It’s No Big Deal: 10 Ways to Feel Little When You’re Out in Public
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When Professor Sex pitched this idea, I truly squeed with pleasure. And in reading her post, she gave ME a couple of ideas I hadn’t considered before — proving that we can always learn something new!
One of the most frustrating things about any kinky D/s dynamic is that it can be so hard to tap into when your vanilla lives get in the way. It can be even harder when you’re out in public and even harder still when you’re in a Caregiver/little dynamic, which carries even more stigma and misunderstanding than most other D/s relationship structures do.
Not everyone is out about their dynamic, but for many folks in the lifestyle some of the best bonding time they get is when they’re out on a date or in some other public space. Heck, even kinky meet-ups like munches often occur in mundane and vanilla spaces like coffee shops and restaurants.
So, how can you continue to tap into your Caregiver/little dynamic even when you’re out in public? Before I offer you my tips, here are few things to keep in mind. Firstly, remember that not everyone around you has consented to participate in or witness your dynamic. If you’re out with kinky friends or at a kinky gathering, not everyone there has agreed to be outed (this could be very damaging to others even if it wouldn’t necessarily be damaging to you). Please be mindful of where you are, who you’re with, and how you’re behaving.
Calling your partner Daddy or pulling out a pacifier in a crowded restaurant might not only make people around you deeply uncomfortable, it might also put the people in your social circle at risk. If you are out with a group, discuss social boundaries before the meet-up. However, even if you aren’t sure about appropriate protocol for public displays of dynamic affection, the following are some suggestions for feeling little that will fly under even the most vanilla radars.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of adult coloring books and the way that almost every restaurant gives out coloring sheets and crayons, you should be able to color almost anytime and almost anywhere without rousing much suspicion. Coloring can bring out anyone’s inner little. But to make this extra special consider carrying a special coloring book and crayons or pencils that are only for use when you’re being your little self. Take this to the next level by making sure have permission from your Caregiver before using them.
Here are some suggestions:
Bring Your Own Straws
If you’re over the age of 5, using a sippy cup in public might garner some side-eye from the people around you. Straws, though; straws are for everyone. If you look around you can find some really adorable straws to make your inner little squeeee with delight. Pass on the plastic straw at the restaurant and use one of your special straws instead to make even the most mundane moment feel extra sparkly. Bonus for carrying reusable straws or paper straws if you can as it helps save the environment!
Here are some suggestions:
Some of the best ways to access your inner kinkster is to have some secret on you that, if discovered, would out you. Special undergarments are not only intimate, they’re an opportunity to have a secret that only you and your Caregiver know about. And adorable undies with cartoon characters, Disney princesses, and super heroes aren’t just for tiny bodies anymore. Think about your favorite little things and then find cute undies that go with it! Save those adorable breeches to wear only when you’re out with your Caregiver (or you want to feel extra little). As an added bonus, you could also have special socks for little you.
Here are some suggestions:
Asking Permission and For Help
As a little, you need your Caregiver to do all sorts of things for you. Asking permission and asking for help can help you feel super small and precious.
Ways to try this:
- Ask permission to have what you want off the menu at a restaurant and let your Caregiver order for you.
- If you want to buy something or have a special treat like a coffee or dessert, ask first.
- Let your Caregiver help you tie your shoe.
- Ask permission before leaving the table or wandering off to use the restroom.
- Allowing your Caregiver to open car doors or the doors to buildings looks like courtesy to others but can be a great way to tap into your dynamic.
Handling the Money
(Also, let them drive the car if that’s possible)
There’s nothing more grownup than paying for things. This certainly applies to bills and rent and other nonsense, but this can also mean handling things like paying for parking or dinner or your tickets and popcorn at the movies. Even if you’re splitting the tab, consider handing over your share of the cash to your Caregiver at the beginning of the night instead of the end so they can deal with the grownup money stuff and you can enjoy your time in little space.
Almost every romantic or sexual relationship begets pet names between those involved. Depending on what those are, though, it might not be something you want to yell across the room at your work holiday party. If you call your partner “Daddy” you may not feel comfortable doing that in front of others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with seemingly innocuous pet names that are special to you. Come up with a pet name specifically for your Caregiver/little identities that you can use in front of anyone at any time. Anything can work as long as it means something to the two of you, and only the two of you need to know what it means. The more personalized, the better. Privately, you know what it means, but publicly it just sounds like a nickname.
Special Rules for Little You
A Caregiver’s job is to take care of their little and keep them safe. Before you depart for your outing, determine what the rules are for your time in public. Other people won’t know the difference, but you’ll know, and that will help each of you really feel your dynamic.
- Hold hands when crossing the street
- Eat all your vegetables
- Don’t talk to strangers
- Don’t run off/wander off without permission
In this case, I’m talking about the way you hold hands. Usually, lovers hold hand by interlacing fingers and caregivers hold hands with their littles by clasping hands. If you want to tap into your dynamic, consider not just how frequently you hold hands, but also how you do it.
Little Snacks and Treats
We all love to treat ourselves when we go out, but little you should get special treats. Fruit snacks, gold fish bags, lollipops, and juice boxes are all things you can carry in a backpack or purse and snack on in public without turning a head. If you really want to accentuate your dynamic, ask your Caregiver to hold onto them for you and ask for them when you want them.
Try a Handmade Bullet Journal
As adults, we all have to-do lists, shopping lists, chores and meetings. While your natural inclination may be to use an app, spreadsheet, or boring old Dayplanner to keep track of your adult tasks, consider switching to brightly colored school planner or handmade bullet journal. A school planner or bullet journal allows you to use brightly colored pens and pencils, washi tape, and ((drumroll please)) STICKERS! And the best part is, these are super popular ways to track your life, so nobody will think twice about it!
Just a few bullet journaling resources:
I hope these have been some helpful tips to inspire creativity in your dynamic. If you have any ideas or tips you’d like to share, leave them in the comments! If you have any questions or need anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].
About Professor Sex
Professor Sex, aka Angel Kalafatis-Russell (they/them; she/her) is a queer, kinky, polyamorous, sex and relationship educator, HIV and STI prevention specialist, scientist, and activist. They are an MSPS (Master of Science in Psychological Science) candidate (all but thesis) and research sexologist (studying, among other things, BDSM behavior and identity). Additionally, they are Director of Outreach and Education for the Relationship Equality Foundation. They also sit on the editorial board for the Journal of Counseling Sexology, are a researcher with the Community Sexual Health Education and Research Initiative (CSHER.com), and they are currently under supervision by the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) to be a Certified Sexuality Educator.
Their writing has been featured by FindPoly, SwingTowns, Kink Crate, and more, and they are a member of SistersInSmut.com. Angel has been invited to speak in myriad venues including lecture halls, fetish clubs, academic conferences, private workshops, and sexuality conferences. Angel is deeply passionate about sex-positive, inclusive, medically accurate, scientifically informed, pleasure-based sex education. They can be found in several places online, so it’s best to start at ProfessorSex.com and go from there.