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Thread: Where do you think the stigma comes from?

  1. #1

    Default Where do you think the stigma comes from?

    This might be a totally stupid question, but it's something that I've been thinking about since I started reading this board. Most of us, whether we wear because we want to or need to, have experienced stigma and/or at some point because of our diapers (if we're found out). We've been teased or told it isn't right to wear them. Even if you wear because of a medical condition, you still face the possibility of being made fun of or misunderstood. So, where do you think the stigma comes from, mainly? Is it because diapers are associated with babies/little kids and immaturity? Is it because of the fact that we're uncomfortable with bodily functions as a society? I'm genuinely curious, what you all think...


  2. #2

    Default Where do you think the stigma comes from?

    It could be any number of reasons, but the root of it all, is one of the most basic and inescapable of human traits. Ignorance. We are all ignorant, though it can manifest itself in different ways. For example, my ignorance drives a desire to learn and experience new things. For others, hate and discrimination is the outlet of their ignorance. People should realise that we are all ignorant, and that it does not have to be a bad thing, you just have to channel it productively.

    I have digressed, but in reality, there is too many reasons to quantify an analyse for the stigma towards us. I won't say that none of the reasons are valid, because that is almost certainly untrue, but it doesn't matter what conceptions of you other people hold. It only matters how you see yourself because you are the only person that you have to live with for the whole of your life, others come and go, and when you can't accept who you are, that is when you need to stop and think, not when somebody else is hating you because of their ignorance.

  3. #3


    Because of what diapers are associated with. If you weren't an AB/DL then the first three things that would come into your head if I were to mention diapers would be babies, pee and poop and when you combine that with the idea that this is primarily a fetish (yes I know not for everyone but that is all people are going to see at first glance) you get people who think that this is disgusting and creepy and as such see those of us who enjoy them the same way. People will think we're paedophiles or have pee/poop fetishes as well. However the main reason is ignorance towards us and towards fetishes, the average person is aware of what fetishes are but probably has never taken the time to research them because if you don't have any then what is the point? They don't need to know about us, they don't need to know about anyone's bedroom activities but their own so aren't going to take the time to learn and accept others who are different in any way.

  4. #4


    Hi... Like Supersam said, "there isn't just one thing" but attitudes do change and they are changing as I write this. I guess we can thank disposable diapers for that. When I was a kid I was in and out of the Hospital for different illnesses. Every time I was admitted the first thing the nurses did was put me in a diaper and because of my bed wetting my mother diapered me at home till I was nearly 12. Because I was always being diapered by someone I started to notice that a whole lot of the clothes lines in my neighborhood had diapers hanging on them and because I delivered the newspaper to most of those houses I knew that it wasn't the babies in those houses wearing those diapers, it was the kids that I went to school with. Diapers were never really talked about but looking back on the number of kids my age and older that were being diapered every night I have to say the bedwetting was and is still grossly under-reported.
    As for the Stigma, I wrote a paper on that years ago in college and my conclusion then was that it was because of the way we we toilet train our kids. The "old wives tale" says that a child should be "Trained at 18 months" and it really is just a wives tail because a normal kid doesn't even develop all the abilities needed to train until they are 3 and a half or 4 years old. That's not saying that they don't know what parents want them to do, they just don't possess the ability. So parents unwittingly set their kid up to fail and at that early an age a child's brain is Hard Wired to absolutely believe and trust everything a parent says. So culturally we all start out thinking we are utter failures when we wet or soil ourselves as children or adults. It's interesting to note that during the Vietnam War and the Draft, over 2% of all the draftees were medically discharged for bed wetting. The sample size was in the millions and statistically that would hold for the entire population of the U.S. so that works out to around 7 million people who never stopped wetting at night (like me) and that doesn't include all the others who have been injured one way or another. It's no wonder there is a Stigma associated with incontinence... Untold Millions of secretive wetter’s and Millions more who think that incontinence is a failure of Biblical Proportions. It's not empirical and very little research had been done when I was in college and my guess is that the "Gap" still exists if anyone is looking for a thesis or a dissertation... feel free to use it I didn't publish it.

  5. #5


    I think most knee-jerk reactions are a result of the person imagining themselves engaging in whichever activity it is they've just been exposed to. It takes a while to sort out the complex emotions attached to many deeply-personal interests. Also, some people are also just closed-minded bigots.

  6. #6


    The largest negative stigma I am sure comes from, as people see it, a lack of cleanliness, or lack of hygiene (Be it true or not)...

    Diapers, no matter how you use them, were designed to hold fecal matter and urine, the former being one of the most vile substances that people can usually think of that they don't want to be around. They likely think that if someone is wearing a diaper, there is a high probability that they are quite unclean, or have remnants of these things on their body, no matter how untrue that may be...

    There has always been a negative stigma on uncleanliness, whether it is someone who has never had a shower in their life, or someone that sweats rivers and can wring out their armpits in reasonable quantities, or those who have overly greasy hair, or uncut fingernails... All of these are looked down upon because of the lack of cleanliness and hygiene.

    Usually when someone hears the word "diaper" they usually thing to times when a smelly diaper is being changed off of some kid, and likely nearly vomiting from the smell. They would likely think something similar from anyone who wears a diaper. No one wants to be near someone who smells that horrible. Hence the stigma.

    People are ignorant about the matter because things that disgust people are things that people don't usually wish to investigate.

    There are other reasons as well, like the perceived age groups of diaper-wearers, or the mental hangups from things not usually being as they expect, but cleanliness is, I'm sure, the biggest one.

  7. #7


    You all bring up a lot of good points. I do think a lot of it comes down to the way bodily functions (especially fecal matter). I always wondered about the perception of wearing/having to wear diapers in general and how that factors in. Like, when you're little, it's common for kids to make fun of a kid who wets the bed because wetting the bed (and having to wear diapers for it) is perceived as something little kids do, so by making fun of a kid who wets the bed the other kids are asserting that they're big and the bed wetter is little or a baby. Do you think the same is true of teenagers, if they found out that one of their friends likes or needs to wear?


  8. #8


    Being potty trained is one of the main things that marks the transition from babyhood to childhood, and it's often the first thing people are made to learn other than walking or being weaned. Therefore, people see incontinence and diapers as a sign of not being able to fulfill the most basic requirements of society.

  9. #9


    I tend to lean towards it being about moving backwards in what we have evolved away from (wearing diapers) and learned (to use the toilet). To regress back to diapers is to undue and to move backwards seems weird and crazy to most. Most just can't fathom why there would be an entire community of people who wish to do as we do, much less, a single person if they don't know of the community. I believe bittergrey explains this on the understanding infantilism site.

  10. #10


    Besides all the above, I also think people finding a grown man in a diaper and baby bonnet seems ridiculous. I've seen commercials on tv with a man dressed like a baby, and it's done to make the viewer laugh. Then when people see someone who is for real, dressed like a baby, they think him absolutely insane. Really, there's no way we can overcome this stigma. It's why we keep it to ourselves, usually behind closed doors.

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