Facts and Theorys about Infantilism:
The following material entitled "A Theory Of Infantilism" has been copyrighted and also is on file with Mr. Eric Scholz, Attorney At Law.
Permission was granted to Dr. Mary Hogan to publish this material in conjunction with, or as part of, her book on Infantilism.
Copied with permission by Tommy of www.DPF.com
Infantilists (AB's) take heart, you are not alone. Infantilism is a condition which is seldom (though more so these days than before) spoken about in the general public, yet as evidenced by the ongoing success of groups like the Diaper Pail Friends and several IRC chat groups, there are probably thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of infantilists throughout the world
is usually a very deeply rooted behavior pattern which is not
easy to overcome or change. Almost all psychologists and
psychiatrists ignore us. Little if any research has been carried
out concerning infantilism. It seems that this behavior is still
generally viewed by society at large as something that is better
left in the closet! Apparently the common reasoning is that since
this type of behavior doesn't seem to bring significant harm to
anyone other than the infantilist him or herself, and few AB's
seem to request any sort of clinical treatment for their behavior
so there is little or no need to develop any sort of treatment
program. Also, since it seems that most AB's are able to carry on
their lives, their jobs, and their lifestyles with only perhaps
minimal hindrance from their behavior, so far the helping
professions appear to have little interest in helping us.
AB's sometimes feel isolated. The primary harm experienced by AB's as a result of this behavior is the disruption of normal marital and social relationships and often a sense of extreme separation and isolation from society at large. Currently, as evidenced by many web pages, most AB's are remaining 'in the closet' so to speak with family and non-internet friends, quietly attempting to reconcile their private lives, which would probably seem revolting to most people, with their public lives in which there is necessarily a facade of normalcy.
A THEORY ON INFANTILISM
people it may seem very strange that a grown man or woman would
wish to hold on to the trappings of babyhood. At first glance,
the desire to wear and use diapers like a baby, to act like a
baby and be treated like a baby, might seems to be a sick and
distorted form of behavior. Even the practitioners of this
behavior are often racked with a sense of guilt and shame for
having such uncommon desires.
Like many other forms of human behavior, however, Infantilism can be viewed as both a reasonable and logical reaction to stress, and even rather simple, if the underlying causes that lead to it's creation are understood. It is the goal and purpose of this essay to increase the understanding of the underlying reasons for Infantilism.
A GENERAL THEORY OF PERSONALITY
of behavior can be better understood if we recognize them as
merely variations of basic human nature and personality. Because
of this, it is necessary to have a general theory of human
nature, personality and behavior before we try to examine any
This essay is based on a general theory of human behavior and personality described by psychiatrist Karen Horney in her book, "Neurosis and Human Growth" published in 1950. Doctor Horney believes that "each of us are born with certain particular intrinsic traits and potentialities which, given the chance, will develop into the unique alive forces of our real self: the clarity and depth of our own feelings, thoughts, wishes, interests, the ability to tap our own resources, the strength of our will, our special capacities or gifts, the facility to express ourselves and relate to others with our spontaneous feelings. In short, we will grow towards what she calls self-realization".
Having described this goal, however, Doctor Horney proceeds to tell us that "through a variety of adverse influences, a child may not be permitted to grow according to his individual needs and possibilities towards self-realization. A child's parents may be too wrapped up in their own neurosis to be able to love the child, or even to conceive of him as the particular individual he is. They may be dominating, overprotective, intimidating, irritable, overacting, overprotective, erratic, partial to other siblings, hypocritical, indifferent, etc. It is never a matter of just a single factor, but always the whole constellation that exerts the untoward influence on a child's growth".
Yet, a child can only grow according to his or her intrinsic personal traits and potentialities, just as an acorn can only grow to be an oak tree.
From the moment an acorn falls to the ground, it is intrinsically already an oak tree. In no way will it ever, or can it ever, grow into a palm tree or a redwood tree or any other kind of tree. It can only be an oak tree.
An acorn, however, is totally and completely dependent on it's environment if it is to grow according to it's inner directive. It must be given the correct soil and proper nutrients, an adequate amount of annual rainfall, the correct average daily sunshine, etc. If denied any of these things, the oak tree is likely to grow up stunted. Nonetheless, although stunted, it will still be a form of oak tree.
Each of us, I believe, are like acorns in many respects. From the moment we are born we already have within us the total and complete personality and intrinsic elements of the person we are destined to be. For example, Mozart most certainly was born with the intrinsic elements of a great musician. All that was required was the time, the love, the nurturing, the attention and the acceptance by his parents to help him develop his inner gifts.
