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Psychosexual Infantilism in Adults: The eroticization of regression Part 3

Section 3 of Thomas John Speaker's Doctoral dissertation "Psychosexual Infantilism in Adults: The eroticization of regression"

There were 27 respondents to the Infantilism Survey (26 male, 1 female). (Six of these males were members of the study group from 1980). Figure 1 presents data on the ages of the respondents, 2 is residential data and 3 is occupational data. See Appendix A for sample Questionnaire and details of responses by question. Data to several questions are presented in figures 1 - 14. (Figures can also be found on pages 61 ? 66).

Using the survey responses it is possible to create a portrait of an "average" survey respondent. He is male (better than 99% are) and about 38. He works a white collar job (management or professional). He is heterosexual and is married or living with a sexual partner. He has completed a bachelor's degree and some graduate courses. Looking at sexual preferences he enjoys dominance and submission (usually as a submissive). D & S activities will sometimes involve infantilism.

"Alvin" (our average respondent) is more likely to have been the oldest or youngest child than a middle sibling. He was not abused as a child and his parents treated him age appropriately. He was, however, enuretic. Bladder control was not achieved until age 5 at which time Mother ended the use of diapers.

As he matured Alvin found he reached puberty at approximately the same age as peers, and had his first orgasm at age 12. He returned to diapers, by choice, by age 14. Sexual orientation during adolescence was heterosexual and he had normal adolescent experiences with girls. When in diapers, however, he was aroused and continued to masturbate in them in secret.

In adulthood Alvin gained further heterosexual experiences without diapers being present. He is also likely to have acted out infantile fantasies with a partner. He is a moderate to heavy social drinker, wine being the beverage of choice 1-5 times per week. He is unlikely to use prescription, over-the-counter or street drugs more often than once per month.

Describing current infantilism activities he says he wears diapers and plastic pants often (1-20 times per month). Rubber pants are sometimes used. He has a waterproof sheet on his mattress daily. He wets his diapers less frequently than he wears them and must wet consciously (i.e. he is not enuretic). The wearing of diapers occurs mainly at night although occasionally he will wear them all day (24 hours). He is unlikely to soil himself. Other infantile practices include sometime use of a baby bottle, pacifier and a bib. He is not likely to have adult-sized infant furniture such as a crib, highchair or playpen. (One source priced an adult crib, custom-made, at $1,000) (L'lemart, #2, p. 6).

Diapering regularly involves use of baby powder, and less frequent use of baby oil, baby lotion or diaper rash medication. Use of drugs to reduce bowel control (soap sticks, enemas and laxatives) is rare. Alvin seldom wears other types of baby clothing (e.g. booties, bonnet, diaper top, sleepers, etc.). Despite regular wearing of diapers, use of a diaper pail is also rare (perhaps because of infrequent soiling or wetting - diapers can be included in the regular wash without special handling. Disposable diapers (e.g. Attends, Ambeze or Tranquility "disposable incontinent briefs") are often worn but cloth diapers were preferred by most respondents.)

Approximately one-half of all infantilism experiences involve a partner, usually a "lover or friend", and less frequently a spouse. He engages in infantilism because "he prefers and enjoys it". Wearing diapers is sexually arousing and he regularly masturbates to orgasm while in them.

This average respondent is likely to be involved in a heterosexual relationship, but, the lover is not likely to participate in infantilism activities. Masturbation and the use of fantasy literature are likely to enhance maintenance the fetish. Few infantilists are unaware that fantasy literature exists, for the fetish. (See fig. 9 for the titles in one infantilist's collection.)

Use of diapers has caused problems for Alvin, usually in the form of damaged relationships, but therapy is seldom sought as a remedy. Positive aspects of infantilism are stress reduction and a reliable "turn-on". (While acting out the fetish he is usually the submissive "baby" although he is. able, on occasion, to play a dominant "grownup" to another infantilist.) Psychosexual infantilism is seen as a lifestyle and he spends approximately $325 per year to act it out. He is unlikely to have used the services of a professional dominant or submissive.

