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Public awareness of ABies / Infantilism

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PostTenebrasLux

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Given that I'm new here, I have to assume this has been discussed previously. Just in case, here's something I've been wondering given recent reading:

Are there any estimates (reliable or otherwise) of the general public's awareness of 'paraphilic infantilism' or AB/TB/DL's?

If so, what are those estimates? Failing that, what would be our best guess? I might need to get back to Bitter Grey's Understanding Infantilism; perhaps he's addressed this.
 

IncompleteDude

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I'm always surprised about how many people I know know about abdls. I'd say about 1/5 of my class at school has heard about them in some form. My boss at my last job knew about them in great detail. Two of my 3 brothers knew about it. Now all of these people are either internet whores or kinky whores, lol, so that's why they know. Still, it's more than I would have ever suspected.
 

Mesmerale

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I think that people know that there are people who love diapers. Just like they know that there are people who love feet, or hair, or what-have-you.

If it exists, there's a fetish that loves it.

They may not know what else it entails, and they may not know a name for it. But they know it exists.
 
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Generally the public may not be surprised to know, or may already know that there are such a thing as diaper fetishists and adult babies, but their level of awareness of what such a fetish entails is lacking. It would be like asking a typical member of our community for details on a foot fetish; we understand that it exists and may know something of the basics of the fetish, but we don't know anything more detailed than that unless we are into that particular fetish.
 

ayanna

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I would say that at least 50% of the population probably has at the very least a basic awareness of the fetish. What makes me say it's such a high number? The popularity of a television programme known as "CSI" (the original version not the Miami & New York ones). This particular programme is noted for it's epicly over-the-top portrayals of fetishists...furries in "Fur & Loathing", ABs in "King Baby", S&M in several episodes featuring the lovely dominatrix 'Lady Heather', foot-fetishists in "I Like to Watch" (and I'm fairly certain other episodes...although I may be thinking about Law & Order:SVU episode "Tortured")

Television brings fetishism to the world on a daily basis...if it's not being talked about on Oprah...it's being sensationalised on one or more of the top 'dramas'!

Granted, these programmes over-emphasise the fetishes to the point of ridiculousness, but....people become 'aware'! They may not remember all the silly little details...like how the rapist in the CSI episode "I Like to Watch" liked to pamper the feet of his victims even painting their toenails....but they will remember that he had a rather 'weird' fascination with feet! Or, how the victim in "King Baby" liked enemas...but rather that he was found on the driveway wearing nothing but a giant cloth diaper!

Sooooo....to make a long story short...people are aware (sometimes without even being aware that they're aware) of fetishes of all sorts...including infantilism.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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I would guess that the number of people who have heard of the existence of diaper fetish is moderately high. However, I'd also estimate that very few people have a realistic *understanding* of the way it works (ie AB vs DL). Also, thanks to crap sites like Deeker's, a lot of non-ABDL people doing casual research on the subject will come to the conclusion (an incorrect conclusion) that ABDLs are also pedophiles.

Of course, when you look at it objectively, the ABDL phenomenon is basically an unorthodox clothing choice (diapers instead of underwear). There are a lot stranger practices out there!
 

Dark Bringer

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I don't think it's that well known. I've never heard anyone in person demonstrate or suggest a knowledge of infantilism.
But I'm surprised it isn't. Like how are furries more known? Not to sound rude but I find it hard to understand how people would get the idea they are an animal. The idea that people would want to be younger or pretend to be a baby isn't really that strange.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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Actually, I can see how furries could be more well-known than ABDLs.

I'm not a furry, but I'd have to say that *not* identifying with aspects of animal traits is a peculiarity of the three Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). Many Pagan traditions seek out the assistance of animal-based spirit guides. I think the need to identify with a spirit guide is part of our collective subconscious. The fact that the Abrahamic faiths dominate most of the worlds cultures have sort of boxed-in our access to the collective subconscious, yet it still must be connected with. So, you end up with furries! That's my theory at least. Your theories may vary ;)

But... Yeah... My post is off-topic a bit. Sorry!
 

dangermouse

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I'd say there are two views the public hold.

There's the sissy "big baby" view of a big guy in big cloth diaper that doesn't quite fit and huge pin, bonnet and dummy/pacifier. Typically seen as a comical fetish (plugged on those "weird TV" shows), or may be a fancy dress thing (often on stag nights). Generally considered as something to mock.

Then there's the "pedo monster" view that the media sometimes portrays (e.g. some pedo is caught and turns out he wore diapers or took photos of kids in diapers, and that would be plastered all over as the headline), and the opinion of many parents who would discover someone they know seriously wears diapers out of choice and doesn't come across like the cute comical image (above) and thinks therefore they must be a pedo and a threat to their children.

Generally the public view is negative.
 

Kovy

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I would guess that the number of people who have heard of the existence of diaper fetish is moderately high. However, I'd also estimate that very few people have a realistic *understanding* of the way it works (ie AB vs DL). Also, thanks to crap sites like Deeker's, a lot of non-ABDL people doing casual research on the subject will come to the conclusion (an incorrect conclusion) that ABDLs are also pedophiles.

Of course, when you look at it objectively, the ABDL phenomenon is basically an unorthodox clothing choice (diapers instead of underwear). There are a lot stranger practices out there!
Yes, this pretty much sums it up for me. Thanks to morons like Deeker, MFH, etc., the public sometimes sees us as sick freaks.
 
