Presence of a bidet in the bathroom

birus

Senior Member
Italy, Italian
Good morning.
I am not a very frequent reader of this forum, but I got an idea that several "bathroom/hygene topics" have already been widely discussed within this subforum.
Nevertheless, I think that my question is very specific and may not have been answered yet in all those pre-existing threads.
I am not sure it is not OT so in case it is, I apologize in advance.

My question is brought up by the fact that I have been to France many times throughout my life and have always got the impression that each bathroom there is provided with a bidet (like it is in Italy, and unlike it is in England), but now an italian friend that is looking for a house in France is assuring me that most of the houses do not have any bidet so I am puzzled.

And what about the other countries?
How can anybody take a shower/bath each and every time he/she needs to wash that specific part of the body? The need could come more than once a day, and at any time of the day!!! :eek:
 
  • Cat'

    Senior Member
    Français
    hi! I'm french living in france, and before the 80's, all bathrooms except the small ones had bidet. But since, as the square meter is more and more expensive, the bathrooms are smaller, tha's why bidets have disappeared and baths are replaced by showers. moreover the use of bodet has fallen into abeyance.
     

    birus

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    moreover the use of bodet has fallen into abeyance.
    :confused: what are you understanding here? :eek:
    (people just wash less, or take showers every minute?)

    (I am much interested, not at all trying to denigrate anybody, because soon I'll have to live for a while in a house with no bidet too!)
     

    Cat'

    Senior Member
    Français
    by the past people didn't use to take shower dayly, they washed only their ass dayly! (more or less). now you can use some intimate wipe....instead of bidet
     

    chics

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Spanish
    And also they're other uses; it's always pleasant to have a cold feet bath in summer, children use it to clean their hands, etc.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Tourists seeing only the streets of South Italy may think the Italians are dirty, but if they saw inside Italian homes they would agree that Italy is probably the cleanest country in Europe. I am used to a bidet here in Italy, where I have lived half my life, and, when Italians ask me why it doesn't exist in Britain, I don't know what to say! It seems that only the bad habits spread from one country to another...
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    How can anybody take a shower/bath each and every time he/she needs to wash that specific part of the body? The need could come more than once a day, and at any time of the day!!! :eek:

    We don't have bidets in Singapore. I've never even heard of it until now.
    And we don't use intimate wipes...that's for babies.

    Our solution is fairly simple; all our homes are equipped with hand held shower heads such as this. In most public toilets, we also have mini versions such as this.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    And what about the other countries? How can anybody take a shower/bath each and every time he/she needs to wash that specific part of the body? The need could come more than once a day, and at any time of the day!
    In Germany, bidets are very rare. Usually private houses have none. Personally, I see no necessity of bidets at all, they seem utterly superfluous to me.

    After using the toilet Germans clean themselves with toilet paper. No problem here at all. Some use moistened paper, mostly limited to those hurting from hemorrhoids. I never heard of someone having showered because he used the toilet.

    I guess there are almost 80 million happy Germans without bidet and without hygienic problems. My experience is that this is true for England, too.

    Kajjo
     

    birus

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    In Germany, bidets are very rare. Usually private houses have none. Personally, I see no necessity of bidets at all, they seem utterly superfluous to me.

    After using the toilet Germans clean themselves with toilet paper. No problem here at all. Some use moistened paper, mostly limited to those hurting from hemorrhoids. I never heard of someone having showered because he used the toilet.

    I guess there are almost 80 million happy Germans without bidet and without hygienic problems. My experience is that this is true for England, too.

    Kajjo

    In my opinion, the definition of the boudary line between cleanliness and dirtiness is very personal, and depends much on the habits one has been accustomed to since childhood.
    As an example, one may feel it very dirty to go to bed or to leave home in the morning without brushing his teeth, but may not care much not to brush them after lunch, if he/she is not used to do that after each meal. Others, that are used to brush their teeth after each and every meal, would feel very uncomfortable whenever they cannot do that...