Alvin would like to have a more interested and supportive sexual partner, one who encourages fulfillment of ultimate fantasies. His ultimate fantasy would be a variation of the following story:

I am an orphaned, grade school boy. Being alone in the world I have survived by becoming very mature and responsible, so much so that the people running the orphanage tend to forget that I really am still a little boy. At some point a couple comes to the orphanage looking for a child to adopt. They walk through the dormitory looking at the children, but the wife keeps looking at me. Somehow she sees through the exterior facade I have learned to project to the outside world. She sees the lonely, scared, vulnerable little boy who desperately needs a mommy and daddy to love and care for me.

After they adopt me, my new Mom and Dad quickly let me know that I am not expected, indeed will not be allowed to be as responsible for myself as I previously was. Item-by-item they assume the responsibilities themselves for study and playtimes, eating, bedtimes, clothing selection and dressing. In their efforts to meet my needs and foster relationships within my new family they succeed in creating in me a juvenile dependency more typical of a pre-school boy than a child of my natural age. My relations with Mommy and Daddy expand from emotional to behavioral and even physical dependence as I slide into a new, very toddler-like status.

...I envision awakening in a room which seems in transition from nursery to a little boy's room (or is it going the other way?). Taken from my crib I begin the day with the same sort of breakfast any other toddler boy might have, complete with highchair, bib, cereal in a cute little dish, and a bottle of milk. Mommy soon has me changed from night-time diapers and sleepers to a light-weight training panty and little boy school clothes as it is a school day. I grab my lunch box and a big hug from Mommy and Daddy and head for the school bus.

I like going to school. The work is interesting and I'm a pretty good student. I also do pretty good acting like the other guys; they seem to like me and play with my friends until my baby sitter drives up to take me home.

This lady takes care of me in the afternoon until Mommy and Daddy get home. She dresses me in play clothes, with heavier training pants, and lets me play in the yard. By the time my parents get home I'm feeling pretty hungry, pretty sleepy and pretty "little". Dinner is ready soon, again in the high chair, followed by some before-bed play. Mommy gets me ready for bed, reads me a story and tucks me into my crib, with my teddy bear ("Howard", a 35 year old bisexual male).

Ultimate fantasies include more props than current behavior e.g., baby clothing and furniture. In fantasy, partners are supportive and more dominant than in reality. Most infantilists also have "taboo fantasies", fantasies which are arousing but would not ever be desirable to act out. Two main elements of these are extreme alterations of reality (e.g. surgery to make one more babyish, for example permanent incontinence, permanent infantilization or permanent institutionalization or severe dominance (e.g. torture)) or public exposure of infantilist desires and behaviors in current social environment to friends, parents or coworkers.

In an attempt to gain more information on infantilist sexual preferences, survey respondents were encouraged to answer the Wilson Sex Fantasy Questionnaire (Wilson, 1978; Gosselin & Wilson, 1980). The questionnaire was returned by slightly more than one-half of the survey respondents (N=15). One advantage of this questionnaire is that Wilson normed the answers with control groups. He also surveyed sadomasochists, rubber and leather fetishists, transvestites, transsexuals and dominant women. These variant groups can be compared with infantilists.

The Fantasy Questionnaire consists of a frequency rating indicating how often sexual fantasies involving certain themes occur. Fantasies during daydreaming, during sex, and during sleep are rated as well as how often these fantasies are acted out and how often one would like to act them out (see Appendix B).

To score the Fantasy Questionnaire one adds ratings in the "Have Done in Reality" column. Items are grouped into 4 themes: exploratory, intimate, impersonal and sadomasochistic:

A statistical classification technique called factor-analysis was applied to the results to reveal four main types of sexual fantasy. These were; (1) Exploratory, including themes such as group sex, promiscuity, mate-swapping and homosexuality; (2) Intimate, including kissing, oral sex, outdoor love and masturbating a partner; (3) Impersonal, e.g. sex with strangers, watching others make love, fetishism, using objects for stimulation and looking at obscene pictures; and (4) Sadomasochistic, e.g. whipping or spanking, being whipped or spanked. Note that this classification was arrived at by empirical. clustering, not by theory or intuition (Wilson, p. 134).

