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ADBLs are a community that enjoys wearing attire usually associated with babies, such as diapers. Some members of this community (known as Adult Babies) also enjoy role-playing by dressing and performing activities usually associated with babies , such as drinking from a bottle. Others simply enjoy the feeling of wearing an adult diaper over their underwear (known as Diaper Lovers).
The idea of adults enjoying wearing diapers has been referenced by psychologists at least as far back as the 1980s. The first recorded public event for Adult Babies (ABs) was Baby Week, which took place in San Francisco during the 1990s. Over the past 25 years, the community has expanded with the help of the internet. There are now various subreddits and online forums dedicated to connecting Adult Babies around the world to share photos, discuss products and recommend accessories.
It’s not currently clear how big the AB community is, as most people who enjoy wearing adult diapers do so in private. The Diaper Pail Friends was one of the first groups dedicated to adult diaper wearing, and reached nearly 3000 members by 1995. By 2008, with the help of the internet, the group had grown to over 15,000 members.
As most of the ABDL community keep their interest in adult diapers private, it isn’t clear exactly what drew them to this interest in the first place. It seems that some people are introduced to wearing adult diapers due to incontinence or other medical issues, and then later become more comfortable wearing them.
Others enjoy the feeling of adult diapers but have no medical need for them. There are various psychological theories as to why this is, including imprinting and James Money’s lovemap theory. Even so, there isn’t much research into the area.
There is no one situation where ABDLs wear adult diapers. For those with medical needs, adult diapers can be worn any time of day underneath regular clothes. Others find it comfortable to sleep in overnight diapers, or even swim in adult swim diapers.
There are various factors to consider when selecting an adult diaper. Adult diapers and incontinence underwear come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials, each affecting the feeling of wearing one. Some like adult disposable briefs with tabs or tape, while others prefer reusable briefs or pull-up diapers. Some enjoy the look of diapers, and like wearing ones with fun patterns like stars, animals or superheroes, while others more focussed on the sensation might prefer plain adult diapers. It’s really up to the individual what style feels right.