is infantilism? - - Is it |
- - -
An AB/DL Primer
By B. Terrance Grey
(also avialable in PDF format.
There is a group of deep urges
that involve a central theme: diapers or babyhood. Formally, these
urges are known by the terms paraphilic infantilism and diaper
fetishes. Informally, someone who has them is called an Adult Baby
(AB) or a Diaper Lover (DL), respectively. The combined acronym is
used loosely to refer to the group of urges (AB/DL) as well as those
who have them (AB/DLs, or individually, an AB/DL). AB/DL generally
involves wearing diapers, and may include related actives as well,
such as sleeping with stuffed animals.
The majority of AB/DLs are
heterosexual males. Most AB/DLs realize that they are different
between the ages of 5 and 15. At this age, they realize that they
have a focused, persistent urge that others don't. The urges are a
lingering, compulsive hunger. While young children might show a
passing interest in diapers, the urges of an AB/DL are generally
life-long. Many AB/DLs have tried desperately to change. Few are
successful, if any.
AB/DL is not directly harmful,
but there are indirect psychological and social dangers. AB/DLs may
have thought that they were only one with these urges, and may grow
up with the stigma of being "perverts." In some, this leads to
isolation, guilt, and despair. The social and professional risks of
being discovered can be severe.
These urges are not a
syndrome in the strictest sense: The backgrounds, interests, and
practices of AB/DLs vary. They have come from loving homes as well
as strict or abusive homes. Some AB/DLs enjoy wetting and soiling
their diapers, while other AB/DLs find such activities gross. There
are endless combinations and variations. This diversity suggests
that AB/DL may have multiple causes. Whatever the cause, AB/DLs have
to live with a powerful urge.
Infantilism and Diaper Fetishes
At any given moment,
AB/DLs can be divided into two groups. The line dividing these
groups can be as narrow as the line dividing a nurturing pat from a
heated fondle. At a particular time, some AB/DLs will want to cuddle
with mommy, assuming the role of the baby. At other times, they may
want a sexual encounter with their spouse, retaining the role of
grown-up lover. This division generally affects three things: 1)
the focus, 2) the roles played in fantasy or in scenes with an ideal
partner, and 3) the level of sexuality in AB/DL play.
- Adult Baby
such as baby with mommy
relationship with partner is separate from AB play
- Baby wears
- Diaper Lover
- No inherent
- Play is
- DL, partner,
or both wear the diapers
are the easiest to describe. They are a
fetish, a sexual attraction to diapers or other infantile objects.
In it, the diapers themselves serve as a sexual focus. Someone with
a diaper fetish is commonly called a Diaper
might also include those who have a rubber fetish or plastic fetish,
who might skip the diapers and focus on the rubber or plastic
waterproof pants. The diaper lover's idealized partner would be an
erotic lover. If their actual partner is willing, diapers and other
fetish objects can be incorporated into their sexual relationship.
The DL might prefer to wear the diaper, to have his partner wear the
diaper, or for both to wear diapers. The presence of diapers may
lend itself to roleplay such as doctor-patient or nurse-patient, but
diaper fetishes don't inherently involve roleplay.
easily explained is paraphilic infantilism
. (It is often
called infantilism, for short.) Infantilism is not a fetish.
Fetishes focus on a sexually charged object. Infantilism focuses on
the self-image of the Adult Baby (AB)
. The AB has an
alternate self-image of a baby. This is similar to a transvestite,
except that instead of engaging a female alter-ego every now and
then, ABs engage an infantile alter-ego. ABs cannot physically
become infants, but try to simulate infancy. This may include the
use of adult-sized diapers and baby clothing, toys, baby oils and
powders, etc. If the AB's partner is willing to engage in
roleplay, she will play the mommy (or he will play the daddy) while
the AB plays an infant or toddler. When roleplaying, the AB would
try to achieve a baby-like mood or mindset. As a result, sex during
the scene would seem incestuous. The AB and partner may have an
ordinary sexual relationship at other times, but not while engaged in
infantilistic play. As would be expected, the baby wears the
diaper lovers, adult babies are generally masochistic. Masochism is
a desire be deprived of status, comfort, or control. Individual
adult babies will fall into one of three sets, based on how their
masochism is expressed. The first set is simply infantile. Assuming
the role of baby inherently involves surrendering control. In some
cases, this may be stretched into an early childhood role to include
spanking or scolding. The second set has a conventional masochism
that they practice when they aren't engaged in baby play. They might
be in diapers one evening, and in leather or chains the next evening.
