A bidet (US: (listen) or UK: ) is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on in order to wash one's genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. The modern variety has a plumbed-in water supply and a drainage opening, and is thus a 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. It can also be used to wash feet, with or without filling it up with water. In several European countries, a bidet is now 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. In those cultures which use it habitually, such as in parts of Western, Central and Southern Europe, Eastern Asia and some South American countries such as Argentina, it is considered an indispensable tool in maintaining good personal hygiene. It is rarely used in sub-Saharan Africa and North America.
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