11.01.06 Plushies, Furries and Adult Babies
Unphased by grown women in Hello Hitty hoodies? Bored by news of $50,000 rock paper scissor championships? Are you, in short, utterly unshocked by the rejuvenile phenom?
Then step aboard this Wonka steamship and keep your hands and feet inside as we travel into a dark and forbidding tunnel, toward a rejuvenile outpost populated by adults who assume the identities of giant stuffed animals, men who have torrid affairs with stuffed animals and grownups who derive exquisite sexual pleasure lolling around in jumbo sized diapers.
The following passage was written to be included in the final pages of the last chapter of Rejuvenile. I cut it at the last minute, partly because it didn’t adequately capture the complexity of these people and communities, but mostly because this stuff is so reflexively icky that I didn’t want to send half my readers running for the showers just before I attempted a sober-minded summing up and celebration of the rejuvenile phenomenon.
Herewith then, a deleted scene:
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time casually glossing over mention of a subculture of people who enjoy having sex dressed as cartoon animals. I know I’m opening a can of worms – because once I’ve mentioned Furries, I’m pretty much obligated to move on to the topic of Plushies, people whose intense-bordering-on-impure attachment to stuffed animals sometimes results in the creation of “strategically-placed-holes” or “strategically-placed-appendages” (known in Plushies circles by the helpful acronyms SPH’s and SPA’s). And once I’ve covered Plushies, it’s only natural to discuss Adult Babies, those grownups who derive sexual pleasure from on being swaddled in jumbo-sized diapers.
Here we’ve reached the furthest reaches of the rejuvenile universe, a place so far removed from a traditional understanding of adulthood that it is hard to know how any of it relates to the larger rejuvenile phenomenon. First of all, it’s probably unfair to lump these proclivities together, or even to define them as essentially kid-centric or sexual. Many Furries, for instance, believe that they are in fact animals trapped in the bodies of humans. Dressing up becomes a way to reconnect with their anthropomorphic selves. “A Furry typically thinks of himself (and let’s face it, he’s typically male) as though his ‘real’ self is an ocelot-centaur, or a silver-furred wolf, or what have you,” says a software designer from Oregon who keeps tabs on the Furry community. “Some Furries talk about totem animals, or animal spirit guides, or being gazelles in previous lives. Some just sit around and wish with all their might that they had paws and a tail.”
The Fur-friendly fan who provided this quick primer answered a message I’d posted on an Internet newsgroup looking for adult fans of Hello Kitty. He calls himself Honi, and he certainly qualified. In an e-mail, here’s how he describes his room:
Honi is quick to point out that sex is only a peripheral part of his obsession. There was a time when he, as he puts it, “indulged in Plushie sex,” back when he was spending 18-plus hours a day on the Internet role-playing the part of Dot Warner, a character from a television cartoon called “The Animaniacs.” But these days his love of Hello Kitty is more aspirational than kinky: “It’s not that I’m driven by lust for Hello Kitty herself – it’s that I love the pink dreamy haze that being surrounded by Hello Kitty puts me in. I’d rather be her than have sex with her.”
The same sort of distinction is made by many Adult Babies, more formally known as infantilists but also known as Diaper Lovers. These are adults (again, mostly men – go figure) who enjoy wearing Pampers and Huggies, sucking pacifiers, getting spanked, eating baby food or otherwise being treated like infants. A 20-year-old support group known as Diaper Pail Friends claims some 15,000 members. On the DPF Website you can find advice on such topics as how to lock diaper pins and find adult-sized cribs alongside a manual for would-be mommies (“You may have to discipline his naughty bottom,” the manual advises, “but your firmness must be tempered by warmth and care”). There’s also an online store that stocks hypnosis tapes that will “reduce you to any age of your choice,” and books and videos with titles like “Baby Pants Prisoner” and “Come Home to Mommy” (advertised with this come-hither tagline: “Mommy greets you at the door. She lays you down on the softest, thickest diaper you have ever seen.”)
Adult babies stress that they are not aroused by children – rather, they get off on being treated as children. “I want to be the baby,” says a 28-year-old attorney we’ll call Jim. “I get a thrill out of the sensations of being treated as a child – that’s entirely different than loving a child.”
None of Jim’s friends or family know about his secret stash of baby gear, and he prides himself on living a by-all-appearances normal adult life – he enjoys skiing, reading the Economist and talking politics. But inside, he says, “I have the sexuality of a two year old.” The only person he’s been able to share these feelings with was a woman from college, who on the day they met was dressed in a Disney T-shirt and drank milk from a sippy cup. “We were in diapers together within four weeks,” he says happily.
Jim thinks premature potty training may have had something to do with his sexuality—that, and an unusually close relationship with his mother. (“I was always super coddled and sheltered and protected,” he says. “I cried my eyes out when I left for college.”) But whatever the root cause, he has come to accept his babyish sexuality as a “basic part of me.” And while he’s intensely private about his sexuality, he feels no particular shame about it. “It’s completely harmless,” he says. “It’s just cute. It’s nothing. I’m much less harmful than the average guy. I just get more pleasure out of pooping than most people do.”
Posted at 8:19 am in 2 Comments
Hi there Mr. Noxon. I recently read Rejuvenile and rss’ed your blog. Your book was excellent. Inspired by it I’m organizing a tag game at the next furry con I’m going to. :)
I myself am a furry as well as an AB/DL and have been for many years. I am also an adult with a good paying job and a fully functional adult life.
I want to first clear up something about furries - people who play around in fursuits are a subset of furry fandom, not its entirety. Like most furs, I’ve never been in a fursuit or been particularly interested in them, my involvement with furry is more on the art side, and online roleplaying. Also, people who believe themselves to have totem animal spirits are called ‘lifestylers’ or in more involved cases ‘weres’ and are also a subset of the fandom. Most people in furry might wear a tail at a furry convention but in general they’re pretty normal, geeky people. And largely gay or bi, it turns out, but there’s plenty of straight furs too. And most of furry fandom is pretty tame, it’s the more prurient side that gets all the media attention.
Where furry and AB/DL overlap is called babyfur. That is a whole other thing I could tell you about at length.
If you are curious about this, or want to clear anything up about this topic for the second edition of your book please email me. I would love to talk further, on condition of anonymity.
Posted by CW on 11/01 at 09:19 AM
Incidentally I DID read that deleted scene in my edition of ‘Rejuvenile’ so it wasn’t pulled out of all editions, apparently.
In case it wasn’t in the previous comment, my email is cargoweasel [at] gmail dot com, by the way.
Posted by CW on 11/01 at 09:28 AM