Does the Butt Clean Itself?

I wonder if this is a consequence of the obesity epidemic? Maybe lots of people would be able to spread their cheeks if they were thin, but those mounds of blubber are just too damn big to get out of the way.

I totally concur.

I’d hate to see the state of your teeth.

The human body has at least four cheeks.

Fighting ignorance. Pew pew

Two minutes? It takes me longer than two minutes to get my business done. There are times that you’re dropping the kids off at the pool when that last kid doesn’t want to leave the minivan!

For me, anal mode of operation the 'ol body has gotten itself into could vary from the occasional “out-of-the-way-what-the-hell-did-i-eat” to “might-as-well-finish-this-article-as-long-as-I’m-here” and anywhere in-between.

Wait a minute, humans have had fleshy buttocks prone to retaining poop far far longer than they’ve had toilet paper or soap. What were archaic humans and Neanderthals doing to keep the rings off Uranus 100,000 years ago? Leaves? A stick? Is there any archaeological record of human toilet practices, eg a “poop pit” with or without leaves/sticks? (Or for that matter, areas near settlements where it’s obvious from the soil chemistry that it was the pissoir?)

ALSO, after the Romans bathing pretty much disappeared in Western Europe. What happened to Middle Age asses? I’ve seen the toilet cubicles in French/English castles of the Hundred Years’ War, where the shit just tumbled down the side into the valley. There are not toilet paper holders in the wall.

Are you a cat?

Or do you have one?

In days of old when knights were bold
and paper not invented
they’d wipe their ass
with bits of grass
which left them freshly scented.

Romans didn’t bathe every time they pooped: they had communal latrines and used a communal sea sponge on a stick to clean their anal areas. These were kept in vinegar (the sticks, not the anal areas–though that’d explain why anuses are puckered.) Some Middle Age folks used an angled wooden scraper. Royalty sometimes used rosewater and wool. One lucky SOB got the job of wiping the king’s butt. On a related note, in many castles, latrines were located near garderobes because the stench supposedly deterred moths.

As for early hominids, we’ve found coprolites (fossilized feces) in known settlement areas, but no specialty tools for anal cleansing AFAIK. They most likely used grasses, leaves, stones, or the ever-available finger.

The Greeks used pottery shards. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve read they sometimes wrote the names of their enemies on the shards before using them. I guess some people were just unpoopular.

I don’t have an unhealthy interest in the topic; it’s just when I taught world history, kids often wanted to know about potty habits in different times.

So nice.:slight_smile:

Well, you are the first. Congratulations. :dubious:

I can hardly wait for the new Charmin ads. “It’s not self-cleaning, asshole!”

A very similar poem (on a different topic) made the rounds when I was a kid:

In days of old when knights were bold
And rubbers weren’t invented
They’d slip a sock
Upon their cock
And babies were prevented

(Yes, I know it wouldn’t work…)

Has no one else really linked to this old Straight Dope column: What did people use before toilet paper was invented?

It appears there may be a reason geese are so damn hostile…

I think you mean “every time you have a bowel movement,” not “daily.”

Well, that’s debatable.

Actually, before the use of latex condoms, they use (in addition to animal intestines – yechh) oiled paper or silk or linen condoms. Some of these have been preserved.

If it sounds as if it wouldn’t work, consider that “oiled” generally meant treated with linseed oil. Linseed oil is a natural polymer, and somewhat flexible (window putty is a mixture of linseed oil and chalk, for instance). So “oiled linen” and “oiled silk” were about as close to a latex condom as they could get in those days. And probably a lot more sensitive than lamb caecum.

Using a finger, while probably effective, seems like a good way to die. Poop from fingers gets on food, and you’re not supposed to eat your own shit (or any shit, I suppose).

This is highly exaggerated. Ingesting a trace amount of your own feces isn’t going to kill you (or we would all have died as small children). Ingesting even a larger amount is probably not going to result in more than mild illness. After all, you’re not ingesting any infectious agents that weren’t in your body already. There is more risk of disease transmission by ingesting feces from other individuals.

If people died from ingesting their own colonic bacteria, we’d all be long dead. The whole groin region in colonized with the stuff that lives happily in your rectum. The most casual scratch of that region will coat your fingers with millions of such germs. which the typical person then sticks in their eyes, nose, and mouth with little thought.

In fact, when you get intimately acquainted with any new sex partner (or even non-sexual new housemates with whom you share cleaning/food prep duties), there’s generally a period of time when one is stricken with mild GI symptoms like nausea, loose stools, malaise, etc. as your system is exposed to the new partner’s intestinal flora. Over 99% of the time, this settles down without significant consequences, but on occasion the reaction can be severe enough to require treatment.

It’s a dirty world and we’re a dirty species. Fortunately we’re adapted to handle it. Being basically clean with frequent handwashing and regular bathing cuts down on the overt nastiness of it all, but overaggressive scrubbing and disinfecting is not only futile but removes the body’s natural barriers and opens skin and pores to more potential exposure to a wider range of pathogens.

And stay away from anti-bacterial soap! It just wipes out friendly species and breeds resistance, in addition to being futile.