We are rainbow
Although there are plenty of medical reasons why adult pacifiers exist, you might not be too familiar with them. If you are, that’s excellent. If not, it’s likely because of the negative connotation that surrounds them as a result of how they’re often portrayed in media. Two such examples where their use has been featured more frequently in recent years would be at rave parties to counteract the side effects of taking drugs (e.g., lockjaw), and amongst those who have the “Adult Baby” fetish/kink
The unfortunate truth is that some people use adult pacifiers for negative purposes, which has in turn stigmatized the medical item and made it inaccessible to those who could benefit from its use. For some, this accessibility issue occurs because they are young and still living with their parents, who may not permit them to use a pacifier thinking it’s only something used by adults participating in “kink” activities. Others face teasing or harassment from family members, friends, and even complete strangers that prevents them from accessing pacifiers altogether.
For a little more perspective, I want to share something personal. I’m in my early twenties and have an invisible disability. There are no visible signs that anything is wrong with me. When people see me, they don’t think “disabled person.” They see a young woman who looks healthy and whole. Using public handicap services gets me a lot of dirty looks. People ask invasive questions about my health, tell me I’m too young to be disabled, and that I’m just lazy. They make me feel like I have to prove my right to use these handicap services – as if I’m not already going through enough.
Some days I’m just too tired to defend myself or I don’t have the time to. On those days I give up the services that would greatly help me just to avoid these people. I risk injuring myself or triggering a flare-up in my condition, just because these people have a stigmatized view of what a disabled person “should” look like. This stigma sometimes makes handicap services inaccessible to me because of the people who enforce them. It’s the same thing with adult pacifiers. When people assume they are for or say they can only be used in relation to drugs or fetish, they make a legitimate medical item inaccessible to people who could use them.
Even though I market my adult pacifiers for medical use, not drugs or fetish, I know that there are still stigmas attached to them. I know that these stigmas can influence how people think of both my shop and me, but I’m not going to let that discourage me. Instead, I am going to take my time to educate people. I hope that by educating them on the medical benefits, they will not judge those who need to use it. Maybe they’ll even find that they could benefit from using it themselves. But whether they do or don’t is fine – as long as they’re given the opportunity to learn about it in a non-judgemental environment, which I believe everyone deserves.
The primary target market: Mental health industries
Adult pacifiers were designed for people with mental disorders, developmental disorders, and behavioral symptoms.
Pacifiers are often called “soothers” since that is what they do; they calm an upset or fussy baby. The pacifier itself, however, is not what soothes the baby–it’s the act of sucking. Sucking remains a self-soothing behavior for most people well into adulthood and can manifest in unhealthy habits like thumb-sucking, using a lollipop, hard candy, cigarettes, or the tip of a pen.
People with various mental health disorders often engage in self-soothing or self-stimulatory behavior to cope. Adult pacifiers were created as a positive and healthy way to help patients avoid developing unhealthy habits. Some may chew on the teat of their adult pacifier, which usually falls under stimming (self-stimulation). Other tools for self-stimulation, such as chewable jewelry, are also very common in mental health settings.
Negative oral fixations can be replaced with positive ones.
Oral fixation, as Sigmund Freud first coined the term, is a stage of development in which someone has an obsession with stimulating their mouth. Also known as the “teething” stage, young children at this age will try to chew or suck on anything they can get their hands on.
Later on, in the psychological realm, it was revealed that this type of recurrent behavior can endure into adulthood much like self-soothing conduct. This is what sparks individuals to build bad habits like smoking cigarettes, overeating, nail-biting, and other unsavory manners akin to these. These obsessions can be very strenuous to vanquish without a suitable replacement. Much like negative self-comforting actions’, an adult pacifier can serve as a healthful substitute. It simultaneously keeps your mouth engaged and placates the craving to chew and/or suck on something
Get tips on how to stop teeth grinding and protect your smile!
Teeth grinding might not sound harmful, but it can actually do a lot of damage to your teeth and jaw. Long-term tooth grinding can wear down your teeth, and in some cases, people who grind their teeth may develop temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), also known as lockjaw. An adult pacifier helps prevent this by encouraging a sucking motion instead of grinding. Even if you continue to grind your teeth, the pacifier will keep them separated and help reduce damage.
There are many reasons why someone may grind their teeth, including both external and internal factors. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress or anxiety, and it may also be a habitual action. In some cases, teeth grinding may also be a side effect of taking certain drugs. You may associate stimulant drugs only with illegal or recreational drug use, but these types of drugs also have legal purposes. And whether you use them legally or illegally, it does not impact the likelihood of teeth grinding as a side effect. Therefore, I do consider stimulant use as a non-negative reason for why adults need pacifiers.
There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep, including reducing stress levels and improving overall health. For people with sleep disorders, however, the effects of poor sleep can be much more serious. Sleep disorders can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and even depression. If you’re struggling to get enough rest at night, there are some steps you can take to improve your sleep quality and reduce symptoms of insomnia or other sleep disorders.
As we have discussed, pacifiers can be calming for both infants and adults. So it follows that they would promote relaxation and assist in falling asleep more quickly. However, many adult users also said that their sleep quality improved overall, and they woke feeling more rested.
If you’re looking for an unrestrictive way to stop snoring or get rid of sleep apnea, look no further than adult pacifiers! Unlike CPAP machines, adult pacifiers don’t confine users to one position- so you can sleep however is most comfortable for you. Studies have also shown that in addition to better Sleep Quality and falling asleep faster, Adult Pacifiers improve symptoms of common Sleeping Disorders such as Snoring, Insomnia, Chronic Nightmares & Sleep Apnea.
In conclusion, there are way more medical uses for adult pacifiers than I had initially thought. The only reasons why these items have a negative stigma is because of media portrayal and lack of public knowledge.
My goal in writing this isn’t to change people’s minds overnight about adult pacifiers. My hope is to reach as many people as possible and help them understand that there is nothing wrong with using an adult pacifier, whether for medical reasons or not. I want those who already use adult pacifiers to feel confident and secure, knowing that they are not part of the negative stigma surrounding them. And if they wish, I want these individuals to be able to educate the people in their lives about adult pacifiers
I forgot to mention that people with Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) may have child alters who use pacifiers. Of course, although these alters may be kids, the body is not, and therefore they would need to use adult-sized pacifiers to prevent harming the teeth or jaw. Although they are called “adult” pacifiers, they are not exclusive to adults. Baby Pants recommends their pacifiers for use by ages 13+, while Nuk recommends them for “large children” and adults. In the end, it is about comfort and ease of use. Some even grown-ups have smaller mouths, thus needing a toddler-sized pacifier instead of an adult one. The teat should be such that you can close your mouth around it easily and hold it in your mouth without having to strain your jaw too much.
When I first published this article, I had no idea that people would be using adult pacifiers for speech therapy and POTS. However, since then, I have done more research and collected a combination of articles and first-hand accounts to provide a more comprehensive view of the topic.[x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]
If you have come across any articles, forums, or blog posts discussing the medical use of adult pacifiers, please share them with me so I can add them to the list above. It is crucial that we spread awareness by sharing information and experiences with one another.