I’m on a mission to civilize.

In the time I’ve written about bidets, there have been two kinds of people: people who love bidets, and people who would never, ever consider bidets. Not ever. Nope. Never.

Such was the case when we discovered the Tushy Travel Bidet.

No one else wanted to try it. So it fell to me, The Inventory’s resident bidet evangelist and de facto cleanest butthole-haver, to tell you about it.

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Portable bidets, like Tushy’s, are one of the most affordable way to try out a bidet. For $29, you’ll get the most rudimentary bidet experience—there are no dials, here, no seat warmers, no rechargeable batteries, no temperature control—just a small, compressible bottle with a sprayer attachment that you manually fill with water.

Here’s how it works: Unscrew the top, fill the bottle with water (lukewarm, ideally, but to each their own) and replace the top. When you’re on the toilet, lift the tip so it’s pointing out towards your nethers, then squeeze the accordion-like bottle to spray.

From my experience, the capacity of the bottle was more than enough to get me through the cleaning process. Not to brag, but I have terrific aim. Admittedly, reaching between my legs to get the bidet in position was an awkward experience at first, but with enough tries, it became second nature.

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The idea of portable bidets isn’t a new one. Bio Bidet, for instance, has one for $10. But this is the first I’ve seen that’s collapsible and stealthy enough to be viable for using at work.

The toilets in our office are obviously not equipped with bidets, and it’s been a dreadful experience since my hygiene enlightenment. Using the office loo with the portable bidet made it less so.

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To be clear, no portable bidet will make you feel amazing when you use a public toilet. It won’t magically make the single-ply toiler paper softer or more plush when you’re drying off, and it certainly won’t dampen the noise coming out of the stall next to yours.

But it will accomplish what bidets do best—cleaning up after yourself after you go. The same pro-bidet arguments apply here:

  • If you stepped in shit barefoot, would you wash your feet, or just wipe them off with paper?
  • We love water jets in hot tubs, but why don’t we like them with bidets?
  • How do you clean your dirty dishes?

It always feels like I’m a poorly-written Aaron Sorkin character, yelling at Americans to open their eyes. But the truth is, it’s not American exceptionalism that keeps you from getting a bidet, it’s our thinly-veiled inferiority complex.

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It’s the same hardheadedness that prevents us from adopting universal healthcare, or stricter gun laws, or prison reform, or a kinder immigration system, or the metric system. (Man, I’ve got some anger in me.) America hasn’t been the best at most things for years, but it’s certainly still #1 at deluding itself when a better, cleaner b-hole-cleaning option is easily accessible.

I’m on a mission to civilize.

And if you want to stay clean during a multi-day backpacking trip, or relive the cleanliness you felt in Europe or Asia during your year abroad, the Tushy Travel bidet is a great option. And hell, if you end up liking it, Tushy’s “real” bidet is an affordable $69 (nice.)