“I'd like to teach the world to poop, in perfect harmony...”
November 30, 2018 8:35 AM   Subscribe

The Guardian long read: "But, like fresh bed linen and French bulldogs, the Squatty Potty exerts a powerful emotional force on its owners. “I have one and I have to tell you, it will ruin your life,” a Reddit user called chamburgers recently posted. “I can’t poop anywhere but at home with my Squatty Potty. When I have to poop at work I’m left unsatisfied. It’s like climbing into a wet sleeping bag.”" Also in The Week, bonappetit, Joe.co.uk, and Adweek. Related: which emerged first, poo or poop, and some more differences. (Previously)
posted by Wordshore (76 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just because I've eaten in a fancy restaurant it doesn't mean I can't enjoy a burger at a diner.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:38 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


"the West" discovers the squatting posture

I saw ads in India for the squatty potty stool that said "convert your Western style toilet to a healthier Indian squat" ;p I'll dig and see if I took a photo of it.
posted by infini at 8:39 AM on November 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


My wife has one of these. She absolutely loves it. I can't stand it. Nope, no thank you - my hips don't bend that way.
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:41 AM on November 30, 2018


I bought one of these as a joke for someone. She swears by it.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:43 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don't have one of these, but I have a little plastic step-stool of the appropriate height that serves the same purpose. Seated, but in a sort of squat-y way, is the best way to poop. Seriously. It's the best of all possible worlds.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:49 AM on November 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


"the West" discovers the squatting posture

HOW TO DO THE ASIAN SQUAT

I saw ads in India for the squatty potty stool that said "convert your Western style toilet to a healthier Indian squat" ;p I'll dig and see if I took a photo of it.

Was it this one?
posted by homunculus at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


No.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:56 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


more shit freaks
posted by thelonius at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am seriously charmed by the fact that Bryan Cranston apparently bought a Squatty Potty for his wife as an anniversary gift.

Also - in the thread about Squatty Potty previously, someone described it as a "bespoke pooping stool", which is a phrase that has stuck in my head ever since.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2018 [12 favorites]


True story: I was a very constipated child and a less severely constipated but still pretty constipated young adult. Then I spent 6 months in China using squat toilets. I'm not sure my n=1 study is replicable but my anecdata indicates that squatting retrained my body to poop in some pretty profound ways.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2018 [15 favorites]


A friend and I joked about these for a while and, as these things go, the joke sort of got out of hand and I eventually bought one for her as a "joke" and although she hasn't come right out and said it I suspect she's using it and enjoying it.

Also: Sky-High Heels that Double as a Squatty Potty.
posted by bondcliff at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


This is a good article! Thanks for posting it. I'd suggest adding the KeepMefiClassy tag but it's good enough to render the use unironic which might bend the rules too far.
posted by rewil at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am seriously charmed by the fact that Bryan Cranston apparently bought a Squatty Potty for his wife as an anniversary gift.

Given how much the ones we bought on a whim have helped my wife with her GID, I should have done that. Missed opportunity on my part.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2018


Metafilter: poop in the 'solid' sense
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am pleased to report to the collective that I use a normal toilet and am perfectly comfortable with doing so and that my output slips out with no difficulty whatsoever.

I was stunned to go into a cubicle in Italy in the summer and find the expected sitter was a squatter. So stunned I actually walked out. I went back in when desperate enough and was pleased to launch two torpedoes for direct hits on the exhaust port. However, it wasn't even remotely comfortable as stances go. Further, I didn't have the Guardian with me but I have no idea how I would have coped with multi-tasking the Killer Sudoku, not falling over and not shitting in my pants.
posted by biffa at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'll dig and see if I took a photo of it.

In this thread, that’s more a threat than a promise....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:17 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


not falling over and not shitting in my pants.

I've found that the key is to lower my pants as far as necessary, but no farther.

Why Can't Everyone Do the 'Asian Squat'?
THE FORGOTTEN ART OF SQUATTING IS A REVELATION FOR BODIES RUINED BY SITTING
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:28 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I’ve ordered one. 💩👍🤤
posted by Segundus at 9:33 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I bought one of these as a joke for someone. She swears by it.

People say this all the time, but I have my doubts.

“By my squatty potty, I will finish this report by 5, or HELL SHALL KNOW THE REASON WHY!”
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:34 AM on November 30, 2018 [27 favorites]


The Squatty Potty is indeed great.
posted by k8t at 9:34 AM on November 30, 2018


I'd like to see the "FecalFiesta" tag get more use.
posted by asperity at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2018 [10 favorites]


Would you, really?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:41 AM on November 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


I'd like to see the "FecalFiesta" tag get more use.

