Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

It started with an exchange on Twitter, and it brought back some childhood memories. In France, when I grew up, all bathrooms had a bidet. The bidet was a sign of social status. A modern house had to have a bidet. Preferably with green or orange tiles, actually. Ah, memories…I never understood what a bidet what for. I think that you use it to wash your bottom without having to have a full bath (honestly, what are showers for?). That said, my mum used to wash her feet in it too. Go figure. Frankly, when you think of it, it is all a bit disgusting, isn’t it?
Bidets have always seemed strange to me. My daughters absolutely loved them when they were toddlers, because they thought that it was a loo for kids. Look at the cute loo Mummy! I have had to clean up my grandmother’s bidet countless times. Lovely. That said, maybe the reason why my daughters were so good at potty training is that they could use the bidet? Just a thought.

Bidets are French and were invented in the XVIIth century. Some say that this is because bidets are popular in countries where people don’t like to wash. The French have hence invented something that would allow them not to take a bath for several days (see here to read that the good old clichés are still true). How practical!
I haven’t seen bidets in this country. Mind you, I have seen a lot of other things, such as dirty carpet in the bathroom, but no bidets. I am told that bidets are making a come back. Really? Where are they?
In France, the older generation swears by its bidet. I have asked my bidet-loving family why they love it so much. Apparently, it is more hygienic. And you make savings on toilet paper (yeuuuurk!). As I have yet to find how to use a bidet properly, I asked around and was even given a step by step guide of proper bidet use by an old aunt who kindly wanted to help. As you are very lucky today, I am sharing it with you.
1.     Undress (Obviously);
2.     Ride the bidet, as if you would ride a pony. Actually, the word ‘bidet’ means ‘pony in French’;
3.     Adjust temperature and pression. Beware: you don’t want to burn yourself down there;
4.     Wipe, wash, rinse (preferably in this order). Apparently, it feels quite nice (still according to my aunt. What a perv!);
5.     Dry, etc…and voila!
What can I say? I think that I will stick to my daily shower. What about you?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London