age play vs age regression thumbnail with blocks around the edges
Age play vs Age Regression

Age Play vs. Age Regression – What’s the Difference? 

It’s easy to confuse Ageplay and Age Regression. At a glance, they look alike and they usually use similar terms. But, no matter how identical they may seem, they are not synonyms for each other. 

Age play is connected to the kink community and it involves consenting adults acting as an age different from their own. Age Regression involves reverting to a younger mental state and it is not connected to kink. Those of all ages can take part in age regression.

If you’re not familiar with either of these concepts it may still be confusing to get what exactly the differences are. Understanding each concept separately is the clearest way to highlight their differences.

What is Age Play?

Age play is a form of sexual and/or non-sexual role play in which one or more consenting adults pretend to be an age different from their biological one. 

An example of this type of play is the caregiver little/middle dynamic (CGL). In this dynamic, one partner acts the role of a caregiver, while the other acts the role of a “little” in which they pretend to be younger than they are. 

It’s common to talk about age players that take on younger ages, but age play isn’t limited to that. You can age-play as older roles as well. For instance, I act as a tacky older cougar woman to turn my partner on.

Those who engage in age play tend to do so because they find the power exchange to be arousing, comforting, or just plain old fun! 

What is Age Regression? 

Age regression is when an individual psychologically returns to a mental state that is younger than they are (differs from a few years younger to complete infancy), either voluntarily or involuntarily

When it’s voluntary, it’s usually used by the regressor to relieve stress, regulate emotions, or deal with past traumas by returning to a safer state of mind (age regression therapy). 

When agere (age regression) is involuntary, the mental headspace that the regressor experiences can vary from fun to traumatic. These episodes can be a sign of a mental health condition such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or borderline personality disorder, along with a list of others. 

How are they Different?  

age play vs age regression Venn diagram

Even though age play and age regression have many similarities in their execution they have major differences in their contexts. 

Age play is for adults due to its connections with the kink community. It can be sexual or non-sexual because the person/s involved is playing as an age younger than themselves. Age play is completely voluntary and isn’t restricted to acting younger.  

In contrast, age regression is for all ages and is never sexual, even if it’s between adults. This is because the individual involved is mentally regressing (usually to the age of a minor). In other words, they can not give consent. Age regression can be voluntary or involuntary. 

When it’s involuntary, it can become a hindrance to the regressor’s way of living especially when they need to do “adult” things. 

Interested in Age Play? Check out The Little Space Question Sheet


  1. Jessie

    olá, esse texto me ajudou a entender algo que tenho confundido a um tempo, achei essa a melhor explicação sobre o assunto das que encontrei, muito obrigado!

    • Lexi Kisses

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m happy my article could be informative to you!

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