Confessions of a non-Muslim butt washer

Anyone who knows me decently well knows that sooner or later, my penchant for gross humor will break through the civilized facade and reveal the 12 year old boy trapped within this ostensibly feminine adult  person. Anyone who knows me very well can tell you something even more shocking: I no longer believe in toilet paper.

When I ran across this article yesterday I knew I had to share my own charming story of cultural annexation. What better way to let you truly get to know me than to do a classic Northern Maine overshare, I thought! Like the immaculate and entertaining Wajahat Ali,  I secretly yearn to spread the gospel of butt washing.

For those of you wondering what the hell I’m talking about, prepare to have your mind blown.

Roughly 5 years ago to the date, I arrived in Oman with a soon-to-be tight knit study abroad group of 14 students. After being parceled out among our host families, we first explored our new homes. Most of these homes were really nice (Oman is blessed with a comfortable middle class), but there was one fixture that particularly perplexed us. What was a kitchen sprayer doing hanging next to each toilet?

Setting a tone for the semester, we of course immediately asked our (saintly) academic coordinator, who turned scarlet and indicated it was to be used for “left hand” activities, you know, washing of certain areas… Got it? Always tactful, we gave it various names such as “butt hose,” “butt blaster,” and “ass wand” and brought it up whenever possible. We gossiped about pressure, traded stories of blasting ants on the toilet, and marveled at how easy it was to clean up after yakking in a squat toilet.

I also looked it up in a few guides to Islamic jurisprudence. Yes, Islam has an entire body of scholarship devoted to toilet etiquette. The curious may click here. It’s a mixture of common sense hygiene rules and ritual purity. And just to let you know, it put Muslims way ahead of their objectively filthy Western contemporaries. We could discuss some of the ramifications of ritual purity on gender parity, but I’ll save that for later.

Anyway, for many of us students, this was not just an amusing Arab novelty. It became a way of life. We soon realized we could never again use toilet paper with the same unquestioning acceptance. How could we possibly go back to wiping our poo around after experiencing the delicious freshness of a perpetually clean rump? We talked of installing ass wands in our future dream houses… or maybe even in our college apartments without the landlord’s knowledge. We privately wondered how we could convince future romantic partners to butt blast. I mean, seriously. Think about it.

I have found various ways to feed my butt washing addiction, chief among them living in places outside the US where butt hoses are plentiful. But I’ve also carried wet wipes and water bottles and kept (and explained) my own buckets and dippers. And while I will probably have to continue my helter-skelter butt washing techniques, I would like to propose that Western society universally adopt the butt hose. Here’s why.

  1. It will make us all cleaner and more comfortable.
  2. It eliminates skid marks.
  3. It really should be a prerequisite for certain activities. Just sayin’.
  4. It actually saves resources compared with producing toilet paper.
  5. We already have the technology. It’s can be had for under $20. It just needs to be moved from the kitchen sink to the toilet.

Seriously, just try it once and you’ll never go back!

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