What Is Age Regression?
Put simply, age regression is a psychological phenomenon where someone reverts to a younger mental / emotional state.
Age regressors might regress to any age younger than their own, possibly all the way back to infancy.
But before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight:
Age Regression Is NOT Age Play
While age regression is when someone actually reverts to a younger state of mind, age play is when an adult pretends to be younger in roleplay.
Age play can be sexual (though is not always), and is considered a kink.
Age regression is NOT a kink and SHOULD NEVER be sexual in nature if the person is regressing to a mental / emotional age below the age of consent.
If it is not appropriate for a child, it is not appropriate for someone age regressing to the mental / emotional state of a child.
Age Regression Is NOT Sexual or Kinky
When someone is age regressed, they are in the headspace of a child, and thus cannot consent to sexual activity.
While it is possible for some age regressors to experience impure regression, where their regression is a result of childhood trauma and thus accompanied by scary or dark experiences, an adult should NOT engage in sexual activity with a regressor, even if they seem to want it. They are not truly able to consent when regressed and should be gently but firmly redirected to more appropriate activities.
Sexualizing someone’s age regression is abusive and can traumatize the regressor. Treat an age regressed person as you would treat an actual child and do not bring sexuality into the picture at all while the person is regressed.
Who Age Regresses?
People of any age, gender, race (or any other demographic) can experience age regression.
Many age regressors are minors, but there are also plenty of adults who age regress.
Some transgender people regress as a way to experience childhood in the gender they wish they had the first time around.
Voluntary vs Involuntary Age Regression
While some people experience age regression as a result of trauma or stress, and may involuntarily regress when triggered, there are also plenty of people who choose to age regress.
Some people experience both involuntary and voluntary age regression at different times.
Involuntary age regression is not always negative; sometimes, an age regressor may slip into regression simply because they saw a cartoon on TV, or a particularly fluffy stuffed animal.
Why Do People Regress?
Age regression can have many causes.
It could arise as a symptom of trauma, stress, or mental illness, but it doesn’t have to be any of those things.
Some people age regress by choice, as a way to cope with stress, and to temporarily step away from the responsibilities of adulthood.
Still others may age regress not as a coping mechanism, but simply to enjoy the fun and carefree attitude of youth again.
People may age regress for different reasons at different times.
What Does Age Regression Feel Like?
Age regression is different for everyone.
Someone who regresses to a toddler is going to have a different experience than someone who regresses to an elementary school age.
And even within those age differences, some toddler regressors may be more prone to babbling happily and playing with toys, while others may become very sleepy and cling to their stuffed animals (commonly called “stuffies” – more on that later).
It may even vary within the individual age regressor – someone might be a bubbly and bright toddler one moment, and more like an inquisitive, creative 8-year-old the next!
What Does Age Regression Look Like?
This, again, will depend on the age regressor in question.
Here is a list of some behaviors that might appear in an age regressor:
- playing with toys
- cuddling with stuffed animals
- watching cartoons or reading children’s books
- coloring in coloring books
- writing or doodling in a journal
- sucking a pacifier, or their thumb or fingers
- drinking from a bottle or sippy cup
- wearing youthful clothing, such as onesies
- wearing diapers and/or using baby wipes & baby powder
- using a limited vocabulary and/or “baby voice”
- more open expression of emotions (e.g. crying and/or giggling a lot)
Is Age Regression Safe?
Most age regression is regarded as safe, provided that it does not become unmanageable.
If age regression becomes a hinderance to thriving in other parts of life, it may be best to seek help from a therapist or other mental health professional who is knowledgable on the subject of age regression.
However, if it is not negatively impacting other parts of life, it is perfectly safe to engage in age regression!
Age Regressing Around Other People
Some people are very open and accepting of age regression, and an age regressor may find support in those people.
Predators, however, can make the community unsafe, particularly for minors.
It is important to be mindful when engaging in any community, online or off. It would be wise to keep any social media accounts related to age regression as private as possible, and not accept messages from strangers.
