldwide as being, ‘The go to, when you go do!‘. The appearance of toilets in every home coupled with improvements to the softness and strength of toilet paper and its extensive sales and marketing went on to influence a social change, and social conditioning in countries like the US and UK (still two of the leading wiper countries.) With bidets (in their original format) failing to take off and get deep enough into the human psyche, the momentum was lost and led to a generation of toilet owners (in the USA, UK, much of Europe and many East Asian countries) becoming keen wipers and subsequently dedicated toilet paper users. Until now that is…

Douche and Dab’ or Wipe. It’s a long time since bidets first appeared in France back in the late 17th century, and although the first flushable toilet was invented in England (1596) WCs/Toilets didn’t gain popularity until 1851. It took approx. 100 years longer to establish themselves in the modern world. In 1980, the first ‘paperless toilet‘ was launched in Japan by manufacturer Toto. Since the 1980s technology, design and functionality have gone on to transform the product, the experience and the accessibility of both toilets and bidets. In regards to ‘wash vs wipe,’ billions of ‘washers‘ around the world had their cleaning experience happily established for ages. In many parts of the world [e.g. South East Asia, The Middle East, India and some European countries] washing has always been the preference over wiping. Their culture is a flip on the way ‘wiping society‘ thinks with our reliance on toilet tissue. For the residents of many nations, washing with either bowls, ‘bum guns’ (washing wands) and/or bidets are ‘the main event,’ the toilet paper is the ‘(back) side show,’ or even a complete no show. In trying to persuade people, it’s far easier to ‘upgrade’ a habitual and established washing method, rather than change the habits of a lifetime, i.e. get them to exchange ‘douche and dab,’ for the waterless wipes with toilet paper. Quite understandably when you put it like that.

Team Wipe vs Team Wash. This has meant that for some while ‘Team Wipe‘ have been sitting on their backsides (so to speak) focussing on how they could upgrade their own experience with things like softer or more eco-friendly tissue options. Meanwhile, manufacturers and designers for ‘Team Wash‘ have been coming up with a range of smart new inventions and health benefits to enhance their offering. You’ll no doubt be familiar with toilets with built in bidets, and functions such as; wash, dry, self-clean, funky lighting, music, automatic seat open and close, health checks and a whole lot more. But hey, I hear you! 😉 ‘That’s all very well but it’s not so easy to make the switch if your current set up is a standard toilet, plus toilet roll holder(s)… and there’s a great range of toilet rolls to choose from these days.’ Okay, let’s get to the bottom of all this.

Changing Your Perspective. The recent panic buying and fear of running out of toilet tissue has been a timely opportunity to grab the wiping world’s attention with alternatives to just using toilet paper. For the toilet paper consumer as it were, trying to sell something to ‘attach to a toilet and wash your butt,’ is no easy task. There have been various attachable bidet patents and inventions dating back to the late 1800s, the most recent appears to be from 2010. Having said that, only in the past few years have ‘attachable bidets‘ begun to get spotted by the ‘wiping community.’ The outbreak of coronavirus led to toilet paper ‘shortages,’ and then the closure of many public toilets left people with another dilemma, ‘how to go on the go.‘ Media attention turned from toilet paper to bidets as a solution with more and more headlines and greater press coverage (yep, there’s even a travel version in case you’re caught short outside). Once the public had embraced the possibilities of a bidet and were loving the buzz of other ‘new’ peripheral toilet temptations (Aesop Post-Poo Drops or Poo-Pourri as examples) the whole bathroom experience began to inspire a new audience, a wider following and a big fan base. Perspective has changed.

