Here’s what you need to know about New Hampshire’s controversial adult diaper spa 

A debate over a diaper spa business in Atkinson, in which adults wear diapers and role play as children, has gone viral, and neighbors are taking a stand.

A debate over a diaper spa business in Atkinson, in which adults wear diapers and role play as children, has gone viral, and neighbors are taking a stand. Here’s what you need to know:  What is going on? The Diaper Spa is located on Pope Road in Atkinson, a small town of about 7,000 people near the Massachusetts border. The Diaper Spa is open to “all diaper-wearing individuals who seek acceptance, respite, and care,” according to the website. It’s owned by licensed doctor and board-certified sexologist Colleen Ann Murphy, who advertises the spa as the "original one and only physician-owned Diaper Spa in the world," according to the website. What services does The Diaper Spa offer? Photos on the spa’s page show a nursery-like space, complete with toys, folded diapers, and an adult-sized crib.The Diaper Spa provides virtual playdates for $200 an hour and an all-day "Diaper B&B" experience for $1,500 a day. Services are tailored to individual needs and include activities like "Little Friends Play Date," which promotes imaginative play. Summer activities can include tea parties with dolls, playing with teddy bears under a tree, and playing with floats in a pool, according to the website. Winter activities can include making snowmen and decorating gingerbread men.  Who are Adult Baby Diaper Lovers (ABDL)? ABDL refers to Adult Baby Diaper Lovers, a community comprising adult babies (ABs) who enjoy role-playing as infants, and diaper lovers (DLs),who voluntarily wear diapers.  Adults may wear, urinate in, and defecate in diapers, use baby toys, suck on pacifiers, crawl, use bottles, sleep with blankets, and express desires to become a baby, be treated like a baby, and have their diapers changed, according to a 2017 article in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Scholars have suggested that individuals' relationships or attachments to parents may be related to ABDL interests. Is ABDL behavior considered sexual? Sometimes. There are two subgroups within the ABDL community, with varying degrees of sexual involvement, according to researchers. While some engage in ABDL activities sexually,  others pursue it to relive childhood experiences or seek love and acceptance not felt during childhood. Some have a diaper fetish, others are excited by stool and urine release in a diaper. Some get excited due to a dirty diaper’s contact with their genitals or like the feel of a diaper touching their genitals.  What is the history of ABDL cases? The first documented cases of ABDL date back to 1964, according to a 2020 article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  The article mentions some noteworthy cases: 

  • In 1964, a 29-year-old male regularly masturbated in diapers. 
  • In 1967, a man orgasmed when he wore diapers and adopted other infant behaviors, like eating baby food and drinking from a baby bottle. 
  • One 57-year-old male who was hospitalized because of hallucinations, had a desire to be 3-years-old and to be nurtured by his wife as if she were his mother.  
Why are New Hampshire neighbors uncomfortable with The Diaper Spa? Atkinson resident Kayla Gallagher started a petition on change.org, asking the town administrator to reject any zoning requests by the diaper spa. She explained she was uncomfortable with the business’ mention that possible patrons could use nearby public trails and playgrounds.  “It has come to our attention that this business is advertised to individuals whose sexual fetish involves childlike behaviors,” Gallagher wrote in the petition, which garnered more than 500 signatures. “This business, per their website, has advertised our town playground to their potential clientele. Thus their sexual fetish will involve the town park where our children play.” Gallagher closed the petition on Jan. 31 in light of national attention.“At this point it is drawing more national attention than many of us would like,” Gallahger said on the petition’s site. “I think it is time to focus on us as a community to resolve this issue.” What is the future of Murphy's business in the state? The New Hampshire Secretary of State recently rejected Murphy’s request for a business license. Murphy seemingly responded to the controversy in a Jan. 28 blog post that her clients go through a “rigorous” screening process.“The Diaper Spa stands as a professional facility dedicated to providing compassionate care for individuals with unique needs, including combat veterans, those with congenital disabilities, progressive diseases, survivors of traumatic experiences, and others,” Murphy wrote.      

By Katy Savage

January 31, 2024

A debate over a diaper spa business in Atkinson, in which adults wear diapers and role play as children, has gone viral, and neighbors are taking a stand.

