It's A Pleasure

My Partner Wants Me To Wear A Diaper During Sex. Help!

Am I being too sensitive about his request?

Luis Velasco/Stocksy

Q: I have a new “boyfriend” (exclusively dating — he uses the title but I’m not quite there yet) who is super into the dom/sub dynamic. It’s totally good with me! I’m a total sub bottom. If I were a top, I’d be dating women, with whom I am way more comfortable, but I digress. He is pushing me to expand my horizons. He wants to get into diaper play. I’m open to most things that don’t scar nor exsanguinate me, but is this giving up too much control? He is super sweet and I want to submit, but he already keeps me in panties (which I love!) 24/7. He’s saying he may want me to wear/use the diapers in public too. Am I being over-sensitive by not trusting him? Should I just sub up and take it?

A: Once, when I worked at a hair salon, a woman came in and the stylist asked her how her day was going and she replied, “Good. Really good,” in this sensual, satisfied, throaty way that made me believe wholeheartedly that she had just been railed by the love of her life that morning. I’m not entirely sure that’s the case — maybe she just finally found a good bagel place in LA — but I would bet money. The thing is, though, when people talk about sex they’re having and it’s good, you know. You know from how they speak about it.

But the opposite also holds true. When someone talks about the sex they’re having and it’s not so amazing, it’s pretty obvious, even if they try to cover it up. Mediocre sex or a lull or a break — those aren’t bad things, they aren’t immoral. It’s fine to be “meh” about sex for a moment or a month with a partner. But bad sex is something else. It sounds like there are parts of your sex life with your current partner that do really work, like wearing panties. Hot! Gorgeous! And perhaps the dom/sub dynamic that you two have works on some levels. But there are also things you’re sharing here that seem, from the outside, concerning. There are all kinds of words that people use when they’re having filthy hot sex, and there are words that raise questions and red flags. Saying that your partner is “pushing” for something sexual, paired with your reluctance here, is concerning to me.

Firstly, let’s be super clear that if you both actively want to engage in diaper play, you should. That’s great! I’m not the arbiter of kink. There are plenty of people who are going to feel uncomfortable with or at the very least turned off by this kink — that’s fine, too! You might be one of them. Enthusiastic consent and sexual boundaries are imperative parts of sex, and pretty much the sine qua non of kink.

What concerns me is the dynamic you have and where it’s coming from. A dom/sub dynamic must be built, like a home, rather than something you fall into, like an abandoned well. Even (and especially) within a dom/sub relationship, both parties must actively agree upon and desire the sexual acts they engage in. Sex is supposed to be a turn-on for both parties. Submission isn’t about giving up your pleasure, it’s meant to enhance it. Now, obviously, the play of domination and submission can sometimes require a stretch of comfort. Often, subs enjoy pushing the limits of what they’re into “for” their doms. But again, it is also meant to be for their own arousal and enjoyment. Kinky play must be rooted in mutual pleasure. In the case of the dom/sub dynamic, that means that the chosen acts must benefit the subs just as much as the doms — even if the sub is serving the dom within the scope of the scene.

You should always be able to say no to a partner, even a dom.

I cannot tell you where your lines are or what they are. I cannot decide if diaper play fits within your sexual purview. I strongly, strongly urge you to hold off on starting diaper play until you figure out how you (not you plural as a couple, just you as an individual) feel about it. If you’re not sure how precisely you feel about taking this step, watch porn or read erotica that features it. Are you turned on? Are you simply accepting of other people engaging in it but uninterested for yourself? Are you turned off but trying to push that feeling away for the sake of your partner? Listen to your gut here. Sexual play might involve a certain level of discomfort for you, but that discomfort is meant to be playful and pleasurable — not violating!

Most people who have sex, from time to time, make minor concessions for partners’ preferences and abilities and desires. They avoid a certain position or they don’t cum in a certain location or they try wearing a costume even though they feel silly in it. These types of adjustments are meant to be small and non-disruptive to arousal. They’re never meant to cross someone’s boundaries.

You should always be able to say no to a partner, even a dom. You don’t need a good reason, or any reason at all, in fact. You simply get to say no because you don’t want to (or you don’t want to right now).

You and your partner need to talk about this a lot. Not just about introducing this new kink, but about the dynamic you two have in general. You need to talk about it when you aren’t in a sexual context and when you both feel comfortable voicing what your boundaries are. That is a non-negotiable part of kink; any upstanding practitioner in this community will tell you that. You must engage in communication before, during, and after: very meta communication about how you see things going, what you need and desire out of this play, what your boundaries are, and so on. That has to be a part of your dynamic. Otherwise, you’re just two people who are horny for each other and not great at boundaries.

I also want to remind you that you don’t have to pick an answer — yes, diaper play or no diaper play — and then stick with it for the rest of your life or your partnership. Consent can be revoked at any time, but also you can say no now and then decide you’re into the idea in six months. You can also try exploring diaper play without the actual diaper. You both can simply pretend that you are wearing one, talk out a fantasy your partner has together, or watch porn they like. Talk to your partner about what makes that fantasy hot for them, and try to re-create moments like that that you both want. Maybe you can find common ground with golden showers or other types of age play. Again, I want to remind you that being submissive doesn’t mean that your pleasure is negotiable or unimportant.

Please take this slowly. Make decisions that honor what you want your sex life to be. Be gentle and kind with yourself, and require that of your partner, too. Explore new kinks slowly and lovingly and with strong communication. Because that’s safe, consensual sex. That’s how you get to the good, hot stuff.

It’s A Pleasure appears here every other Thursday. If you have a sex, dating, or relationship question, email Sophia at or fill out this form.