I need a new word!
English language has no neutral word for shit, my topic of research. All words are either clinical, vulgar, slangish, or baby talk: BM, crap, defecate, discharge, excrement, expurgate, evacuate, feces, poop, secretion, stool, ca-ca…
We take a shit – or rather leave it – every day. Or at least we wish we would.
Despite shit being such an everyday substance, talking about it is perceived as obscene. I consider this as pure dungmatism.
I always wished someone would cut the crap and speak out on our collective shitzophrenia. Nobody else did it so far, so here I am doing it mysel!
Shit needs us!
We are repulsed by shit from our anus, while naively swallowing the shit that is smeared all over the mass media. We evade any touch with feces while filling our home with all kinds of shit. Our minds are filled with futile, vain, nonsensical mental diarrhea.
We don’t want to have anything to do with our own shit. We dump it into the toilet and flush it away and we’re done with it once and for all.
We don’t give a shit about shit.
Ultimately we become estranged from the elementary act of defecation, unable to shit like a normal human being.
And we need shit!
Globally, the total value of wasted resources and health-care expenses, related to our perverted shitting culture is gargantuan.
I am not the first to say this: one of the biggest blunders of humanity is the water toilet. Where I am the first is in pulling all the threads together and creating a science about shit, called fecology.
It’s not only about what happens to the fecal matter and urine after we excrete them, it’s about how we do it: in what bodily posture, in what emotional state, in what social context.
Fecology brings shit to the surface of absolutely every branch of science, culture, and art: psychology, sociology, ethnology, ecology, biology, chemistry, history, geography, philosophy, religion, fashion, economy… of shit. But first and foremost, fecology is about elementary well-being and plainest possible common sense.
The shitual, overture
We turned the simple act of defecation into a semi-religious ritual, a series of procedures and protocols, covered by dozens of layers of abnegation. This is how it is generally done:
First you approach the door of the toilet, cautiously but not too quietly. You wouldn’t want to startle somebody in the middle of a turd. You don’t want to be responsible for the mess! From a distance, you whistle, cough, hum as a warning signal.
When you’re certain the toilet is vacant, you step inside and lock the door. You have to lock the door! You wouldn’t want someone to actually see you taking a shit. The click of the knob is bad enough, startling you in the middle of a turd. Having to face another human being amidst this would scare the shit out of you. Or, even worse, incur week-long constipation.
The shitual, act one
Now that the door is looked, you check the state of the toilet. How clean is the seat, is there anything to read, is there enough toilet paper … There’s hardly anything as traumatic in life as taking a shit in a public toilet and then only discovering toilet paper had run out!
Once you’ve checked all the items on your list you pull down your pants or skirt and sit down. You position your buttocks carefully. You wouldn’t want the water to splash on your ass when the first, and usually the biggest turd hits the surface.
You pick up some reading material and relax. It is important to relax. But relaxation doesn’t come automatically!
Some toilets are better, some worse. The best toilet is a solitary toilet. You know there’s nobody outside. You won’t be disturbed, you can take all the time in the world, you don’t need to worry about the noise.
It is best to avoid loud farting in the public toilet, unless you like scornful looks and tense silence at the sinks. You may fart at will at home.
Thus you’ve completed the start-up procedure. Now you may begin with the actual defecation.
The shitual, act two
You start to release the first turd out of your rectum. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you have to make an effort and push! You contract abdominal muscles, chest muscles, throat muscles, facial muscles. You can even feel the scalp contract.
Then you sigh … The turd is out!
Once the first turd is gone you repeat the procedure with the rest of them.
That’s when the time comes to wipe your ass. You make a lump of toilet paper and position it accurately on your palm. You wouldn’t want any shit to touch your skin. Ever!
So you wipe. There are a hundred ways of wiping the ass. You know best what your favorite stroke is and how much toilet paper you prefer. Lavish people roll the paper around their hand, wipe, then roll it again, wipe, etc. Ecologists take a single tissue, wipe, fold it, wipe, fold it, wipe, fold it … until it is small enough to fit on a single finger.
The shitual, act three
Completing the second phase you have to get rid of all the evidence.