There is also the complication of a lot of vocabulary (such as “little”, “littlespace”, “caregiver”, “mommy”, or “daddy”) being used in both the agere community and kink communities, sometimes causing overlap of these communities where there should be none.
If you are an age regressor getting started in the online agere community, look out for kink signifiers such as DDLG/DDLB, MDLG/MDLB, CGL, ABDL, BDSM, and, of course, NSFW, Age Play, and/or Kink. These communities are not safe for age regressors, and are certainly not safe for minors.
Impure Age Regression
Some people experience what is referred to as “impure regression”.
This means that their regression is not a safe, happy experience for them.
They may become overwhelmed, have meltdowns and/or panic attacks, or mentally relive traumatic memories. They may also neglect their basic needs, forgetting to eat, hydrate, sleep, etc.
In extreme cases, someone experiencing impure age regression may be triggered to harm themselves.
This is why many age regressors who experience impure regression benefit from a caregiver.
As impure regression is involuntary, it may require help from a mental health professional if it causes the regressor severe distress or otherwise disturbs their daily life.
Age Regression Vocabulary
We’ve almost made it to the end of the post! Thanks for sticking with us. ♥︎
Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of terms associated with age regression.
Agere – Shorthand for “age regression”
Babyre – A term for age regression to the headspace of a baby (0-2 yrs)
Big – As a noun, refers to someone who isn’t currently age regressing or doesn’t age regress (may also be used as an adjective; “I’m feeling Big today!”)
Caregiver / Carer – Someone who looks after an age regressor (caregiving in age regression varies depending on the regressor’s needs, but is NOT comparable to Caregiver/Little roleplay in kink)
CGLRE – An age regression community*, short for Caregiver / Little Regressor, referring to the relationship between a caregiver and an age regressor (not to be confused with CGL, which is a kink referring to age play)
*Note: There are many other online communities for age regressors that are not covered in this post. Many of them are exclusive and do not interact with each other, due to differences in what makes them feel safe and comfortable (such as not using certain terms that may be confused with kink). This blog does not belong to any particular community and will not speak on their behalf.
Childre – A term for age regression to the headspace of a child (as opposed to a baby or toddler)
Daddy – An affectionate name for a (usually masculine) carer of an age regressor (this term is also used in kink communities, but is entirely non-sexual in the context of age regression)
Kidre – Like childre, a term for age regression to the headspace of a kid (as opposed to a baby or toddler)
Little – As a noun, refers to someone who age regresses; “I’m a Little” (may also be used as an adjective; “I’m feeling Little”)
Littlespace – A term referring to the mental / emotional space someone is in when age regressing (sometimes “littlexspace” is used instead, to differentiate from the term being used in age play kink communities)
Mommy – An affectionate name for a (usually feminine) carer of an age regressor (this term is also used in kink communities, but is entirely non-sexual in the context of age regression)
Paci – An affectionate name for a pacifier
Stuffies – An affectionate name for stuffed animals
Teenre – A term for age regression to the headspace of a teenager
Toddlerre – A term for age regression to the headspace of a toddler (2-4 yrs)
And now, in conclusion:
Please Be Kind to Age Regressors
There is nothing wrong with age regression, and it should never be mocked.
When people are regressed, they are especially vulnerable.
If you wouldn’t mock and shame a child, you shouldn’t do so to an age regressed person. To do so is abusive, and can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the age regressor.
More people experience age regression than many assume.
Please be considerate and do not mock age regression or any aspects of adults acting like children. You never know if an age regressor might hear it.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about age regression with an open mind. ♥︎
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor/psychologist/etc., nor do I speak for all age regressors. This post is largely influenced by my own experiences, and was made in effort to raise awareness and dispel misconceptions about age regression and encourage people not to shame or mock it. We aren’t hurting anyone by regressing and deserve to regress in peace and without shame. Please be kind to age regressors, and keep an open mind and heart as you read about experiences that are different from yours.