- Take this as an example:
Your friend walks up to you one day. You two are discussing religious points of views and ideas. He says to you, "I'm Christian." You then have a generalized idea about his beliefs, but Christianity can vary dramatically based on the subset or branch. You might question him back about what branch of Christianity he follows. He replies with, "Baptist."
So, your friend told you that he is a Baptist which is a branch of the basic religious belief of Christianity. He is both a "Christian" and a "Baptist" at this point.
The same goes for other branches! Catholic = Christianity. Baptist = Christianity. Pentecostal = Christianity. Mormon = Christianity.
Some Christians don't like to specify a subset because they have pulled beliefs from a few of them. They may have no 'branch' they follow. They are still Christian though.
- How this relates:
You walk up to your friend one day. You two are discussing sensual preferences, kinks, adult interests, and lifestyles. You say to him, "I'm an ageplayer." He then has a generalized idea about your preferences, but ageplay can vary dramatically based on the subset or branch. He may question you back about what type of ageplay you have a tendency to prefer. You reply with, "Daddy Dom, little girl -- Ddlg."
So, you just identified yourself as a person into Ddlg which is a branch of the generalized ageplay adult interest. You are both an "ageplayer" and into "Ddlg" at this point.
The same goes for other aspects! ABDL = Ageplay. Ddlg = Ageplay. Mdlb = Ageplay. Cgl = Ageplay.
Some Ageplayers don't like to specify a subset because they roleplay different parts, ages, genders, roles, or other variations. They may have no specific 'branch' they follow. They are still ageplayers though.
- People make a big difference out of something that is not different.
What happened was that somewhere along the way someone said ageplay was not okay because it was sexualizing behaviors that children exhibited.
This is incorrect and stems simply from ignorance.
Ageplayers are still roleplaying. Even if it's a lifestyle, the person roleplaying as an age that they physically are not is still simply roleplaying that age. They are ageplaying. They're still physically and mentally an adult. That's okay.
If it involves sensual interactions while they are sucking their thumb then it doesn't sexualizing sucking thumbs. Their partner isn't going to get an instant turn-on by seeing someone else or a child sucking their thumb. It is situational and was only sexualized by an adult--thus, not sexualizing the action itself but rather than it is being expressed by a consenting adult.
The mentality of the adult doesn't change. They may ageplay mentally as well but they still have the adult knowledge and decision-making skills of a full grown, developed human.
- Take this as an example:
Your partner expresses to you that they have a fursona--an anthro animal-human hybrid persona--that they would like to express this more often. Their fursona is a wolf, and they occasionally howl and act animalistic in small ways. During sensual interaction they occasionally lick your face much like a wolf in a pack does to it's mate.
You do not get turned on by seeing people lick other people in non-sexual situations. As a matter of fact, it may just be a confusing situation or maybe an endearing act in the right context. You also do not feel turned on or attracted to animals howling because they are still animals and you are attracted to humans.
- How this relates:
You express to your partner that you are ABDL--an adult who enjoys roleplying as a younger version of themselves--and you would like to express this more often. Your ABDL version is only 18 months, and you occasionally wear diapers and act childish (or, in this case, babyish or todderlish) in small ways. During sensual interaction you occasionally keep a pacifier in your mouth much like 18 month old humans do when doing whatever babies do.
Your partner does not get turned on by pacifiers in nonsexual situations. As a matter of fact, it may be confusing to see a random pacifier or may be simply deemed cute to see the pacifier being used for the appropriate physical aged person. They also do not get turned on by seeing a random pacifier being used by a child because they are attracted to adults.
- Accept yourself. Stop trying to hide. Stop being ashamed. Stop trying to be a with the "popular" group. Be YOU.
Shunning the idea of "ageplay" is kink-shaming and causes confusion, distress, and leads to depression. Ddlg is a form of ageplay. ABDL is a form of ageplay. Cgl is a form of ageplay in it's most politically-correct form. It doesn't matter how you feel inside. It doesn't matter what mental state you feel you are at right now. You physically are an adult. You physically have matured and likely developed (unless you experienced hormonal issues, malnourishment, or other severe health issues).
So, there. Now you have a better understanding and you have the ability to accept people who generalize themselves to the point of just noting "ageplay" rather than trying to find a more specific subset. Let's all just get along from here on out.