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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Is infantilism sexual?

By BitterGrey

Infantilism is usually discussed in a sexual context, but isn't necessarily sexual. ABDLs are joined by a common interest in diapers and babyhood. However, the urges driving their interests might be different. (For clarity, the narrow meaning of sex will be used in this article. This would include only activities directed toward ejaculation or orgasm, such as masturbation, intercourse, or foreplay.)

DLs, Adventurous People, ABs, ABs, and ABs

ABDLs are usually grouped into one of two loosely defined categories, ABs and DLs. About 46% of ABDLs self-identify as DLs, 22% as ABs, and the remaining 32% as both AB and DL [1].

Diaper Lovers (DLs) are sexually aroused by diapers. They might be driven by a diaper fetish. Diaper fetishes aren't hard for most to imagine: It's like being heterosexual, except that diapers are sexually arousing, instead of women. The majority of diaper fetishists are also heterosexual, so they find both diapers and women erotic. This, of course, is why there is an abundance of pictures on the internet of women in diapers, even though most ABDLs are men. There would be an urge to masturbate or be stimulated, climax, and ejaculate.

Particularly adventurous (but otherwise ordinary) heterosexuals might enjoy wearing diapers as a sort of an artificial vagina. They would, of course, need to get over the stigma that many have against diapers first. Homosexual Non-ABDLs might also enjoy it, but wouldn't think of the diapers as an artificial vagina. In contrast, diaper fetishists would think of the diapers as diapers.

Adult Babies (ABs) aren't as easy to categorize as the DLs. Adult babies might be driven by paraphilic infantilism. This drive isn't as easily to imagine. They may dress up and act as babies, but some ABs retain an adult frame of mind. This permits them to intermix sexual and non-sexual play. Since ABs wear diapers and can be adventurous, many of them enjoy diapers as otherwise ordinary people might.

However, sometimes ABs try to achieve a baby-like frame of mind, or headspace. At these times, they might enjoy contact and become excited or erect, but would actively avoid masturbation and intercourse. When asked to choose between masturbation or sex with someone as an ABDL activity, 14% chose neither [2]. ("Don't know" and "none selected" were separate from this result.)

During a scene, ABs might also move in and out of an infantile mindset. Couples that include an AB may need to develop an understanding about when sex is or is not desired.


One reason that given for avoiding sex at times is due to the belief that real babies and small children are sexually innocent [3]. While it is true that real babies are sexually functional in many ways, their perceptions aren't yet colored by experience. For example, babies wouldn't interpret the manual stimulation from changing as a pleasant sensation, not as "second base." Another reason is that the aroused heterosexual urge may preclude getting in to or staying in an infantile headspace. Sexual stimulation has a chemical element that is difficult to ignore. Adults may build up their threshold to stay in an infantile headspace, in spite of this. These ABs would want to keep sexuality and their infantilism separate. This permits them to enjoy the fulfillment of both urges separately.

Somewhere Between Lust and Hunger

Of course, one reason why paraphilic infantilism is often discussed as if it was the same as the heterosexual urge is that doing otherwise would require describing the the drive. Fetishism could be described as similar to heterosexuality. For some, the urge that drives paraphilic infantilism isn't like heterosexuality, but more like a hunger.

All three - lust, hunger, and the urges of paraphilic infantilism are visceral desires. In the presence of what they desire, they mumble or shout "I want that!" When unfed, their strength builds up over time, and can be aroused in the presence of their focus. Afterwards, the three desires wane, to return after a while.

One key difference is the climax. The sexual arousal cycle drives toward the climax, ejaculation, and orgasm. "Second base" isn't a destination; it is two bases away from the "home run." Climax, ejaculation, and orgasm are followed by a sudden drop in arousal. There may be some affectionate play afterwards, but for most human males, that is it. In contrast, the desire for food peaks near the beginning of the meal. The first bite of a sandwich is enjoyed most. The other bites may also be enjoyed, but not as much. Progressively, the hunger is satisfied. The sandwich may still taste good, but the visceral drive will be gone. (More elaborate meals obscure this by teasing the urge with the light appetizers and then stretching it to include desert.)

This vague pull towards diapers and babyhood is hard to describe. In my experience, it has had an arousal pattern more similar to hunger than sex, with a tapering off as the desire is satisfied.


The desires of ABDLs are sexual in some, but not inherently sexual in others. Diaper lovers have urges consistent with a diaper fetish. Adult babies may include sex in their activities as any adventurous heterosexual or homosexual adult might. However, they might try to keep their adult sexuality and the pursuit of an infantile headspace separate. Most ABDLs are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, but some also have a distinct desire that is more similar to hunger than lust in ways. Some may wish to pursue this distinct desire and their sexuality at separate times.

- Updated:20 March 2011  1st:10 May 2006     

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[icon] Books and Other References:
  1. Daves Diaper Survey, Section 10 - Into the Future Retrieved 2002 from http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Island/5861/ds3_s10.txt, now mirrored at web.archive.org
  2. Daves Diaper Survey, June 2001 survey results, Retrieved 2002 from http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Island/5861/page20.html
  3. Stekel, W. (1952). Patterns of Psychosexual Infantilism. Washington Square Press, pg 142-143, ISBN 0871408406