Bidets have been common in Europe and Japan for centuries, and have never really cracked the North American market. But sales of an affordable new type of bidet attachment are bringing these gizmos mainstream.
Traditionally bidets were a separate fixture from the toilet. They were expensive and took up valuable space in a bathroom.
The modern bidet attachment starts at about $35 for a basic model. It installs directly under your toilet seat and has a water spray nozzle that extends below the rim at the back of the toilet — and shoots a vertical stream of water toward your privates, once you’ve finished your business.
It turns on and off using a hand control that sits within reach on the side of the toilet bowl, and uses the existing water connection that is attached to your toilet tank — turning any toilet into a bidet. A breakthrough if you will.
“It’s more hygienic, uses less paper and is better for the environment,” says Dr. Elena Vikis, a colorectal surgeon and clinical Instructor with Royal Columbian and Eagle Ridge Hospitals.
Proponents of the new bidet attachments, which are sold online at places like Amazon, Home Depot, and Canadian Tire say they save money by practically eliminating the use of toilet paper, and because they are more hygienic and less irritating than wiping.
There are no sales statistics for bidet attachments, but one U.S. manufacturer said Canadian sales of its Tushy have more than doubled in the past year.
“The level of demand to the north has impacted our strategy and plans for expansion dramatically,” said Andy Stone, the growth marketing director with Tushy.
First-time users of bidet attachments are happy to share very intimate and often hilarious details in their online reviews, many saying they will never go back to using toilet paper.
‘On the target’
Comments range from “great laser-like beam on the target” to “unexpectedly entertaining” and “laughing so hard I’m sure my neighbours heard me. And that was on the LOW setting!”
Conditions like hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and diverticular disease can benefit from the use of a bidet, according to the World Bidet Association, as well as the elderly who often have mobility issues.
“I recommend them to most of my patients,” said Dr. Vikis, who gives her patients print-outs for various types and prices of bidet attachments so they have a better understanding of how to use them.
Anal issues and diseases aren’t going away any time soon she says, and using a bidet attachment is a good way for everyone to maintain hygiene and alleviate further problems with our challenged bottoms.
“Everyone knows it’s a good idea to not provoke an a–hole anymore than necessary,” she said.
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