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Thread: Imprinting

  1. #1

    Default Imprinting

    I am at a loss trying to figure out why there aren't more people on this site interested in imprinting theories. For thirty years I mostly accepted the popular Darwinian and Freudian dogma concerning human social/sexual behavior, but these theories always came up short when trying to explain ABDL desires and behavior. I'm not a great writer so my explanations may be lacking, but imprinting is a real phenomenon and knowledge of imprinting fundamentals has been around for hundreds of years and is currently incorporated in real life situations involving raising and breeding animals.

    B. Terrance Grey, on his site "Understanding Infantilism", has this to say about imprinting with respect to some of the popular psychological explanations:

    Quote Originally Posted by Understanding Infantilism
    Imprinting is a better-supported explanation. Mate selection is only partially genetic, as experiments with animals have clearly shown: Based on early experiences, a male will seek a future partner who is like the female who raised him, but is neither her nor anyone that he was raised with[1][10][52]. Evidence for human imprinting is less certain, but one aspect of it has been shown to extend into early childhood[1]. Imprinting is also a better explanation for much of the "Oedipus Complex,"[11] Freud's sexological theory, which attributed fetishes to a presumed castration anxiety[46]. In the modest Western culture, the maternal association might also include maternal control or nursery objects[52]. Rubber pants were an exception to the lag seen in other diaper combinations[26]: Rubber continues to be present in other nursery items, such as the nipples on soothers and baby bottles. The inexact and displaced nature of imprinting explains both the rarity of infantilism and diaper fetishism, as well as the lag in other diaper types.
    The "lag in other diaper types" is a reference to a previous statement :

    Quote Originally Posted by Understanding Infantilism
    All or almost all ABDLs were raised in diapers[26]. However, their preferred type of diaper wasn't necessarily the type they were raised in. For example, those raised in cloth shortly before disposables became common tended to prefer disposables[26]. This suggests that at least this detail is not generally determined in infancy. The diaper types are less likely to match for those who were adopted[26], also consistent with a childhood reconstruction made after infancy.
    Grey is probably the most knowledgeable person in the world when it comes to ABDL statistics and research.

    Not everyone is interested in why we are the way we are, I get that. But for those of us who find this question intriguing imprinting is at the top of the short list of likely suspects. It's disappointing that so few people, anywhere, seem to be aware that imprinting is a known phenomenon with real world applications.

  2. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Not everyone is interested in why we are the way we are.
    Guilty. That said.. I feel attempts to explain any fetish or interest always come across as reaching and tend to fall flat on their face. Their is just way to much variation from case to case, way to many factors, and for every good plausible theory you'll easily find a huge number of people who don't fit into it at all no matter how hard you twist things.

    BDSM is full of theories about how people end up getting off on <whatever>, and they all follow that similar pattern. Fetishes arn't rational, and trying to "explain" them is imo a fools errand. Just enjoy whatever you're into and get on with your life.

    For what it's worth, my personal (and totally well thought out) theory is that something gets miswired in your brain at some point due to some reason, and you turn out being really into mall articular plants or something.

  3. #3


    My personal theory, is that trauma plays a part into what triggers most forms of attraction to this community. Because of my traumatic experiences with substitute teachers throughout my school life, I have been attracted to becoming the person/age I once was before my trauma was experienced (2-3 year-old still in diapers).

    At this focal point I developed two personalities that resurface depending on the situation: my thick outer skin and my 'little' persona. Over time I have been showing my 'little' self publicly less and less. This 'little' persona is very unstable and unpredictable and as such is weak to external insults or tabooed physical actions. As such I developed a Social Darwinist perspective on life overall. "In this world only the fittest survive. If you're strong, you live; if you're weak, you perish. The weak become food for the strong and thus it is the way of things....." In addition, my thick skin developed all kinds of defense mechanisms to prevent my 'little' persona from being affected. By this time I had figured out that my 'little' self and my outer skin were linked and that if I did not maintain one or both of those worlds, I would completely shut down and regress to my 'little' self indefinitely until I could figure out myself once again. Over time, my outer skin had to be maintained and go through mental repairs as if it were a damaged castle designed to isolate my 'little' persona which contained most of my emotions.

