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Thread: The AB/DL Subculture(s)

  1. #1

    Default The AB/DL Subculture(s)

    We've had a lot of discussion in the past couple of months on the various identities found throughout the AB/DL community (ageplayers, Littles, caretakers, diaper lovers, ect.) but none so much of the vast culture all these identities are submersed in known by us and the main culture as the AB/DL subculture.

    We can think of culture as the collective shared behaviors, symbols, values, perceptions, ect found within. What do you think, based on your experience and what you've seen, makes up our particular subculture? Do you share in this culture?

    Going further, one might be able to see even subcultures present within wider AB/DL culture. What kinds of subcultures are those and what makes them up? Are they perhaps more of a subculture of something else?

    To kind of get the ball rolling...

    From my own observations of the "AB/DL community," I'm quick to characterize it as a sexual subculture in the greater kink community (with a few exceptions). The vast majority share some form of diaper fetishism or related paraphilia toward infantile objects. Even for those without sexual tendencies exhibit the same sort of strong focus on these objects, which in doing so share the common behavior of emphasis on the use of infantile objects/behaviors.

    The accepted and most widely symbol in this culture is the one currently found in my signature.

    As far as values go this is a much tougher thing to pin down. If anything, I say acceptance of idiosyncrasies. Remember, we are thinking of commonly shared values or even an ideology we hold in regard/

    The Sissy and Babyfur subcultures are clearly observable, though they tend to be mostly defined by their parent cultures. Perhaps pure age players share a culture outside it in terms of shared behaviors and what they value.

    So with that, what have you seen? Think?

  2. #2

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    I think the subculture as a whole could be described as something such as security-reality-shift.

    Over the past few years I have contemplated such ideas or questions mainly through a psychology or even a sociology set of spectrums But, I found, the longer and more intricately I mused about the commonalities involving such kink, roleplay, or fethishes, I would always swing out arcing through possible tangibles and then eventually arcing full-circle back to the original starting point or question.

    So, I am inclined to think of it (ABDL) as the opposite of out-of-comfort-zone fetishes or kink. There seems to be the common desire to reflect inwardly embracing a pseudo-self. This is a vulnerable place to be and is only best shared with a trusted participant or simply by oneself. A comfort-reality-shift or security-reality-shift.

    Comparing this to the nature of other subcultures out there that are scenario-based such as bondage or SM and again comparing them to object driven fetishes or kinks, abdl'ism seems to connotate an escape from abrasive reality. The objects are simply tools in achieving this desired or sought realm.

    The parameters can get fuzzy in it's extremes as all cultures have a core but not all on the outer rim are connected. Perhaps some connect in a 1-2-3 format and others in a 3-2-1 format. This could possibly explain how some cultures get cross-connected. Since this site encompasses a wide variety of interests, it may possibly attract any associated sub-subculture. The nucleus may be more than simply ABDL'ism.

    I believe it lies in the propensity for reality-shift with the element of security whether it comes in the form of identity, worth, or pseudo-self. Pretending or simply longing are synomyms that come to mind.

    A subculture can possibly be percievable in this context or nature. Such a subculture could be based upon ratificication of such self acknowleded tendencies.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilostthesheriff
    So, I am inclined to think of it (ABDL) as the opposite of out-of-comfort-zone fetishes or kink. There seems to be the common desire to reflect inwardly embracing a pseudo-self. This is a vulnerable place to be and is only best shared with a trusted participant or simply by oneself. A comfort-reality-shift or security-reality-shift.

    Comparing this to the nature of other subcultures out there that are scenario-based such as bondage or SM and again comparing them to object driven fetishes or kinks, abdl'ism seems to connotate an escape from abrasive reality. The objects are simply tools in achieving this desired or sought realm.
    That's an interesting thought as a sort of security-reality-shift culture. To me sort of thinking on it know how I would organize it, perhaps this security-reality-shift is actual the culture that is associated with the Littles as its own subculture within the main one. Kinda like this quick little diagram I made:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    jimmyc69

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    ok im gonna risk it and ask a silly question here but what exactly is a little? i mean i know ab is adult baby and a dl is a diaper lover and i get the ifferences but where do littles fit in ?

  5. #5

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    1) It is nice to see a thread started by a Moderator. I believe that the members forget they to are members first and support for Moo second.