The Generation Game Changer. That game-changer (life-changer) for ‘the wipers’ has a lot to do with the coming of age of ‘attachable bidets‘ and for many Millennials and Generation Z they make total sense. With no history, nor necessarily any memory of ye olde off-putting bidets, ‘The Attachables‘ are grabbing their attention, and this generation are technologically immersed, care about planet earth and constantly discussing the endless list of environmental issues. Another advantage, if you rent your home, is that this is an inexpensive way to get a bidet installed, and take it with you anywhere you go. In exploring the world of attachable bidets there are some brilliantly designed alternatives out there, with all sorts of functions for all sorts of people. However, making a bidet appealing enough to promote change isn’t just about what it does, ‘it’s about what it does for you.‘ That vital part of the persuasive process takes a brilliant marketeer [Miki Agrawal] and an innovative new approach [TUSHY.]

Reasons to be Cheerful not Fearful. One of the other reasons for the attachable bidets new resurgence and success is its simplicity, in 10 minutes you can easily convert your current toilet into a bidet and… it looks good too. Costs vary but a ‘classic‘ starts at around $89 (approx. 60-100 rolls in toilet paper money;)) making it very affordable. That’s quite tempting vs the considerably greater expense of having to buy and fit a completely new smart toilet/bidet with wash, dry and other multi-functionality built in. But fear not toilet paper fans, bidets do not necessarily equate to ‘no toilet paper whatsoever’ because with bidet attachments you’ll still need to dry up afterwards. The preferred methods being toilet paper (biodegradable) or bum towels (ideally bamboo in both cases.) After all, whatever age, you’ll still have your toilet rolls (or bum-towels) close to hand. You decide how much toilet paper you use and/or how often you get to use the bidet – so sit back, relax, and… ‘ease your way into your new bidet.

Hello TUSHY. Let’s get back to ‘TUSHY.’ Founded by Canadian born New Yorker Miki Agrawal back in 2015. Miki, CEO Jason Ojalvo and their team have been making a big splash by changing consumer perceptions (and misconceptions) about using a bidet, or ‘making a clean start‘ so to speak. Miki, whose parents are Indian and Japanese (so she knows about bidets and the washing ways) is a disruptive innovator whose marketing approach mixes, ‘hygiene + humour, entertainment + environment‘ which confronts and cuts through traditional taboos and bravely challenges the status quo. ‘TUSHY‘ have jumped the obstacles and put attachable bidets ‘front of mind for your behind.’ Apart from convincing people that using a bidet is the best way to clean your butt, and in spite of the stiff competition, they’ve got a lot of people’s attention! The TUSHY bidet attachment is also environmentally friendly, squeaky clean, saves you money, it’s fun, totally natural to use, and it makes you feel, ‘It’s the way to go if you’re in the know.’

Health, Hygiene and Environment. Environmentally the big plus about bidets is they save water, a lot of water. Another is ‘Trees vs Bamboo’ as millions of trees are cut down to make toilet paper, check our article, ‘Is Wiping our Bottoms Wiping out Forests?’ Bamboo offers a sustainable future. As numerous stats clearly illustrate bidets are good for the environment, healthier and the most hygienic self-care option. But tell that to people a couple of years ago and ‘yer, right!’ The fact is it’s Miki has managed to get that message out there, got it across and got it to stick. The ‘better for you‘ factor is backed up by a long list of positive personal stuff that’s going to benefit us by using one including; not using our hands and/or spreading germs around, avoiding haemorrhoids, washing with water is non-abrasive, it can help with IBS, UTI’s and periods… quite a lot of which gets covered in their most recent (and amusing) advert, ‘Time To Get With The Clean Poop Program, People.’

The TUSHY Talk

Taking the ‘Boo!’ out of ‘Taboo.’ It would be fair to say that in my personal opinion, in terms of converting the unconverted and taking the ‘Boo!‘ out of ‘Taboo,‘ TUSHY (with their bidet attachments, bamboo tp, bum towels and travel bidet) are currently the greatest influence in moving washing back to the no. 1 spot for our no. 2s and suchlike. But there’s another great ‘finishing touch’ to the TUSHY story and that’s the fact Miki Agrawal is also a philanthropist, ‘TUSHY is passionate about fighting the global sanitation crisis and has helped almost 60,000 families gain access to clean toilets in India.’ TUSHY, ‘Thank you from the bottom of our hearts… and the hearts of our bottoms!’

