Littleness & Me

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A few days ago I wrote about my overlap with the kink community. Not in a sexual area, but in a playful soft area.

I mentioned the ‘little / babyfur’ communities and a couple of folks asked what that meant.

This post is an explainer of the terms and how they overlap with my experiences of being autistic.

Identity is complex. I’m not a little or a babyfur in the true sense. As I understand it in both those communities folks ‘adopt’ a persona as a role play. That doesn’t diminish the importance to them. But it is different for me. I can’t do many of the grown ups things. I am always Jamie and I am always kinda ‘little’

That’s the lens I come with for the discussion of autism & kink from.

I can choose how to view myself. I’d rather be an awesome bouncy big kid, accepting support where I need it and being valued as I am. Rather than a tired, stressed and very broken pretend grown up. That’s how I ended up getting hurt / hit by cars / burning out.

I like the term little. It describes my experiences the best. Other parts of the community identify as ABDL, age play or sometimes ‘infantilism’. A ‘babyfur’ is someone who role plays as a small animal rather than a human. Same idea, just flooofier.

To me my ‘littleness’ and autistic needs are so tightly overlapped it’s impossible to separate them.

My ‘littleness’ comes down to four main areas: approach, environment design, equipment and clothing.

A little approach

The default way to approach my life is to pretty much assume I am 5. Or at least, I was 5, since my spinal cord injury that’s gone down a bit. Often something more toddlery… Anyway, I digress.

The little approach is about keeping life fun, playful, safe and simple.

Whether i’m visiting a museum, planning an adventure, cooking with someone in the kitchen or simply having a shower, we always start with a little lens.

It’s part of why I sometimes refer to support as ‘babysitting’. Especially if I am tired, that’s a much more accurate description.

Environment design

My flat is designed more like a preschool than a normal flat. Especially my bedroom. The little kid / toddlery aesthetic is really appealing to me. It just feels so much nicer. It’s what I am drawn too.

I find being home alone exceptionally difficult and always have. Having my flat be simple, soft and safe is a key part of what enables me to be home alone at all.

We ‘Jamie proof’ all the things. For example chemicals, knives and anything hot or sharp are all kept away from me. It’s too easy for me to hurt myself. To many close calls. Childproof caps have saved the day too many times.

I find a lot of ‘mainstream’ environments very difficult and overwhelming. Places like hotel rooms or shops are very difficult for me.

I much prefer my flat to be little and fun and avoid anything ‘clinical’.

Equipment / Furniture

Part of my environment is my furniture and other ‘equipment’. The little lens is handy here too.

Furniture wise, the biggest thing is my bed. It’s sorta a toddler bed / crib hybrid.. It was custom made for me and has been one of the biggest ‘quality of life’ improvements ever. It keeps me safe and I sleep so much better.

More recently the buggies are back in my life in a huge way. The safe, enclosed & reclined position is perfect. It’s one of the few places I can sit which doesn’t cause a flare up of tailbone pain.

Finally almost everything in my flat is from the kids and baby section.

For example, bowls, plates, cutlery, sippy cups, bottles etc. It’s just my default. It’s extremely pragmatic and it also makes me smile. Also toys. So many toys… and bedding… and….

Clothing

Ah, I’ve left it to last but it’s the big one. I love babyish / little clothing. I have onesies, rompers, sleepers, shortalls etc. Plus fun print PJs. Even the odd dress and skirt (sensory wooo!).

There are lots of companies who make this stuff for the little community and it works so exceptionally well for a lot of autistic people too. It’s a source of wonderful comfort and sensory joy.

A lot of littles also like nappies. My relationship with them is a little more complicated.

Nappies are a useful tool and the little lens makes them easier to accept. But I wouldn’t say I’m super keen. I use lots of different types of underwear.. There are a lot of companies who make cute and fun adult nappies. It’s nice to have a choice. It helps them to be less upsetting.

Final thoughts.

I’ve covered a lot about what littleness is and how it fits into my life. I’m glad I can be more open.

I don’t think anything here is new. I’ve written about it all before. It’s just using a different name and identifying the overlap with another community.

Embracing littleness and the tools it offers enables me to thrive. Being autistic is often hard, but my life can be joyful in my own way :)

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Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr