Experts Agree: Squat Toilets Are Good For You

squat toilets
Sean McLachlan

Chances are your morning glory isn’t good for you.

In the Western world we’re second place when it comes to doing Number Two. A growing number of medical experts agree that our seat toilets aren’t nearly as good as squat toilets, which are what’s used on the majority of places in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

It all comes down to positioning.

The medical textbook Gastroenterology, the definitive reference to the subject and written by three MDs, states, “The ideal posture for defecation is the squatting position, with the thighs flexed upon the abdomen. In this way the capacity of the abdominal cavity is greatly diminished and intra-abdominal pressure increased, thus encouraging expulsion …”

In plain English, squatting releases pressure on your rectum and makes it easier to poop. Sitting in a Western style toilet is means you’re pushing against your own muscles. Many doctors say that using squat toilets reduce the chances of constipation, hemorrhoids, even bowel cancer.
Neuroscientist Daniel Lametti writes that wile there haven’t been any smoking gun statistics for cancer, it makes intuitive sense that people would be less constipated if they squat and less likely to put strain on their anus that would cause hemorrhoids.

Having spent a great deal of time in countries where squat toilets were the only option, I can testify that squatting is easier on the bum, if not the thighs. You get through your business quicker, and it does feel easier and more natural. It’s how we’re built, after all. Interested in learning more? Check out this article on how to use squat toilets.

Five toilet paper alternatives for the road (or if you live in New Jersey)

toilet paper

Trenton, New Jersey, has a serious problem. The city government is in a fight with their paper goods supplier over prices and the city’s buildings are in danger of running out of toilet paper. What can they do for their voters in need? Installing bidets would be more expensive than simply paying the high cost the government contractor is demanding. Luckily, there are some other alternatives used in foreign lands that can help keep New Jersey clean. They can also help you out if you’re caught short while on the road.

Left hand
This is the most popular cleaning method around the world. You wipe your butt with your left hand (reserving the right for eating) and then wash your hand. It’s easier on your tender parts than scraping it with paper, and it’s guaranteed to stop you from biting your nails. While this makes sense hygienically and environmentally, for me it’s one of those five local customs I just can’t follow.

Newspaper
Newspapers offer an abundant supply of paper that can be cut up and stored in the bathroom. It’s a bit scratchy, but I can attest to it working just as well as toilet paper. When I was working in Bulgaria in the poverty-stricken early 90s, most Bulgarians didn’t want to spend extra money on toilet paper when they already had a newspaper. It was common practice to cut out photos of unpopular politicians to give them special treatment.Leaves
Another scratchy, yet environmentally sensitive, option favored by campers who don’t want to portage out their dirty paper. Make sure to pick large, relatively green leaves. You don’t want dry, brittle leaves that break while you’re wiping. That will leave you using the hand option whether you want to or not. Learn what poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac look like before you try this.

Snowballs
If you like snow camping, you’re probably already familiar with this one. Make a compact snowball somewhat smaller than the palm of your hand. It’s best to make it oval in shape with a ridge to provide easy access into your crack. Like with leaves, this is better than bagging up dirty toilet paper and carrying it with you until you reach civilization.

Sponge on a stick
This was a method used by the ancient Romans. A sponge is absorbent and soft, making it a perfect material for cleaning your nether regions. The Romans washed their sponges with vinegar and reused them. Check out the photo below from the ancient latrine at Housesteads Roman Fort to see how it was done.

If these five alternatives don’t appeal to you, you can always do…

Nothing
The father of a friend of mine didn’t use anything to clean his backside. How this man ever got a wife I’ll never know. The poor woman cleaned his skivvies in a bucket rather than put them in the washing machine with the other clothes. Yes, he smelled. Get a sponge on a stick or some leaves and clean yourself!

toilet paper, Housesteads

Video of the Day: Demystifying airplane bathrooms

“The toilet is interesting. It’s something that fascinates a lot of people.” There’s not much more that we can add to that. Well, we certainly do appreciate the reminder that you can’t get sucked into the toilet. Though, for accuracy, they probably should have explained that you will probably find that the entire bathroom is oddly wet…everywhere…from indeterminate liquids.

