by Polly Borland
Essay by Susan Sontag
Introduction by Mark Holborn
Photography / Infantilism / Baby Theory
10.5 x 9.75 inches
80 four-color photographs
“[T]his is particularly gifted, authoritative, intelligent work. Borland’s pictures seem very knowing, compassionate; and too close, too familiar, to suggest common or mere curiosity.”
As perversions go, infantilism is little known, and even less understood. Imagine fully grown men wanting to revive their earliest days—dressed in diapers, dipped in baths, and “fed” from breasts—as a means to sexual stimulation or familial comfort. Now imagine trying to document this—yes, the thought that just popped into your head is right—and you have an idea of the herculean effort Borland went through to grapple with and understand people with this type of fetish.
Portrait-photographer-by-trade Polly Borland compassionately explores this surreal world, artfully framing the inner lives of adult babies alongside their outer manifestations. Many of these men, who function in society as truck drivers, accountants, and teachers, suffered as children and were left obsessed with the warmth and care experienced by other infants and toddlers. So they dress up in adult-sized baby clothes, powder their own bottoms, and…do what babies do, all in an attempt to recreate that lost attachment. And sometimes to get aroused. Accompanying these Arbus-like photographs are interviews with the babies themselves. The book, expertly sequenced by famed editor Mark Holborn, begins like the sweetest of lullabies, seducing us into a sense of lovely baby life… until about page 12.