304: The Wrong Wipe

304: The Wrong Wipe

Brain Junk
Brain Junk
304: The Wrong Wipe

If you haven’t figured it out by now, Amy is not afraid to ask tough questions! Today she talks butt health, bidets, and the dangers of wet wipes. It’s funnier than you’d think, we promise.

Show Notes:

Business Insider: interview with Dr. Goldstein

Am I Doing it Wrong? Jan 2024

The Spruce: 7 Best Bidet Attachments

Splinter free toilet paper

History Channel: All the Ways We’ve Wiped

CBS news article about Johnny Carson creating a toilet paper shortage

And just in case you’re not a dinosaur like Trace and Amy, this is Walter Cronkite


[00:00:03] Speaker A: Welcome to Brain Junk. I’m Trace Kerr.

[00:00:05] Speaker B: And I’m Amy Barton. And today we’re going to be discussing personal care, which is, I know, one of the things you come to brain junk for, because we care about you, and we want you to know you might not be wiping correctly.

[00:00:21] Speaker A: Oh, no.

[00:00:22] Speaker B: This is a hard truth that we need to share with you.

And this comes from Chris Barton.

[00:00:29] Speaker A: Oh, no.

[00:00:29] Speaker B: Who, like, we’re sitting watching whatever we’re watching on Saturday or Sunday morning, and he’s, uh, is this a brain junk? And he sends me this article that’s entitled bad news. You’re probably wiping all wrong. And I’m like, yes, it is.

Okay, are you ready?

[00:00:50] Speaker A: No.

[00:00:55] Speaker B: Parents is going to be some low key anatomical terms. Shall we talk about Dr. Evan Goldstein? Absolutely. And he is a nationally renowned anal surgeon.

[00:01:05] Speaker A: Oh, wow.

[00:01:05] Speaker B: That is a very specific specialty. But if you need an anal surgeon, you want them to be nationally renowned.

[00:01:15] Speaker A: That’s true.

[00:01:16] Speaker B: Proper functionality there is valuable.

So Dr. Evan Goldstein says that the preferred method of wiping is actually not wiping. He describes when you’re looking at someone’s anus, which isn’t a common occurrence unless you’ve had a child or a lifestyle different than mine, maybe. There’s going to be a lot of editing for this episode that’s staying in.

So let’s think in terms of babies, if that helps you be comfortable with this subject, because we’re going to talk about what an anus looks like right now. Okay.

[00:01:57] Speaker A: Button knot.

[00:01:58] Speaker B: It’s like an accordion. It’s got wrinkles, and it opens and closes. So there’s the wrinkly part. That is specifically the anus where the waste products come out of. It opens, it closes. It’s useful. However, in front of that and in back of that, the skin is not wrinkly, and it is very thin, and so the potential for damage is much higher. So he says, please, just don’t wipe. Stop. It gets very irritated. Don’t tear the skin. He says, it gets angry at us.

So instead of wiping, he says he’s a huge bidet fan. Do it without toilet paper. It can thoroughly wash the anus without harming it. And you could also, if you don’t have a bidet, you could take a quick shower.

Like, what? Who has that life?

Some people do. And I did see, I saw a video, I don’t know where, a couple of guys in a deserty place talking about that. They’re like, well, you could just take a quick shower. It would be great. And the one guy is like, you are such a weirdo. And then he tried it, and he’s like, I’m never going, yeah, yeah. So Dr. Goldstein is a huge fan of the bidet because of that gets you clean, prevents damage. But he cautions you, moisture is not ideal in that area. It can cause irritation. So you do need to make sure that you are drying yourself properly. Do you want to know how he feels about wet wipes? I think you probably know.

[00:03:28] Speaker A: Sure. No. I have so many questions.

[00:03:34] Speaker B: Because the.

[00:03:35] Speaker A: Thing that’s always troubled me with a bidet is they’re like, don’t wipe, rinse. And I’m like, cool.

[00:03:39] Speaker B: Yeah. Then how long do you have to sit there?

[00:03:41] Speaker A: But I’m not going to sit there for a half an hour and dry. So am I.

[00:03:45] Speaker B: Like, what am I doing? Are we patting dry?

[00:03:48] Speaker A: Are we padding? Yeah.

[00:03:51] Speaker B: I was double checking a few things at work today, and I thought, I’m not looking that up on a work computer.

I’ve already gone down a road that if they are checking keystrokes and things, jail and looking at my articles, they’re going to be like, we would like to have a discussion with you, Amy.

Yeah. Wet wipes for two reasons, the first of which is they’re just not great for the environment. I have three reasons, actually. When we had root growth in our external pipes to the house, we rented a rotor rooter, and dad stood outside and fed me pipe. And I’m inside, and as we’re pulling it back out, guess what was coming out with the roots? Wet wipes.

