WHAT IS A LITTLE?
Most littles take the role of a submissive child in age play. There are switch littles and (rare) Dominant littles, but overwhelmingly it is a sub role.
I will define age play as a scene or time (or entire relationship) in which one person (usually the submissive) acts and may dress as if younger in age, ranging from infant to adult child. That’s a somewhat controversial definition, because others will say that age play is a role-playing game only and so it’s not what true littles “do”. I’m just keeping it general. I’m using it to mean “the time when a little is able to go into littlespace” (see below).
Age play may or may not include sexual relations. It usually revolves around the nurturing relationship of parent/child or teacher/student, but the naughty or sexy elements of that relationship may be an important part of the kick.
Contrary to popular belief, littles don’t need to be waif-thin, pale, tiny little things. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They also come in both genders, and as gender-fluid too. They come hetero, homo, bi and asexual. They also come with a wide range of interests. Not every little likes race cars or cartoons or colouring books.
I hope that all sounded obvious to you, but for many people it’s not and I wanted to get a few misconceptions out of the way early.
You don’t have to have a significant other, Dominant or not, to be a little. It’s not the relationship that defines you, it’s you. If you identify as a little, then you’re a little.
I’m going to call these Daddy/little relationships because I feel most comfortable writing that way, but you can read it as Mommy/little if that’s the way you roll. A few other abbreviations you’ll find on the internet:
• ABDL – adult baby diaper lovers
• DD/lg – Dominant Daddy / little girl (lb for little boy)
I’m generalising somewhat by calling everyone who goes into alternate-age-spaces “littles”. There are middles and bigs too, and they have some different characteristics, but I’ll save that for another post.
It’s also worth noting that in the gay leather community there is a Daddy-boy dynamic that is nothing to do with age play at all. A leatherboy is not necessarily the same as a little boy, and a leather Daddy does not necessarily take on the same role or have the same characteristics as the Dominant Daddy referred to in the littles community.
Although the DD/lb is probably the archetypal little relationship, it’s not the only one and other types of relationships (mono and poly) are actually very common in the little community. Two littles together can have a lot of fun.
WHAT DOES A LITTLE DO IN A RELATIONSHIP?
You’ve heard of subspace and Domspace, so here’s another one… littlespace. It’s that space where the little slips into a younger mind frame. Most change their behavior and way of speaking, using “baby talk” or less mature vernacular. That may be all, or they may engage in diaper play and age play.
In a relationship (which could be a scene or could be a long term relationship), a significant other, typically Dominant, may assign rules or guidelines, tasks, and assignments. Some examples are bedtimes, rules for getting household tasks and homework done in a timely manner, and being polite. The goal of the tasks is to suspend or hold the little in littlespace, and they are often structured with the intention of looking out for, guiding, and helping the little to become a better person.
HEALING IN LITTLESPACE
littles are not children, they are not immature nor irresponsible. Most have stressful, demanding and challenging schedules outside of their littlespace. They may have a very important job, a grueling course load in school, or very important roles in their family/community.
littlespace is a place to unwind. It provides peace in the letting go of responsibility for a safe time. The beauty of littlespace is often the feeling of not being responsible for everything, even if it’s just for a short time.
A responsible Daddy, Mommy or significant other protects them in their vulnerability and helps them create a healing space, where they can take care of themselves, instead of taking care of everybody else all the time.
• Adult Little Girls and Daddy Doms – Who’s Your Daddy?
• A Little Understanding – What is a Daddy Dom?
• Dominant Life – What is a Daddy Dom?
• In Daddy’s Arms – What is the DD/lg Dynamic?
• Understanding Infantilism – The ABDL Triangle
• The Big Little Podcast
– Gay Male Daddies and boys
– Long Distance Littles
– Troubled Littles
– Middles, Mediums & Those Who Love Them
– Queer Age Play
– There are also adult baby groups and many (many!) general and niche DD/lg FetLife groups. Just type what you’re looking for into the search box on the site and sift the results