Ten Days In Diapers

A social and private emotional experiment.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Who's Reading and What Would You Change?

Hello. everyone. Long time no see.

First off, thanks to all those who've sent in comments. Without exception, they have all been intelligent, informative, and thought-provoking--which is, I suppose, the purpose of this experiment.

Speaking of reading, who is? How'd you find out about this blog? Why'd you read it? Feel free to post your response as a comment or e-mail it to me at tendaysindiapers (at) hotmail (dot) com. Also, feel free to remain as anonymous as you want. I will. :-)

Finally, if this experiment were to be repeated, what would you like to see done differently? Or, what other angles/aspects would you like to see explored? Does it even need to be repeated?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Day Eight: An Early End

For reasons I don't wish to divulge here, I have decided to end the experiment a little early. Still, a week and a day in diapers has been more than enough time to learn what I wanted to know. All told, I can boil my discoveries down to a few salient points:

1) While diapers provide for some physical discomfort, their most debilitating aspect is still psychological. I can only speak for myself, but from the (greater) fear of public leaks to the (somewhat lesser) fear of obvious sounds and/or smells, it seems that a diaper's protection--while necessary--is not without its costs.

2) And speaking of costs... diapers are EXPENSIVE! I won't re-hash the figures here, but between the actual purchase price of the diapers and supplies to the space they take up in landfills, I can't believe no one's found a better (cheaper, less wasteful) solution yet. There ARE cloth diapers, I suppose, but even I would question the amount of labor involved in keeping them clean, usable, and on-hand...

3) On a more personal note, I also discovered something about myself--while I'm pretty brave in public, I'm much more worried about people I know finding out that I wear/wore diapers.

4) Finally, I just want to say something to all the parents out there: if your kid gets diaper rash, please be understanding if they're more than a little cranky. That stuff hurts like you wouldn't believe! ;-)

That's it for me and this blog. Further questions can be directed to the e-mail address listed in my profile.

Goodnight, good luck, and thanks for reading.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day Seven: Afternoon

Menal/Physical: Feeling pretty good!
# Diapers Used: 26 -- 22 Meijer, 4 Abena

Well, I have to hand it to the folks at Abena--when they make a diaper, they really go all out. As you can tell from the top of this post, I have only gone through TWO diapers in the last 24 hours. Even then, I could have gone longer by the rules of the experiment; while wet, the Abenas didn't seem to be in any real danger of leaking. Still, there was NO WAY that I was going to get out of the shower and change back INTO a wet diaper!

But do these "super diapers" help save money or the environment? Let's look:

With shipping, the Abenas cost $25.98 for a package of 14--that's approximately $1.86 per diaper, or more than three and a half times the price of the Meijer diapers. With the Meijer diapers, I was going through six a day, on average. That means I was spending $3.12 per day. Going through two Abenas, I'm spending $3.72 per day. Not much savings going on there!

You'd think that only using two diapers a day would be better than using six, and you'd be right... but only by a little. I don't have the time to get out the scales or measuring sticks right now, but here's what I can tell you:

By weight, there really isn't much difference between two wet Abena diapers and six wet Meijer diapers. Moisture trapped in an absorbent gel/pulp weighs about the same no matter what you do with it. The weight of all the other parts of the diaper are all pretty minimal--it's just various polymers and pulps.

In size, the Abena diapers are considerably larger and bulkier (maybe by 30%?) than the Meijer diapers. When wet, I can still "ball up" a Meijer diaper into a softball-sized wad. A similarly-folded Abena is about twice that size. They're bigger to begin with and hold a lot more liquid, so that's not really a surprise.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Day Six: Morning

Mental & Physical: Tired
# Diapers Used: 24 -- 22 Meijer, 2 Abena

Sleep was fitful last night, and began with an unexpected diaper change only an hour after I went to bed. It seems the super-absorbent Abena diapers aren't so super when one is laying on his/her back. Ugh. Fun.

Despite a less-than-stellar start, I nonetheless decided to give the Abenas another shot. And I'm happy (well maybe "happy" is not quite the word) to report that the second diaper has lasted nearly eight hours and doesn't look/feel like it will need to be changed anytime soon. It's what I've started referring to as "wet but not soaked."

The moral of this story: if you gotta go, go standing. Of course, for a person who really lacks control in that area, it might be more difficult to pull that off.

