A is for AGE PLAY

IMG_1492In the same breath as any discussion ‘Age Play’ comes the disclaimer (clear boundary explanation?) that this play is happening between consenting adults only.  It is important that this be said out loud (particularly for the uninitiated) because there are few unexplored taboos in the Kink/Fetish community (this is why it’s the kink/fetish community!).  The unexplored taboos we accept are generally regarded as healthy boundaries and held onto for pretty sound reasons.  Clearly negotiating consent between adults is the central pillar to how safely and sanely exploring limits and taboos works.  In line with that concept, the broad-base accepted hard limits of the kink ‘community’ are often described as: No Real Underage Kids, No Real Animals.  Tacked onto that shortlist, each Kinkster has personal preferences and boundaries including hard and soft limits of their own, because let’s face it: just because you like to break or play with one cultural or personal taboo, does not mean you are even remotely interested in exploring another!

But, asides aside, lets talk about this Age Play kink thing already!  Age Play is an interesting kink on a lot of levels.  Obviously it touches on a taboo that many people may feel intensely about engaging in (even just conceptually) for psychological, emotional, or experiential reasons.  The idea of “age disparity” and the idea of “sexuality” in one sentence can be triggering.  Here are some of my thoughts on the subject in light of age play being a kink one might WANT to engage in:

So what exactly IS this Age Play you speak of?  Well, Age Play is any type of play/scene/scenario you and your partner(s) are engaged in where you are purposefully playing a different age than you happen to be in reality.  You can age play as older or as a younger age than you actually are.

Why would you want to engage in age play?  For every person who engages in age play there is a different reason to play:  Maybe you want to explore regressing back to a time when things were simpler and where you feel cared for by someone else – to be responsible for nothing and taken care of completely.  Maybe you want to push some limits and play the part of the bad-girl teenager you were too innocent to have enacted in real life, or you want to revisit the scenario of having sex for the first time with your High School sweetheart or with some archetype of a kid in class you never found the courage to befriend.  Maybe you really get off on the idea of role playing in general and being a different or defined age really appeals to you.  Perhaps there is something a little more personal or therapeutic in your interest – some people may want to reenact a traumatic event they experienced when they were younger to try and claim pleasure or safety in the situation by choosing it as an adult.  Or maybe you want to overcome the fears a particular scenario evokes by exploring it with trusted and safe play partners.  Maybe you love the way dressing up and acting like a little kid or like a responsible and caring parental figure looks and feels like.  Maybe the idea of being spanked or disciplined as if you were a child appeals, or the sensation of wearing onsies or diapers or sucking your thumb and carrying a blankie is comforting.  Where there is an age disparity in a scene there is also potential to explore a D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship dynamic as well or enjoy a simple clearly defined power exchange.  From another perspective, maybe you wish to fulfill your partner’s desire to be a “little” or you really enjoy care taking and the protective aspect of being a “Big/Mommy/Daddy” in your scene.  Perhaps you’d like to discipline your partner and the idea of them being your student or child or a person in your custody is intriguing to you.  Maybe just the idea of being older in the scene is an exciting or confidence inspiring prospect.  Or maybe you always wanted to play the “bad guy” persona in a taboo scenario (coercive teacher, abusive priest, angry parent…).

As you can see, there are so many ways to enter into age play territory, and so many opportunities to get different things from the experience.  If you were to consider age play, what might your “in” be?

How does one approach Age Play?  There are a lot of different activities and types of play in this realm.  The first thing you might want to think about when approaching age play is what age you’d like to visit and what you’d like to get from the experience:  Are you interested in being a Dirty Old Man?  Maybe playing a 2 year old scribbling in a coloring book and being taken care of non-sexually by her “Mommy” sounds like a great afternoon activity?  You could be a teenager sneaking out of the house without her parents knowing and get caught by the cops.  Are you interested in diaper play where you could have a Mommy/Daddy/Babysitter caring for you and changing you?  Or perhaps inserting another kink into the situation is intriguing to you: chastity play through diaper use – it’s a thing, look it up.  Do you want your play to be sexual or strictly sensual or neither (childhood games and simple care-taking activities)?

Exploring your personal curiosities and articulating goals out loud are great ways to start communicating with your partners about what you’d like to try out.