If each of our parents had provide the totally nurturing environment we needed when we were young, and if they had fully recognized our intrinsic inner traits and elements of our personality as soon as they appeared, and if they had supported and encouraged these inner traits, whatever they were, then we were likely to grow up fulfilled, like an acorn into a magnificent oak tree. We would have grown totally and relatively easily towards self-realization.
But life is very complicated indeed. For more reasons than we could possibly list, we may not have receive all the nurturing we needed or our inner traits and personality may not have been fully recognized and supported and encouraged the way they should have been.
While the possible results are so numerous that it might take a complete library to catalog them all, this essay will be involved with a fairly narrow range of results, a range that we has been given the name Infantilism.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR INFANTILISM
received) Dear Little Tommy; I suppose my feelings about my
parents ARE a little mixed up. I don't want to blame them for the
way I turned out, they really did their best to take care of us
kids. They were never physically abusive to me, although I have a
younger sister that has confessed that she may have been sexually
abused. It is just that when I was young my parents drank a lot,
and when they had been drinking their behavior would be very
unpredictable. Sometimes they would be verbally abusive, and I
suppose that I felt very scared of them when they were drunk. I
know that this was something that we NEVER discussed as a family
though. I do not remember a single time when my dad ever held me,
or told me that he loved me, or that he was proud of me. As I
said, I do not blame them for anything, that is just the way they
were. After reading some horror stories about other kids with
alcoholic parents, I don't think I had it so bad. When we were
all living together as a family, there were a lot of fighting,
arguments, and conflicts. It was not a very secure or nurturing
environment. My brother and sisters had a lot of emotional
problems too, and that did not help the situation. I have a
brother and two sisters that have drug and alcohol addictions. I
do not have either problem, and I attribute my ability to escape
into Infantilism as a reason why I did not develop these
problems. To me becoming a baby is a way that I can cope with the
pressures of the world. I hope this helps. Keep in touch little
guy. I miss you and Marky, give yourselves a BIG HUG from me to
you, okay? Take care...... Forever In Diapers; Richie
Against The Grain
Sometimes in life there are phenomenon which appear to run totally opposite our senses or our ability to reason logically. Our mind tells us one thing, while the physical actuality may be a totally different thing. Let me give you one example.
There are probably certain assumptions about flying a plane that most people make and which would seem quite logical when viewed from their experiences and their knowledge and ability to think logically. Most people, if asked to guess what a pilot does to make an airplane go faster, would probably answer, "increase power". On the other hand, to make a plane gain altitude, most people would probably say, "point the nose up slightly".
In reality, the truth is just the opposite. To make a plane go faster a pilot must 'point the nose slightly down', and to make a plane gain altitude a pilot has to 'increase power'. These facts go AGAINST THE GRAIN of typical human perception.
In a similar manner, when an Infantilist tries to explain to a non-Infantilist that 'playing baby or wearing diapers' makes them feel happy, secure and satisfied, they are going AGAINST THE GRAIN of normal human perception. For the non-Infantilist, this behavior seems to be just exactly the opposite of what they normally perceive of as being happy, secure and satisfied in life. It is 'GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN' of their experience. The purpose of this essay is to try to explain Infantilism in terms that everyone can understand and perceive. In other words, we will try to show that, in it's own way, Infantilism is going WITH the grain of human experience.
Basic Human Experience
Only a limited number of people know how to pilot a plane. If an airplane pilot tells you that to gain altitude it is necessary to increase power and to go faster one must lower the nose, then you are fairly likely to accept this as fact because nothing in your direct experience gives you the basis to contradict it.
On the other hand, ALL of the basic human experiences and emotions that underlie Infantilism are experienced fully and totally by EVERY human being on Earth. There are no exceptions.
From the moment every person is born there is one irresistible, potent and totally consuming force that is experienced by everyone. There are no exceptions.
This is the force to GROW, to mature, to become an adult.
Part of this force is programmed in the 'blueprint' of our genes. Part of it is programmed by our culture, the result of influences from our parents, teachers, television, and society in general. Not everyone agrees which one of these factors predominates in our process of maturation, but nearly everyone agrees that they are the two primary forces that guide us as we develop into mature human beings.
The 'Blueprint' To Mature
There is a sort of 'blueprint' in our genes that controls the development of all the cells of our bodies and our brains. This blueprint is absolutely and unwavering in it's purpose. It is towards growth and maturity.
When we are babies, the cells of our brain are progressing day by day towards the development of speech, among other things. The cells of our bladder are, day by day, progressing towards bladder control. Inevitably, sooner or later, even without a single word from a parent, a child will discover a new ABILITY - the ability to control his bladder.
Every muscle in our baby legs are developing towards being able to walk. Out brain cells will inevitably organize themselves to permit logical thought, the manipulation of numbers and complex equations, and the ability to reason. It is quite rare that a baby or child does not experience TREMENDOUS exhilaration and pleasure as this happens.
