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Monday, August 4, 2008

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on August 4 at 15:18 PM

Alright, this steps outside the bounds of your usual questions, but I don’t quite know who else to ask. All my life I have wiped my ass the same way. I lean to my left, lifting my right cheek off the seat and with my right hand I reach under and sweep across my browneye front to backófrom my taint towards my tailbone.

Most of my life I assumed this was the way everyone else does it. But during a particularly candid drunken conversation with my college roommate he informed me that for him it’s lift both cheeks off the seat, reach between the legs and sweep forward from tailbone to taint. I never even considered this method and it seems awfully comical to me. He thought my method was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. We both realized that there was no real way of knowing without asking more people who was the real weirdo, or if both ass-wiping methods were common. By the time we sobered up neither of us was much interested to broach the subject with anyone else, much less talk about the subject further with one another.

Years passed, and recently I noticed my wife uses my former roommateís method whenever she takes a leak (which kinda makes sense), but I havenít had the courage to ask or desire to sneak a peak when sheís wiping her ass after taking shit. So what gives? Do most people wipe fore or aft? And is there a difference between girls and guys? Can we do a poll? Ever since discovering there is a different method than my own I just canít let this go.


Hm… we’ll get the tech guys to squeeze out a poll for us as soon as possible. And did anyone else read this letter and think, “I don’t know how I do it, actually.” Of course, I don’t have to do it for myself anymoreóthat’s what news interns are for.

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Could we please stick to clinical terms.

Posted by Joe M | August 4, 2008 3:28 PM

Well, first of all, ladies should never do the back to front method. This is how you get a major bladder infection.

Posted by fronttoback | August 4, 2008 3:30 PM
Of course, I donít have to do it for myself anymoreóthatís what news interns are for.

Is that the reason Stranger interns are unpaid?† Did Lucius Danforth III insist their work be plausibly consensual?

Posted by lostboy | August 4, 2008 3:34 PM

yes, thank you! I was just coming here to say that. You don't want poop near your vag, girls. That's the wrong way.

Posted by eeyore | August 4, 2008 3:36 PM

Yeah, front to back is basic Vagina 101, Dan.

Posted by Fresh N. Clean | August 4, 2008 3:38 PM

If you know any crackheads, you can pay them to wipe it for you. With their tongue.

Posted by i love jesus | August 4, 2008 3:41 PM

I prefer to be flexible regarding my wiping methods. I may use different techniques, depending on the consistency of the roughage and the manner in which it is expelled. For example, the post-bran muffin shit and the post-whiskey binge shit are two completely different categories of defication.

Posted by Hernandez | August 4, 2008 3:46 PM

Whoa, I do it the same way. One of my good friends does it your friend's way (honestly, the image of a guy wiping towards his dangling junk is pretty hilarious in my mind).

Why are you afraid to talk about it anymore? I feel that's not really something that's absolutely taboo...I mean, everyone does it...except Mr. Savage, clearly.

Posted by JeffofBiscuits | August 4, 2008 3:46 PM

Obviously it's a slow day on Slog, but did you have to drop this one off? I know, ANYTHING for web traffic.

Can't wait to read the details on everyone's ass-wiping technique..

Posted by Wow, just wow | August 4, 2008 3:49 PM

Front to back, people!!!

For the ladies, it prevents nasties from making where they don't belong.

For menfolk: what's the danger of accidental contamination of the balls with poop? Someone nobody wants when going down on a man is poop scented/flavored balls.

Posted by I agree with #2 commenter | August 4, 2008 3:51 PM

there's a book that covers this, and other related questions. it's called the re/search guide to bodily fluids. they did all kinds of polls and surveys..

Posted by devon | August 4, 2008 3:53 PM

Sometimes the only way to go is a shower afterwards.

Posted by Tom C. | August 4, 2008 3:55 PM

@ 6: I so wish that were not true.

For the record, I too lean left and go front to back. Otherwise, aren't you kinda sweeping the dirt back into the kitchen?

Posted by Mike in MO | August 4, 2008 3:55 PM

Stop. Just stop. Right now.

This is going to turn into a "Dear Abby/Ann Landers" situation (to refresh your memory, it was all about how toilet tissue is to be put on the holder).

I don't need this right now..

Posted by glendaleted | August 4, 2008 3:59 PM

Bidet with piped in Veuve Cliquot Rosť (the '93 vintage).

Posted by banjoboy | August 4, 2008 4:02 PM

I had the same converstation with a friend after I realized at age 25 or so that people in stalls next to me were not completely getting off their seat to wipe. It took me until age 25 or so to realize I could simply lift one cheek to wipe rather than lifting my whole ass off the seat and standing up to wipe. It was a pretty major relevation that I regretted even bringing up to this friend of mine.

