What is a Bidet
Bidet comes from a French word which means “Pony”; as it is meant to be seated upon like how one would ride a pony. It is low- lying, sit down basin, which is intended for washing genitals, buttocks and anus and at times, to clean feet. Bidets are common in south Europe, Latin America, South East Asia. Bidets are very popular in countries like Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Portugal, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and China.
In USA, bidets are not much used because of the attitude of people towards them as they consider using toilet paper (for wiping), more hygienic than using water for cleaning the genitalia. Modern bathrooms in Europe have toilet papers too along with bidets.
In olden times, bidets were seen as a luxury item, but now it is very common and contemporary toilets have built-in bidets. bidets have been around in France since 18th century. In 1960s, electronic bidets were introduced, due to the lack of space in small bathrooms for a separate bidet and a toilet.
One has to sit astride on a bidet, facing the nozzle and water controls for washing the genitalia or facing away from them for washing the anus. Like a washbasin, bidet too has hot and cold water controls and different jet controls. The bidet can also be filled with water if necessary for thorough cleansing. Soap for cleaning and towel for drying are available near the bidet. Some bidets have built in dryer for drying the skin after wetting and cleaning. After cleaning, the water should be drained away and water jets can be used to rinse the basin for later use. Bidet has to be used after the toilet and only for cleaning and wiping.
Modern bidets are built into the toilets and can use it while seated on the toilet seat. These paperless toilets were first used in Japan and most households have them today. These days bidets have built in heater, temperature controls, adjustable water pressure, automatic deodorizer and automatic shut off. The bidets can be electronically controlled or can have manual controls next to the seat. Toilet seat bidets can have just two nozzles; one for cleaning anus and other for cleaning women genitalia or they can have just one nozzle with different settings.
Bidets can be helpful for elderly or disabled people with limited mobility. They can also be helpful for people with hemorrhoids. Bidets can also reduce the risk of contracting yeast or vaginal infections. Bidets should never be used for washing clothes or for bathing small babies.
Though it is found in a bathroom adjacent to the toilet, bidet is seen more of a washbasin, which should be used after suing the toilet.