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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Is Infantilism Acceptable? A Questionnaire

By BitterGrey

This question is hard to answer because it is broad and unreasonable. It's unreasonable because we don't think in terms of acceptability, but unacceptability. We can't give a reasons that something is acceptable, but it is easy to give reasons why something is unacceptable. The law is the same way. We don't have one general law that people are expected to keep, but lots of specific laws that people are forbidden to break. Things are legal only if they are not illegal. Safety is like that as well. Being safe is merely a matter of not being in danger from anything that is unsafe. It is a negative approach, but it works. As a result, something is acceptable only if it is not unacceptable for any reason.

One benefit to this negative approach is that we can divide the question. Instead of one question about "any reason," we can ask lots of questions about specific reasons. Better still, there is only a limited set of specific and likely reasons. While everyone's infantilism is different, and everyone's answers different, the questions can be pretty much the same. The broad, unreasonable query can now be answered with a standard checklist.

To keep your answers for reference, you can print this page out, or save it to your computer and edit it electronically. Using Netscape, you can access the editor by selecting File => Edit page. If you aren't using Netscape, you may be able to use your word processor to edit the file, but you may have to tell it to look for "all files" when opening.

This checklist is divided into six steps. In the first step, please write down the specific practices that you are interested in or are willing to explore. Try to be complete. Next, write down things that you would not be willing to do in the second box. The second box won't be complete. It is there mainly to record things that were in the first box, but you decided against afterwards.   These aren't written in stone.

The second step deals with the first-person concerns: Do I believe..., Do I want..., etc. They are the most basic and should be addressed first. Each question is yes or no, and the rightmost column gives some suggestions for how to handle "yes" answers. The third step deals with the third person concerns: friends, children, coworkers, etc. The fourth step explorers the possibility that infantilism might be a symptom of something else.  The fifth step focuses on practical matters.  Finally, the sixth step covers anything missed in the previous questions.

Once you have resolved all of the "yes" answers, you will have shown your infantilism to be acceptable.  If one or more "yes" answers linger, then there is something that you will need to resolve.  There are always options.  If the "yes" persists, then there is a reason that your infantilism is not acceptable.  Either way, you will have examined your position and done your best to act accordingly.  Either way, you will have acted acceptably.

This questionnaire is also available as a bulleted list , which may be easier to read in text-only systems or on narrow displays.

Step 1:Infantilism as you practice it:

Everyone practices infantilism in different ways.  For reference, please write down what practices you are interested in, or might consider doing as part of infantilism.  Feel free to revise or refine this description latter.

Below, please list practices that you would not consider doing.  

Step 2: Is it personally and Spiritually OK?

Yes or No?
If "Yes" then....
Does infantilism run your life?  Are you a slave to it?
No one should be enslaved by a practice or substance.  Just as in the case of alcohol, some may be OK, but it shouldn't run your life: Drinking isn't inherently a problem, but is a problem for alcoholics.  

You need to get control, either by abstaining from infantilism altogether (as with alcohol) or by exerting control (as with food).  
Does infantilism preclude you from doing something else that is more important to you?
There are many things infantilists cannot do, or need to take extreme caution when doing.   For example, the general public doesn't understand that  infantilism has nothing in common with pedophilia.  As a result, infantilists that work with children risk being accused by those who don't understand.

Re-access what you want to do, how you practice infantilism, and seek options.   There are always options.
Do you regularly turn to diapers for emotional comfort or as a reaction to serious problems?  Have they become an idol for you?
Idolatry happens whenever something is inappropriately substituted.  A common example is that of "comfort food."  People turn to food in response to stress.  The problem here is that the food can't solve the problem causing the stress.    Idolatry is the driving force behind gluttony, alcoholism, and workaholism.   Eating, drinking, and working aren't wrong, but shouldn't be substituted for other things, like a direct solution to the problem causing the stress.  

Diapers can only satisfy a paraphilia and keep your pants dry.  They can't make you happy.

Set the diapers, etc., aside for a time and try to solve the other problems directly.  Work to develop direct ways of getting what you need.   Then you will be able to enjoy life, and diapers, more fully.  
Do you believe that infantilism is Forbidden by your religion?
Needless to say, the relevance of this question depends on what your religion is.

There are hundreds of things explicitly forbidden in the Bible, and countless more that are simplicity forbidden.  Of course, this doesn't mean that they are all relevant to us.  

The closest the Bible comes to addressing infantilism is Deuteronomy 22:5, "A woman must not wear a man's clothing, nor a man wear woman's clothing."   Certainly, verse 5 may apply to other types of clothing.  However, it is closely followed by Deuteronomy 22:11, "Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together."  Certainly, verse 11 may apply equally to other types of fiber.  Does this make poly-cotton blends a sin?  

To complicate matters, Christians aren't to pick and choose aspects of the Old Testament Law to keep.   They are saved by faith in God's grace alone.  "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. '  Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because 'the righteous will live by faith.'"  (Galatians 3:10-11)  Christianity was never about being good enough.  

