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One Year of 24/7

By Ben

I sat down a couple of weeks ago to write what I wish someone had told me about being 24x7, a long time ago. It's not very well organized, but it's from the heart. :-)

Day One


I'M NOT LIKELY TO FORGET THE DATE any time soon. June 4, 2010. It was a Friday. I had made arrangements with a supportive coworker that he would keep an eye on me and let me know if I was, er, bulging in any obvious ways.

Being padded while at the office wasn't new to me. It's just that until that point, being padded at the office meant it was either late at night, or a weekend. So the surreality didn't really sink in at first; some part of my brain just went "Oh, it must be a Saturday, I'm coming in to get a bit of extra work done." And then I started to realize "Holy shit, I'm actually doing it." And of course I panicked; when you look down at yourself, you always see more of a bulge than what other people (who are in front of you) see. Parallax. So I tried to call off the experiment.

When I told him I was going to end the experiment, my coworker's response was a confused "why?". He really, truly didn't see anything wrong. So I calmed down, and went through with it for the rest of the day.

Days became months; seasons passed. It fundamentally changed for me the experience of being at work. I had always set my alarms a few minutes before meetings, so that I would have time to go to the bathroom first. But now I didn't need to do that. If someone came by my desk and asked me if I was free, the response became "Yeah, sure!" rather than "Hang on, let me use the bathroom first. I'll come find you." Everything got a lot more spontaneous and natural. When I left at the end of the day, I didn't have to stop at the bathroom first; I could just pack up my stuff and go.

My job at the time I started was well set up for it; there was a downstairs bathroom where I could go to change, far away from any of my coworkers. That was nice; but when I started a new job that December I found I could do just as well in a busy bathroom shared with coworkers. I considered that to be proof that my being 24x7 wasn't fragile enough to fall apart when some little inconvenience cropped up. I'm now pretty confident that I'm in this for the long haul.



OK, this is a miscellaneous section in which I'm going to address some purely technical issues.

Finding the right size of diapers helps; I've always been between a medium and a large in most brands, which meant that a medium was too small and a large was too big. I switched to Dry 24/7, whose "medium" size is larger than other brands' "mediums" and which fits me great. You definitely don't want your diaper to be too big if you're going to be padded at work. If you can't find something that fits perfectly, err on the side of too small.

A onesie is *essential*. Try to find a size of onesie that feels slightly too small for you; you'll get used to it quickly, and the too-small-ness will really help keep the diaper compressed close to your body instead of bulging. You want the tank-top style, not the tee-shirt style, so that it will disappear completely under whatever other shirt you're wearing.

In addition to the onesie, I use Abena Abri-Fix briefs. I put the Abri-Fix on over the diaper, and the onesie on over that. Same thing about size applies; you want it to feel slightly too small, for the same reason. The Abri-Fix also makes me feel completely safe about the possibility of a tape breaking; even if it breaks, it's snug enough in there that I *know* the diaper is going to stay right where it is.

Changing a diaper in a bathroom stall with a coworker in the next stall can be a hair-raising experience. There's not much you can do to make the putting-on part less noisy, but I find that taking off the diaper is quieter if I leave the diaper pressed against my front, and swing the back part down and between my legs. Once that's done, I pull the whole thing away from my body.

Diapers look a lot less lumpy from the outside than they feel from the inside. You can feel all the folds and bulges because they're right next to your skin, but there's two or three layers of cloth (abri-fix if you're using it, onesie, and your jeans) between that and the outside world. Each layer of cloth will have a tendency to smooth out the profile. This is basically a long-winded way of saying: Don't worry about how you look. It's not as bad as you think. Really.

Along the same lines: I was lucky enough to have a supportive coworker who could keep an eye on me. If I hadn't had him there, I would not have been brave enough. Being padded when you're out and about, but not at work, is fundamentally different from being padded at work; all the confidence I had in the former situation still didn't prepare me for the latter. So I would recommend finding someone else, even if not a coworker: Maybe just bring a friend in to work with you after hours, and have him watch you as you sit at your desk, get up from your desk, walk around, whatever you do at work.