    With this need in mind, I attempted to heed to what my 'little' persona was wanting me to do - "get diapers and other accessories become the person you once were in order to recover from your trauma." So I did, but by using some dishonorable actions to acquire the supplies I needed: such as stealing baby diapers and adult diapers from rummage sales, stealing goodnites in secret from a friend's house and stealing stocks of diapers by the fours in the ASD room in high school. From what money I had, I bought as many diapers that resembled a baby's as I could find and afford. By the summers in high school, I had amassed a stash that would allow me to play out my fantasy - to great effect. After each session in secret, I had repaired my outer skin enough to get through each day; and eventually, after enough sessions, get through most of high school without so much as one diaper after school. When I was found out and confronted about stealing diapers from the ASD room by my parents (senior year) is when I was forced to tell them about liking to wear and use diapers. They immediately assumed a sexual fetish and I was not allowed to do it in their sight (even though I didn't consider it sexual). I was also told that it was my responsibility to fund this "exploration" and that I wold have to reimburse the ASD teacher for the stolen diapers. The final summer, I went through a wide range of diapers and was very happy, but there was a time when I found a baby pacifier laying on top of a mailbox with no one to claim it. I took it home, cleaned it and tried it out. It was one of the best feelings, despite being too small, that I had ever felt. I felt secure being in a diaper and sucking a pacifier, but soon realized that what I did was wrong. Fearing that my mother would be onto me if she found out, I washed it again and returned it to the mailboxes. I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as mom came home, and so I told her about the incident. She was concerned and asked if I wanted help (a psychologist). I said no and reluctantly stated that after my diapers were gone, I would purge my stuff and not do it anymore.... Despite this I continued by buying some NUK 4 pacifiers, thinking that I would be able to keep them after the diapers were gone. However, tensions between my parents and me compelled myself to determine that keeping the pacifiers was not possible. So along with my last diaper, I threw away my pacifiers and deviated from the path I needed to go down in order to remain somewhat sane.

    Now, two years later, I can no longer take it to be without a diaper or any form of object associated with infants (plushies, onesies, shortalls, footies, pacifiers, bottles, diapers, etc.) when I sleep or am alone. I lack any funds to begin expressing my 'little' self again in any realistic way as I am responsible for paying for school books. This tear between my ever-present urge to get diapers and enjoy my time as a 'little' in my own space AND the obligation I have to continue my education by any means necessary in part by buying books for my classes is pulling me further and further from the world I live in. Not a day goes by now when I am not mentally confronted by images of myself in diapers and my own thoughts are on diapers and becoming an infant all the time. If I cannot get the funds I need to embrace my 'little' half soon, I may tear myself and my identity apart and start afresh as a blank slate - a true personification of an infant.

  4. #4


    Simply Fascinating!

    Sent from my KYOCERA-C6742 using Tapatalk

  5. #5


    I've bought into Imprinting and Love Mapping for a long time, since I started exploring the whys once the internet was around. I think love mapping and imprinting are either closely related or one and the same. The problem with having a theory that Infantalism is caused by trauma is that so many AB/DLs say they weren't traumatized, or that they don't remember any trauma.

    I've often wondered if there isn't a relation to potty training anxiety, but I feel a stronger connection to imprinting. I agree with a sensory connection to rubber/plastic. Not only is there a common feel to the touch, but also to smell. The smell of rubber brings back to me many associated memories of being very young. There can even be an infantile sexual connection for me, thus the theory of love mapping.

    My other observation of us is that we all seem to put a lot of importance to being very young. We find a connection to the things we enjoyed and/or experienced in our childhood: cartoons, TV shows, toys, clothes, etc. It's all food for thought.

  6. #6


    There are times that I wonder about this topic, but then I find myself realizong that trying new things, inclusive of items that some might see as "out there" or even beyond what the majority calls normal is simply human nature evolving over time betweem different generationns...

  7. #7


    "It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change."
    Charles Darwin
    Is it possible there is an evolutionary reason some people get pleasure out of wearing diapers?

    Most people would say no because current evolutionary dogma can't account for how millions of years of evolution could possibly produce an attraction to a relatively recent cultural novelty - the diaper. We have been taught that evolution advances slowly by natural selection over millions of years, and that "survival of the fittest" is the primary drive behind natural selection.

    My answer to the above question is yes. Not only is it possible but, given our current observations, there actually is an apparent link between evolution (genetics) and 'abnormal' desires in humans and other animal life. Not that there is a specific "diaper" gene, but that animal life has evolved a mechanism that helps us adapt to the environment we are born into by causing us to form attractions to some of the prominent things present in our early environment. Scientists call that mechanism "imprinting".

    BoundCoder raises the objection that there is "just way too much variation" to be able to explain the different fetish-like behaviors with just one theory, but this is precisely the nature of imprinting. Imprinting is flexible and that means it causes variations, some of which challenge human understanding.

