After writing for so long about women’s sex drive, I’m switching gears to discuss a totally different and extremely universal issue: pooping. I recently read a fantastic article in Slate Magazine by Daniel Lametti, which I must credit as my inspiration for this piece. I highly recommend that you check it out: http://www.slate.com/id/2264657/.
Lametti’s article is titled “Don’t Just Sit There” and explains the benefits of certain pooping positions over others. Specifically, he decries the inefficient but somehow widespread practice of sitting on a toilet to poop, rather than squatting. He runs through the mechanics of expelling waste, explaining that squatting opens up the passage between the rectum (where poop is stored) and the anus (where it is expelled), and sites data indicating that it allows for faster, easier defecation than sitting on a toilet.
Lametti’s column contains information that all people should take under consideration. In previous articles, I spoke about the benefits of squatting during childbirth -- allowing gravity to take control rather than forcing women to lie on their backs, as we do in most contemporary hospitals. The same principle applies to pooping. Expelling the contents of our bowels (or uterus!) is easiest if we make the passage out of the body as direct and unobstructed as possible. How? By squatting.
OK we get it – you’re saying – squatting is awesome, so what? How are we supposed to use this information in our modern bathrooms with our modern toilets? Well, thanks to one of my most ingenious former roommates, (whom I will refer to as Ms. B.) I have a solution for you. Pay close attention:
Despite her frequent late night use of the libraries, Ms. B. had a crippling fear of public restrooms, which forced her to often seek the private toilet of a close friend – mine. Thus, I became extremely comfortable and attuned to her pooping habits.
One day (in my home) she realized that pooping was easier, faster and more comfortable when she slipped a book under her feet, rather than reading it she was used to. Because Ms. B’s bathroom “reading” material was quite thick, the extra height under her feet helped to move her body into a more poop-friendly position; much closer to a squat. Over time, Ms. B. became accustomed to this position simply because it felt more comfortable. Little did she know, she was straightening out the small passage between the rectum and anus, facilitating her entire pooping process. While we laughed at Ms. B for her strange practice, I now understand how smart she truly was.
So, if you aren’t able to enjoy the beauty of pooping outside or visiting a country where squat toilets or pit latrines are the norm (if you are interested in either of these experiences, I would love to write an article on them. Let me know.), I highly recommend investing in a stool or a large book to keep handy near the toilet. See whether it helps! And remember to credit Ms. B.