Why are some poops dirtier than others?
November 29, 2005 10:09 AM   Subscribe

PoopFilter: this sounds juvenile, but it's based out of a deep, general curiosity... why are some poops dirtier than others?

Sometimes the toliet paper is completely clean, yet other times it looks as if it's been dragged over a dirty car engine. What causes these differences? Diet? Stomach acids? What? I'm seriously puzzled.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fat content, usually.
posted by jon_kill at 10:31 AM on November 29, 2005

Not to be too crass, and this may be obvious, but it really all comes down to how much poop sticks to your butt. While diet can contribute to soft poop, butt hair and "pinching it off" can also be factors.
posted by deadfather at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2005

Personally, if i wait till the "prairie-dog" moment, I know to plan for at least two flushes worth of TP. But, if I take care of business as soon as the slightest urge hits me, two wipes is all it takes.

(did I really just write this on AskMe?!?)
posted by notsnot at 10:39 AM on November 29, 2005

I love that this was asked anonymously.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but when I am religiously following the advice in this book things tend to be quite clean.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:15 AM on November 29, 2005

I bought that book.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:31 AM on November 29, 2005

Water content. The large bowel is where solid waste is moved before excretion. There excess water is removed through the walls of your large intestine, which makes your waste more compact and solid. Try getting off the computer and working outside all day, and you'll notice a big difference.
posted by letterneversent at 11:31 AM on November 29, 2005

what you eat makes a big difference. when i eat a lot of meat and fried food, i have a crappy mess. if i eat a lot of fruit and veggies and fiber, i have the perfect no-wiper.
posted by poppo at 11:53 AM on November 29, 2005

No, no, no this all has to do with the pinching and release. In my more juvenile days (last year) my friend proudly exclaimed he was able to complete a bowel movement whole, no multiple poopings. I called him on it, he showed me (some might call it disgusting, I call it impressive). After some practice I did the same thing. I immediately noticed no need to wipe. The natural instinct is to pinch and push out. You need to just sit there in an almost meditative state (totally blank mind) and voila, clean poo. It's like the zen of shitting or something, but it's really impressive if you live in a house with college-age guys.
posted by geoff. at 12:01 PM on November 29, 2005

wha? no-wiper?
you might want to reconsider that policy.

gonna go wash my hands now...
posted by hellbient at 12:06 PM on November 29, 2005

This question and the answers it brings are all extremely practical.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:08 PM on November 29, 2005

The no-wiper is possible. The key is learning to to supress the urge to constrict your anus. Just relax.

I don't actually advise not wiping, but if you can accomplish a no-wiper you'll see very little, if anything at all, on the toilet paper you do wipe with.

Trust me, practice this method and you will be a better person for it.

Oh shit, I'm not anonymous? Eh, nobody knows me here.
posted by lyam at 12:38 PM on November 29, 2005

I bought that book.

Me too. I wasn't kidding about the effects.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:45 PM on November 29, 2005

I think it's all about fiber. The insoluble kind. It adds bulk and makes things nice and clean. Beans, brown rice, and whole wheat tortillas = a no-wiper. (If you're so inclined. I personally don't feel finished until wiping occurs.)
posted by Nice Donkey at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2005

hellbient, you can wash your hands all you want, but you still have to touch the door knob! Mwa-ha-ha!

Also, somebody tell me that this "no wiper" business relies on a serious trust but verify policy....

Seriously, though, I gotta say it's probably a calculus involving fiber content, hydration, and some other stuff (including food intolerances, allergies, infections, etc.). I know if I'm dehydrated, I get "rabbit dropping" bowel movements. If I can't use a restroom all day, then it's my my least favorite Robert Plant video.
posted by kimota at 2:00 PM on November 29, 2005

Perhaps this review will be of help,

"Taking the piss out of shitting"

