There are plenty of sexual fetishes out there, and many of them have been around for a long time. BDSM evokes images of leather, ball-gags, and chains while adult baby diaper lovers — or ABDLs — make many think of clothed butts. Diaper fetishism is a sexual movement that remains mysterious, especially when it comes to understanding what causes a diaper fetish and why a person takes pleasure from it. The world of ABDL is about more than just sex, its about role-play and regression, too.
One of the major misconceptions about ABDLs is that they are pedophiles. In truth, ABDL does not involve children in any way. ABDLs do not want to have an encounter with children, they want to be them. Adult babies and diaper wearers who engage in "ageplay" are returning to a time in their lives when they were babies, free of cares, and perhaps to an age where they feel more comfortable in general. They may enjoy being dominated by an mommy or daddy figure, but they do not want to engage in any activities with actual youngsters.
The origins of infantilism remain hazy. As early as 1895, neurologist Henry Meige mentioned infantilism, but there isn't much evidence about the practice. There is clear evidence of the ABDL community coming together in groups during the 1970s and 1980s. ABs, or adult babies, like to behave like babies but may not wear diapers. Diaper lovers, or DLs, wear diapers but don't always behave like babies. Collectively, they make up the ABDL subculture.
There were a few studies that focused on instances of ABDL behavior during the 1960s and 1970s. Eventually, infantilism was recognized by the American Phsychological Association. Paraphilic infantilism (or autonepiophilia) is defined as experiencing sexual satisfaction and pleasure from behaving like a baby, usually involving wearing a diaper.
There's plenty of variations among ABDLs, but many fully participate in infant-like behavior. Acting like a baby, being treated and cared for like an infant, and wearing a diaper are all part of infantilism. ABDLs who are actively infantile create a new identity, one that is anywhere from six months to a few years old.
Most ABDLs have caregivers of some kind, usually a mommy, but there could also be a daddy. The caregiver changes the ABDL's diaper and offers nurturing as well as makes decisions for their "baby." The submission that an ABDL offers to the mommy or daddy may give him or her sexual satisfaction, much like that of a bondage-domination scenario.
Caregivers may offer non-sexual physical contact such as cuddling and knee-bouncing. They may also brush the ABDL's hair, dress or bathe them, and engage in baby-talk.