I wipe my ass standing up. That’s either really weird or not weird at all to you. The fact of the matter is this – you only do it one way. And until right now, you never knew that another way existed. But it does. And half your friends are doing it.

Don’t believe me? Leave your room. Ask the first ten people you see, “Do you wipe your ass while standing up, or while sitting down?” You’ll have five people for each way, and ten people who can’t believe that there is another way to do it. Of course, “Standing” and “Sitting” are not being used in the truest sense of the words: Standers are more “hovering”, and Sitters are more “leaning”, but you get the picture.

The argument of Standing vs. Sitting is one that hasn’t been properly waged, and it takes a moment to realize why. Clearly it’s not because we aren’t talking about poop. I would say that, on average, I mention a crap I took, the fact that I have to take a crap, or something else that involves crap at least three or four times a day. You probably do, too. Try and keep track of it. But back to the original question, why aren’t people talking about wiping?

Wiping is one of those things that you learn when you’re young – and one of those things that you do so often, you never really think about the fact that there could be other ways to do it. It’s like brushing your teeth, or putting on socks, or committing ritualistic suicide. You just assume that everyone else is doing it exactly the same way. I could take it a step further and go into the different ways that toilet paper is used (wad, neatly folded squares, etc.) but in the interest of keeping things simple, I’ll stick with the wiping.

I have a few theories on what makes a stander a stander and what makes a sitter a sitter. There’s one that seems to be the most true: it depends on where your toilet paper was when you were growing up. Those who had the TP right next to the bowl are more likely to be sitters, while those who had to reach across to the wall for some paper ended up standing.

While I am a die-hard stander, there are two sides to every argument, and I will try to maintain my journalistic integrity by examining the pros and cons of each side.

PROS: Easier access to affected area, immediate gratification of seeing what you made in the bowl

CONS: Risk of getting poo on the floor that wasn’t quite out when you were still sitting, possible strained hamstring

Sitters will argue that when you stand up, the poo “mushes together” between your cheeks, but I can assure you that is not the case.

PROS: More relaxing, very little chance of poo ending up on the floor

CONS: Small risk of accidentally misjudging and sticking your hand in the water, harder to cover all surface area.

So as you can see, each method has its strengths and weaknesses. Be warned, however – it is very, VERY hard to win the argument of which is better. Most people have their minds made up, and it is nearly impossible to convert a stander to a sitter (or vice versa) mid-stream, so to speak.

If your argument starts to get too heated, there is one common ground that will get everyone back on the same page. And that is that no one should be wiping back to front. This practice, known in most scientific circles as “brown balling”, is absolutely atrocious, and anyone who admits to actually doing this should be beaten and thrown out the window.

Next week, we’ll discuss the advantage of using baby wipes over plain old toilet paper.

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