The Cultural Drive To Mature
While these wondrous and exhilarating changes are taking place inside our bodies and brains, something else is effecting us, something from outside of us, driven by our 'culture'. Almost every interaction with our culture and the people in our lives tends to support and enhance the physical changes of maturity in a most positive way.
When we take our first baby steps, our mommy smiles and excitedly says, "You did it, good for you. You took a step. What a wonderful and terrific baby you are - learning to walk all by yourself".
When daddy lets go of your two wheeler bike for the first time and we ride without training wheels, the excitement in his voice reinforces that fact that we have accomplished a GREAT thing. "Good boy, that's it, you're doing great", is what we hear.
When Mommy changes our diaper and it's dry, or when we sit on the potty and our pee splashes into the toilet for the first time, the sound of our mommy's voice reconfirms that we have done a GREAT thing. "Oh, what a wonderful big boy you are", we are likely to hear. "Now you are just like daddy, doing it in the toilet like a big boy".
Again and again, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, each milestone of accomplishment as our brains and our bodies reach new heights of accomplishment, we are led to believe in million of ways that we are doing a GREAT thing. We are moving towards nirvana. Step by step, we are moving towards maturity, towards adulthood.
AND EVERYBUDY KNOWS IT'S A GOOD THING. That's what it's all about. That's the purpose in life.
Moving towards maturity, towards adulthood is the universal experience in life, the thing that everybudy experiences. There isn't any other experience in life that is more universal, more generally accepted and more valued.
It is little wonder, then, that Infantilists have so much difficulty in explaining themselves to their friends or relations? This explains why even the spouses or friends of Infantilists often have difficulty understanding the regressive elements of Infantilism even after months of trying to explain it? This difficulty is probably part of the reason for the guilt and humiliation that many Infantilists feel?
Knowing these things, we can easily see why a talk TV show on Infantilism brings negative responses. If we accept the fact that most Infantilists have difficulty convincing their spouses, girlfriends of boyfriends after months of years of trying, is seems illogical to expect that a TV audience will 'understand' after a one hour television show.
Knowing all this, many questions still remain unanswered.
Does Infantilism go against the entire grain of human development? Is Infantilism a REVERSAL of all physical, mental and cultural forces of human development? Is it right to want to reverse our bladder muscle so it leaks like a baby. Is it right to suck our thumb again. To poop in our pants. To sleep in a crib. To wear clothes with snaps in the crotch. To give up our ability to eat with a fork. To have someone hold a baby bottle with a nipple in our mouth. And to crave and LOVE every element of this regression. Is this not GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN, and therefor wrong?
I think not.
A SPECIFIC THEORY OF INFANTILISM
way that you can conceive, the ideas and goals of Infantilists
seem to go AGAINST THE GRAIN of what is recognized as the normal
blueprint of human bodies and minds.
For this reason Infantilists sometimes feel guilt or humiliation. They fear interactions with wives or friends or husbands who they fear will not understand or will think that they are crazy, or at best very mixed up.
That Infantilists appear to go AGAINST THE GRAIN is obvious. That there is a purpose for all of it is not so obvious. While the POSITIVE and GOOD of Infantilism is not obvious, it does exist and needs to be explored.
Narrowing The Scope
A human being is certainly far more complex than an Acorn. The ingredients needed for proper growth and maturity are far more complicated and varied.
The world is not a perfect place, and it is almost certain that some of the ingredients needed for 'a perfect growth' are missing for everyone. The results differ in thousands of thousands of ways, like depression, neurosis, drug abuse, et al. Some of these variations sometimes result in what we call Infantilism, the one that is our concern.
How can we narrow the scope of human development to those that lead to a more specific theory of personality - those that lead to Infantilism?
Obviously this is a difficult task. Even a casual review of Infantilists in the DPF Rosters show that there are tremendous differences between one Infantilist and another. In fact, there would seem to be as many personal, individual variations as there are people.
Nevertheless, certain patterns do seem to become evident, patterns that seem to encompass a very large percentage of the environmental and inborn factors that are involved with the creation of Infantilism in human personality. These patterns are (1) Bedwetting, (2) Childhood Sexual Abuse, (3) Deficient Early Nurturing, and (4) Rejection of Softness. Every Infantilist probably has one or more of these patterns in their history, and each Infantilist combines them in varying degrees. The variations are limitless.
Although Bedwetting is one of the patterns observed in Infantilists, there are good reasons to reject it as one of the primary causes of Infantilism.
While there are a good number of Infantilists who were bedwetters as children (and a few who still wet the bed), and although they often trace their early feelings towards diapers and Infantilism to their bedwetting, there are reasons to reject it as one of the primary causes.