Day Five: Night

Well, the Abena diapers came today; I'm wearing my first one now. While I can't yet vouch for their ultra-absorbency, I can tell you that they are both VERY thick and pretty quiet compared to the Meijer diapers I have been wearing.

The thickness is a double-edged sword, I think. It means that they must be at least somewhat more absorbent than the other diapers, but at the same time it makes walking, sitting, and everything else considerably more awkward. Also, they are not very concelable. I'm wearing a pretty roomy pair of shorts over them, and even then they're not well-hidden. Forget about wearing jeans or khakis--there's just no way they'd fit underneath, especially when wet. Funny, but a lot of the padding seems to be concentrated up front. I would think that--especially if one was wearing them at night--it would be more advantageous to have the padding in the back/butt of the diaper.

The quietness is good--I no longer sound like a walking roll of Saran wrap--but again, without being able to conceal them, there isn't much point. Oh well.

Additionally, they don't seem to be as good at trapping/masking odor as the other diapers.
I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that I'm well aware that my diaper isn't 100% dry.

Quibbles aside, I think these will nonetheless make for good "overnight" diapers. I feel very secure when it comes to leaks.

Not much else to report, tonight. I worked at home all day, though I did run some errands in the late morning/afternoon. I wore a t-shirt, shorts, and Meijer diapers (the Abenas didn't come until later in the day) and have to admit feeling less self-conscious than in the past few days. I don't know how obvious it was to anyone else, but I really didn't care if they knew I was diapered or not. Either I'm getting braver, or I just knew that 99% of the people I saw today would never see me again, either.

Well, I'm going to go blow off a little steam then head for bed. We'll see how things look around 5-6am when my first change usually becomes necessary.



Monday, June 19, 2006

Renumbering The Days

Just a quick note to explain the re-titling of earlier posts:

I realized in my second post that I had mis-numbered the days of the experiment. "Day Two" events actually happened during the first 24-hour period, but because the sun had already risen, I mistakenly counted it as Day Two.

So, rather than try to make up for it through more esoteric means (like putting quotation marks around each day's number or trying to re-explain myself every other post), I decided to go back through and re-name the posts using the correct numbers.

So, yeah, it's officially Day Four again. Yippie.

Day Four: Morning

Mental: Righteous
Physical: A little stoned from too much sleep... not a bad thing! :-)
# Diapers Used: 19

Wow... I think blogging about how much sleeping in diapers sucks must have been just the outlet I needed, 'cause last night I slept like a LOG. I went to bed a little after midnight and, aside from a quick change around 5am, slept until almost 10:30 this morning. I feel great, if a little groggy. Heaven knows I needed the rest.

Interesting/gross fact of the day: For the first time, I replaced the trash bag of my "diaper bin" (really just an ordinary 13 gal. trash can with a hinged lid). The bag was sooo heavy that I couldn't resist weighing it. Just FYI, 19 wet diapers weigh approximately 24 pounds.

The breakdown:

The average wet diaper weighs 1.26 pounds.

Assuming that the "six a day" figure (see last night's post) holds true, that means the average diaper-wearer will go through 2,190 diapers/year, and add approximately 2759.4 POUNDS of diapers to the landfill each year. That's OVER A TON OF DIRTY DIAPERS PER PERSON PER YEAR. And I'm pretty sure these suckers don't biodegrade very quickly, if at all.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Day Three: Night

Mental: Feelin' good!
Physical: Slight headache, but otherwise good.
# Diapers Used: 16*

Again, I took a few hours off from the experiment to meet my family for Father's Day celebrations. I knew that I'd be helping my dad hook up some electronics, which meant that I'd be bending over a lot, showing off whatever undergarments I might wear. Not much of a choice, there. But now I'm back home, taped up, and ready to go on.

No new surprises or revelations at this point, except to say that sleeping in diapers officially sucks. They're hot and tend to pinch and rub in all the wrong places, to say nothing of the added "sensation" of being damp for several hours at a time. (See the first post's rules on changing.)

The Abena diapers are due to arrive the first part of the week and I have to admit that I'm looking forward to that. Don't get me wrong, the Meijer diapers have certainly exceded my expectations--not a single leak, broken tape, torn cover, etc.--but I'm hoping the Abenas will prove to be more effective at wicking away moisture.