Plenty of opportunities on the near horizon.
posted by Wordshore at 9:45 AM on November 30, 2018 [9 favorites]


When you are tall lots of toilets are sqatty pottys.
posted by notreally at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2018 [9 favorites]


My huz has a Squatty Potty. I tried and didn't like it, even though I lived in China for a time and am not opposed to squatting. I think it was too high for me. We've recently separated, and the first weekend after, I took it out of the bathroom and put it with the rest of his stuff that's still at the house. I realized then how much I miss having a place to put my phone, which I'd normally put on the far side of the SP.
posted by Fig at 9:50 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Even God’s only son may be transformed by the act: the stercoranistes, an early Christian sect, believed in a double transubstantiation, Christ into the communion wafer, and thence into dung.

Oh wow, I wish I'd had this information in Catholic high school. I was already rough on the religion teachers in debate, this would have been magical.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:57 AM on November 30, 2018 [19 favorites]


I'm absurdly cheap and a woodworker, so I built my own a few years ago to try it out. It didn't change my life, but I also didn't get rid of it; it's in the master bathroom and I usually use the guest bathroom.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:58 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't have one of these, but I have a little plastic step-stool of the appropriate height that serves the same purpose. Seated, but in a sort of squat-y way, is the best way to poop. Seriously. It's the best of all possible worlds.

Our daughter has been using a step-stool since she was potty-trained lo those many years ago and swears by it. I think I've tried it once or twice along the way but didn't find it any better than not using it. Maybe a deeper squat is key.
posted by briank at 9:59 AM on November 30, 2018


As a sufferer of IBS-D which can frequently swing over to C if I accidentally overmedicate, I find the Squatty Potty to have made a noticeable but not game-changing difference in my trips to the Necessary Room. It's for sure most useful after overmedication. Western toilets also are not designed for the things; unless your leavings are particularly boyant or slippery, they pile up several inches forward of where they would end up if you were sitting normally, and as such frequently do not submerge entirely, so I recommend investing in air fresheners or at least making sure you have good bathroom fans if you get a Squatty Potty.

A couple more years of leaving comments like this and I'm primarily going to be known as IBS guy around here. =_=
posted by Caduceus at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


Seated, but in a sort of squat-y way, is the best way to poop.

If you are tall, then all of the worlds furnishing fit you as though you are an adult in a kindergarten classroom.

I'm amused that you shorties need to buy an appliance in order to experience pooping the way I do.

I'm also pleased that the response wasn't to make the damn toilets even smaller, although I am certain that is the next step.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:28 AM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


In three days, I will find out if that is the best or worst $25 I have ever spent. Does it get delivered in a plain brown box?
posted by AugustWest at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2018


In three days, I will find out if that is the best or worst $25 I have ever spent. Does it get delivered in a plain brown box?

If it's only partially effective, then maybe use the box instead? Or put the box under the Poop-U-Like thing you've just bought.
posted by Wordshore at 10:30 AM on November 30, 2018


I wonder if the popularity has to do with the proliferation of "comfort height" or "right height" toilets?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't see the point. Eat fiber. Semi-solids will find a way.

Also, I don't feel any difference in alignment when in a low squat that I can't duplicate while sitting. Spines flex. If you want yours in a different configuration, you can put it there.

I would like to have a squat toilet though, just so the poor dog wouldn't have to wait to be taken out. We are good about walking her, but God damn it must be a terrible thing to have someone else in control of when you can relieve yourself. My wife won't have it, though. The landlord might object, too.
posted by ckridge at 10:42 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


If it's only partially effective, then maybe use the box instead?


And with one throwaway line the most monstrous of MeFi swaps began.
posted by biffa at 10:44 AM on November 30, 2018 [7 favorites]




Also, I don't feel any difference in alignment when in a low squat that I can't duplicate while sitting. Spines flex. If you want yours in a different configuration, you can put it there.
It's not just about the spine, though. If you're like most people on here, you probably can't comfortably do a deep squat with your feet flat on the floor for more than a minute or two. The posture also has benefits for strength, flexibility, and joint health.
posted by mr. manager at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2018


Well, now that standing desks are falling out of favor how long until we get squatting desks?
posted by srboisvert at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: "which emerged first, poo or poop,"

I see what you did there...
posted by chavenet at 11:30 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I fixed my terrible pooping by using my toddler’s potty stool in the same way as a Squatty Potty. I’m not sure how I’m going to justify keeping that thing in the bathroom when my kids are grown but I’m totally going to do it.
posted by lydhre at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, we also have a toddler's potty stool even though our kid is now 6 (though to be fair he's a shorty and still needs the stool to reach the taps on the sink). Me and the hubs both use it for pooping. I can hear the sound it makes when being drug across the floor whenever he disappears into the head for a little while.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:54 AM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


@soren_lorensen, same same same! suddenly it's like nerve endings connected or something and now my body knows how to poop??

