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?”