The Fantasy Questionnaire was completed by 14 males and 1 female. The range of the male scores as well as the mean is presented in figure 13. The female response is compared with male mean scores in figure 14.

Gosselin and Wilson (1980) discuss the fantasy themes in relation to the scores of the variant groups:

These yield some interesting comparisons: transvestites, for example, show a surprisingly low incidence of intimate fantasies, almost as if such themes, if played out in practice, would lead to conflicts about their gender identity. But the high incidence of intimate fantasies among the other variant groups counters the often heard suggestion that these groups adopt their deviant practices because they are incapable of, or not interested in, sex within the context of a loving relationship.

The rating differences for exploratory themes are not great enough to distinguish variant from control groups (although the sadomasochists have the highest score in this category), and this may come as a surprise to those who were under the impression that variancy is the hallmark of those at the frontiers of sexual exploration.

The rubber fetishist group scores highest for impersonal themes as might be expected for a variation that seems at least in some measure to transfer sexual attention from human beings to the inanimate. Interestingly the leather fetishists are not so clearly distinguished on this factor, although they, and the sadomasochists are noticeably higher in this category than the control group.

The sadomasochistic fantasy category most strikingly distinguishes all the variant groups from controls - not just the sadomasochists themselves, who of course have the highest score of all. The implication that all the variant groups are preoccupied to a greater-than-average extent with the power elements of sexual relationships - dominance and submission (which may or may not include an interest in physical hurting or being hurt) - is of considerable theoretical interest. If simple avoidance of human relationships were at the root of theses variations, they would be distinguished more clearly in the impersonal fantasy category, which might have been sufficient to characterize the fetishists and transvestites with only the sadomasochists being identified on the sadomasochism factor.

The fact that the fetishists and transvestites also have sadomasochistic interests could be interpreted as evidence that all our variant groups are alike in seeking particular social relationships for their sexual pleasure. We have already seen that submission is an element that is particularly popular among our variant groups (Gosselin & Wilson, pp. 81-83).

Median scores for male-infantilists fell close to the norms on the exploratory and intimate themes but were almost double control group ratings on the impersonal (similar to the rubber fetishist group scores) and almost triple the score control groups had on the sadomasochistic fantasy scale (See figure 13 and 14). These results point out that sexual attention in fetishists is transferred to non-humans objects and that infantilists are even more concerned with the erotic aspects of power in their relationships than with the object itself. Infantilists find wearing diapers arousing, but acting out with a dominant partner is especially arousing. Note that 20 of 27 survey subjects responded affirmatively to the question "Have you ever had sexual experiences with a partner which INCLUDED the use of diapers or baby items?". Remember that the admission of infantilism had "caused problems for you, either in personal life or in a relationship" for 19 of 27. That the risks of rejection, guilt or embarrassment is so high and that so many infantilists seek the involvement of a partner despite these risks indicate how important a role dominance and submission plays in infantilist behavior. The rewards of heightened arousal are felt to substantially outweigh the risks and compel the infantilist to seek out a dominant (in some cases submissive) partner with whom to act out the fantasy. Compare this finding with the scores of the control groups and it is clear that dominance and submission is not a peripheral practice of psychosexual infantilism, but rather one of the two main behaviors (along with infantile objects) defining the fetish.

Figure 11 compares infantilist mean scores with those reported by Gosselin & Wilson who explain the scores this way:

The fantasy output scores suggest that the variant groups, especially the sadomasochists are higher in libido than the controls. Only the transvestites score about the same as normals on total fantasy output. There are, however, reasons for supposing that these figures may exaggerate the sex drive of the variant groups. We have already seen suggestions in our data (to be confirmed later) that there is a greater discrepancy between fantasy and behavior in the variant groups than in the controls. This is presumably because, as we have said, it is often more difficult to act out variant fantasies than conventional ones. Sadomasochistic fantasies in particular are likely to be difficult to put into practice. Thus, although the correlations among the different sex-drive measures are high, their levels do not fully correspond (Ibid., pp. 83-84).

