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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Understanding Infantilism - The 1995 Article

By BitterGrey

This text was written for those who, because of internal conflict, curiosity, or some other need are driven to explore infantilism. Many have come to accept infantilism as part of themselves, just as they would their own hand, and go on about their lives. This paper is not intended to bring into doubt that acceptance, but to present, explore, and explain infantilism to those who have yet to either accept or reject it. It was written for either the infantilist himself or those who wish to understand those of this orientation.

Because so much is concealed, forgotten, or repressed, this topic is not clearly understood and difficult to survey. The views presented here should be evaluated with this in mind.

What is Infantilism?

Put simply, infantilism is an uncommon and possibly sexual orientation toward infantile things, actions, or situations; usually giving sexual pleasure, emotional comfort, or an outlet for social stresses. In early or repressed stages, infantilism may first be noted as an unusual curiosity or interest things associated with babies. These could be objects, most visibly diapers, but could also be sensations or situations as well. Normally, these are notable because they oppose the common urging to mature or the common aversion to bodily waste. At puberty, these interests may take on an additional, sexual element, becoming more influential and typically more repressed. If acted on, they may involve experimenting with some form of diaper. This experimentation may be accompanied by masturbation and fantasies. Diapers may become a common theme in dreams. Feelings of guilt at being different, perverse, or disgusting are common, starting at the realization that these longings aren't common. This guilt tends to fade slowly after the discovery that there are others who share this orientation. As infantilism is rare, this discovery is usually in adulthood.

an abdl triangle

It is around this time that the infantilism might be better understood and classified. Like a triangle, infantilism has three corners, and a large area of middle ground. "Extreme" is used here in only a geometric sense, to describe points near the corners. Such classifications can be used to relate infantilism with more thoroughly studied orientations with similar mechanisms.

The most frequently published corner of infantilism is the diaper fetish. It focuses on infantile objects, such as diapers, plastic pants, and pacifiers. A typical diaper-fetish fantasies may go as follows...

While distant cousins are visiting his house, he had to share his bed with a girl. One morning, he wakes up in the middle of the night to discover that he has wet the bed. She also wakes up, and playfully persists that he is still a baby and still has to wear diapers. After much of this hazing, he gives in and gathers the parts for a makeshift diaper. He, being old enough to feel ashamed both of bedwetting and nudity, tries to put it on in the closet, where she can't see. However, she persists that babies don't change themselves, and that she will have to do it. She is also old enough to know about nudity, so the exposure of diapering makes the both sexually excited. from there, the sequence of sexual exploration continues.

In contrast, there are also stories that are nearer to the ~vestic/infantilistic corner. These focus on the change in role or age play, more than the presence of an item. A typical fantasy along these lines may go as follows...

Billy thought of his mother as loving, but with his father gone much of the time, the boy didn't need to obey her. She yelled and threatened but he didn't care. She'd keep reminding him of how beautiful he was as a baby and how poorly he turned out. One night when she was particularly upset, she commanded Billy to stay home and do his chores. Of course, he went out to the movies. It was summer and he figured that any 'work' could wait. ...And just to show his mother that she had no control, Billy went out to one of those double feature skin/slasher pairs, the sort she would never approve of.

It was late when he got home, so he took off his clothes and was going to bed when he noticed a strange box. It seemed to be filled with baby things that were strangely large. "Mom," he yelled impatiently "what's going on!"

"Until you get a job and move out, your my child," she answered. "I don't like the way you've grown and I want my baby boy back." He slowly realized that now, as if for the first time, she meant it. He just stood there dumbfounded as she walked in. Billy didn't think to cover himself; he couldn't think clearly at all. He just obeyed passively as his mother proceeded. By the time she laid him on the bed and slid the diaper under his fragrantly powdered bottom and taped it on, it seemed that his hatred and rebelliousness were melting away, exposing something he had hid deep inside. It seemed his mind was filled and clouded from that wonderful powder fragrance. She tickled his chest, and spoke softly to him. Billy started to hear something he had not heard in so long: his mother's love. He realized that he too wanted to be her baby boy, and somehow she understood.

