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"Acceptance" for AB/DLs and Other Ageplayers

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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.


  1. Adventurer's Avatar
    This is always a contentious topic, but an important one. You've made some strong arguments here, and it's a conversation worth having.

    I think it's inaccurate to say we need ABDL "rights", because to me, this implies that we are being systematically oppressed (for example, the gay marriage debate in the US is a gay rights issue, because a class of people are being denied a legal right). There are no laws denying ABDLs rights, or allowing us to be actively persecuted. So I don't think it's a rights issue - but there's a closely related issue that I think is closer to what you're saying.

    As you've said well, ABDLs do face heavy social stigmas against them. So although we don't face legal persecution, we are pretty heavily weighted down in the court of public opinion. And it is unfair. We break no laws, we don't involve others without consent, and we don't allow minors to be involved (anyone who broke any of these rules would be quickly shunned by the ABDL community). In light of this, I think it's more fair to say that we need some way of being able to safely come out to those who need to know. Perhaps, as you've said, greater awareness is the answer. As to how, I'm not sure, and that's as lively a debate as ever. But I think that we as a community need ways to connect and support each other (like ADISC and Fetlife), and resources to help us 'come out' to those who need to know.

    So I don't agree that we need an ABDL rights movement, but education and awareness for our community and our loved ones will go a long way. And as society continues to shift, I think the day will continue to come when we won't have to fear anymore.

    Thanks for a really thought-provoking post!
  2. gigglemuffinz's Avatar
    Amazing blog post! I wish I could say more, but Iagree with almost everything you said here.
  3. KatelynG's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventurer
    I think it's inaccurate to say we need ABDL "rights", because to me, this implies that we are being systematically oppressed (for example, the gay marriage debate in the US is a gay rights issue, because a class of people are being denied a legal right).
    I wasn't trying to say that we need an "ABDL rights" movement, actually. I think we agree on that completely - although we could theoretically be discriminated against in terms of housing and jobs in conservative areas, it isn't widespread unified oppression in the way that racist, anti-trans, or anti-gay discrimination is. I do think that we might want to find something to call it, but I don't really know what would fit. Basically, if there is going to be a "movement", our unifying cause should be education and the spread of information, both within and outside of our community.

    To be honest, members of our community are often the most hateful of others within it and the least educated about it. I think what we mostly need is a group of people educated in broader kink and sexuality (not people who randomly saw an ABDL site and thought they'd pipe in with an opinion) to provide unified definitions for our community to use and to explain to others and also to provide education within the ABDL and ageplay communities. As with issues of sexuality (LGB), we need people to spread the message within the community that it's okay to be AB/DL or into ageplay and that these desires are perfectly natural and healthy to act upon. We need education for how to interact with others concerning our own kinks (how to talk to partners, when to involve family/friends, etc.). Mostly, we need a group of people to work on educating ourselves so that we can educate others effectively.

    One of the things I've seen over and over in the ABDL community is people who are stuck in "old-fashioned" ideas about sexuality/kink who believe that it's horrible to act on being ABDL or that you need to do so within constraining boundaries that often seriously hurt you. We need to preach the "Safe, Sane, and Consensual" message that BDSM educators have been talking about for a long time now.

    What I'd really like to do is to sit down and have a long conversation with some other people in the community that would like to talk about these issues seriously, and to see what we could organize as community resources.

    An idea did just pop into my head to organize a blog-style news website including editorial writing for people involved in ageplay, staffed by people from all corners of the ageplay world. I think something like that, if it became popular, could prove a very powerful resource for positive change.
  4. prettybaby's Avatar

    What I'd really like to do is to sit down and have a long conversation with some other people in the community that would like to talk about these issues seriously, and to see what we could organize as community resources.

    There was actually another thread on FL that discussed many of these things in deep depth recently! I was one of it's participants. I can give you the link to it in your inbox on here if you might be interested in reading it

    I am a strong advocate of the fact that "For some, it is more than just a kink". I also think it is important to have language we understand, and to learn and respect our differences. I think that in the ab/dl community, if we understand our differences it can help us to respect each other.

    I would love to talk about this more in inbox if you would like

    Anyways, thanks for your blog post! It is a great topic and I think a very valuable one to talk about. - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.