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Thread: Speculation on Potty-Less societies

  1. #1

    Default Speculation on Potty-Less societies

    I've seem to remember reading that some animal species in nature don't have an ability to 'hold it', if you know what I mean.

    I''ve been a sci-fi buff for a while, and I'm sure that many enthusiasts of the genre would be familiar with the concept of different evolutionary paths for various 'alien' races, and what-not.

    In the '*BDL' genre, some sort of diapers usually make an entrance somewhere. Some authors have made use of such themes as alternate realities, with delayed potty training, or no potty training, as part of thier 'story universe'.

    Intriguingly enough, I am wondering what could/would likely be different about a society where the large majority of the population were functionally incontinent, with centuries of history with that being the 'norm'.

    Some obvious changes might be the lack or alteration of standard plumbing fixtures (ie, toilets might be replaced with something else, or not present).

    Maybe there might not be as much of a societal taboo about natural functions and byproducts. maybe less of a 'modesty' issue, say, if clothing was unnecessary. Diapers were developed, mainly, as a means for keeping other clothing and various places isolated from natural byproducts, after all, which is percieved as a societal 'need', and which is also seen as a biological 'need', in our society.

    I am curious as to where speculation might lead, from this premise, on how such a society would differ from what we know, and what might be expected to remain the same. Also, whether such a society would likely cease to exist, due to evolutionary pressures extant on a 'civilized' species, and other branching topics.

    Any thoughts?

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    Nah i don't really sure maybe in developed country yes. But i never imagine this sort of thing happen in Developing countries but it might be happen in future where time is really appreciated and they even don't have time to go to toilet. But anyone ever see Wall-E I don't want society to develop into that kind where everybody is too lazy to done anything.

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    I'm still trying to figure out what the 3 seashells shown in the movie Demolition man were used for.

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    I remember a Star Trek diaper and posibly fury story where a crew member from a race like that was assigned to the enterprise. I don't think it was ever taken beyond a chapter or two. So we never got to read about Captain Kirk shagging her.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoven View Post
    I've seem to remember reading that some animal species in nature don't have an ability to 'hold it', if you know what I mean.
    I'm sure not all of them do, but I think most mammal's do. felines, canines, bears, humans, etc.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Luckyfish View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what the 3 seashells shown in the movie Demolition man were used for.
    Haha...I've wondered that for years. I'm so glad someone else thought this as well!!!

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  7. #7


    I was toying with ideas for an alternate universe where some kind of mass organ failure lead to complete loss of bowel and bladder function, thus making diapers a necessity. Of course this was long before movies like Repo the Genetic Opera were released. If only the wealthier parts of society could get their organs replaced, it would be an interesting allegory for the divide between upper and lower.

  8. #8


    Well their waste would have to be not-harmful to themselves which would make it hardly waste. If it was then they'd die of pestilence because of all the horrible diseases they'd get living in their own muck. Why would they get rid of it if it wasn't being used? I dunno it doesn't seem very plausible.
    Last edited by Point; 09-Aug-2012 at 18:27.

  9. #9


    Interesting. I don't know about the difference between developed, and un-developed NON-HUMAN / ALTERNATE REALITY biological species-wide incontinence, and the resulting culture would be, but I would assume technological sophistication (or lack therof) would not greatly affect the resultant society. As for waste being harmfull, I dont think that would be much of an issue. Biology tends to produce solutions to such problems, and would surely have found a solution over the postulated eons before the hypothetical species' achieve sapience. I am sure that any inteligent species would be able to devise solutions to any problems that might arise, as well.

    For starters, consider a primitive hunter-gatherer culture. Depending on environmental conditions, such a species might not need any items of clothing other than possible carying harnesses, and thus 'solve' the problem by avoidance.

    As for biology, I've heard that people from less developed areas have a much stronger immune system than those from developed countries, and thus a much higher tolerance for things like microbes in the water. Culturally, the waste might be ignored, brushed aside, or disposed of, depending on a variety of factors of the given species physical and phylosophical tolerance.

    If something smells strongly, (offensive), general reaction would be to either move away from the source of the odor, or to remove the source of the odor to a less offensive location.

    If something is neutral, I think that the path of least resistance (ie, let sleeping dogs lie) is most likely to be followed.

    If something is attractive, then I can see it being used as sort of a 'perfume' or 'marking pheremone'.

    Regardless of what we would think, a member of the hypothetical species would see the species 'norm' as normal, whatever that 'norm' might be.

    I am curious as to speculation as to what that 'norm' might look like.

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    Our species, and culture, is as follows:

    1.) we can 'hold it'
    2.) we do not have a temperate climate all of the time, so largely-covering clothing is practical for large sections of our population.
    3.) we have a cultural bias (largely) against nudity
    4.) we find that waste products are sensorarily un-pleasant and/or noxious
    5.) we solve the problem of residual 'contamination' of (necessary) clothing by either
    a.) making clothing so as not to impede biological function
    b.) designating special places for biological functions
    c.) making a 'special' item of clothing as a barrier between the 'contaminated' area and the clothing.

    Because of this, we have developed restrooms, underwear, and diapers. Without need or modesty, there would be no need for clothing.
    Without clothing, there would be no need for a 'barrier garment. Hence, be no need for underwear or diapers.

    And nearly all of our varied cultures are shaped along this model.

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    If you start with an aquatic species, capable of fine and delicate manipulation of things, there might be a different story. In our oceans, it would be advantageous to have nearly no odor whatsoever, so extremely efficient kindeys, gills, etc. would likely result (the better to avoid being located and made into dinner for some hungry shark-analouge. Aaaand, we get a completely different (or maybe not so different) cultural outlook. Squid aliens, anyone?

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