So, is Age Play sexual or isn’t it?  Like so many things “kink”, this depends entirely on you!  Kink explorations run the gamut for different people.  Some people really separate the sex out of their kink and see the two as different things that they engage in at different times; often even with different sets of people.  Some people are open to acknowledging a certain level of sexual energy which might develop in a scenario, and if it makes sense or comes about organically will keep the option to play sexually on the table.  And some people just feel that kink is another type of foreplay, and what’s the point if it doesn’t lead to sex.  Regardless of how you feel in general about the separation (or not) between sexuality and kink activities, you’ll probably find that the particular relationship you have with the people you’re playing with will change your view of these things case by case.  There is no wrong way to play as long as what you’re doing is consensual and not creating harm between all of the parties involved.  Engaging in clear pre-scene negotiation that includes a conversation about sexual boundaries, STI status, barrier preferences, other partner(s) and any pre-existing agreements, and clearly consenting or not consenting to various forms of sexual touch are great points to hit on before actually engaging in play.

This is also important because you want the scene you’re walking into to play out in a way that’s enjoyable to everyone involved.  For example, if you come to the table ready to be coerced into a hot and completely “inappropriately sexual situation” by your partner, but that person can’t really get into being coercive, yet was interested in trying the scene out because they really love the idea of sensually care taking for their “young prodigy” in more sensual yet not sexual ways, neither one of you is going to be satisfied by or comfortable with the probable results when you try to play it out.  However, by talking it through beforehand and having the courage to state the kind of play you are interested in, saying your goals out loud, and describing how you want to feel and what that might look like will get you far closer to a scenario that works for everyone involved.  That, and practice makes perfect!  That, and don’t be afraid to stop a scene and renegotiate or check in if it seems to be going in a direction you hadn’t expected or don’t feel comfortable with.  Consider taking a little time to critique (kindly and in a caring manner) what worked about the play and what didn’t at some point after you’re done.  Next time you’ll know more about what turns you and your partner(s) on and be better at doing it for one another!

Photo on 2013-09-02 at 18.15

Do I look younger than 35? I am thinking young!

So Karin, What were your experiences with this particular kink like?  Good question, I’m glad you asked!  This was a really interesting kink for me to start out with because the idea of “age play” as a thing never really piqued my interest.  However, what I discovered as I thought more deeply about it, is that a couple of my tried and true fantasies absolutely contain an age-based power dynamic within them.  The more I considered those fantasies, the more I realized they were a great opportunity to explore age play for me.  So, I set it up.  The scenario was your typical teacher/student fantasy dynamic, and I was the student being held after class to answer for inappropriate behavior, blackmailed into servicing the teacher’s fantasies, and I was open to the scene building up to becoming sexual in nature.

The actual experience of the journey was an interesting one, and I got a lot out of it.  I was surprised at how easy it was to slip into the role of the teenage girl, and I remembered clearly that love/hate feeling of being turned on by someone older than myself and the accompanying fear and curiosity that triggered.  My boundaries were clearer than I thought they would be in the scene, and at one point I had to recalibrate my character’s reserves to accommodate the scene moving forward in a way that suited the trajectory my partner and I had decided on.  I was surprised at the things my “Teacher” wanted to do in the scene, and curious about them in a way I haven’t felt curious about bondage or restraint in the past.  When the scene ended there was a moment I was both disappointed to return to the known-ness of the sexual/sensual reality the “adult I” understands, and at the same time I felt a release that I could play more freely and with less heady reserves than I’d been feeling earlier…  All in all a very intriguing headspace to be in, and an intriguing headspace to leave behind.

Final thoughts:  The scene could have gone further, but I enjoyed the exploration a lot and would love to try it again.  There are aspects of the scene I’d want to develop or push harder to have a deeper experience of particular emotions, or to find out what else might come up for me.  All in all it was a pretty successful evening of fun with a great play date where I got to try out something new.

Where can I learn more?*  Some of the best references I’ve come across are on the Kink Academy website.  Really clear discussions about the subject and ideas about how to play are laid out in short video clips by Lee Harrington, Penny Barber, Domina Alexandra Snow, and other well spoken and fun to learn from educators.  I suggest checking that site out for a lot of educational ideas on how to play.  Read up on the subject in various books and consider checking out a local or regional Kink Convention to see if they offer classes in the subject, or a “littles” area in their play space/dungeon.  There may be local meet-ups for people who are into age play or identify as Littles.  Talk to a partner and read this blog together!  Maybe just the suggestion of trying something out will lead you to discover new fun games to play.  These are all great places to start, and this blog is a very basic introduction to the idea of age play – there is so much more out there.

Have fun talking to your friends, lovers, partners, and playmates.  Where there is a curiosity there’s an opportunity to learn about and try something new…

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

 

(*If you like the Kink Academy website and would like to get a subscription, please consider using any of the links on my blog to get to their subscription page; as I’m an affiliate of their website I’ll take home a portion of the proceeds.  Thank you in advance.)

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and consider supporting me, or just click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

Questions, curiosities, or just wanna know more? Email: Karin@ABCsOfKink.com

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