My Partner Is Into Age Play. Can I Learn to Enjoy This Too?
There’s such enormous variety in what turns people on sexually that pretty much every couple will, at some point, find themselves in a situation where one person is asking the other to try something new, something that they may not have considered before. It takes a lot of trust to get to that point, so I consider it a sign of a potentially healthy relationship when these types of conversations take place.
It’s important to strike a balance between trying new things that your partner likes to see if you are into them too, and doing things that make you seriously uncomfortable. A little awkwardness when trying something new is to be expected and often goes away as you become more experienced. If you continue to feel uncomfortable, then that particular type of sex play might not be for you, and it’s OK to set boundaries around it. The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy has some general information about negotiating fantasies and making sure that everyone is comfortable with exploring new territory.
The specific type of sex play you are describing is often called age play. It’s not uncommon and is well within the range of normal fantasies and fetishes. For more information about negotiating this particular type of play with a partner, I turned to Kitty Stryker, a self-described “geeky porn starlet,” (NSFW because porn!) kink community activist, and sometime Huffington Post writer who sometimes plays and performs as a little girl persona.
Here’s Kitty’s advice:
“It’s totally normal to have a kink for diapers, spanking, and role play—and it’s also totally normal to feel a little confused about how to get started or eroticize it all when it’s not your kink! I’ve been there—I had a partner I loved dearly who was an adult baby and diaper fetishist, and I went through all sorts of phases of working out how I felt about it, from frustration to sadness to giddiness and excitement and back again.
“So, how do you get started? I personally like the ‘find something you enjoy, and create a mashup’ method, and I find that diaper play and age play both work really well with all sorts of kinks and just going out on dates! Here are a couple of examples.
“Combine age play with subtle public humiliation (and catch the latest from Pixar!). Take your partner to a kid’s movie, but don’t let them pay for anything. Decide what snacks or drinks they can have, and sit in the back so you can pour their drink into a sippie cup and have them suck a pacifier without anyone else knowing. Having the scene start and end at the movie theatre can give a clear beginning and end to the scene while also taking the pressure off. A movie means you don’t have to come up with things to do during that time!
“Maybe your partner is more interested in diapers? You can incorporate diaper play into everyday humiliation play without anyone being the wiser. Wear a diaper as you go out to a fancy dinner, and your partner can find a reason to pat your ass so you two hear/feel it crinkle (no one else will hear it—promise!). Or it could be added to a bondage scene for practical purposes—he doesn’t have to untie you when you need to pee! And don’t forget that baby powder makes a unique slippery “lube” for a handjob...
“So with a bit of creativity, and a sense of adventure and experimentation, I bet you two will find your way to a playground of delight that will leave you both giggling for more. Just keep communicating, make space for each other to say what’s working and what isn’t, and don’t forget that being Good, Giving and Game goes both ways, and get your fantasies fulfilled too!
“You might want to consider asking your partner if they’re [solely] interested in you wearing the diapers or if it’s something they want to do but feel shy about. Most of the heterosexual diaper imagery available features women (as men are often unfairly seen as the only consumers of sexy images), but in the community there’s a lot more diversity! Depending on how he responds, you might decide to try trading off roles to each experiment with being little or Big.”
It sounds like your boyfriend might be interested in you taking the “little” role instead of him, so you can easily flip the scenarios that Kitty describes above so that you are the one wearing the diapers or being taken out to the movies. Kitty suggests the following resources for more ideas and information about age play and AB/DL.
· The Big/Little Podcast: A weekly podcast that covers all sorts of topics on age play, from interviews with prominent age players to discussions on topics like diapers or regression.
· The Toybag Guide to Age Play: A small, pocket-sized book that briefly covers the range of age play topics and possibilities- particularly good as an introduction for beginners.
· From Diapers to Diplomas: A more detailed book for those interested in taking the conversation about roleplaying AB/DL a bit further, expect to find a lot of personal experience in this book to help contextualize this kink.
· Understanding Infantilism: A website filled with articles ranging from the educational to surveys to the humorous.
· iDiaper.me: An online magazine for adult babies/diaper lovers (AB/DLs) with reviews, articles, apps and negotiation contracts for scenes. There’s also some links to shopping resources!
· Fetlife: This online community has multiple groups for people exploring AB/DL, diapers specifically, specific roleplays like Victorian or parental caregivers, etc. There are a lot of resources available, but it’s also an Internet forum that anyone can form a profile on with relative anonymity, so proceed accordingly—with caution and a grain of salt.
Kitty appears in the soon-to-be-released Hard Femme (NSFW because porn!; out on July 23). If you’d like to catch her live, check out her events page; this summer, she’ll be in the UK, Vegas and San Francisco.
Laura Anne Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than fifteen years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXPress? Send them to email@example.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.