All through September and October, Tim changed for his workouts in his dorm room. He saw no reason to relive the traumas of the high school locker room if he didn't have to. But the weather was changing. Soon he wouldn't be able to walk around campus in just a T-shirt and gym shorts. Maybe he could run, but he hated running. Lifting free weights was his exercise of choice. One day he'd look like the powerful young men in the old pictures he spent hours staring at.
He put on his workout clothes and headed out. He figured he could avoid the locker room for another week or two. He descended the two flights of stairs, opened the door, and felt a blast of cold air. Nope. He could not go outside in his gym clothes right now. Today was the day. He was going to have to change in the locker room. Some of his classmates were going to see him in his tighty whities. His roommate, Alex, had seen him in his underwear, of course. The First-Year Dean's Office wouldn't have assigned Alex to live with someone who still wore white cotton briefs if they didn't think Alex would be cool with it. Tim couldn't expect the guys in the gym to be as understanding. He hoped they'd keep their thoughts to themselves.
In middle school and high school, the mockery was constant. All the other boys in his grade had switched to boxer shorts by age twelve, but Tim never asked his parents to buy boxer shorts for him. Part of him wanted to be like the other boys. But he knew that he wasn't like the other boys. He didn't yet have a name for the way he was different, but he understood that he had to learn how to ignore teasing. So when his peers switched to boxers, he didn't switch.
When the fashion changed again in his junior year, so suddenly, again he resisted the pressure. Well, mostly. His parents got him to start wearing diapers with Cooling Absorbent Polymer at night. They wanted grandchildren, and he wasn't ready to tell them that he was never having kids, except maybe by adoption. Tim volunteered to take out the garbage so his parents wouldn't find out he was keeping his diapers dry. He convinced them it was okay for him to keep wearing cotton underwear during the day. “65% of the fertility benefit comes from wearing cappies at night,” he told them. “I'm not going to wet myself all day just get that extra 35%.”
His classmates and their parents disagreed. Within a month after the big study came out, all the other boys in his gym class started wearing cappies full time. They knew what Tim's tighty whities meant. There were only three reasons for a male to keep wearing cotton underwear, and Tim wasn't an anti-science Luddite, and he obviously wasn't too old to have children. Tim's classmates knew better than to make fun of him for being gay, but it was obvious what they were thinking when they called him “briefs bottom boy” or when they said he “doesn't want to be a man.”
Well, he'd show them. One day, when they all had beer bellies, Tim would be a muscle god.
It was still very early when he got to the campus gym. The locker room was nearly empty, which was good. Tim claimed a locker and got out his gym clothes. Maybe he could get changed before anyone saw. He took off his jeans quickly. He had just picked up his gym shorts when he heard a snort.
He involuntarily turned around. Three men had just entered the locker room together. They were all staring at him.
It was best to look away. Tim pulled on his gym shorts and sat down to change his shirt and put on his shoes.
He heard the three men whispering to each other as they started changing on the other side of the room. He couldn't make out what they were saying. He did hear a suppressed chuckle.
They started speaking to each other out loud. “Aren't you squatting today?”
“You have to wear plastic pants.”
“Ugh. They're uncomfortable.”
“You're making good gains. You're gonna need them soon. You do not want your cappy to split while you're lifting!”
Tim was fully dressed now, and he wasn't eager to eavesdrop. He closed his locker and headed for the door. He couldn't help taking another look at the three men as he walked. The big, blond one was rummaging through a bag. He was shirtless now, and a bit of dark green plastic peeked over the waistband of his sweatpants. The slender, pale guy was standing motionless in a plain gray T-shirt and a white CAP diaper printed with question marks in a rainbow of bright colors. He was holding a pair of light blue plastic pants and looking at them skeptically. The guy with close-cropped hair and light brown skin had just pulled on his gym shorts, which didn't do much to conceal the thick diaper underneath. His T-shirt had a Greek letter on it. He was stunningly handsome, and he was built. Tim forced himself to look away.