Here’s what you need to know: 

What is going on?

The Diaper Spa is located on Pope Road in Atkinson, a small town of about 7,000 people near the Massachusetts border. The Diaper Spa is open to “all diaper-wearing individuals who seek acceptance, respite, and care,” according to the website. It’s owned by licensed doctor and board-certified sexologist Colleen Ann Murphy, who advertises the spa as the “original one and only physician-owned Diaper Spa in the world,” according to the website.

What services does The Diaper Spa offer?

Photos on the spa’s page show a nursery-like space, complete with toys, folded diapers, and an adult-sized crib.The Diaper Spa provides virtual playdates for $200 an hour and an all-day “Diaper B&B” experience for $1,500 a day. Services are tailored to individual needs and include activities like “Little Friends Play Date,” which promotes imaginative play. Summer activities can include tea parties with dolls, playing with teddy bears under a tree, and playing with floats in a pool, according to the website. Winter activities can include making snowmen and decorating gingerbread men. 

Who are Adult Baby Diaper Lovers (ABDL)?

ABDL refers to Adult Baby Diaper Lovers, a community comprising adult babies (ABs) who enjoy role-playing as infants, and diaper lovers (DLs),who voluntarily wear diapers. 

Adults may wear, urinate in, and defecate in diapers, use baby toys, suck on pacifiers, crawl, use bottles, sleep with blankets, and express desires to become a baby, be treated like a baby, and have their diapers changed, according to a 2017 article in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Scholars have suggested that individuals’ relationships or attachments to parents may be related to ABDL interests.

Is ABDL behavior considered sexual?

Sometimes. There are two subgroups within the ABDL community, with varying degrees of sexual involvement, according to researchers. While some engage in ABDL activities sexually,  others pursue it to relive childhood experiences or seek love and acceptance not felt during childhood. Some have a diaper fetish, others are excited by stool and urine release in a diaper. Some get excited due to a dirty diaper’s contact with their genitals or like the feel of a diaper touching their genitals. 

What is the history of ABDL cases?

The first documented cases of ABDL date back to 1964, according to a 2020 article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 

The article mentions some noteworthy cases: 

  • In 1964, a 29-year-old male regularly masturbated in diapers. 
  • In 1967, a man orgasmed when he wore diapers and adopted other infant behaviors, like eating baby food and drinking from a baby bottle. 
  • One 57-year-old male who was hospitalized because of hallucinations, had a desire to be 3-years-old and to be nurtured by his wife as if she were his mother.  

Why are New Hampshire neighbors uncomfortable with The Diaper Spa?

Atkinson resident Kayla Gallagher started a petition on change.org, asking the town administrator to reject any zoning requests by the diaper spa. She explained she was uncomfortable with the business’ mention that possible patrons could use nearby public trails and playgrounds. 

“It has come to our attention that this business is advertised to individuals whose sexual fetish involves childlike behaviors,” Gallagher wrote in the petition, which garnered more than 500 signatures. “This business, per their website, has advertised our town playground to their potential clientele. Thus their sexual fetish will involve the town park where our children play.”

Gallagher closed the petition on Jan. 31 in light of national attention.“At this point it is drawing more national attention than many of us would like,” Gallahger said on the petition’s site. “I think it is time to focus on us as a community to resolve this issue.”

What is the future of Murphy’s business in the state?

The New Hampshire Secretary of State recently rejected Murphy’s request for a business license. Murphy seemingly responded to the controversy in a Jan. 28 blog post that her clients go through a “rigorous” screening process.“The Diaper Spa stands as a professional facility dedicated to providing compassionate care for individuals with unique needs, including combat veterans, those with congenital disabilities, progressive diseases, survivors of traumatic experiences, and others,” Murphy wrote.  

 

 

Author

  • Katy Savage

    Katy Savage is an award-winning reporter with more than 10 years of experience working in daily, weekly and digital news organizations as both an editor and reporter. Based in Enfield, Katy is a New England native and has a passion for telling stories about where she grew up. In her free time, she enjoys running and being outside as much as possible.

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