About 20% of all boys wet the bed into their early grade school years, and 5-10% of boys wet the bed into their early teen years. This represents a lot of people. If bedwetting were a primary cause of Infantilism, there should be a lot of Infantilist who were childhood bedwetters, but this does not appear to be the case. What seems to be true is that the percentage of Infantilists who were bedwetters is approximately the same as the percentage of bedwetters in the population as a whole.
This, I believe, leads to the conclusion that there are factors more important than bedwetting itself that lead to Infantilism. Bedwetting, itself, is more likely to be one of what I call 'triggers' rather than a real cause of Infantilism. (Triggers are discussed later in this thesis).
After studying and reading hundreds of case histories, it seems fairly apparent that sexual abuse is not a very common factor in the cause of Infantilism, especially among males. Very few male Infantilists report experiences of sexual abuse as infants or children.
On the other hand, there seems to be a FAIRLY large percentage of women Infantilists who were sexually abused as young children - so much so that it is hard not to make this connection. The problem is that the data base it currently extremely small because there are very few women Infantilists who have been studied. Further study in this area is necessary. Nevertheless, Sexual Abuse does seem to be a major factor with women, and a minor factor with men.
There does seem to be, however, two much more important factors that lead to Infantilism in the majority of cases, which I call (1) Deficient Early Nurturing and (2) Rejection Of Softness. These are explored in the next two sections of this report.
DEFICIENT EARLY NURTURING
Like an acorn, a human baby needs certain elements to help it grow into the 'blueprint' that is already contained within the respective genes. Just as an acorn needs the proper soil, light and nutrients, a human baby needs things to help it grow into the person it already is. A human baby is obviously far more complicated than an acorn. Besides food and liquid, a baby needs to be held, to be talked to, looked at, touched, smiled at, played with and loved.
A human baby differs from an acorn in another way. While the acorn responds to its environment in a basic way, a baby brings to the process some personal inner factors, the tremendous variations in inner makeup and personality of the baby itself. Unlike two acorns, two different babies in the same family may react entirely differently to a very similar environment because they are very, very different beings.
A human baby brings into the growth equation it's own 'PERCEPTION' of what is happening around it. There is a sort of give and take in the process, between the ACTUAL nurturing that the baby receives, and the PERCEPTION of this nurturing on the part of the baby.
But, whether actual or perceived, a deficiency in the nurturing of a baby will most certainly have an effect on the emotional growth pattern of the baby and the ultimate result.
The Perfect Metaphor
Nothing is more symbolical of nurturing a baby or young child than the attention involved in diaper changes. In this process, a baby is touched and wiped and cleaned and fondled in (hopefully) a loving and caring way. Every sensation is involved, sight, touch, smell, and internal and external feeling. The nurturing parent looks at the baby (hopefully with a smile). The nurturing parent talks to the baby (hopefully sweetly). The nurturing parent touches the most sensitive parts of the baby's bod.
Certainly it is clear to everyone, Infantilists and non-Infantilists alike, that diaper changing is possibly THE MOST PERFECT METAPHOR possible for the act of nurturing that is required by a growing baby.
However, diaper changes are only part of the nurturing a baby needs to receive. Any attempt to describe the infinite number of variations in which nurturing may be deficient (or perceived to be deficient) is totally impossible and probably not even necessary. Each individual baby-child-parent relationship is so unique that the reactions will be very different.
Many people grow up with some sense of deficient nurturing as babies or young children. Yet, only a relatively few people become Infantilists or diaper fetishists. This probably results partly due to a combination of (1) the baby's or child's personality, (2) the actual (or perceived deficiency) and (3) what I call 'triggering' events.
Many Infantilists can remember one or more outstanding events in their early childhood which seem to have led to their first sense of what we call Infantilism, a love of diapers or the desire to return to babyhood, the 'solution' to our nurturing deficiency.
A 'trigger event' is a conscious event which creates a strong relationship in the mind of a budding Infantilist between the diaper changing METAPHOR we have discussed and a perceived deficiency of nurturing. Most triggers usually occur between the ages of 5 and 8. The experience can be either conscious or sub-conscious or both. It could be something as simple as being 8 years old and seeing one's two year old cousin having his diaper changed. A 'triggering event' does not necessarily even have to be a pleasant or positive experience, although it frequently is. The following true case is a good example of a negative experience that became a 'triggering event'.
Case #3: This individual grew up in a situation where the father was absent from the family soon after he was born. His mother, while wishing to be nurturing, found that the pressures of being a single parent did not permit as much 'giving' as would normally be required. His mother had to work to support the family, and by the time he entered school he became a latch-key child. After school he would play alone outside until his mother came home.
