Bi·det, pronounced (bi-‘dā), is a bathroom basin or fixture, usually next to a toilet, for the specific purpose of bathing the genitals and posterior parts of the body and comes from the Old French word – bider, or to trot one’s pony.
The Bidet bowl in the 19th and 20th century
During the advent of indoor plumbing in the 19th century, wealthy Europeans developed a porcelain bowl, similar in appearance to a toilet, but for the express purpose of contraception and cleansing one’s genitals or posterior. The user would stand or straddle awkwardly over the bidet while a stream of water would rise so that the user could clean themselves with their hand or a hand towel. Certainly, more effective than toilet paper, just not very practical or comfortable. Since then, the bidet has gone through little change because, for more than a century, this additional bathroom fixture was impractical because of space and was mostly reserved for the wealthy with large bathrooms in their homes.
Water cleansing in history
Going back even further in time, back before toilet paper was invented or even before wood could be turned into paper, the entire human race cleansed themselves with their hands and water. It’s all we knew to do! Even today, almost 2/3 of the world’s population are still cleaning themselves with their hands and water.
Progressing from paper, back to water
During the last century or two, our industrialized society has taken what has been done for thousands of years and in the name of so-called improvement and convenience, made cleaning ourselves with dry and coarse paper, the norm for most of modern society! But it hasn’t been until just recently that technology has finally come full circle to meet with the natural, cleansing benefits, water has provided for thousands of years.
Modern technology and the bidet
For the last 40 years, the electronic bidet has steadily grown in popularity throughout the industrialized areas of East Asia! Led by the Japanese and Koreans, electronic bidets are in more than 70% of all homes! For the most part, this bathroom appliance has now replaced toilet tissue as the norm in personal hygiene for their society. The practicality of a one, multi-purpose toilet fixture, saves precious bathroom space and by combining the convenience of a completely hands-free wash experience with personally controlled, comfort features, the electronic bidet will become the preferred, personal hygiene appliance in today’s 21 st century.
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