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Bum Gun vs Toilet Paper, which is better for your butt?

Life’s important questions… Is there a God, Honda vs Toyota, bum-guns (aka. arse-blasters) vs toilet paper.

It’s a cultural shock either way. If you’re an Asian travelling to the west you may be left pondering what happened to the water gun, usually found casually hanging on the wall next to the toilet. Or if you’re a westerner heading to Asia, you’ll wonder what in earth that water gun is.

In the west they not only use toilet paper exclusively, it’s often patterned (why?!).

Asian people, generally, have been happily washing their nether regions after Number 1s (ladies) and Number 2s forever. Why hasn’t the West caught on? Millions of westerners have now discovered the unbridled joy of a quick squirt down below in Asian countries but appear to left the secret behind. Yes, there’s bidets in some countries but the Asian bum guns usually provide a full mains pressure solution, and not just a polite squirt.

In Japan the bidet has been taken to a higher art form, deserving of a full mini-series.

Bum Gun vs Toilet Paper, which is better for your butt? | News by Thaiger

So which is better for your bum, butt, rear, rump, tush, arse, bottom or buttocks?

Some enterprising scientists have done the research and the bum-gun comes up the winner (some people get all the good jobs). An American rectal surgeon in New York, Dr Evan Goldstein, told a squeamish audience at ButtCon (basically Comic-Con, but all about bottoms instead of comics) that a squirt with water is actually a much better way to clean yourself after going the toilet.

WARNING: Now it starts getting a bit gross.

Asians already know that using toilet tissue after defecating basically means you will simply smear that faecal matter around, without actually cleaning the area. If you’re eating a low-roughage diet the problem becomes worse.

Butt, we digress.

Washing with water will thoroughly clean the area of any trace of faeces. A bit of well-aimed water pressure for a few seconds will do a much, much better job than a few metres of patterned toilet paper! Finishing the spray-job with a quick wipe of tissue paper will then leave your backside feeling cleaner and fresher after every poop!

“Besides being a better cleaning agent all-around, only wiping your bum using tissue can actually lead to injuries.”

Dr Evan Goldstein, speaking to Insider, said that the skin on the anus is quite thin and delicate. And dry toilet paper can be abrasive.

“This is why wiping too many times, or any harsh actions, could lead to painful tears, or tears, and even bleeding.”

Some Americans have now taken on the idea of cleaning up with water and agree that using a bidet to wash your backside can be more comfortable than toilet paper. Especially for people who just had surgery, given birth, or experience irritable bowel syndrome. Scientists now also universally agree that a squat toilet is healthier than a sitting on a porcelain throne… but one thing at a time!

The contentious topic, a favourite at ButtCon, now comes down on the side of the wet finish rather than the paper finish.

Bum Gun vs Toilet Paper, which is better for your butt? | News by Thaiger

But not all research on bidets or ‘bum guns’ is positive. A large study of women in Japan in 2010 found that frequent use of bidets could interrupt the normal bacterial flora in the vagina and lead to infection.

So, it’s more hygienic and, well, it feels better (come on, admit it!). But there’s also plenty of other reasons to back the bun-gun. The average American reportedly uses 3 rolls of tissue a week, the whole country goes through about 36.5 billion rolls a year. And how much water goes into making one roll of tissue paper? About 140 litres. The production of that pure white toilet paper uses even more water. Making tissue also involves the pulping of millions of trees, and using tonnes of chlorine.

And then there’s all the energy involved in manufacturing, the packaging and transporting of the rolls of paper to retail outlets. Tissue paper is also known to clog plumbing and force city sewer systems and water treatment plants to work much harder.

So, next time you’re reaching behind and having a quick squirt (please aim carefully), you’ll feel better knowing that your backside, and the environment, is probably happier with the end result.

Either way, always wash your hands after the performance is over.


Bum Gun vs Toilet Paper, which is better for your butt? | News by Thaiger

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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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