Bidets are bathroom plumbing fixtures designed for the purposes of washing a human’s genital or anal area. Typically located next to a toilet for cleaning the body after use, bidets consist of a spray nozzle located within the basin and valves for adjusting and controlling the water temperature and power. To use a bidet, users have the option to straddle the bidet by facing the wall and valve controls, or to sit facing outward. Bidets have long been popular throughout southern Europe and South America, but have also become common for aging populations that need greater assistance in the bathroom. Bidet-like spray features have also begun to be incorporated into some high end tech-enabled toilets.
First, one uses a toilet before using a bidet. The next step is to position oneself hovering over the bidet and facing the controls, although standalone bidets allow for one squat facing away. Turn on the hot water if there is an option for it and turn on the spray, cleaning private areas with the jet. It is important to configure the settings and valves so the stream does not spray too intensely or at the wrong location. The last step is to dry oneself and wash hands.
The primary use of a bidet is to clean off the private parts of a person after he or she has used the toilet. A bidet can feature a vertical jet for an easier wash process (sprayed stream of water) and can come in various shapes and sizes. It is considered to be the primary method of cleaning oneself around the world with standalone bidets most commonly found throughout Europe.
The reason Americans do not use bidets is founded in the continuation of tradition rather than a rational reasoning. The bidet originated in France in the 1700s and was adopted by many, but not the English due to unfriendly relations of the time. American colonists took with them the traditions and habits of the English, which excluded the use of bidets. As such, there maintains a sense of unfamiliarity Americans have with bidets that ultimately is the cause of their lack of use.