When a traveler from the United States makes a stop in certain places around the world like Europe or Asia, parts of Latin American and nearly everywhere through the Arabic world he is likely to come across a bidet. Since most Americans are unfamiliar with a bidet except as a prop for an easy joke in a movie or TV show, it can become a rather disconcerting event to finally meet up with a bidet in real life.
Understand what a bidet is for. A bidet may best be compared to toilet paper. It is used to clean off the genital area and buttocks, although it can also be used for such pedestrian purposes as cleaning sand off the feet after a trip to the beach.
There are typically two ways that a person can sit on a bidet: facing away or facing toward the tap. The reason this is typical is that not all bidets are uniform and it possible to come across one that requires that you only face one way or the other. The bidet, whichever the type, will have controls that allow you to aim the stream of water as well as adjust the temperature of the water so sit in whichever way allows you to be the most comfortable.
Bidets are meant to be sat upon, but if you prefer you can just straddle one and essentially hover over it. Run the jets before you sit or straddle, however, because if you don't know where the water is going to be coming from you could very well end up taking something more akin to a shower.
If your legs are unsteady or your balance is off, it is advisable to go ahead and sit down on the bidet. Some come with a lid, but in most cases you will be sitting directly on the rim. Don't despair, this is perfectly normal.