A guy sits at his work desk typing away at his computer for hours. A female executive stands in front of her company’s boardroom doing a presentation. A schoolgirl attends lesson after lesson in school, while a salesperson stands at the cashier, scanning and packaging his customer’s groceries at a supermarket. Ordinary people do ordinary things, even as their clothes hide their incontinence aids.
If you look around all the ABDL and incontinence support sites which attempt to answer this question, most agree that wearing diapers need not hinder your personal aspirations, nor should they stop you from having fun and leading a quality life. By and large, society accepts incontinent folk into their midst, and is somewhat understanding of their predicament.
Yet, school and work is not all that defines a person. Interpersonal relationships also play a part in defining who a person is. A person’s first impression, their language and accent, their fashion style etc. all affect the way others interact with them. Anything abnormal about the person, he/she gets judged – immediately. That is human nature. So throw in the fact that you wear diapers, and you fuel that negative judgement. Mention that you don’t actually need them, and you’d probably damage that relationship.
Incontinent folk don’t have it easy. The need to wear a bulging undergarment, and having to regularly change it would definitely affect their quality of life, as well as that of their closest friends and partners. Friends would have to be mindful of not making toilet-jokes, catering time for their friend to change, making them feel that they can do things despite their dependence on their special underwear. Yet, the social impact here is small, and somewhat socially manageable because the person’s thinking is perceived as normal. Thus clubbing, going out, even sport is possible.
But ABDLs wanting to wear diapers would be in for a rough ride should they choose to pursue being diapered 24/7 without any medical need. These group of people would face the same set of physical challenges i.e finding clothes to mask the diaper, masking the smell, chafing etc. But here, the people around them would be faced with an individual whose thinking is truly unconventional. ‘Why would you WANT diapers when you don’t need them’, they may ask. Often the ABDL’s answer would suggest either a fetistic desire, or an unexplainable ‘inner’ desire. This idea – that this person wants to do something ‘abnormal’ just just because he/she FEELS it would be a turn off for many.
Then there is also the ABDL camp who uses diapers part-time e.g. at night, when home alone etc. This is the category which is very commonly seen. The person could go about their day-to day life just like anyone else. Their school/work, social life could be as ubiquitous as anyone else. This is because the fact that they wear diapers could be well hidden from almost everyone, thus if you work hard to fit into your society, your social life (and indeed your quality of life) should be good.
The problem with the all the above is when it is time to reveal your dependence on diapers to your significant other. For them, it could go either way, from wishing to indulge in diapers too, declaring neutrality, to totally demanding a stop to them. This is something that is beyond your control, something that is dependent on the other party. That is why most ABDLs are asked to focus on building the relationship first, so the relationship is about the couple, not their quirks! Even so, conventional wisdom suggests that one reveals their diapered needs and desires to their significant other BEFORE proposing to them. If you are at the receiving end of the proposal, then do it just after the proposal. Issues such as financing diapers (Monthly it could be $83 for 24/7, $16 for once daily), specific times to use them etc. would need to be worked out.
I’m focusing on the mental aspect of one’s social life in this post, as the physical nature has been analysed over and over again, all over the web. The same things will crop up i.e the need to wear loose fitting clothes, tight short skirts for women would be an issue, chafing while doing exercise, sports and heavy physical activities, the hassle of finding places outside to change regularly to mask smells of pee and poop, added padded comfort while sitting on hard seats, no need to leave your actives halfway to go use the bathroom, no need for extra pads for women on their periods… The list goes on and on.
We shall omit parental views here, for more often than not, they will cover your ass whether or not they agree with your views on being diapered.
In conclusion, I would say that the impact for the incontinent folk is significant, but it can be greatly minimised. But for the ABDL, even the part-timer, wearing diapers can affect one’s social live adversely if you flaunt your diaper to other people who are not in the community.