"Acceptance" for AB/DLs and Other Ageplayers
by, 13-Oct-2014 at 20:34 (669 Views)
Posted this on Fetlife and thought I might as well throw it up over here as well.
Yesterday, I was messing around on Fetlife when I noticed something interesting. The two biggest AB/DL groups (named “Young AB/DLs and Ageplayers” and “Adult Baby/Diaper Lovers/Age Players”) both ban discussion on the topic of what they call “AB/DL Rights” as well as making any comparison of being AB to being gay. On one level, I totally get where they are coming from. Members of the greater ageplay community generally do not experience any sort of systemized discrimination related to this identity. The problem is the banning of any discussion related to this, as there are quite a few things that fall into this area that desperately need addressing in the ageplay community.
I guess the first (and most broad) topic to need some sort of discussion is the idea that people involved in ageplay experience no repercussions for this (or at least don’t as long as it’s kept private). The thing is that this isn’t true at all. Obviously it isn’t really comparable to the discrimination felt by LGBT folk or racial/ethnic minorities, but ageplay isn’t even accepted in the privacy of one’s own home. First of all, there is no broad societal awareness of ageplay as there is with BDSM or some larger kinks. When exposed to the idea, most people immediately link it with pedophilia, despite psychological studies showing no link whatsoever. In addition, the idea of “just keeping it to yourself” doesn’t really work. Obviously, most people interested in ageplay will have to tell at least one partner if they want to indulge in it, but due to the lack of education, many of these partners are disgusted, often to the point of leaving the otherwise healthy relationship. I have heard stories of people coming out as AB to their spouse followed by the spouse’s near-immediate filing for divorce. Denying that this is a problem does nothing to fix it. Outright banning discussion of a necessity for awareness is only making the problem worse.
Yet another thing to consider is the fact that for many, ageplay is more than just a fetish. For some, it’s an identity and lifestyle, and often entirely non-sexual. Obviously, involving nonconsenting parties in your kinks is a bad idea, but the thing is that many lifestyle ABs or the like do not involve people in their kink and still are discriminated against for it. I’m sorry, but wearing overalls/shortalls, a onesie with shorts or a skirt, a little-looking dress, or even a diaper (under something, hopefully) in public is not involving others in your kink, it’s just how you want to dress. Diapers can reach the point of involving others if you aren’t careful with your scent, but assuming it doesn’t reach that point, I don’t see why we should ban discussion on the topic of age-related discrimination. Acting “childish,” even when in a way that is completely healthy to do so, is considered weird and unnatural (especially for men). As people involved in ageplay - those who actively transgress these societal boundaries - we need to be able to discuss this and other related societal problems.
The conversation about AB/DL/ageplayer “rights” is an important discussion to have. This is not because we deserve any special rights, but because we must value freedom of expression that does not hurt others (and because both private ageplay-related interactions as well as a little simply presenting more childish do not hurt others). Unfortunately, most spaces that could be equipped to handle these discussions simply ban all talk of the subject rather than trying to do anything remotely helpful. “Shut up and stay closeted” may work to some degree for most people, but this is harmful when used against someone who wants partner involvement or identifies in a way that makes them look or act “weird” in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone. The answer may not be a mass “coming out” of folks involved in ageplay, but rather broader kink-awareness. Both better sex education in schools and ageplayer participation in Pride events (not invading LGBT spaces, using spaces that already have a bunch of kink representation) could really help in making the world a better place for everyone involved in ageplay, so we need to be able and allowed to actively discuss this stuff.