Working out was normally the best part of Monday, but today, Tim was distracted. As he finished his first warm-up set in the squat rack, he noticed the three guys from the locker room were setting up in another rack on the other side of the room. There was loud music in the weight room, so he couldn't hear what they were saying. Were they looking at him? Were other people looking at him? It must be really obvious when he did squats that he wasn't wearing a cappy. His T-shirt didn't cover his rear end at all when he was at the bottom of a squat.
Tim finished his workout quickly, hoping to get to the showers before the gym got too crowded. No such luck. When he got back to the locker room, there were at least a dozen guys there. Tim scanned the room quickly, not letting himself look at anyone for more than a moment. He didn't see a single pair of cotton underwear anywhere in the room. There were two guys with towels around their waists, carrying their gym bags from their lockers to the changing tables. Everybody else was either in a diaper or fully dressed. Probably the fully-dressed guys were in cappies, too.
Nobody said anything, this time, when Tim pulled his gym shorts down and revealed his white briefs. Nobody said anything when Tim finished showering and got dressed without a trip to the changing tables. But Tim could feel the eyes staring at him, judging.
The gym was farther from the science building than Tim thought it was. When he arrived in the lecture hall for chemistry class, his usual seat was taken. He took an empty seat on the aisle and opened his backpack to get out his notebook. As he sat back up, he noticed the student sitting to his right. It was one of the guys from the locker room. The really handsome one, with the close-cropped hair and the perfect stubble and the intimidating shoulder muscles.
The other student turned to Tim. “Did I see you in the gym earlier?”
Tim felt blood rushing to his cheeks. “Yeah, I think you did,” said Tim. “We were doing squats at the same time,” he added. No need to mention the locker room.
The student raised his eyebrows just slightly. “Hey. My name's Jordan.”
“Good to meet you, Tim.”
“How do you like living in Powell?” asked Jordan.
“How did you know I live in Powell?”
Jordan raised his eyebrows sharply now. It was a stupid question. Male first-years who still wore cotton underwear all lived in Powell. It was the only first-year dorm that still had a urinal in each of the men's bathrooms. In the other first-year dorms, all the urinals had been removed to make room for changing tables.
“I thought I saw you on the quad yesterday,” said Jordan. A face-saving lie.
“Ah, got it. Powell's all right.”
Their conversation was mercifully cut short when the professor started speaking. Tim tried to concentrate on the lecture, but he couldn't stop thinking about what happened in the locker room that morning. The three guys who saw him changing were genuinely surprised to see one of their classmates still in cotton briefs. What was Jordan thinking now? Was he thinking that Tim was a loser for wearing tighty whities? Was he thinking Tim was some kind of an anti-science nut?
This was like high school, all over again. Athletes judging the nerdy gay kid. Tim kept looking furtively at Jordan, throughout the lecture. He couldn't look at Jordan's perfect chin and his charmingly big nose. Turning toward his face would be too obvious. But he could steal a glance at Jordan's impressive forearms.
Why do I care what he thinks? thought Tim. He's obviously straight. I shouldn't let myself get a crush on this guy.
Tim remembered the T-shirt he'd seen Jordan wearing, the one with the Greek letter. Tim wondered what fraternity life was like, for a guy like Jordan. Was the pledge process as humiliating as the rumors said it was? No frat would take a guy like Tim, these days. CAP diapers were required for all fraternity brothers. If a pledge was caught in briefs, he'd probably get the paddle. No, that was wishful thinking. A pledge in caught in boxers might get the paddle. A pledge in tighty whities would get kicked out.
Chemistry. Must concentrate on chemistry.
When class ended, Tim decided to try to strike up a conversation again. “How do you like living on fraternity row?”
Jordan looked confused. “I don't live on fraternity row.”
“Didn't I see you wearing a Greek letter shirt?”
“In the gym, you mean? That was a lambda. It's an LGBT symbol.”
So Jordan wasn't a hot, straight, frat boy. He was a hot gay guy who was not in a frat. Or maybe a bi guy. Probably he was bi. Why would he wear cappies, if he wasn't interested in women?