Posted by loopa | August 4, 2008 4:04 PM

Someone beat you to the punch, Dan:

Posted by LST | August 4, 2008 4:07 PM

Front to back, lean forward and go in from behind!!! Use baby wipes at the end -- some brands are flushable!

Posted by Judith | August 4, 2008 4:10 PM

Can everyone please just wait for the poll and indicate your preference anonymously?

I appreciate that everyone is eager to share.  I'd just rather not be able to associate your answer with your name.

Posted by lostboy | August 4, 2008 4:15 PM

I know I should never wipe from back to front when I pee, but I have a problem. See, I have very pronounced labia and they get in the way if I wipe from front to back. I still feel very dirty that way. Back to front is the only way I wipe myself dry. I'm very careful though. Oddly enough, when I poop, I wipe back to front in pretty much the same way as TTTT.

Posted by more than anyone needed to know | August 4, 2008 4:15 PM

Oh, puhleeze peoples, it's just poop; I mean, it's not like there's a single person here who DOESN'T defecate. Get over it.

And hell yeah, front-to-back; and fold, not crumple; and lean forward, not stand; and don't stop 'till it's all gone; and fer cryin' out loud, PUT THE DAMNED LID DOWN WHEN YER DONE!


Posted by COMTE | August 4, 2008 4:20 PM

Boy aren't we desperate for click-bait today?

Posted by And juvenile, too | August 4, 2008 4:23 PM

Girls: front to back to wipe your crack.
Although, I've never understood why, even though I'm right handed, I lean on my right cheek, and wipe with my left! Thanks, Mom!

Posted by Shatty Day on Slog | August 4, 2008 4:28 PM

Front to back to wipe your crack!
Although, I've never understood, while I am right handed, I lean on the right cheek, and wipe with the left hand! Thanks, Mom! haha

Posted by Shatty Day on Slog | August 4, 2008 4:30 PM

@23 reminds me of the complications of being left-handed in Kuwait and Jordan.

Posted by lostboy | August 4, 2008 4:32 PM

OMG everyone please wipe you ass towards your tailbone! Parents should teach their children this as part of potty training. Especially women- keep shit away from your pussy! I hadn't given it any thought till I was 18 yrs old and a boyfriend caught me wiping shit towards my pussy. As someone who uses his mouth on my genitalia, he was not impressed.

Posted by Mrs. Jarvie | August 4, 2008 4:41 PM

Those who are Shiite do it one way, Sunnis another, and don't let me get started about the Japanese.

Ancient Romans before the Great Flood of biblical times (yes, that one) used to use a sponge on a stick.

No, I'm not making that one up.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 4, 2008 4:43 PM

I've always been amused by people claiming you can't wipe back to front without getting poo all over you. What do you think we're doing down there, smearing it around? By the same standard you should all have poop in your crack. It's a compact roll wipe forward. I've never had any infection whatsoever.

And that survey is awesome!

Posted by Nay | August 4, 2008 4:45 PM

(that was a reference to which hand you use)

It should be noted that you should always wash your hands with hot water and soap after doing number 2.


Technically, you should also do it after number 1, but it's not quite as critical (though other people will wish you had).

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 4, 2008 4:47 PM

(and another technical aside, taught me by a military doctor - most soldiers die of disease and infection during wartime, FWIW)

You should also get enough to fold it three times over.


And, yes, I know half of you don't wash your hands afterwards. Disgusting, really.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 4, 2008 4:51 PM

You're supposed to wipe?

Posted by Gurldoggie | August 4, 2008 4:53 PM

I do back to front so I can monitor the progress of wiping.

And seriously, you'd have to be an idiot to get shit all over yourself using the back to front method.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 4, 2008 4:57 PM

@ 20 -

Sounds like a job for Brylcreem bath tissue. A little dab'll do ya, plus you'll love to run your fingers through your hair...

Posted by Kaypro | August 4, 2008 4:57 PM

If you're not using wet wipes then you have a dirty, shit-covered ass.

Posted by Terrance Howard | August 4, 2008 4:59 PM

I prefer the three seashells.

Posted by Stallone | August 4, 2008 5:00 PM

As far as sanitation goes, it's not so much about getting visible poop up in your vagina, as the idea that you could be getting non-visible fecal matter in your vagina. An ex of mine once went down on a girl who swore she'd never had an infection and went from back to front. Once he got a taste of poop when exploring down there he voted front to back is where it's at.

Honestly, during 99% of your regularly scheduled pooping, you're not going to be getting visible poop up there. That doesn't mean you aren't infecting yourself with all kinds of nasty poop particles you can't see. The idea of poopy vagina or poopy balls should be disgusting enough to sway you back to fronties to the way of the righteous. Have some basic courtesy for the people who have to eat at that table, and keep it clear of visible and invisible debris.


