By Tom Midlane @GoldenLatrine

WITH a house full of dummies, teddy bears and sippy cups, you’d be forgiven for mistaking 20-year-old Max for a young mother

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Videographer / director: Adam Gray
Producer: Sophia Rahman, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne

But Max is actually a “little” - a subculture of people who enjoy adopting a childlike persona - and spends part of each day acting like a five-year-old.

She lives with her “daddy”, fiancé Johnny, 31, in Kentucky, USA.

The pair are in a DDLG (Daddy Dom, Little Girl) relationship - a subset of the BDSM world that involves one partner acting as the dominant “caregiver” and the other partner being submissive and childlike.

She said: “In the words of Peter Pan: I never want to grow up. I’m a little and Johnny is my daddy.

“My little age is five, which just kind of fits me. I don’t really ever go lower or move higher than that. That’s what I am comfortable with. That’s what I like.”

Max has a list of rules to obey, including no tantrums, no back talk and no staying up past bedtime - and gets banished for a timeout in the 'naughty corner' if she breaks them.

“Sometimes if I’m bad my daddy takes away my phone, or I don’t get to watch TV for a certain amount of time, or I have to go to bed early,” she said.

“But the worst one is being put in timeout because I just have to sit there in the corner and stare at the wall and do nothing - that is not fun at all.”

Johnny regularly reads Max a bedtime story before putting her down for her daily nap, after she’s tired herself out playing with her dolls and colouring books.

And if Max has been especially good, he takes her to the nearby park to play on the swings and the slide.

Max first became a “little” aged 18 after discovering the DDLG community on YouTube.

She said: “Listening to people in the community talk about how they felt, that was how I felt. So, I decided to try it out and I have just loved it ever since. It’s just me.

"I understand why some people will look at the way that I am and the way that I live and be confused and think that it’s disgusting or shameful.

"But what people fail to see is that this is between two consenting adults and what we do in our home doesn’t really harm any one else."

The pair met while Johnny was working in a tattoo shop and Max came in to get some new artwork.

Johnny said: "When she came in for a tattoo she looked very nerdy and I was a gigantic nerd myself and we actually became best friends. And slowly but surely she kind of just moved her way into other aspects of my life.

“Then when we first started dating she told me to call her 'princess' and showed me her sippy cup.”

However, the pair are adamant that DDLG is a more of a lifestyle for them and that that aspect of their relationship doesn’t transfer over into the bedroom.

Max added: “To me, I am little and I use this to strengthen my relationship and to relax and have fun. For us it’s not a sexual thing, but we have no problem with people who do see in that way."

And despite the unusual nature of their relationship, Max is at pains to stress that she is an adult capable of making rational decisions.

She said: “I work from home, so during the day my littleness comes and goes but when I am with Johnny I am little most of the time.

"But I do adult stuff all the time. I am an adult. I am 20 years old, I pay my bills.

“It’s not something that I can’t control. If we go out go out to a nice dinner or if we are in a grocery store or out in public, I just don’t randomly shout ‘daddy!' because that’s involving other people in something that they didn’t consent to.

Max and Johnny educate others about their DDLG lifestyle on their YouTube and Instagram channels Baby Bear Max. And while Max is unsure if she’ll always be a “little”, she says she never wants to shed her childlike innocence.

She said: "I will always have that childlike sense of wonder about me. I will always be curious. I will always be eager to learn. I will always love Disney movies. I will always love to colour.

"And whether or not in 20 years I will still call myself a little, I know that I am going to have that inside me.

"Because I don’t want to grow up. I want to happy and carefree forever and I think that’s true of a lot of people.”