Photo by the author.

I would like to take a brief moment to pay homage to one of mankind’s most extraordinary inventions: the butt blaster, the bum gun, the incredible bidet.

We westerners sit daintily upon our porcelain thrones amidst the spicy aroma of potpourri bowls and lavish lemony sprays, quietly going about our most intricate business of the day. Each and every trip to the loo ends the same way — reaching for that thick, fluffy roll of toilet paper, swiping and wiping to no avail, and hopefully doing so from front to back.

In America, toilet paper is life. There is no other way to clean one’s tootie, and if there is another way…just, no.

Meanwhile, in Asia and Europe, the bum blaster stands tall and confident over its WC kingdom, a rather simple tool that reigns with an iron grasp and deftly conquers any booty no matter how big or how small. You find these nozzled hoses faithfully positioned and ready for battle beside almost every squat and sitting toilet throughout Asia; a lethal cobra ready to nip at the dingiest behind with a most powerful and unrelenting water pressure.

You never forget your first time

My first experience with one of these mysterious contraptions was a mental challenge peppered with nerves and buts and what ifs. I eyed the leery pistol. It sat there, a beckoning metal mouth filled with multitudes of minuscule anticipating holes. I gulped. Coming from a country where toilet paper is seemingly the only way to deal with dirty matters down there, I was perplexed, my mind boggled.

“Nope, ain’t using it.” I thought, and reached instead, for toilet paper. Only problem is, 90% of the time you aren’t gonna find that powdery soft goodness at any restroom in Thailand. And when you have food poisoning from feasting on that suspicious street meat on a stick, things can get, well…shitty.

I eyed the butt blaster nervously. It looked like it would wrap it’s cold, plastic coils around my neck and strangle me at any moment. This sitting squat position was starting to kill my legs. I needed to make a decision immediately.

Quickly, I glanced around, first right, then left, as if onlookers were hiding, watching, waiting for me to grab hold of the hose so they could jump out, point and laugh at me in my vulnerable state. This isn’t the norm, I don’t do this back home…no one does wtf.

But alas, I had no choice. After successfully avoiding every bum gun in the beginning of my travels through Asia, we finally met for the first time. Gingerly, I extended my hand in greeting, and took hold.

It was like two pimple-faced 16-year-olds sharing a first kiss on a first date. I pushed down on the nozzle and instantly lost control as an overwhelming jet of cool water coated the bathroom walls, my legs, and fuck…my pants.

“Easy girl…easssy,” I coaxed the bucking bronco, a single bead of sweat trickling down the side of my face. Now what. Do I stand? Do I lift one leg? If I do it this way, I soak my pants. If I do it that way…I soak my pants.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but damn, was it awkward. After what seemed like ages, I flung open the tattered stall door in victory, gasping for breath. I had survived! I had succeeded in using the bum gun! The old Thai woman collecting baht at the restroom entrance just stared at me indifferently with pursed lips. Somehow, I had managed to soak my entire outfit.

But, it didn’t matter. I was reborn- a changed woman. A luminous beam of light descended down from the heavens upon my weary derriere and I threw up my hands in infinite glory. Like a caterpillar, I had shed the soft toilet paper skin I knew and loved to rise from the messy tissue scraps a clean- a squeaky clean butterfly.

Where it all began…

The bum gun had revolutionized my life, changed my toilet escapades forever. Why the fuck don’t we have these in America? It’s a question I ask myself every time I experience the joyful cleansing of a butt blaster.

The original bidet was invented by the French in the 1700s. By the early 1900s, it had evolved from a crude hand pump and chamber pot to a tidy ceramic bowl with knobs and hoses. One simply straddled the thing like riding a pony, and washed away all of the day’s worries.

The Japanese further enhanced the bidet after WWII when they began importing sitting toilets from America. Modern plumbing brought the party into the bathroom, a hose attached to a nozzle.

Today, the modern bum gun is used throughout Asia and Europe, but hasn’t yet become a thing in the good ol US of A. Many Americans have never even seen one. The thought of a bum gun brings smirks and giggles — an alien idea. But, this is ignorance, because that damn water hose is a gift of the gods.

Besides the obvious sanitation benefits, the bum gun reduces the use of paper waste, saving money and the environment in the long run. It’s also handy for those with less mobility, such as senior individuals and young children.

It may take some getting used to, but once you embrace this foreign phenomenon you’ll never go back to toilet paper ever again. There’s nothing more exhilarating than walking out of the restroom with a bottom as fresh as spring daisies.

I’ve counseled a handful of westerners on my travels that confided their anxiety when it came to butt blasters, and I continue to offer advice to anyone that seeks it. Here are some of my personal tips for using the legendary bum gun.

Photo by the author.

How to become a Bum Gun Wizard

  1. If you’re sitting on a toilet seat, spread your legs. If you are using a squat toilet, hold that squat a while longer and work them glutes.
  2. Grab hold of the bum gun, right hand or left, depending on what feels most comfortable.
  3. Take a deep breath and get over the fact that you are spraying down your privates. There’s no need to be bashful.
  4. Hold the nozzle downwards from the front and position accordingly.
  5. Squeeze that nozzle like your life depends on it.
  6. Spray thoroughly. Get every nook and cranny. Take your time, pace yourself…slow and steady wins the race.
  7. Finished? Breathe easy, my friend. The hard part is over.
  8. Actually, now you have a new dilemma. I like to call this: Wet Butt Syndrome.
  9. Don’t fret! If you are one of those individuals that is prepared for any situation in life, you probably have some tissues handy. If you don’t give a fuck, you might use your socks. Or, you can just give your bottom a swift little shake to rid yourself of excess water droplets. Everyone has their own unique drying method- get creative and have fun with it.
  10. Rejoice! Your tush is sparkling like a fresh martini after a hard day’s work. Say goodbye to toilet paper fragments, and, well, pesky poop particles.

Now, you’re ready to conquer the world, one well-directed blast at a time!

This article originally appeared on A Great Perhaps and is republished here with permission.

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