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Diaper Fetish  Written by: Mistress Tracy, 03/01/2006

It's quite amazing how many fetishes exist in the world. I'd say there are almost as many as there are colors, and each with their own unique term and definition. Even one fetish can be subcategorized into several, and not every person's interests in one sub-category can be exactly pinpointed with another individual in the same category. Such is the uniqueness of human sexuality and individuality. However, there are certain fetish groups that are defined among a greater context, and, by association, they are linked with characteristics beyond that of the fetish. A diaper fetish or Diaper Lover (DL) is one of those fetishes that is often confused with and mistaken for Adult Baby (AB) and infantilism.

Infantilism and AB are the best places to begin a discussion of DL and fetish. All of them are in one way or another related, and yet, they're different, which is probably the single most misunderstood aspect of being a Diaper Lover, particularly among DLs.

Simplistically, an infantilist is a person who experiences a state of physical maturity that's beyond their psychological or emotional maturity. It is generally a diagnosed condition whose actual causes are not clear. Some claim that it's a result of childhood trauma. Commonsense would dictate that it may be related to childhood post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by abuse, or perhaps even war. Expert, Kathi Stringer who has written numerous papers on the topic, points out that in some instances where a child has been abused or neglected, he or she may identify with toddlers in neighboring families and yearn for the same infantile attention, wishing to be nurtured, cuddled, or fed as a renewed experience from the one they have lived. Observing the attentive maternal figure is interpreted as a representation for the unconditional love longed for in a healthy environment 1.

However, in 1989, Thomas Speaker conducted a small study of 50 infantilists and published his results in a book called Review of Psychosexual Infantilism in Adults: The Eroticization of Regression. Partly, he concluded that the average infantilist is one who experienced an average and age-appropriate upbringing2. A study sample of 50 individuals cannot possibly summarize a whole group, particularly when the sample consists of only those willing to discuss their infantilism. In any case, a thorough look at 'true intantilism' or a complete understanding of AB is beyond the scope of this article, and is best left to the experts.

It's my observation in talking to self-identifying Adult Babies, that an AB is more likely to have infantilist traits, although the major difference between an AB and an infantilist appears to be that AB individuals have a psychological, emotional and intellectual capacity of an adult, and are driven by their desire, or by something that is a part of them, to either self-define as an Adult Baby or to emotionally or psychologically regress to an earlier life stage.

Unlike infantalists and ABs, a Diaper Lover may have no interest in activities that make them 'feel' in anyway infantile. Their passion, at least among those I have talked to, is purely toward the object aspect of loving diapers. This can involve a variety of activities from simply using diapers as a sexual object, to wearing them as part of sexual ritual, and it can, though not as a rule, involve water sports and scatological pursuits.

Nonetheless, DL is often associated with AB under the single acronym AB/DL. This is possibly the reason for its being mistaken with infantilism. It's also an indication that there's a greater need of refining its definition apart from AB and from 'true infantilism'.

Unlike infantilism, which has been documented and studied by experts like Wilhelm Steckel, who first established psychosexual infantilism and coined the term in 1952, AB/DL is a relatively new area of inquiry. Similarly to infantilism, the causes are not thoroughly documented or conclusive.

Kathi Stringer, who I spoke with regarding her paper, What's True Infantilism? confirms that a person may view true infantilism mistakenly for a fetish. "Until about 6 or 7 years ago," Ms. Stringer says, "there was no such term as DL, but only AB. DL was coined for those that view this as a fetish and love the object (wearing). Somehow, AB and DL got lumped together. That would be like lumping transvestites with transsexuals. Transvestites dress due to a fetish, whereas a transsexual dresses because they feel they are the opposite sex. This is a major difference."

...continued in Diaper Fetish part II

[1] Stinger, Kathi. What is true infantilism? 7 Apr.2004. 19 Sep.2005

[2] Henkin, William A. Tales from the Crib - A Review of Psychosexual Infantilism in Adults: The Eroticization of Regression, by Thomas John Speaker. Sausalito, CA: DPF, 1989. 19 Sep.2005

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