The third set integrates conventional masochism into infantilism in
a single scene. This might involve mixing baby items with bondage and
discipline that would be abusive if used on a real baby. The hard
restraints bring a tangible sense of powerlessness. However, they
also tend to ruin the babyish mood by corrupting any sense of
nurturing. Because of this, the practices of the third set are
incompatible with the other two sets of ABs.
the division between infantilism and diaper fetishes is clear at a
particular moment, AB/DLs might practice both. They can only engage
in one or the other at any given time. Many AB/DLs describe
themselves as "mostly AB" or "mostly DL", based on which they
engage in more.
What AB/DL is not
touched on what AB/DL is, it may be helpful to mention what it is
is a compulsion to treat children as sexual objects. Unlike
pedophilia, AB/DL play does not involve actual children. It takes
place between consenting adults. In it's strictest sense, AB/DL
also does not involve sexual acts with adults pretending to be
children. The AB/DL community does not condone involving actual
children in infantilistic, fetishistic, or other age-inappropriate
is a broad term with many meanings. Generally, it means to act with a
decreased level of maturity. In some cases, regression can be
unconscious or involuntary. ABs regress, but those who regress aren't
infantilism' is usually shortened to 'infantilism,' but this isn't
entirely correct. Infantilism may also mean 'lacking development.'
Mental retardation is a case of mental infantilism, but not
paraphilic infantilism. Mental retardation involves never having
achieved average capacity and maturity. Paraphilic infantilism
involves people of average mental capacity and maturity, who set
their maturity aside at times.
Practical or Voluntary Use
who need diapers for medical reasons are probably not AB/DLs. While
they may wear and use diapers, they aren't necessarily doing it to
express an alternate self-image or indulge a fetish. Of course, some
who have medical reasons for wearing diapers are also AB/DLs. This
also applies to those who use diapers for practical reasons, such as
astronauts, divers, and sadomasochists. Finally, there are some who
start wearing diapers as a new kink.
are many that wear diapers but aren't paraphilic infantilists or
diaper fetishists in the strictest sense. Their motivations and
underlying mechanisms are different. However, those who share AB/DL
interests and practices are generally welcome in the communities, and
may sometimes be counted as AB/DLs.
Elements of AB/DL Fantasy
While the fantasies of AB/DLs
are more numerous and varied than the AB/DLs themselves, there are
some common elements.
Force or coercion is
sometimes present in fantasies to remove guilt. The AB/DL deflects
the guilt of wanting to be put back in diapers by fantasizing that
someone else forced it upon them. Superficially, this makes it
someone else's fault.
AB/DLs may enjoy
looking at pictures showing who they want to be, as opposed to who
they want to be with. For example, a heterosexual male AB may enjoy
looking at pictures of men in diapers: He may be imagining himself as
the men in the diapers.
common fantasy among adult babies involves a permanent return to a
more baby like position. This may involve being put back in diapers
or returned to the nursery for the rest of their life. These
fantasies may be enjoyed even by ABs who are consciously aware that
they wouldn't want to give up their adult lives.
self-consciousness are learned traits, not expected from infants and
small children. Babies can be out in public in just a diaper and
T-shirt, and can be changed openly. Adult Babies can't legally do
these things, but commonly fantasize about it.
Integrating other Interests
individual AB/DL may have other interests that have become integrated
with AB/DL. For example, sissies
are male ABs that have integrated the urge to be a baby with the urge
to be female. The urges may be fully integrated, and
so only expressed together. Such an individual would simply want to
be a baby girl, but not a baby boy or a woman. They also might be
only partially integrated, so they might be expressed separately as
well as together.
example are those who have integrated infantilism and a furry
alter-ego. These people are called babyfurs
They fantasize about being puppies, kittens, or cubs. Typically,
these baby animals would wear diapers and have other human traits as
and babyfurs are among many groups resulting from the integration of
side-interests with infantilism. The combinations can themselves be
combined in countless ways. For example, there are sissy babyfurs.
Elements of AB/DL Practice
Aside from the many
things that AB/DLs would like to do, but can't, there is an
extensive list of practices that they might actually engage in. Some
common elements and practices are be listed here.
