OK, it is not a question I would like to ask you, and probably not one you’d like to be asked either. For the majority of us, I guess, since our parents stopped helping us sit on the toilet, what we do behind the locked door has been shared with no-one else, and our techniques are very personal. It has long become something we don’t think about but just do.
The first time you travel to an Asian country, perhaps with the exception of Thailand (excuse the website, but the article is to the point), you’ll see that there are other ways to do these basic things.
Using toilet paper to clean yourself down there makes about as much hygienic sense as cleaning yourself with a towel and imagining you’re rubbing off the dirt. We’ve got a very unhygienic way of cleaning a place of our body that we would like to be very clean.
Worth reading this interview with Rose George: http://www.salon.com/books/int/2008/10/16/big_necessity/
So that has got the cleanliness thing out of the way. Then there is the ridiculous amount of toilet paper use:
The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public’s insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.
I don’t have any data on the size of the average American butt.
None of this really applies to me. Since being in Nepal I am, more or less, a washer again. Fresh as a daisy, that’s me.
What do other people think about this? As mentioned in the first line, I am not going to ask you. But there is a small window on this very personal world in the comments below this article. A lot of people just don’t want to get what the article is saying. Where does this abhorrence of shit and shitting come from?
One thing I am curious about: how much toilet paper do women use compared to men? Is there any data on this?
Update: for those curious about washing, see: http://www.bathroomsprayers.com/ – thanks to David for his self-promoting comment below.