Figure 12 compares mean scores of infantilists with those reported by Gosselin and Wilson on measures of sex drive and satisfaction. Infantilists report "4-5" orgasms per week with a comparable standard deviation. This is a greater number than any of the other groups but the respondents group included 6 subjects reaching orgasm "6 times per week or more". (Seven of the 27 survey subjects reported daily use of diapers with every survey respondent reporting "masturbation while wearing diapers".)

Infantilists report approximately "3-10" sexual partners in their lifetime, a figure less than the control group and in the middle of the variant groups. (Mean age of the subjects was 37.8 years; today the mean age of first intercourse for boys is 15 years.) (Raasch; 1985, p. 10).

Infantilists rate themselves as having "above average" sex drives, but this figure may also be inflated by daily contact with the sex object. They also report "reasonable satisfaction" with their steady sexual partner. This level is slightly higher than sadomasochists, equal to the reports of rubber fetishists and less than controls. The level of satisfaction correlates with whether a partner is needed or not:

Fetishism and transvestitism may be carried out without a partner, and in fact, are often preferred that way, so the partner can be assessed on the other forms of sexual enjoyment. The sadomasochist, on the other hand, needs a partner for the fulfillment of his desires. Seldom can self-bondage or self-flagellation be very effective as a sexual turn-on. If then, the partner does not participate in the sexual ritual, she is likely to be judged adversely" (Gosselin & Wilson, p. 86).

Variant groups are "inclined to be less happy and fulfilled in their sex life than the control group" (Ibid. p. 87). Need for a partner to assist in infantile behavior (by dominating) and the difficulty, in obtaining and maintaining these relationships does affect satisfaction levels.


Age (n)
26 1
29 1
30 1
31 1
32 1
33 2
34 1
35 3
36 1
37 2
39 3
41 2
43 2
45 2
46 1
49 1
52 1
55 1
n=27   27

Figure 1


State (n)
Arizona 1
California 4
District of Columbia   1
Florida 1
Georgia 1
Idaho 1
Indiana 1
Maryland 1
Missouri 1
New Jersey 1
North Carolina 1
Pennsylvania 4
Virginia 2
Wisconsin 1
n=27 27

Figure 2


Occupation (n)
Accountant 1
Actor 1
Banker 1
Businessman 1
College Professor 2
Computer Consultant   2
Librarian 1
Manager 7
Meat Cutter 1
Printer 1
Professional 2
Psychologist 1
Research Scientist 1
Salesman 2
Software Engineer 1
Teacher 1
n=26 26

Figure 3


Age (n)
3 1
4 1
5 3
6 1
7 1
10 1
12 1
15 2
22 1
n=12   12

Figure 4


Age (n)
4 2
5 3
7 1
14 1
15 1
22 1
n=9   9

Figure 5


Age (n)
1.5 1
2 3
5 1
7 2
N=7 7
Don't remember=20  

Figure 6


Age (n)
9 1
10 1
12 6
13 5
15 2
16 1
17 1
19 1
21 1
n=19 19
Don't remember=8  

Figure 7


Age (n)
4 1
5 2
6 1
7 1
9 1
10 1
11 1
12 2
13 1
14 2
15 5
17 2
18 1
20 2
22 1
27 1
28 1
29 1
n=27   27