In some cases, the conclusion that infantilism is sinful comes from the generalization that being different is always evil.   Please write out carefully why you think infantilism is forbidden.  Make sure this conclusion is valid, as it may be sorely tested as you try to quit.  

Do you have a personal conviction that infantilism is immoral?
Even if something isn't forbidden by a formal law, it still might be sinful for you if it goes against your personal convictions.   (Paul discusses eating meat sacrificed to idols as an example.  Please see 1st Corinthians 8:7 and Romans 14:14.)

Carefully evaluate this conviction.   It also may have resulted from the generalization that being different is always evil.  Make sure it is well grounded as it may be sorely tested as you try to quit.
Do you believe that traditional wisdom opposes infantilism, and is reliable in that opposition?

Traditional wisdom embodies shared experiences and  prejudices.   Scientists discard it because there is no inherent way to know when traditional wisdom is correct.   Culture holds to it, because addressing social relationships in a scientific way is difficult.

For example, traditional wisdom holds that rigid cars are safer. All modern cars are carefully engineered to have sacrificial "crumple zones."  These zones protect the driver by absorbing the energy of high-speed collisions.   After this happens, the crumpled hood will give the perception that the driver barely escaped with his life.  Thus, the prejudice is re-enforced.

However, in this case, the traditional wisdom is also partially true.  The old cars that we think of as rigid are also extremely heavy.  In an impact, the effect is mostly felt my the lighter object.   The heavy car causes a danger to the lighter car, but the heavy car ends up with less damage.

There are many cases where traditional wisdom is beneficial, many cases where it detrimental, and many cases where it is simply obsolete.  

Note that there are two conditions here.
If traditional wisdom is unreliable, or indefinite in it's position on infantilism, then the answer is no.    
Are you uncertain about the answers to the above two questions?  Or, after finishing the questionnaire, infantilism in general?
In this case, "maybe" is a "yes."  Acting on your infantilism without being reasonably certain of it's acceptability is like out-driving one's headlights.  Dangers may be seen only after it is too late to act.  Slow down until you are sure.

Focus on the items that you aren't sure about and try to resolve them.

This category addresses core issues that will affect your life and may need to be dealt with.  The above questions involve you and your relationship with God.  If all questions are answered "no," then there is no reason in Step 1 for infantilism to be unacceptable.  Please move on to Category 2.  However, if any of the answers are "Yes" then there is something that you must resolve first.  You should not practice infantilism as long as you have a "yes" above.

Step 3: Is it socially acceptable?

This category involves the rest of society as well.  There is more room for negotiation and adjustment here, but the number of people involved may complicate things.  While the above questions may have driven major changes, these might only require discussion, negotiation, or planning.

Yes or No
If "Yes" then....
Does your infantilism directly hurt another person?
This would include staring enviously at those wearing diapers in public.  Depending on the situation, this could impact their sense of security and/or privacy, or that of their parents.

Go back and review the practices that you wrote down in step zero.  Try to cut out the activities that hurt others.
Is there an unacceptable likelihood that it could start a chain of events that might hurt another?
This is a necessary hedge around the above question.  An example would be drunk driving, which doesn't directly hurt anyone, but is unacceptably dangerous.

Go back and review the practices that you wrote down in step zero.  Try to cut out the activities that hurt others.
Do you need to reconcile your practices with your parents?
If your parents are involved, you will need to respect and address their feelings and beliefs.  However, this might not involve submitting to their wishes.

If your parents don't know and you still live at home, prepare to tell them and then decide whether or not to do so.  The preparation will make you ready in case your parents catch you  wearing diapers, although getting caught is one of the worst ways of letting them know.    

Work things out first.
Do you need to reconcile your practices with your spouse?
If your parents are involved, you will need to respect and address their feelings and beliefs.   Try to discuss incompatibilities and work out a middle ground.

If you are engaged, tell her about your infantilism before marriage.  If married, tell her now.    

Work things out first.
Do you need to reconcile your practices with your children?
Are they old enough to understand?  Can they be protected until then?

Work things out first.
Do you need to consider what to tell your friends?
Consider what you'd say if you ran into a friend at the drug store while buying diapers.  You can decide which ones should be told about your infantilism in good time.  The only risk for today is the chance discovery.

Think about it a little, and then revisit it over time.

Do you need to reconcile your practices with your work?
Some don't involve their coworkers at all, others might wear diapers to work and leave coworkers to assume that they are for a medical need, while still others might be fully open.  Consider where you want to be.  

Also remember that coworkers go to drug stores, too.

Plan things out before wearing diapers or discussing infantilism at work.  
Do you need to reconcile your practices with your church?
Consider discussing your infantilism with your pastor, priest, or minister.  (If you can't, then you might want to consider a new church.)  This is also an opportune time to discuss how infantilism affects your role in the church.  

Is infantilism outlawed by the government?
Some things that infantilists may want to do are illegal.  For example, it isn't rare to want to go out publicly in just a diaper and a T-shirt, like babies frequently do.  However, it would be indecent exposure for an adult to do this in most areas.    