SkyMall Monday: Touchless Sensor Toilet Seats

gadling skymall monday touchless sensor toilet seatOnce SkyMall Monday headquarters became a den of premarital cohabitation, I was forced to learn the fine art of leaving the toilet seat down. It seems that women urinate while seated and, should the seat be up when they attempt to sit, they can fall into the bowl. As refreshingly hilarious as that sounds, it turns out that they find getting their buttocks stuck in the toilet to be humiliating and infuriating. Why, however, should men be forced to deal with the burden of lowering the toilet seat upon completion of their standing bladder evacuation? It seems to me that women need to take responsibility for their own needs and be in charge of lowering the seat when they need it. What happened to women’s lib? Thankfully, SkyMall is here to eliminate the issue altogether, thus bringing domestic peace amongst the sexes. It is no longer the man’s responsibility to lower the seat or the woman’s job to nag the man. From now on, the toilet will do all of the work thanks to the Touchless Sensor Toilet Seats.Who wants to touch dirty toilet seats? Plus, the constant raising and lowering of toilet seats puts unwanted stress on our wrists and elbows leading to a condition called Pisser’s Arm. No one wants to miss out on their bowling league because of a bathroom-related injury.

Think that lifting the toilet seat takes one second? Believe that this cliché argument between men and women is easily solved with a simple conversation and a little bit of compromise? Well, while you argue over whether the toilet paper roll should be hung overhand or underhand (the answer is overhand), we’ll be reading the product description:

Some men have a hard time remembering to put the toilet seat down after use.

Now the Touchless Sensor Toilet Seat is good news for your household. It raises the lid automatically as you approach the toilet.

Wave a hand over it one more time and the seat rises.

Then both the lid and seat close automatically 15 seconds after you step away. The unit is easy to install and because it’s touchless, it helps prevent germs and bacteria from spreading.

Clearly, waving your hand over the toilet like a wizard takes less time than lifting the seat manually. And, since you never clean your bathroom, it’s for the best that you never touch anything in there.

The product is made by the same company that solved the problem of always having to rip off a sheet of paper towel with our own bare hands, so it’s about time that they receive a Nobel Peace Prize for the domestic bliss that they have brought us.

If you’re curious about how this all works, check out the video below, which is the least erotic demonstration involving a toilet that I have ever seen.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

SkyMall Monday: You Go Girl!

gadling skymall monday you go girl toiletGoing to the bathroom on planes is never pleasant. In fact, doing your business anywhere in public can be nerve-wracking. Many public restrooms smell unpleasant and are filthy. Beyond that, there’s the embarrassment caused by the sounds emanating from our behinds and the ensuing odors created by the gastrointestinal festivities. There’s nothing more awkward than emerging from the stall after a particularly loud and aromatic session to find people at the sinks visibly traumatized by the experience. That’s why we only go number two at SkyMall Monday headquarters. We have a soundproof bathroom built two miles below ground inside a mountain. For those of you who didn’t have your facilities designed by a military contractor, SkyMall has just what you need to keep your bathroom business from becoming a public fiasco. The next time you have to use a public restroom to evacuate your bowels, be sure to bring along some You Go Girl!For those of you who think that women neither pass gas nor defecate, it’s time to grow up. All manner of things come out of women’s bodies and some of those events are more odoriferous than others. Unlike men, women do not celebrate the size, shape and pungency of their fecal trophies. In fact, women feel great shame when their number two is loud and noxious. That’s why they need a concealer.

Think that noises made by bodily functions are normal and healthy? Believe that we’re all mature enough to handle naturally occurring events without embarrassment? Well, while you suffocate in a port-o-potty, we’ll be reading the product description:

Reduce bathroom anxiety on airplanes, restaurants or at work with You Go Girl. Just pour a packet into the toilet before use to mask embarrassing odors, dampen sounds and eliminate splash. Biodegradable, phosphate-free formula is safe to flush, and each packet is small enough to carry discreetly in your purse, day bag or pocket, so you can feel confident taking care of business away from home.

Toilet splash is the 84th leading killer of women in public restrooms*. Eliminating this damp scourge is worth the $12.85 for a 10-pack.

Like you, I was baffled by how such a product could not only eliminate odor, but also dampen sounds and eliminate splash. Thankfully, the company has produced an informational video. Even more thankfully, that video utilizes computer animation. I trust that you will see the brilliance of You Go Girl! Of course, men do not need this product. Our farts sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd and smell like fresh baked apple pie.

* Maybe.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.