I was talking with a friend in IRC last night and the course of our conversation got me to thinking along different lines than I would typically. I expect what I have to say isn't news to people who share their ABDL-ness with others but I also haven't seen it really articulated, so I thought I'd take a stab at it. Some background: I'm mostly a DL by mindset and solitary in my ABDL habits, so the notion of sharing this is difficult territory for me. Even sharing it in a community sense has been a work in progress as this is my first site and it has been four years of redefining my expectations and what appears to me to be positive growth.
I want to say that the content of this post applies equally to DLs or any consensual, shared kink (and by kink, I mean some out of the ordinary urge that brings unusual pleasure in its fulfillment) but it hit me thinking about ABs and so I'm using that as my primary example. I also expect it's the most relevant to the community in the respect that I'm addressing (also, making it about ABs suggested a good thread title to me). As a point of clarification, I'm not talking about sex. I think sex applies pretty equally to the things I'm describing but it's not unique to ABs or other kinksters, whereas I think what I'm talking about is if not unique, at least less common elsewhere.
What hit me in part last night and gnawed at me until this morning is that I don't think we give proper credit to the goodness of the shared AB experience. At ADISC, we often remind people that diapers and baby things don't rule our lives and I'm very glad that this is so. However, they do have a very important part to play and I'm thinking now that there's something very special present in what can happen with people into this. Maybe because we need it and rarely get it, we don't see how there also might be good in it. Depending on how one looks at it, ABs may be "broken" in a sense but lots of people are in many different ways. ABs have at least the beginnings of a common frame of reference in which to share love and caring with one another.
AB-ism provides the common ground for two people spending the time to fulfill each other's emotional needs, as strangely expressed as they might be. Even "normals" have these needs but they don't have the same playbooks to follow to get them met and they have to work things out on the fly. One person in a relationship might say "let's do whatever you want today" to the other but how often does self-censorship and fear of ridicule even from a loved one constrain the reply to something less than what the person really wants? ABs already know the depths of this desire and accept it. Maybe sometimes the answer really will honestly be that they'd like to go out and shop or work in the yard or whatever but if the answer really is, "I'd love to play baby/kid" the other person gets it and that's powerful juju.
So for those of you who get to share this, spare a moment to think how lucky you are that your needs, as strange as they might be, can be met. Maybe you can't be physically and mentally changed into whatever you really think you should be but to get the loving attention from someone who accepts and understands is something special and maybe even something we have over the rest of the world who can't state so clearly and emphatically what would make them feel loved. The risk is in being fulfilled only in such behavior but we all balance the dangers of excess and obsession in many aspects of our lives.
I'd be interested in hearing how well or how poorly my thoughts play out in practice. Any with experience in this area care to confirm or propose alternatives?