Rome was a sophisticated society and ahead of its time. First century Rome actually had over one hundred public bathrooms for people to use. Some of them even had marble seats to sit on and Greek mythology scenes painted on the walls. Running water and their form of toilet paper was provided, too.
Toilet paper could be a leaf, moss, or your left hand. Most Romans, however, used something they called a spongia, or a sea sponge on a long stick. The stick had to be long due to the structure and design of the Roman toilets. The public restrooms had long marble benches with holes cut out of the top of them.They also had a hole in front of the benches.
You did your business right next to your friend, because there were no dividing walls between the holes. Romans wore tunics and probably didn’t wear anything underneath them. They just hiked up the back of their tunic and were able to keep their fronts modestly covered.
When they finished doing the deed, they’d rinse the sponge in the stream of water at their feet and without having to stand up and reveal yourself they would stick the sponge through the front hole and wipe their tush.
Then, they would rinse the sponge off again and put it back in the basin for the next person to use. Who wouldn’t want to have reusable toilet paper and share it with strangers!