Padded and Pampered - Advice Column

Padded and Pampered is an advice column from a world where everybody wears diapers until they hit puberty. Traditionally, boys stop wearing diapers at that point, but girls do not.

I’m writing these columns one at a time, as I happen to think of questions that inspire me, or as people suggest them.

#1: Checking your date’s diaper

[b]Dear Padded,

I’ve recently began going on dates with girls, but I’m confused about whether or not I should be checking their diapers to see if they’re still dry. Some girls seem to insist on it, but others don’t like the idea. What should I do?

Yours, Clueless.[/b]

Dear Clueless,

that’s a good question. Most women consider it their date’s duty to check on their diaper every now and then, and will consider him inconsiderate if he doesn’t do so. On the other hand, there are also a number of women who think that it’s offensive and insulting if someone doesn’t trust them to know for themselves when they need a change. If you’re on a first date and don’t know which type your date is, what should you do?

Of course, you could just ask. In many cases this will be taken well, but there’s always the risk that the very question will be considered insulting - either for implying that your date needs someone to check them, or for implying that you’d consider not checking them!

Fortunately, there are often clear signs. First off, it’s never impolite to ask “are you clean and dry?” at the very beginning of the date - it’s just basic courtesy to ensure that your date is feeling comfortable and offering her an opportunity to fix things if she isn’t. If you’re lucky, she’ll say something like “no, but I’ll let you know if that changes” or “not yet, but I’ll trust you to keep an eye on that” that lets you know what kind of a woman you’re dealing with. If she says something like “I think so, but I’m not entirely sure”, that’s an invitation to check her right there and then!

If that doesn’t work, look at her clothing. Somebody who wants to be checked on is likely to wear clothes that make it easy, and vice versa. Tight jeans make a diaper difficult to check, while a light dress that’s easy to lift up makes it convenient. Also, pay attention to the way she positions herself in relation to you - if she wants to be checked frequently, she’ll probably want to sit next to you rather than opposite to you.

If you determine that your date does want you to check on her, how often should you do it? Somewhere between once every 30 to 60 minutes is fine. More frequently than that is unnecessary and will come off as weird, and more rarely will be seen as inconsiderate. (Obviously, if you’re doing something like watching a movie together, it’s pointless to check before the movie’s over, at which point you’re very definitely expected to check.) Don’t make a fuss out of it: just pat the front of her diaper enough that you’ll notice if it feels wet or soggy. If she feels dry, don’t say anything, just continue the conversation as usual. If she feels wet or if you aren’t entirely sure, say that she feels a little wet to you and ask whether she’d like a change. It’s enough to check whether she’s wet - women will generally avoid getting messy on first dates and they will tell you in the rare cases when that isn’t true.

If your date wants you to check on her diaper, you can be sure that she also wants you to change her. But even some of the more independent-minded women will still prefer their date to change them. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about this - if you’re with an independent-minded woman, she’ll let you know her preference when she says that she needs a change.

Your date will be packing her own spare diapers. Bringing one of your own will be appreciated but not expected, since you can’t be sure of her size and favorite brand. If you do bring some of your own that you offer her, make sure that they’re on the finer side - offering a cheap generic brand will be taken as thoughtlessness at best, and as an insult at worst.

Then there’s the question of where. Changing rooms offer intimacy and privacy, but your date may not yet trust you enough for that, and may prefer to be changed in plain sight of other people. Don’t take it personally if that’s the case - it’s not necessarily that she doesn’t trust you, she might consider it an unnecessary hassle to go somewhere else when it’s perfectly fine to get changed right where you are. In any case, she’ll probably give you a clear hint of her preference: either handing you the clean diaper and lifting up her dress, or getting up and nodding in the direction of the changing room.

