When I was a kid, and even when I was a younger adult, the words “ass wipe” were used as a derogatory slang expression that meant “a real asshole” – nay, you were worse than that, you were the toilet paper that wiped the dirty asses. Don’t you remember referring to someone as an “ass wipe”? “Oh my god, that guy is such an ass wipe.”
Oh, how times have changed. Today, the definition of “ass wipe” is not derogatory, ass wipes are a requirement in the American household. I don’t recall when it started, but I do recall being one of the first people I knew to buy ass wipes, also called “moist wipes”. They are a derivation of “baby wipes” except you can’t flush baby wipes like you can ass wipes. I remember having visitors to my home, close friends usually, who said “what are those things sitting on the back of your toilet tank in that plastic box”. And I would explain to them that they are “moist wipes”. When they still didn’t get it, I said “they’re ass wipes – they’re slightly wet and you use them to clean you ass”. For christ sake do I have to spell it out?? Do you really not know what these things are? Were we, as a nation, so naive, or blind to a fact that Europeans and their bidets have known for years: Skid marks aren’t pretty.
Maybe as a gay man it all seemed so natural to me to have these cleansing gadgets. I won’t go into details – you’re welcome. But American bathrooms, for the most part, are bidet-free. Sure there are high-end homes with super high-end bathrooms that have bidets. Many wouldn’t recognize what it is and would probably ask why there is a water fountain in your bathroom. And now the “must have” bathroom fixture is the thousand dollar Japanese toilet that basically washes, blow dries, and puts your ass through a spin cycle before sending you on your merry way.
But barring that, Americans have their “ass wipes”. Currently it’s almost unheard of to walk into someone’s bathroom and not find a box of moist wipes sitting on the toilet tank. Mothers are happy. Their kids and their husbands don’t leave so many skid marks in their underwear; making their laundry chore far less disgusting. Husbands are happy because now maybe their wives won’t mind giving them head somuch because it doesn’t smell so bad. As for gay men, we’re just happy. Happy that we spread the word about ass-wipes and it took off. I’m disappointed that Spell Check in America rarely get’s “bidet” correct. To summarize, clean asses are in our thoughts, but not in our dictionaries.
My only counterpoint to this? Dick Cheney is still an old-fashioned ass wipe. (Sorry, I had to slip that in somewhere). I’m not sure, exactly, why America has become obsessed with cleaning their butts. But I’m glad they did. It makes sitting in a crowded room so much more pleasant.