The Psychology Behind Age Play 18

Recently, I was discussing age play
with Abbie Adams who also writes age play and we were saying how people can have an interest in spanking with no history of spanking but it was our unconfirmed belief that people who have an interest in age play came from childhoods that were less than nurturing at best.  This stuck with me.  I pondered it for a while.
Having written my first book, and
having that book be an age play book, I found myself coming to grips with my
interest in reading about it, writing about it,
and what age play meant to me. And, once again, found myself trying to
explain this to my patient and understanding husband.  He read my book and said it was very good but
“interesting” and he wondered “do you want me to do any of this?”  As I told him, I have no interest in calling
him “Daddy” or wearing diapers even though there are many who get great enjoyment
and healing from this.  I did add,
however, that there is a level of comfort in the discipline sessions of a “little,”
that when he says I am a “good girl” or says “there’s my girl” it does
something internally—I melt.  So it only
makes sense that in a discipline session, I would love to hear him say, “young
lady” or “little girl get your bottom in the corner.”
My background as a child was
tumultuous.  I was in a household that
had an alcoholic, gambling step father.  We were hungry most days, with no lights or
heat.  Literally twice in my childhood,
we survived on ketchup soup or onion soup for two weeks each time.  It was our breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In addition, he was physically abusive.
So my basic needs were not met—security, safety, warmth, food, acceptance,
and unconditional love.
Upon researching this topic, I
found many medical articles and research documents but the following article
had statements that seemed to summarize all those facts the best and can be
found at this website.
play has nothing to do with real children, but it has everything to do with
being childlike.  As adults, we all have
a component or part of our personality that is labeled the inner child.  
players are usually strong and out spoken advocates against child abuse of any
form not just sexual but mental and emotional abuse too. There is absolutely no
tolerance for pedophiles in the age play community as in a similar vein there
is no tolerance for abuse in the BDSM community
adult authority figure can be one of many. Some common ones are Mommy, Daddy,
Aunt, Uncle, Teacher, Nanny, Principal, Coach, Nurse, Doctor, etc. The key is
that it must be an adult role, where there is some inherent control.”

“Don’t mistake an age players interest in
child-like things, games, clothes, shoes, coloring, etc. for interest in real
children.  Age play is one way to get in
touch with one’s inner child, to deal with past hurts and to just let go in a
controlled environment where the inner child is safe to play, to love, to feel
secure.  Age play is a healthy activity
and shouldn’t be viewed as sick or perverted, this is about the inner child not
real children.”
of us had a less than perfect childhood. For some that was because of abuse
(physical, emotional, mental) and for others, because of circumstances they had
to grow up too quickly and never really had a childhood.”
“Whatever the reason there seems to be a driving need to seek out and capture
the perfect childhood, which was denied to them as children, through age play. It
is a time of unconditional love and acceptance, with a sense of safety yet the
thrill of vulnerability.”

Having finished my research, I have
to say the above describes, for me, the reason I love to read and, now, write
about age play. When all is said and done, I love being able to
read/write about situations where little girls make mistakes, do naughty
things and have a daddy who administers stern discipline and loves them
There is a safety to it all.
It is my hope that the readers
today will understand age play better and that this blog post will help dismiss
and dispel some of the fear and stigma attached to age play and give everyone
the freedom to read it with a better understanding.
Here is a blurb of my WIP that fits
well with the above.
How did
strong, independent women like them end up in situations like this?  They wanted discipline, they yearned for
boundaries.  Why did they crave being
cared for as little girls?  It was so
safe.  Daddies who loved them no matter
what they did.  Daddies who wanted to
hold them and caress them.  Daddies who
wanted to show them how beautiful they were inside and out, who would wash and
clean them with no reservations or judgments.
They accepted them completely.
Neither Meggie nor Molly had a Daddy when they were little.  They missed the cuddles in front of the
TV.  They watched their friends sleeping
on their Daddy’s lap at church and wished for a daddy who loved them like that,
someone who would kiss their foreheads while they slept.  Michael and Brad did that for them.  They had a bond with their husbands and
Daddies that few women understood.   
It was
Michael’s tender crooning that alerted them that their Daddies were in the
room.  “Meggie, baby, why are you
Molly, come see your Daddy,” said Brad. 
The big,
stern, intellectual men held their grown women as little girls in their
laps.  They kissed their warm and sweaty
necks and patted their backs while they laid gentle kisses on their cheeks and

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18 thoughts on “The Psychology Behind Age Play

  • katherinedeane

    I loved this post, Megan!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    I come from a difficult past as well, and am very called to the idea of a nurturing father figure (or older brother).