Black jeans help hide leaks; but you knew that already.

When you're starting a new job, you will feel a lot less weird about showing up padded on the first day if you were also padded for the interview, i.e. if your coworkers have never seen you when you're NOT padded.

Family And Friends


The other big hurdle for me was spending time with my family, and my (non-ABDL) friends. I wasn't comfortable just showing up at my parents' house in a diaper; not after all the bitter fighting it caused when I was younger.

So I talked with them about it. I went to their house unpadded that time, and just told them that this is a goal that many ABDLs have, and that I'm finally putting the last pieces in place, and at some point my world and their world are going to come into contact with each other, and I really hoped that would be okay.

I didn't expect an overly negative reaction; but I also wasn't expecting the *positive* reaction I got. I don't know how to put this into words. In the twelve years since I moved out of their house, they've watched me grow as a person, and I guess they've learned that wearing diapers hasn't made me a less successful person, and they certainly know enough about my circle of friends to know that it doesn't make me "weird" among my own people. So that conversation went really well.

The feeling of changing my diaper in their bathroom, in that same bathroom where I used to skulk around terrified with makeshift diapers and whatnot... but doing it *with their blessing* this time... felt great. And stretching out on their futon in the living room for a nap, knowing I didn't have to worry about needing to pee, and (again) knowing I had their blessing... I felt like there was so much old childhood pain and fear that was just... gone. Healed, replaced with a gentle rightness.

Being padded around non-ABDL friends was more just a matter of stubbornness than anything else. It just took some will power to decide, look, I like you, but I'm not going to make an exception for you.

Being Messy


Changing messy diapers in public bathrooms had always been a daunting prospect for me, until I realized the key: You don't have to be a perfectionist about it. I was always one of those people who was obsessive about getting 100% clean after using the toilet, which is nearly impossible with standard toilet paper. Wiping my butt to my own perfectionist standards was a major hassle. With diapers, though, there's absolutely no embarrassing consequences if you "miss a spot". You just have to get to the 90% clean mark, and then put on a fresh diaper. If that sounds weird, then just try it once; you'll see what I mean. As long as you're "mostly clean", there won't be any smell, and it won't get on your clothes.

At work, being messy (at all) probably isn't an option. You can either use the toilet for pooping (and you don't need to get 100% clean afterwards), or (if your bowel schedule allows) you can go out somewhere for lunch, be messy, and change while you're away from work. I was doing this for about a month; I'd poop as soon as I was out of the building, go to a park near work, change in the park bathroom, and get a sandwich on my way back to work.

And you can *always* be messy on the way home. If I'm out somewhere and need to poop, and if it doesn't seem like too much of a hardship to hold it until I'm ready to leave, then I can let go the instant I'm in my car, and clean up when I get home.



Something else I wanted to write about that didn't fit anywhere else is this: It's so easy to feel like, outside of the small haven of ABDL, nobody else wears diapers. The reasoning goes, if you were *really* incontinent, you'd be using a catheter. Wearing diapers instead of a catheter marks you as a fraud.

I don't think that's true. To start with, I've *tried* condom catheters with a leg bag. They don't work well. They get kinked, and if you happen to be peeing at the time they get kinked, the pressure builds up, the adhesive weakens, and you end up having to blot at your lap with paper napkins for the next half hour while somehow convincing your coworkers to leave you alone. Yes, that happened to me at work during the time I was trying them. :-P And if I've had that experience with them, then probably so have tons of incontinent people who have then made the same choice that I have -- diapers.

I know someone who had his prostate removed. Did he use a leg bag during the temporary period of incontinence afterwards? No! He used diapers. I've also read a few blogs about autism, written by people who are incontinent relating to their autism, but who also have jobs and have to relate to normal people. I haven't seen any references to leg bags there either. I really don't think diapers are *that* weird. To us, it seems like the whole world is in on our dirty little secret, that *we enjoy it*; but I don't think that's actually true.

More and more of us are going this route, now. If more of us get on the bandwagon, then there will be even less reason for any of us to feel weird about it.

- Updated:15 June 2011  1st:8 June 2011     

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