Toilet seat bidets used to be such a Japanese oddity – just another one of those nifty things them quirky Nippons seem to have an unlimited supply of. Ask any Westerner who has visited Japan about their trip and tales of high-tech electronic bidets will be among the stories you will hear about. Like Anime and sexy character cosplay, however, they’ve now made their way out of Japanese shores and into the world at large.
The First Toilet Seat Bidets
The first high-tech toilet to make it big in Japan was the Washlet G Series from Toto. Because of the product name of the original, further bidets that offered a similar functionality became known as washlets, as well. Originally released in 1980, it created a new industry that has grown in ways no one would have imagined at the time.
Recent surveys indicate that over half of Japanese homes have one of these high-tech washlets installed. It will probably take a while before the rest of the world catches up, but the number of folks adopting the new technology is ever-growing.
Nowadays, you can buy Japanese-style bidets, often referred to as washlets, in many places in the US and around the world. They’re also readily available online, in various makes, models and sizes.
Admittedly, there’s still a certain amount of stigma, a hesitation among people when it comes to using a bidet. With wider use and positive reviews from folks who have personally experienced its benefits, however, that’s beginning to end.
Eleven years ago, I would see people carrying cell phones and all I can imagine was how unnecessary it looked like. Why would I want people to be able to call me anytime they want? That sounded ridiculous, to say the least. Around Christmas of the same year, my brother gave me a cell phone as a gift. I don’t think I’ve spent 24 hours without using a cell phone since.
Throughout life, we come across things we don’t think we need until we actually use them. Once we do, they quickly entrench themselves as indispensable in our daily lives.
Think about the things you find difficult to live without now, such as the internet, Tivo or Facebook, all of which you probably never thought you needed at one point in time. The bidet has been the same way for me. When I first saw one in my hotel room during a trip to Asia, I couldn’t even make out what it does. Now, I can’t imagine using the bathroom without washing myself with one.
Honestly, I never even thought it was necessary to wash the posterior every time we used the toilet. Like most Americans, I was a toilet paper guy. I wiped the soil off my rear using several sheets of toilet paper, dumped them in with the bowl and flushed about my merry way.
Once I sat on that toilet seat bidet in that hotel room, though, it was as though my whole programming of how to use the bathroom crumbled before my eyes. Those heated seats had me hooked before I even let out a fart. When I pressed the button to spray the water, the warm aerated gush put a smile on my face.
I never knew I needed a bidet. Now, I can’t live without one.