Booty Wipes: Friend or Foe?
You get the urge to poop, you go to the bathroom, and then the cleaning ritual begins. The ritual is different for everyone– clean sitting, clean standing, from the front, from the back, a combination of the above. Everyone has his or her own technique, which is all good. However, it has become clear to me that people have forgotten that the job of the anus is to pass stool. It will get dirty doing its job, and it does need to be cleaned, but what is the best way to do this?
If you live in the western world, chances are you use toilet paper to wipe your stinky winky once you are done. But, you might be one of the millions of people using flushable or wet wipes, believing it is better for your butt than toilet paper. Some wet wipes are being marketed now as “intimate or flushable wipes,” specifically to clean your anus. The logic behind the use of these wipes is that if your hands get dirty, then you wash them using water, so if your “intimate area” is dirty, you must clean with something wet. However, washing your hands under running water is very different from wiping your booty with wipes that are filled with chemicals and preservatives.
It is important to realize that the anal skin is thin and sensitive. The anus is meant to be the body part that passes stool and you can’t sterilize it. Cleaning this sensitive area with these wipes and cleaning it too much can often lead to bad consequences, including skin irritation, rashes, areas of skin breakdown and anal itching, to name a few. Although most wipes boast that they don’t contain alcohol, they fail to mention that they are filled with chemicals and preservatives that you are leaving on your skin and not rinsing off. Not everyone will develop a similar reaction, but the problem is so widespread and unrecognized that I urge everyone to stop using these wipes. The dangers of these wipes are highlighted in several articles in highly regarded medical journals.
You think your booty needs to be better cleaned after you poop so you start to rub it harder and several more times with toilet paper. You don’t realize that this irritates the area, so you can’t figure out why your booty itches and feels sore. You think it must not be clean enough. You see the flushable wipes while shopping at Costco and buy a case because you think your butt will finally get the cleaning it needs. You start using the wipes but the itching continues and even worsens. What is going on? Why can you not get the area cleaner so the itching stops? Maybe you just need a deeper clean. So you rub and scrub with the wipes, the chemicals get deep in the pores of the sensitive skin of the booty, and the visible irritation or rash starts. The itching worsens, so you clean more….
We wash our dirty hands, our dirty dishes and our dirty clothes with water, so doesn’t it make sense to wash our dirty booty with water too, instead of chemical-filled irritating wipes? Of course it does. This is the reason why a many cultures around the world have some form of poop cleaning ritual that involves water. Since soaking our bottoms in warm water (sitz bath) is not convenient, the more practical solution is to buy an affordable bidet attachment for your toilet. Although traditionally bidets were separate from the toilet itself, nowadays, it is easiest to get one that you can easily attach to your toilet in a matter of minutes. The more you spend, the fancier the bidet will get, but an affordable, basic model works just as well. It just shoots water to your anal area to get it clean without the use of chemicals.
No matter how big or small, how young or old the pooping person might be, somehow these gadgets know exactly where to spray the water to hit the correct spot only. Once clean, you can gently blot dry with toilet paper or a washcloth for residuals or even gently blow dry that area on a low heat or cool setting for an extra dry feeling. This is especially important if you are using any ointments in that area, since the ointments can trap moisture in place and worsen existing skin problems if placed when the skin is moist.
So remember, you have two eyes, two hands, two ears, but only one anus. It is time to stop ignoring or mistreating this important part of your body. Embrace the role the anus has for your body, respect it and treat it well, so it can keep doing its job without causing any problems. Still unsure if you want to try a bidet? Well, think of it as an investment. Buying toilet paper for decades to come will get very expensive. A one-time investment of a bidet for as little as $30 will get you years of cleaning while significantly decreasing the amount of toilet paper you need. How can you say no to a healthier, cleaner booty with the added perk of saving you quite a bit of money?
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