Many toilet paper companies will go out-of-the-way to avoid using the term “toilet paper” on packaging, like it’s something objectionable to the average person. Toilet paper has, in fact, been used in one form or another for centuries. While its use isn’t limited to the bathroom (lavatory, water closet, etc.), it’s what most westerners associate with it.
Other than its most common use, toilet paper is also used in place of the tissue paper used for things like runny noses.
I consider myself fortunate. Although my first trip to the Philippines was in 1983, my wife introduced me to using water for washing my rear end after we married in 1985. Even then, I still used toilet paper most of the time. It wasn’t until after I moved to the Philippines in 2006 that I started using water to wash my rear end regularly. Water sprayers were attached to the toilets when our house was built, which were much easier to use than a “tabo” (a container used to hold water for toilet uses). I’ve heard Filipinos call the water sprayers “bidets” but they’re not the same thing. They have to be held with one hand while holding a butt cheek with another hand (you know, to get in deep).
It takes getting used to using water, no matter how it’s used. Unless you have a towel handy, your rear end will feel wet until the last vestige of water dries up. I’m used to that feeling of wetness – it’s temporary, even if you’re one of those people who refuses to wear underwear.
I feel cleaner when I use water than when I use toilet paper. It may just be a mental thing because no matter which method is used, you’re never completely clean when you’re done. I haven’t met a person who can verify their cleanliness without bathing.
If you have hemorrhoids, you already know how difficult it is to use toilet paper. If you have any kind of condition affecting your anus, washing it with water is going to be the best way to keep clean.
Toilet paper costs a lot more than water, unless we’re talking about bottled water. My Filipino relatives (who live in the Philippines) simply can’t afford to behave like westerners when it comes to using the toilet. Even though I can afford it, I avoid using it when I’m at home. I no longer feel clean unless I wash every time.
If you must use toilet paper when doing your thing in the bathroom, be ready and bring your own when you’re in unfamiliar territory. It isn’t used everywhere and even in western countries like the United States, you could find the toilet paper dispenser empty.
If you haven’t noticed, I avoided using certain words while writing this article. It took me years to break myself of certain habits and using expletives and other repugnant words was one of them. I think most people can have decent conversations without resorting to those words.
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