The Bidet: 5 Acceptable Ways to Use One

K. Emily Bond

how to use a bidet
The first time I saw a bidet I could have sworn it was a urinal. Strange, I thought, this is a private home. Why would they need a -- oh right, it’s a bidet!

Next thought, why would anyone want to use a bidet anyway?

First off, it looks weird. Second off, I’m a toilet paper kind of girl. I’d say it’s one of the great things about being an American. There are at least 20 varieties all equally cut out to do the job. No need for splashing about.

That was until I moved to Europe and got a bidet of my own. Nowadays, I use it not only for a little post-potty splish splash, but have found a number of other useful ways to utilize this oh-so-French invention.

1. Standard Usage
A bidet’s primary purpose is to clean your backside after, um, elimination. You need only crouch your butt into the basin, turn the faucet up and on, then -- whoosh! -- fresh as a daisy.

2. Usage for Women & Men
I’m going to defer to Vladimir Nabokov for this one. In Lolita, the protagonist describes a visit to his local whorehouse. I don’t remember the circumstances exactly, but I do recall how he described his environs: "all bed and bidet.”

You get the idea. Sometimes, you just need to freshen up. In this case, forward-facing is the standard for homme and femme alike.

3. Launder Your Delicates
It’s ceramic. It’s a basin. It comes with a plug. C’est parfait for laundering your delicates and other unmentionables.

4. Bathe Your Baby
Total disclosure. When I don’t feel like bathing my babe or when I’ve run out of wipes, I use the bidet to give my 17-month-old a "whore’s bath." I’m a terrible mother. But, hey, he doesn’t mind ...

5. Water Games
... in fact, my son minds it so little that sometimes he ventures into the bathroom with the sole intention of turning on and off the bidet. I used to let him entertain himself in this way for hours on end, until I discovered him using the plug as a sippy cup. "Son," I said, "that’s just nasty."

What do you think of bidets? Crazy French invention or when will these make it big in America?


Image via Augapfel/Flickr

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