Finally, what if you’re one of those courageous guys who defies gender norms and likes to wear diapers himself, and would like his date to be checking on him? Women aren’t as commonly expected to check on men’s diapers, so you’ll have to accept the fact that she might not feel as comfortable checking your diaper as you are checking hers. The easiest way to drop the hint is when you ask her whether she’s clean at the start of the date: if she says that she is, you can say something like “me too” and mention that you’d love it if she could check on you. If you can, smile and look at her in the eyes when you say that: it lets you simultaneously show confidence and reveal a bit of vulnerability, which a lot of women are going to find really appealing.

Best of luck on your date!

#2: Social expectations

(question contributed by Bonsai on DailyDiapers)

[b]Dear Padded,

Why do people consider freaks the girls who try to potty train and the boys who instead do NOT potty train?

I need to explain a bit better my case: my potty training is getting in the way between me and my girl! We have been best friends since ever and she’s the one I have always told anything and trusted for anything, but now that I wear training pants and visit the potty for boys at school, I have the impression that a wall is getting between us. We both miss our visits hand in hand to the changing nurse, joking about who was stinking worse; we can’t forget the careless summer runs in the garden, wearing nothing but our shirts and diapers.

We would like to pretend that nothing changed, but it’s not the truth: the whole world is putting pressure on me to dry up, but the same people who are pressuring me actively discourage her attempts to do the same. We have discussed the matter openly and, while she told me she understands, it’s clear that she’s extremely sad about this and feels it unfair.

One day I decided to borrow her some of my feel-and-learn Pull-ups. She was really happy! She asked me several times if I was sure, if I really wanted to help her to get out of diapers. Unfortunately, the very same day her mother discovered it and got really angry. To prevent any further attempt, she is now dressed in locking plastic pants, is receiving a special hypnotic conditioning and has to wear some extremely thick diapers that make it really hard to feel what happens inside.

I decided to go on “potty training strike” and began wetting myself on purpose. The result was suspension from school and grounding for a month.

Dear Padded, what do you suggest to us unfortunate boys and girls whose paths are separated by potty training?

A very concerned boyfriend[/b]

Dear Very concerned boyfriend,

potty training does cause a lot of young people a great deal of stress. There have always been both boys who wanted to stay in diapers and girls who didn’t, and they’ve always been up for some tough times. To understand why so many people are so adamant about the gender lines, it’s useful to first consider why so many cultures have this tradition in the first place.

Today we think that a child becomes an adult around the age of 18, but it hasn’t always been that way. Early hunter-gatherers considered puberty the sign of adulthood, and that custom lasted for a long time in most cultures, only really starting to change some hundreds of years ago. The difference between a child and an adult also used to be a lot more clear-cut than it is now: once you reached puberty, there would be an extended rite of adulthood that you would undergo. Afterward everyone would know that you were no longer a child, but a full member of the community, with all the corresponding rights and duties.

For girls, that transition used to be marked by their first period, since it was a clear and unambiguous sign that their bodies had began to mature. But for boys, puberty is a far more gradual process, without equally clear coming-of-age signs. So in order to make the difference clearer, some major and challenging rite of passage was needed. And although early cultures did not have the kind of plastic disposable diapers we have today, it was discovered thousands of years ago that the leaves of the ieca plant are easy to prepare in such a way that they soak up lots of moisture and make for fantastic filling for a diaper. Think of them as an ancient precursor to the superabsorbent filling of today’s disposables. As a result, prepubescent children were almost universally kept diapered throughout most of recorded history – and when a challenging ritual was needed for boys to undergo and prove their worth, potty training became a natural candidate. Boys used diapers, men went without.

As an aside, as the ieca plant is pretty much the only plant whose leaves have such properties, it’s common to speculate what would have happened in a world where that plant didn’t exist, or wasn’t so frequently found everywhere. Some academics have even suggested that in such a world, children might have been potty trained as soon as they learned to walk and talk, since there’d have been no way of making good diapers. What a thought! It is fortunate that we do not live in such a world, and that children get to be children.

In any case, today puberty is no longer considered the sign of adulthood, and boys being potty trained no longer gives them all the rights of an adult. Our process of coming of age is a lot more gradual and extended, and teenagers are neither clearly children nor clearly adults. Nor do we consider men and women to be as separate and different as we once did. The old reasons for why boys would be potty trained but girls wouldn’t don’t really apply anymore, and it’s then no wonder that many of today’s teenagers have started feeling that the whole custom is arbitrary and unfair.

