plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia and anus of the human body
A bidet ( or ) is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on for the purpose of washing the human genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. The modern variety includes a plumbed-in water supply and a drainage opening and is thus a type of plumbing fixture subject to local hygiene regulations. The bidet is designed to promote personal hygiene and is used after defecation, and before and after sexual intercourse. In several European countries, a bidet is today required by law to be present in every bathroom containing a toilet bowl. It was originally located in the bedroom, near the chamber-pot and the marital bed, but in modern times is located near the toilet bowl in the bathroom. Fixtures that combine a toilet seat with a washing facility include the electronic bidet.
Opinions as to the necessity of the bidet vary widely over different nationalities and cultures. It is virtually nonexistent in cultures of British origin. To those world cultures which use it habitually, such as those of the Islamic world, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Europe, France, and some South American countries, it is considered an indispensable tool in maintaining good personal hygiene.
“Bidet” is a French loanword meaning “little horse” due to the straddling position adopted in its usage.
Bidets are primarily used to wash and clean the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. Some bidets have a vertical jet intended to give easy access for washing and rinsing the perineum and anal area. The traditional separate bidet is like a wash-basin which is filled with clean water, and may then used for many other purposes such as washing feet.
A bidet shower (also known as “bidet spray”, “bidet sprayer”, or “health faucet”) is a hand-held triggered nozzle, similar to that on a kitchen sink sprayer, that delivers a spray of water to assist in anal cleansing and cleaning the genitals after defecation and urination. In contrast to a bidet that is integrated with the toilet, a bidet shower has to be held by the hands, and cleaning does not take place automatically. Bidet showers are common in countries where water is considered essential for anal cleansing.
Drawbacks include the possibility of wetting a user’s clothing if used carelessly. In addition, a user must be reasonably mobile and flexible to use a hand-held bidet shower.
Conventional or standalone bidet
A bidet is a plumbing fixture that is installed as a separate unit in the bathroom besides toilet, shower and sink, which users have to straddle. Some bidets resemble a large hand basin, with taps and a stopper so they can be filled up; other designs have a nozzle that squirts a jet of water to aid in cleansing.