You stand up, pull up your trousers or skirt and look into the toilet bowl. You have to make sure there are no suspicious items.
If you see anything strange you’ll have something to talk about at dinner: “You know, honey, today my turd was violet-green, ice-cream textured and the shape of Scandinavia. And it floated like a cork; It took me five minutes to get it down the tube!”
(Why would anyone get upset by such talks at the dinner table?)
You flush the toilet, soothed by the sound signifying completion. This is the moment to allow yourself a final fart, cough, sneeze, belch or simply pulling up the zip.
You have to hurry up, though! There’s shit smeared all over the toilet bowl and you wouldn’t want all the water to run off before you clean the mess. You grab the toilet brush and scrub!
You despise people who leave their shit all over the toilet bowl! Particularly if you are a woman. Particularly if you are the one cleaning that shit after others. One of the surest signs of cultural immaturity is a disregard for toilet cleanliness!
The shitual, act four
You put away the brush, leaving the toilet seat up if you are a man, or putting it down if you are a woman. The position of the toilet seat while no one is occupying the toilet is critical! You certainly don’t want any extra effort next time you rush in for a pee!
“Why are you always leaving the toilet seat up!?” yells she.
“Why are you always leaving the toilet seat down!?” complains he.
In the public toilet, you don’t need to bother with the seat. You share the toilet only with your own gender. In the public toilet, there are other things to worry about …
Before you unlock the door and open it to leave the toilet you have to get ready.
You check your clothes, shoes, hair, and make sure everything is neat. You put up a smug face and swiftly move to one of the sinks. You avoid looking anyone in the eye.
No talking either! Talking to a stranger after you’ve taken a shit is just too embarrassing!
The shitual, epilogue
Before you leave, you have to wash your hands. After you’ve taken a shit you want to wash them really well, even though you made sure not to touch, well, pretty much anything in and around the toilet – even touching the doorknob is uncomfortable. It had potentially been touched by careless mindless filthy people, handicapped by the absence of toilet paranoia.
When you go to wash your hands you face another potentially traumatic experience: the soap or paper towels had run out!
Well, somehow or other you manage. And once your hands are finally clean and dry you can walk out of the toilet feeling relieved. The stress is over!
The genital embarrassment
Or maybe stress is not over yet …
Maybe two hours later your new date will exclaim, “Hey, your fly is …”
She doesn’t even need to finish the sentence!
It takes you fifteen minutes to reconstruct the last two hours of your life: God knows how many people saw you with the open fly!
You’ll go to bed pondering this question. You’ll think about it the first thing in the morning. You’ll be checking your zip every five minutes all day long. You will connect any unusual facial expression of people you meet, especially if you partied with them last night, with the open fly. Especially if you recall them bursting into laughter for no particular reason.
It’s crazy how disproportional our shame is when it comes to anything related to anus and genitals. If you want to be seen as really dense do try to strike a conversation about your friend’s foreskin inflammation, the size of your wife’s labia, your husband’s freshly shaven balls, a lump of pubic hairs you found under the bed, and of course, the colour and consistency of your recent turd.
Try it and you’ll see you can’t do it without either fooling around with the topic, speaking in complex terms like a doctor or as if you were trying to explain something to a child.
We have no problem talking seriously about bombs falling, children’s dead bodies smeared on the pavement, rioting vandals beating old people with baseball bats. However, we are disgusted by someone talking about shit falling, liquid diarrhea smeared on the pavement, an artist creating a painting with his own secretions.
Secrecy, dogmatism, and taboos bring religious undertones to the simple act of taking a shit. It actually resembles a solitary confession. Nobody listens to you inside the toilet, but you’re just as uncomfortable and with the same sense of getting relieved of something unseemly.
You need a unique, sacral room to do it. The room has to be equipped with complex paraphernalia. There is a particular sequence to the cacanfession. You feel lighter when you leave the room.
You never talk about it afterward—whatever happens in the cacanfession room stays in cacanfession room.
We came to the bottom of the religious side of the shitual. We understand that shit is guilt and defecation is a confession. Now, let’s take a closer look at the complex toilet set-up we can’t do without.