    Fortunately, our (hubby and me) LDD relationship has some components of A/P in it.
    Unfortunately, he is not quite ready to explore any further.
    But we are taking things slowly.

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Congratulations on your new book!

  • Megan Michaels

    I'm so glad you liked the post. I think mine will have verbal components but that will be the extent of it. At this point, I will take whatever he is willing to offer and I am sure you feel the same way. Happy explorations!!

  • Normandie Alleman

    Great post Megan. Age play is often misunderstood and people are attracted to it for a variety of reasons. I love how you are exploring the way some people come to AP from deficits in their childhood.

    I am a psychologist and view everything through that lens. I agree completely that AP taps into our desire to be childlike and the fun, carefree side of life. It also allows the person to be relieved of the adult-type responsibilities of daily life. My experience and what I write about in my Daddy's Girl books is a D/s relationship in which the Dom is more benevolent and less sadistic than most Doms I see in books and pain plays only a small role in the relationship. These relationships involve aspects of AP but are not about "littles" per ce. I believe many women enjoy these D/s relationships because their regular lives are so hectic and they are required to be so responsible and nurturing. Let's face it, women often take care of everyone in their lives. Taking a time out to be someone's "little girl" can be quite a stress reliever! Also, some men are naturally so protective and nurturing that they just fit the "Daddy Dom" style and would never be comfortable as a more Sadistic/pain inflicting Dom.

    I see AP as a fun escape from the real world and a chance to pamper or be pampered, to shower one's partner with unconditional love. Nothing is as tender and sweet to me as the love between a Daddy/little girl dyad. I look forward to reading your book when it comes out!

    • Megan Michaels

      Normandie thank you so much for your insight too. I agree the stress of everyday life is more than we can all handle and I think the Daddy/little dynamic relieves stress for both parties. It is the unconditional love we are all looking for–what state we are in emotionally when we arrive is probably as different as the number of people interested in Age Play. I have had your Daddy Girl books in my Kindle and have yet to start them. That will be my goal this week. Looking forward to seeing your perspective. Talk to you soon!! Thanks for visiting.

  • Casey McKay

    This was a very interesting blog post! I am very much into the spanking and the D/s side of things, but Age Play is one of those things that I can read but don't really get. But when you say you like when your husband says things like "good girl" and "there's my girl" well that just makes me all melty too. And really isn't spanking in any sense sort of a play on age play?
    I think it might all be the same just different shades. So I like to say I am not into Age Play, but certainly in aspects I probably am.
    As for the link to childhood, I don't know, people like to say that is where the spanking kink comes from too, but that isn't true for me. I know of a lot of other spankos is not true for as well too. I do think it has something to do with not wanting to deal with all the stresses of life and just going to a safe place where someone else is taking care of you. There is something very comforting in that!
    Anyway, you have given me something to think about it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Megan Michaels

      I agree. I do believe there is an element of Age Play in all D/s, DD or BDSM. When couples play or do scenes that involve doctor/patient, professor/student, coach/cheerleader they are adding an element of age play. Why else would you put a submissive in the corner? And I don't think all spankos have had spanking in their past. I know many people who were never spanked, but are totally fascinated with it. However, it seems that people who are more into the little girl/Daddy aspect of age play do seem to have had trauma or a negative childhood and this gives them the ability to "make peace" with it–take a bad situation and make it into something good. That's how I felt too, once I pondered on it for a couple days, I had to research to see if we were correct in our assumption. Thanks for coming over to visit. Talk to you soon!

  • Kallista Dane

    Megan, I really enjoyed this post. I never understood the appeal of age play before, but when you explain the psychological components, it makes perfect sense as to why someone would be attracted to a "Daddy" or "Mommy" figure. Re-framing a situation that had negative feelings attached – I can see how this would be a healing experience.

  • Bella Bryce

    I love your post and not just because I write age-play. I think you really hit all the points but also, like BDSM or any other genre of erotica etc, there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason, either. I personally know exactly why I love age-play but if I did have a fulfilling childhood and still enjoyed it – that's okay too. Alot of times I feel like people tend to be 'creeped out' (why?!) by age-play unless someone tells them they had an abusive childhood and then they are trying harmlessly to relive a bit of it. Well, I put my hand up – that's me. But even if I hadn't, it's bloody good fun! My husband and I have a blast and we have so many secret words and triggers and things that make us look at each other in a crowded room and giggle because of inside jokes associated with our private life.

