by Bobby Box
One would think that wet wipes are an effective way to clean your bum because they’re basically toilet paper on steroids. I know plenty of “stay ready” bottoms who always have wet wipes stuffed in their wallets, medicine cabinets, or glove compartments for spontaneous sex. But what many people don’t know is that these products can do more harm to your body than good—and that other tools can get the job done more safely and just as effectively.
According to butt doctor extraordinaire Dr. Evan Goldstein, CEO of Bespoke Surgical, wet wipes are “unbelievably detrimental to your ass.” Your body possesses a natural microbiome consisting of good and bad bacteria that is typically in homeostasis, meaning everything is balanced. Using wet wipes regularly eliminates much of the good bacteria and disrupts the balance within your body, which can cause irritation, rashes, and various infections to your booty hole.
“This alteration of the microbiome allows the bad bacteria or fungus or viral particles to overpopulate,” Goldstein tells NewNowNext. “When you engage in anal play (douching, lubrication, and condoms are all factors), the friction caused by repeated penetration further irritates an already aggravated area. You’re—literally—fucked.”
Although the fabric in wet wipes is no good for your bum, the biggest factor here is the moisture. After using a wet wipe, you pull up your underwear and essentially trap the moisture in your crack and continue on with your day. While this area isn’t damp enough to sprout mushrooms, anal warts can develop, as can other ailments such as redness, blotchy spots, and chronic fissures. Even “all-natural” wipes are no good, though the occasional one-off use is fine. As Goldstein puts it, “Wipes suck. All of them.”
Luckily, there is a physician-approved solution to this shitty situation: bidets, which famously experienced a rise in popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent fear of a toilet paper shortage. Paired with some proper wiping technique, this tool can work wonders, Goldstein says: “We’re taught to wipe until the toilet paper is clean, but we should be blotting or dabbing. The up-and-down blotting motion causes less irritation and gets rid of the bigger pieces of lingering stool. Then, you use a bidet or pop in the shower for a final cleanse.”
Goldstein also recommends using a blowdryer to ensure the area is super dry, adding that if you do feel irritation in the area, you can apply moisturizer as long as it dries quickly and doesn’t leave excess residue.
He isn’t the only outspoken bidet advocate out there. Miki Agrawal, founder of TUSHY, says bidets are favorable because they remove all of the fecal matter from your derriere, whereas toilet paper leaves behind residue and bacteria.
“All you have to do after you finish your business is turn the knob and it will spray your bum with clean water,” Agrawal tells NewNowNext. “The wash can range from a gentle spritz to a full-on power wash if that’s what you’re into. The water does all the work here and cleans your rear for 30–60 seconds. Once you’re done, just pat your bum dry with some toilet paper or a towel.”
Since the pandemic began, TUSHY’s have sales sky-rocketed due to the aforementioned panic over TP. “Our numbers were 10-times our normal figures, and we had our first million-dollar sales day in March,” Agrawal adds. “People were spreading the gospel of TUSHY and realized that a bidet is not only economical and environmentally friendly than toilet paper, but cleaner too.”
What’s more, bidets do cut down on a shit-ton of toilet paper. The average American uses 57 sheets of TP every day, which equates to about 36 billion rolls a year and accounts for 15% of global deforestation. If everyone used a bidet, there would be 15 million more trees in the world. While a TUSHY bidet does use one pint of water for a proper wash, comparatively, it takes 437 billion gallons of water and 253,000 tons of bleach to make toilet paper annually. Not to mention they also clog your plumbing system.
Essentially, a bidet is self-care. Since a large number of gay men engage in anal sex, which already irritates the area and microbiome, we should be especially kind to our behinds. So put that peach on a pedestal, invest in a bidet, and pat dry using toilet paper. Your b-hole will thank you.
Bobby Box is a freelance journalist and editor whose work on sex, relationships, culture, and sexuality has been published in the Daily Beast, Playboy, Them., Into, Women’s Health, Complex, PopSugar, among others.