Defecating Well

When I was thinking about what to do for Corduroy Day (11/11) 2006, I talked to a friend from New Orleans about a symposium she went to.  During this symposium, which was the inspiration for the Corduroy Day Symposium, someone gave a talk on the best way to defecate. As some of you may know, a big interest of mine is living well (or at least better) and the little techniques it takes to get there; and since I finished making my toilet today, it seems like the appropriate day to talk about this, or at least link to assorted summaries.squatting

In short, if you squat while defecating, you’ll need less effort, you’ll be less likely to experience constipation, less likely to have hemorrhoids, less likely to have a heart attack on the toilet, less likely to develop colon cancer, and you’ll get a more complete evacuation of the bowels compared to sitting. I should also note that sitting, Western toilets are a pretty modern development, becoming popular in the mid-19th century. The implication, of course, being that our toilets are unnatural and inimical to healthy human defecation.

The Stoics believed that living according to nature was a part of eudaimonia (and as a note, I’ll be writing more on eudaimonia as this blog develops). So with an eye toward the Stoic notion of eudaimonia, I’ve got myself a squatting toilet. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to come over and use it sometime, but before doing that, you may want to do some squat thrusts to build up the muscles in your legs.



  1. Elena said

    Does the toilet you constructed allow squatting?

  2. Nathan said

    Yeah, it allows squatting, but you could also sit on it. It’s sort of goofy in how it works, but I’ve got a wooden structure you can squat from. The toilet is actually just a five gallon bucket with some charcoal, ash, and wood shavings in it and with a Luggable Loo toilet seat on it that my folks got me for Christmas.

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