DDLG Psychology and Controversy

Posted by Anna Bergeron on

When you start exploring the world of sex and sex toys, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and find things that you might initially view as disturbing. Many aspects of BDSM relationships and roleplay, as well as toys such as penis plugs, chastity cages and sex dolls can all raise questions about whether this is something you should be interested in.

Exploring “dark and depraved” scenarios in the bedroom can not only seem dangerous or inappropriate, they can even raise questions about the psychological impact on the participants.

One such area is DDLG. A fetish where one partner will take on the role of a child, and the other a carer. As you might expect, DDLG is often looked at unfavourably by those outside the fetish, especially due to the sexual nature some of these relationships explore.

In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the challenges faced by couples who wish to experiment with DDLG, and how you can approach those who might question your choices in the bedroom.

DDLG and Psychology

The most obvious consideration is whether DDLG can be harmful to you. This isn’t just a consideration specific to DDLG but is often brought up concerning the wider BDSM community.

There is also often a view that people who enjoy DDLG or BDSM must be damaged or mentally unhealthy in some way. They enjoy things that “normal” people don’t enjoy or like, so they must not be normal.

Luckily, there has been research done specifically into these kinds of relationships, and the results tend to be better than people imagine. While older research such as that done by Freud views many of our fetishes and fantasies as disorders that can be treated, most modern research paints a completely different picture.

In fact, not only do a lot of more modern studies find that many BDSM practitioners are perfectly happy and healthy, they also tend to find that these people are more healthy than those who don’t enjoy bedroom kinks. Some of the potential ways you can benefit include:

  • Being more willing and open to experiencing new things.
  • Less sensitivity to rejection.
  • A higher level of conscientiousness.
  • Less likely to suffer neuroticism.
  • Being more extraverted and willing to talk to other people.
  • Subjectively experiencing higher levels of well-being.

There are also those who believe many of these “darker” fantasies are much more deeply rooted in the human experience, and even if they don’t come to the surface, we all have these desires deep within us. Many believe that by experiencing and expressing our darker side, we give ourselves a release, which stops these emotions and feelings becoming bottled up inside us.

DDLG also explores to fundamental aspects of human nature. We are all caring creatures deep down, although some of us enjoy being cared for, while others enjoy caring for others. Through a DDLG relationship, you can indulge this tendency in a completely safe way, which can provide all kinds of benefits and improvements to your mood.


Even when everything is carefully planned and executed, BDSM practises can leave participants in an altered state of mind. To ensure no long-term mental damage, anyone who tries any kind of BDSM scene is encouraged to set aside ample time afterwards for aftercare.

Learn more about aftercare in our BDSM guide, and make sure you check our safety tips before experimenting with any new fetishes.

Do Little's Have Daddy Issues?

Another common concern is that people who enjoy playing the role of the little will have unresolved daddy issues (or other childhood trauma). By enjoying a relationship where they are properly cared for, or safely “mistreated” by their daddy, they can enjoy the idea of the way their childhood could have been.

We can’t say for sure if DDLG and childhood trauma are related, but there are people on both sides of the coin. Some have completely normal and healthy upbringings, and simply just enjoy DDLG. Others can find it therapeutic to relive or change their childhoods, and by indulging in DDLG they can come to terms with some of these issues.

Whatever the case, it’s largely irrelevant. The only important thing is that if you do DDLG, you enjoy DDLG. Don’t just do it because your partner wants you to!

DDLG Controversies

Although many people around the world enjoy DDLG and BDSM relationships with no harm to themselves at all, there are still some things that people find “wrong” about this kind of play.

Exploring aspects of childhood, punishment, and bondage, or even sadism and masochism can cause psychological harm for some people. It’s important if you are in one of these relationships, that you are always paying attention to your own mind. If you feel that the relationship is becoming harmful to you, then talk to your partner, and if necessary, seek medical help.

Sex and DDLG

Even the mention of children and sex in the same sentence can be enough to make some people squirm, so it’s no surprise that the most common controversy around DDLG is the fact that some of these relationships are sexual.

While some DDLG couples will make use of sex toys and accessories such as submissive collars, BDSM accessories, or even butt plugs and dildos, just as many DDLG couples have totally standard sex. The main difference is that they may be playing a role during sex.

What most people forget is that similar elements are also present in many kinds of relationship. Ultimately, if they are two consenting adults, then how they behave in the bedroom is their business.

Read more about DDLG and sex in our guide.