We’ll be back in a week or two with another of our independent takes on the world of taboos, loos and no. 2s… As ever do get in touch with any comments or feedback. Have a great weekend! Well be back in a couple of weeks as heading off to our B&B in Corfu to check all’s well.

[All photos in the article are copyright of HelloTUSHY]

Patents Pending: Aesthetic toilet accessory that helps you squat while you s*it or pee.

Patents Pending for integrated foot rest for both wall & floor mounted toilets.

These days it’s fairly common knowledge that our seated ‘toilet posture’ accounts for a number of health issues. Humans were not designed to ‘sit’ on a loo. We were all squatters and even today over 50% of the world are without sit on toilets. This week is about those of us with the luxury of a sit on toilet that may wish to consider a toilet accessory that looks good and actually does you good too. It’s primarily about the way we sit when we use the toilet for no. 1s and 2s.

But, this idea and the proven benefits is not anything new – it’s just that toilet manufacturers and accessory designers haven’t appeared to be interested in manufacturing or offering it as a standard option for your bathroom design, or more importantly for ensuring your better health and wellbeing when buying their products. As a senior consultant in the field once said to me, ‘It’s about the bottom line,’ to which I replied, ‘Yes, rather than the bottom itself.’ The excuse that it doesn’t make them enough money to produce such a thing is easily dismissed by the likes of the ‘SharkTank‘ start up ‘SquattyPotty‘ and subsequent start ups like TUSHY who also that also produce ‘standalone’ accessories, the idea being ‘To enable you to, lift you legs, mimicking a squat and in doing so straightening the kink in your sigmoid colon (the lower part of your colon) to go with the flow!’ SquattyPotty alone has a turnover iro $30million pa. The global sales figures and demand for enabling yourself to ‘squat on the toilet’ while sitting should be proof positive to manufacturers that this needs to go from ‘stand alone’ to ‘standard option’ for both floor and wall mounted toilets, either as part of their initial design or a retro fit.

Foot stools such as SquattyPotty’s and ‘TUSHY’s ‘Ottoman’ are functional, well designed solutions to helping numerous people with conditions such as; straining, haemorrhoids (piles) and/or constipation, hernias and pelvic organ disorders incl. prolapse, or worse, colon cancer and even heart attacks. Quite simply, ignoring the taboo on toilet talk, we probably all know someone who just isn’t always happy or finding it that easy to go to the loo all the time.

Background. Let’s rewind to three years ago. While sitting on a coach en route to Cardiff for a meeting, Mark Hendriksen was reading Giulia Enders‘ groundbreaking book, ‘The Gut‘ as a follow on from a sourdough baking course and interest in how, ‘The human body contains trillions of microorganisms to the extent of outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1.‘ Quite early on in the book he read about the ‘squat vs sit‘ and had a ‘eureka’ moment as he noticed the coach seat had a pull out foot bar on which to lift you feet. The thought was, ‘Why not design a foot bar that could be integrated aesthetically and practically into any sit down toilet.‘ The key point at that moment in time was that although sketches and ideas flowed, Mark was really focussed on doing some children”s books at that particular moment – and this was going to need a lot of research.

To cut to the chase, designs was drawn up, patent searches took place and eventually various patents pending were established. During the journey to achieve all of that, the likes of ‘SquattyPotty’ came to light and from there on the major part of Mark’s days have been taken up with loos & no. 2s. At this precise moment in time Mark has 4 children’s books on the subject ready for publication, and as is notable from this post, is writing about the stuff every week.