But established attitudes do not die that easily. The diaper has always been the sign of a woman or a child, and underwear the sign of a man. Those who have defied that convention have traditionally been misfits. It’s been thought that if they cannot follow such an important and deeply-held custom, there’s no telling of what rules they might break next. Such people have been shunned, and in some cases even killed, though fortunately that no longer happens – not in our country, at least.

Such attitudes are still with us today. Many also think that potty training girls is pointless, since they’ll need to wear a diaper when on their period anyway, and if they’re going to alternate between wearing diapers and underwear it’ll just be needlessly confusing and cause them to have accidents.

But of course, knowing all of that doesn’t really help you out with your situation. So here are some suggestions.

The first thing that you should keep in mind is that neither of you are going to live with your parents forever. Nor will you always be in this school. One day you’ll both be adults and you can move to live on your own. When that happens, you’re free to both wear diapers or to both use the potty, just the way that you prefer. Yes, there will still be people who may give you trouble for being unconventional, but the laws that made such unconventionality a crime were taken off the books a long time ago. And especially if you move to a big city, it’ll be rare for anyone to do as much as blink an eye at either of you.

Knowing that you can change your minds later on, I do suggest at least giving the ordinary conventions a try. After all, even if you decide that they’re not working out for you, you can always go back to diapers later on, and your girlfriend can always potty train.

You mentioned that getting changed together used to be an important ritual for the two of you, and it’s always hard to give up an old ritual that has given you an opportunity to bond with someone. But you don’t need to give it up: you can transform it. Once you are potty trained, custom gives you the right to change a girl’s diaper. Wouldn’t both of you like it if she could always come to you when she was wet or messy, and you could gently change her into clean diapers? It’s admittedly a bit harder to think of a similar bonding element for you going to the potty – many girls cheer on their boyfriend’s potty training efforts exactly because it’ll give the opportunity for the boy to change her, but it’s hard to cheer on something that you’re jealous of.

Or maybe you both strongly feel that the conventional norms aren’t for you – maybe you feel that there’s not even any point in trying to fit yourself into that mold. In that case, since you both clearly live in a conservative region, my advice to you would be: lie low. Pretend that you’ve both accepted the common convention, with you getting potty trained and your girl remaining in diapers. It’s going to be hard for a while, but eventually people will come to believe that the resistance you were putting up was just a temporary phase and stop bothering you. When they do, you can start helping your girl get potty trained again – after all, if you’re the one who changes her diapers, you’ll be the only one to know whether she’d actually gone in them when you take them off. Just be careful to mix them up with smellier ones, or to quickly dispose of them if you can’t! It’s a little harder to get potty trained if you can’t wear training pants, but it’s still definitely doable. And maybe this way, you can make your visits to the potty something of a bonding experience again – after all, when you learn to go potty, you’re doing your part in the task that will eventually let both of you learn the skill.

Whatever it is that you decide, good luck!

#3: Sibling issues with potty training

(question contributed by Atramentum on DailyDiapers)

[b]Dear Padded,

I’m a single mother with two sons and one daughter - Robert, who recently turned twelve, Ian, who is eight years old, and Alexandra, who is ten. (Not their real names.) Robert has always been a strong minded boy, but ever since he got out of diapers and into pull-ups, it’s become difficult to get him to do anything. He will fight with his brother, and when I tell him to stop, he says he doesn’t have to listen to me because I still need diapers “like a little kid” and he doesn’t. What can I do about this?

Also, Ian and Alexandra says they don’t understand why their big brother is now allowed to use the toilet and they aren’t. How can I explain to Ian that it’s best for all children to stay in diapers until they reach puberty? How can I explain to Alexandra that it’s best for girls to stay in diapers after puberty?

