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Book review: Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas

Book by Paul Rulof, review by BitterGrey

The Age Play and Diaper Fetish Handbook

While ageplay might seem like a neat and tidy category, there are a number of aspects about it that have yet to be dealt with satisfactorily in print. When Paul Rulof, the author of "Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas" contacted me about reviewing his book, I was optimistic.

The bulk of this book is dedicated to an overview of the various roles, scenes, etc., that are involved in general ageplay. It also touches on other topics such as negotiation, coming out, and others. The text is thoughtful, not burdened by with how-to details or excessive analysis. Those who read through Lee Harington's "Toybag Guide to Age Play" and wished it were longer might want to consider this book.

Rulof's book also includes a demographics section. While short, Rulof deserves kudos for having one. It is based on the profiles of Fetlife members. 44,942 Fetlife members mention an interest in ageplay; 37,580 in father-daughter ageplay. In contrast, only 566 mention an interest in mother-son ageplay, and 835 in daddy-baby girl ageplay. He touches briefly on why the Fetlife numbers don't match DPF's: One relates to scene preference, while the other relates to the actual sex of member. It might have been interesting to compare apples to apples, since the ageplayers of Fetlife and the ABDLs of DPF might be demographically different. While not a great demographics section, it was good to see one in print.

Rulof also dedicates some space to an overview of the reasons given to explain interests in ageplay. He doesn't attempt any editorializing as to which are actual causes and which are mere justifications or rationalizations. It seemed odd that Maslow's hierarchy of needs was listed among the sexual reasons, as opposed to the non-sexual reasons.

Sadly, the book doesn't seem to take the next step and deal with some difficult or dangerous topics in sufficient detail. In particular, the contrast between ageplay and pedophilia might be the best litmus test differentiating a great ageplay book from one that is merely good. Rulof has a section on roles that starts out with an example: " 'You get the cookies after you get into the van' said the old man with the crooked smile." The book also has a section dedicated to discussing the stigma caused by confusing ageplay and pedophilia. In another section, the author stresses that as in rape play, ageplay occurs between consenting adults. The phrase "rape play" is used in the book, but the parallel phrase "pedophilia play" is avoided. Clearly, there are differences between pedophilia and ageplay. I had hoped this book would provide a stronger, clearer discussion about those differences.

"Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas" isn't exceptional, but few books are. It still might be worth looking in to.

Email BitterGrey[mail] | Last Update: 1 February 2012 | First: 1 February 2012

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