Adult Baby

It was the 9th of June, a Thursday evening at 9 pm.

There was the 15th episode of the fifth season of “CSI Crime Scene Investigation” on TV. Most of the episodes were set in very particular urban and social contexts and unknown realities. They weren’t fabricated, they just were unfamiliar for the majority.

That night the murdered was an Adult Baby. I remember like it was yesterday that I, for once, couldn’t believe that the facts could be real.

I immediately checked on my iPad if Adult Baby was a reality or if it was just a play of a brilliant screenwriter. I was wrong! The scene wasn’t made up. Adult Baby is a very real and a very big community.

Who are Adult Babies? They are men, women, boys and girls who decide to make and infant regression for a few hours/days per week. It’s called a paraphilic infantilism and it’s not a disease or a pathology, it’s a paraphilia (we’ll talk about it afterwords).

I immediately sensed that it could be a great cue for a photoshoot. But I remember that, in the meantime, it was a reality that I couldn’t face. It bothered me, it repelled me… I couldn’t believe it!

I saved all the links and the basic informations that could help me to find more in depth material, but, actually, everything stayed there for 10 years. I proposed this shoot to some colleagues “I think this will be a blast!”, “Someone must do it… but you should do this because I don’t have enough strength”.

In the meantime I was completing the “13Coins” project, Valeria and I were deciding to move to South Africa and I was doing many more things. Until, one day, I thought about all the links I saved on my iPad and I decided to work on it…

6th September 2015, I was in Verona when I decided to study in deep the AB (Adult Baby) reality in Italy and Mirketto in Rome decided to come out… signs? Coincidences? Casualties? I don’t know that, but the fact is everything began and, I guarantee you, from that September 6th 2015 many things changed in Italy.

The AB reality is growing day by day. Everyone of them is sure to be alone. Then Facebook starts merging the meanders of the most intimate fantasies. Finally, through thousands of fake nicknames, they slowly start making new friends, with whom they confront themselves and share an actual paraphilia in this virtual environment.

I remember like it was yesterday that, before the beginning of the photographic part, I got in touch with the psychologist/sexologist Marco Rossi. He is the most popular in Italy thanks to his participation in “Love Line” on MTV, a TV show that made the “history of sex” spoken to the general public.

I made an appointment with him and we met in Verona. A common friendship confided me that he participated to my photographic exhibition at the International Centre of Photography of Scavi Scaligeri and that he attended at the presentation of “13Coins” book at Teatro Nuovo. Thanks to these reasons I felt a strong mutual respect and I asked him for advice in order to better understand the reality that I was going to step in.

The first thing I asked him was: “Are they crazy? Are they out of their mind?”

Marco: “No, they aren’t, why?”

Me: No, wait. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. They live with a diaper, they eat baby food, they drink from the feeding bottle and they sleep with the pacifier… and they are as old as me.. i’m going to ask you again: are they normal?”

Marco: “You like to fish to relax, someone likes to do yoga or many other things. They simply like to make total regression until they act, move, mumble like infants.

It’s called paraphilic infantilism and it’s not a disease but just a paraphilia. It can become a pathology or a sickness only when the individual isn’t able to live a normal social life.

If the individual becomes addicted to someone (like a baby) until he/she is not able to work, make friends with “normal” people, to study or to fulfill any type of activity individually, then YES, it becomes a pathology. But if he/she is independent and is able to live in a social context, NO, they are not considered sick or crazy… maybe a little odd. Well this definitely yes, but a strangeness that doesn’t hurt anyone nor themselves. For them is a state of extreme happiness and well-being.

Luckily a was sitting because, I swear, those words and that “new way” to learn and to face the concept that I had of “normality” shook me up and it would have kept shaking me up for a very long time…