Someone asked me a very good question a few days ago, concerning my list of "don't want" activities on a dating profile. It was an older gentleman, in his fifties, checking in on my disinclination for age play. Given the politeness and reasonableness of the question - oftentimes this sort of thing can turn into a terrible "why won't you play with meeeee?" but not so here - I thought it worth spending some time actually considering the subject in more detail. After all, there have been many things over the years that have moved from the red column through to the amber, some of which now jump up and down excitedly in the green. Some have still stayed red, and age play is one of them.
Now, before I go any further it's worth mentioning once again, for the record, that these are just my thoughts and my opinions on how I practice my BDSM. I did actually think twice about writing this post given that two people I know and respect have a rather lovely Daddy/girl relationship that I admire without wishing to emulate. I'm not casting aspersions on anyone who chooses to engage in these activities. What I am doing is dissecting why I am not drawn to them.
I often say that I don't like "roleplay" within sex. At best, they can be silly messing around games in which I try hard not to giggle. At worst they completely ruin scenes for me because I end up adopting a role that is made-up, pretend and has no link with myself or my personality to the extent that I don't really feel connected. Finally, I work in theatre and have performance related hobbies outside of kink and for my own sanity I like to have a nice, thickly drawn line between this and BDSM.
Obviously, I play games with identity. I adopt personas - particularly with the doll project, but they tend to be versions of myself, or parts of me turned up to eleven. Equally I will drop personality and attempt a blank-slate attitude, or even an animalistic one. But I have never wanted to be a schoolgirl, or a police officer or a nurse or a washing machine repair-woman. They are fun dress up characters, perhaps, given the right context, but I don't want to engage in a kinky sex scenario whilst in those roles. When I fuck, I want to be me. When I'm building a D/s scenario with my partner is even more important that I'm me, because the connection that we have needs to come from somewhere genuine, from somewhere inside.
Now here's the part that I needed to write the disclaimer. For me, engaging in age play would be to play in this made-up game. It's a role too far away from "me" for me to be able to understand: I do not see the attraction and I don't get anything out of it when I think of it. Now, I'll cheerfully admit that I've never tried it, so will accept all criticism of "don't knock it till..." but at the same time, the lack of desire to do something perhaps speaks something for itself?
As I dig into this I start to think about the types of D/s I do enjoy and the roles I do and don't like to play. I have never felt comfortable as the "little girl" personality, I have played with the look as a doll outfit, but the attitude and type of power-exchange it represents don't work for me: I am a grown up woman and my submission is to someone as an equal, not as their junior in any respect. I don't enjoy being "babied" and can find it very patronising - even when that was not the intent - the paternal, father-knows-best attitude coming from a male dom is something almost guaranteed to make me want to explode. Given that outlook, I've tended to steer clear from those types of play scenarios.
Some of my attitudes towards age-play are less straightforward. I like the feeling of safety, of being looked after, of belonging and I can see very clearly how these are all strongly at work within a Daddy/girl situation but power exchange is nuanced and personal and this flavour doesn't mesh well with me, although ostensibly it would seem to provide what I might enjoy. The gender balance doesn't make much difference - having thought about it I'm fairly sure I don't want a Mummy either, although the nurture, fierce love and pride in their "child" are all attractive tropes in a D/s relationship.
Finally, there's an issue of overlap. I have a Dad, my long-suffering father who I love very much and have an incredibly good relationship with. To even think about calling someone else "Daddy" and to have them intrude, even slightly, on that area of my life is very uncomfortable, especially where sex is concerned. My Dad is a complete rock and generally all-round amazing bloke, and I don't want another one. I understand that the D/s Daddies are different, but, like with roleplay in general, I need to keep my family life separate from my kink and this is a definite line in the sand.
I suppose that it is all a question of context. Different sorts of situations suit me better. I have no issue with the Master/slave dynamic, and actually have a lot of fantasies in that area - the cold disconnect, the person/non person inbalance, sexual service, ownership and training. I wonder if perhaps there is an aspect of emotional management going on here. Clearly, the "Daddy/girl" scenario has a lot of connection, a lot of love already built in from the get-go. Daddy can be firm and strict, certainly, but everything is in a context of care. Master/slave less so. I'm talking here about the flavour of the roles, within an established D/s relationship M/s couples can be very much in love, but the appearance and reality don't always match up. Perhaps it would be better to say that the emotions in M/s can be hidden, certainly the "I can't love you, you're my slave" situations with The Photographer were some of the most intense and powerful pieces of D/s I'd ever gone through. Hard, but worth it.