    Kajjo, I understand your point.
    It is my belief that, if I had not been accustomed since childhood to washing my "bottom" right after every time I went to the toilets, but just to use paper, I wouldn't feel at all dirty doing so. And, if YOU had been accustomed since childhood to washing yourself with water like Italians (and other people) do, you would feel extremely uncomfortable whenever you should not be able to do so (like we all do here - for example, if it happens at work!).
    Who is right? None has the right to say, I think.
    One thing is for sure, water cleans far better than paper. But do we really need to be so clean all the time? Anyone can judge for theirselves.
    Luckily, whether one cleans himself with water or just with paper, nobody should notice... (But what if you were about to have sex?)
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    And what about the other countries?

    Generally speaking, you will not find a bidet in the United States. If French hotels were really on the ball, they would post an explanation for American tourists who are usually clueless as to the function of those fixtures.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    In my opinion, the definition of the boudary line between cleanliness and dirtiness is very personal, and depends much on the habits one has been accustomed to since childhood.
    I agree entirely.

    And, if YOU had been accustomed since childhood to washing yourself with water like Italians (and other people) do, you would feel extremely uncomfortable whenever you should not be able to do so
    I remember that in my childhood the Italian vacation was always dominated by the tought of having to shit into holes in the floor of the "toilet" booth -- I almost couldn't manage as child since the handholds were far too high and being on-target was difficult if untrained to do so. No bidets were present at all and we always brought our own toilet paper. Since when do Italians have bidets? Maybe it is just a luxury fixture, not for everyone? Do you remember a time with holes in the floor?

    Who is right? None has the right to say, I think.
    Again, I agree entirely.

    One thing is for sure, water cleans far better than paper.
    I wonder how do you dry up your bottom? With the flaky toilet paper? Or do you bring towels with you? How often do you use the same towel? Where do you store or dispose the towel (as I expect they are individual and not communal;))? Do you use your hands to clean your bottom, do you have a washcloth or do you rely on the streaming water alone? -- Questions of an outsider, I guess.

    But what if you were about to have sex?
    Our bottoms are clean enough to have sex without problems. However, I agree that having freshly showered is much more delightful and opens up some more creative variations regarding the whole body interaction. Yes, I guess everywhere clean bodies are preferred, but sex is possible under many circumstances...

    Kajjo
     

    federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I think bidets could give a warped picture of how they're used in people who aren't accustomed to them.

    Italians and other people that use bidets do regularly use toilet paper to clean themselves, and often they use exclusively it (e.g. during the day, if not at home).
    This strange device called bidet is used just to keep your intimate parts clean and refreshed, once or twice a day or whenever you feel it is necessary. We think those parts of the body need a more accurate cleaning than the others, and even if we took a shower in the morning we feel it is necessary to wash them again in the evening, before going to bed. That's all... please don't infer we use bidet in lieu of toilet paper, which is something absolutely disgusting to think of. :eek:
     

    lamartus

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    Italians and other people that use bidets do regularly use toilet paper to clean themselves, and often they use exclusively it (e.g. during the day, if not at home).

    Yes, it is :).
    This strange device called bidet is used just to keep your intimate parts clean and refreshed, once or twice a day or whenever you feel it is necessary. We think those parts of the body need a more accurate cleaning than the others, and even if we took a shower in the morning we feel it is necessary to wash them again in the evening, before going to bed.

    It's the same here.
     

    LaReinita

    Senior Member
    USA (Northeast Coast)-Inglés
    Question: Is the water temperature controlled on this? Is it warm, or cold? . . I'm not sure how I would feel about cold water splashing me down there at any time of day.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Bidets are like miniature bathtubs, so they have hot/cold water taps, but their size is closer to that of toilets (they're a bit shorter than toilets), so that you can easily sit on them. They are convenient for when you want to wash just a part of your lower body (behind, genitals, feet), although it's always possible to do the same, less comfortably, by sitting on the edge of the bathtub.
     

    mic234

    New Member
    In Poland bidets are very rare at homes (I know only one - not mine). Better hotels usually have them, but I am afraid most people don't really know how to use it.
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Hi Birus.