While his memories of any early deficiency in his nurturing are minimal (few of us remember much from our babyhood), he does remember being alone after school when he was 6, 7 or 8 years old. These memories are somewhat painful and stands out clear in his mind.
The 'trigger' in this case occurred when he was about 7 years old. He had done something very bad, and his mother put a diaper on him as a form of punishment. As far as he remembers, this was the ONLY time his mother used this form of punishment, and he recalls that he was very embarrassed and humiliated when this happened.
About 6 months later he began to feel a strong desires to diaper himself, which he recalls as a very pleasant experience. The 'diaper punishment' experience had changed into the METAPHOR for the love and nurturing he felt he was missing.
Development Of The Scheme
In the above case, the trigger of being diapered as punishment, while a negative one, had apparently stimulated sub-conscious feelings related to the METAPHOR of being diapered as the epitome of nurturing. The solution to his feelings of deficiency of nurturing was to be diapered (and therefor cared for, loved, nurtured). It was his 'scheme' for recapturing all the things he felt he was missing.
While there may be millions of variations, this form of Infantilism begins with the development of an inner 'scheme' to capture (or recapture) the nurturing that a person may 'feel' they missed in their babyhood or early childhood. The 'triggers' and the 'schemes' that develop usually begin between ages 5 and 8 - at a time when a child has the intelligence to be able to forge a 'scheme', and a strong memory of the METAPHOR.
The 'scheme' we call Infantilism certainly runs AGAINST THE GRAIN. Everything that most of us are taught in our early years (ages 5 to 8) tells us that growing up is the correct and proper direction. Being told that "you're acting like a baby", is a very strong threat to a young child. In school, in books children read, in movies or on television, children are constantly shown images of their fellow 5 to 8 year olds 'learning' and 'growing' and 'getting bigger' (example, Sesame Street). It is no wonder, then, that the Infantilist's scheme, the one that begins to develop in their minds, appears quite opposite, and quite wrong, and quite bad.
Conflict And Guilt
Strong feelings of conflict or guilt begin to develop as the scheme aimed at filling the deficiency of nurturing begins to take form.
There is conflict between the natural forces within us to GROW and the newly developed scheme to GO BACKWARD. There is conflict between our feelings and all the things that society is teaching us about the wonders of growing up. There is GUILT because the budding Infantilist feels that their growing compulsion to experience the emotional pleasure of regression is very very wrong. It goes AGAINST THE GRAIN of everything they have been taught.
REJECTION OF SOFTNESS
The second major factor in the development of Infantilism is called Rejection Of Softness.
Like an acorn, many of our personality traits that will develop further as we mature are already in our genes when we are born. Some of these personality traits are related to our gender, whether we are male of female.
Almost every society and every culture there appear to be elements of personality or human behavior that tend to be more prevalent and more accepted in one gender or the other. There seem to be traits that are most often found in males and traits that are most often found in females. Not everyone agrees whether genetics or environment is more important in forming a child's personality, but almost everyone agrees that each has an important effect.
I prefer to call these traits 'soft' and 'hard' rather than male and female because I reject the idea that some 'soft' traits in a man makes them more feminine, or that some 'hard' traits in a woman makes them more masculine. Most people have a combination of these traits, and a balance is probably quite healthy.
Combination Of Hard And Soft Traits
Like most personality traits, everyone tends to be a combination of hardness (more masculine) and softness (more feminine). A human being is far more complicated than an acorn. The variations and the combination of hard or soft traits vary in as many ways as there are people. It would seem to me that some form of balance of the two in each person's unique way is healthy.
At the key ages that the 'triggers' occur and the 'schemes' begin to develop, most children are very aware of whether they are boys or girls. They also are quite aware of behavior patterns that are different between them and the opposite gender. They know that most boys play with cars and most girls play with dolls. Research has, for example, indicated a strong tendency for boys to want to play with 'boy' toys regardless of any attempts to induce them to play with dolls.
In addition to recognizing gender related factors within himself and his friends, a young child also is aware of gender related factors in his parents. He knows and sees that his mommy is, in some ways, quite different than his daddy, and vice versa.
Young children also may become aware of differences between them and their parents, or ways that they may WANT to be
different. For example, if their daddy hurts their mommy, it is likely that a boy will develop feelings of NOT wanting to be like his daddy, at least in this respect.
By the ages between 5 and 8, some male Infantilists begin to develop a very strong perceived or desired difference between them and their father. This divergence manifests itself in one of two ways, or in combinations of the two.
One form of divergence results from situations where the father pushes the boy in a uncomfortable direction. By doing so, the father is pushing the boy away from himself, although he may not realize that he is doing this. The other form of divergence is where the boy pushes the father away because he perceives some ways in which he does not want to be like his father.
