- Adult Baby
BrandiThank you for the reply DylanLewis. And sorry to leave this hanging so long.
I see how, in your theoretical framework, ABDL-ism(?) wouldn't fit as a paraphilia. I'm curious whether this definition is unique to you or whether it is used by other psychologists? For instance, this article at psychology today doesn't include the notion of comfort: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/paraphilias For them, it seems like the necessity or preoccupation with the object of desire is central, together with either a sense of distress or resulting in harm.
Oh, yes. That clearly makes sense. And I'm sure it is true in many cases. So, I see how your view is coherent and also has explanatory power.
But maybe that isn't the whole picture? Wouldn't it work to take food as a parallel, non-dissociative comfort? Lots of people over-eat because it's comforting. It doesn't make eating a symptom of a deeper underlying condition. There are people who over-eat as a symptom of pathology. But there are others who over-eat for comfort in only isolated cases. There's no real long-term pathology. And of course there are lots of other parallels: occasional alcohol use, nicotine, exercise, etc. Not dissociative, not pathological, but definitely comforting when under stress.
So, well, I guess what I'm saying is that I think sex is pretty comforting. (blush) Whether it's ABDL sex, homo- or hetero-sexual ... it doesn't matter. It's comforting.
I understand your second query to be whether being ABDL can simply consist (only) of getting emotional comfort from a sexual attraction/use of diapers? – optionally flavoured (spiced?) with blushing to individual taste, of course. That is, depending on the individual, may being ABDL involve neither dissociation nor a (pathological) paraphilia? In other words is simple healthy sexual enjoyment in diapers sufficient to explain being ABDL?
As mentioned before, human experience is diverse and all things are possible. I’m also the least qualified person to be talking about sexuality. But, in my view, there are lots of indications that for the greater majority of ABDLs it’s a bit more complicated (whether that’s acknowledged or not).
Certainly being ABDL does not necessarily involve a paraphilia. It is typically associated only with the strongly conflicted early stages of our identity formation and fades/disappears with self acceptance.
Also certainly, being ABDL can involve healthy sexual enjoyment. Simple? I don’t think so. I suspect for many ABDL their sexual expression is significantly influenced by childhood attachment issues; erotic targets which are focused on the fantasized transformation of the self (to an infant or child), instead of or beside sex with an adult partner; and/or switches/intrusions/passive influence between different identity fragments or alters. There’s nothing pathological about any of that, but it’s not simple vanilla sex.
And healthy sexual enjoyment in diapers is not sufficient explanation for all or most of the characteristics of being ABDL. I suspect many self accepting ABDLs don’t engage in sexual activity each, or even most, time(s) they wear a diaper. But they still get emotional comfort from the other times. That isn’t explained by sex. And some ABDLs don’t mix sex with diapers at all but still derive emotional comfort.
There are also a range of other ABDL characteristics / symptoms which are not explained by a sexual attraction to diapers on its own. These include changes in affect (feeling/identity states), including but not limited to, the binge and purge cycle, or triggering of an irresistible need for a diaper); childhood attachment issues; and mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.
I hope this makes sense.