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Keep your kinks out of the soft-play area

How did a bunch of ‘adult-baby’ fetishists manage to host an event in a children’s party venue?

Lauren Smith

Topics Identity Politics UK

It really shouldn’t need to be said, but a children’s soft-play centre is not an appropriate venue for a fetish party. The reason this does apparently need to be said is because a kids’ party venue in West Sussex recently hosted an after-hours ‘play session’ for adult fetishists.

Wild Wonderland advertises itself as an indoor playground for children aged between zero and 12. But late last year, it opened its doors to an event for people interested in ‘ageplay’, a kink that centres around adults pretending to be young children or even babies.

Last week, the Argus newspaper reported on a mother’s shocking discovery that this event had been advertised on a fetish website. The listing invited several flavours of kinkster to the event, including ‘littles’ (adults pretending to be kids); ‘mummies’ and ‘daddies’ (adults pretending to be the parents of adults pretending to be kids); ‘kittens’ and ‘puppies’ (adults pretending to be pets); and ‘adult-baby diaper lovers’ (don’t ask). Attendees could make use of a ‘nappy change room’, eat baby food and enjoy ‘story time’ with milk and biscuits.

Parents who regularly take their children to Wild Wonderland were understandably furious. ‘How many bodily fluids are going to be on the things in there?’, asked the mother who made the initial discovery.

Since word got out, the fetish event’s organisers have claimed that there was no nudity, sex acts, fetish clothes or faeces at the event. And they have tried to assure parents that there were strict rules against ‘wet accidents’ – although this merely raises more questions (and eyebrows) than it answers.

So how was this event allowed to go ahead in the first place? Strikingly, Wild Wonderland’s management saw no issue at all with the fetish party, until there was a public outcry. Although a second planned event has now been cancelled, a spokesman told the Argus that the venue stands by its decision to host the first one. Worse still, he seemed actively perturbed by the parents’ complaints. ‘There was nothing untoward’ about the fetish event, he insisted. ‘Who are we to judge and discriminate?’

‘Who are we to judge?’ Those five words get right to the heart of what has gone wrong here. Clearly, the venue’s managers felt that it was not their place to turn the fetishists away, as that would amount to ‘kink shaming’. But let’s face it, if you get off on the idea of acting like a child, in a play area designed for children, then yes, people have every right to judge you. Harshly.

Of course, consenting adults should be allowed to get their rocks off in whatever way they see fit in private. Neither the state nor a moral majority should dictate what people can and cannot fantasise about. So long as you aren’t breaking any laws or hurting anyone. But the rest of us are under no obligation to indulge you or to facilitate your fantasies in public spaces.

No right-minded parent wants their kids sharing a space with an adult fetish group. Even if that event is happening after hours and the venue has a rigorous cleaning regime. This is not just about the bodily fluids or supposed lack thereof. It’s about the increasing inability of adult society to say that some things are not appropriate in certain places, particularly when kids are involved. People’s kinks do not need to be validated and indulged at every opportunity. It is not bigoted, prudish or ‘exclusionary’ to maintain such boundaries.

In a tolerant, open society, an adult man is free to dress up as a baby and wear a nappy if he really wants to. But the rest of us must be free to say: not in a children’s play area, you don’t. Some kinks really do need to be shamed.

Lauren Smith is a staff writer at spiked.

Picture by: YouTube.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Identity Politics UK

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