“Ah. I should've known that,” said Tim. “I keep meaning to sign up for the Queer Alliance mailing list.”
“It's a good group. I've been to all of the Queer Alliance meetings this year. When I got to college, I decided I'm going to be gay, out, and proud.”
They were out of their seats and walking toward the door now. Jordan's pants were sagging, revealing his thick powder blue cappy underneath. He might not be a frat boy, but that was a very frat boy thing to do. It practically told the world, “Look at me! I have healthy balls!” He walked with an exaggerated swagger. Five years before, people would have described a walk like Jordan's as waddling. A waddle then was a swagger now. Jordan had obviously wet his diaper during class. It was a macho thing to do. Tim didn't approve of frat boys, or frat boy look-alikes, but he couldn't pretend he wasn't attracted. And Jordan really had perfect stubble.
“Hey, are you headed to lunch?” he asked.
“Uh....I have to meet my study group now. Maybe another time.”
Tim sat alone in the cafeteria at lunch. Normally he'd approach some people he didn't know yet, if he didn't see a friend. But he needed some time to process what happened that morning, and the afternoon was going to be non-stop, with classes and lab.
Tim knew there were gay men who wore CAP diapers. Lots of guys claiming to be gay posted photos of themselves in cappies on social media. Tim assumed that most of them were either fetishists or victims of internalized homophobia. Jordan didn't seem like a fetishist, though. He didn't seem like a victim of internalized homophobia, either. He was out and proud. He literally announced his sexual orientation on his shirt, though Tim wasn't savvy enough to realize it. He exuded confidence. So what was he doing, wearing a cappy, as an out gay man? Why would he wear something that gets in the way of spontaneous sex? Why did he want to be like the straight guys?
It didn't matter why Jordan wore diapers. The fact was, he did. And he wasn't an outlier. Tim was the outlier. When Jordan and his friends saw Tim in the locker room, the look on their faces was a look of real surprise. Surprise and disdain. Men Tim's age just didn't wear tighty whities anymore. Maybe as a fetish item, as part of a spanking scene. But not to the gym, not to class, not to the clubs and the bars.
If Tim insisted on wearing tighty whities, he was not going to get spontaneous sex. He was not going to get any sex. He was going to be rejected, again, and again, and again.
I don't have to wear cappies all the time, thought Tim. I don't even have to wear them to bed. I definitely don't have to wet them. I just have to wear them whenever someone might see me with my pants off.
The supply of night diapers his parents left with him wouldn't do. He couldn't pass them off as daytime diapers. They had pictures of sheep jumping fences. People didn't wear nighttime diapers out of the house. There was a strong expectation that guys would wet their diapers at night and change first thing in the morning. Tim needed daytime diapers. He'd have to go diaper shopping.
After chemistry lab, Tim went down to the drugstore a few blocks from the main science building. It was a large chain store, and since it catered to college students, a full aisle and part of another were devoted to men's cappies.
Tim looked through the selection. There were diapers for nighttime and daytime. There were sport diapers, which were thinner than normal daytime diapers and designed to stay fastened during athletic activity. You could get diapers in solid white, powder blue, navy, forest green, maroon, charcoal, even pink, if that's what you wanted. There were dozens of prints: tiny blue anchors or little red dots for men who wanted something subtle, lightning bolts, pirate symbols, or camouflage for guys who wanted something bolder, cars or teddy bears for guys who wanted to be playful. They had cappies that copied the patterns of the most popular toddler diapers from the past four decades. Tim's roommate Alex went for those retro designs. “There's no point pretending we're not wearing diapers,” Alex liked to say.
Tim didn't much care what pattern his new diapers had. He only cared about one thing: his cappies had to have hook-and-loop fasteners. That way, when he needed the toilet, he'd be able to take his diaper off and put it back on again. Adhesive tapes on men's diapers were strong. Once fastened, the only way to get the diaper off was to tear the plastic.
