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Thread: Aetiology/origins of ABDL...?

  1. #1

    Question Aetiology/origins of ABDL...?

    I've been randomly pondering the Weird thing I did as a child? Would like a explanation? thread, and how it made me consider the possibility that exposing one's diaper waistband to someone who knows you wear might feel good because it reinforces your unconscious sense of acceptance, aaand...

    I was thinking about the human need to feel acceptance from others, and how when people experience psychological trauma they often try to re-live the past as a way of controlling it, re-writing it, or by seeking out the acceptance or attention they didn't get in the original experience(s), aaand...

    I came up with another theory, that might apply to some of us (or not).

    What if, as diaper-wearing toddlers, we craved attention from our caregivers, and... developed a Pavlovian connection between having a wet diaper and being changed -- a process during which we got our caregiver's undivided attention, and felt loved and cared for. Wet diaper = cuddles and attention imminently!

    Maybe, by wearing and using diapers as adults, we're unconsciously trying to recreate the feelings of love and acceptance (or simply attention) that we got from diaper changes as young kids...? Maybe the Pavlovian association is so strong that we still associate the sensation of a wet diaper with feelings of being changed... and thus being cared-for and loved...?

    I'm sure there are lots of other things going on, and everyone's different, and we can all get to the same place via different paths, but... what do you think...?

    Is this possible...? Do you think this theory could even partly explain how some people became interested in wearing diapers post-potty-training...?


  2. #2

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    Well, I mean, this isn't rigorously tested by the scientific method and would be rather difficult to test (you'd need to have some kind of cohort that gets studied from early childhood into adulthood, and given the rarity of ABDL, it's not even clear that there would be any results).

    As a matter of logic though, it more or less works and can make sense. I think though, that at its core this theory, as with a number of others, boils down to a combination of particular quirks of neurology combined with some particular set of childhood experiences. That is, tons and tons of people crave attention and affection, but only a tiny percentage wind up interested in ABDL, so for this theory to work, it has to suppose that a small number of people have a combination of atypical neurology and affectionate diaper-related experiences that causes a bond between them to form during early childhood that later manifests as ABDL.

  3. #3

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    Most any reason is possible for at least some of us. Most really just don't know, and any guessing is just that- a guess. The truth is there is a slew of differing reasons for why we end up being this way. What applies to one DL absolutely will not apply to another DL.

  4. #4

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    That theory might work for me as I was adopted at the age of two. My birth parents were fighting and eventually put me up for adoption, meaning, they got rid of me, so maybe getting a diaper changed, especially if I was in an adoption orphanage for a while, was a way to get attention and affection. Being in a new environment with new parents would have necessitated having to create a new bond with these strangers and who knows how toddlers define love and acceptance other than by what actually happens to them which would include diaper changing.

  5. #5

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    Iíd support that in part, as it makes sense. The tendency for toddlers to regress to earlier stages of infancy for reasons of attention, particularly in competition with a younger sibling is well documented. And I feel sure that this has to do with my hard wiring. So it makes perfect sense that a similar pattern of behaviour might emerge in relation to diapers as you suggest.

    There is no doubting the incredible complexity of it all though, the elements, sensations, motivations, triggers etc arenít a static thing, and are definitely influenced by experience, evolving as we grow. What is interesting is the core need doesnít shift, we just learn ways to embellish it. For me that seems to be an attempt for a more authentic experience.

    The psycho/emotional motivation that may have triggered the behaviour initially, no doubt leads to a self-soothing/sensual experience, an adequate sublimation for missed affection/attention. Iíd venture into the sexual aspect which is clearly an evolution of its sensual predecessor. Letís face it, that was bound to happen.

    The exhibitionist tendency (peaking diaper) quite likely has, as you suggest, also had an attention seeking origin in toddlerhood.

    Diaper changing and associated attention is of course a very intimate engagement between child and parent, and deep emotional connections are bound to be forged. For what ever reason, in those of us whoíve become ABDL, those connections have remained fundamental to our emotional needs, why that is not true of everyone, may very well have itís roots in each persons capacity to deal with the anxiety or trauma of abandonment.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny View Post

    What if, as diaper-wearing toddlers, we craved attention from our caregivers, and... developed a Pavlovian connection between having a wet diaper and being changed -- a process during which we got our caregiver's undivided attention, and felt loved and cared for. Wet diaper = cuddles and attention imminently!