*At this point, I feel I might be able to estimate the financial aspects of diaper wearing.

In three days, I have used 16 diapers. That's 5.3 diapers/day. We'll round up to 6 because I've had to take a few hours off and/or avoid using the diaper here and there.

These particular diapers cost $0.52 each.

So, 6 x .52 = $3.12 / day

Assuming that rate stays fairly constant, $3.12 x 30 = about $93.60 per month and $3.12 x 365 = $1,138.80 per year. Yikes. That doesn't even include powder, oil, or even trash bags to throw the damn things away.

That's a lot of money to spend on underwear in 12 months...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Day Two: Afternoon

The drudgery of diaper-wearing is beginning to set in, I suspect. Although last night's round of Desitin and baby powder seem to have minimized the chafing, there are still noticable red streaks where the diapers' elastic leg "cuffs" rub against my skin. Also, the temperature shot up again today, making these plastic, water-tight garments that much less comfortable.

On the bright side, I'm wetting less often and in smaller amounts today. I don't know if that's due to the heat or the fact that such frequent (and unimpeded) peeing has begun to shrink the size of my bladder.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Day One: Night

Mental State: Ready to relax!
Physical State: Pretty good, though a bit chafed in the crotch
# Diapers Used: 6

Well, it's sort of "day two." Since I only started wearing diapers yesterday evening, it's really just the beginning of my second 24 hours.

Today was busy, busy, busy with lots of small work appointments. It was also hot. Driving around town, I could feel the sweat soaking into the back of my shirt and even being absorbed by my diaper. It didn't feel as full as when I wet (obviously), but it definitely made for some less-than-comfortable driving.

Tonight I attended a dinner for a couple that I know and it was there that I cheated the experiment a little bit. Like I mentioned before, it was very hot today so I downed several ice waters while waiting for all the guests to arrive. About the time our entrees arrived, I had to pee Very Badly. I knew it would be a lot, and so decided--for the sake of my friends and their guests, to say nothing of my own personal self-worth--to excuse myself to the toilet rather than risk any large-scale leaks.

After leaving the restaurant, though, I have resumed the experiment as usual.

At this point, I am beginning to understand why incontinence keeps so many people out of public life. It's not the wetting, usually, but the Fear of Wetting--especially around those you know well. For me, I don't really mind too much if I get a spot on the back of my shorts at the gas station--but at a nice dinner with friends. Well, you see what card I played then...

I am also beginning to notice the first physical signs of prolonged diaper use: chafing and a slight rash. You can bet that I'll be making extensive use of the oil, Desitin, and/or powder tonight. Ouch!

Day One: Afternoon

Mental State: Not too bad, actually
Physical State: Tired but otherwise normal
# Diapers Used: 4

As noted in my last post, I put on my first diaper around 7:30pm yesterday evening. It was bulky and awkward compared to normal underwear, but still fit comfortably under a pair of denim shorts. Because I was meeting a friend for dinner, I also wore two shirts: one on the outside, and a light cotton t-shirt tucked into the shorts to help minimize the rattle of the diaper.

Before I could leave the house, a neighbor stopped by to ask a favor. I accompanied him out into the yard where we talked for a few minutes. I honestly don't think he suspected anything. At least, he didn't seem to.

After he left, I put an extra diaper under the front seat of my car and drove to the restaurant. Dinner was as normal as the conversation I had with the neighbor. It was a noisy restaurant, too, which meant I was not at all worried about being "heard."

After dinner, my friend and I parted ways and I went to the local Walmart for some groceries. While shopping, I felt the urge to "go" (probably due to the four or five ice waters I'd had at dinner), and there in the frozen foods section, I wet my diaper for the first time. I was more nervous than I thought I'd be. "What if it sprung a leak?" I thought. "What if I wet more than the diaper could hold?" "What if someone could hear/see/smell what was going on?"

As it turned out, I didn't need to worry. Although I wet a lot, the diaper didn't leak. It did get a bit more bulky, and made walking feel...um... interesting, but otherwise everything was relatively normal. The warmth and dampness were somewhat discomforting, but not unbearable. Even when I got back out to my car and sat down, there were still no leaks. Whew.

I wet again while sitting at a stoplight which made the diaper even more soggy, and, once home, I decided that it had pretty much reached its maximum level of absorption. I changed into a clean diaper and spent the rest of the evening lounging in just that and a t-shirt.

