The little’s community was not just the first community I encountered when I stumbled into the lifestyle in 2018, but also one of the warmest and most accepting. Despite my lack of familiarity with the language, practices, or dynamic structures, it felt like I had found my people at last. Being “little” is more of a character trait than a hat I wear during a scene. So finding others who had a stuffie collection, enjoyed a cuter aesthetic, and had a habit of randomly nomming their friends was incredibly validating.
Giving my little self greater room to grow, both within the lifestyle and in a vanilla context, has brought me a lot of joy ever since. I’ve never tried to hide my love of adorable clothes or stuffed animals, but at least I no longer feel alone in either of these pursuits. What’s more, at home, I can pretend to be a baby, use a sippy cup, and take a bath with a dozen rubber ducks whenever I want without shame. As I’ve grown closer to my kink side, I’ve discovered more methods to embrace it in public without drawing undue notice from the vanilla crowd. This helps me feel less isolated from the parts of myself that I appreciate.
Sharing Is Caring 🥰
Learning more about the different facets of myself was one of the goals for 2022, while 2023 will be centered around nurturing those sides. Little me has a zest and excitement for life. She’s sweet, energetic, and imaginative. She shows herself most when I’m thinking of fun meals, creating new ideas, or at the beach playing in the waves. I discovered this non-sexual side of my “littleness” is my inner child making an appearance. I don’t want to engage sexually in this headspace and oftentimes activities are centered around softness and fun.
I read about the benefits of nurturing one’s inner child and how it can help with relationships, increase self-awareness, and improve emotional intelligence. For me, ddlg is the perfect arena for safely experimenting with that. As I learned more about ddlg as a fetish and a kink, I had more avenues for letting that side out. Going to events with other little ones to do art projects, have a picnic, or pick pumpkins was extremely fun. Especially if I had a Big with me. A “baby side” has even emerged as part of my self discovery. These smaller sides of my kink provides an emotional satisfaction and solo and partner play is surrounded by nurturing that energy.
For me, dark ageplay seems to play upon the taboo of integrating sexuality as part of the “inner child nurturing” process, which has been all the more exciting for me to experience. While middle me is also a regressive state, she is the headspace I find myself in most often. She is bold, clever, and enjoys a challenge, but she’s a softie at heart. If pressed, she becomes a bit sassy and definitely will play games for the thrill. She appears most often when I’m working on intellectual pursuits and is the source of my playful sexual energy.
The sexual side of the ddlg kink appears most when I’m in a “middle headspace” though I have regressed on occasion with mixed feelings. This is the part of me that wants structure, guidance, protection, and to both be and feel good.That side of me is willing to do anything “Daddy”, “Sir”, or “Sensei” says to get it. This headspace shows up a lot in my scenes and is often integrated with other kinks and fetishes such as bondage or power exchange, and is incredibly satisfying.
Because dark ageplay also plays upon vulnerability and my psyche, it is a kink that I exercise caution with. Especially because the chance of regressing too far past where I’m comfortable is sometimes a possibility. So having both verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate to my partner when I feel “too smol” is crucial to our play.
I enjoy these sides of myself, so giving them more space to stretch their legs has made kink and vanilla life more fun. The more I learned about the sexual and non-sexual side of ddlg and the lifestyle as a whole, the more I felt I was learning about myself.
Entering the BDSM lifestyle has been transformative. Kink and BDSM boil down to playing with vulnerability in creative ways. Opening yourself up to another person to do unusual things to you is no small feat. It takes a vulnerability on both sides and it is precious. In the “lifestyle” aspect of it all, my partner uses that vulnerability to help me improve, reach my personal goals, and, in many cases, heal. Through trial and error, I found that the more I understood the ins and outs of my little and middle side, the more fun, validation, and pleasure I could experience with play partners.
However, if I don’t go through the process of getting to know my different sides, learning what makes them tick, and understanding what they need, it’s not going to be easy to be in tune with my partner. In turn, my partner not only listens to those needs but also makes decisions with my goals, shortcomings, and emotional responses in mind whether we are doing a scene or having after care. There are many ways that I can give little and middle me space outside of the bedroom on my own.
The idea of being your own big is something that initially was very off-putting but has become close to my heart. Little me loves snack time, and it’s up to Big me to provide healthy meals and snacks. Over the last year, I played around with different recipes, snack combinations, and meal times to see what worked best for me. As a full-time worker, I need to be able to have food available that’s easy to prepare and nutritious.
I know I can get cranky and irritable if I don’t eat properly. However, some days are so difficult to cook so I spend time prepping foods on the weekend. On a high energy day, my menu may include air-fried salmon with mushrooms or miso soup with chicken dumplings. On a low-energy day I might combine fruits, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and jerky as a makeshift meal, and even put them on cute little plates to make me feel even smaller.
I try to make meals easy to prepare so I don’t end up eating cereal for dinner, because that’s what a responsible adult would do. Sometimes, tapping into my little space can help inspire me to make more creative meals. I really enjoy experimenting with different tastes, trying weird combinations, and seeing how yummy I can actually make my food.