    In Russia, bidets are very rare; I've been to only one house where there were bidets in flats. I guess one of the reasons why Russians don't want to install bidts in their bathrooms is that bathrooms are usually rather small; many families even have to install the washing-machine in their kitchen because in the bathroom there isn't enough room for it! (By the way, in most houses in Russia bathroom and toilet are two separate rooms).

    And what about the other countries?
    How can anybody take a shower/bath each and every time he/she needs to wash that specific part of the body? The need could come more than once a day, and at any time of the day!!! :eek:
    Paper towels can help.:)
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    By the way, in most houses in Russia bathroom and toilet are two separate rooms).
    Yes, I have two separate rooms, too. I coudn't imagine to shower or brush my teeth in a room recently having been shit in. The smell is not compatible with tooth brushing and so on, I reckon.

    I have my washing machine in a "house hold room" apart from either kitchen and bath.

    Kajjo
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Dear Friends,
    It seems to me that bidets arouse far more interest in these
    fora than any other topic (did someone say we are anal, or otherwise
    bottom –oriented?)
    So, for all of those who feel that great yearning for one of these
    hings, but are hampered by lack of availability or space, here is a practical suggestion:
    It would seem quite easy for a handy person to take a small length of
    bendable copper pipe (1/2 “), shape it, attach it to a reinforced rubber hose and
    anchor the assembly to the rim of the toilet in a way in which it can be easily moved
    out of the way (for the other business at hand..) The water connection can be established
    without problem by inserting a T – coupling where the valve for the tank supply sits near the wall.
    Or, do what I do in my country house: Just step outside to the rubber hose. Of course,
    I don’t have winter..
    saludos
     

    Ben Adam

    New Member
    Colombia, Spanish
    In my opinion, the definition of the boudary line between cleanliness and dirtiness is very personal, and depends much on the habits one has been accustomed to since childhood.
    As an example, one may feel it very dirty to go to bed or to leave home in the morning without brushing his teeth, but may not care much not to brush them after lunch, if he/she is not used to do that after each meal. Others, that are used to brush their teeth after each and every meal, would feel very uncomfortable whenever they cannot do that...

    Kajjo, I understand your point.
    It is my belief that, if I had not been accustomed since childhood to washing my "bottom" right after every time I went to the toilets, but just to use paper, I wouldn't feel at all dirty doing so. And, if YOU had been accustomed since childhood to washing yourself with water like Italians (and other people) do, you would feel extremely uncomfortable whenever you should not be able to do so (like we all do here - for example, if it happens at work!).
    Who is right? None has the right to say, I think.
    One thing is for sure, water cleans far better than paper. But do we really need to be so clean all the time? Anyone can judge for theirselves.
    Luckily, whether one cleans himself with water or just with paper, nobody should notice... (But what if you were about to have sex?)

    I guess everybody has heard about dingleberries. That's exactly what could happen if somebody does not use a bidet, because the toilet paper by itself it's not enough! I believe it just so happens most of the people from non-using countries are not aware of this.
     

    birus

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    I've been away for a while and I read that many aspects have been already widely discussed so I don't think it would be of any interest to insist on the "bidet" issue.

    Please just let me make a quick clarification with reference to :
    I remember that in my childhood the Italian vacation was always dominated by the tought of having to shit into holes in the floor of the "toilet" booth -- I almost couldn't manage as child since the handholds were far too high and being on-target was difficult if untrained to do so. No bidets were present at all and we always brought our own toilet paper. Since when do Italians have bidets? Maybe it is just a luxury fixture, not for everyone? Do you remember a time with holes in the floor?
    Kajjo, I wonder where you've been in Italy, but I would say, for sure not at some host's house! "Holes in the floor" (that are here called "turkish WC", I wonder why!), can only be found occasionally in campings or other common toilets, like in schools, pubs or similar places (NEVER in any private house).
    Italians have bidets at least since my grandmother can remember, this is not at all considered as a luxury fixture. Moreover, no matter how small a house is, the bidet will never be considered an object one could remove, just to get some more room! (as an example, I rented for a while a small apartment in Treviso provided with a bidet, but not with a washing machine!)