[00:04:33] Speaker A: Oh, no. Oh, hold on. I have a room open and I have a cat yelling at me. 1 second.

[00:04:39] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. I heard a door open earlier, and it was a cat coming in. Why isn’t your cat being so polite like, mine? Mine is sleeping on the bed.

[00:04:47] Speaker A: I forgot to close the door. And he was like, ooh, blanket for it. Anyway. Okay, so roots coming out. Okay.

[00:04:55] Speaker B: Wipes and roots came out. And I’m like, oh. So that was the end of that for us, because for little kids, it’s great, but it is not great for the environment. You get stuck. And he says, Dr. Goldstein says for your whole, it is also not great.

He thinks they should be banned because they leave it wet and they’re bad for the environment.

He says he sees about 90 people a week in his surgical office, and he estimates one third of all those people come through are from wet wiped induced issues. A whole third. So 30 people a week are having issues because of wet wipes. And one of the reasons is because we have a microbiome in that area of the body. So there’s good bacteria doing the good things and bad bacteria. And those ones are in homeostasis. They’re just hanging out. There’s an equilibrium. There is a balance, which he says the wet wipes f that up in a really bad way. And I don’t think we’re going to mark this episode as explicit. So I’m just going to abbreviate.

[00:06:01] Speaker A: No.

[00:06:02] Speaker B: So you could be creating dermatitis when you think that you are doing good things because you’re upsetting that natural order. So he suggests blot if you must, don’t wipe, and there are additional instructions.

Your first blot or two to get the first part done can be while seated, but then you should be doing a standing squat. And this is because of blood flow to that part of the body. What? And so you could be causing pressure related problems if you’re sitting and fully wiping while you’re sitting. What? So the longer you sit in the bowl, the more blood is down there, the more wiping, the more irritation the body knows. So you don’t have to stand straight up. Should do a little standing squat.

[00:06:55] Speaker A: This is making daily trip.

[00:06:58] Speaker B: There’s instructions now.

[00:07:00] Speaker A: Yeah, I know that’s complicated.

[00:07:03] Speaker B: I know. I’m like, I’m not experiencing any dermatitis right now, so I’m going to continue my current practice, but I’m just going to keep this tucked away.


[00:07:16] Speaker A: Wow.

Well, and then did you by any chance look at. Because American toilets don’t have bidets, so if you need something, you’d have to make an attachment and hook it to your water, because we’ve looked into it.

[00:07:29] Speaker B: I have one gun right now here in my basement that I received for Christmas from my dad in 2018 or 2019. Guys, my dad’s a little bit French. He’s a lot French, his dad. Yeah.

And so he was a big fan of the bidet. And he specifically would go out and buy us girls each a present. It was always the same, but he would specifically buy us a present every year. And one year it was bidets. It was also, like, jewelry or car wash cards. So he tried to be either practical or lovely. And I have an amazing down bathrobe, and I have a bidet. So this is just plug and play. They don’t always fit great, but if you get a good fit for the style of toilet you have, I’m told they’re life changing.

[00:08:14] Speaker A: Well, yep. Americans, just get over yourselves. There are other ways.

[00:08:19] Speaker B: Yeah. Dr. Goldstein would like to just let you, your american self, know. He doesn’t say it like that, but I do think this is a very american thing. He says, we don’t need to go up all up in. There was an amazing fact that I picked up when I was poking around, too. Splinter free toilet paper was not widespread until 1935, so my grandpa rip would have known a life.

[00:08:51] Speaker A: Hold on.

[00:08:55] Speaker B: Grandpa Rip? We’ve not talked about him, have we?

[00:08:58] Speaker A: Yeah, but it’s like we’re talking about bathroom stuff, and it’s Grandpa rip I adore so much about that.

[00:09:05] Speaker B: There were flatulence jokes that were earned.

[00:09:10] Speaker A: Okay, I’m sorry. So he would have had toilet paper with sticks and twigs in it.

[00:09:14] Speaker B: 1916, he would have remembered a time. Yeah. So he would have been nine by the time. No, wait. 1935, he would have been really old by the time.

It would have been, like, 19 by the time he got good toilet paper.

[00:09:28] Speaker A: Oh, man, that’s wild to me.

[00:09:30] Speaker B: 1935, before they started advertising that it was indeed splinter, before they could claim that splinter free. Oh, that’s nice.

[00:09:38] Speaker A: Thanks, guys.

Did you ever have in elementary school toilet paper that was dispensed like tissues?

[00:09:47] Speaker B: No.

[00:09:47] Speaker A: So the dispenser, you’d pull down and it would, like, fold back on itself, but it was the most thinnest, see through kind of. It was almost like the same paper that they put on doctors.

[00:10:01] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh.