Sincerely, Frazzled mom[/b]

Dear Frazzled mom,

it sounds like your son’s real issue isn’t so much the fact that you wear diapers, but rather something else. After all, the girls on his class will be mostly diapered as well, as will his women teachers, and he probably doesn’t consider any of them as just little kids. In all likelihood, he’s just using this issue as an excuse to be disobedient because he’s bothered by something else.

If these problems began with his potty training, then there are two common issues that frequently make boys act out. First, he might be scared that he’ll have accidents, and that these might mark him as being a baby after all. In that case, the behavior that you described is an attempt to prove to himself and others and he’s a grown kid now, no matter what else might happen. Or secondly, although he’s getting a lot of extra attention from you now, he might still miss the closeness that you both enjoyed when changing him and be afraid that he’ll lose that connection. The acting out, then, is a crude way of trying to ensure that you’ll still have at least some kind of a connection.

Be firm but supporting. Point out to him that his claims of you being a little kid don’t really make any sense. Make sure that he understands that potty training is genuinely difficult, and that everyone has accidents at first – that doesn’t make him a baby. The most important thing isn’t never having a single accident, but rather learning to have less and less of them. Let him know that you’re proud of him learning to use the potty, and that you’ll always be there for him. Also, be sure that you’re not accidentally sending him mixed signals! Many single parents will often feel conflicted about their sons’ potty training, such as by being visibly happy to still have the opportunity to put a diaper on them for the night. Make no mistake, the children will notice this, subconsciously if not consciously. Both of you should understand that neither of you is losing the other by this transition.

As for your son’s siblings, the International Pediatric Association strongly recommends potty training not to be started before twelve. It’s a stressful process that’s difficult even for teenagers, and younger children simply aren’t up to the task yet. Numerous studies have found a strong correlation between too early potty training and severe psychological problems later in life. To Ian, you can simply explain that he’ll get to potty train as well when he’s older, and that it’s for his own good to wait – if he starts too early, there’s a risk that he’ll get traumatized and have lots of problems actually getting potty trained later on. You can also point out that all the other children his age are still staying in diapers, so there’s no rush. (For once, “but everyone else is doing it” works in your favor!) If he regardless insists, don’t make a big deal out of it – tell him that alright, he can use the potty, but he’ll have to remember himself when to go, and you won’t be issuing him reminders or giving him pull-ups like you’re doing with Robert. After some initial excitement, he’ll soon realize that potty training means that he has to remember to go potty even when he’s in the middle of some other fun thing, and that he isn’t quite ready for that yet.

For Alexandra, you can use much of the same tactic. Now, there are some girls who’ll eventually insist on being potty trained as well, but they’re quite rare. You should give her the right to choose for herself, but also make sure that she understands all the reasons for why most girls choose to stay diapered. Tell her that when she’s old enough, she can be trained if she really insists, but that it’ll be easier for her if she doesn’t. You can point out that she’ll need a diaper anyway when she starts having her period, and mention how nice and romantic it is to have a boy change you nice and dry. If she’s at all into romance, there are quite a few nice romantic movies that are suitable for her age and which make a big deal out of the diaper change aspect of the relationship. And you can sell it as the special bond that you’ll share with her but none of her siblings – that the two of you are in diapers, but her brothers won’t be. If, after all that, she still thinks that she’d rather be potty trained, tell her that she can be – but it’s still better to wait a little, and like with Ian, you won’t be actively helping her out until she’s old enough.

#4: Diaper fashion

(question contributed by hoshioni on Tumblr)

So what are, the fashion trends for girls, these days? there different diapers for different subcultures.

While you can’t really know for certain the kind of a person that somebody is by only looking at her diaper, different subcultures do indeed tend to wear different kinds of diapers, and in different ways.

Disposable or cloth? Most children these days are raised in disposables, and the vast majority of people prefer them as they’re the most convenient. Still, burning through between two and six diapers per day (my personal average hovers around four) does get a little expensive, so you’ll see a lot more cloth diapers being used among poor people. They are also popular among people with strong environmentalist or “back to nature” leanings, as well as older people who grew up with them.