Tim looked first at the sport diapers, but of course none of them had hook-and-loop fasteners. Only a diaper with strong tapes would hold up to sprints, slides, and tackles. So Tim looked through the rest of the daytime diapers. He found nothing. They all had single-use tapes. Maybe there would be hook-and-loop night diapers that could pass for daytime diapers. No dice. The only cappies with hook-and-loop fasteners had obvious nighttime prints: sheep jumping fences, cows jumping over a smiling moon.
Maybe he could get tape-on diapers and fasten one of the lower tapes a little loosely. Then he could sneak into a bathroom stall and pee out the side, instead of wetting himself. He'd carry a backpack with diapers in with him. Nobody would need to know that he wasn't changing.
Tim picked up a package of powder blue cappies, size medium. Remembering the advice he overheard in the locker room, he picked up a three-pack of plain white plastic pants. As he stood in line, he remembered seeing Jordan's sagging pants in chemistry class. I'm not trying to be like Jordan, Tim told himself. Well, maybe I am, a little.
When Tim got back to his room in Powell, Alex was at his desk, reading something on his computer. He greeted Tim without looking up. “Hey! You going to dinner soon?”
“Great. Give me ten minutes.”
Tim put down his shopping bag and opened the door to his closet. He already had too much clothing. He starting rummaging to make space.
“Is that what I think it is?” said Alex.
Tim turned around. Alex looked pleased.
Alex didn't wait for a reply. He stood up and looked in the bag. “Daytime weight. Going whole hog!” He held up his hand for a high five.
Tim tentatively returned Alex's high five. “They're for the gym,” he said.
“You'll get great gains once you start wearing these!” said Alex. “Are you gonna put one on now?”
“Well, I was planning on just wearing them in the gym, for the locker room...”
Alex's face fell. Tim could tell what Alex was thinking, though he was much too kind to say it. My roommate is still a hopeless nerd who insists on wearing tighty whities.
“I guess it wouldn't hurt to try on one now, though.”
“Cool. Go get changed! I'll meet you outside the men's room. Wait...” He turned around, unfastened his belt, and unbuttoned his jeans. “I'm due for a diaper change.”
Alex refastened his jeans and his belt. Then he pulled a changing pad and a diaper out of his backpack. It was memorabilia from a late 2030s kids' show, Darwin the Dinodrone. In the first two weeks of school, Alex had brought his backpack with him into the men's room whenever it was time to change. By mid-September, Alex and all the other diaper-wearing guys in the dorm were openly carrying their clean diapers and changing pads with them down the hallway. Alex clearly expected Tim to do the same.
Tim opened the package of diapers and pulled one out. It was thicker than he expected, nearly as thick as the night diapers he'd worn in his last two years of high school. It's just for a couple of hours, he told himself. I'm just trying this on. He went into his closet to pull out the changing pad. It was next to his ironing board. The two things his parents insisted he have even though he said he'd never use them.
Tim and Alex left the dorm room and walked down the hall, clean cappies and changing pads in hand. Miguel and Ryan were walking the other way. Miguel visibly noticed the cappy in Tim's hand. He gave Tim a thumbs-up gesture.
The men's restroom was awkwardly laid out. One of the stalls and all but one of the urinals had been removed to make room for two changing tables. The changing table where the urinals had been had a privacy divider that would shield a person's pelvis from view unless someone was standing right next to the table. The other changing table was behind the toilet stalls. It didn't provide any privacy from someone checking to look for an empty table. Alex silently claimed the changing table behind the stalls, leaving Tim the table with the privacy divider.
Tim laid out his changing pad and spread out the diaper. It would be awkward to take off his tighty whities while lying down on top of a diaper. He took off his shoes, faced the table, took off his jeans and his underpants, and put his clothes on the shelf beneath the changing surface. Then he laid down. He'd done this before. It wasn't an unpleasant sensation, folding a cappy over his cock and balls. He paused to check the thickness of the padding between his thumb and his index finger. Yes, this “daytime” diaper was nearly as thick as the night diapers he'd worn in high school. It would be thick enough to affect his gait even when dry. Just a bit of a waddle. That was the idea, right? To be noticed?
