Sh*tty History: Why Do We Use Toilet Paper?

Elliot Friar

We grew up in a one-ply world where wiping was king. It’s just what you doo, our parents and collective culture said. And we didn’t question it, until now. To find out why, we have to go back to the backsides of 1,300 years ago.

The first recorded use of toilet paper was in ancient China, as Chinese royalty used sheets of soft fabric to royanaly wipe their poo-crowned booties. Common folk without pot(ty)s of gold were not afforded such luxuries. Instead, humans cleaned with anything they could get their hands (and butts) on. The Romans wiped with vinegar soaked sponges in their famous communal bathrooms, farmers used left over grass and hay, and Americans used ripped out book pages and corn cobs. Ouch.

In 1857, Joseph Gayetty invented commercial toilet paper marketed as “medicated paper,” which didn’t really catch on. Big Toilet Paper became a thing in 1890 when the Scott brothers (why is it always brothers?) invented the personal bleached and unsustainable toilet paper roll. The brothers didn’t even want to be associated with their poo-product, so they created private labels for each store carrying their rolls. Ugh, poop shame. Didn’t they read Everybody Poops?

Probably not, because it was published one hundred years later. That shows you how long it has been since we have fundamentally changed how we anally clean. As our friends in Japan, South Korea, Italy, France, and other countries rise from their toilets feeling clean and refreshed, Americans are still trapped in a just-wiping unsustainable toilet paper prison. It’s time for that to change.

Bidets like Tushy bring cleaner bottoms, environmental sustainability, and an actually good experience with very real health benefits including preventing hemorrhoids, UTIs, and yeast infections. We don’t have to wipe with corn cobs, book pages, or even unsustainable toilet paper anymore -- We can wash. Let’s revolutionize our bathrooms and change poop history together with Tushy. Let’s defecate with dignity.