Mistress Matisse was writing about her shoot earlier in the week for Everything Butt, when she diverged onto a tangent about anal hygiene. (Bluntly: how to wipe your ass.) She wrote:

I myself have been playing with people’s asses for a long time, and I am a little casual about it. No, I am not into scat. Yes, if you want me to play with your ass, you should definitely clean it up. (I cannot tell you how many boys I have seen over the years who did not even wipe themselves properly. I’m serious. I think little boys do not get trained about wiping themselves as much as little girls do, or something.

Here’s how you do it, gentlemen. While you are still sitting, wipe, and then look at the toilet paper. Is it dirty? Drop it, get a fresh handful and wipe again. Repeat this until the paper shows no smudges. Is that clear? The while you’re sitting part is important because it means your ass is more spread open and thus easier to clean.)

When I saw that, I boggled, and then I went back and read it again. Nope, still boggled.

So: “No. No, that is not clear. Not at all clear. In fact, it is perfectly perplexing.”

I refer specifically to the charge that one should conduct this operation while sitting. More specifically: What? The? Fuck?

I am somewhat larger than the average bear. Mistress Matisse, doubtless, is somewhat smaller than me (this is understatement). But I still do not understand how she, or anyone else, can wipe their ass whilst still sitting firmly on the toilet, unless: 1) they have been endowed with the mysterious power of passing their hand (and bumwad) through porcelain as if it were air, or 2) they have an ass that is less than six inches wide or nine inches long.

I have numbers to back this up. I went to my bathroom and measured my toilet seat. It is standard; I know this to be so because I bought it from Wal-Mart. The hole in the seat is an ellipse, approximately 8.5 inches on the minor axis (width) and 11 inches on the major axis (length).

The diameter of my hand across the base while grasping a wad of paper in a loose fist is approximately four inches. This, admittedly, is much larger than usual; I have huge hands. Let’s divide that by two — I’ve met women with hands half the size of my own.

So, thus. Assume that one positions the organ of excretion approximately over the center of the hole, for symmetry and avoidance of extraneous mess. While sitting in that position, in order to reach through the hole and into the bowl (where the area to be wiped is positioned, if one follows the Mistress’s directions) there would need to be a gap larger than two inches, somewhere.

Let’s rule out going in from the front (might work for a woman if she had two elbows and rubber bones, but a man has complicating topology.) One side or the other might sort of work, albeit inefficiently due to the orientation of the axis of the butt crease; but that would require sitting on the throne in a significantly lopsided way, with the business at hand being more than two inches off center — a bad idea given that we’ve only got just over eight inches to work with here.

No, I assume that she’s proposing to reach around and go in from behind, to take advantage of local topological conditions. And that means that her instructions will only work for people who have, when sitting, butt cheeks that occupy at least two inches less than the five and a half inches present between the center of the seat hole and the rear edge. So, doing the math, 5.5 minus 2.0 equals 3.5. Quod erat demonstrandum; if, when seated, your butt print extends more than three and a half inches to the rear of your anus, Mistress Matisse’s instructions are not practical.

When I was four years old, I was about that size, and used a procedure much like the recommended one; but not once I grew even unto the size of a middle schooler.

From all of this we must conclude one of two things. Either Mistress Matisse is considerably smaller than hitherto suspected, or by “sitting” she means some version of that squatting/hovering/crouch maneuver that lithe women are said to use in deeply disgusting public bathrooms. Which would certainly be possible, only why didn’t she say so? And why would she go to that extra effort, when, even standing, it’s really not that hard to wipe until, as she puts it, “the paper shows no smudges”? (Personally, and this will be TMI if nothing else so far has been, I’m a fan of those moisturized cleansing wipes that come in a discrete plastic tub for storage on the top of your toilet tank. They do a much better job than paper.)

Or, just as possible, there’s some flaw in my assumptions. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anybody wipe their ass from any less than about thirty feet away, and that would have been outside under hunting camp conditions where no throne was present and no ass play was incipient. Maybe everybody but me shits into the front two inches of their toilet, directly onto the sloping porcelain above the water line (accepting the extra cleaning burden) to leave room for just such post-elimination procedures. I dunno.

What I do know, what I already knew, is that women are alien creatures, who sometimes speak to us in what sounds like the language we know, but the words (individually clear and distinct) convey nothing but confusion and perplexity when considered together.