And the pull quote from the article is so true--having the easiest, most luxurious elimination experience at home makes me loathe to use public bathrooms. I'm kind of seriously considering a travel Squatty Potty for an upcoming two week trip, because I'm so reliant on one now...
posted by stellaluna at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2018


So my problem with these is that they attract some nasty residue (especially if male-bodied people use your bathroom) and aren't that easy (or pleasant!) to clean.

(Actually my dearest wish is that somebody, somewhere, says, hey, let's stop making toilets with so many nooks and crannies on the outside where gross residues can hide because no one should have to deal with that, what the hell were we thinking. But then I think the people designing toilets are never the people that have to clean the damn things.)
posted by emjaybee at 12:24 PM on November 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Why Can't Everyone Do the 'Asian Squat'?

My 58-year-old American knees object strenuously.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:25 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


In three days, I will find out if that is the best or worst $25 I have ever spent. Does it get delivered in a plain brown box?

If it's only partially effective, then maybe use the box instead? Or put the box under the Poop-U-Like thing you've just bought.


Does the manufacturer pay for shipping if you return it? Because if you do not like the product, there's an obvious way to express your displeasure.
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on November 30, 2018


I'm gonna give it a shot... if successful, it may pay for itself in cutting down my celery bill.

Please enjoy these photos of my cat using a squatty potty like a desk

"Thanks for coming in, Wordshore... I just wish that there was a nicer way of putting this: your taste in kitty litter sucks."
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:47 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


cutting down my celery bill.

*Single-pane comic showing a stereotypical dad figure, horrified disbelief on his face, grasping a piece of paper with "Bill $$$" on it, shouting "How the hell are we eating FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of celery every month!?!?" In the background we see Halloween Jack, bent over in front of the open fridge door with a guilty look on their face.

I should send that idea in to the New Yorker; that's exactly the sort of thing they like, right?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:57 PM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


bent over in front of the open fridge door

On reflection, maybe I should have said "bent over reaching into the open fridge door", just to remove any inadvertent implications about which way they were facing
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:07 PM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


You guys are all such suckers for not using a simple footstool or wastebasket. (Although it can help sometimes to have your feet more to the sides.)
posted by serena15221 at 1:12 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


If you're like most people on here, you probably can't comfortably do a deep squat with your feet flat on the floor for more than a minute or two. The posture also has benefits for strength, flexibility, and joint health

i can do it for literally hours at a time and it does nothing at all for my horrible digestive system.

my favourite thing about living in europe was befriending girls from rural areas of former SSRs where squat toilets were still the norm and hearing strange clambering sounds and high heel clankings every time we were in restrooms together. if you have never seen an almost 6 foot tall ukrainian model in 6 inch heels demonstrate for a gaggle of delightedly astonished brits the position one would assume to use a regular toilet like a squat toilet then you have not truly lived.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2018 [21 favorites]


There's a "FecalFiesta" tag but no "KeepMeFiClassy?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


My city has a large population of recent immigrants from places where squat toilets are the norm. Many public restrooms have signs and pictures instructing people to sit on the toilets. It's apparently quite hard on the toilets and rather dangerous to have people balancing on the seats to squat.
posted by congen at 2:21 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


On reflection, maybe I should have said "bent over reaching into the open fridge door", just to remove any inadvertent implications about which way they were facing

Whatever problems I've got--and I've got a few--those are two household fixtures that I haven't confused. Yet.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:25 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the popularity has to do with the proliferation of "comfort height" or "right height" toilets?

Has to. For years, I'd go to visit my now-husband at his house, with a recently renovated bathroom and be really, really confused by the fact that it took . . . a really long time to poop at his house. Sometimes hours. Sometimes nothing would come out, no matter what. Later learned it was a case of comfort height. Regular sized toilets might be "uncomfortable" but at 5'3" with shortish legs, comfort height toilets basically make the task for which they're designed impossible for me.

We use a kid's stool too, and yes, sometimes I have trouble in bathrooms outside of the house. Usually turning a small bathroom trash can over and using that will do the trick.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Usually turning a small bathroom trash can over and using that will do the trick.

Shouldn't you be shitting in the trash can right-side up?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:27 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Usually turning a small bathroom trash can over and using that will do the trick.