At a time when scatalogical humor is the soup of the day, who can take bowel movements seriously? C. Bernie Hunt, that's who. In 39 Defecation Mistakes, Hunt's inaugural treatise on toilet tactics, we learn 39 ways NOT to win the battle with the bowl. In Hunt's own words, "shitting is not as easy as it looks. The average American experiences seven defecation disasters a year. It's something we don't discuss and usually don't even want to think about. That's why it recurs time and time again." Mistake number one about making number two is "not learning from past mistakes." Hunt notes that in all other aspects of life, we know that the best lessons come from analyzing our errors. So, why do we not apply that same wisdom to our most disastrous dumps? "...because we never blame ourselves. We're all, 'oh, it must have been the tuna salad,' or 'it's flu season.' It is imperative that every man in this country starts taking responsibility for his own ass."

The strength of Hunt's analysis lies in his multi-disciplinary approach. Mixing ideas rich in psychology, history, sociology and physiology - enough to make a gastroenterologist's head spin - with the economic implications of frequent fecal fiascos, Hunt convincingly argues that anal ignorance is destroying mankind. Mistakes range in complexity and severity. "Evacuation is a perplexing process involving many extremely subtle factors. Like the butterfly who flaps his wings in Brazil, which causes a hurricane in England, some of the most innocuous moves we make can have BIG repercussions." For example, mistake number 8: over-wiping, promotes hemorrhoids. Mistake number 12: delaying until the very last second, has resulted in many sullied drawers and broken relationships.

"Defecation is a chess game. It's us versus the enemy within. Sometimes the beast is docile, and will comply with your wishes - but he does so only to lull you into complacency. Never let your guard down. [mistake number 4: letting your guard down]"

The only criticism I have of 39 Defecation Mistakes is that maybe it could have been shortened to about 35 mistakes. The last few errors, although Hunt insists they are vital to the colonic canon, seem a bit stilted. This is supposed to be an every-man book with problems we can all relate to. So then, what are we to make of passages like the following, taken from mistake 36: Shit as weapon? "At first glance it might seem like a good idea to take a dump on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but you'll be thinking differently when your mom's asshole boyfriend makes you eat it."
Although due to few results on Google I'm beginning to think the book -- unfortunately -- doesn't exist, and was a prank by Spacemoose.
posted by holloway at 2:17 PM on November 29, 2005

Mmmm... A quote from "How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?"

"Besides shooting out a big blank from your buttock, you can feel as if your root chakra leaked sweet hot mucus."

posted by Sagres at 3:02 PM on November 29, 2005

The only person I have ever met who claimed hygenically beneficial number twos also claimed to give himself enemas with wheat grass juice and had skin with a slightly green hue.
posted by bukvich at 3:13 PM on November 29, 2005

ONE WIPE. everytime.

The secret? Fiber.
posted by mmdei at 5:16 PM on November 29, 2005

Just don't constrict anus 100 times during a bowel movement, is that it? Hmm, I think I'm catching on.
posted by anthill at 6:36 PM on November 29, 2005

wha? no-wiper?

Yes, it's called a Flawless Victory
posted by fourstar at 6:45 PM on November 29, 2005

I'm not convinced that fiber is the One True Way. Spinach has lots of fiber, but it does the exact opposite: It reappears like corn does -- only spinach is naturally in smaller bits.

Small, scattered, sticky bits.

posted by booksandlibretti at 8:09 PM on November 29, 2005

I've always heard it was fiber, as the others have said, ignoring, of course, the random "oh crap(no pun intended) I'm sick" poos.
posted by nile_red at 8:31 PM on November 29, 2005

This has been an extremely informative thread (no shit!), and I love the term "flawless victory."
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on November 30, 2005

"Me too. I wasn't kidding about the effects."

I bought it to be cool and leave it on my coffee table. I'm pathetic.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:23 AM on November 30, 2005

About the perfect no-wiper: You still have to wipe once to find out that you didnt really have to wipe, so the term no-wiper is just figurative, unless of course you're a gambler ;)
posted by poppo at 12:40 PM on November 30, 2005

Sometimes the toliet paper is completely clean

Looks like you've pitched some flawless victories. Mazeltov.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:46 AM on December 7, 2005

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