If you’re like me, you might have always taken your bathroom hygiene routine for granted. Sure, it’s gross and weird to use toilet paper — let alone discuss with others how we clean our nether regions once we’ve done our thing– but what other options do we have? Well my friend (and don’t worry, we can be frank with each other here) there is one solution that often gets overlooked in America: the bidet.
Nowadays, when people hear about a bidet (which is pronounced by-day, unlike ‘biden’ which rhymes with DIDN’T), they likely think of something fancy or expensive. But did you know that this device has been around since before indoor plumbing was even invented?
So if you’ve ever wondered where this little piece of porcelain sitting next to your toilet originated from, buckle up because we’re diving head first into its wacky history!
What Exactly Is a Bidet?
First things first – let’s make sure everyone knows what a bidet actually is.
In its most basic form, a bidet allows someone to wash their genitals and anus using water instead of toilet paper. It usually looks like another throne similar in height to the commode and boasts a nozzle positioned directly beneath one’s undercarriage (typically that just means between the legs).
The user turns on the water flow through knobs or buttons on either side of said nozzle-where-the-sun-don’t-shine-, some models may feature special controls such as temperature regulation or even jet spray patterns which will leave any nethersong truly shining bright like a diamond.
But before modern technology took over bathrooms everywhere and turned this device into an electronic wonderland full HD monitors,bidets actually used gravity—they would refill themselves until an equilibrium balanced- meaning; basically the water would just flow gently out of the faucet and into the bidet bowl until someone used it, allowing gravity to pull waste away from one’s body towards where you’re sitting.
The Origin Story: Where Did It All Begin?
When we think about using water for hygiene, we often associate that with showering. But can you imagine if every time you needed to take a bath or clean yourself after doing your business-you had to go outside in search streams or lakes? Sounds awful doesn’t it?
Well back in ancient times (not like pre-historic but still before electricity became a thing), people were much less grossed out by bodily functions – and actually saw it as just another bodily process. (therefore why not have wash basins dedicated for washing ‘down there’)
The first written account of what sounds quite similar to today’s ride-or-die accessory actually dates all the way back around 3000 BCE Greece! Yup-even Hippocrates himself believed in their cleansing power (don’t believe me- go google him).
But who is credited with introducing this device beloved by millions globally? You guessed it-the French!
A Tale As Old As Time: How Even Marie Antoinette Wasn’t Exempt
Though bidets were present far beyond France,it was undoubtedly those bougie royalty that made them famous.
Back then they called this “little horse” le Bidet meaning pony; because folks would straddle on top like jockeysor girls at early age horse riding classes thier guidance instructors wanted everyone to try—how adorable-that tradition!
One tale states that when young Dauphine Marie Antoinette arrived from Austria she found her new royal home didn’t offer much privacy (despite having palace-sized chambers) so she demanded her own private chamber featuring indoor plumbing with something pretty snazzy-to cut down the amount wiping needed post restroom runs. Thus the bidet around that time was often seen as a status symbol, indicating your wealth and privilege (so much for a less stringent class system).
The Evolution to Modern Times
As plumbing became more advanced, so too did the bidet. Nowadays we see smart toilet seats with washing capabilities and can find them in hotels globally from Japan(although they invented them quite differently than European’s design), to Dubai where bathrooms are practically shrines.
A quick rundown of the different types:
Standalone Bidets: the classics which sit alongside toilets and have no electronic components – this is typically what we think of when we hear “bidet”.
Electronic Bidet Seats: A little fancier-their electric functions allow you choose spray patterns, adjust temperature-basically making baths obsolete-these machines will make sure all angles get washed properly.
Oh also these things usually come equipped with heated drying functionality or deodorizers- just for hygiene sake!
One standout type is called Konjac bath spongus(sightly strange name) but it essentially an orb used by Japanese women post restroom trips—it’s made out of fiber puffs with some sort aerogel inside essentially mimicking the function of said porcelain thrones! It’s compact size makes it portable enough for use anywhere one might feel nature call mid-work conference.
Unfortunately, while other countries may have jumped on board this water-based cleaning craze, here in America(by golly!) bidets never really took off fully like our global friends neighboring Canada down south-Due to cultural differences they were viewed more as something associated wit immigrants who didn’t care about usage habits; American manufacturer Kohler even gave up trying to sell residential standalone models due very low sales volume—such an odd phenomenon eh?
So now you know everything there is to know about those quirky throne accessories beloved across cultures (and girl Marie Antionette herself) – The Bidet.
As time goes on, maybe we’ll see even more streamlined designs or perhaps someday a version will be developed for the camping enthusiast who wants that experience of being one with nature while not so much wanting to feel it.
But until then; do yourself (and your plumbing) a favor–try swapping out toilet paper for water and few fiber puffs post dump session—your downstairs parts might thank you later!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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