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Thread: The AB - TB Conundrum

  1. #1

    Lightbulb The AB - TB Conundrum

    The definition of AB and TB are mostly clear, right? ABs are, obviously, adults! TBs are, (again) obviously, teens! There's a crossing point in between the ages of around 18-21 in which one goes through to where both titles AB and TB are usable, but other than that, they seem to be set in stone.

    But, what if there's a bit more than that? A few things some people looked over? Is our definition of things correct? Throughout history, people have changed a label to make it more adequate, more suitable, more precise. Let's use precision!

    We tend to define TBs as those of a young age (between 13-18/21). But, there's a significant different in culture between TBs and ABs. I've seen it in ABs, but only if it's someone new to the whole *B/DL idea. The beginning emotions, the constant seeking of friends similar to you, ETC ETC. Think about it.

    Each TB can be compared to someone new to the *B/DL lifestyle/fetish. You have the usual stages of:

    1. Self Discovery (Finding out you're into *B/DL)

    2. World Discovery (Finding others)

    3. Inner-Workings Discovery (Finding out what exactly you like- from weather you're into wetting and/or messing to finding out if you're a babyfur, sissy, or none of the above)

    4. Acceptance Discovery (Accepting you like yourself as who you are on the inside)

    5. Outer Discovery (Playing with the limits. I.E Wearing padding in public under your clothes, or around the house. Maybe even telling someone- or someone finding out and having to cope with it)

    Someone who's an AB, but new to everything, also experiences these things. In my honest opinion, I think this is just the way *B/DLs mature. As ironic, or perhaps perplexing as that sounds, it makes quite a bit of sense, right?

    I think that, at least in my opinion, a TB is more along the lines of someone who is still discovering who they are and what they are, and simply exploring what this lifestyle/fetish/something else entirely has to offer. An AB is more-so someone that pretty much knows what they want, for the most part. You're constantly finding new things in life, but, at a certain point you can firmly say what you do and don't like.

    Then there's the culture gap. Disposables Vs. Cloth, Plastic backed Vs. Cloth Backed, ETC ETC. Obviously, people tend to transcend these barriers at times, but the differences in mentality and opinions are there.

    9 times out of 10, I find that people within my own age group on this site tend to agree with me more, and understand what I'm saying with greater ease than those of the older generations.

    So, yeah... what do you guys think? I'm kind of on little/no sleep, but I thought I'd kind of share this during morning twilight hour.

    AND REMEMBER! >:C This is all opinion! Keep things *MATURE* people! (Heh, look who's talkin' )

  2. #2


    I've long thought (and previously posted that) the whole "TB" distinction is silly.

    TB describes the exact same set of basic desires as an AB, and in fact, all TBs are ABs since "AB" is an age-neutral term describing anyone older than an actual baby. TB is a redundant term for which the only distinction is that the person is under the age of 20, which is a stupidly irrelevant factoid in the grand scheme of a person having AB desires.

    The reason that TBs take better to arguments made by other TBs is an issue of the culture of teens rather than anything intrinsically different between the infantilism inherent to ABs vs TBs. This exact same phenomenon exists between teenage DLs and 20+ DLs, but I don't see DLs lining up to find some way to create a teen-specific version of "DL".

    Since I see the distinction as silly, I make a conscious effort to always use the term "AB/DL". I never use "*B/DL" or "TB/DL" - I don't think someone is being inclusive by using those terms, but rather, ridiculous.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by NutFreeFruitcake View Post
    I've long thought (and previously posted that) the whole "TB" distinction is silly...
    Respectfully, I disagree.

    I agree with the general thrust of your post (that, overall there is no need to make such a distinction, as we are all engaging in infantalistic behaviour well over the age it is seen as 'appropriate'). People who whine about not being an AB, but a TB, are being silly, to me. But I do think the term can be useful.

    To me, the use of the term 'TB' rather than 'AB' signifies that the person will likely be dealing with problems related to being an AB and being a teenager. The line under the TB forum shows what I mean rather well:

    This the forum for everything related to the Teen Baby lifestyle. This means discussions about coping with parents, getting diapers for the first time, school, etc.
    These issues are all related to being a teenager. They're not ones you would expect an adult to face. Using the phrase 'TB' to describe yourself or a discussion (i.e. 'related to TB-issues') indicates that these are concerns related to that age group. Often, as outlined above, they relate to living with parents, and the issues that occur there that would not occur if the person was living alone (or, with room-mates).

    So, I don't see 'TB' necessarily meaning 'someone who is interested in AB things but is between 13 and 19 years of age' but rather 'someone dealing with problems associated with teenagers who enjoys AB things'. In my mind, my partner is a TB, despite being 20, as she lives with her parents and goes to school/college. Equally, the 16 year old entrepreneur who lives in his own apartment is an AB, to me. I think in general the term should be applied to the '13-19' crowd, yes, but 'TB-issues' can apply to people outside that age bracket.

