Caregivers, Mommies, Daddies, adult babies, middles, babyfur, diaperfur, and all other Bigs and littles discuss regression, relationship dynamics, have open group conversation, share experienced advice, and exchange ideas to help one another grow in knowledge. (Age 18 or older only permitted)
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#53511
So here is a question. Why is there such a stigma around being a Little or ABDL?

I mean we have great influences Melanie Martinez for starters... I’m pretty sure she’s a Little. I mean her whole personification or the Crybaby... the subject matter in her music...
she’s popular amount even non Littles and non ABDL. But people think we’re freaks.

I find that I’m quite normal. Yes I like dressing like a little girl (no diapers for me thank you...) but how and why is it such a stigma... or taboo.
I know there is a nasty side of this lifestyle where people get off by going potty in diapers and doing the naughty stuff in them too.
It’s not sexual for the majority I would assume... don’t get me wrong I am a sexual person... I love to have sex with my fiancé, but that’s different.

So why are we frowned upon when most can distinguish a time and A place?

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#53513
Honestly I feel like if people were to understand this community they wouldn’t say those negative things about littles and they wouldn’t be a stigma

Anytime something doesn’t fall into what people find “normal” they automatically think it’s weird or strange and I personally think its okie if people find certain things to be weird or strange but the thing that people do that I hate is that they say horrible things to someone to make them feel ashamed for being who they are or liking what they like and they also treat them completely different from others as if we aren’t all human beings with feelings

I definitely find somethings people do to be weird but am I going to go out my way to make that person feel bad about themselves? NOPE and also I will never treat someone differently because they aren’t like me, that something nobody should ever do but sadly many still do (๑⃙⃘ ˃̶͈̀ロ˂̶͈́)੭ु⁾⁾

People need to accept and learn that people can be different and there’s nothing wrong with that we aren’t freaks at all we are all wonderful and lovely people living the life we want! I hope that every littles doesn’t get affected by those means thing people tend to say about this community! Live your life and do whatever makes you happy, this is your life and nobody has control over it unless you let them!(❁´◡`❁)*✲゚*
( im sorry for writing too much (๑•́₋•̩̥̀๑) )

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#53516
There's really a lot to touch on here.

The first thing I'd like to say is that the entertainment industry does not (and really should not) accurately represent niche communities of individuals such as ourselves. So, just because Melanie Martinez has childlike themes in her videos and her overall presentation does not mean she represents the community or is even involved in our community in any way. A lot of these sorts of things are chosen by a team who works together to determine how to develop a character out of a particular "famous" individual. So, when we talk about our community it's completely unrelated to tie in celebrities and the themes or images they portray while working, establishing or maintaining their career image (which may not actually reflect them as a person at all). I suggest you remove the idea that some celebrity is secretly advocating for us and that's why we should be accepted.
We should become socially accepted because we are rational people with morals, goals, drives, dreams, personalities, needs, responsibilities, lives, and families. We are humans just like other community groups of humans who have come together in recognizing their atypical qualities and work to support one another. We genuinely are not doing anything harmful, morally or legally wrong, or bad by regressing or taking care of an adult who is regressing. We may be atypical but we aren't bad just because we have a different personality type than expected.

With that out of the way, I want to just quickly touch on a few thoughts I'm having right now about this particular topic:

The Stigma:
What is the stigma you are hard referencing here and why is it on your mind at this time? Is it that people gain sexual gratification from parts of the typical Caregiver and/or little interests? Is it the general stigma that we are sexual predators? Is it the stigma that we are mindless, one-tracked sexual deviants just wanting to roleplay weird fantasies? Is it that we are all excessively lonely and desperate, have Daddy issues, or cannot biologically reproduce so we're seeking out some way to externalize these desires in an adult/adult relationship?

Education
Everything will mostly boil back down to the lack of reliable educational material about the actual community (and community individuals) itself. Educational material is made by expert, long-term existing individuals who are confident in their knowledge within the community. Educational material is read, reviewed, discussed, and even updated by corrections when information has become outdated or needs to be extended. If nobody is working on creating this educational material because they are not being encouraged to do so then it simply isn't going to exist.

That's going to be your short, quick answer to all of what you've potentially asked in your post.

Activism
So, let's say that plenty of accurate educational material exists, but it's only being cycled throughout the community itself, and the community members are being told very firmly and consistently to fear revealing this part about themselves?

Without someone advocating for us and making this become more public by pushing for it to be accepted then there is no reason for society to recognize us as anything other than a group of people who have odd behaviors (or something). If everyone is too afraid to make a public stand then nothing will ever progress towards acceptance.