How thick? People who don’t find the whole diaper thing to be a big part of their identity are more likely to wear pull-ups or thin diapers that don’t get in the way and that are still easy to move in. Such people are likely to have progressive ideals about gender norms. People who believe in more traditional values, or who don’t but would like to be babied anyway, tend to prefer thick diapers. While it’s ordinarily hard to tell whether or not somebody’s diapered, in more conservative regions it’s common to see women wearing diapers so thick that they make a very obvious extra bulge as well as cause their wearers to walk with a slight waddle. Ironically, such thickness is also popular among gay men.

How revealing? If it’s a hot summer day, count on every diapered person going without anything on top of it. But on cooler days, there’ll be differences. Modest folks will have their diaper fully covered with clothing, with at most the thickness giving a hint of it being there. Letting a bit of the diaper show on the top of your shirt is seen as mildly flirty, similar to showing a modest amount of cleavage. It’s very common among teenage girls, who are seeing the boys their age getting potty trained and are starting to really experience the diaper as a defining element of their femininity. People who show off their diaper completely, even on a cooler day, generally identify strongly with the stereotype of an innocent princess who needs her knight to take care of her. Young people who wish to show off their nonconformity, especially in the punk subculture, sometimes rip large holes in their trousers around the diaper area to make it impossible to miss that they’ve intentionally chosen to show it. This is generally considered pretty tasteless, however.

How to use? And of course, there are the constant - almost ideological - debates about the best way to use one’s diaper. Many girls like to train their bodies so that they’ll only mess themselves once a day in the morning, so that they don’t need to worry about needing to get cleaned up during daytime. Others claim that if you’re going to worry about when you mess, you might as well be using the potty. Some of the folks who say that do get potty trained for purposes of messing. The rest think that the whole point of being diapered is that you can just go in them the very moment that you feel the need, and they act accordingly. There’s a great deal of ill will between those three groups, and online debates over the issue seem to degenerate into flame wars with such a regularity that many forums ban the topic entirely. Of course, there are also the moderates whose opinions are somewhere in between, and who don’t bother with the debates as much. Fortunately there’s much less heated argument over how and when to wet.


Re: Padded and Pampered - Advice Column

Very unique and different.

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Re: Padded and Pampered - Advice Column

The article format is a unique way to write. I have used it once or twice. You have done a good job with this format, creating a new and different world.

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I love this so much.

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Wish someone would make another story similar to it.

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#5: Feeling like a baby

Dear Padded,

I was just browsing YouTube when a romantic diaper ad came on. You know the type - there’s a young couple having candlelit dinner, and after that they’re going to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie together. Only before that, the guy has the girl lift up her skirt so that he can check her diaper. He tells her that she’s quite wet, and she blushes and looks down and says that these new diapers he got her are so thick, she didn’t even notice. Then he holds her and says that there’s nothing for her to feel embarrassed about, it’s his job and not hers to notice things like that. Then it cuts to a picture of the diapers, and we hear her voice saying that she always feels like a baby when she’s with him.

I hear that phrase so often when girls are talking about their boyfriends. Some will be gushing about their partner is so great for making them feel like a baby so often. Others will complain that theirs never does.

I haven’t had a boyfriend yet, but I would really like to have one who would make me feel like I’m a baby. How can I find one who will?

Young Romantic

Dear Romantic,

I’m glad to hear that you already have a sense of what’s important for you in a relationship, and aren’t going to just fall for any boy who asks you out - you want to make sure that they will also be good for you. Great!

Feeling like a baby means somewhat different things for different people. Here are some of the things it means to me:

  • Feeling like my partner loves me no matter what, and like it’s impossible for me to do anything that he’d hold permanently against me

  • Feeling completely safe and like he will take care of me

  • Feeling like there are things that I don’t need to concern myself with even if I wanted to, because he’ll take care of them

That last point can involve many things, but of course it often has to do with diapers. I myself was never potty trained when it came to wetting, but when I was a teenager, my family expected me to start going on the toilet when I had a bigger need.