Time for the tapes. He could feel the strength of the adhesive on his fingers as he peeled the first tape from its backing. These were single-use tapes, all right. He'd have only one chance to position them. He folded the flaps of the front panel around his hips, then he fastened the top tapes snugly. He pulled the lower left tape tight, but he left the lower right tape loose. He still wasn't planning to wet this thing. If he needed to pee before bedtime, he'd sneak off to a stall and pee out the side.
Tim was about to sit up when he heard a stall door open. He heard a couple of footsteps, a pause, then more footsteps. Someone had seen him on the changing table. Tim froze. The privacy divider hid his pelvis, but it didn't hide his face. Another classmate knew he was trying cappies. He heard the sound of a faucet running for a moment, then from the other side of the room the rustle of plastic and the “thunk” of a wet diaper being thrown in the disposal. Tim got off the table and pulled on his jeans. Though his jeans were designed to accommodate diapers, as all men's jeans were, now, it was still a snug fit. A moment later, Alex appeared, fully dressed.
Alex and Tim walked back to their dorm room. “How does it feel?” asked Alex.
“All right. Thicker than I expected.”
“Well, the brand you got is designed for sagging.”
“Yeah. And you're wearing it wrong. It looks silly. You gotta wear your belt looser.”
Tim hesitated a moment. He undid his belt buckle and fastened it one inch looser.
“One more hole.”
Tim loosened his belt again. His jeans were riding on his hip bones now. Well, his hip bones and some thick padding. His T-shirt barely covered the exposed strip of diaper.
“Everyone's going to see it,” said Tim.
“That's the idea, right?”
Everyone would see Tim's diaper. When he raised his arms to carry a tray, everyone in the dining hall would see that Tim was in diapers now. Everyone would expect him to stay that way.
As he walked from the kitchen to his friends' table, Tim thought he saw a couple of heads turn. He didn't see any big reactions. Maybe his sagging pants weren't exposing his diaper, after all. Or maybe people were too wrapped up in their own conversations to notice. At his table, the conversation was mainly about first-year composition class. Tim, Alex, and their friend Ryan all had the same eccentric teacher. Jorge had another instructor, but he had war stories, too. Maybe no one will say anything, thought Tim as he started on his cake.
“So Tim, I see you've decided you need some changes in your life.” said Ryan.
No such luck. He'd have to talk about it. “I got them mainly for the gym,” said Tim.
“Good call,” said Jorge. “You'll build muscle faster if you keep your balls cool.”
“That's what I was telling him,” said Alex.
“I wasn't actually planning on wearing them all the time,” said Tim. “I'm only wearing one now because I wanted to see how they feel.”
“Didn't you wear night diapers in high school?” asked Ryan.
“Yeah,” said Tim. “But I've never worn a diaper out of my bedroom. As a teenager, I mean.”
“So have you tried wetting it yet?” asked Jorge.
“Not yet,” said Tim. “Actually, I've never wet a cappy.”
“What?” said Jorge. “You wore diapers to bed for, what, two years, and you never wet them?”
“What's the point of wearing cappies if you're not going to wet them?” said Jorge.
“I didn't want to tell my parents I'm not having kids,” said Tim.
“You're not out to them?” asked Ryan.
“Not yet. Maybe on Thanksgiving.”
“That's rough,” said Ryan.
“Hold on. I'm not letting you change the subject,” said Jorge. “If you wear cappies, you've got to wet them. You're gonna love it. It feels amazing.”
Tim wasn't sure what to say, so he said nothing.
“Who here is in a wet diaper?” asked Jorge. He raised his hand. So did Ryan.
“I'm wetting right now,” said Alex, leaning back slightly.
“You just changed!” said Tim.
“And I had a glass of water and a glass of soda,” said Alex.
“It feels good, right?” said Jorge.
Alex didn't speak. A little nod and a look of satisfaction said everything.
“Why don't you try wetting right now?” said Jorge.
Again Tim said nothing.
“I guarantee you at least half the guys in this cafeteria have wet their diapers during dinner,” said Jorge.
“And most of the rest were wet when they came in,” said Ryan.
