Butt-Cleaning in Spain: What is a Bidet?

Okay Americans, welcome to Europe! Check out all the amazing food, beautiful people and historic architecture…
“What’s that? And why the (censored) is it in my bathroom?!”
Oh, right. That my friend is a bidet. Almost all Spanish bathrooms have them.

To all American dudes: THIS. IS. NOT. A. URINAL. Note the angle of the bowl and the oddly placed nozzle/faucet. Pissing into this thing is NOT a good idea. Okay, maybe a better idea than pissing in the bathroom sink (don’t do that either).

Now, the intended use of the bidet is a bit, shall we say interesting. Wikipedia describes it as an appliance used for “washing the genitalia, inner buttocks, and anus.” Yeah…Apparently the intended use of a bidet is that people will routinely squat over the porcelain bowl and aim the nozzle at their asses.

Hey Americans! Before you roll your eyes at Europeans’ freaky bathroom habits, give me a second to explain. I don’t know anyone who uses a bidet this way. It’s basically considered a weird, occasionally useful piece of bathroom furniture. According to my exhaustive research on the subject, these are the most common bidet uses, in descending order:

-Washing your feet
-Washing your handwashables (which is convenient because you will no longer annoy your roommates by clogging the sink with soggy bras when they just want to brush their teeth)
-Holding mop water
-A convenient place to store random bathroom things
-A towel-holder
-And according to one guy, a URINAL. I really hope his roommates didn’t wash their feet in the same bidet…

This is also a GREAT idea!
This is also a GREAT idea!

*Props and Thanks to my survey subjects, all 11 people from Facebook*


3 thoughts on “Butt-Cleaning in Spain: What is a Bidet?

  1. I would actually be extremely interested to survey Spanish people on this rather than foreigners living in Spain. I wonder if they even use it? I lived in Argentina for 5 years, a country where almost all bathrooms also have bidets, but when I discussed the subject with Argentines, generally their response was that they did not use it, and sometimes they had never used it in their life. It’s just simply there. Now I find that interesting – that tradition dictates that a device that has fallen out of use still be present in pretty much all batharooms…

    All this said..we Americans ooh and aah over how weird it is, but in all honesty, it IS probably a pretty good idea, hygiene-wise… Just sayin’.

    • Yeah it seems to be more tradition than use these days. Also, I essentially surveyed my Facebook friends, so the answers are a mix of Spanish and ex-pat experiences.

  2. I´ll admit, I love and use bidets. I was in Argentina and the family always talked about how everyone uses them to clean their butts (los ortos). Haha

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