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Hey! So I've been contemplating maybe getting a pacifier. I'm not really sure if I actually want to use one or not, but I just thought I'd try one. I've always been one to suck and chew on things, so I thought it would be a good way to appease that urge. I nervously brought it up to my boyfriend, and he's not happy about the idea. He says it's a little lower in the age range than he would like. (He doesn't like anything baby related with me.) We're already planning on having a discussion about it, probably this weekend when we're both off work, but I'm not sure how it's going to go, or if it can even go anywhere at all. Here's how my brain is working: If he changes his mind and says he's fine with it, I'll be convinced that I've just pressured him into it and I'll feel guilty and upset about it. If he still says no, it could go 2 ways from there, I could either listen to him and not buy one and feel upset and frustrated that I don't at least get to try it, or I could buy one in secret and just use it on my own like a lot of littles without caregivers do. But here's the rub, even if I did do that all I would be able to think about is how my boyfriend would be weirded out by it if he happened to find out. It'd be one thing if he wasn't involved in the dynamic at all, but he is. Here's my caregiver, or trying to be at least. It really hurts to think that something to do with the dynamic we have still weirds him out and makes him think badly of me. (Not that he's actually thinking badly of me, just weird in a not good way.) We're gonna talk about it more in person this weekend, but if anyone has been through anything similar I'd love to hear how you handled it, what solution you came to. Thanks guys! :hi:
You could always point out to him that adult pacifiers actually have benefits besides helping one feel 'little'; they've been proven to help with anxiety and sleep apnea, and even help people with oral fixations or smoking habits.

A reasonable argument can't hurt. It helped in my case because I have high-functioning anxiety. ;)

Good luck!
True! I definitely have an oral fixation. Luckily I've grown out of just mindlessly putting things in my mouth, but I do still have that urge, and I feel like in the long run it would be cheaper to have a pacifier than to buy gum and hard candies all the time. Plus better for my teeth. PLUS plus he should totally understand that, now that I think about it. He'll chew on straws, the plastic tube that honey comes in when you buy honey sticks, heck he even chews on bones when we have Buffalo wings. Maybe if I explain it to him with that connection he won't be so weirded out by it? Worth a shot!
I think you’re on the right track with planning out to discuss this and also considering that a valid option is to use the pacifier privately without the involvement or acknowledgment of your partner, but I also feel that a portion of your frustration is misplaced by falling under the belief that pacifiers are a component if the typical CGL relationship structure. I think these are some more realistic things you need to consider before your discussion.

Remember, the relationship is not based on items, and that includes toys, soothing devices, furniture, and even articles of clothing. No littles needs these items to be a little. The dynamic does not mean pacifiers are included into anything with anyone.

I think that a lot of single, unattached littles utilize certain items to find comfort in not having a Caregiver. These items would include attachment items that give them the feeling of being loved, taken care of, or soothed. Pacifiers, stuffed animals, and even sound devices or recordings of lullabies or bedtime stories fall into this category.
Pacifiers are typically used so that babies do not use bottles or the breast to excessively suckle on when trying to feel comfortable and soothed. They aren’t always given to babies and can damage the parent bonding experience, appropriate feeding, and dental development.

When it comes to being a little, would you prefer to cuddle with a stuffed animal or with your Caregiver? Would you prefer to play by yourself or with your Caregiver dutifully watching over you? Would you prefer to listen to a recording of a stranger read you a bedtime story or have your partner sit beside you and read you the story, Would you prefer to make all decisions for yourself and maintain all responsibility or would you prefer your trusted, proven Caregiver happily alleviate you of those stressors at times?

What I’m trying to say is that many “common” objects, such as pacifiers, that many littles and adult babies choose to use are ways they’ve figured out how to temporarily faux-parent themselves while single and in need of feeling lovingly soothed. It could be compared to things a bachelor owns prior to settling down into a serious commitment.

Caregivers are quite naturally parental. That is very important to recognize. This is often reinforced by their littles telling them they want the Caregiver to basically be their parent to some degree, handle certain situations, and make decisions they feel are best for the little.
A special part of becoming a parent is the power to make parental choices for your child. Parents daydream while preparing nurseries and buying baby items about decisions they’re going to make for their baby.
As a related example, plenty of parents do not give their babies pacifiers and that’s a very socially acceptable choice that a parent has the right to make. All babies still like to suckle, but not all parents choose a pacifier as an appropriate soothing device to fulfill that desire for their babies.

For understanding realistic age comparisons you may also like to know pediatric dentists recommend limiting pacifier time once a child is 2 and eliminating it completely before age 4. So, your partner isn’t wrong to associate them with, well, babies versus young children.

By wanting him to consent and using an item he rejects in front of him you are, in a way, stripping him of typical parental choice under the guise that it’s a “part of the CGL relationship dynamic”—when it isn’t. Items are not a part of the relationship. We aren’t actors who need props.

In a way, pushing to keep talking about this when he has...:
  • Already clearly said “no”
  • Given you reason why his preference is his preference absolutely pressuring him to do what you want anyway. It’s like a child who keeps asking their parent until the parent wears down and finally gives into what the child wants.
This would be personally conflicting as a Caregiver when you’re also being told that the little wants to follow your lead, accept your decisions, and allow you to maintain some level of control in their life.

It may be more appropriate to approach your Caregiver with something you’ve identified as needing fulfilled in yourself and giving them the opportunity to consider what options they would like you to try versus asking them directly for a specific choice you’ve already made.