The result of these two forms of divergence is the same. The boy and his father move away from each other, away from understanding, away from acceptance of each other, away from love.
In all of the forms of divergence that lead to Infantilism, the father is always 'harder' than the boy. By this I mean that the father always exhibits more hard traits than the boy has (of feels he has). I believe there are practically no exceptions to this rule. The father is always more macho or more dominant or more rigid or more sports minded (etc) than the boy. Sometimes the father's hardness manifests itself in nasty ways, such as if the father beats his mother or behaves aggressively in an unpleasant way. In many cases, however, the father's hardness is not nasty, but is simply an attempt to pressure the boy to behave is ways that are not comfortable for the boy. In these cases, the father is either not able to accept the boy as he truly is, or the boy does NOT want to be like his father in certain important ways. In both cases there is rejection and non-acceptance. In both cases there are forces that are separating father from son.
A father may tell his son directly, "You should go out and play more sports", or "I don't want you to be a sissy". Often the divergence manifests itself in more subtle ways by the father NOT recognizing the boy's ability to play a musical instrument or to be artistically inclined. Sometimes it feels to the boy that the father just does not seem to have time for him, to pay attention to what he really is.
There are literally millions of different ways this divergence can take place, but in virtually EVERY instance that leads to Infantilism the boy is always relatively softer than the father, and either the father can not fully accept this difference, or the boy does not want to be like his father.
It is important to state at this point that, in most cases, the boy is NOT really a sissy, but is relatively balanced in his hard and soft traits.
Nevertheless the father is 'harder' than the boy, and an emotional divergence begins to manifest itself because either the father can not accept the boy as he really is, or the boy may see some rather nasty traits in his father that are normally associated with masculinity. His father may be a bully or unable to express emotional feelings.
In this case, the boy may be the one who creates the emotional distance. The father may have some wonderful traits, and the boy may be quite balanced, but the boy still feels a growing divergence because he does not want to be like his father in some important ways.
A Logical Scheme
There are probably millions of boys who experience some form of 'divergence' when they are young, but only a small percentage become Infantilists. There is either something about the Infantilist's personality, or more likely some experience which falls into the category of 'TRIGGERS' leading to the scheme that uses the METAPHOR of wearing diapers or being a baby.
The metaphor of Infantilism is quite logical. This scheme reduces the internal emotional conflict between the boy and the father to zero. By wearing a diaper or by returning to being a baby, the boy returns to a state where the father MUST accept all those elements inside him that are yearning for acceptance. As a baby wetting his diaper he is helpless, totally dependent and must be cared for and LOVED for being just exactly what he is - a totally soft little baby. Babies are the epitome of softness, as we have described it. ALL babies, male or female, wet their diapers and all babies are helpless and dependent and SOFT.
Imagine in your mind the most possible macho man you can think of, maybe a football player who drinks beer and drives a pickup truck and enjoys guns and rough sports. No matter how macho this man is now, when he was a baby he couldn't stop his urine from leaking into his pants. He drooled out the side of his mouth. His bod had no muscles, but was soft and limp. His penis was smaller than a thimble. When he needed help all he could do was cry. In most ways, he was exactly the total opposite of what he is today.
While most emotionally healthy Infantilists don't really want to become a permanent real baby again, they nevertheless begin to develop a 'scheme' based on the METAPHOR to deal with their world. Again, this scheme is probably triggered by an occurrence (or occurrences) that occurs between the ages of 5 and 8. This scheme tends to satisfy the emotional needs that they feel.
By using the Metaphor of their fantasies of wearing diapers or becoming a baby, they can transform themselves into a state where ALL of their personality traits are acceptable, and they can be loved.
Case #4: (direct quote) "I agree that there may be common factors in infantilism. My father was very authoritarian, and I was afraid of him throughout much of my childhood. He wanted me to grow up to be "strong" and stern like him. Instead, I've gotten in touch with my softer side; little Scotty likes to be cuddled and nurtured. My father just never received these things from his parents, so was unable to give me that which he didn't have.
My mother did what she could, but I was a sick baby and wasn't easy to sooth. Perhaps this has something to do with my desires to remain a toddler. Then again, it may be best if I don't over-analyze it and just ENJOY it! I've not found anything that brings me more contentment than to play in my diapers. I'm lucky to have this. I might have grown up completely repressed like my father - I consider myself fortunate that I didn'".
Another strong feeling or reaction that sometimes begins to develop as the scheme begins to take form is HUMILIATION. Humiliation is sometimes an important (and often welcome) part of the emotional content of the scheme, and it may be easy to see why.