    In any case, I loved your post 🙂

    Bella x

    • Megan Michaels

      And it all comes down to This Thing We Do! We all do it for different reasons and have different desires and wants and needs, but what it comes down to–we all enjoy it; and what I like or you like or someone else likes is going to be different, because we are all different. Glad you liked the post!

  • Grant Antrews

    Megan, Thanks for examining this. I love the attention that goes with AP, and the intimacy if the lady puts me into diapers and plastic pants. Then, probably in bondage, it is simply inevitable that she will come back later and discover my very shaming secrets. Quite unlike BDSM, I like when she comforts me, cleans me up and changes me. The attention is special, so intimate, and I love the gentleness of it all. BTW, I love the picture at the start of this, the young lady standing nude in the corner clutching a teddy bear. Wonderful! Thanks for delving into this unusual play.

  • Sheri Savill

    Love this post. I've never really understood age play and been too lazy to read about it. So glad I stopped here and read! And everyone's comments — VERY helpful! Normandie, especially, very helpful remarks. The kink tent, it is HUGE. I don't judge, I really don't. After all, people see what I'm into and go, "WTF?" 😉

  • Taffy Davenport

    If your theory for the "littles" in ageplay is that they come from a hard childhood in one way or another, what is your theory on where the drive and desire comes from for the Daddy's (or other "bigs") ?

    You didn't mention anything sexual. In your ageplay stories are the littles sexual with their Daddies, etc?

    • Megan Michaels

      I think Daddies like to nurture–they want to cuddle, caress, take care of, discipline, and help the little become all she can be. The need to be in charge and care for someone is so deep that it is met completely with a little who desires being cared for with the same intensity.

  • Ruth Staunton

    I don't know how I missed this when it was originally published, but I'm very glad I found it. You have completely nailed my interest in ageplay, totally spot on. I agree with you about the psychological roots of it for some people as well, myself included. I swear we were sisters in another life. 🙂

    I'm with you too about the elements that I would incorporate into real life. I have no interest in getting into full-blown ageplay, particularly not the very young style of ageplay that incorporates diapers and the lot. I'm not judging, not at all, Lord knows I've read enough of that style of ageplay; it's just not mine. On the other hand, certain words or phrases, little girl, baby girl, young lady, full names, that kind of thing can make me either absolutely melt or completely freeze on the spot and then drop automatically into feeling all of about six years old.

    • Megan Michaels

      Just saw your comment!! I know you and I are definitely sisters with different mothers. Amazing the similarities we have. I get what you said about phrases–they can throw you back to childhood instantly. Glad you came by!!

  • Jon

    After exploring my interest in masochism, I learned of the whole gamut of BDSM, but found it never reached my emotional needs like age play desires do. Actually sought and received help for my very uncomfortable feelings and drive to be spanked. The work uncovered repressed trauma from childhood spankings. But I'm much happier today knowing what and why I have my desires. Older age diminishes the desire because the emotional feelings of submissiveness that were craved are attached to sexual desire and that ages too, LOL! I can honestly say while I'm not into being a little in age play for general child activities I do really still desire it for discipline and punishment from a female maternal figure. While I imagine feeling 6 or 7 years old again I'm not certain at my now older age I could get into character unless the play partner really like her maternal roll play with discipline. I'd still love to give it a try but the pool of those who enjoy this I've come to understand is quite small and with all the dangers of having such activity suggesting any harm to children being mistaken I can understand why it's a small few who indulge in it. Thanks for the article, it's nice to know I'm not alone with my desires and disappointments at not enjoying a secrete life long dream that likely will just remain that, a dream!

    • Megan Michaels

      I think many, many of us in this kink feel like we are so alone and that no one else gets it. But it's nice to know that there are varying degrees and types—some only want a daddy or mommy so they feel cared for and loved as a child, others want it so they can actually live it out with clothing, bottles, toys, rooms, etc, and other just like being call baby or daddy's girl or mommy's boy with none of the other things. It's so nice that we can all see it and understand it with no judgment. Childhood trauma definitely brings it to the forefront, but there are others that never went through the trauma and still like it. We all just come at the same thing from different angles. Glad you wrote Jon.