I’ve written about ABDL stories in the past, and I thought it’s time to revisit this topic. The writing scene has been evolving (unlike the plain layout on my site), and it’s time for an update.
I think the most notable trend is that ABDL stories are appearing less frequently on the two forums which are known for it. ADISC’s sub-forum for stories, as well as ABDL Story Forum (ASF) were among the go-to for stories 10 years ago. The stories that do appear nowadays are often amateur. I know, I was one of them the I started too.
While stories weren’t really a focus for ADISC, it still was an important part of the site in the beginning. As for ASF, it was inverse; stories are the main focus while ‘diapertalk’ is a side thing. With the drop in stories hence the drop in readership, ASF has been having funding issues, so the outlook is pretty bleak for them.
One site that has been bucking this trend is Wattpad. There is a huge number of ABDL stories that have appeared there in the last few years. Perhaps this one is a generation thing, because many of the writers there seem to be younger. Maybe they just wished to bypass ABDL forums. But there is a collection of stories and novels there for the picking, whether people do read those stories is something that I cannot verify.
But this trend of declining readership isn’t happening with just the biggest sites. Other traditional ABDL sites that host stories, like Dailydiapers.com and the ABDL stories of Deviantart, have seen similar plateauing too. But with the access to internet rising and rise in population, this drop in readership across the board manifest in two trends.
For one, the ABDL culture of writing has evolved into something else. With the rise of social media in the late noughties, more people have been drawn from forums towards social media. Within our ABDL sphere, this has manifested in the form of ABDL Tumblrs, Fetlife-s, and recently Instagrams (sidenote: this platform is a bad idea for ABDLs).
With that, we also see a shift away from group-chats to individual narratives, in the form of posts. With the advent of smartphones it has become even easier to take and post pictures. And in a world where likes and reblogs are a form of emotional currency, people post more pictures than text posts, because that’s what brings in more likes.
But what does this all mean for ABDL stories? Simply, less people want to read stories. ABDL writers create whole universes by putting pen to paper. Walls of text which require patience and focus. I’d argue that it is worth it. And it really is. But in a world where there is less time for leisure, why spend time reading when a few clicks will bring up a Diaper Girl video in seconds? This is a trend that one cannot deny. So why write? Why go through all that effort? I’ll let a quote explain it simply.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
– Stephen King
So, we’ve established that people prefer pictures, that it is easier to get pictures, that writers will still write come what may, and that readers expect the story to be good because reading takes effort (in terms of time and focus).
Which brings us to the second trend – paid content. This is something which I had overlooked 3 years in my earlier post because I myself had doubted that it was viable back then.
But it is true that people have been writing paid content for years now. And while the income derived from it will not count towards a full-time career, it still pays decent bucks for a side income. Arguably the biggest name has been Cushypen, although the site is more known for its ABDL Comics and sketches than for ABDL stories. So does that mean paid content is a new cash-cow for writers?
Well, not exactly. People have been getting stories freely for years, so would they be willing to pay to get it? Even outside of writing, this is something which people have always been wondering about. But you can’t compare stories to a diaper messing video. People can pay US$30 for a premade video, and up to USD$100 for a custom video. But ask people to pay just 2 USD for an ebook? AHAHAHAH!
Now, that isn’t to say that ebooks haven’t been successful. I have ABDL friends who have made some decent moolah from their ebooks and novels. But what I’m saying is that asking people to buy your ebook is no easy thing. Writing ABDL ebooks has been an option for years now, and while there is no way to track the numbers, it is plausible that some of the traffic has gone there.
We have been ignoring the elephant in the room – crowdfunding. I’ve saved this for the last because it is the newest and has the least info out there publicly. Patreon is currently the only crowdfunding site out there as of writing that has a critical mass of ABDL writers there. Patreons are everywhere nowadays. ABDL girls on Tumblr are all there to promote their Patreons. But there is a surprisingly number of ABDL writers out there as well.
There are many models being utilised. Some charge per post. Some charge per month. Some publish short stories, some put out audio, some post pictures with captions (I’d call them annotated descriptions:), some have a mixture. Many also highlight that they do commissions. People like Parker Longabaugh, Cute Kitten and Allerted have put out impressive content, which you’d struggle to find even on an established ABDL site.
I think in the next few years this balance will hold, until the next game-changing innovation. There will be setbacks. I pray that the traditional ABDL sites don’t collapse due to the lack of funding. There definitely will be more measures in the coming years to clamp down of x-rated content and ABDL content will definitely be caught in the crossfire. Maybe new ways might spring up which may shift this balance. Because as I’ve pointed out, there is a demand for ABDL animations, and an as-yet-impossible integration with mainstream media similar to how LGBT is receiving representation. The ABDL writing scene will continue to adapt to these changes as they happen.
Before I wrap up, I’ll quickly say that 1) I wasn’t paid to promote anyone, this is a personal blog about my thoughts and 2) I’ve experimented with Patreon and might do it again in the future.
As a person who loves reading, and who sometimes shares the stuff that I write, I do note that there are changes abound. But if there is good story, the universe will find a way to deliver it to the excited reader.