In the scheme develops, the young Infantilist is going AGAINST THE GRAIN in two ways. First, by NOT wanting to grow up, and second by moving AWAY from some of the hard personality trait(s) that are normally accepted as part of a man's personality. He needs fantasies and humiliating experiences to help bolster this METAPHOR.
In the 'Rejection of Softness' scheme, many Infantilists enjoy humiliating experiences because they see them as part of the shift of power that they want to feel. Many fantasies, therefor, include such things as being forced to be a baby (against their will) or being taken out in public dressed as a baby (against their will). These ideas and feelings simply reinforce the METAPHOR of helplessness.
I would like to end this chapter with a very exaggerated fantasy that encompasses all the elements of Rejection Of Hardness.
(A fantasy) Bill's mother divorced his father years ago after his father beat her and Bill when he was six years old. For some reason Bill began to wear diapers secretly when he was eight years old and his desire for diapers has grown as the years have gone by. He is not sure why he does this, but sometimes he has fantasies that incorporate very humiliating experiences. Bill also plays left tackle on his high school football team.
This morning Bill was stupid and forgot to lock his locker before going out to play with the team. His teammates have found one of his diapers hidden underneath his shirt and sox. They hold him down on the bench and strip off his football uniform. No matter how much Bill begs, his teammates refuse to stop. They pull off his underwear and start to pin his diaper on him. No matter how hard he tries to keep it from happening, his penis is getting erect. "OH, wow, it looks like little Billy really likes to be diapered", they chant. "Come on", Billy, let's see you wet you little diaper just like a little baby"
Billy can't help it. In spite of his humiliation, he feels an orgasm building, and in moments he begins to cum in his diaper, helplessly.
The whole team now knows the truth about Bill. He's just a baby, and they know they can force him to do things they would never have thought about before. Bill is aware of the growing sense of 'power' he sees in his teammates eyes, and this only seems to cause him to sink deeper into feelings of being a baby. As tears come to his eyes, he puts his thumb into his mouth and sobs gently to himself.
Somehow, when his girlfriend finds out about all of this she insists that he wear his diapers whenever they get together. As her true 'dominant' character begins to exert itself, she forces him to wear pink frilly panties over his 'baby pants'. Again Bill seems unable to prevent what is happening to him, and his sexual arousal when in pink panties and diapers is a constant reminded that he really is a sissy.
In this fantasy story, Bill has become the METAPHOR.
The Importance Of Teenage Fantasies
A great many Infantilists get enjoyment from fantasies involving children. It is important to state emphatically that we are talking ONLY about fantasy, and absolutely NOT the actual involvement with children. DPF does not support or condone in any way whatsoever the actual involvement of children in any activities by DPF Members or other Infantilists.
Many Infantilists enjoy reading fantasy stories about children involved with diapers, especially teenagers. If one were to graph the ages involved in this type of fantasy, one would find that it varies from early grade school age (about age 8) up to high school (about age 17). The graph, however, would be a bell shaped curve with the apex around age 13. Why age 13, and what does this represent?
Age thirteen represents the epitome of much of the conflict, humiliation and excitement that many Infantilists find sexually stimulating. This is an age when most boys are struggling with their newly discovered adolescence, both with some anxiety and with some pleasure. It is common for a boy of that age to hold on to some childhood behavior (by riding a skateboard for example) while at the same time beginning to move towards adulthood (by dating and/or having sex with a girl for example).
While 13 year old boys may be torn between childhood and adulthood, adulthood is definitely the direction of choice. Because a boy of thirteen is struggling to be a man, he will often act and talk extremely macho to 'prove' how manly he is, especially to his peers.
Because of the emotional excitement at this time of life, an Infantilist can invent fantasies that are extremely satisfying and sexually stimulating. For example, he can fantasize about a boy who is struggling to prove to his school buddies how manly he is, but finds himself being FORCED to wet his pants, to act like a sissy or a girl, to wear and wet his diapers like a baby, or to be taken out in the public dressed as a baby for all his school friends to see. The opportunity for humiliation, embarrassment and the resultant sexual excitement are almost limitless.
The METAPHOR can be applied in very forceful and exciting ways, because it is based on reality. A teenage boy of 13 is often living the conflict that more mature Infantilists often think and dream about.
Unhealthy Versus Healthy Infantilism
The behavior and mental attitudes of
Infantilists vary from extremely healthy to extremely unhealthy.
Healthy Infantilists have some ability to balance their Infantilistic needs with their normal functioning as an adult. I believe that a person who has balance in their life also tends to be a happier person, in most cases, than a person who has difficulty balancing these different needs.