I'm not talking about just coming out to friends and family, but putting our voices out there to spread information and encourage other people to embrace us.

That is a fact that we have to face at some point if we want to be socially understood and accepted. At some point we must stop fearing and start facing.

Social Standards:
Regression is inherently nonconforming to social expectations, standards, or norms and psychologically that is something the “human herd” naturally recognizes as a vulnerability. Humans naturally encourage other humans to conform to what their community group has established as safe. It's a part of our natural defense and is psychologically based so does also tie into things like physical appearances and externalized demeanor. It's why we look at someone and say, "Wow, s/he looks like a real creep!" or, "Gah, I wouldn't let my kids around someone who looks like that!"

So, there is a part of us being not mass accepted yet because we are still seen as atypical, nonconformist people. Our definitions have not been solidified yet, and we have sort-of bounced around with some identification terms and definitions so it's difficult to expect society to accept us when we lack the capability to effectively educate.

Human psychology can really be fascinating, both complex and not so much at the same time. Education is really important, but a part of that means that we, as an entire community, have to stick with certain language and definitions to explain actually provide solid information that stands alone on it's own.

Sexual Deviance and BDSM Misconceptions:
The community is pretty firmly tied to the notion of having BDSM roots even though this is a misconception due to language we once shared that is used in particular BDSM scenes. BDSM is inherently sexually based, as it is directly related to sexual kinks and adult interests--things that motivate a person to seek out, fulfill, or achieve some sort of sexual gratification.
Children are socially and morally unacceptable to sexualize. So, when you tie BDSM (sexual) to children (nonsexual) then there can be some knee-jerk reactions.

"I like to be similar to a child! Also, I'm involved in BDSM!" is a confusing statement to be boasting when also saying this is a "lifestyle" but also not a choice. It's no wonder outsiders become confused and, at times, even enraged at the notion that children are interested in deviant sexual situations and that we are choosing to play into it by acting it out for our own amusement.

CGL is not sexually based, is not comprised mostly of "scenes", and doesn't even have to involve partnerships to be "acted out". We are individuals who think, feel, and sometimes even act a bit differently than the typical expectations of other adults. Even if this bleeds into our individual sexualities and interests it doesn't mean we are just sexual play.

Unfortunately, our community hasn't moved toward complete separation from the BDSM misconception.

I, personally, have been trying to really encourage the community to see that we are separate from the BDSM community and do not fall under it's umbrella of adult interests. While many of our members may also be involved in BDSM partnerships, scenes, roleplays, or even structures it does not mean that CGL is encompassed by BDSM. One absolutely can, and do, exist without the other.

Community Communication:
We also don't encourage and promote terminology standards throughout our communication. It's extremely difficult to introduce someone into learning about the community when it's bare bones on communication exchanges and the exchanges that do exist make it difficult to understand what is tangible reality and what is psychological, personality, fantasy, or otherwise intangible.
Examples:
Ages: I have some real issues with allowing our community to make statements claiming they are actually underage when they biologically are not because it can seriously confused an outsider who is trying to learn more about the community. It's important we consistently state our ages appropriately.
Posted content (photos; copy/paste generic stories): A lot of our growth has been in the adult industry. This is both good and bad but absolutely does feed into the idea that all of us only see items such as diaper as erotic components. It's also difficult to overcome this notion when a lot of the media posted by community participates are overwhelmingly erotic, overly fantasized, or with them appearing in their undergarments (diapers). At some point we have to have more to our community existence or that is all we become to onlookers.
General lack of in-depth, thought-provoking conversations: I think most people can see by the forum here, as well as other areas, that conversations are often lacking, unfulfilling, or not as engaging as most well-established communities have on their forums. I believe this ties into the encouragement to hide our identities to extremes though, but sharing knowledge is so worth the (unlikely) potential that we reveal our first names or the state in which we live when exchanging what we've learned about ourselves or the thoughts we have to discuss and flesh out in formulating solid answers.

Roleplay vs Lifestyle vs Personality Traits
This is a massive thing also tied to the language we choose to use within the community. It's massively harmful to us though when you pair this with the misconception of being connected to BDSM, which is a community that uses "lifestyle" as "choice in the way one chooses to live". The alternative to this within that community is sexual "scenes"--basically short-term roleplay sessions.
When we talk about littles we talk about a personality trait, which is not a choice nor just a roleplay. It's very important that we use the definition of personality to describe ourselves to others so that this is extended past the notion of fantasy or choice and into the reality in which we individually live.

