The terms, “bigs” and “littles” are used in the BDSM community to describe a particular dynamic between two participants, with bigs sometimes called Daddy or Mommy instead.
What are Bigs/littles?
Big/little play is when one or both people embody a different biological age, with the big acting as the caretaker. A little’s age can range from newborn to about twelve, depending on the desire of the little and/or the big. Activities will correlate to the appropriate age, but can involve bathing, coloring, bed-time stories, cuddling, and so on. Bigs and littles can be any gender, race, sexual orientation, or age.
Big/little play can occur during scenes or as part of an ongoing relationship dynamic. Some littles may embody this relationship with their big without acting specifically like a child, in what is more of a spiritual big/little arrangement. For littles that do age play, the little will fully release the inner child and take on the attributes of that specific age.
People are drawn to big/little play for many reasons. For the big, it is an opportunity to be a strong presence in someone’s life, with the rewards and power that come with responsibility. For a little, it is a chance to revive one’s innocence, to see the world with wonder, and be free of the pressures of the world.
Little: someone who feels younger than they truly are and enjoys exploring this younger self. A little is typically a submissive in a BDSM dynamic, but may be a dominant or a switch outside of big/little play. Littles are treated more tenderly by their bigs than in other dom/sub arrangement. The focus is on nurturing the little, though rules are still put into place for the little’s behavior.
Big/caregiver: someone who cares for a little.
Daddy Dom: a masculine identity for a little’s caretaker. Daddy doms blend traditional dominance with the kindness of a parental role; sometimes called gentle Doms.
Mommy Domme: a feminine identity for a little’s caretaker.
It is essential to note that big/little play is completely distinct from pedophilia. All big/little participants should be of legal age and enter into the arrangement with full enthusiastic consent. Big/little play is the same as any other roleplay or fantasy; enjoying big/little play does not indicate a pedophilic nature, and does not mean that one would be attracted to someone who is actually of an age range between 0-12.
Thank you to “The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health” for the descriptions.
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