Worst occasional table ever.
posted by biffa at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


A Penang sports club has the best one I've found. The cubicle walls were so close together that I could easily assume the position.
posted by emf at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I like mine, but it's not like I can't use the toilet at work.
posted by mmagin at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2018


I read the whole 4,687 word article and I still don't get how using one of these things could be any different functionally than just... leaning forward

What am I missing
posted by churl at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2018


alignment with gravity
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


the sheer joy of being hunched over like a gremlin
posted by poffin boffin at 5:09 PM on November 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


"comfort height" toilets are awful. I am not a short person, but there are so many toilets out in the world now where my heels don't touch the floor. This is not a comfortable way to sit, regardless of whether I'm trying to poop at the time or not

I've had some success with using the extra rolls of toilet paper present in many single occupancy bathrooms in public places as individual, foot-sized boosters.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:11 PM on November 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I should note that these are individually wrapped when I encounter them, I'm not putting my feet on a bit someone's going to wipe with later
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:11 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


When people lean forward, they tend to bend their spines, which is not the same as the deeper-angle hip bend you get from squatting. You can replicate it, but it's not intuitive or terribly comfortable.

I've recently had gestational bowel-slowing (the joys of impending parenthood!) And putting my feet up (I'm bendy, so I can hike them up onto the toilet seat if need be) has helped when the problem is particularly intractable.
posted by DebetEsse at 5:22 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Minor derail but, squatting or not, it's perhaps best not to keep your toothbrush in the same room in which you (or others) open the bay doors and drop one.
posted by Wordshore at 5:34 PM on November 30, 2018


it's perhaps best not to keep your toothbrush in the same room

It's weird that they link to the Mythbusters results without seeming to have understood them. You get poop on your toothbrush in the bathroom, sure, but you get poop on it if you keep it elsewhere too, and in equivalent amounts. No benefit to taking it elsewhere, you're fine.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


A Penang sports club has the best one I've found. The cubicle walls were so close together that I could easily assume the position.

Can't confirm about that club, but generally the cubicles aren't big here, and yep, i totally lift one leg to rest against the wall.

the thing i don't like about squatting in cold weather is that i much prefer to take off all of my pants and there's just. so. much. clothing. to go thru
posted by cendawanita at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I read the whole 4,687 word article and I still don't get how using one of these things could be any different functionally than just... leaning forward

What am I missing


It brings your knees up. The angle of your torso to legs (bending at the waist) becomes smaller, which eases elimination (for most people).

For people like me, who have been constipated THEIR ENTIRE LIVES, this sort of revelation is earth-shattering. I discovered it 10-15 years ago and it's saved me hours (nay, days) in the bathroom.

I don't have one of these, but I have a little plastic step-stool of the appropriate height that serves the same purpose.

I have a small wooden stool. It looks like something an old overworked garment worker would squat on. It works fine.

Usually turning a small bathroom trash can over and using that will do the trick.

PROTIP: If the trash can is not full, turn it on its side. You seem shorter than I am, but usually trash cans are too tall.

it's perhaps best not to keep your toothbrush in the same room in which you (or others) open the bay doors and drop one.

Just close the lid before you flush (as the article mentions.)
posted by mrgrimm at 6:38 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


And then freak out about the truly prodigious presence of bacteria on every surface of your entire home.

Or don't, since we primates have learned over the eons to cohabit this planet with them to the point that we're not already all dead and they've become mostly a moot issue.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:14 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


When people lean forward, they tend to bend their spines, which is not the same as the deeper-angle hip bend you get from squatting.

Makes sense! Thank you. I didn’t want to come off as a grouch I just really Did Not Get It
posted by churl at 8:52 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Squat toilets and sitting toilets both have their pluses and minuses, though both work ok for me. Combining them, however, seems more like the worst of both worlds.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:42 PM on November 30, 2018


For people like me, who have been constipated THEIR ENTIRE LIVES, this sort of revelation is earth-shattering.

Ba-dum tish.
posted by traveler_ at 9:46 PM on November 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I was stunned to go into a cubicle in Italy in the summer and find the expected sitter was a squatter. So stunned I actually walked out.

Why were you pooping in people's cubicles? Poor customer service?

Actually my dearest wish is that somebody, somewhere, says, hey, let's stop making toilets with so many nooks and crannies on the outside where gross residues can hide because no one should have to deal with that

Your wish is granted
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:34 AM on December 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Started using a wastebasket not long after seeing the squatters potty commercials, and I’ve been a fan since. Unrelated, but I happen to become a coffee drinker around the same time. It’s made pooping such a joy.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:34 AM on December 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: It’s made pooping such a joy
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:04 PM on December 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


When people lean forward, they tend to bend their spines, which is not the same as the deeper-angle hip bend you get from squatting.

that, plus also your butthole is pointing the wrong way if you bend over.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:54 AM on December 3, 2018


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