The consumption of alcohol in some ways is analogous to the problem of balance in Infantilism. Drinking alcohol in reasonable amounts for social purposes or to enhance a meal with wine is healthy and balanced, whereas a person who drinks too much or is an alcoholic is rarely able to function properly in life. In some ways, both alcohol and Infantilism offers a kind of relief from some of life's pains.
An exact definition of healthy or unhealthy Infantilism is difficult because of variations of human behavior. Nevertheless, an example of a healthy Infantilist might be a man who has a loving relationship with his wife and who shares his love of Infantilism with her. They both participate in baby games together. He keeps his Infantilism in balance with the other aspects of his married life by holding a job and being a satisfactory provider. If he has children (who will know nothing of his little sexual games), he makes an effort to be a good father. In short, a healthy Infantilist keeps his infantile needs in balance with the rest of his life.
An example of an unhealthy Infantilist might be a man who feels deeply and strongly that he wants and needs to be a permanent, full time baby. In all likelihood, he has difficultly forming a relationship with any woman because his needs do not leave much room for any other person in his life except for a full time mommy. Unhealthy Infantilists often believe that they will find a woman who really wants to devote her entire life to changing his diapers and to keeping him as a full time baby forever. An unhealthy Infantilist is doomed to permanent frustration, because he doesn't recognize that the mommy of his dreams does not exist, of if she does she probably is also a very unhealthy and unhappy person.
Finally, a word about what I like to call THE BLACK HOLE. This term represents those certain forces that threaten to move a person away from healthy Infantilism and towards unhealthy Infantilism.
The emotional high that an Infantilism can get from wearing diapers and being treated as a baby can be compared to the high some people get from alcohol or drugs. There is always the danger that one may become addicted to something that provides an exciting high, and to wish to experience it deeper or more frequently. Under the right circumstances, some Infantilists may be vulnerable to being pushed away from healthy Infantilism towards unhealthy Infantilism.
While this varies from individual to individual, I have never met an Infantilist who has not felt the 'pull' of THE BLACK HOLE at some time or other time in his or her life. One must be constantly be on guard against this BLACK HOLE, and many Infantilists are aware of this.
Of special concern is the use of hypnotic tapes. Hypnosis is a somewhat mysterious phenomenon, and every individual has a different reaction to it. Susceptibility to hypnosis varies from person to person. Infantilists should be strongly cautioned to ALWAYS be certain that any hypnotic tape that they use is made by a professional hypnotist who is recognized to be a certified psychologist or hypnotherapist (as are those made for DPF).
Is Infantilism A Fetish?
There is strong evidence that Infantilism is not, in most cases, a fetish in the usual definition of this term. In a typical fetish, the individual gets satisfaction from an object or part of the bod that is not normally sexual in nature. It is the feel or look or smell of the object that is sexually exciting, rather than any fantasy or emotional content surrounding the object. Many male Infantilists can probably get sexually aroused even if they are not wearing a diaper but are being treated like a baby or little boy or girl. It is the strong emotional factors explained in this paper that are more important, rather than any particular fetish object such as a diaper.
Nevertheless, a certain percentage of Infantilists are probably true fetishists in that they are strongly aroused by a diaper, but have no need or attraction to being a baby or child or any of the emotions we have been talking about. To the fetish Infantilist, it just feels sexually exciting to wear and wet a diaper, and sexual excitement is rarely present when not wearing a diaper.
It is the emotional aspects that create sexual tension and pleasure for most Infantilists. This is similar, in some ways, to how the emotional aspects create sexual tension in people into Bondage and Dominance. In both cases, the emotions alone can create the sexual excitement.
The development of the strong sexual aspect of Infantilism is also very logical because of the proximity of the diaper to the sex organs. It is no secret that many boy babies get sexually aroused when their diaper is being changed. It is rather easy to see why the combination of the emotional content of Infantilism with the proximity to the sex organs makes it completely inevitable that sexual arousal will occur.
Although the regressive nature of
Infantilism is often misunderstood by the general public, this
behavior can be viewed as a logical reaction to emotional stress
that occurs in early childhood. This stress usually takes the
form of either an actual or perceived lack of nurturing or a
failure of the child's father to recognize and/or support the
softer elements of the child's personality.
These forms of childhood stress do not necessarily lead to Infantilism, but are sometimes triggered by events that occur usually between the ages of 5 and 10. Because the scheme that developes seems to go against the grain of normal human development, the Infantilist is often beset by feelings of guilt and humiliation.
The fantasies that Infantilists enjoy take many forms, from nurturing to dominance and submission. Bcause the emotional content of the fantasies are much more inportant than the actual items used (diapers), Infantilism can not be viewed as true fetish, in most cases.
The practice of Infantilism can be healthy and healing if it is kept in balance with a person's adult functioning and responsibility.