So, as it is for many people, if you come out to a friend, family member, or partner and then encourage them to explore the community they may believe what you are doing is just a choice. A choice would imply that you can stop whenever and that you are choosing to simply be different because you must think it feels good in some way. In reality, littles don't have a choice in being a little or not, and their regression fluctuates throughout daily life whether they want it to or not.

Unnecessary Excuses, Reasonings, and Upfront Explanations:
Being preemptively defensive can do the exact opposite of your goal when telling others about your personality. It can absolutely give the wrong impression upfront and make the person quietly believe you are nervous and defensive because you know what you're doing is wrong or are actively hiding something very seriously bad.

Unfortunately, it is perpetuated in our community that we should immediately say, "But it doesn't have anything to do with children!" "But it isn't sexual for me!" as if we have reason to believe an outsider would logically immediately jump to these assumptions. We seem to lack the realization that most people we would confide in would not immediately think the worst of us, and would question more of our general interests in these things.

Also, just to toss it in here since it sort-of does coincide, there are serious reasons why we should not boasting regression as the cure-all in being a "coping mechanism".

While I believe we should absolutely answer uncomfortable questions about ourselves and our community when prompted, I do feel it's detrimental to bring up these unpleasant potential accusations before being directly questioned about them.

Magical, Mythical, and Illogical Regression
Making regression experiences and feelings into fantastical moments harms our community and gives the impression that we are only online roleplayers. We have to remember, accept, and even embrace that we are all biological adults and that it's a very, very good thing. There are serious reasons why we should not be boasting that we magically "become" a mental child again despite biological aging, social maturation, and educational achievements.

Excessive Fear and the Shame of "Being Sexual"
There is a huge notion in the community that if any sexual gratification occurs while regression is present in any form then the little must just be sexual and that is all there is to who they are as a community individual.

I talk about this topic pretty thoroughly here so I won't repost all of my thoughts on it: viewtopic.php?p=53030#p53030

Ultimately, we should be able to talk about these moments without them being as dirty, wrong, or overall bad of us to be engage in. Because we are humans. We are adults. And we do have needs and desires that we can talk about without going overboard, without becoming just that one single topic, or without becoming bad because we did something we "shouldn't have" despite biologically being inclined to do.

Hiding:
Hiding does very similar things as making unprompted reasonsings as to why you are the way you naturally just are as a person. Keeping things hidden and secretive means you may eventually "come out" to another person, who can very well logically jump to the idea that you must have hidden this revelation because you believe it to be bad in some way. I feel like this video for the LGBTQ+/GRSM community really helps to explain it very simply:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YykQFFtYf_8

Ultimately the situation becomes the question of: Why are you hiding if there is nothing to hide, and why are you afraid when you're supposedly not doing anything wrong? Why would others not approve of who you are and why haven't you felt the need to educate and change that potential so that you can be freely yourself?

Pressure to Partner and Our Lack of Focus on Personal Growth:
A lot of people fall into the belief that CGL is just romantic partnerships and that is as far as it's definition can go. It's difficult to break this down further to the individual level, identifying how a person can be a happy and healthy little or Caregiver without a partner involved. This ties back into the language we choose, when we are choosing to say "lifestyle" versus "personality".

Personal growth is also something that we struggle with and it also ties into dating. Even when someone just generally does want to seek out a partner a lot of littles have a very, very difficult time seeing that it is not all about them and their regression. Sometimes it's a struggle to educate them on understanding that people are not just roles, and not just suppliers of care when they want it. This is a difficult topic to address overall because one can easily step on the toes of people seeking partnerships--which is absolutely okay--but we are so much more than partnerships and roles, and when we break down these barriers and are able to see one another as individuals with extended interests, goals, desires, and values then we can really, truly connect together and find fulfillment not only with someone else but in ourselves.

Stagnation will kill communities, and when we no longer reflect on ourselves as individuals and boil everything down to feeling good then we're headed for hardship.

I would encourage you to:
  • Step away from using degrading language to describe some minor choices within our community (such as using a diaper for sexual relief) as nasty.
  • Modify your way of thinking in "justifying" a regressor's acceptance based on their sexual expressions (or lack of) when those moments arise for individuals.
  • Minimize your participation in spreading misinformation, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about who we are by modifying your language and encompassing "personality" over "lifestyle" wording.
  • Work toward educating not only the CGL community but your local general community.
  • Uplift those who are producing accurate online educational material, and share it with others at every opportunity you find fit.

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#53518
Note: Our pronouns are they/them, and we refer to ourselves as we/us/our.


Who and why we should stigmatize?
We must take in mind what we consider to be "people" in this context. You ask
Why is there such a stigma around being a Little or ABDL?
While at the same time answering yourself with...
I know there is a nasty side of this lifestyle where people get off by going potty in diapers and doing the naughty stuff in them too.