Notice that force is often present, not only because a strong mother-figure is often involved to contrast the helpless infantile role, but also to remove feelings of guilt from the infantilist. This force may also take the form of a medical need. However, this force is a means to a role, not and end in its self. A dividing line between diaper fetish and age play is that of sex between "baby" and "mommy." Fetishists may hold their roles loosely, with very little influence on their actions. Age players may get deep into their role, and may see sex, in this context, as a possibly incestuous violation of the roles, something "mommy would never do." Age play stories are sometimes entirely without mention of sex. This also prevents the stories from being misread as pedophillic.

In age play a complete role change may involve no shame at all in extreme cases; the thoughts are that of a baby in its natural and accepted state. In contrast, the masochistic corner emphasizes the loss of status through baby humiliations . A person is stripped of any illusion of control, independence, or privacy. The thoughts are those of a man or older child, fully conscious of what is being taken from him. A typical fantasy is as follows...

He is an older child, old enough to be self-conscious but still soundly under the control of his mother. It was Sunday, which meant he had to wear the clothing his mother said made him look "like such a nice, quiet little boy." It was frilly and red and all the other boys made fun of him, because it made him look like a girl. His family was also visiting the mall today. He hated going to the mall, because the mall sometimes had lines at the restrooms and his mother had no patience. Sometimes he needed to go when his mother didn't want to take him and her solution was simple, but he hatted having to wear diapers.

So there he was, hoping nobody would see him, when they went into this glassworks shop. He was thinking about how much he needed to go when he herd the crash and knew he had broken something. His mother yelled and scared him: he just couldn't hold it. She dragged him out onto one of the benches, where everyone could see; friends, classmates, everyone. She took him up across her knees and pulled down his pants. He could almost hear the giggling and murmuring and mocking he would face the next day as the whole school would buzz about his piss-yellow diaper. He tried to cover himself but she grabbed both his hands and pulled them out of the way. He was in tears from the shame and the pain by the fifth time the hairbrush fell....

Please notice the two common and defining factors. First, although the emphasis shifts, infantilistic symbols occur in all, instead of the symbols typical of mainstream fetishism, transvestism, and masochism. Second, the infantilist tends to relate to the child. This is in contrast to pedophilia, where the child is regularly involved only as a focus or object. Also note that some fantasies are more 'realistic,' with ages changing to match the dreamer, wives replacing mothers, etc.

There is also a fourth group that is sometimes included in infantilism, the urophilics (urine, urination) and coprophilics (feces, defocation). (Mail me if these have common/street names, please.) They focus on either the process of wetting or soiling or the state of being wet or soiled. Diapers and infancy are sometimes involved either to enhance the mood or as matters of convenience and decency.

What causes it?

There are several views about what can cause infantilism. This is because the primary cause may vary from person to person, and may have faded leaving only an effect. In addition, secondary causes may also have an influence.

Expression/Counterbalance: Sexual orientation may permit a private alter-ego, one that compensates for the public personality in some way. A male who tends to be more feminine than would be publicly accepted may suppress that side of himself. This side may pull to be expressed by exerting a longing to be something else, and the man my have urges to periodically be feminine. That is, some aspect of personality that could not be expressed within one social role sparks an urge to change to another role temporarily to vent itself. A closely related flipside is counterbalance, that an extreme personality may try to balance itself by temporarily taking on an alternate role. For example, a rich and influential businessman who leads a stressful and responsible life may have a desire to become, for a brief time, powerless, helpless, and free from any type of performance-anxiety. This can give rise to the most suprising paraphilias, as they would be the last people that you'd expect.

Familiarity: One who has become medically incontinent may struggle to accept his disability and the connotations that he has to use a diaper, and so now is only a baby. This acceptance may eventually become and an embracing: they not only don't mind, but feel happier or more comfortable when in diapers. They may start using a bottle, etc., or continue wearing diapers after the medical need has cleared up.

Hormones/genetic-influence/spirit-guidance: That some innate tendency toward infantilism exists and influences in a way not effectively defined by science.

Imprinting/Association: Sex, when initially associated with something, may become more strongly associated with that thing as sexual urges increase. This tendency is greater where the first experience was dramatic or if the presence was repeatedly associated with sex. This gives rise to imprinting's tendency to be self-perpetuating if the paraphilia is practiced. In a similar way, infantilism may be pursued because of its other associations, such as the love and acceptance given to babies.

