In a previous post, I took the mystery out of my Japanese bathroom. Now it’s time to dive into the Italian bidet!

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Do you know how to use a bidet?

Like many Americans, I know what a bidet does. It’s for cleansing your nether regions. But it’s the how part that’s confusing. While operating the Japanese washlet (shower toilet) is very intuitive despite the language barrier, the bidet is kind of baffling. It has a faucet and a drain, but you can also plug the bowl and fill it with water. Non capisco!

At first glance, I think what’s confusing about the bidet’s design — at least to an American — is that you actually sit on the porcelain. In the U.S., that would be like someone leaving the toilet seat up. Taboo! But that’s exactly how you’re supposed to situate yourself on the bidet. You either face toward the faucet, or away, depending on which parts you want to cleanse.

Similar to the Japanese washlet, the bidet allows you to shoot a strategic stream of water…

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But, unlike the washlet, the bidet also lets you fill the bowl so your privates can have their own little bath. Like a spa day! Sometimes there’s even a special soap dish nearby to put your suds within easy reach.

When you turn on the water, be careful. The “C” on the faucet means caldo for hot. The “F” is for freddo, which means cold.

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Also … very important … on the rack, you will notice some towels that are small and thin. Don’t use those for your hands or face. They’re specifically for post-bidet drying.

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Now, unlike my absolutely fantastic Japanese bathroom, none of my European bathrooms have had heated toilet seats, or white noise machines, or could dry your laundry … but they’re still better than what we have in the states.

So why haven’t Americans taken a liking to washlets or bidets? There’s a hilarious reddit thread filled with 200+ funny, revealing and totally NSFW comments … but it’s probably better to post this business article instead.

(Whispers: You can Google the reddit thread)

Ciao!