But, what about the patents pending? The important and unique USP about these patents and the design is that they’re like any of your regular bathroom fittings, i.e. chrome, sleek, functional, attractive and flow with the design of practically every toilet. You don’t have to hide them if friends or family come round, they don’t take up additional bathroom space, are easy to clean and hygienic, plus, and it’s a big plus, ‘As a fitted accessory can be used in any office, hospital, public toilet etc.’ That makes it effectively usable anywhere there’s a toilet, and that’s a huge leap forward for healthcare. It provides huge potential cost savings for related health issues.

The other positive impact is that since their first appearance when the flush toilet was invented in 1596 but didn’t become widespread until 1851, ‘It would be changing the function of the toilet for good, and significantly‘ as did sanitation, sewer treatment and management. The earliest sitting toilets were invented by the Mesopotamians, then Romans and others who got people sitting 1000s of years ago. But especially then, and certainly back in 1851 when the first flush toilets appeared, ‘who and where was the healthcare expertise, specialist or organisation that confirmed it was better to sit than squat and there would be no health issues by doing so?

At the end of the day we’re simply trying to save everyone’s arse. There’s a lot more on the subject than this short article can address and expand on, but suffice to say we’d love to hear from anyone who may be interested in these patents pending and their potential future place in every bathroom/wc, be it private or public. We’ll catch up on the usual look at this weeks best articles during the coming days.

‘Poosflash’ A few toilet paper facts & a look at the industry, eco-friendliness and what to look out for when shopping.

Whatever is going on with the panic buying of toilet paper, at the end of the day, or should I say year, you’re not going to end up using 10x more toilet paper. According to ‘Ethical Consumer‘, the average bottom [person] in 2018 used 127 rolls per year! In other words, do the math, there’s enough out there given that people don’t get twitchy and stockpile, and if calm prevails then supply chains remain steady, as does stock. Also, again looking locally at Britain (as the third largest consumer of TP in the world), with the stockpiling ahead of Brexit it has also provided some degree of cushion. ‘To be clear, there seems to be no reason to believe there will be an actual shortage of toilet paper unless panic shoppers simply overbuy.’ Expert advice from Fisher International, and they’re right!

But what about the world of toilet paper? Back in July 2019 ahead of the current virus, there was a fascinating article written by Dan Nosowitz for Vox, so succinctly written and informative, that we barely need to add anything. Take a look here, ‘Disruption has come for toilet paper.Slick marketing, subscription models, and eco-consciousness are changing the TP landscape.

Of course people don’t just use TP for wiping their bums as the cost can make it a cheaper alternative to tissues. It has other uses of course; for wiping your nose if/when they have a cold, clean up water or spills on toilets, tables or floors, makeup removal and other small cleaning tasks like wiping your keyboard, amongst many others. But focussing on the subject in hand (so to speak) here’s a brief overview of the various TP alternatives and what to look out for if you want to be eco-friendly, as we all should.

  1. Traditional TP. The manufacturing process involves, a mixture of softwood and hardwood trees (generally 70/30) water (a lot of it!) chemicals to extract fibre, and bleaches (chemicals e.g. chlorine dioxide) which make it white.
  2. Recycled TP. A method that caught peoples attention and is gaining more and more support. It is far better at saving and preserving the planet. But again chemicals are required, albeit less, to bleach the paper back to the aesthetic white associated with clean soft paper. Positives are: 1.) recycled paper is far more sustainable than virgin pulp. 2.) Look out for unpackaged toilet roll or ones with biodegradable packaging. 3.) Fibres (check the labels) such as bamboo and agricultural waste, if responsibly sourced, are more sustainable than virgin pulp. For bamboo, hemp, sugarcane look for brands like ‘Who Gives A Crap‘, ‘No. 2‘, ‘Bumboo‘ ‘Ecoleaf‘, ‘Greencane‘, ‘Bippy‘ and ‘Cheeky Panda‘, look for the FSC stamp (see below) 4.) Toilet paper made from recycled paper keeps waste out of the landfills and ensures it decomposes properly. Paper (think anything from newspapers to greetings cards) is stripped of ink, then moulded and dried to become a toilet roll.
What to look out for … eco-friendly toilet paper.
  1. FSC stands for ‘Forest Stewardship Council’, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible forestry.  FSC 100% is wood from fully FSC-certified forests. FSC Recycled is wood that must be pre- or post-consumer waste. FSC Mix is most frequently found on toilet paper. it’s a mix of FSC virgin wood, recycled, and virgin wood from ‘controlled sources.’ FSC certifies forests all over the world to ensure they meet the highest environmental and social standards. Ideally, go for brands that do not use chlorine processing at all. Also, look out for the Rainforest Alliance and Green Seal, a mark of environmental responsibility through every stage of the toilet paper production process.