    The Understanding Infantilism web site dismisses Love Maps as "an arbitrary set of labels", which may be true (sorry Dogboy), but, as far as I know, love map theories don't rule out imprinting so I don't find them objectionable.

    Psychological issues absolutely can cause abnormal desires and behaviors, but there are some fundamental differences between imprinted characteristics and psychological characteristics. One is that imprinted characteristics are essentially permanent and resistant to psychological cures or treatment. Psychological problems can be difficult but most of them respond well to the proper treatment. Another is that imprinting occurs as a natural part of everyone's development. It does produce 'abnormal' results sometimes, but it is primarily responsible for producing 'normal' desires and behaviors. The objects we find sexually arousing that lead society to label us as heterosexual, homosexual, or perverts, are undoubtedly all the result of imprinting.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Imprinting is flexible and that means it causes variations, some of which challenge human understanding.
    The problem is that it's way too flexible, and almost impossible to prove or disprove. You can probably hypothesize that pretty much any possible human behaviour is tied to any number of arbitrary experiences without too much difficulty, but that doesn't really imply correlation. I love pineapple juice. I like to think it's something I tried at some point and discovered I enjoyed, but following the imprinting argument, maybe I only like it because my mother gave me some point when I was a child and I associated it with love. My interest in computers, my preference for wearing black cloths, it could all be argued as the result of imprinting.

    When it comes to diapers, I discovered my interest in them later in life. I was into BDSM long before, and diapers appealed to me as an interesting means of humiliation. Even now that's my primary interest in them. I enjoy the idea of being punished by being forced to wear them more so then enjoying actually wearing them. You could argue that my interest in BDSM in general came about through some childhood imprinting, but I can't really check any of the standard checkboxes (I grew up in a good home with good parents, no self esteem problems, no childhood trama, had friends, did well in school, flossed occasionally, etc...). If you really tried hard enough I'm sure you could contrive some seemingly routine event in my life that started it all (maybe I was watching a cartoon where someone got tied up just as my dad made KD for dinner just the way I like it.. and BOOM, I'm a sadomasochist!) but I just don't buy it.

    I think it's just as likely that a combination of random chance and a relatively standard set of experiences growing up produced whatever it is that I am. Some neuron in my brain went left when someone elses would have gone right, and I ended up with a healthy set of kinks.

    I get that the inverse of your original post is true, some people have a need to explain things, but when it comes to fetishes I just don't think it's realistic. Sure you can twist this imprinting theory to explain literally anything you want, but there's no real metric for even gauging plausibility on a case by case basis.

  9. #9


    I know I'm outside of my knowledge base here, so if I'm be it. I like your theory BoundCoder, but only to a point. And sadly, here's how my mind works. Your pineapple theory would apply to me this way. My mom interested me in pineapple juice as a young child. I enjoyed drinking it then and now I enjoy drinking it while I'm masturbating to it. Let's face it, there's a sexual connection to diaper wearing for many of us. I'm one of them.

    The fact that diapers are secondary to you may indicate that your attraction to diaper wearing doesn't fit into the same associated causes as mine as my attraction is primary. Humiliation is a secondary affect for me, though it is there. I tend to ascribe to the theory that we make sexual associations to objects at an early, formative age. I feel certain that I did have these feelings and associations. The thing is that as we hear other people's experiences on this site, we discover that others may not have the same feelings that I or you or some others have, and that's what makes finding cause so very difficult.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I tend to ascribe to the theory that we make sexual associations to objects at an early, formative age.
    I do agree with that, and I do think the roots of just about everything are set while we're growing up. That said, I think a lot of what ultimately spawns from those roots can come about from experiences and experimentation later on in life. In my case, I feel like something at some point (I suspect mostly random, but who knows) set me down the BDSM path, but much of what that has grown into happened later in life.

    I guess my real problem with these theories, and why I still tend to lean more towards my random chance explanation, is that many people go through a similar set of experiences growing up but end up wildly different at the end. I've heard it theorized many times that foot fetishes happen because as a baby you see a lot of feet, but everyone was a baby and probably spent years crawling around seeing feet, and while foot fetishes are one of the more common kinks, they arn't even close to universal. Similar arguments have been made about tickling.

    I don't disagree that in some (maybe even most) cases a childhood experience is directly tied to a kink later in life, but I don't think it necessarily has to do with associations of love so much as just happening at the right time (i.e. when your brain is still developing).

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