Review of my New Toto Jasmine Bidet Seat
April 8, 2007
If you’re old like me, and pop culture gets stuck in your head at the expense of important stuff like your kids’ names and what city you live in, well, then you might remember the old Pepto-Bismal commercial where a Woody Allen look-a-like stares intently into the camera and says “I just need to say two words about diarrhea.” And then he goes on to talk for 30 seconds about diarrhea.
Well, I need to say just two words (give or take) about toilets, the sitting on of toilets, and the washing of the part of one that does the actual sitting on of toilets.
A little background. My side of the family got together at my brother’s house in Park City for a family reunion over the holidays. He lives in a big fancy house up on the mountain, and soon after we arrived at the house, my wife and daughter discovered the best and most unique feature—each of the bathrooms attached to a bedroom sported a Toto Jasmine Washlet bidet toilet.
If you’ve never used a bidet, then you’re probably a little freaked out by the idea, since by definition, a bidet means a stream of water spraying directly on the business part of your ass (or, um, if you’re a woman, and you didn’t go number two, well, then, NOT your ass). I confess, up until this family reunion, one not soon to be forgotten for a variety of reasons, not least because of our new found love of bidets, I was freaked out by the thought of such an intrusion.
Well, no more. I so enjoyed my experience that for Valentines Day, I installed a Toto Jasmine Washlet bidet in my own master bathroom (and yes, I installed it myself, though I needed my bro-in-law to help me fix a leak I caused by stripping some threads). “Why for Valentines Day?” you might be asking. No reason. Except, it’s the toilet of love.
Let’s break it down.
Convenient Remote Control with Large LCD Panel
The cheaper version of the Washlet doesn’t have a remote, but has the controls along the side of the toilet seat. That’s just gross. (The cheaper version is also lacking several prominent features that are important on Valentines Day.)
The remote was remarkably easy to install, and, turns out, very nice to have. You look to your left, and with the easy touch of a couple buttons, you can totally control the water being sprayed at/into your butt.
Score—8 out of 10 (only 8 because you can’t download music into the bidet)
Automatic Air Purifier
This is a slam dunk. Seriously, just this feature makes the whole thing worth every penny of the outrageous sum of money I’m too embarrassed to tell you I spent on the Jasmine. An automatic air purifier should really be installed anywhere anybody wants to sit down, anytime. Park benches. Bike seats. Under the covers in bed. Church pews (ha!). Kenny’s new FJ40. EVERWHERE.
You sit down, and the seat’s built in infrared detector, um, detects that you’re there, and the washlet, well, let’s use the words of the Toto marketing people: “It’s NOT a filter, so there’s nothing to change or clean. It works more like the catalytic converter on your car’s exhaust – it actually converts the foul air molecules so that they’re more like fresh air.” Forget cold fusion, this is the holy grail of science. Why haven’t these folks received their Nobel Prize yet? Maybe they just don’t have the right category. I’ll make some calls.
Score—9 out of 10 (there are some smells that can’t be ionized away)
Warm Air Dryer
I don’t like to wash my car, which drives Kim crazy. On those rare occasions when I do make it to the local automatic touchless car wash, after I get through all the rainbow-colored soaps and rinses and all that, I find myself chomping at the bit during that maddening dryer part. The sign says “Exit Slowly” so that you can have the big dryer dry ALL of your car.
It’s a joke. We all know the car isn’t really being “dried,” rather, the big air blower is simply blowing the water around. Let me say that again—NOT drying.
Well, that’s kind of the deal with the Warm Air Dryer on the Jasmine. The first couple times I used the bidet, I trusted that my ass was dry, and I got up, pulled up my pants, and realized that no, turns out, NOT DRY.
Now I just enjoy a few seconds of warm air blowing the water around, then go ahead and get some insurance toilet paper to avoid the dreaded leg drip.
Score—2 out of 10
Heated SoftClose Seat with Temperature Control
You know, when I think about a warmed toilet seat, I’m not excited. To me a warm seat has always meant that someone just got up from where I’m about to sit. Who needs a warm reminder that you’re sitting where someone else, SECONDS AGO just finished making poo poo. Can we not all please maintain the polite fiction that we’re the only one to ever use the toilet during the REM concert?
See, that’s what I USED to think. And it still applies, in public toilets. But I didn’t install the Jasmine in the bathroom at the E-Center, I installed it in MY bathroom. And there are only about 5 people that ever use my bathroom. And only Kim and I use it infrequently enough that I never even get the warm seat shock.
So, in the comfort of my own home, here’s how I feel about the seat warmer—It RULES! I never knew how much I disliked sitting down on a cold toilet seat until I started using this heated one. So nice. So nice that sometimes, you go in there just to warm up. (You have to be careful though—the website warns that if one adjusts the adjustable temperature too high, one can get low level burns on one’s ass. So, important safety tip, thanks Egon.)
Score—9 out of 10 (this would have been a 10, but now I’m worried about the low level ass burns)
Gentle, Aerated Warm Water
This, of course, is the big kahuna. You sit down, you do your business, and you want to go on with your life as if nothing (nothing but good stuff, anyway) has happened. This, really, is why the rest of the world has bidets in the first place. Not so you can enjoy an oscillating or pulsating stream of water on your nether ye (two actual options on the remote control, and I have yet to discern any reason for their existence other than titillation—not that there’s anything wrong with that), but so you don’t have to, horror of horrors, touch your ass while the possibility of, er, contamination exists. I’m as red-blooded American as the next guy, but really, the rest of the world has this right—that’s just disgusting. No matter how careful you are, someday, the toilet paper will fail, or your aim with the toilet paper won’t be as good as you’d hoped, or, or, or, or something. And then what? Now you’ve got IT on your hands!
But the Toto Jasmine Washlet Bidet lets your forget all that. Forget the warm water, the oscillating, pulsating, customizable spray, and just remember this—you sit, you push the button, you’re clean. Totally worth it.
Score—10 out of 10 (let me restate—you sit, you push a button, and you’re clean. What’s not to love?)
This isn’t like the Metric System, where we have to rip everything out and start over. You just install these things on top of your existing toilet. It’s time we caved and fessed up. Can’t we just admit that the French aren’t COMPLETELY lame?
Let me put it this way: if you were walking in the park, tripped, fell, and dragged your hand through some dog shit, what would you do? Would you grab a paper towel, wipe off your hand, and blithely go on your way? NO! Are you kidding me right now? You would run screaming for the nearest sprinkler, and scrub your hand until it was raw. And you would be right to do so.
Why is your ass different? I mean apart from the fact you don’t shake hands or eat with your ass?
And in the end, if you spend a few more minutes relaxing in the bathroom than you ever did before, well, where’s the harm? Maybe you can take up crossword puzzles.