You know that feeling at the end of the day ... that feeling of sheer exhaustion, satisfaction and relief that the day is done. All you want is chicken soup, a warm blanket, a glass of wine, and a few hours in front of a screen so your brain can quieten down. You really want someone to be at home waiting for you, ready to give you this undivided attention. You want a mommy. Not your own In Real Life Mom but a lover who takes on the role of a mommy. For a few hours you long to be a baby, pampered and cared for by a person you trust completely and who makes you feel safe.
Mommy play or age play, also known as infantilism, is definitely not for sissies. It is for consenting adults who feel the urge to partake in it and crave the relief that this kind of fetish brings. It is a form of roleplaying in which an individual acts or treats another as if they were a different age. It has its challenges. But then so does asking a partner to stimulate your clitoris instead of pounding away inside your vagina in the hope of bringing you to orgasm in this most Freudian and unproductive manner.
Generally, just telling a partner what your erotic orientation is really all about takes tremendous courage. Just saying “Babe, I really like how you stroke my skin. I’d like it even better if you used your nails to scratch down my back” risks rejection, name calling and tears. Anything that slightly deviates from the mono hetero normative model sets you up for possible shaming. We are not a very tolerant sexual society, still stuck in apartheid ways of thinking. There are those odd few who are kinky i.e. anything outside of mono hetero normative, but most appear to be, at least on the surface, pure vanilla. In my therapy practice I see the reverse actually — almost everyone has a kink — and the few remaining purist vanillas are only kept pure through religion or fear.
Imagine the mind-shift that occurs when the babe you’ve been dating for a number of months one evening welcomes you into his home, asks you to put a nappy on him, cuddle him on your lap and feed him a bottle of milk. He is the chief executive of a listed company, wears fancy clothes, drives an expensive car and pays a lot of maintenance to his ex and kids. He has a lot of responsibilities and is constantly stressed. When he makes love to you, he talks in baby language and calls you “mommy”. Now you get it, as you call your Uber to collect you. No way can you be dating this crazy guy.
The good news is that this guy (or it could be a gal) is not crazy. The DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition) has decreed this. It states that this person has a fetish, a paraphilia, a preferential sexual interest that goes beyond mere vanilla. He or she has atypical sexual arousal patterns. Instead of being turned on by roses, romance and Victoria’s Secret underwear, he is turned on by the idea of you as his mommy. He is aroused by someone wiping his face and bottom, heating up warm milk for him, and poking a nipple into his hungry mouth.
Or she may be the one who gets turned on by swaddling you, their dearest darling, in a nice clean white diaper, or perhaps punishing a very naughty boy/girl with little slaps on their bottom while draped over her knee. BDSM can be woven into mommy play as lots of opportunities exist for spanking, humiliating and punishing the infant who has soiled or wet a diaper.
Mommy play — the regression of one partner to infantile status — usually is sexualised, in that sexual play is involved between the two consenting adults, but oftentimes, sex isn’t even part of the scenario. Set aside any possible discomfort you may be feeling and understand that the whole point of the exchange may just be to be tended to and nurtured; to feel safe and blissed out. After a hard day at the office, there’s nothing to worry about but your next feeding. For a few hours you just want relief from your responsibilities.
While making love in a diaper may not be your specific turn-on, I hope you know your specific kink is, and find a way to communicate it to your partner, so you can also get your particular brand of consensual chicken soup when you arrive home at the end of a long day!
Dr Marlene Wasserman is a clinical sexologist. She is the founder of the Dr Eve brand, the author of Cyber Infidelity: The New Seduction, and is the legal mediator and sexual health expert for the nonprofit Medico