On ABDL-Storyculture and Consent

LittleLion

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As you might know, I recently translated my story „A home full of boys“ into english in order to post it on a few related websites. That’s when I began to notice that there are some key differences between the german and international ABDL-communities when it comes to this aspect, which was a bit of a culture shock for me. These differences now (presumably) lead to a situation where I simply cannot post my story on one particular site.

While I worked on the translation, I noticed that many international forums, at least in theory, have rules against ABDL-stories involving minors. That is somewhat understandable, as countries like the US have stricter age of consent laws compared to Germany. At least depending on which state you are in, with the US in particular being quite chaotic in that regard – there’s everything from 13 (like Conneticut) up to 18 (like in Idaho), and that’s before you consider things like whether or not one of the people involved is in a position of authority over the other (which definitely should be a factor). In Germany, the age of consent is 14 for most intents and purposes. And if a forum is accessible to minors or even explicitly allows their involvement, sexual content should and must, of course, be restricted.

But that alone doesn’t sufficiently explain the difference if you ask me. For one because it assumes that ABDL-stories are automatically sexual content. An outsider might naturally assume as much and argue that the protagonists are automaticcaly sexualized / objectified. I can’t support that argument for two reasons, though.

Firstly, many story authors are minors themselves. The vast majority of people don’t discover their interest in diapers on their 18th birthday, I’ve seen stories from authors as young as 13. As a minor, you’re unlikely to write adult protagonists. And as vulnerable as the younger members of such communities are, and need to be protected from those who would exploit them, they also need the opportunity to connect with peers and older like-minded people, who are more experienced and can help them deal with the often mixed feelings that come with these interests.

But my second point is even more important: Most of those stories are about the author’s own fantasies and wish-fulfillment. Many write about the things they’d like to experience themselves or wish they had experienced (as kids). Sexual themes are, in my experience, the exception in such stories, and if they are present, it’s often in the context of things such as falling in love for the first time and/or coming out to, involving peers. So it’s the usual themes, just with this extra twist layered on top.

In practice, if the rules I described were enforced like that, we would end up with a very paradoxical situation where sexual ABDL-stories are considered legitimate (if the characters involved are all legal adults, of course), but non-sexual ABDL-stories are deemed dangerous just because minors appear as characters or are the protagonists.

And that is before we consider board-specific rules. On some sites I saw rules stating that characters below that age of 18 should not be portrayed as victims of abuse (or violence by caregivers in general). This rule is interesting to me because my story doesn’t clearly break or follow it – the protagonists are no longer in such a situation, but did experience it in their childhoods and occasionally talk about or remember it. And although I consciously avoid detailing that time too much and allow my readers to fill in the blanks, I couldn’t simply remove this aspect even if I wanted to. It’s a core part of my protagonists’ characterization, and the reason the Ziegler family even came to be the way it is portrayed in the story. That aside, plenty of children’s literature authors make a living writing children’s crime or adventure novels, where the protagonists sometimes end up being threatened, placed in dangerous situations, or otherwise experience violence.

In practice, I haven’t had any issues on forums and boards with such rules so far. Instead, my story ended up disappearing twice from another site, which does not mention any rules regarding the stories posted there – both times no explanation was given, even after I specifically asked for it. That site has no problem with openly sexual ABDL-content, so the only reason I can think of are the minor protagonists of my story. And given the dissonance I just described above, I think that’s a shame. I don’t think that’s in line with the spirit of the law, and reinforces the notion that all ABDL-stories are erotic in their nature.
 
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