    2) I am not sure what way to "cut up the pie" that best represents the sub-cultures. I also see that it could be up to interpretation.

    I agree that there is definitely a "Sissy" and "Fursona" group. But as for the others that is tough like you said.

    I think that two clear groups are easy to define and that is the cloth and the disposable class. But from there is iffy. The true AB and the full DL should be easy. But then what. I agree with Ilostthesheriff and that there is the security reality shift.

    I still think that there is also a diaper issue/forced verses other causes.

    But then where do you go and how far to creating pigeon holes.

  6. #6

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    I think the premise for many, but not all, is escapism through imagination.... but with a particular twist.....we ABs have the unique talent of unlocking a place most people forgot about, or maybe we just cleverly hid the key from view and sneakily moved on (quietly keeping a foot in two worlds) whatever the case, and what ever the means, we intuitively know about the secret door in the back of the closet.

    Beyond that, I think that 'normal' (what ever that is) human variation is overlayed, introducing creative variations to the AB scenario. Sissies, Furries, extreme behaviours etc

    I deliberately left out the DL, because I believe that the intimate conection there is mostly a psycho/physiological one....frottagé via diaper aka 'it feels nice'

    The use of external paraphernalia .... baby stuff... just asists the journey through the closet..... once there it's all about little space....ahhh, heaven

    Well I think that works.... but that is from my experience, and far be it for me to proselytise.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyc69 View Post
    ok im gonna risk it and ask a silly question here but what exactly is a little? i mean i know ab is adult baby and a dl is a diaper lover and i get the ifferences but where do littles fit in ?
    Ok, I'm not the most experienced to talk to this, but I have a Little Girl side. She is not a baby, more 7-10 years old, likes being pretty and the bubblegum culture that goes with it. There is a Sissy element to me to that likes being pretty and ceding control / being submissive but the Little Girl just likes to be pretty in pink, hug her teddy bear and have fun...

    So I'm a DL. That permeates everything. If i'm pretty and sub = Sissy. Pretty and having fun = Little.

    That's my twopenneth worth.

    DLE

  8. #8
    jimmyc69

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    aha so basiclly your saying instead of being ab a little is more like a toddler and up kinda thing? hmm ok im defo more into the dl and ab side i think cos tho i normal like to be about 3ish im defo into the diapers still and not potty training pants

  9. #9

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    I was kind of waiting for this thread to appear and then I completely overlooked it. So, let me add some of my thoughts:



    Quote Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    We've had a lot of discussion in the past couple of months on the various identities found throughout the AB/DL community (ageplayers, Littles, caretakers, diaper lovers, ect.) but none so much of the vast culture all these identities are submersed in known by us and the main culture as the AB/DL subculture.
    Could you explain what you exactly mean by subculture? From my understanding, subculture and counterculture would basically be the same and different from a mere 'subdivision' of a society.



    We can think of culture as the collective shared behaviors, symbols, values, perceptions, ect found within.
    To a certain degree I'd expect various ABDL-Communities (like adisc, the ABDL-subcategory at zity, abkingdom, wb-community and many many others) to form their own practices of negotiating all of the above mentoined aspects. In general I would focus more on the processes and discourses within different communities rather than making a mere inventory of what kind of symbolism, values or behaviors are typical ABDL. I also don't see culture as an exclusive category.



    ...I say acceptance of idiosyncrasies.
    To a certain degree, yes, but beyond that point, no. There are many topics, where acceptance stops and discourse begins: messing and/or use of laxatives, willingly becoming incontinent/catheterization, public wearing, 24/7, ABDL-relationships, public representation and many more. Values are also negotiated within communities and what is accepted in one community might be off-limits in another community. The framework of the community itself plays an important role in how this sort of negotiation looks like: adisc for example clearly states what's ok and what's not. So certain topics don't even show up here or are deleted as soon as they do. I would categorise this as a socially constructed type of 'limitation', which has its basis outside the community (national law, for example). In a larger context I also struggle to see a difference between ABDL-values and standard-western-society-common-sense-values (kink-bashing aside).



    -----

    Let me try to straighten that gibberish a bit out:

    Let's start with the 'pre-community' stage: A lot of very different people from various backgrounds come together to do something. This backgrounds include many aspects: the financial situation, the social status, family status, education, the regions/countries people come from, religion, political views, values, whether people are individualistic or not (there are probably even more aspects that need to be considered). The 'kink' aspect is only one more tick on the list. But the important point here I think is, that everyone in this phase already has something we might call identity.