By exploring that logic, then don't you think that you too believe that you hold and propagate stigmas? Do you include yourself in the same group of people (CG/L, ageplay) that enjoy these sorts of more "extreme" activities, or are you in a different group? It seems that you are searching for some form of societal acceptance and validation (which isn't unhealthy to look for, but we mustn't forget about sensibilities and predispositions).
It’s brave of you to publicly voice your opinion on a topic that’s often avoided. However, you can't carpet-condemn and demonize people that are into the more sexual components. Is your goal to try and stigmatize people that do not conform to your own ethic code? You can't just lift the stigma off yourself and place it onto others, because you then fail to address the underlying causes.
Being in the community for over a decade has exposed us to the part of which is more centered around the adult interest aspects rather than the personality (we can almost say for a fact that we encounter more people that indulge in related sexual/non-sexual fantasies than people that genuinely carry the personality type). So, we know what you’re talking about and what you’re referencing. However, every time we have witnessed this topic being discussed, it’s never been pinpointed exactly what differentiates a community member that is more interested in the sexual or fantastical components (the “fake”, if you will) from active regressors (the “real” if you will), without falling into mentalities like "oh, they're just nasty...". The personally traits that grossly describe what a Little is are left out and ultimately it is called a Lifestyle, when it is more than just that, even.
We think that it’s okay to criticize the community and call out what you disagree with. But better yet would be to spread education from a reasonable source of what you agree with.

With all this said, why is it such a stigma to be like us?
We have a very blunt way of writing replies, so if you’re still with us we appreciate and value your effort. Thank you!

There are a few key factors as to why the “stigma” (we put it in quotes because we don’t think the community is big enough to be a publicly known group of people) that are both internal and external to the community. And yes, even people that don’t fall into the “nastiness” unwillingly encourage.

Stigma: CG/L is part of BDSM
Unfortunately, the CG/L community has been historically associated with the BDSM community. For a very long time it’s been believed that CG/L is a subset of Dominance/submission, that they are permanently and unequivocally associated. Classically the identity of a Caregiver is given the role of a dominant, and the identity of a Little is given the role of a submissive. While from a macroscopic level this association seems intuitive, a more in-depth analysis can reveal that CG/L and D/s are incompatible models that have differences in scope, goal, even
Here’s a bit of a general breakdown of why these two communities are not like one another:
  • Parents live to raise their children. In the context of CG/L, a Caregiver would seek out ways to parent and nurture their Little, taking mostly into consideration the needs of their Little. In the contest of D/s, the submissive would seek out ways to please their dominant, taking mostly into consideration the desires of the dominant.
  • Autonomy in children is developed and fostered while being naturally developed. Age roughly dictates independence. In the context of CG/L, an age-range is present where it plays a part in what activities a Little is “capable” of doing. In the context of D/s, these capabilities are rigidly set by rigid rules that hardly take into consideration a person’s own personality.
  • BDSM is mostly carried out through roleplays, scenes and scenarios. Unless a D/s relationship is domination and submission (the main goals of D/s) only occur within the context of the relationship. CG/L in a dynamic is a constant and fluctuating dynamic, where the level of personality expression is regulated through context, meaning it’s always expressed in some form or another.
Stigma: CG/L is just some weird sexual fantasy
Popular media has unfortunately made the terms “Daddy”, “Babygirl”, and other related roles and petnames indicators of bedroom etiquette.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to carry out these sorts of bedroom scenes. The problem is that using this language often leads to confusion as to what the terms mean within the community and what this language means to an average person.

Stigma: Being a Little is a mental health condition
Related: Mental conditions indicate Little personality. Regression therapy leads to people becoming Littles.
We don’t have much to say, since we are not qualified to speak on the matter. Our Mommy is though. Here are a few articles. Stigma: Littles are nasty and do nasty stuff with diapers and pacifiers
This is where our reality becomes grim especially for AB/DL folk. AB/DL has been present since the early days of the internet through message boards and chatrooms. Unfortunately, the quality of such content modelled many of the current ideas and behaviors presently found within the AB/DL community, and classical viewpoints that are outdated are still around and spread in the form of stories, imagery, content. Examples:
  • AB/DL stories where fantastical, impossible, unachievable scenarios occur (physical age regression as a big example).
  • Crotch shots of adults in diapers being sold as “cute”.
  • Diapers have a sexual connotation.
  • Littlespeak.
This sort of content does nothing to present positive, relatable experiences of people within the community, and grossly disseminates the idea that the “lifestyle” is “magical” within the community, while seeming extremely bizarre to the outsider. It’s almost as if the community lives in fantasyland, while at the same time expecting those who are not on the same page to fully accept this fantasyland with no questioning, without it seeing itself on the mirror.