Go back and review the practices that you wrote down in step zero.  Trimming out specific practices - such as going out without pants - is a lot easier than abstaining from infantilism altogether.  
Are you around other infantilists who are abstaining from infantilism?
Infantilists who are abstaining may be under considerable stress.  Wearing diapers around them is like inviting a recovering alcoholic to a bar, or lighting up around someone who is trying to quit smoking.  It is inconsiderate at best.  (See also 1 Corinthians 8:9-11.)    

If you answered "yes" to these questions, then there are some things that you need to consider, discuss, plan, or negotiate.  

Step 4: Is it a medically safe symptom?

Doctors and auto mechanics have one thing in common:  They are trained to look past the symptoms to figure out what the real problem is.  The real problem may be something much more dangerous.  Like a pain or a pinging, infantilism might also be a symptom of something else.  If you answer "yes" to these questions, you should probably treat it as you would a pain in your body or pinging in your car: if you think it's serious and can't resolve it on your own, ask a professional.  

Yes or No?
If "Yes" then....
Do you sabotage yourself activities at school or work?  Do you subconsciously act in a  self-destructive way?  Do you hate yourself?  
This social masochism can be damaging, although it might not be related to infantilism.  

Work to resolve these behaviors and get help if necessary.                                                                                        
Do you withdraw or regress to escape from stresses more than you used to?
A little escapism or regression is a common reaction to stress.  Everyone does it once in a while.   However, this can be taken too far.  

Try to find and resolve the stresses.
Did your infantilism surface suddenly after a trauma, and aren't sure if there were other effects? Most can't remember when their infantilism started, much less associate it to a particular event.  

If you can, please consider addressing the trauma.  If it was severe enough to cause infantilism, then it could easily have more dangerous effects as well.  

Step 5: Is it practicable?

Needless to say, doing even the right thing in the wrong way is wrong.  However, these issues are just a matter of practice, and can usually be fixed.

Yes or No?
If "Yes" then....
Does your infantilism impose a burden on your caregiver?
Always be considerate of your caregiver, if you are fortunate enough to have one.   Wives of diaper fetishist may have unmet sexual needs.  Wives of infantilists might fatigue of changing diapers.  Infants are totally self-centered, but infantilists can't afford to be.   

Ask you caregiver what needs aren't being met, and look for ways to
Do you use a lot of disposables?
Infants are in disposables for about two years, and the elderly incontinent for maybe ten.  Infantilists may be in diapers their entire life.  

Consider using cloth diapers, or cutting back.
Does infantilism cause you to be isolated?
One of the costs of an activity is any other activity that it precludes.  For example, if you are only willing to wear diapers in private, and don't have much time, then you might end up spending all of your time in private, as opposed to socializing, etc.  

Do you tend towards more and more extreme expressions of infantilism?
The newness and thrill of most things wear off eventually.  Pursuing them can drive people to more and more extreme practices.  Eventually they'll bottom out at the most extreme, least practical, and most consuming state.    Then they will be faced with the long climb back up.

Find the level where you are happiest, and stay there.
Do you have roommates?
They probably have different views about wet, dirty diapers.

Work out a mutually acceptable solution if you will be affecting common areas.
Do you desire to be made incontinent surgically?  
Consider ways of practicing your infantilism that don't involve irreversible changes.   Perhaps behaviorally- or hypnotically-induced  incontinence will make you just as happy, and if not, are more likely  to be reversible.

Try to find a moderate, practical balance or get help with the issues driving you to surgical alteration.
Do you expect insurance to pay for the diapers even if you aren't incontinent?
If you explicit state that the diapers aren't medically necessary on the claim form and the insurance will still pay, then ignore this question.  Not stating it on the form is insurance fraud.  It is probably best just to buy your own.

Are there practices that you have not verified to be safe, or precautions that you haven't taken?
Basic infantilism is one of the safest of paraphilias.  However, some practices need to be done correctly to be safe.  Drugs, restrictive items, inserted items, etc., should be researched and verified to be safe before they are used.  

Before trying something new, be sure that it is safe.

Step 6: Other Questions and Concerns

Yes or No?
If "Yes" then....
Do you have any concerns or know of any  risks that aren't addressed by this questionnaire?
This approach argues that infantilism is acceptable unless it is unacceptable for some reason, and then presents a list of reasons.  It can still give an incorrect result if the checklist is incomplete.

Please email me[mail] and let me know.

- Updated:30 March 2011     

Do you have Questions, tips, suggestions, or other feedback?

  Reader Comments:
  • An annonymous reader in Germany writes "...I think this page should also presented in German. This is my piece of advice. The thoughts can help many young and old adults to deal with their feelings and to make their own decission. It is an especially good page, because no one is discriminated or charged, but is highly respected." He didn't leave an email address, so I can't get back to him directly. It would be great if this checklist were available in other languages. However, since I'm only fluent in English, I'm dependent on other volunteers for translation.