    So, these people are getting together and first thing they do: They start negotiating. This form of negotiating is not necessarily on a verbal or classificatorical level. But what is the basis all this people are negotiating on? Common interests, in this case the ABDL-universe*, and common practices, in the case of adisc sustaining a support community. Now a community has formed, but the formation process never stops. People keep on negotiating their own identity within the community-identity, constantly. As new members join, new ideas enter the community and with old members leaving, the community transforms itself over time. A community life-cycle has been established.

    Of course this community develops a sort of shared repertoire and structural components over time, but they are also negotiable over time. This might in fact be something like common values, shared stories, symbolism, jokes, shortcuts in communication, specific forms of representation, maybe even common ways of thinking, and of course a common idea of who belongs to the community and who doesn't, but all this aspects are not fixed and there is always plenty of overlapping.

    For me, all of the above said does not refer to culture or subculture but rather to something called cultural domain. Cultural domains are in fact different conceptualizations of everyday aspects, be it family systems or categorizations like tools, plants and what-not. But you could also argue, that a medical expert for example in some way is in another cultural domain as a layman. There are quite a lot of methods which are supposed to show, whether a cultural domain has been established or not.

    *One could also argue, that this very universe is constructed through this process of negotiation
    Last edited by Astatine; 23-May-2014 at 13:51. Reason: Additional ideas

  10. #10

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    Thank the stars I thought I made a dead thread :/



    Quote Originally Posted by Astatine
    Could you explain what you exactly mean by subculture? From my understanding, subculture and counterculture would basically be the same and different from a mere 'subdivision' of a society.
    From what I recall from my Anthropology class, the basic nature of a subculture is a culture within a main culture that has elements distinct from it. That's really it. Yes a subculture can also be a counterculture.



    To a certain degree I'd expect various ABDL-Communities (like adisc, the ABDL-subcategory at zity, abkingdom, wb-community and many many others) to form their own practices of negotiating all of the above mentoined aspects. In general I would focus more on the processes and discourses within different communities rather than making a mere inventory of what kind of symbolism, values or behaviors are typical ABDL. I also don't see culture as an exclusive category.
    I was being very general to a fault with this thread hoping someone would build on it rather than simply me saying "blah blah." Yes indeed behaviors fall under such things as culture if they are commonplace. Not sure what you mean by that last part.



    To a certain degree, yes, but beyond that point, no. There are many topics, where acceptance stops and discourse begins: messing and/or use of laxatives, willingly becoming incontinent/catheterization, public wearing, 24/7, ABDL-relationships, public representation and many more. Values are also negotiated within communities and what is accepted in one community might be off-limits in another community. The framework of the community itself plays an important role in how this sort of negotiation looks like: adisc for example clearly states what's ok and what's not. So certain topics don't even show up here or are deleted as soon as they do. I would categorise this as a socially constructed type of 'limitation', which has its basis outside the community (national law, for example). In a larger context I also struggle to see a difference between ABDL-values and standard-western-society-common-sense-values (kink-bashing aside).
    Now we're talkin!



    For me, all of the above said does not refer to culture or subculture but rather to something called cultural domain. Cultural domains are in fact different conceptualizations of everyday aspects, be it family systems or categorizations like tools, plants and what-not. But you could also argue, that a medical expert for example in some way is in another cultural domain as a layman. There are quite a lot of methods which are supposed to show, whether a cultural domain has been established or not.
    Cultural domain is something I didn't study in anthropology in this way. Kind of my thinking was characterizing the more nuanced cultural elements of our communities that aren't as obvious, and values that seem to shape them.

    A while back I gave a 30 minute talk on the sub cultural aspects of the black metal music scene. A lot of which was researched by attending shows and reading one of the few books on the subject. What was intriguing underneath what most people would see as their concept of Satanism, was really a lot of individuals who had this incredibly deep reverence for nature and how man himself was nothing compared to it. One of the photographic books I bought showed this quite a bit. There was also the talk of cultural capital and how various musicians of this type had social mobility in their lives alongside their values.

    I don't see these types of nuances discussed much throughout the community, most likely because we lack the language or lens to survey and discuss it I suppose.

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