    By the way thanks to all for their comments! I have learnt that the whole world is provided with far less bidets than I had always expected! :eek:
     

    clipper

    Senior Member
    England´s english
    At risk of turning this thread into some sort of regional faeces analysis, I'm suprised no-one has yet brought up the subject of diet.

    It would seem logical to me that the need for water or paper could have a direct link with the dietary habits of the individual, something which is directly related to geography (or was until recently).

    May be it would be interesting to see if a study of the composition of stools from regions of the world where water is regularly used to clean yourself compared to that in regions where paper is used, has ever been carried out.

    At first glance of this enlightening thread it could appear that olive oil consumption and bidet use could be direclty related........
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    At first glance of this enlightening thread it could appear that olive oil consumption and bidet use could be directly related........
    Olive oil is consumed in warmer countries and it's in warmer countries that hygiene is more important. That could explain the connection. However, the Italians wash themselves properly also when it's cold.
     

    federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Olive oil is consumed in warmer countries and it's in warmer countries that hygiene is more important. That could explain the connection. However, the Italians wash themselves properly also when it's cold.

    And apart from that, olive oil is not part of Northern Italian cuisine.
    (and bidet never replace paper, too).
     
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    clipper

    Senior Member
    England´s english
    Olive oil is consumed in warmer countries and it's in warmer countries that hygiene is more important. That could explain the connection. However, the Italians wash themselves properly also when it's cold.

    Your comment that residents of warmer countries wash themselves with water after defecating in both summer and winter only serves to back up my theory that diet is the driving factor behing bidet use.

    Also the fact that hygiene is seen as more important in warmer countries could be a by-product of the increased propensity of "dangleberries" brought about by the diet of the country. I don't think anyone here has mentioned using the bidet to clean the nether regions due to sweat, only after using the toilet.
     

    El intérprete

    Senior Member
    US
    US English
    I think people in the US would like a bidet in their bathroom, but it is so out of the ordinary that most people would be ashamed to request it in their home. People in every country get messy sometimes. I don't care if you're from warmer countries or whatever. It doesn't matter where you're from. Also, most Americans won't complain because they are used to not having a bidet. It's not something that would ever cross our mind.
     

    mirx

    Banned
    Español
    I assume that the use of bidets spread not so long ago, perhaps at the beginning of this century. Most Mediterranean countries have it and I, again, assume that thess bidets were brought over to the Americas after the wars. Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil seem to have it while the rest of the Americas don't, Is it a coincidence that these 3 countries were basically recolonized after the second wolrd war?

    The first time I ever saw a bidet was in an apartment in Paris, I asked my friend (Parisian) if it was a "French sink" (to wash the hands), and after throwing harsh comments at me and desguised insults as is their habit, he then explain what it was. I remembered my mother saying in her assumptions that they were for cleaning genitalia, because I insested on why we should wash "that" as well, she then said it wasn't for everyone but for people with hemorroides.

    I haven't seen another one to this date.
     
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    Machin

    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish
    I live in an old house and there are bidets in each of the two bathrooms. They date back to thge 70s. Still, There is no present use for them and in most houses they have been removed. In fact, no new houses have them in their bathrooms (whether small or large)
     

    chics

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Spanish
    Wow, I haven't seen any bidet in France yet. However in pain most people have one, and they're in all he hotels.
     

