It goes without saying that if you are squeamish, do not read this book. That said, I am not grossed out by discussions of toilet habits, menstrual rituals, farting or snot. In fact, it’s interesting to get to read a book about the things that it’s tough to converse about in polite company. Spinrad approaches the topic of the things that come out of our bodies with a detached yet not clinical approach. He is clearly interested in the topic, so his discussions are germane and his commentary is detailed and researched. On the other hand, he is not fetishistic so while the book spends a fair amount of time on people’s wiping habits when they take a dump, it does not venture into coprophilia, at least not that I remembered.
Spinrad collected much of the data for his book from usenet queries and as a result his sample set may be skewed towards the online crowd, but I really wonder if they wipe their butts differently from anyone else. While the book’s design and layout were less nifty than I have come to expect from REsearch books [the sidebars were just black and white images of what I must assume were intestines, colons and rectums] the text was compelling and I learned a lot from this book.