The bidet (pronounced bi-DAY) is not a common fixture in American households, although at least the term itself is becoming more familiar in the US. Bidets have been successfully and happily used for hundreds of years in Europe and Asia and have finally just started to gain popularity in the United States.For those of you who are not quite clear, I offer you this brief description and also a bit of bidet history.It’s a bit delicate, but here it goes.
The dictionary defines a bidet as “a bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region.” No solids are to be deposited in this plumbing fixture that incorporates a washing basin, hot and cold faucet and sprayer. Comfort and the best possible personal hygiene are the ideas behind the designs of these fixtures. In addition to cleaning the parts we normally wipe with soft, perfumed toilet paper (which, come on, it’s still paper) with a mild and comforting stream of warm water, bidets have medical benefits. Use of a bidet can reduce soreness after a bout of diarrhea or hemorrhoids, and it may be necessary for post-colorectal or fissure repair. In addition, the use of a bidet by women is widely encouraged during postpartum.
While the bidet has long been an essential part of refined European homes and this “fourth fixture” for your bathroom is now gaining popularity in the United States.
Bidet use originated in France a couple of centuries ago, when cavaliers got off their horses and wanted to bathe, but had little time to do so. It allowed for limited bathing, and it also soothed the parts of the body that came in close contact with their saddles. Over the years, the bidet has evolved into a more personal sanitization method. With the improved cleanliness and increased awareness of personal hygiene over the centuries, so has the technology of bidets progressed.