Here is a quick list of industries necessary for civilized shitting:
construction industry that builds the apartments and houses and sets the standard for a typical bathroom
ceramics industry for toilet bowls, tiles and washbasins
metal, plastic, and wood industries for pipes, tubes, tanks, boxes, hangers, doors, locks, shelves, drawers, and all the packaging they come in
the paper industry for more packaging and, understandably, toilet paper (and that tube in the middle)
the glass industry for windows, mirrors, lamps, bulbs…
the chemical industry for cleansing agents, disinfectants, detergents, deodorants…
the textile industry for towels, curtains, floor mats…
plumbing and water supply industry so you can flush away whatever is flushable
the electric industry so you wouldn’t have to shit in the dark and feel even more uncomfortable than you already do
And these are only the basics!
If you are progressive, you might want to install a hyper-modern toilet seat. It will automatically wash and wipe your bum. You’ll be able to set the water temperature with a press of a button. It will analyze your urine and stool and suggest an appropriate diet. It will have speakers attached so you can pick your favorite music.
Is it really sane to defecate sitting on a ceramic bowl full of drinking water, wipe the ass with the bleached paper tissue, and flush it all away with a whole lot more drinking water? How could we change this setup?
If I know something, I know that most people need external motivation to do anything and money is the universal driver.
Shitting is not cheap!
The total expense of everything you’ve conditioned yourself to in order to shit is gigantic.
Add it all up and then divide it with the number of people in your household over a period of, say, 20 years, and you’ll see, even if you live in a modest household, one shitting costs you at least €0.50, probably more!
If you’re living in a rented apartment remember how precious the private toilet is!
A decent toilet and bathroom raise the price of the flat considerably. They are also the most expensive to build per square meter.
How much is your house or flat worth? Write the number down. Then estimate the share of the value of the toilet(s). Then add all the annual expenses related to peeing and pooping. Divide the amount with the number of times you actually use the toilet.
Do you have the number? It’s shocking, isn’t it?
One of the most shocking facts about modern toilets is the amount of wasted drinking water. You could almost fill a bathtub every day just with the water flushed down the toilet by one individual. In a city of a million, 30 Olympic pools of water are flushed down the toilets every day.
Then, there are medical costs that are directly or indirectly related to unnatural defecation: sitting down instead of squatting. Bad digestion, constipation, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, blood pressure irregularities, complications at childbirth, prostate problems, appendicitis, deformation of abdominal and pelvic muscles, diverticulitis, incontinence, inflexibility … the list could go on and on.
We waste €500-1000 per person a year from shitting and pissing as we do.
We buy stuff that wastes our time and money, our feces and urine, water, and paper, poisoning the environment, hurting communities, damaging health.
Let’s do this shit right!
Let me put this as plainly as possible: when you sit down to defecate, you are hurting your body! You should be squatting.
This is what happens when you squat:
the rectum unbends
the muscle that holds the shit back relaxes
the muscle at the end of the small intestine closes
your thighs give support to your stomach (no need to push!)
When you sit down:
the rectum stays bent
the muscle that holds the shit creates an obstruction
the muscle at the end of the small intestine stays open
the stomach is loose
That’s why you have to put so much effort to push the turds out. You know the “Nnnnnnn!!” that goes with pushing the poop from the rectum. If you shit in the squatting position, there’s no need for the strain.
Your thighs support your stomach when you squat to shit. You don’t need to groan, hold your breath, and push out the shit forcefully. Rhythmical changes of pressure in the lungs stimulate peristalsis.
On TV, the commercial says that 8 out of 10 people suffer from hemorrhoids. Does this mean the other 2 people enjoy them?
— Unknown author
A farmer from Croatia summed up fecology succinctly: “You know what the problem of you, civilized people is? You shit only with your ass! You should shit with your whole body.”
Research shows colon diseases are practically unknown in regions where people squat on the toilet, although eating habits in such regions vary greatly. This indicates how important is bodily posture at defecation.
To learn more about natural defecation, read the book Human: Instructions for Use.