I was deep in a lavatory idyll when I realized that for the last 40 years of my life, my ass had been cheated. Literally. The realization occurred as my posterior, seated on a comfy toilet seat, was gently washed by a pulsating jet of warm water. It was my third day using the Bemis Renew PLUS Bidet Cleansing Spa, and I was slowly beginning to understand that I, like most Americans, had somehow been tricked into the nasty habit of abusing my most sensitive orifice with industrially processed tree pulp. How did it happen, I wondered, that so many people had been so terribly misinformed for so long?
Most experts agree that it’s safe for Americans to blame the British for our battered bums. It turns out that the Brits were the first to develop a disdain for bidets. Gentlemen traveling to “the continent” in the 18th century were introduced to them when they visited brothels. The strange fanny-fountains were assumed to have some kind of shocking sexual connection, or were thought to be used as a method of birth control. Upon returning home, the dour, buttoned-up Brits demonized the bidet (nevermind the fact that these men were in houses of ill-repute to begin with).
At any rate, upon colonizing the new world, the British brought their toileting habits with them. And rather than gently washing their rears with a spritz of water, they decided to use random objects like corn cobs, or old newspapers and catalogs. Frankly, we haven’t progressed much further than crumpled catalogs, despite all the cartoon bears hocking soft toilet tissue.
Some of the blame can also be placed on the fact that Americans have standardized plumbing for small bathrooms. Having separate pipes for a bidet is simply extravagance, which is why they are generally only seen in the most upscale homes. And it’s likely why I, a worldly-wise grown-ass adult, had never seen, much less used, one.
That was until I opened the box for the Renew PLUS Bidet Cleansing Spa. Notably, Bemis has subverted the need for extra bidet plumbing by allowing the Cleansing Spa to fit a standard toilet, although I will admit, the installation still seemed intimidating. In fact, the Renew sat on my bedroom floor for several weeks while I got up the gumption to install it. But finally, even with a lack of appropriate tools, I managed to set up the seat — tightening it to the toilet bowl, connecting it to the water line feeding into the tank, and most bizarrely, plugging it in.
I now had an electric toilet seat. Oh! And a remote with which to operate it.
I will admit a huge amount of trepidation before my first use of the Renew. While the instruction manual for the bidet was well written and exhaustive about functions, it stopped short of explaining “how” a person goes about using it. Having installed the seat well after my daily elimination time, I had to wait until the next morning before I could cop a squat — a bundle of bidet nerves. I mean, I had no clue what to expect. Was the water going to go, like, inside of me?
I literally had butterflies before I hit the wash button on my remote the next morning. I will admit that once the wash started, I was surprised by the sensation. It was different. Not unpleasant. But, rather, interesting.
After the wash cycle ran its course and the automatic forced air drying feature stopped, I dabbed away the dampness from down below with a piece of the now obviously archaic TP and found everything to be clean as a whistle. As I carried on with the rest of my day, I felt somehow indelibly changed. Was I smiling more? Glowing? Did I feel cleaner? More … Continental?
Now weeks into #bidetlife, I can honestly say I think we have been suffering under the barbaric butt-wiping mores of our forefathers. And I, for one, am not going back. I will not live life again without a bidet.
Here are a few features that I enjoy about the RENEW Plus: It has different settings for up to two users so my wife and I can wash our bits in the way we each prefer. The seat has three temperature setting and preheats based on the schedule it has learned from my use. The water also has three temperature settings. The wand is self-cleaning and is adjustable forwards and backward. I can also adjust the force of the spray. And finally, and this is frankly my favorite part, when I sit down a fan begins circulating air through a charcoal filter to eliminate odors, which it does very well.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that my bidet has made me a new, cleaner, man. Maybe even a better person. And being a better person, I implore you to stop torturing your anus. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your children. We owe it to all future Americans.