After doing a fair amount of research on the age play lifestyle before I started writing Learning to be Little, I thought I'd share a bit of insight into my perspective on the topic. As a lifestyle, age play is often misunderstood as a form of pedophilia. It isn't, and I made sure my hero spelled that fact out to his Little quite clearly. The following is a scene between Kelly Franklin and her new daddy Graham White. They are seated in a cafe eating lunch and discussing an experience they shared with another age play family that took them both by surprise.
Though privately Kelly was still his little girl, when they were in public, Daddy spoke to her as he would to a young adult. He didn't offer to feed her during their outdoor excursions, but he did correct her table manners and posture, which Kelly accepted as her due.
All the same, this afternoon had raised several uncertainties in Kelly's mind, so she admitted, "I'm curious about some things, sir. May I ask a few questions?"
"As long as you do so quietly, I don't see any problem with that."
"Do Littles usually have both a mommy and a daddy?'
"No. At least not from what I've seen. Most have one or the other."
"And what about the other?"
He frowned. "Could you be a bit more specific?"
"Sex," she whispered.
"You want to know if that's included in the majority of age play relationships?"
"Almost always, in one form or another."
"With both the mommy and the daddy?"
"Typically, yes, but each partnership is unique."
"So, do you secretly want to have sex with kids?"
"No, Kelly," he said firmly. "I believe I've told you before that I have no desire to possess a child or a minor sexually."
"Then, I don't get it. Why do you do this if you aren't interested in children that way?"
"Let me ask you a question. How do you feel when I take care of you, not in my room, but in yours?"
"You mean the nighty-night—"
"No. I mean being cared for like a child. Having all decisions made for you, including what you wear, eat, and do for the day. Do you find that liberating?"
"I'm not sure. I like it when you wash and comb my hair, but I'd enjoy that even as an adult."
"How about when I treat you like an infant?"
Giving her shoulders a shrug, she admitted, "Sometimes I like it. When I've got cramps, it's nice having everything done for me. Though the food could be better."
He laughed. "All right, I'll give you that one. Although I notice you finish all your milk without complaint."
Grinning back at him, she said, "But that's because of the special medicine you put in it to help me sleep."
He returned her smile and shook his head. "We're getting off track. The thing is, I like having you rely on me for all your needs. I like being the one in charge and taking care of you. But I only enjoy it because you don't require any of those things from me in reality. Does that make sense?"
She considered his words, then gave another shrug. "You take pleasure from doing things for me, but only because I don't really need you to do them." After pausing for a moment, she added, "I still don't get it."
"It's not an easy concept to verbalize, but the fact that you're an adult who's agreed to be my child and behave like one at my will is—fulfilling for me. And I'd like to think you find some enjoyment from it as well."
Did she enjoy being treated as a little girl? "You make me feel loved and cared for, as if I am special to you."
"You are special, and you're mine, and I am very possessive."
"You also like telling me what to do."
"In part, yes, I do. But I also enjoy doing things that make life better for you. Both now and later. It pleases me to take care of you by making sure you eat balanced meals, get at least nine hours sleep, and live what I consider to be a stress-free existence. You don't need to worry about anything. I'll do all your worrying for you."
Nodding, Kelly ate her sandwich as she considered everything he'd said. He did make all her decisions for her when they were at home. Today, the most complicated decision she'd made was what she'd have for lunch, and even those choices were limited. She no longer worried about how she would live or make enough money to eat. Everything was provided for her. In some ways, it was a very cushy life.
My story is different in the fact that though my age play couple are lovers, they aren't married, nor are they ever likely to wed. Kelly agrees to be Graham's little girl and even signs a contract to that effect. There are times when she doesn't enjoy the activities he insists she submit to within their relationship, but as the Little or submissive what she is permitted to do or how she is treated isn't her decision. It is his. She isn't given a safe word, nor is she permitted to say no to his decisions. Graham does, however, allow her to express her dissatisfaction in an age-appropriate way, but if she's bratty or disrespectful about it, she can face punishment as will happen in most dominant/submissive relationships.
But real life is often quite different from what is portrayed in romantic fiction. In real life, casual participants consider age play to be a form of role-playing (dress up and age regression) with or without dominance and submission, while those who adopt a more serious attitude consider age play to be a lifestyle choice within a D/s relationship, and usually refer to it as DD/lg (Daddy Dom/little girl). Even though there's a difference between the two kinks, I'm combining them under age play solely for ease of convenience and the fact more readers are familiar with the term. However, most age play involves the Little being regressed in age and dressed for the part, while DD/lg is based less on outward appearance and more on the inward journey of nurturing the Little that resides within and bringing it to life. Though age regression can play a part in the DD/lg relationship, it more often doesn't.
Graham considers his relationship with Kelly to be more of lifestyle preference than playing dress up. He enjoys the age regression component of age play and insists Kelly assume different ages based on his desire, but he is definitely a dominant and considers their activities as part of BDSM. And though it isn't at all what Graham proposes when he approaches Kelly, it is also possible for an age play relationship to be non-sexual in nature.
As her Daddy Dom, Graham White takes care of his Little in every way possible. She is adored and cherished as his daughter unless she is permitted into his bedroom. There, he adores and cherishes her as the young woman she truly is. He prefers to draw the line between his Little and his lover, but he also admits that's not true for all age play partners. For some, part of the attraction is having sexual relations with your lover while they are in their Little persona. And that's true for the majority of age play romances available on the market today. There's no real separation between Little and lover, and that's how the partners prefer it.
Within the dominant/submissive relationships of DD/lg, age play can enhance the inherent power dynamics in the relationship, and allow a partner to feel more comfortable with their dominance or submission. Where casual age play can be simply dress up and role playing, on the whole, DD/lg is taken more seriously by its participants and viewed as the D/s part of BDSM. So, like all BDSM activities, the interaction should be entirely consensual between partners, even if a component of their dynamic is non-consent.
That said, and as I mentioned earlier, no matter how the relationships are structured, age play is not considered pedophilia or related to pedophilia by professional psychologists. Individuals who participate in age play either enjoy portraying children, or enjoy taking care of an adult who is displaying childlike elements typical of children. But age play does not involve the sexual attraction to biologically underage people.
A fine line, perhaps, but an important one, as Graham makes it clear to Kelly. He finds the fact she is an adult who's agreed to be his little girl and behave like one at his will fulfilling. He also sets out to make sure she is happy and gratified by their relationship as well.
Whether you consider age play to be a role playing game, or a lifestyle preference, there's no right or wrong way to embrace the dynamic. Some may find even the thought of the practice disturbing, just as some find being whipped or flogged a disturbing activity as well. Personal tastes vary, but as long as activity is conducted between consenting adults, each to his or her own.
I'll include links to other articles on age play and the DD/lg dynamic that you might find interesting. Read and enjoy.
If you want to read more about Kelly and her new daddy, you can read the first chapter on Amazon. It is free on Kindle Unlimited and only $4.99 for purchase.