J’Accuse: Dirty Buttholes and Homage to the Nozzle

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J’accuse! Americans have dirty buttholes.

This culturalist remark has substantial material proof for it: U.S. citizens do not wash their behinds after going number two. (Caution: if you do not wish to entertain the idea of ice cream as a metaphor for poop or that the USA’s reluctance to change its bathroom ways symbolizes a larger social problem, stop reading.)

Toilets have been around for a while. From holes in the ground in early human history to their roles/presence in communal baths in ancient Roman cities like Ephesus, this device/appliance/etc. has always evolved along with its civilizations. Humanity has reached the final frontier in Japan, where they’ve crashed all norms with butt-massaging, temperature-sensitive, all-encompassing God toilets. The buttock has never been cleaner or more spoiled.

Notwithstanding, buttholes in the United States are still dirty. By dirty, I do not mean the kind of dirty that prevents people from conducting other important activities. Rather, it is the same kind of dirtiness that happens when ice cream drips on your hand, and you wipe it with some old, coarse napkin. You can’t see any dramatic mark on your hand afterwards, and yet, you still feel it, don’t you? There is a little bit of stickiness on your fingers. There is something that makes you want to wash your hands. But you can’t wash your hands in that particular moment, because there is no water around. Just a paper napkin.

What is, then, the proper way to clean oneself after defecating? Many have already addressed the American peculiarity of settling for dry, grainy toilet paper and have repeatedly recommended the bidet. This apparatus is a low, sink-like furnishing that squirts out water from a faucet, so you can wash your crap factory post-defecation. And while many have had at least some form of contact with bidets, North Americans seem to have had very little. As opposed to many other Western countries, including Italy and Portugal where the installation of bidets has been mandatory since 1975, the U.S. does not seem to care about butthole cleanliness on a bureaucratic level (which seems ironic, considering how much shit goes on in politics these days). What, then, is the source of this American reluctance to adopting bidets?

Some argue that what prevents the acceptance of bidets in the U.S. is a purely cultural phenomenon. Apparently, U.S. citizens just don’t “feel comfortable” with it, find it difficult to “change their behavior”, and hold other unsubstantiated, mildly observable prejudices against bidets. Following a similar professional methodology to these culturalist articles, I conducted a survey about bidets with a number of randomly selected U.S. citizens (the person I share my bathroom with and the person I was flirting with). The survey had two clear results: the first being that bidets and buttholes are not flirtatious conversation topics, and the second being that bidets were objects of tacky, Eurotrash faux-geoisie. Both subjects in the perfectly representative sample group did not want to talk or think much about their posterior hygiene (especially the subject that I was flirting with).

Their lack of enthusiasm concerning how clean they keep their backdoors demonstrates a larger cultural refusal to engage in the discussion necessary in pursuit of cleaner anuses. From this reaction we can understand the bidet’s significance in United States culture. It is difficult to convince people to put an extra washing apparatus in their bathrooms when they don’t want to think of their butts as dirty. Additionally, the perception of bidets as a French invention and a notably European device brands them as alien products. Our surveyed subjects saw these extra apparatuses as an overt attempt to dazzle water closet visitors. The consensus is that bidets aspire for luxury in a context in which luxury should not be aspired for. And I agree: no butt deserves a specific washing mechanism. Is there, perhaps, an alternative mechanism that facilitates cleanliness without connoting wannabe bourgeoisie?

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Of course. Some countries, including Turkey, India, and Thailand, are using a far more intelligent and practical method of washery: the nozzle (a.k.a. bidet nozzle). This device, called the taharet musluğu in Turkish, is usually incorporated into toilets but is also sold separately in countries like the U.S. Literally translated as ‘faucet of cleanliness’, taharet musluğu essentially merges the bidet and the toilet into one modest piece of furniture. The nozzle, not to be confused with douche nozzles, can be either inside or outside the toilet cavity. In Turkey, the mainstream bathroom architect integrates the nozzle into the interior design. In places like the United Arab Emirates, the nozzle finds form in an odd-looking showerhead hanging next to the toilet seat. Either way, the idea is that once you are done excreting, you simply turn on the knob on the side, and fresh water comes out. The waterworks inspire this strange feeling of familiarity whose origin can be traced only to the buttwipe-sponsored parental care of early childhood. It cleans your dirtiest place, and all you do is moan in pleasure as you are absolved of the sins of your past meal or two. Beware, however, that shits and giggles do not always go hand in hand. Changing the default settings of the taharet musluğu can cause an off-putting force against one of your most sensitive areas. Within boundaries of pressure, the nozzle ensures a clean outer-anus environment, a fresh feeling of hygiene, and often an enjoyable WC experience. And, most importantly, the nozzle makes sure you don’t feel that dripped ice cream feeling for the rest of the day.

Shouldn’t something that makes so much sense be mainstream? Unfortunately, the United States is going through tough times. A country founded on exchange of ideas, taking pride in being a melting pot of cultures, is struggling to part ways with an established, but silly, cultural norm of bathroom hygiene prejudice. What the nozzle represents exceeds its mere practicality. The nozzle is the physical embodiment of intercultural dialogue. The nozzle is a statement from faraway cultures. The nozzle says: “J’accuse! Americans have dirty buttholes!” And if it could say any more than that, the nozzle would probably voice its concerns about contemporary American politics and social hostility towards different cultures. Perhaps a conversation about the bidet nozzle is the first step towards a more open-minded attitude toward differences.

Maybe clean butts and open minds will make America great one day. Or, maybe not. In any event, you will undoubtedly have a cleaner butthole!

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Artwork by: Cenk Güngör, Freelance Artist




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