    Adolfo Afogutu

    Senior Member
    Español
    In my country it is likely to find one in almost every bathroom in middle/high class residential areas, no matter how old the house is. However, in many new houses and apartments, it has been substituted by a hand held shower attachment. It is very cheap; it does not occupy any space and it fulfils exactly the same service. Only those with haemorrhoids know how annoying it is not to have one of these bathroom fittings at home.
     

    raffica

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Kajjo, I wonder where you've been in Italy, but I would say, for sure not at some host's house! "Holes in the floor" (that are here called "turkish WC", I wonder why!), can only be found occasionally in campings or other common toilets, like in schools, pubs or similar places (NEVER in any private house).
    And they have the hygienic purpose of not putting your ass where other people have.
    May be it would be interesting to see if a study of the composition of stools from regions of the world where water is regularly used to clean yourself compared to that in regions where paper is used, has ever been carried out.
    At first glance of this enlightening thread it could appear that olive oil consumption and bidet use could be direclty related........
    In my opinion shit is shit everywhere. The difference lies in the incomparable pleasure of using a bidet after defecation.
    ;)
     

    SpiceMan

    Senior Member
    Castellano, Argentina
    Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil seem to have it while the rest of the Americas don't, Is it a coincidence that these 3 countries were basically recolonized after the second wolrd war?
    I have yet to see a bidet in Brazil, and I've been there about 10 times. Are you sure? Maybe the bidet is regional thing in Brazil and I haven't been into that particular region?

    In Argentina the bidet was and is the norm, and I can't tell about the Uruguay bidet lifestyle since I've been in hotels only, but hotels do have them.

    By the way, no one has mentioned that you can tell when people don't use the bidet at all by the dust :p.

    In Japan there are no bidets but lately there are those electronic toilets. Since I've been using bidets my whole life, I feel they are no real replacement for a true bidet, but they are better than nothing at all.
     
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    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Also, most Americans won't complain because they are used to not having a bidet. It's not something that would ever cross our mind.

    To prove this point in a humorous way, I'll tell a story. When I was teaching in Africa in a former French colony, all the housing provided for teachers had bidets, because they had been built by the French.

    The group of American teachers there together had a contest:

    "Find 50 uses for a bidet"

    Some of the winning ideas:
    --hold cockroach races
    --drown mice
    --soak dirty dishes
    --keep goldfish

    ...you get my point! We had no "real" use for these fixtures.
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    Some ideas about the presence of a bidet in Italy, Spain and so on and its absence in other countries:
    • people from the Northern shore of the Mediterranean are generally quite hairy and thus it's more difficult to clean their arses with paper only;
    • older design of bidet were very anti-hygienic because you had to fill the fixture; this may explain why the bidet has disappeared in France and has never gained popularity elsewhere; however nowadays you always wash with clean running water.
     

    EdenMartin

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I think, like many others, that the refusal of the bidet was born and persists - more or less consciously - for example (not only!) because of the influence of Puritanism in the broadest sense of the term, where the practice of indulging in cleansing of the private parts is seen as a sinful temptation, as a sign of immorality. In fact, the bidet has often been associated (and still it is, somewhere) with the prostitutes' life and activity.

    A curiosity: many, even in Italy, do not know every home must be equipped by law (since the '70s) with bidet, WC, shower / bathtub, sink.
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    A curiosity: many, even in Italy, do not know every home must be equipped by law (since the '70s) with bidet, WC, shower / bathtub, sink.
    I didn't know! This could explain why the fashion of having a toilet separated from the bathroom, common in some countries, has never gained popularity in Italy.
     
    Some ideas about the presence of a bidet in Italy, Spain and so on and its absence in other countries:
    • people from the Northern shore of the Mediterranean are generally quite hairy and thus it's more difficult to clean their arses with paper only;
    Then how do you explain the absence of bidet in Greece? It was in fashion in the '60's but it fell out of use ver early. Now it's impossible to find it even in older apartments built in the 1960's. I lived in an apartment built in mid-'60's and it had a non-functional bidet, I used to store soap, shampoo, razors and whatnot in it :D (it was a tiny bathroom)
     

    EdenMartin

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Then how do you explain the absence of bidet in Greece? It was in fashion in the '60's

    I suppose that from the 1960s onwards, the tendency to sacrifice "unnecessary" space in newly built homes has established itself also in Greece. Am I wrong?
    Was the bidet substituted by something like the Bidet shower ?
     
