Squatting: Reflections from a Chinese Squat Toilet

Alright, I’ve been here for about two weeks and I’ve been able to avoid Chinese plumbing with the exception of my own throne. My luck had to run out though, and yesterday, that’s exactly what happened at the grocery store.

Thankfully I was well prepared. In grade 12, while traveling through the Philippines, I learned never to assume the following: the availability of a toilet when you need one, that T.P. will be provided, or that there will be soap and something to use, to wash and dry your hands.

On this basis, many men and women that Ellen and I observe entering the washroom, seem ill prepared for the business they are about to conduct, but I don’t think following this train of thought is going to lead anywhere pleasant. So, lets just conclude that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and I’ll tell you that I bring a pack of tissues, and wet-wipes with me on all of my day trips.

Once “perched”, I concluded, “Yup, this is pretty gross. And that bucket over there for used T.P. is a nice touch…”. I’m not writing to cast judgement though, quite the opposite in fact.

I found myself wondering, if this is gross to me, maybe the idea of sitting on a toilet seat is disgusting to them (by “them” I mean those who have been raised using squatters). Maybe this isn’t a new idea to anyone else, but to me it was a bit of a revelation, and made me wonder how many other aspects of life I’m only seeing one way.

Dont get me wrong, I still prefer to use a toilet, but I did find some benefits to the use of squatting online (and which i’ll be reciting to myself next time Im caught with my pants down). In the interest of keeping an open mind I’ll end this post with some of them.

Take care everyone, thanks for reading, and don’t forget to love life!



Some benefits of using squat toilets are:
  • It is less expensive and easier to clean and maintain.[2]
  • It does not involve any contact between the buttocks and thighs with a potentially unsanitary surface.[3]
  • Squatting might help to build the required exhaust pressure more comfortably and quickly.[4]
  • Squatting makes elimination faster, easier and more complete.[5]
  • Elimination in squatting posture protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.[6]
  • Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.[7]
  • Squatting securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation.[8]
  • For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare the mother-to-be for a more natural delivery.[9]
  • Squatting may reduce the occurrence or severity of hemorrhoids[1][10] and possibly other colorectal disorders such asdiverticulosis[11] and appendicitis.[12]

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