When this Fetish.com member met her boyfriend at high school, he turned out to be an infantilist with an adult diaper fetish. And although she took part in age play scenarios and adult baby games with her lover, she wasn't always sure about embracing his particular fetish. This is her story.

To be fair, 'infantilist' isn't my choice of language. It's a term coined by psychology that has long been in use. While some fetishists and fetish communities do use this terminology, the more commonly used language for adult diaper fetish is AB/DL (Adult Baby/Diaper Lover), and age play. I don't like using the phrase 'infantilist' because it sounds incriminating. And hanging out in diapers is not a wrongdoing. But there was certainly a time when I thought differently.

Growing up as a clinical social worker's daughter supplied me with lots of reading materials, notably all editions of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual up to the fourth edition. It was the first place I turned to when my high school boyfriend, then 17, confided that he got off from wearing diapers. Infantilism, I learned, was a paraphilia grouped with masochism (although it should be noted that infantilistic and masochistic tendencies do not necessarily coincide.)


Man with an adult diaper fetish
Understanding an adult diaper fetish can take time.


Infantilism: a mental disorder?

At age 15, I didn't understand what masochism was, anyway. What worried me was that infantilism was listed in a psychological text widely used by professionals for diagnosing mental disorders. When my boyfriend (we'll call him John) told me about his adult diaper fetish, I was a little shocked, but only due to the novelty of it. I wasn't concerned. I didn't think there was something wrong with him. But texts I read suggested there was.

Being a sexually open-minded person myself, I was, of course, supportive. I agreed to age play scenarios, napping with him in his diaper, trying one on myself, and even feeding him baby food (banana's pretty good). But I always struggled with whether our playtime was transgressive or dysfunctional. I didn't love what we were doing, but I didn't hate it either. My boyfriend's adult diaper fetish certainly wasn't causing any harm.

That one CSI episode

But I was a teenager with only the internet and psychological texts to guide me. The only phrase I had to go off of was infantilist. It's what I typed into online search engines and the reason why they churned out often dated psych resources. An alleged case of a 35-year-old man who expressed to a therapist that he felt trapped in his desires and studies on atypical people with unrelated disorders and/or criminal histories. There were also reviews of that one CSI episode about a businessman with an adult diaper fetish.

My mother, a working professional in the field, didn't even believe in bisexuality; she definitely wasn't going to have a helpful opinion on dating an infantilist. High school sex-ed couldn't even begin to cover what I was experiencing.

All of my research only supported what the DSM suggested: infantilism and adult diaper fetish is a faulty mental state, and should be treated. These findings lacked perspectives of healthy, normal, humans who like John, are both relaxed and stimulated by the sensation of wearing diapers and being infantilised.


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Time to confess

Despite my mixed feelings toward John's fetish, I continued supporting him. As time passed, he began to open up about other hidden interests, such as crossdressing and BDSM, both of which we explored together. By my senior year of high school, I was overwhelmed and desperate for someone to talk to. I confessed everything to a friend. Her immediate reaction was repulsion, which I had expected. But I hadn't anticipated her source of repulsion; she had confused infantilism for paedophilia.

This mistake is common, while entirely unwarranted. AB/DLs are the complete opposite of paedophiles; the first group sexualises being infantilised, the second sexualises infantilising. In fact, a child is an adult baby's worst nightmare – children require care-takers, and adult babies want care-takers of their own, not to be a care-taker. But even after I explained this fundamental difference, my friend was sceptical. She had never heard of this before, and diapers are gross. The whole idea of it was creepy to her.

I didn't know how to change my friend's opinion of John. So, I just invited her to hang out with us more. He was admittedly eccentric, outspoken, and naturally assumed a leadership role in everyday life.


Finding acceptance of his adult diaper fetish

From an early age, John had taken on much of his family's financial responsibility and often served as a mediator during fights between his siblings and parents. It was understandable that he should desire an extreme break from always being the primary adult.

After getting to know John, my friend got over her initial scepticism. Having her approval also made me feel better. For years I'd struggled with the negative connotations of what we were doing behind closed doors. All along, I had only needed an outsider's validation that what made John happy was OK to do.

I eventually broke up with John because our relationship helped me realise that I'm a sexual submissive myself (in a way entirely unrelated to diapers). Much like an adult baby and a child, it can be difficult for two submissives to both tend and be tended to.


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