The New York Times has seen fit to promote the efforts of an attention-seeking "viral" marketing firm to sell "butt wipes" to adult humans, to wipe their butts with. The firm, Dollar Shave Club, claims that "51 percent of guys use butt wipes." This is a vile and pernicious falsehood. No one uses butt wipes. Don't use butt wipes.
The product is called "One Wipe Charlies," and the Dollar Shave people are selling packs of 40 for $4. They have created a terrible video, optimized for social-media virality, pitching adults on the idea of applying a moist towelette to their butts after pooping. In a Q-and-A, the Times permitted Dollar Shave founder Michael Dubin to peddle his butt-wipe lies with impunity:
Q. Why wipes?
A. Because our research found that 51 percent of guys use butt wipes, but 24 percent of them are embarrassed and hide it from view. It’s a huge opportunity because toilet paper is a $9-billion industry compared to shaving, which is $6 billion. It’s also a bold statement that says Dollar Shave Club wants to service everything from your face to your…
I have three children. My home is awash in butt wipes, which my wife and I use to wipe the butts of our children, after they have pooped in their diapers. Butt wipes are convenient and useful when applied to the poop-smeared butts of infants and toddlers who have not been potty trained.
But! Once a child takes that fateful step toward the world of looming adulthood and learns how to evacuate his bowels in a manner that doesn't smush poop all over the lower half of his torso, then a different wiping tool is in order. An adult wiping tool. Toilet paper. Butt wipes are what you use when you don't know how to poop. Once you've learned how to poop, and to conduct your affairs in a relatively sanitary manner, you use toilet paper. Like an adult.
Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't feel the need to take to this web site to make the case that grown-ups should use toilet paper to wipe their grown-up butts. But an informal survey with the staff of Gawker—a staff that is largely populated by "Millennials"—has revealed an alarming level of receptivity to the unnatural application of butt wipes to adult butts among the future leaders of our nation. If this confusion about what is, and what isn't, an appropriate way to clean one's butt holds across the entire emerging generation, we are in trouble, folks.
So, to be clear: Butt wipes are for the butts of children. Here is a list of items that may appropriately touch a butt—and I mean like the inner part of the butt—in a nonsexual manner: toilet paper, a gloved digit, or any number of medical/surgical instruments. In a pinch you can use leaves and paper towels and stuff, but be careful! And feel free to use wipes for cleaning inanimate things and surfaces. Just keep them away from your butt.
UPDATE June 11, 2013: Five days after this was originally published, Cottonelle expressed interest in advertising on it and purchasing the right to place it at the top of Gawker's frontpage again. The reason it is being displayed to our readers again is exclusively the result of a commercial transaction between Cottonelle and our ad department. This post is not a sponsored post. Or at least it wasn't when it was written.
I use Charmin.
[Image by Jim Cooke]