Riley Kilo starred on TLC in 2011.
But she isn’t a glamorous toddler or a bride looking for her dream wedding dress.
She is an adult baby.
The Buffalo native was featured on “My Strange Addiction” to teach viewers about her lifestyle choice on July 24, 2011. Kilo, a former porn star, is a prominent member of the adult-baby community, which is comprised of people with a paraphilic infantilism fetish which refers to, role-playing and regressing into an infant-like state. Many wear diapers and engage in age play, such as acting like an infant by watching children’s cartoons or using pacifiers. Despite its classification as a fetish, the lifestyle can be non-sexual, depending on the person.
Kilo and other members of the community face an abundance of backlash because of their fetish. The adult baby/diaper lover –– AB/DL –– community is often misassociated with pedophilia, despite the latter being extensively denounced in the community. Those within the fetish community don’t associate regression with an attraction to children or minors, according to Kilo.
“The only thing I’m willing to say that would generalize the community is that we are all adults,” Kilo said. “I’m sure there are underage people that are interested in certain aspects of the community –– I know I started at an early age –– but everyone communicating online is an adult because we make it that way.”
Kilo’s interest in the lifestyle began at a young age.
She started secretly wearing diapers at 13 years old, but her interest in diapers stems deeper than just physical comfort.
Kilo, a transgender woman, recalls associating her diaper use with combatting gender dysphoria.
“Genitals can be a persistent worry for some people, and I’ve heard this from a lot of other transwomen in the community,” Kilo said. “For a long time, I liked wearing [diapers] because it was a good way to neutralize them. Wearing a big diaper essentially turns you into a Ken doll.”
Kilo, who didn’t have prominent celebrities like Miley Cyrus or Melanie Martinez to look up to for validation of her interests, spent much of her adolescence hiding her interests from those close to her because of their negative connotations, such as mental illness and medical concerns.
“I never felt comfortable hugging anybody –– friends or family –– because I felt like there was something deeply wrong with me, and that by hugging them I was lying to them,” Kilo said. “I was this person inside that had these dark, bad things, which was the desire to wear diapers. That can really isolate you.”
Kilo has since found comfort in her interest and has even monetized the hobby.
Before she appeared on TLC in her 20s to discuss her “addiction” to being an adult baby, Kilo was used to being in front of a camera. By the time the episode aired on TLC, she worked for the amateur porn production company Homemade Media under the moniker Sadie Hawkins and independently as a camgirl. She now wears diapers 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
She incorporates her kink into her modeling and cam work, often appearing in onesies or diapers.
The fetish is often broken down into two categories: adult babies who participate in regression and diaper lovers who eroticize wearing diapers. These elements often overlap, depending on the person’s preference.
Those who are attracted to regression compare it to the relationship between domination and submission, according to Kilo.
Many members of the community are in relationships that mimic caretaking roles. This is seen across social media platforms, often as the “daddy-and-little” dynamic.
Amber Fisher, a Buffalo native, recently began experimenting in the AB/DL fetish and age play
with her husband. The couple, who discovered the community while in their 40s, find sexual gratification in the caretaking aspects of the kink.
“I like how he has total control over me and can make me do whatever he wants,” Fisher said. “But it doesn’t ever cross the line into the rougher ‘50 Shades of Grey’ kind of stuff, which I like.”
But not every member of the community participates for sexual gratification.
Kilo says practicing regression also helps her relax.
“I’m a person who’s a little high strung, as someone who’s been through a lot of trauma through my life,” Kilo said. “I’ve tried religion and yoga and everything else to find some sort of meditational peace, and nothing has really worked. I feel like this is my path to some level of comfort and peace.”
Kyle Heli*, a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology, joined the online community because of an interest in diapers. This interest evolved into the AB/DL fetish when he began experimenting with age play.
“Ever since I was five or six, I had always had this fascination with diapers. Every time we would go to the store, I would sneak off to the baby section and look at all the different kinds of diapers,” Heli said. “[I enjoy] the feeling of a diaper around my waist. It’s super soft and warm, especially when it’s wet.”
The community has grown substantially through social media platforms and forums and has become significantly more accessible, according to Kilo. There are now multiple conventions like TeddyCon and CAPCon, along with different pop-up stores that carry fetish supplies, such as diapers, pacifiers and clothing.
Kilo said her “nerdy” interest in diapers is comparable to collecting stamps or trains.
“Like so many different hobbies, it’s something you can nerd-out about,” Kilo said. “I know all the brands, sizes and I can recommend certain kinds to people.”
Kilo feels she has lost her privacy since the episode’s debut and wants to keep her personal-life private moving forward. She has since moved to Pennsylvania and lives in an area with a thriving AB/DL community, which offers specific accommodations such as fetish-themed bed and breakfasts. She is currently writing a memoir about her life and experience as a sex worker within the AB/DL community.
“It is perfectly fine to be uncomfortable with what I do or think what I do is gross or counterproductive or wrong, but it is my right to do that thing,” Kilo said. “It’s just a group of people that share a common interest that may seem strange at first but is completely innocent.”
*Name has been changed for anonymity at the request of the source.
Samantha Vargas is the senior features editor and can be reached at Samantha.Vargas@UBSpectrum.com and on Twitter at @SamMarieVargas.
Samantha Vargas is the senior features editor, an English/film studies double major with a minor in media study. She spends her free time finding shows around Buffalo and hanging out with her cat.