When I see that old Pampers box

[This is one of a few personal history stories I’m sharing here. It’s one of the first things I ever wrote about the early years of my fetish. It was originally at the Experience Project, which is now a shadow of the special place it used to be. I posted this to a group called “I love disposable diapers” — which as you’ll see I generally don’t. But the name of the group sparked some really strong memories about feelings I had when I was in my early teens.]

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Actually I don’t really love disposable diapers. I much prefer the old-fashioned cloth diapers, pins, plastic baby pants and thick (and wet) cloth training pants I used to wear. But I have a special relationship with 1970s Pampers like the ones in the old logo for this group…

That relationship started almost as soon as I realized how much I was aroused by wetting. My interest was ‘born’ suddenly and unexpectedly alongside my sexual awakening. In a way I didn’t understand at the time but have come to think is pretty common, I’d connected the new bliss and release of orgasm to old childish feelings of losing control and peeing my pants.

I spent a lot of secret time in my room and the bathroom, exploring and combining those two feelings. Those wet games led to memories of all my ‘accidents’ as a younger child, and then to the oddly thrilling fact that as a baby and small child in my toilet-training stage I’d spent years doing the wetting part of what I was enjoying so much now. Each box of Pampers was an embarrassing, exciting, unexpectedly arousing reminder of that curious part of life, and my own and everyone else’s past. Babies got to do what I was doing. They wet themselves. They toddled or sat or lay there and peed in their pants. I’d done it all day long at their age too, though I couldn’t remember it. Every baby I saw was snugly pinned (or taped) in a diaper, because they might wet themselves at any time. Not just might: they would. They might very well have done it already. They peed in their strollers. They peed in their car seats and high chairs. They did it in their beds as they slept, and while they played, and as people were cuddling them or telling them a story.

The fact that I was doing it again, sometimes while imagining what it had felt like when I was one of them, was one of my biggest secrets in the world. The other was the way it felt when I was indulging in my “big boy” form of play in my wet pants afterward.

I hadn’t really thought about what it was like to be a baby before that, but I know I’d thought babies cried when they were wet. Being so little that you couldn’t stop helplessly peeing on yourself had seemed as embarrassing, uncomfortable and gross as anything I could imagine. We’re all taught that as part of potty training, and being stuck in diapers soaked with your own pee sounded pretty awful.

Now, as I was wetting for pleasure any chance I got, I wondered if I might have actually liked all that warm pee spreading through my pants as a baby too.

I’d never really noticed boxes of Pampers before, but there suddenly seemed to be a lot of them around. In store displays. In my parents’ magazines and in ads on TV. At the curb on trash day. When I saw them, or anything else to do with diapers (there were still lots of cloth ones hanging on clotheslines too) I couldn’t help thinking about exactly what they were used for: what was going to happen in each one of them, and what it would feel like if I were the one doing it. I would see babies little enough to still be wearing them and confusingly but undeniably envy the real possibility that they were already wet, and the certainty that they were going to be within an hour or two at most.

There was an extra edge of daring and taboo to these thoughts because, when I was little, anything to do with going to the bathroom was really awkward in my family, and not meant to be seen or mentioned. As a kid, even having anyone know I needed to go had been squirmingly uncomfortable. I’d sometimes even wet my pants before I told anyone how desperate I was. Having wet pants or a wet bed and being about to be found out were pretty much my worst childhood memories.

So there was a powerful mix of childhood shame, babyish innocence and adolescent arousal going on all at once when I thought about the secret thing happening around me in all those Pampers. It was a potent mix, that sent tingles up my spine. I loved it when people talked about diapers openly, or when I saw ads that were honest about what babies needed to wear Pampers for, in a way my family would never have said out loud. Like in a TV ad with two moms in a car looking at their small boys in the back seat and saying, “This traffic — they’ll be soaking by the time we get home.”

Or one in a magazine that seemed to be written to appeal directly to my limitless fascination with what it had felt like when I ‘did it’ in the diapers and plastic pants my parents put on me as a baby: “Of course when you were born, they didn’t have diapers like Pampers. So when you wet, you stayed wet, until somebody changed you.”

Disposable diapers weren’t fancy in those days. No leg gathers, no protection at the waist, no absorbent gel. It wasn’t unusual to see signs of what babies wearing them did, in the form of wet spots on their pants, at the backs of their legs or up at the waist. The ads around then would often show a competing brand that had leaked in these ways, embarrassing everyone.

I got a little thrill out of finding and reading Pampers ads in magazines and seeing them on TV, and even started looking for them. I’d sneak a look at the packages when we walked down the baby aisle at the store. The baby on those Pampers boxes looked so contented. There was a lot of variety to my wetting games, but there were times that I imagined being that blissfully relaxed Pampers baby, putting one of those diapers to use as I let go “like a baby” in my own pants in the bathroom or my room.

Most daringly of all, I had a game I would play sometimes on my way home from school. One of the rules was that whenever I saw one of those Pampers boxes I had to let go and do a little of what they were meant for, right then and there. (But that’s another story that I’ve already told here.)

So … I don’t really love disposable diapers. But that’s what every picture I see of the Pampers boxes from that exact time brings back to me.

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