When I got together with the boy who’s now my husband, he told me pretty early on that he didn’t want me going on the toilet ever again. He would be the one to check my diapers and change me whenever there was a need to.

And sometimes I would like to use the toilet! After all, cleaning up when you’ve had messy diapers takes time, and can be inconvenient if you are traveling or otherwise outside home. Honestly, there are times when I would like to avoid that hassle.

But whenever I tell him that, he just smiles and gently tells me that that’s what my diaper is for.

And when he says that I always feel this huge sense of relief, even if I had wanted to use the toilet a moment before. Because I know then that he really loves me and doesn’t want me to worry about those things. Going in my diaper can be inconvenient, yeah, but the main reason why I’d like to avoid it is that I learned from my family to feel guilty about wanting to do it because it’d inconvenience them. If my husband had allowed me to use the toilet, I would feel less guilty, but I’d also feel bad and like someone had pressured me into doing something I didn’t want to do. Even if it had been my own feeling of guilt that pressured me into it.

But with him it feels safe to have those kinds of conflicting feelings. Because he’ll just gently remind me of what I actually need. He won’t let me hurt myself by making choices we both know are bad for me.

And even if it might be inconvenient at times… that’s not actually something I need to worry about. Because whenever we are planning trips, he’s always thinking about it and making sure that there are opportunities to clean me on the way. He’ll even remark about it - “we need to take first class tickets on this train, because that gets us access to the showers if you need them”, and I’ll feel happy that he was thinking about it. I can honestly just not think about the topic at all, knowing that it’s in his hands.

That got a little long, but I wanted to share it because there are several important things there. I feel like I can just be a baby and trust him completely, but he has also earned that trust by actually looking out for me. There are many boys who want to tell you what to do, but aren’t actually interested in making you feel good - they want to control you instead. That’s not what feeling like a baby is about.

So here are important things to look out for:

  • Is he sensitive to what you want and need, and willing to listen if he’s mistaken? My husband says I shouldn’t go to the toilet - but only because we both know that I want him to enforce that rule, and because I’m happier that way. If I ever felt like I actually want to change that rule, he would let me. Because he wants the rules to make me happy, rather than to control me.
  • If he proposes rules that take a responsibility off you, does he actually take it on himself? It’s great that I don’t need to think about toilet things, but that’s only because he actually puts a lot of effort into things like making sure I never need to be in dirty diapers for too long. If he said I’m not allowed to use the toilet but also didn’t take care of the consequences, that would just stress me out.
  • Is he ready to also say ‘no’ to taking on responsibilities he doesn’t feel comfortable dealing with? That’s also a part of what lets me feel safe wanting things that would be bad - because I can trust him to tell if they wouldn’t be good for him. My husband would say no if I asked him to take over my money and just give me an allowance, for instance. There are some couples that enjoy that kind of thing, where the one in the baby role (because let’s not forget that some do like to swap the gender roles, or are gay) doesn’t need to think about how they spend their money. But that’s not something my husband would feel comfortable with, and I’m grateful that he made that clear to me early on. (And if a boy does tell you something like this, it’s also something that you need to respect and not hold against him.)
  • Does he actively check on you and how you feel? I don’t just mean checking your diaper, but asking how you are feeling and whether he can do anything better. Nobody can read minds, as much as we’d like to, and he needs to have an awareness of that.
  • Finally, do you feel good and safe around him? Sometimes you might find someone who seems to tick off all the boxes, but you still feel vaguely uncomfortable around him. If so, trust your gut. Don’t think that you owe him a relationship just because he behaves right - and if he starts hinting that you do, run.

On the other hand, be forgiving and understanding. Nobody is perfect, least of all teenagers without much experience under their belt. If he screws up some of these points but is willing to learn from his mistakes, that’s the important thing. And if he makes you happy and does things that you appreciate, don’t forget to tell him that.

That’s a lot to keep in mind. Fortunately, there are lots of wonderful and considerate boys out there who would love nothing more than to know that you feel like a complete baby around them. Good luck with finding one!


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