How can we move away from these stigmas?

Convergence of common terms
First point is to unify the language used. Once a solid lexicon is established, then consistency could be achieved when communicating and spreading the word to people within and without the community.

Convergence of ideologies
Most popular sites and community figures spread their own version of what CG/L, Littlespace and Regression are. This makes it impossible for the community to identify what it really is, what it really wants, where it wants to go. Whenever we make statements, we try our best to quote this source, as it has very relatable, approachable information that we believe in.

Narrowing of scope
Instead of trying to encompass any and every experience and activity (what does playing in a soiled diaper have to do with the love that a parent has for their child; what does occasionally sucking on a pacifier have to do with feeling like a genuine child?) that roughly resembles a biological child’s activity, the focus should be on how personality is genuinely tied to regressive traits. Cohesion between personality and behavior over disjointed unrelated activities.

Education
Hey, do you have any friends in the community? While playdates and nice silly conversations can be fun, why not try and talk about the deeper aspects of your personality? Of what Regression means to you? Of how it makes life more bearable or how it creates challenges a regular person doesn’t face? Spread information and not just silly, fun play times in imagination land or roleplay.

Valuing adulthood
It would help the community and outsider perspective if we weren’t so heavily focused on literally becoming biological children again, meaning within the community we make adulthood, physical maturation, well-developed cognitive capabilities, and basically just "growing up" something undesired and even shameful. Growing up gives Littles all sorts of privileges, capabilities, and advantages while also being more well-rounded to carry out a healthy, happy relationship that is fulfilling for both sides!

Don’t be afraid to express yourself more freely
Most people won’t automatically assume that you are X or Y just because you seem to be bubblier and bouncier than your peers. In fact, it is oftentimes more attractive to be around somebody that is genuine about themselves and isn’t hiding behind a veil of fake interests. Also, the more you express who you are internally…

Exposure
… the easier it will be to expose others to the community. People tend to accept who they like much better than who they are only “okay” about. When you are coherent with the person you feel you are internally, it makes it less of a jarring revelation if it ever comes down to that event. Also, a revelation doesn’t have to be a full-blown “coming out”. There are very discrete and subtle ways in which a Little can manifest who they are and have the message of “this person is kind of like a child” that are more sensible than simply outright coming out in an uncomfortable and awkward situation.


Personal feelings of the post
From a personal perspective, this is how this post has made us feel.

We wear diapers 24/7 as a choice and use them for their intended purpose. We do not have any medical condition that would require us to use diapers. They are used to express our dependency on Mommy and on items that are 100% designed with the needs of biological infants in mind. They are also used in efforts to remove control from our body and to remove one less activity performed by adults. They are a comfort factor for us and help to fulfill not only our desires for recognition as babies but our partner's recognition as a caregiver to us.
Would you consider us freaks for this?
Continuing our own example. Our diapers are frequently changed by our Mommy. It makes her happy. It makes us happy. There is some sexual contact involved as a biproduct of the tender handling involved in the process. There is a small amount of derived pleasure from this activity.
Would you consider us freaks for this?
We are not “turned-on” by diapers. But if sexual feelings were attached to them (e.g. perhaps the comfort they provided was in some way arousing), and we acted out upon these feelings on occasion and not as the sole purpose of why we engage in active diaper-usage, then we don't know what would be so wrong, dirty, or disgusting about that or how a diaper is more offensive than vibrators or other items commonly used for sexual relief. It's just an object, it doesn't have feelings or the capability to be degraded or something to become "nasty" just because someone feels good from it.
Would you consider us freaks for this?

We hope that this helps guide you! :bheart: :pheart: :pinkh:

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#53693
Hi Princess Jessilynn. Very good question! I'm new to this forum so this is my first response to a post. Although I am new to being a little, I'm discovering so much about myself that I never understood before. Since Daddy has helped me embrace my little side it's as though I am a newer version of myself. My life makes sense now! Before I even knew about littles, I would have probably been one of those people that would have rolled my eyes or giggled under my breath at someone if I saw them in little space. Not any more! I am such a better person for experiencing my little side and frankly, if more people would accept this about themselves, society would be a much better place in my opinion. So, my answer is this: society is a brainwashed majority of individuals. If people don't act or do something that is approved by society, well, we are freaks or weird. However, now I'm learning to giggle at those people! The table has turned for me. :)
I love being a little! :)

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