“Don't you want to know how it feels?” said Jorge.
Tim didn't need to know how it feels. He didn't need to be like the other guys. But they kept talking about how great it was. And he had no real reason to say no. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to try wetting, just once.
Tim leaned back and pushed his stomach muscles against his bladder, as if he was sitting on the toilet. He felt warm pee flowing around his cock and balls and pooling underneath him. It felt good. Then the cooling started. It began just under the tip of his cock, where the pee first hit the diaper. It spread quickly. In about ten seconds, the wet parts of Tim's diaper were all pleasantly cool. Not cold, just cool. It was like standing naked in front of an electric fan, on low, after a heavy workout.
“Feels good, doesn't it?” said Jorge.
“Yeah!” Tim couldn't stop himself from smiling. This really felt good.
“Don't bear down,” said Ryan. “Just relax and let it happen.”
Tim felt another warm sensation, on his leg, close to his crotch. His hand moved involuntarily to feel the surface of his jeans. His diaper had leaked. Just a little bit. Hopefully no one would notice. He'd have to change as soon as he got back to the dorm. He'd tape up his next diaper more tightly.
His next diaper? Did he really just think that?
“You want it to be a habit,” said Jorge. “When you start wetting without thinking, that's when you'll get the most benefits. You'll see it in the gym.”
“Will I be able to stop, if it becomes a habit?” asked Tim.
“You can stop if you really want to,” said Alex. “It's not like you become incontinent or anything.”
“Yeah,” said Jorge. “But why would you want to?”
“The best part is sleeping wet,” said Ryan.
“Yeah. You have to wet before you fall asleep. And you want to wet again if you wake up.”
“I know that's what the science says...” said Tim.
“You'll love it,” said Jorge. “I sleep so much better when I'm wet.”
Alex nodded in agreement. He looked at his phone. “Sorry guys, I have to run.”
“Me too,” said Ryan. “I have a problem set due tomorrow.”
As the four men walked to the tray return, Tim felt his wet diaper forcing him to waddle. Not waddle. Swagger. It felt strange. Strange, but good.
Maybe this was what manhood feels like.
Tim took his seat in Wednesday morning chemistry lecture. He was feeling good. He'd just set a personal best in the deadlift. Jordan and his two lifting buddies had seen him changing in the locker room again. No tighty whities this time. Powder blue cappies, with plastic pants on top during the workout. Tim thought he saw Jordan smile when he noticed.
Another student sat down next to Tim. It was Jordan.
“Hey, how's it going?” said Jordan.
“Pretty good, you?”
“Well, thanks. I saw you in the gym. You have really good deadlift form. How long have you been lifting?”
“Since the start of school. I didn't lift in high school.”
“You inspired me the other day, you know.”
Jordan looked amused and worried at the same time. This wasn't the right place to talk about cappies.
“I signed up for the Queer Alliance mailing list.”
“Oh! Got it! You'll enjoy the group.”
Class started. Again Tim found it hard to concentrate. He couldn't stop thinking about the hunky guy sitting next to him. He knew he didn't have a chance with Jordan. That was pretty clearly a rejection, at the end of lecture on Monday. But maybe he had Jordan's respect, now that he'd switched to cappies. And the next time he met a hot gay guy, maybe he wouldn't be rejected on account of his underwear.
Why had be been so stubborn? His friends were right. He'd missed out, these past two years. Not just on dating. The sensations of being in diapers were as pleasant as everyone said. The best part was wetting in class. You could feel that delicious warmth, then the coolness, all right there, in the lecture hall. Then, when lecture was over, you could walk up the aisle with a waddle-swagger, every step telling the world, “Pissing my pants is my right as a man.”
Chemistry. Must concentrate on chemistry!
Class ended. Tim packed up his bag. He was looking forward to this next moment, letting Jordan and the other guys in the class see that he was soaking wet, just like them. The walk to the dining hall would be a pleasure even if he was walking alone. Bag packed, he stood up.
“You headed to lunch? asked Jordan, still seated. “I don't have my study group today.” He was looking up at Tim. He looked hopeful.