    Another point is that saying 'I'm a TB' is a good way to say 'I'm young' without having to do the slightly creepy 'how old are you?' or even worse, 'ASL? '. In life, and on here (though less so here) there's a tendency for younger people (<20) to group together and want to be friends with people in their age group, while people older don't mind mingling with people generations apart. I think perhaps that's something to do with school/college; until you're 20 or so (and possibly older!) everyone you meet daily is within about 5 years of your age. Once you leave and get out into the big wide world, the age range becomes a LOT bigger. The TB label is a good way to indicate to other TBs that you are, at least, only 6 or 7 years younger/older than them, and therefore you might be able to relate well to each other. So, in a place where people under 18 are allowed, the term takes on another significance.

    As for DLs, I see your point. I've seen some clunky attempts to use the term 'TDL' floating around, but nothing's stuck. I think the thing is, that for MOST people, AB means 'ADULT baby' (are you using it to mean something else?), which obviously, indicates the person is an adult. A 15 year old is not an adult; they are a teenager. The issue arises because the idea of age is raised in the very name. DL means 'Diaper Lover', which has no indication of age in the first place, so there's no need (in most people's minds) to edit part of it to indicate age.

  4. #4


    ^^ I also only use the term ABDL, but I do think there is benefit to acknowledging TB as a distinction for the under 18 crowd. Although the desires are the same, the life circumstances of a teen are so wildly different than those of an adult that a distinction makes sense to me. I mean, I'm an adult. I can wear what I want when I want. I own a house, have plenty of diapers and ABDL clothing and other fetish gear, and have a room that will someday be a nursery. A teen has to worry about parents, school, getting to a store on their own, let alone being able to get diapers at that store, et cetera et cetera.

    That said, I think the current forms TB and AB take make complete and perfect sense.

  5. #5


    I like what Charlie has said, and I think I agree. Being a TB has it's own unique challanges, and in respect to that it's fine to make the distinction. However, the one thing that I have found is that a few (very few) TBs can have a bit of... Smugness? They say things like "I like being a TB but hope I grow out of it by the time I'm an adult", and sort of imply that while being a TB is cute and innocent, being an AB is a little creepy. I never say anything to these people since I think all that's missing is a bit of perspective on life, but I do find it a bit insulting. Just my 2 cents.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by CharliePup View Post
    So, I don't see 'TB' necessarily meaning 'someone who is interested in AB things but is between 13 and 19 years of age' but rather 'someone dealing with problems associated with teenagers who enjoys AB things'. In my mind, my partner is a TB, despite being 20, as she lives with her parents and goes to school/college. Equally, the 16 year old entrepreneur who lives in his own apartment is an AB, to me. I think in general the term should be applied to the '13-19' crowd, yes, but 'TB-issues' can apply to people outside that age bracket.
    QFT. In fact, the whole post sums up my exact thoughts. So I'll just agree++.

  7. #7


    i feel that labels can often times be deceptive and not tell the whole story. same with gender roles and the role of generations and how they seperate people.

    i actually find that at the age of almost 29 i tend to get along best with people in their 40's rather than my own age group.

    as far as tb being for teens and ab being for adults i really feel it should come down to how you feel and where you are in the process. thats exactly what it is...a process just like coming out as gay can be a process. i think adults can be tb and teens can be ab. labels can help define us but they can also box people in and limit them.

  8. #8


    I find the TB nomenclature helpful in how I might respond to someone who is still a teen, living at home or college, and dealing with those kind of associated, cultural problems. It also helps to remind me to be more sympathetic to what may seem like simplistic problems, and poorly made choices. If they are the run of the mill questions, I usually don't respond, because I feel another teenager has better insight and knowledge, and the fact they they are a kindred spirit. I respect that.

    Point of truth, I've often wished I could have been a young teen in the age of internet, being able to talk to others my age who also enjoyed wearing diapers. I hid it for years in secrecy and shame. The fact that teens can get together and talk about something this intimate is amazing to me. This would have been so taboo when I was a teen. None of us spoke to each other, face to face, about such matters. We lived with these feelings bottled up inside us, wetting whatever we could get, and trying to dispose, all the while thinking we were sick, twisted freaks. Thanks God teens have this site and a place to express themselves, regardless of where they are on the maturity level. I wonder how many lives it has saved!

  9. #9


    I like this. I consider myself more of a TB, i just moved out of my parents' house at the age of 25 and am very much still in the self discovery phase. At 25, i am "defined" as an adult. But i don't feel as though i am an AB. As i said in my intro i am an older TB.

  10. #10


    I think the biggest distinction (other then age) is the discovery process, TB's are usually in the experimental stage, even if they know they are TB they are still working on all the issues that come along with it. Where as AB's in general have learned to deal with those issues.

    I think that in the long run all *B/DL go through the same stages.

    Now, this is the reason I like ADISC, having a moderated environment where TB's can get answers and guidence without all the mature content that *B/DL sites did when I was a TB. And that brings me to my point, it is a matter of legal age; 13-17 = TB and 18+ = AB in the USA, ages being changed for different cultures. Whether a person can relate to TB's more then AB's isn't of no consolation, even though at 16 I could relate to 30-40 year yolds better then my own peers, it didn't remove the fact that I was still a Minor.

    Just my 2 cents.

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