Novelty: This is sometimes not considered to be part of a true paraphilia, but can give rise to a form of infantilism. that is, there are no abnormal or unusual tendencies, just a willingness to become involved in something new and out-of-the-ordinary.

About the Author

My oldest infantilistic memory was back in grade school, possibly fifth or sixth grade. I was regularly alone in the house for short periods on weekday mornings, which I usually spent watching TV. A couple of times I improvised a diaper from T-shirts and masking tape. This was often followed by masturbation to climax, but without ejaculation. I remember having a strong interest in diapers, although I did not understand it at the time. The only fantasy that I recall as being near this time was that my grandmother's pictures of me, as well as my brother and sisters, had been lost. In an attempt to replace them, we were individually dressed as infants. (One peculiarity of my family was an avoidance of the words "baby" and "diaper.") Another, that is more of a seed from which something now forgotten developed, was one time when my mother threatened to put me back in diapers. I don't recall feeling the slightest bit against the idea.

When I got into Jr. High, things changed. I found three pornographic magazines and read them eagerly and repeatedly. An article in Nugget magazine titled "Petticoating Unruly Boys" was particularly interesting. It involved forced feminization and sprouted another, but still typical, fantasy about forced infantilism. Although the title illustration to the magazine's "exotic erotica" section was my first official experience with infantilism, I don't think I made the connection. It had a line drawing that suggested several sexual activities, including an obese man in high-heels, top hat, and diaper. I don't remember it too well, as it has been ten years since I destroyed the magazines out of guilt. I had an interest in the incontinence and baby supply sections of the sears catalog and, when I was not being watched, paid particular attention to commercials involving diapers. I also stumbled across this one Tom & Jerry cartoon showing voluntary age play and some baby humiliations, both of which I found strangely erotic.

I had always been escapist, thinking that what I wanted was somewhere else. I had learned Dungeons and Dragons in grade school, and now began writing my own games. This pursuit was bound for failure, but it was a good exercise in composition: I began using my words to explore and explain.

It was around this time that I began exploring another of my curiosities, that of Christianity. Like everything else I seem to do, I just started where I was, and went on, alone: only this time, it involved a Bible. At first, there was some undertone that it was a way to bring my fantastic hopes of magic and valor to reality. This, however, faded. It was fantastic, but not in the adventure game or comic book sense. My involvement with Christianity grew, but until college, it would continue to be something I did alone.

In high school, I started reading books on incontinence and toilet training. However, I began to be affected by an unspoken regulation of unsexuality. I started to feel more guilty about my masturbating, fantasizing, and wearing diapers. I tried to stop, and suffered bitterly under the guilt: Throughout High School and college it continued.

Some things did change in college, as it was there that I met other real Christians. Then a time came when I had some hard questions, such as "will animals have life in heaven" or "if God is omnipotent, why couldn't he stop death from coming upon man?" I studied and I asked, but their answers sounded made-up and lacked Biblical evidence. I continued my studies and came up with my own answers, which were different from theirs. There was no question in their mind - I was wrong and they were right. It was at this time I became a heretic; that is, I believe what I believe, not what someone else believes. There was one other change, as God stopped being something someone else talked about and started being someone real to me. At times, it was agonizing that I couldn't reach out and touch someone who seemed so close and so important to my life.

However, the guilt remained, but now I was older and more experienced. I set out to understand why I wanted to wear diapers. After some searching, I stumbled across a book on transvestism that had a short section on infantilism. I now knew, not only that it had a name, but that I was not alone. I continued to rake that library, as well as three others on the campus, as well as the libraries two other universities, and found more information. However, I did not find much more.

By experimenting and observing myself, I found that my orientation had two faces. One was quiet and docile, and seemed to be most fulfilled while suckling a bottle, in a soft bed, wearing a dry diaper, and drifting off to sleep after a reading of Servants of the Queen, a chapter in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. The story was about the various roles and niches of the animals in the turn-of-the-century army. Although it requires insight to understand how, this was truly a ~vestic/infantilistic theme. The other side was lusty in the conventional sense, and found diapers sexually arousing. However, it responds similarly to conventional masochism themes. I think the former is dominant, as now I'm not really excited by self-practiced masochism or by pornography. It could also be that the former is a social condition that has a sexual expression, but also shadows a dwarfed but otherwise conventional sexuality.


This is my understanding of infantilism. I would value your suggestions, views, and experiences.

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