Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas Front Cover

Front Cover for Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas

By Paul Rulof
Published in 2011 by Nazca Plains Corporation

When Paul Rulof first contacted me to read and review his book Ageplay: From Diapers to Diplomas I had one reservation which was informed by the numerous bad experiences I have had reading BDSM technique books which are ruined by the inclusion of numerous fictional fantasy sequences that obfuscate more than they inform.  Given that ageplay is an activity that exists almost exclusively in the realm of fantasy, a book on the topic seemed highly likely to overindulge in such fiction and completely overwhelm any factual information it might contain.  Reading Ageplay, I discovered that this fear was wholly ungrounded.  More on that later.

Ageplay begins with a brief introduction to what ageplay is.  The first chapter also discusses three spectrums that describe different aspects of ageplay.  The first spectrum is intensity – does someone play on the weekends or do they define their entire life around their adopted role.  The second spectrum is “Symbolic vs. Literary” discusses how people assuming age roles see themselves. Are they merely adopting the role to compare to their adult selves or do they believe that their little role is central to their adult identity.  The final spectrum “Sexual vs. Nonsexual” is straightforward – does the ageplay involve sex or not.

The book progresses to discuss the demographics of ageplay which led to my one editing complaint about the book – FetLife, the kinky social networking site, is repeatedly misspelled as “Fetlife.”  While this may be nitpicky, it is the sort of error that bothers me as a reader.  While acknowledging the limitations of using FetLife to gather useful statistics on the numbers of ageplayers, Rulof makes a reasonable case that there are large number of folks interested in the ageplay.  Next Rulof discusses the reasons that people engage in ageplay before discussing the negative feelings many have about ageplayers.

Over the course of the book Rulof systematically covers multiple aspects of ageplay including roles, relationships, and activities.  He offers practical advice on how to find an ageplay partner and on how ageplay can be introduced into existing relationships. I especially enjoyed the chapter about coming out.  Rulof presents many people’s perspectives about coming out to one’s friends and family and skillfully discusses the pros and cons of coming out while advocating that each person make the decision that is right for them.

One of the best things about Ageplay is that Rulof gives equal time to covering both bigs and littles.  For those unfamiliar with the terms “bigs” and “littles,” they are ageplay terms that are comparable to the BDSM terms “tops” and “bottoms” respectively. Many books devoted to BDSM related topics are often weighted towards either tops or bottoms. The equal time in Ageplay is refreshing.

My favorite thing about Ageplay relates to the concern I mentioned before: Rulof successfully managed to write a book about a roleplay topic without falling into BDSM cliché of splicing fantasy in the middle of fact-based discussion. While Rulof does discuss the fantasy aspects of ageplay, he does so by discussing how they directly relate to the topic being discussed.  Rulof even includes an appendix which briefly lists ageplay scene ideas.

Overall Ageplay is an excellent book for anyone interested in ageplay. It is a comprehensive introduction for those beginning their exploration of this style of play and provides extensive information that also be interesting to long time ageplayers.  Highly recommended.