Figure 8

Baby Skip's Library

A New Life in DressesDiapers Jeannie Do It in Your Diaper
Adult Babyland Directory 1 - 3  La Boutique Sissy
Adult in DiapersLetters
And Baby Makes ThreeLetters to Florence
Baby Heaven 1 - 3Life Punished in Diapers 1 - 3
Baby Letters 1My Dream Come True
Baby Puddin' Finds LoveMy Sister's Diapers
Baby Puddin' New FriendsNaughty Babies 1 & 2
Baby Week 1984Nugget
Babyland Dreams 1Pamper
Back to the DiaperPeter's Vacation
Bedtime Stories 1 & 2Petticoat Manor
Big Babies Questions & Answers  Playboy Advisor
Big Boys Don't Wear DressesReturn to Babyland
Bladder Chatter News LetterReturn to Childhood
Boy in Wet PantiesRubber Life 1 - 10
Brownleigh Drawings 1 - 38Ruffles For Robert
Case HistoriesSchool for Girls
Coloring Book FunSex in Rubber Pants
DPF LettersSexual Infantilism in Adults
DPF News LetterSleeping Like a Baby D
DPF Product ReviewStrange Sex Practices Vol. 31  
Diaper Dominance 1Tales From the Crib 1-14
Diaper TimeTantrum
Diapered & Pantied 1 & 2The Advocate (national gay newspaper)
Didee Dreams 1 & 2The Bride Wore a Diaper
Doctor Plays Baby GamesThe Crib Sheet 1 - 39
Dominated & Diapered 1 - 4The Many Lives of Jonathan
Donald's Baby Dreams Come TrueThe Play Pen 1 - 9
ErolasticaTime Turned Back
Eugene Eunice 1 - 5Train Journey
Fetish TimesTrue Baby Experiences 1 - 3
Forever in DiapersTrue Baby Letters & Experiences 1 & 2
HIP Resource Guide 1984 Variations
House MotherVibrations
Husband in Rompers 1 - 3Why Doctor Why
In the Wee Wee Hours of the Morning  X Letters
Infantile Analysis 1

Figure 9

(in dollars)

Amount (n)
0 1
30 1
50 1
100 4
150 3
200 2
250 2
300 3
400 1
500 3
900 1
1500 1
n=23 23

Figure 10

Mean scores of variant and control groups on four main categories of sexual fantasy derived from the Sex Fantasy Questionnaire. (wilson, l968).

Intimate   Exploratory   Impersonal   Sadomasochistic   Total
Sadomasochists   19.5 11.3 12.8 17.8 61.4
Rubberites   17.4 8.6 13.0 12.8 51.8
Leatherites   15.0 8.7 10.9 13.2 47.8
Transvestites   13.1 7.2 7.4 8.7 36.4
Infantilists   23.0 13.4 17.6 18.0 72.0
Controls   16.9 8.1 7.6 2.3 34.9

Figure 11 Male infantilist mean scores by category
(Adapted from: Ibid. p. 81)

Mean scores (and standard deviations) of variant and control groups on measures of sex drive and satisfaction.

Sado- masochists   Rubber-   ites Leather-   ites Transvest-   ites Infantil-   ists Controls
Orgasms per week  

2.62(1.3) 2.41(1.1) 2.63(1.1) 2.15(1.1) 3.00(1.1) 2.46(1.3)
No. of partners  

3.32(1.1) 2.72(0.9) 3.26(1.1) 2.64(0.8) 3.14(0.8) 3.56(1.0)
Self-rated libido  

3.27(0.9) 3.04(1.0) 3.21(0.8) 2.86(1.0) 3.57(0.8) 3.20(0.9)
Satisfaction with partner  

2.94(0.9) 3.00(1.1) 3.40(1.4) 3.32(1.0) 3.00(0.7) 3.38(1.1)
Overall sexual satisfaction  

2.42(1.0) 2.65(1.1) 2.92(1.3) 2.64(1.1) 3.l4(0.8) 3.02(1.3)

Figure 12 Male infantilist mean scores (and S.D.) (Adapted from: Ibid., p. 84)

Figure 13

Figure 13 Male infantilist scores; mean and range.
(Adapted from Gosselin & Wilson, P. 136)

Figure 14

Figure 14 Comparison of female score and male score (Ibid.)

Dissertation: 1986| HTML conversion: 19 Sept 2010

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