    Maybe, by wearing and using diapers as adults, we're unconsciously trying to recreate the feelings of love and acceptance (or simply attention) that we got from diaper changes as young kids...? Maybe the Pavlovian association is so strong that we still associate the sensation of a wet diaper with feelings of being changed... and thus being cared-for and loved...?
    My personal belief is there is something much deeper and more fundamental going on than just a Pavlovian response. The connection between wet diapers and an expectation of loving attention was no doubt a reality for many babies, not just ABDLs. On the other hand, since diaper changing is an unpleasant chore for many adults, a negative connection could easily have been made for having a wet diaper, and for some ABDLs, this kind of negative response from a caregiver seems to have been likely, and yet the desires were formed anyway.

    A Pavlovian response is a learned condition and, generally, anything that is learned can be unlearned. Even Pavlov's dogs could have been taught other cues that food is about to be served and would soon stop associating a bell with food. So far it appears that things like sexual orientation, gender identity, and ABDL desires are not 'unlearnable'. These don't appear to be learned conditions.

  7. #7

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    Great responses, everyone. Thanks for entertaining my little idea. I know it's silly to think that any one little random insight is going to be testable or somehow explain everything for everyone, but every now and then, it's an interesting thing to ponder...



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    My personal belief is there is something much deeper and more fundamental going on than just a Pavlovian response. The connection between wet diapers and an expectation of loving attention was no doubt a reality for many babies, not just ABDLs. On the other hand, since diaper changing is an unpleasant chore for many adults, a negative connection could easily have been made for having a wet diaper, and for some ABDLs, this kind of negative response from a caregiver seems to have been likely, and yet the desires were formed anyway.
    Sure. That's why not everyone becomes ABDL. It's not a simple X+X=Z, there are so many more unknown, indefinable aspects that must come into play.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    A Pavlovian response is a learned condition and, generally, anything that is learned can be unlearned. Even Pavlov's dogs could have been taught other cues that food is about to be served and would soon stop associating a bell with food. So far it appears that things like sexual orientation, gender identity, and ABDL desires are not 'unlearnable'. These don't appear to be learned conditions.
    Doesn't psychology show that associations are much more easily learnt than unlearnt?

    In PTSD, a single traumatic event can be repeatedly triggered in safe situations. The brain learns from a single event, and struggles to unlearn the association, despite the repeated safe experiences that "ought to" retrain the brain, statistically speaking.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny View Post
    Great responses, everyone. Thanks for entertaining my little idea. I know it's silly to think that any one little random insight is going to be testable or somehow explain everything for everyone, but every now and then, it's an interesting thing to ponder...



    Sure. That's why not everyone becomes ABDL. It's not a simple X+X=Z, there are so many more unknown, indefinable aspects that must come into play.



    Doesn't psychology show that associations are much more easily learnt than unlearnt?

    In PTSD, a single traumatic event can be repeatedly triggered in safe situations. The brain learns from a single event, and struggles to unlearn the association, despite the repeated safe experiences that "ought to" retrain the brain, statistically speaking.

    Associations and pavlovian responses- yes they "can" be unlearned (fegardless of how difficult it may be). However, it's near impossible to say being abdl can be unlearned at all. Hence why abdl is not as simple as an association or pavlovian response.

  9. #9

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    I've had a therapist tell me that my desire to wear diapers and have them changed was a manifestation of my 'rage' against women.

    As I told her, I think I've always had a loving and accepting attitude towards females. The fact that most women consider diaper changes an unpleasant task seems, to me at least, to be less than relevant to my desire to wear diapers and be 'babied' again.

    I will admit challenges in relationships like anyone else, but I don't think I've ever displayed 'rage' toward women.

    From my therapist's perspective, unique as it was, I guess 'rage' could be just as much an ABDL attachment point as association with caring and loving attention.

    Since the majority of ABs are male, maybe we're all acting out anger towards our mothers and other women in our early lives. I just throw this out in the spirit of continuing Tiny's very interesting discussion.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbmccue View Post
    I've had a therapist tell me that my desire to wear diapers and have them changed was a manifestation of my 'rage' against women.
    I was at my therapist on Tuesday, talking about my inner need to display ''inappropriate'' behaviors, when she asked who I was rebelling against.

    I guess we're rather of the mind that my desire to wear diapers is partially fueled by how as a child, talking to my mother about my toddlerhood, the message that potty training happens at two and being in diapers past that is wrong was impressed upon my mind.

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