Ultimately, objects are not what the dynamic between a Caregiver and a little is about. No items are required to experience that replicated parent/child bond. The bond is developed and grown between those people by the little allowing the Caregiver to parent them, and the Caregiver allowing the little to naturally relax into their regressive mood (*items not necessary).

I suggest you reconsider how you view what a Caregiver is, and consider how you should allow your Caregiver the right to make some harmless parental choices for you when with them. It may be a wise option to use the pacifier when without your Caregiver and in need of that sort of soothing but respectfully allowing your Caregiver to make their parenting decision by not using it when around them. After all, training yourself to seek soothing directly from them in some way when they’re with you may make your relationship stronger anyway.

Best of luck.
Alamoraine wrote:they've been proven to help with anxiety and sleep apnea, and even help people with oral fixations or smoking habits.
Cite your sources! A quick visit to the Wikipedia page on Adult Pacifiers claims:
Wikipedia wrote:Recent studies have also shown that pacifier use among adults may reduce or completely eliminate snoring, and can also help with anxiety and sleep. They also aid with people who have seizures in their sleep, PTSD, manic episodes and extreme cases of anxiety related excessive chewing. [29]
...with the article using an outdated quack study as a source, that doesn't even cover all of the stated benefits, only snoring. 29. Baby pacifier - the best snoring remedy.

Health benefits are irrelevant to the discussion, we feel, because most accounts on adult pacifier usage are anecdotal, and no formal studies have concluded stated benefits with scientific backing.
As for the issue at hand.

We applaud you for taking the right steps when encountering a relationship issue! Good on you for not going off and doing your own thing, and actually considering your partner when it comes to something that you have expressed interest in.

We have a different perspective.

A Little without a Caregiver is forced to make decisions on their own. In a way, a single Little acts as their own Caregiver, making sure to provide self-care and acting in their best interest. These responsibilities don't easily and magically transfer to another person when entering a relationship. It is a very difficult thing to recognize, but a Little has to transition into becoming their Caregiver's own by gradually transferring control over some aspects of Little's life. And part of that is acknowledging habits and desires. It's not an easy process, but in the end, a Caregiver that feels fulfilled in their role can only be an indicator that the Little is fulfilling the Caregiver's void.

Of course, there are give and takes, and negotiations to be made. The pacifier thing in this case is the cause of negotiation. You want to try pacifiers, and your Caregiver doesn't want you to. But our question to you:

What would make you happier: to try something (by yourself) that will potentially cause divide, or to give up a seemingly small desire, to give your Caregiver a sense of fulfillment in agency as a parent?

Anyway, we hope that your conversation with your Caregiver gives you both actionable steps to better your relationship! Best of luck!
Thanks guys! You've all been really insightful. I didn't mean to make it seem like this was just "part of the dynamic" although looking back I do see that I said something along those lines. I only meant that it is a fairly common accessory for a lot of littles to have.

For the pacifier thing, it's not that I wanted to make it part of our dynamic, really I just want to be able to try/use one without strange looks from my caregiver. He does not have to be involved in any way with it, but I don't really believe in locked doors in the house, so if he happens to "catch" me using it I didn't want to feel ashamed of it. Hence talking about it.
I also want to make sure that you know I'm not just curious because "lots of other littles use them." I know no one said that, but I just wanted to cover all the bases. :yes: I do have an oral fixation, I've had one all my life. As I've gotten older and finally just stopped putting random things in my mouth, I've taken to the usual biting my nails off, and I've also been chewing on the insides of my cheeks. Not just regular chew either, if one could see the inside of my cheeks on the outside they would think something had tried to eat me. (Honestly that's basically what I'm doing. Sorry for TMI.) I've looking into "chewlery" for adults, and I might get one anyway for when I'm in public, but strangely enough I'm not into chewing. That's just the only thing I've been able to do. I prefer just put things in my mouth and suck on them, so the chewlery has never been very appealing to me, none of it looks like anything I'd want to do that with. I'll keep looking, but I'll also still discuss the paci thing because so far that's the only thing that I've seen and gone "oh, that could work." Trying to save my cheeks and nails. :derp:

As for caregiver stuff we're still working out what that means for us. Here's not naturally a caregiver, he's definitely been more of a typical Dom his whole life, but he has expressed he doesn't want to be that way because he's fairly positive it's stemmed from trauma from when he was younger. So we're taking it day by day, and I'm trying to help him learn while also learning things myself. I'm definitely more of a dominant little, so him being more parental over me we have discovered is problematic to our core relationship, so he's more of a guide in life, helping me remember to do things I need to do. So in our case I do make a lot of decisions for myself, and he's completely fine with it, but I do still like to get his opinion on lots of things like this topic.

This has been very long winded, I apologize, haha. ::p:
Just wanted to update real quick. I brought it up again Saturday when we were hanging out so that we could talk about it in person. Apparently when I asked him about it before over text, he wasn't feeling well and was in a bad mood, and it's hard to tell that when you're only looking at a text. He says the idea doesn't actually bother him, he doesn't care if I get one or not. Part of me thinks he's just being nice about it (even though in the 7 years we've been together he's never once let something slide just to be nice.) So I have to just take his word on it. ::p: So I guess at some point I'll be getting a pacifier to try. :yay:
I hope your caregiver warms up to the idea. Pacis are really soothing and if you are curious about it, you should try it, so if you don't like it, you can at least say you tried. also, so that you don't go on with life wondering what it would have been like if you just gave it a chance...
lots of love.. :heart:

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