Outside of a sexual context, my middle side feels more like my default setting. I have always adored the lolita style but never had the opportunity to indulge in it before finding the kink community. I’ve found myself drawn to that style when expressing my middle side. I have both adorable pink options and dark-colored options to fit my mood. By donning the clothes that resonate with my middle side, I can get more in touch with that side of myself.
While I value self-expression, I also value respecting the consent of those around me. Even though I am steeped into the BDSM lifestyle now, the first time I saw someone on a leash was not consensual, and it was very jarring to see in the public space. I think about that when I’m going out in public and reserve things that are obviously ddlg-related for kink events or parties.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t tailor my clothes and accessories to little or middle me. When I am feeling small, I have a variety of clothes that are very adorable but won’t attract the wrong sort of attention from vanilla folk. From overalls to frilly skirts, I’ve cultivated a collection of garments that help me express who I am. Accessories are also a great way for me to feel little or middle. I’ll add bangles, bracelets, or a variety of bright-colored and neutral-colored bows to my ensemble. A part of me feels like a secret agent trying to blend in with the vanillas, it feels very fun, slightly sneaky, and my brat side is very entertained by it all.
To me, being a 24/7 little simply means that I am in tune with the needs of my little and try to give my little side as much space as is feasible. In combination with what I wear, what that looks like in my day-to-day life is having activities throughout my day, week, and month that do just that. While going to kink events is a great way to make space for my little, there are times where events are too spaced out apart, too far for me to get to, or outside of my price range for little me to really stretch her legs. So rather than wait for events to occur, I try to create opportunities elsewhere.
This can mean choosing social events that bring out my best energy—music events, museums, or taking a dance class. It can also mean incorporating little energy into other areas of life. I do a quarterly audit of myself to see where I am on my goals, evaluate any recurring headspaces, and see where I need to make improvements. In these areas, I try to incorporate little energy into my plans.
For example, little me loves to color and, at my day job, I have to do X amount of tasks per month. So in order to keep myself on track, I have a sheet where I can color in a square for a certain amount of tasks done. This keeps me motivated to work on my focus and gives me a sense of immediate gratification (which appeals to little me) when I see the color. As of this writing, I’m going to have an actual picture to color instead of blocks. That way, as the month goes along, I get to see a beautiful picture.
I’ve always loved the idea of a discipline based dynamic. While I’ve always had tenacity, ambition, and passion, I’ve struggled with consistency and discipline in many areas of my life. I get really excited about ideas and goals but have trouble with execution. My dynamic is based on discipline and my Sensei ensures that I meet the goals I’ve set for myself. Though we have a TPE sort of dynamic, there are certain areas that I have sole dominion (such as matters of food & diet). What I’ve learned from my dynamic is the usefulness of rituals, routine, and protocols.
For example, I learned that my mental and physical health is very sensitive to my dietary and sleep habits. Food is not something I have turned over to my current Dominant due to some traumatic things in my past. That being said, I do have the desire to eat healthy so I took the same structure provided to me by my Dominant in other areas and recreated a working model for my diet. I researched the best foods for my wellness goals and health factors, testing out recipes, unraveling my emotional attachments to food, and learning the difference between what “full” and “satisfied” felt like in my body. I considered if little me was her own entity, what would I want her to eat?
So along the way, I created a list of healthy foods to choose from and an eating schedule that works for me. My little is my source of creativity and when it comes to creating new recipes to try (based on the healthy food list) she is really happy to have the chance to be innovative. In this way, cooking is also an expression of my little. She’s not afraid to make a mess for the sake of a new dish and is willing to be a good girl and clean afterwards.
Littleness goes deeper than wearing a onesie for me. I can be little in action and perspective. The gym? It’s the playground. Going to work? It’s school with no homework (hooray!) but my “homework” might be working on my next game plan for a career move. I even have “after-school” activities. With a little creativity, the mundane can be magical. Every day is an opportunity for little me to have fun, learn, and play.
I also spent a majority of the year testing out activities, observing things my Dominant did to soothe me, and researching best mental health practices to create ways to operate in other areas of my life. During the last quarter of 2022, I created a personalized list called the “Good Girl Cultivation List” which has a variety of relaxing, productive, and health related tasks for me to complete. Things like “eat a healthy meal”, “ukulele time”, “watch a relaxation video”, and “write for 10 minutes” are on that list. Little me looks forward to stamping my weekly sheet every time I complete an activity. Some activities like “bubble party”, where I use my bubble machine outside, are designed to help channel little me and aid in relaxation.
Being an “adult” shouldn’t mean I have to give up things I like. Too many adults stifle their inner child in favor of adulthood’s obligations, but I refuse to accept that as the only valid way to go through life. By integrating littleness into my day in a more organic way, I find I can experience much more balance, peace, and happiness. When life is making it hard to do that, I make the necessary Big Girl moves so create an environment where little me has space.
By Scarlette Hemsworth
Scarlette is a polyamorous kinkster, freelance writer, sex worker, and indie author based out of California. She was introduced to the kink world in 2018 and identifies as a 24/7 little, sub, and ABDL. Scarlette enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and building terrariums in her spare time.
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