The Institute:Daddy Issues(5)

By: Evangeline Anderson

“How can they not be?” I ob­jec­ted, break­ing into his lec­ture. “I mean, one of them is pre­tend­ing to be a kid and the other one is hav­ing sex with that one. It’s dis­gust­ing.”

“Age Play is not al­ways sexual,” the Pro­fessor answered smoothly. “Age Play­ers as­sume the roles of chil­dren be­cause they find com­fort in it. When they go into Little-space, they get to ex­press their most deeply bur­ied feel­ings from child­hood and re­lin­quish re­spons­ib­il­it­ies and in­deed, con­trol of their en­tire life to an­other per­son.”

“Num­ber one,” I said, “What is ‘Little-space’? And num­ber two, why would any­one want to give con­trol of their en­tire life to someone else?”

Pro­fessor Stevens laughed po­litely. “Surely you’re jok­ing my dear. Just ima­gine not hav­ing to worry about pay­ing the bills, do­ing the laun­dry, cook­ing the meals—ima­gine someone else do­ing all that for you. Just like when you were a child—wouldn’t that be worth the loss of con­trol?”

“I wouldn’t know,” I said bluntly. “My mom was an al­co­holic so I pretty much did all those things for my­self when I was a kid.”

“Andi is a very con­trolled per­son,” Salt put in, sur­pris­ing me. “She is not anxious to al­low any­one to help her—even when she needs the help.”

“Hey!” I frowned at my part­ner but he just gave me his best blank look as if to say, You know it’s true. After a minute, I dropped my eyes.

“I see,” the pro­fessor said. “Well, on to your second ques­tion, then. Little-space is the head­space or mind set an Age Player gets into when they re­gress. It’s al­most an altered state of con­scious­ness when they go into it deeply enough.”

“So—like some kind of drug?” I asked, frown­ing.

He nod­ded. “It can be, in a way. It changes your per­cep­tion and your judg­ment. For Littles, or the play­ers who be­come ‘younger,’ it’s of­ten a more open, simple place for them to be in. Again, many find it sooth­ing to be­come a child again and not have to think about adult prob­lems.”

“This sounds like a load of bull­shit to me,” I said, frown­ing. “But what about the other ones—the ones who play the adults? What do they get out of it, if it’s not sexual?”

“The ‘Bigs’ or ‘Dad­dies’ as they are some­times called, get the sat­is­fac­tion of teach­ing, caring for, and com­fort­ing their ‘younger’ part­ner.” Pro­fessor Stevens smiled. “Over­all, Age Play re­la­tion­ships are very warm and ful­filling for all parties in­volved.”

“Ooookay,” I said, not both­er­ing to try and hide my skep­ti­cism. “So the In­sti­tute is full of people who like to do this? This Age Play?”

“Ex­actly. And make no mis­take about it, De­tect­ive, Age Play is a form of BDSM.” Stevens raised a fin­ger. “In fact, it closely mir­rors the mas­ter/slave re­la­tion­ship of more tra­di­tional prac­tices. But there are subtle dif­fer­ences in the Daddy/Baby­girl re­la­tion­ship…”

“Okay, be­fore we get into all that…” I looked at Cap­tain Dou­glass again. “You ser­i­ously want us to do this? You want me to dress up like a little girl and Salt will be my Daddy? Be­cause I’m as­sum­ing it couldn’t go the other way around.”

“No,” Pro­fessor Stevens said, an­swer­ing for him. “No, there are other scenes where a male ‘Little girl’ or ‘Baby­girl’ would be wel­comed but not at the In­sti­tute. They are very tra­di­tional there.”

“You sound like you know the place,” I said, rais­ing an eye­brow at him.

Stevens cleared his throat, a bit un­com­fort­ably I thought.

“I am act­ive in the Tampa scene. I have been to one of their very rare open houses but it was some time ago.”

“Okay, whatever,” I said, turn­ing back to the Cap­tain. “The point is, you want Salt and me to go in un­der­cover to what is prob­ably the weird­est, kinki­est place I’ve ever heard of. Why us?”

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