    Last edited:

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    Then how do you explain the absence of bidet in Greece? It was in fashion in the '60's but it fell out of use ver early. Now it's impossible to find it even in older apartments built in the 1960's.
    My second hypothesis could be an explanation: older bidet designs were anti-hygienic because you had to fill the fixture and then wash your intimate parts with the same dirty water. Newer designs (form the '70s-'80s onwards) allow you to wash always with clean water. I've never been to Greece, I thought they were present there as well.
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Some ideas about the presence of a bidet in Italy, Spain and so on and its absence in other countries:
    • people from the Northern shore of the Mediterranean are generally quite hairy and thus it's more difficult to clean their arses with paper only;
    Seriously? :p

    In Spain, it peaked in the 60s and 70s, when apparently having one implied a better-equipped bathroom and ended up being built aside the toilet by default, even if most Spaniards used it for a hundred different things, none related to their original purpose. Nowadays, bidets have gradually been disappearing from new houses, just like shower trays have also kicked traditional bathtubs out too.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I think, like many others, that the refusal of the bidet was born and persists - more or less consciously - for example (not only!) because of the influence of Puritanism in the broadest sense of the term, where the practice of indulging in cleansing of the private parts is seen as a sinful temptation, as a sign of immorality. In fact, the bidet has often been associated (and still it is, somewhere) with the prostitutes' life and activity.
    This explanation goes too far. In countries like the US, the most puritan of all countries, most people don't even know what a bidet is. As far as I know houses have never had them.
    I had never thought of the practicality of bidets for prostitutes until just now.

    I think it's sad that bidets are disappearing from countries that have always had them. It's part of their culture. But, I understand they have lost their practicality. In the post war era, people did not take showers/baths or wash their hair daily. People washed up quickly every morning with a gant de toilette and otherwise bidets were essential. This, of course, is not at all the case nowadays. The shower is the centerpiece of the modern bathroom.
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    In countries like the US, the most puritan of all countries
    Are you sure? I've read that 90% of pornography is produced in the United States.

    In the post war era, people did not take showers/baths or wash their hair daily. People washed up quickly every morning with a gant de toilette and otherwise bidets were essential. This, of course, is not at all the case nowadays.
    Older people here do not take a shower daily, neither in summer. They take a shower every seven or fourteen days but wash their hands, arms and feet (and genital areas too) every day.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    In countries like the US, the most puritan of all countries.
    Are you sure? I've read that 90% of pornography is produced in the United States.
    One does not preclude the other, after all.
    Older people here do not take a shower daily, neither in summer. They take a shower every seven or fourteen days but wash their hands, arms and feet (and genital areas too) every day.
    Yes, the same could be said of many countries in southern Europe. I remember the older ladies in Spain going to the beauty parlor once a week to get a shampoo and hairdo. Then they wouldn't touch it for a week. I was surprised that their houses were so clean you could eat off the floor but their personal hygiene was not so rigorous. I also thought the change with the young generation was due to Americanization. In America even the old women when I was a child would take showers/baths every day (in summer maybe twice), wash their hair every day, and shave off their body hair. There were stereotypes of people being dirty or smelly from certain Europe countries.
    Anyway to bring this back to the subject. If you're going to take a shower all the time, you don't really need a bidet.
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    If you're going to take a shower all the time, you don't really need a bidet.
    Even younger people, who usually take a shower every day, use the bidet because they're not familiar to wash their intimate areas in the shower. There's also a comemrcial suggesting women to use intimate soap in the shower other than in the bidet.
     
    I suppose that from the 1960s onwards, the tendency to sacrifice "unnecessary" space in newly built homes has established itself also in Greece. Am I wrong?
    Was the bidet substituted by something like the Bidet shower ?
    No, bidet shower is not common in Greece. We do however tend to have small bathrooms, therefore the handheld shower head is close to the toilet bowl. Also, we do not (usually) have fixed shower heads (called "American" here)
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I never saw a toilet with a water spray device as in that photo, but in an apartment in Italy I did see a shower and bidet together. You turned a knob and the water either showered down from a shower head or shot up from the bottom. If you don't know this you can be surprised.
     
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