On The Evils Of Toilets

A response to the recent and popular Disinformation article entitled “On The Evils Of Chairs“.

Warning, do not read this while eating food, it may put you off.

Years ago I used to clean toilets for a big supermarket. I’ll never forget seeing a fully fledged brown trout sat on the edge of the toilet seat one day and wondering, ‘how do you miss when you’re doing one of those?’. It turns out that whoever was responsible had probably been learning to use the squat technique which I’m about to advocate to you, a fellow Disinfonaught. I do so only because once you try this you will honestly never look back.

My first experience of squatting came through an article in, Dodgem Logic, the magazine Alan Moore edited for a year or so. It has recently been kindly posted on the original author, Margaret Killjoy (or Magpie)’s, personal website. His main points are:

1 “When you squat, you go more easily, more quickly, and more completely”.

2 “Toilet squatting isn’t scientifically proven to cure hemorrhoids, but I’m pretty sure it helped me out”[1].

3 “Squatting to crap straightens out the colon, allowing you to clear yourself out better. There’s this wonderful little muscle called the puborectalis muscle that keeps your rectum shut unless it’s relaxed, which it can’t do in a sitting position.

Then there’s the ileocecal valve, which connects your small intestine to your colon.

And, surprise surprise, it shuts itself completely when you squat, but not when you sit. The result of sitting? Minor leakage of fecal matter back up into your system. Oh and there’s a natural kink there, where the colon attaches to your intestines. It straightens itself out when your thighs, in the squatting position, are up against your abdomen.

Further, it’s been suggested that when your colon isn’t fully emptied your feces kind of rots inside you, causing any number of ill-effects, including an increased risk of colon cancer.”

This final point is worth dwelling on. If you sit on a toilet to go you are more likely to get colon cancer according to various sources. From Toilet-related-ailments.com:

Each year, about 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States alone. Although the disease is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, few people living in developing nations contract the illness…“For decades, many Western researchers have been trying to find an explanation for this phenomenon.

But coming from a society where sitting toilets are well and truly entrenched, they couldn’t understand or accept how toilet posture could be the reason…

How could they? Almost none of them has ever used or seen a squatting toilet before… As a result, the researchers had missed the important connection between the toilet posture and colon cancer.

1 People in the developing world squat for waste elimination.

2 People in the West sit.

OK, got your interest yet?

Here’s how Magpie suggests you do it:

If you’ve got your shoes on, you put the seat up and squat on the rim. In your socks or barefooted, squat on the seat. At first, yes, it’s hard to balance. Put your hand on the wall, or the toilet-paper dispenser, or the handicap bars, whatever, to support yourself. Within weeks you’ll be squatting like a pro, and you’ll never want to go back to sitting again.

His blunt yet amusing article on the subject is well worth reading.

Your correspondent tried it once and was instantly converted. It seemed to increase my weight loss[2] and is clearly a much more efficient way of ‘doing business’. I recently told a mate of mine and she sent me the following tweet the next morning: “you’ve changed my life”.

It’s not the most palatable subject in the world but I’m hard put to think of a better example of the fact “Everything you know is wrong“.

Nick Margerrison

[1] The Slate article linked to below actually suggests there is now evidence that it helps with this condition. Never suffered from it personally but imagine this might be a bonus if you do.

[2] This is only my personal experience. As far as I’m aware there has been no research into the weight loss side of things.


The Slate carries an excellent article on the subject

Nature’s Platform goes into extraordinary detail

Finally there’s an amusing collection of pictures on the Reuters website from the South Korean Toilet Culture Park here

Nick Margerrison

I write on Disinfo for fun, I've been a fan of the company for years.

In the real world I'm a freelance TV/radio presenter. I've worked for LBC, Kerrang Radio, The Bay, Edge Media TV, Hallam FM and The BBC.

My podcast is here: http://thecultofnick.libsyn.com/

10 Comments on "On The Evils Of Toilets"

  1. Sir Dumpsalot | Dec 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    I have known this for years from personal experience.

