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Thread: Diapers in Sci-Fi "Dune"

  1. #1

    Default Diapers in Sci-Fi "Dune"

    Lately I've been re-reading one of my favorite books, the sci-fi/ fantasy classic "Dune" by Frank Herbert. I highly recommend this series to anybody. Most of the story takes place on an extremely arid desert planet known as Dune. Many of the major characters are members of a fierce and independent tribe of people known as the Fremen. The Fremen manage to sustain a thriving and close-knit society out in the open desert with almost no access to water. Don't worry this post will eventually get to diapers. Water is so precious that they even have special rituals to reclaim the water from the bodies of their dead. To quote: "A man's flesh is his own, but his water belongs to his tribe."

    Another key to their survival is a technology known as a stillsuit. Here is a link to a wiki Technology of the Dune universe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The picture used on wiki comes from the film adaptation of "Dune" and does not really resemble the description in the book. The stillsuit encloses the entire body and reclaims and recycles all water lost through respiration, perspiration and you guessed it... urination and defecation! As someone with a strong affinity for diapers, the first time I read this book, I almost couldn't believe it. The book does not give specific details about how the body's wastes are collected. I realize it is more likely that some form of catheter, would be used for the collection of urine. Though I like to imagine that there could be some futuristic diaper like material that could collect the waste materials, process them, and clean itself. Its a diaper you never have to change!

    The Fremen use their still suits (which I imagine as containing diapers) almost 24/7. They only ever take them off if they are inside a protected air and water tight environment. I would imagine that through this kind of regular prolonged use of a diaper like device over their whole life, their body functions would become very accustomed and they would develop some level of dependency. I think the best part is that these people are the biggest total badasses you could imagine. I guess I just really really like the idea of a tribe of badass desert warriors who wear diapers all the time, and don't give it a second thought.
    Sorry if I'm boring you with this sci-fi stuff, but thinking about this makes me really happy. The question I wanted to ask is if anyone else read this book and had similar thoughts? And also, has anybody come across any other examples of diapers or diaper like devices in other science fiction stories or really any kind of literature. I'm not a novelist, and I don't expect to be one anytime soon, but I really like the idea of somebody writing a sci-fi/ futuristic novel where some kind of diaper like technology has become widespread and part of normal life. I would not want the diapers to be the main focus of the story, but rather just a part of the fabric of society. Nobody would necessarily have to know, if the author just happens to be ab/dl. If anyone has the time and resources to go somewhere with this idea, pleas do! I'd like to hear what everybody thinks about this topic.

  2. #2


    I've read the book but I can't say that I thought of diapers while reading it. The mechanics of their suits are only hinted at, as you noted, and it didn't interest me compared to the story.

  3. #3


    I admit thinking about it way back when I watched the film regularly. Admittedly, my main focus was on the cool "Wyrding" modules that could blow stuff up with a thought, although if I recall correctly, these weren't in the book. It's funny you should mention diapers in science fiction, as I had been thinking about this a lot over the last couple of years.

    I wrote a short story involving a possible use of diapers in the future after reading an article from either Popular Mechanics or Science years ago. Basically, it's the idea that the toilet will be used as a diagnostic tool that will send information to your doctor about possible health concerns arising from the contents of urine and feces. Michael Bay even used the idea in The Island and I got to thinking, what would stop local law enforcement from using the technology to scan for possible drug usage, etc.

    So diapers would be a form of defiance for some people, as well as an ironic form of independence, in that they would avoid having their waste scanned. I may try to expand on that universe at some point.

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