Sleep was fitful at best, despite having taken an OTC sleeping pill. I wet through another diaper by 1am, then woke again around 6am to another round of wetting. After that soaking (still without leaks!), I spent an hour or so sans diaper, then put on a new one and went back to bed. The most recent diaper lasted until around 11:30am, when I showered, changed, and began writing.

Now I'm off to do some work in public and am a bit nervous...

More later.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Prologue: Evening

This evening, at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, I began the first phase in a self-initiated social and emotional experiment: spending ten days "in diapers." Throughout this time, I will observe my own emotional responses, as well as the reactions of others (if they notice) to my diapered state. This blog will serve as a record of those experiences, filtered as they may be by my own preceptions and perceptions.

Before I begin describing my experiences, I will first provide some background and details of the "experiment."

To answer the last question first:

- Curiosity about the past: I've always been curious about diapers. I obviously used to wear them when I first arrived on this planet, but as you might suspect, I don't remember anything about it. What did they feel like? How well did they work? How did they affect my life then?

- Curiosity about the present: Adult diapers are everywhere. In my small Midwestern town, I can think--off hand--of at least half a dozen stores where you can buy adult diapers. They're all even within two miles of each other. They're another elephant that no one talks about, aside from cracking jokes. Well, no one outside of the medical/care-giver community, anyway...

- Curiosity about the future: There may come a day when I will really need to wear diapers. What would it be like? How would I react? How about other people?

To answer the first question: My wife is out of town for quite a while, so (a) I'm a little bored, and (b) this little experiment won't annoy her in any way. Also, ten days seemed like a nice round number--enough time to "get into" the role/experiment without going too deeply or just skimming the surface.

I am beginning this experiment with the following supplies:
  • 60 Meijer-brand Maximum Protection Fitted Briefs, size medium (3 packages @ $10 each). These seemed to offer the most bang for the buck: they're rated for a high degree of "protection" and are also obviously "diaper-like" in that they are relatively thick, crinkle when one walks, and are held on by four high-strength tapes. I could have gone for a less-obtrusive solution (disposable "protective underwear"), but I feel that would have been "short-changing" the social and emotional impact of the experience.
  • 14 Abena X-Plus Fitted Briefs. After significant online research, it looks like these diapers will be the best solution for "overnight" protection, as well as any periods where I won't be able to change for a while. Supposedly, they hold over 116 fl. oz. Wow. We'll see. I ordered them from Drugstore.com tonight and they should arrive in a few days. Until then, I'll see how the Meijer diapers hold up.
  • 1 Basic Bedding Mattress Protector. This is to prevent any unnecessary damage to my mattress. I will also institute some ground rules to prevent/minimize leakage onto other pieces of furniture.
  • 1 tube Desitin creme. This is to prevent any unnecessary damage to my skin.
  • 2 bottles generic baby powder. Ditto.
  • 1 bottle generic baby oil. Ditto ditto.
  • Other miscellaneous items include not-so-great sheets and pillow cases, and flushable wipes and latex gloves for easier cleanup.
The following ground rules will help to keep the experiment on track, as well, as keep my life from derailing too far...
  1. Diaper Use: This experiment will only cover urinary "incontinence." "Wetting" should always be done in a diaper; defecation must occur in a toilet. This rule will make my work-life easier, and will make life in general much less gross than the alternative.
  2. Clothing: Diapers aside, clothing will consist of the stuff I wear every day, from shorts and t-shirts to business casual meeting clothes. If the noise, bulk, or potential leakiness of the diaper would pose a problem for business purposes, I will take whatever steps are necessary to reduce those factors, EXCEPT for removal of the diaper. While running personal errands in public, I will not worry as much about that. A simple pair of pants or shorts over a diaper will be enough.
  3. Changing: To minimize expenses (a real-world concern for actual diaper wearers, I'm sure), some diapers must be "used" more than once. A diaper should be changed only when it appears/feels wet enough to leak onto clothing, furniture, etc.
At this point, I will not limit my physical or social activities beyond the norm. This is an experiment in diaper-wearing, not in being a "shut-in." Additionally, such an approach will let me see the extent to which diapering is a hinderance (or maybe even a help?) in the day-to-day world.

That's about it for now... my next post will include details about my first evening in diapers.