[00:10:03] Speaker A: That stuff is water repellent. So you’d get one square, and so then you’d just get like, oh, it was the worst. It was like cupcake liners. That’s the kind of paper it was.

[00:10:13] Speaker B: Oh, my word.

If you want to go down another side road on this subject, look up toilet paper alternatives throughout history. Seashells. What the hell? Are you kidding? Seashells?

[00:10:25] Speaker A: No, warm rock. Yes, I have had to resort to a warm rock while camping. It wasn’t the worst.

[00:10:31] Speaker B: Yeah, there’s a lot of things that were like any port in a storm. That’s true.

[00:10:37] Speaker A: Also, how many times with children while hiking did I lose a sock? More than I care to admit.

[00:10:43] Speaker B: Oh, you were an adventurous soul. Yeah, but hiking with a stinky child, when you know you’re on, like, day one of three days, it’s like, well.

[00:10:54] Speaker A: Sock is going to go.

[00:10:56] Speaker B: Yeah. Or we’re going to have to dunk you in this mountain stream. And I’m pretty sure that water is 35 degrees.

[00:11:02] Speaker A: Hey, but it’s water. It’s not a wipe. Dr. Goldstein would appreciate.

[00:11:06] Speaker B: He would have been pleased. Yeah. It’s running water. Gently soothing.

[00:11:09] Speaker A: Yeah.

[00:11:11] Speaker B: Do you want one more funny story?

[00:11:12] Speaker A: Heck, yeah.

[00:11:13] Speaker B: You’re going to get it whether you want it or not. It’s 1973. There’s a fuel shortage. There’s a meat shortage. Things were a little tight, and Johnny Carson, on December 19 of 1973, made the comment, there is an acute shortage of toilet paper in the good old United States. We got to quit writing on it. So. Ha. Quit writing on the toilet paper was his thing. What he didn’t say that he should have said was, there’s a potential shortage. So when he just said, there’s an acute shortage of toilet paper, people are like, well, I could not get meat last week, and things have been rough. I can’t fuel up my car. He created an actual run on toilet paper, which is just wild.

So he had an audience of almost 20 million people at that time, and it became a national issue. People all over the country were blazing through Supermarkets, grabbing toilet paper, hoarding it. It was a very preview of 2020.

[00:12:18] Speaker A: Wow. Did he have to go back on and say, like, guys, actually, that was just a joke.

[00:12:23] Speaker B: Walter Cronkite had to.

[00:12:25] Speaker A: He’s probably more credible.

[00:12:29] Speaker B: Yeah. Good old Walt set the record straight. He said, the Scott paper company, citing panic buying on the retail level, said today it is implementing an allocation system for the national distribution of toilet tissue. And he says that the shortage was caused by an excessive Johnny Carson causing cancer.

[00:12:53] Speaker A: Back when you had four channels and that’s all you were. Everybody was watching. Holy cow.

[00:12:58] Speaker B: Huh?

[00:12:59] Speaker A: Wow.

[00:13:00] Speaker B: Yep.

[00:13:01] Speaker A: Well, yeah, it is kind of shades of like going to Costco during the pandemic and know you could only get one thing of toilet paper. They wouldn’t let you buy more than one.

[00:13:12] Speaker B: Yeah. I was of the, like, let’s not be selfish. I’ll just wait patiently. I will not hoard toilet paper. And then I got to the point where it’s like, well, I can’t even find any toilet paper. And Chris was ready to get rid of that. We were cleaning out because suddenly you have time. And the bidet was on the donation pile, and I said, don’t even think about it. We might be using that in a week.

[00:13:35] Speaker A: That might be it. That might be all we had.

[00:13:37] Speaker B: Yeah. Those were dark times.

[00:13:39] Speaker A: I know, right? Who knows? 2024? Who knows what could happen? What’s in our future? Get a bidet, people. It’s the only way your butt’s going to be safe.

[00:13:47] Speaker B: Yes.

So my parting words for today, it’s not butt health. It’s gut health.

Take care, brain junkies.

[00:13:57] Speaker A: Oh, man. We’l.

No. What we’re supposed to be doing is all getting our bidets or dragging a garden hose into the house. I don’t know what we’re going to be doing, but whatever you’re doing.

[00:14:12] Speaker A: If you’d like to hear more episodes while you’re sitting on the throne, ask your smart speaker to play more brain junk for you. To keep you company wherever you listen, like, and subscribe. I’m so sorry. I can’t stop Amy. She’s unstoppable.

We will catch you next time when we share more of everything you never knew you wanted to know. This is definitely in that category for me. And I guarantee you will not be bored.

2 thoughts on “304: The Wrong Wipe”

  1. This episode is Brain Junk GOLD!! I was laughing so hard on my way home from work. Just the pick-me-up I needed after a long day. Thanks Trace and Amy!!

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