Posted by Sara | August 4, 2008 5:15 PM

This is easily the funniest thread so far this year.

I think shit is funny. And gross. So fucking eat me.

Posted by Mike in MO | August 4, 2008 5:34 PM

i'm with 34. especially being swarthy and all.

and i use a spiraling method, switching between clockwise & counter, to keep alzheimers at bay.

Posted by max solomon | August 4, 2008 5:50 PM

I'm a female and I wipe front to back; I would think that gents would do the same, to avoid poo getting on their jewels=)

Posted by Herrin | August 4, 2008 7:37 PM

Front to back, always. But the bigger question: fold or crumple?

Posted by RainMan | August 4, 2008 7:50 PM

I'm aware of the why-no-back-to-front rule for us girls, which is probably why I always wipe separately. First from the pee, then, carefully, from the poop.

How the hell does anyone wipe backwards anyway? It's awkward as fuck.

Posted by Withheld for your protection | August 4, 2008 8:28 PM

P.S.: No bladder infections ever.

Posted by Withheld for your protection | August 4, 2008 8:29 PM

Front to back, back to front, who cares? The important thing is to finish the job with a moist baby wipe.

Posted by Sean | August 4, 2008 8:29 PM

Wow. This is an interesting thread. I actually use both methods, but I sometimes have mild pangs of guilt when doing back to front since I know there's the potential of poop in the vag.

Two things that people brought up that I have never thought about:

- Wiping with a wet wipe when you're done with #2. Do you do this all the time? That seems a bit like overkill
- Somebody up there mentioned girls wiping from front to back when you pee. Do people really do this? I truly had never thought about any other way to wipe pee than back to front.

In other bathroom news, I have just purchased one of those pee funnels for hiking trips, so I'm really interested to see how that goes...

Posted by Julie | August 5, 2008 7:50 AM

I believe Gene Simmons has the answer you're looking for.

Posted by Mormon Bates | August 5, 2008 8:32 AM

@29 No "technically" about it. You should always wash your hands, with soap and hot water after any bathroom use.

Also, you should be lathering for at least 20 seconds, or you're just wasting soap and water. That 2 second rinse people are doing just doesn't cut it.

And in other bathroom news, did you know that a recent poll shows that 50% of people flush the public toilets with their feet. Put me in the 'yes' column on that one. I hate public toilets, and try to touch as little as possible in them.

Posted by Charm | August 5, 2008 9:05 AM

Wiping with a wet wipe when you're done with #2. Do you do this all the time? That seems a bit like overkill

there is no such thing as overkill when you're talking about removing shit.

Posted by Mike in MO | August 5, 2008 9:14 AM

I always used my right hand until broke my hand and had a cast on it for three months. The hardest thing was learning how to wipe with my left hand! That was thirty years ago and I still wipe with my left hand. Go ahead, try it with your other hand just once!

Posted by Joe in DE | August 5, 2008 10:03 AM

Lean, front-to-back. Tons of tp and if I don't immediately have a shower afterwards (I'm very regular) then I finish up with more tp with antibacterial hand soap and then some hand sanitizer (Alcohol-free to avoid the Ring of Fire effect).

Posted by Ray | August 5, 2008 10:12 AM

Hmm. People really go to those lengths to wipe the old bumhole? I just wipe with TP until it's done -- usually 4-5 iterations with new toilet paper. I typically do front to back to get 80% of it and then do one or two back to front just to make sure, since back to front is usually more, um, productive.

Maybe because I go more often than average (2-3 times a day), I can't really be bothered with a whole huge routine with wet wipes, antibacterial soap, etc.

Posted by Julie | August 5, 2008 12:07 PM

you shit 3 times a day? Yikes!

Posted by Mike in MO | August 5, 2008 12:26 PM

Stand up (not all the way, just a few inches off the toilet) fold, never crumple, front to back (as many iterations as it takes until the paper comes away clean) and finish with a moist wipe.

If you are feeling like really getting the job done, it is acceptable to focus directly on the hole using a single digit with just enough pressure to actually clean out the first 1/4" of your rectum. Do this with the moist wipe or risk break-through and stink-finger humiliation.

Those of us men (and women I suppose) that sweat more frequently can have massive attacks of the dreaded Swamp Ass. Having sweat pool around an ass that is not perfectly clean can be unpleasant to say the least.

Posted by Ryan | August 5, 2008 12:26 PM

I used to teach preschool, and one of the mind-numbingly repetitive and awful videos we used to demonstrate proper toileting skills to the kids included a music video set to the tune of "Row, Row, Row your Boat" - so here's what the child development specialists have to say on the topic:

Wipe, wipe, wipe yourself,
Always front to back,
Carefully, carefully,
Now you have the knack!

Posted by Adam | August 5, 2008 4:45 PM

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