A difficult choice
that AB/DLs must face is who to tell about their interests. This
offers the possibility of being accepted for who they are, and not
having to hide. However, it also includes the risk of disgrace at
home, school, and work. While this is generally not the first
practice to be engaged in, the AB/DL needs to consider this before
other practices, because all practices include the risk of being
Wetting and Soiling Diapers
When wearing diapers,
many AB/DLs like to urinate in them. Others do not wet their
diapers, either because they find it gross, or simply don't enjoy
it. Some AB/DLs who wet also like to soil their diapers. Others
don't because they find it gross, don't enjoy it, don't want to
go through the cleanup afterwards, or aren't in a place where they
can mess themselves without being obvious. Some AB/DLs have
difficulty wetting their diapers when they want to. Such shy or
overtrained bladders can be moderated using behavioral methods.
Wearing Diapers Under Clothes
A common compromise
between wanting to wear diapers and needing to go about daily life is
to wear diapers under normal clothing. While ABs do this, they
would do so in their everyday mindset, as opposed to an infantile
one. ABs and DLs who do this may need to pay more attention to how
detectable their diapers are than they would need to if they were
wearing them for medical reasons. This is especially true of those
who still live at home with their parents, or wear diapers at work.
They need to maintain a level of stealth, so their diapers aren't
detected. In other circumstances, the AB/DL might be OK being simply
discrete, so that it isn't obvious that he is diapered. If a
passerby on the street that noticed the diapers, he or she would
probably dismiss them as medically necessary.
The binge/purge cycle
After engaging in
AB/DL activities, some may be driven to try to give up AB/DL
altogether. They 'purge'
by discarding their collections of diapers and other items, deleting
computer files, etc. After a few days to a few months, the urges
build up, and cause the AB/DL to 'binge.' He intensely returns
to AB/DL activities, by buying more diapers, etc. After the urges
have been vented, the AB/DL may again be driven to give up, leading
to another purge. The binge-purge cycle is destructive, but can be
Finding a Mommy or Daddy
difficult part of life as an AB/DL is finding a compatible spouse.
For DLs, the search is difficult because there are few DLs in the
general population. For ABs, the search is harder still because
there is no clear counterpart. That is, while there is a set of
urges driving some adults to be babied, there isn't a matching set
of urges driving others to baby adults. In contrast, a masochist can
find happiness with a sadist, for example. Some AB/DLs are willing
to be 'switch' mommies or daddies, either taking turns as the
baby, or tending to 'baby' while wearing diapers under their own
clothing. Nonetheless, the high demand for female AB/DLs causes
some to be secretive to avoid being overwhelmed by those looking for
mommies. Female AB/DLs are not necessarily willing to be mommies.
Typically, AB/DLs need to find a partner from the general population
that is sufficiently maternal, paternal, or open-minded. AB/DLs
should discuss their interests with their spouse before the marriage.
DLs, there are prostitutes open-minded enough for diapers. For ABs,
there are professional 'adult babysitters.'
Wearing Diapers all the Time
Some AB/DLs progress
beyond intermittently wearing diapers under their clothing, to
wearing diapers all the time. While there is substantial variation
between individuals, this may reduce urinary control. In rare cases,
this has caused partial loss of control. Some ABs actively seek to
loose urinary control through hypnosis or behavioral untraining
methods. A few AB/DLs also wish to soil themselves uncontrollably.
In contrast, other AB/DLs enjoy to wear diapers intermittently more
than they would enjoy wearing them all the time.
Cloth vs. Disposable
The AB/DL urges often
focus on a specific type of diaper. AB/DLs raised in disposable
diapers might not be interested in cloth diapers at all. The
interests of older AB/DLs may be specific to cloth diapers, or the
waterproof pants worn with them. This focus can give a clue to the
age at which the urges developed. Some AB/DLs spent their infancy in
cloth, but ended up focused on the disposables that they were exposed
to as children. AB/DLs who wear diapers under their clothing might
wear either type, for practical reasons.
As in everything
else, the newness and novelty of specific AB/DL practices eventually
wears off. This habituation is why movies that we've seen many times
don't seem as intense, and why movies are becoming more violent over
time. Some AB/DLs are stable and continue doing what they have been
doing, at about the same frequency. Others will try new things to
maintain the novelty. These new practices are usually more elaborate
and extreme. This pursuit continues until stability is reached, or
some other factor limits the escalation.
Copyright (c) 2006 B. Terrance Grey
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt
| Status: Finished
| Last Update: 20 January 2006
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