    I work in the mountains and i recreate in the mountains. Probably 80 percent of my dumps are in the mountains. Shitting on a toilet just doesn’t feel right. In the woods my dumps pop right out and leave my leather cheerio clean as a whistle. When using a toilet there are times when a turd is half out but not going anywhere. This is when it needs cinched off leaving a messy asshole. This has not once happened to me in the forest. If it did the day would be ruined by swamp ass.

    Im just finished digging an outhouse on my property and there will be no seat inside. Instead there will just be a hole in the ground with a leaning post so my guests don’t fall over or in.

    For those city people out there you can try squatting in the shower and then flinging your masterpiece into the toilet. Its better than squishing it down the drain with your foot.

  2. Sir Dumpalot is my hero.

  3. Rex Vestri | Dec 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

    “I’ll never forget seeing a fully fledged brown trout sat on the edge of the toilet seat one day and wondering, ‘how do you miss when you’re doing one of those?’”

    That’s simple: They missed because they were shitting while bent over with their ass hovering above the (piss covered) seat, so as to not sit down on it. They didn’t squat low enough and the steaming McTrout missed the mark. (By the way, McTrout is back again for a limited time only at McDonald’s!)

  4. MoralDrift | Dec 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

    yeah squat toilets are ok…except when you have explosive diarrhea…

  5. BuzzCoastin | Dec 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

    On Mao’s first visit to Russia they put him up in a fancy Dacha with Western comforts. He had the mattress replaced with boards, the pillows with wood blocks and on the toilet, he had a platform made so he could squat.

    Most toilets in Asia were squat toilets till about 50 years ago. Not only are squat toilets healthier, but in Asia they really don’t know how to make a “real” toilet. They get the look right, but they can’t seem to figure out the plumbing, materials and design things properly.

  6. drew hempel | Dec 2, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    I’ve been composting humanure now using a simplified John Jenkin’s method. I grew 2 months of food from my own waste. You just need a carbon source about 3 times to the waste and have the carbon so it’s aerated. First I used biochar from the invasive species Buckthorn — this worked great as the black increases the heat and the biochar creates nanopores to house the aerobic bacteria for composting. It’s amazing how people don’t understand ecology and then freak out. Yes this means I squat also – just using a bucket — and then jugs for the urine. Just think of the potential if humans all composted their waste — it saves clean water and electricity instead of using a toilet — and it creates valuable nutritions. The Korean farmers urged the U.S. soliders to use their latrines so they’d get the valuable waste from the soldiers. There’s a joke in a Chinese kungfu movie — what’s the simpliest word for night soil and water: fertilizer. Then I can think of a shorter word — yeah but it doesn’t exist in Chinese! haha. They didn’t think of their crap as a bad word since it’s so valuable as humanure. I went to the most traditional Berber village of Morocco and they existed for thousands of years by composting all their humanure to grow their food, transforming the desert mountains into fertile fields of vegetables and wheat. It was awesome. Unless humans support the ecological cycle by composting their waste — just think modern humans don’t even know how to crap properly! Of course I moved out into the countryside so it’s easier but some do this in the city also and they’re the real heros. The reason Rome built aqueducts is b/c they polluted their own drinking water with their waste. The West is fundamentally wrong about human waste while Asia has always traditionally composted their waste. The fear of this in the West was actually caused by eating fresh snails from the river — they carried a parasite — and so Westerners assumed that it had been caused by the humanure composting. haha.

  7. Cinnamon Mandrake | Dec 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

    A doctor recommended “going twos” this way to my partner due to her medical condition and truly it’s made a positive difference for us both. We have one of these toilet converter things which makes it possible to squad over a conventional/western style toilet. I highly recommend them!


    (And I assure you I have no affiliation with the product or retailer. I just want to share as I think many are disinclined towards making the change because of the practical difficulties it presents with a modern toilet set-up. This pretty much solves that dilemma.)

    Happy pooing 😀

  8. I’ve had some epic revelations in the past whilst mid-shit. I wonder how much the position you defecate in affects the intensity of the experience. Also I’m completely convinced some of the greatest symphonies in the world have been written about particularly aggressive bowel movements. I wonder if any of them would have been realised if the composer had not been squatting… or maybe they were, and that’s why they wrote genius symphonies.

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