Why DDLG is NOT Pedophilia

A common reason for people to look down on DDLG relationships is the associations one can draw between it and pedophilia.

It’s important to state straight away, that these are two completely different things. If your DDLG play is taking place between two consenting adults, then it’s completely fine.

Rather than a sexual attraction to children, DDLG is much more focused on exploring and enjoying the headspace of a younger person. It’s about experiencing the world through new eyes and enjoying a relationship in a different way.

On top of this, many DDLG relationships don’t even have a sexual component, and are simply about the love and care between two people.

Why Some People Find DDLG Creepy?

Despite this, some people will simply never be able to shake the idea that DDLG is “creepy” or “wrong”.

Unfortunately, this will simply always be something you’ll experience if you enjoy this kind of relationship. Many people are very vanilla, and dislike anything outside of the ordinary. If you attempt to talk to these kinds of people, they will remain closed-minded and not really be interested in hearing your side of the story.

If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is to simply remove yourself from it. If your play is taking place between two adults, and is safe, sane, and consensual, then there’s nothing wrong with it. In most cases this simply highlights a problem with other people, rather than you.

Explaining DDLG to Others

When trying to explain DDLG to others, it can be a delicate issue. You obviously want to avoid reactions like those described above, but how do you bring it up in a way that lets others see your side of the story?

Most often, it’s best to depersonalise the situation. By making it a more general discussion, you can avoid bringing yourself into the situation and gauge the reactions of the people you want to tell. If they react poorly, then perhaps it's best to hold off on telling them you enjoy DDLG for a while.

This doesn’t mean you should completely hide away from the truth though. It can be useful to start by showing people some more information about the fetish and bring up some of the benefits it can offer to practitioners. Over time, they may gradually become more accepting, and you can slowly bring them into your lifestyle without harming your relationships with them.

Ultimately though, you won’t win them all. If you sense that a person’s mind will never be changed, but you still want to remain friends with them, then perhaps it’s best to keep this aspect of your life a little more private.

DDLG and Ageplay

Age play is one of the core components of DDLG but is often completely glossed over by those who discuss it.

Put simply, age play is the practise of adopting the personalities and traits of someone who has a different age to your own. This works both ways, and some people enjoy roleplaying as characters that are older than themselves, as well as younger.

In DDLG, most people will be roleplaying as someone younger, although some daddies and mommies may like to act older than they are.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with age play in either direction. In fact, exploring the world through older or younger eyes may open you up to new experiences, and help you think about things in a different way. This can lead to a much more well-rounded personality and view of the world, which can help you in your real-age life.

Parents Into DDLG

While a lot of DDLG practitioners will single, there are still those out there who enjoy it and already have kids of their own. This could be an escape if their children are particularly poorly behaved and difficult to handle. Or it could be an experiment, testing out how some punishments and rewards may be accepted by their real children.

Sometimes though, couples enjoyed DDLG, had children, and still enjoy DDLG!

While it’s perfectly acceptable to want to continue or start DDLG relationships when you have children of your own, you will usually have to exercise some discretion. More visible reminders of your relationship may have to be hidden, such as reward charts or rule lists. It may not be appropriate to call each other by nicknames in front of your children, and almost certainly you will want to save punishments for after the children have gone to bed.

One of the most important things though, is to make sure that your children don’t see any sexual elements of your DDLG relationship (if you have them). If they see things like that, then they may think this kind of behaviour is acceptable between real parents and children, which can be harmful for them.

Keep things away from the children though, and you can still enjoy your DDLG play just as much as anyone else!

DDLG and Petplay

Another sexual fetish that is often related to DDLG is pet play. In this though, rather than taking on the role of parent and child, you take on the role of pet and owner and commonly make use of accessories such as collars and tail butt plugs.

It should be pretty apparent why these two things overlap with one another. Both are about one person taking on a caring, responsible role in the relationship, while the other is cared for and looked after.

Even more interesting is that most people who enjoy pet play prefer to roleplay as younger versions of their chosen animal. When referring to different styles of pet play, the animals are often called by their younger names such as kittens, pups, and ponies.

Just as DDLG is subject to a lot of unfavourable opinions, so is pet play. Parallels are often drawn with bestiality, amongst other things. However, just like DDLG, pet play is completely fine if it’s safe, sane, and consensual.

So, if you’ve tried DDLG and are looking for something new, perhaps you’ll also enjoy pet play! If you want to learn more, check out some of our pet play articles and give it a go for yourself!


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