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I find this sort of interesting to see all the different views that "we" have about our own behavior. In my opinion infantilism and diaper fetish are two very different things. In my definition of infantilism it isn't a fetish although certainly a fetish could be combined with it. Fetish has a sexual implication although I don't know if a rigid definition includes a sexual component. However infantilism is not sexual and can and frequently does start before puberty.

How would we ever expect the general public to have a correct view of this subject when "we" ourselves don't seem to share a common understanding.

My opinion is that given huge numbers of older and senior citizens in our population (US) there is relatively little knowledge of "us."
 

FluffyFluffers

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Regular people A lot. TV, Interweb,Stupid fat oldish pedos that get on the news and have a diaper fetish that they tried to force into someones life while makes sexual remarks to minors, blablabla

My friends..... God damn near all know of most fetishes now from me or from 4 chan. A few I have the feeling have some type of fetish. >_> Yeah.... In fact I know of like two-three that are into some weird stuff o_O
 

PostTenebrasLux

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Very interesting responses--thanks for the insight. Turns out pondering this can be very upsetting. To elaborate, it's kind of a two part question for me: first, to what degree is the general public aware, but second (and upon reflection this is what I was originally trying to ask), what's the general opinion? I started surfing the net last night for mentions in periodicals, forums, and in psychological literature, and was pretty upset after a few hours. Seems to me, unless somebody actually /is/ or /knows/ someone who is *B/DL, their opinion is most likely negative, and often based on incomplete or inaccurate information. This may be a misconception on my part, but whatever the case may be, I (like many of us, I'm sure) don't really feel like a functional, desirable adult.

It will be interesting to watch this unfold though. We've all seen encouraging stories of open minds and well balanced lives on sites like this or others; I have to expect that the next generation will benefit from communication like this, and from increased awareness in psychology and the public.

Lesson learned though--don't ask Google questions which probably have hurtful answers.

Just so tired of hiding...I'd like to have a girlfriend, to be able to tell her about this and have her truly accept it, without even asking her to participate. But, given the 'strangeness' or mystery surrounding this topic, it's hard to take much initiative.

On a related note, pretty sure I just saw a guy--looked like he was in his 50s--wearing 'protection' (never heard it called that until about a week ago). He was wearing tight pants, and the two vertical lines were just barely apparent. If this trend in human apparel is so wide-spread, does that make this the largest social taboo ever?

It would also be interesting to know how public awareness/knowledge level/opinions vary by nation or region.
 

Jeremiah

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Knowledge is power. The key to acceptance is slowly giving that knowledge in a gentle and non-confrontational manner. Many years ago, bikers and homosexuals were shunned by mainstream society. By slowly acclimating the general public to the truth, it becomes more acceptable. Biker clubs did this by doing toy runs. By filling the streets with bikers supporting "Toys for Tots" and other community support programs, communities slowly became aware of how nice such groups can be. The gay/lesbian/transgender community made progress by slowly "coming out of the closet" and making themselves know to the public. The BDSM community has also made some progress toward educating the public. Fur lined blindfolds and fuzzy handcuffs are now sold at mainstream "sex shops".

The general public is well aware of "freaks" in society. Fetishes are also well known. As for our community, what image have we given them? If they only see mentally disturbed men in thick diapers or hear about pedophiles, our community will continue to have a horrible image to the general public. The BDSM community has faught for many years to seperate themselves from wife beaters and rapists with some success. Their public motto is "Safe, Sane, Consentual". How can a group with that motto be bad? Our motto is...


What have we done to change public opinion?
 
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PostTenebrasLux

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Wow--very good points, Jeremiah. I don't know much about the BDSM scene, and didn't realize there was in some form a concerted PR effort. I like that motto, and I think the same applies for AB/DLs. (I deliberately used A instead of *; people will associate this with sex, either correctly or incorrectly.) Any idea how that motto came to be?

I think we've done a little bit to change public opinion, but certainly not much. Some of the articles I found last night did not appear to be written by folks from our ranks, but did seem to be generally helpful, particularly an article a year old from the New Yorker (correct me if I'm wrong). Like I believe you pointed out, the uninitiated public doesn't have much positive information available unless they feel like digging.

And I liked your indication of a criterion for partial public acceptance--product availability in 'sex shops'.

What should be done in order to increase awareness and improve opinions? When should that happen?
 
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FullMetal

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I feel that the internet links you with so many various things and weird information that most of the people on the internet would know about us. I mean, how many times have you come across weird ass porn where you were like "I never even knew that existed...and what is he sticking up- oh god"

FullMetal -is bad at jokes-
 

kite

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thinking back on how people were opened to such fetishes by videos like that horse one and the girls with the cup video, maybe it's time we made our own viral video to get the word out?
 

NEJay

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maybe it's time we made our own viral video to get the word out?
Ever type "diapers" into Youtube? :D

I think that the majority of the media presence we've had (at least lately) has been positive or at least neutral, and having a viral video akin to "2 girls 1 cup" would be negative. I'd rather rely on outlets like talk shows (Tyra Banks), documentaries (Secret Lives of Women), and the like instead of extreme internet porn videos.

Personally, I'd rather not get the word out though... I like the stigma of this interest being unique and unheard of.
 

Mesmerale

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. . . Why..

Why would you mention 2 girls 1 cup?

I'd just managed to get it out of my mind for two days! That's all I asked! Why?!?!
 
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