To end on a more humorous note, here’s an old ad we love from Quilted Northern rustic weave 🙂 that would be a perfect leveller for the panic of the past few weeks, and… we’ll be back next Friday.

Want to know ‘what’s going on in the john?’… Check out ‘The Daily Poo!’ for the latest news & reviews on poos & no. 2s

Nice Butt | photo credit: Women’s Health – Etsy [Fave]

We’re back for this week’s line up on what’s going down in the world of toilets and poop. Today’s articles and insights yet again uncover the best of what’s out there – but we don’t just stay on top of what’s at the bottom, we also research and educate on all you need to know, before you go! So, let’s look at what’s going on in the john, in this weeks edition of, ‘The Daily Poo!’ We’ll start with the nice stuff, then it may get a bit shittier…

  1. Nice Butt… Women’s Health Magazine looks at the Bathroom Box, which is also available on Amazon, the perfect place for your Poo-Pourri, Who Gives a Crap Loo Rolls and an attractive Pot Plant!?… A whole lot more classy than the traditional toilet roll holder! Other possibilities include a toilet roll holder… ‘That Looks Like A Dinosaur‘ and Talking Toilet Roll Spindle
  2. On the topic of ideas for a ‘Beautiful Bathroom‘ did you know that wicker baskets are another aesthetically pleasing alternative to the trad loo roll holders… look at Wayfair for inspiration! Oh, and by the way – if our patents pending get adopted, then forget ‘stand alone’ colon straighteners, these will be built in to your toilets – as a standard chrome/colour coordinated fitting to blend in to your chosen designs.
  3. Farm-to-Tush Toilet Paper Is Here. Glamour looks at artisanal butt care, by Caroline Moss.
  4. On a more charitable note, Andrex has teamed up with WaterAid on an increasingly popular cause, ‘Toilets Change Lives.’ These positive links between manufacturers and the likes of UNICEF, the UN, WaterAid and The World Toilet Organisation are beginning to help with sanitation in poorer areas of the world, where 2 billion people have little of no access to basic sanitation!
  5. Turning swiftly to a new trend… check out the new fad for doing Selfie Moon Pics using the cardboard centres of toilet rolls… article by Zaini Majeed for Republic tv.
  6. The next article has a great interview from down under, no… not the nether regions – the other down unders, but NZ not Australia… Weight Loss and other benefits of popping poop pills. Then, shower habits that get increasingly more gross as you read on… We’d suggest you don’t read this ’til after midday!
  7. Are you still here… ? Well, this is, ‘The Daily Poo!’ so it’s gonna be shitty sometimes! Okay next article…
  8. The Poop Project takes their one-man show back on the road, ‘How the Potty Trained Us‘ stimulating conversation about sustainability and stools. It’s not just the big guys that are making a difference, Mr. Toilet andThe Poop Project are two great examples of the current disrupters!
Could’t resist this cartoon | copyright MotherQuotes.com

That’s a wrap, except for the Poop Map… strange though it may seem, or not, there’s an app for crap – which has been gaining popularity. For those people who love to know where, when and under what circumstances their friends poop, this app is for you. Let’s hope it has a greater purpose for the future, I can think of one if they’d like to get in touch! Delaney Halloran explains in The Spectrum. Have a great week and we’ll be back next Monday with the latest edition of, ‘The Daily Poo!