ABDL's are in all careers, demographics and span the globe. ABDL is a large sub-community that has managed to cultivate families of normative acceptance around the lifestyle. So, then how common is ABDL in the world? Extremely common.
ABDL is VERY common! If you are ABDL you are far from alone.
Why haven't I heard of ABDL until now?
If you've heard of the term "forever young," you have likely thought to yourself that being younger generally has elements that held a much happier time. Maybe you've even told other kids to enjoy being young, as life tends to get more difficult and complicated. Regardless of the quality of upbringing, we often try and remember the good things and forget the bad. The same good elements make ageplay so popular as the lifestyle practice provides an opportunity to experience a safe, intimate, and care-free experience. The main reason you may have never heard of ABDL until now is that society as a whole doesn't understand the intricacy that ABDL is more like a spectrum of preferences rather than a one size fits all definition.
ABDL is often hidden because it is misunderstood or viewed as taboo, leading to social consequences (fear).
Many ABDLs go through a majority of their life without telling anyone they are ABDL. It hasn't been until the availability of information through the internet that more ABDLs connect on a large scale and find enough support to be more open about their ageplay tendencies.
Is someone I know and love ABDL?
It is reasonably possible you work with an ABDL, are friends with an ABDL, or even live with an ABDL (possibly even the parent of an ABDL). The feelings of being smol or into diapers is a significant stress reducer, and the diaper is many ABDL's drug of choice to lessen stress and anxiety, acting as a healthy coping mechanism. If you are a parent reading this, and you think your kid is ABDL, I'd encourage you to support them and know they can choose many ways to handle stress that is detrimental to their physical or mental health; the diaper is not a harmful method.
Likely, YES. Someone you know is ABDL.
A typical follow-up question to ask is, "If ABDL is such a big part of their life, will they ever tell me (their best friend) regression or diapers is something they enjoy?"
The short answer; It's hard to say. People will tell others more about themselves when they feel confident in who they are. Maybe they will someday, perhaps they won't.
Even best friends hold the information that they are into regression or diapers close to the chest as not everyone is as open-minded as they think they are. Discussion in public and private social circles regarding ABDL over the past 100 years has not held even the closest of relationships together after disclosure. It has ended many friendships and healthy relationships. "Why?"
Unfortunately, we live in a world that what people think matters more than who people are.
The world has a multi-billion dollar market of beauty and exercise products that reflect the chameleon approach to human connection as a result of human nature. We want to put our best selves forward, even at the cost of the authenticity of who we are, which is likely far more interesting and loveable.
Why would someone be ABDL if the world seems to dislike them?
The individuals who get the most airtime in the public sphere regarding ABDL's tend to be mostly the community's outliers. The goal of most television is to gain viewers, rather than to educate, unfortunately.
As the saying goes with the media, "There is no news like bad news." For this reason, a large amount of the public is misinformed about ABDL and ageplay as a community.
Universally, there are always rotten eggs in any group, but I'd argue that ABDL's have much richer and more authentic personal lives than the average relationship. You may ask, "Why is that?"
One of the most misunderstood advantages that ABDL's have regarding friendship forming and relationship storming is the diaper. This "silly object" to a non-ABDL is one of the keys that fast-tracks intimacy and trust between other ABDLs because of the nature and use of the diaper, explicitly referring to vulnerability. Vulnerability is also the reason ABDL's filter and chose their friendships and ABDL relationships carefully.
ABDLs tend to have a higher-quality relationship because ABDLs have a heightened innate understanding of emotional needs towards each other.
The primary reason for this next-level care is because ABDLs long-for and thrive for "care" themselves. The most significant advantage of ageplay towards relationships is that the practice of regression educates and enhances knowledge of nurturing and caregiving. This knowledge, which stands outside of judgment, can significantly enrich the ABDL's emotional connection and support within relationships (interpersonal or professional).
How would I let my closest friend know I support them as an ABDL?
The real question is, "why do you want to know?" or, "Are you interested and curious about the practice of ageplay?" Many people find their love of ageplay very young or in their early twenties due to many factors. Knowing about the ABDL tendencies of your best friend has nothing to do with whether they trust you. The beautiful part about relationships is that long-lasting relationships are built over time through the smallest of moments. If you happen to be close to an ABDL, they will eventually tell you if they feel safe, and your trust is unwavering over a long period.
Knowing if your friend is ABDL shouldn't have any bearing on your relationship's quality; if they feel comfortable in themselves, they will tell you; or maybe they won't.
In many cases, it is not safe for ABDLs to tell others as many parents or friends can see this as something that needs therapy even though the tendencies are healthy. Misunderstanding can lead to fear and many hurtful assumptions. It is for this reason many ABDL's keep their preferences safe within their own space.
Chances are you know an ABDL. :D
So what's next? We encourage you to be more open-minded and to stay curious in a world of diversity. One of the best phrases that we overheard during an ageplay convention is that " Kind curiosity makes friends." We couldn't agree more!