Babysitters have been slasher fodder for decades, with roots as far back as John Carpenter's seminal 1978 film: Halloween. While the notion of paying a stranger to watch over one's child may be a widely accepted societal norm, the horror genre has frequently deemed this practice unsafe — for the child and the sitter.
Directors Lee and Sam Boxleitner continue the trend of threatening "the help" in their 26-minute short horror film Die! Sitter! Die!: Rupert, where a young babysitter accepts a last-minute request to watch over an infant named Rupert. However, when babysitter Allison arrives at the house, she soon realizes that she faces a much bigger challenge than she anticipated.
Beyond the film's depiction of a night of babysitting gone wrong, this short #horror also explores a bizarre sexual fetish that is equal parts unstudied and disturbing.
You're Such A Big Baby
The reveal that Rupert is not, in fact, an infant (rather, a towering adult dressed like a baby) comes as a horrific shock to Allison, whose attempts to flee are stopped by the jumbo junior when he threatens to kill her if she doesn't play his game — beginning with changing his soiled diaper.
Rupert's proclivity for Pampers is characteristic of paraphilic infantilism, a fetish for role playing as an infant. Infantilism is commonly a lifelong pursuit, first started in one's early teenage years and continuing well into adulthood. Infantilists are almost exclusively heterosexual males, with estimates of female participants constituting less than 10 percent of community.
While there are numerous variations of this syndrome, Rupert's particular condition is more commonly referred to as "adult baby syndrome," the participants known as ABs. ABs often accept the infantilist fantasy most completely, typically by wearing diapers, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, playing with toys and/or sleeping in cribs. Many ABs regress to an infant-like state to relinquish power and control, much like the power transfer of masochism, only without physical pain.
There are, however, masochistic practices among infantilists, commonly through humiliation, scolding or spanking after soiling their diapers as a means of sexual arousal. Conversely, while some infantilists masturbate or reach orgasm during role play, others deem the practice "not babylike" and therefore abstain from all sexual activity while in character. Those in the latter camp who prefer a nurturing, mother-infant relationship may be escaping the responsibilities of adult life, preferring the simplicity of babyhood rather than sexual fulfillment.
While the film does not delve into Rupert's sexual motivations, his behavior — in conjunction with his impressive estate — suggests that his infant lifestyle is fueled by his desire for motherly affection and enabled by his great wealth. Rupert's proclamation that "all [he] ever wanted in life was a mommy" aligns him with ABs who seek to escape adult life and hand over control to a motherly figure.
ABs Aren't The Only Ones Who Play Dress Up
Variations of paraphilic infantilism also include individuals who enjoy wearing diapers but do not act as infants, with an erotic focus on the diaper itself. These individuals are known as diaper lovers (DLs), and frequently identify simply as adults who gain sexual pleasure from wearing and using diapers. Diapers can also be used in sadomasochistic practices as a way to "enforce dominance and submission."
To further muddle distinction, diaper lovers and adult babies are often grouped together under the banner of ABDLs, who may or may not exhibit behaviors associated with the other group. Though the categories vary slightly, the behaviors found in each group often overlap.
Further crossover between ABDLs and other sexual practices include:
- Transvestism — The practice of dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. Male ABDLs who practice this are called "sissies," often wearing lavishly decorated, pink, or frilly outfits like rompers, onsies or footies.
- Urophilia — A sexual fetish for urine or urination. Many ABDLs enjoy the idea of having an "accident" or "wetting" their diapers.
- Coprophilia — A sexual fetish for defecation. Some ABDLs will ingest chemicals to reduce the smell of their bowel movements so as to defecate in a diaper and require changing.
- Lactophilia — A sexual fetish for lactating breasts and breastfeeding. Finding a willing, lactating partner is often a challenge, so many ABDLs rely on pacifiers and bottles instead.
The reason for this crossover and why ABDLs are so difficult to understand is the lack of available research on the condition. Up until 1980, there were only three published case studies on infantilism in the American Journal of Psychiatry, all of which took place during the mid-1960s. Understandably, many ABDLs maintain their fetishes with extreme privacy, though the rise of the internet has since united the community of ABDLs.
Though the ABDL community experiences more mainstream recognition now than ever before, the psychology behind paraphilic infantilism still remains largely unstudied, especially as many adult babies do not consider their behaviors as unnatural and will not seek psychiatric help for their condition. As for Rupert, audiences can only wonder had he sought out psychiatric help if his encounter with Allison might have ended much differently.
What other bizarre sexual fetishes have you heard about?