Throughout the world, Japan’s space-age toilets are about as well-known as Godzilla, sushi and Pokémon. Heated seats, massage functions, pressurised water sprays for rears and lady gardens alike; those toilet seats have everything a visitor to the bathroom could ever dream of, and, for me at least, there are few things in life more pleasing than opening a bathroom door to be greeted by a high-tech toilet springing to life and begging me to sit on it to do my dirty business.
According to health experts, though, those cleansing water jets may not be so good for our rear ends, and cases of infected colons and rectums (stop laughing at the back) are on the rise.
Apparently, we’re not using our fancy toilets properly!
Although the term “washlet” is actually a brand name coined by toilet manufacturer Toto, the term has become synonymous with all fancy, gadget-laden toilets in much the same way that many North Americans refer to tissues simply as Kleenex, or Brits all vacuum cleaners as Hoovers.
“As well as washing off feces, using the spray on too high a pressure for extended periods actually removes friendly bacteria vital for our health, meaning that we leave ourselves unprotected and open to infection,” say those in the know.
Washlets are, indeed, a marvelous thing. But if we’re going to end up in hospital as a result of using them incorrectly, perhaps we need to take a moment to address the issue. Joking aside, as well as anal and rectal infection, the sudden reduction in this healthy bacteria as a result of over washing has even been documented as the cause of premature births and miscarriages in women.
While everyone likes to think that the more washing we do down there the better, it turns out that we’re doing more harm than good.
And so, with this in mind, it’s back to washlet school we go…
- The wrong way to use a washlet:
After taking care of business, many people new to the joy that is water-aided anal cleansing are wont to turn the water pressure dial up high and, after that initial “woah there!” moment when the spray kicks in, are happy to sit back and let the powerful water clean the mess away. And with a heated seat and even a little cheek massage action going on, who among us is about to hurry away?
Grab a magazine, pick up your smart phone and check Facebook; why hurry? The cleaner the better, right?
No, no, no… Your actions, they make butts so sad.
- How to use a washlet correctly:
You’ve done what you came to do. You feel as light as a feather. But you want to make those sacred places of yours that little bit cleaner than simply wiping with toilet paper. Good for you.
First, check that the water pressure is turned down low. If you’re using a washlet in Japan, you’ll be needing the kanji for “weak”, which looks like this: 弱. Like two little swans paddling gently across a pond…
Next, make sure you hit the right button! Although in the west we often think of a “bidet” simply as a water dispensing device that cleans our general butt area, here in washlet country the ビデ bidet function is just for the ladies and is sprayed that bit further forward. If you’re not sure why that is, we suggest asking a parent or trusted teacher.
Once you’ve fired ‘er up, let the water gently tickle your exhaust port for a few seconds. By all means, tweak the dial and add a little more pressure, but don’t be tempted to turn the power up too high. As well as potentially damaging the sensitive skin down there, as we’ve already heard it can actually kill off friendly bacteria. Remember, “the function is to help wash away, not blast off.” Wise words, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Many people make the mistake of – sorry about this – spreading their cheeks apart to get the water up where it really counts. This, too, is a big no-no. According to experts, by allowing the powerful water jet to come into contact with the inner wall of the sphincter (first time I’ve ever used that word seriously), you risk damaging the microscopic mucus membrane, which can lead to all manner of nasty infections and health complications.
Next, hit the stop button (this is either a black square or written in kanji thus: 止), grab a sheet or two of paper and do what your parents taught you to do when you were just a nipper.
- Job done, right? Wrong!
In the 80s and 90s, one of the biggest crimes a person could commit was failing to rewind a videotape when they’d finished watching it. The washlet pressure dial, ladies and gentlemen, is this generation’s videotape.
When you’ve finished with that washlet, do the decent thing and turn the water pressure down to “low”. A sudden, powerful burst of warm water to the bum-hole isn’t something that most people find enjoyable…
Say it with me now: “Give a crap, dial it back.”
Wishing you good luck and good health with all your future movements!
The RocketNews24 Team x