|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Constipation can be a real pain in the ass.
And dealing with menstruation is usually bloody awful, which probably goes a long way to explain why sales of toilets with built-in bidets have skyrocketed in Japan over the past decade.
But, according to Shukan Gendai (8/10), washlettes, as the high tech lavatories are referred to locally, are also servicing a rapidly growing number of women's more carnal needs.
Cabinet Office research into consumer durables shows that while only 14.2 percent of Japanese households had a toilet with a built-in bidet just 10 years ago, that figure has blasted up to 47.2 percent now.
"Washlettes are one of the products that have rapidly come to be regarded as an important durable consumer item," a Cabinet Office spokesman tells Shukan Gendai.
"With sales growing yearly, they have probably become an indispensable item for consumers."
Women, like the one we'll call Keiko, can't speak highly enough of the wonders of a loo equipped with a bidet.
"I used to get horrible constipation. I was lucky if I went two or three times a month.
I was always tired and nauseous. I was throwing up all the time.
When I sought medical help, I was told that there had been too big a build-up of feces in my body," she tells Shukan Gendai, adding that she turned to the bidet for relief.
Proctologist Masahiro Takano agrees that firing a stream of water into the backside can be an effective counter to constipation.
"It's like how a mother cat licks a kitten's anus to stimulate it and expel its wastes," he says.
But Keiko discovered the bidet can be even more beneficial.
"One day, I turned up the water pressure up so high, the streaming gush went right up my rear.
It was a wonderful stimulation. After that, I always turned the pressure up high.
I can't do without my washlette now. It's got nothing to do with my constipation. I just do it for the thrill."
Having experienced the pleasures from behind, Keiko decided to take a more frontal approach.
"That felt fairly good, too," she says. "These washlettes can be pretty handy."
Akiko, a 29-year-old mother of a 1-year-old whose husband is frequently away from home, is also bullish on bidets.
"My husband goes on a lot of business trips, meaning he's usually away from home about half of every month.
I don't know about other couples, but at this age, I think that's pretty hard on me.
That's not to say I can just go out and have an affair, though," she tells Shukan Gendai, adding that her life has changed since her husband left her an adult video featuring a bathroom scene where the woman clearly enjoyed using a bidet in a sexually stimulating manner.
"At first, I thought it was pretty stupid and I laughed as I watched the movie.
But when I went to the bathroom a bit later, I was curious and thought I'd give it a try.
It didn't do much for me at first, but after a few times, I started to like it."
Adjusting the water pressure she uses in the bidet, Akiko says, allows her to increase the intensity of the thrill she gets, while sitting backwards on the cistern permits her to concentrate on the most intimate parts of her nether region.
"Washlettes don't cost me any money, they're handy and I'm not playing around on my husband, so I don't have any guilt feelings later on.
Of course, I could always use adult toys, but they're fairly expensive and it's not like I could go out and buy them by myself.
I could order them over the Internet, but it's always embarrassing when they're delivered," Akiko tells Shukan Gendai.
"I like the washlette because I don't have to care about that stuff.
I get myself off on the washlette a couple of times a week."
Fortunately for women such as Keiko and Akiko, there are no apparent dangers in using built-in bidets as a sex aid.
"I can actually recommend the use of a washlette for masturbation," physician and sex counselor Yobun Tomina tells Shukan Gendai.
"It's clean, the stimulation is soft and they're handy.
The genitalia do have microbes that clean naturally and there's a chance that these could be washed away.
But I don't think there's anybody out there who'd keep doing it for over an hour, so it should be all right."
Wako University lecturer on sex therapy Kim Myung Gun, though, sees washlette wanking as little more than a fad.
"Sure, a washlette would feel very good. It's because the water offers sexual stimulation.
But it seems to me that the girls doing it are very sexually immature.
After a woman gives birth, her inner nether regions develop and she wants to have them stimulated.
A washlette simply can't do that," Kim tells Shukan Gendai.
"One day, these women will find that the washlette doesn't give them the same sort of thrill anymore.
They'll look for some other type of stimulation like that which can be offered by, say, an electric toothbrush."
July 29, 2002