If you’ve ever wondered whether people who call their sexual partners “daddy” whilst in the throes of passion are actually fantasizing about doing the dirty with their biological or adoptive paternal figure (trying to keep this as technical as possible, folks), then here’s the news you’ve been waiting for: Women (and probably men, for that matter) aren’t out here dreaming of doing their parents (no matter what Freud says). In fact, when people call each other ‘daddy’ during sex, it generally has nothing to do with familial relations at all.
This startling (and somewhat soothing) revelation comes to us via Broadly, which has done the hard work and asked a sex therapist why it is exactly that people can’t just stick with the normal “honey, baby, sugar” while engaging in coitus and gotta get into pet names that suggest the possibility of incest.
“I’ve heard from a fair amount of men who were turned off by it, and were worried that it was an indicator of ‘daddy issues,'” says sex therapist Vanessa Marin. “Yes, ‘daddy’ can mean ‘father,’ but we also use the word to indicate when someone is the boss, in charge, a protector, or doing a good job. That’s usually the meaning women are going for in the bedroom. It’s a bit of a 70s porn cliche. I’ve never run across a woman who called her partner ‘daddy’ because she genuinely liked fantasizing that he was her father.”
What an easy-to-understand and absolutely acceptable explanation! Now, even if you find it creepy to be called daddy (full disclosure: I personally like to call myself “daddy” in decidedly non-sexual settings because I know it’s creepy as hell) at least you know that it has nothing to do with actual parents. Thanks, Broadly! Appreciate your digging into this and all of us here are delighted to know that it isn’t weird in the slightest.
Wait, what? There’s more?
Yep. According to Broadly, there’s more than one reason that women call their sexual partners ‘daddy/Daddy’ (the capitalization is important in sub/dom relationships), because human sexuality is a beautiful spectrum and some women prefer to imagine themselves as aged younger in their sex-lives despite being full-grown adults in all other capacities and situations. Point being, for some people, “Daddy” is a gentler way of saying “sir” (because, as Broadly points out, then affection’s involved) while still “submitting to male authority figures.” That means that these women — and there must be male submissives in this niche as well — are probably not into actual incest but are into the whole idea of masculine paternal figures who will also engage in sexual play.
Whew. Glad we clear that up. Good news, though — even the Daddy/little girl (no capitalization) dynamic can be healthy, according to Margaret Squires, a couples counselor. It’s just important that the roles people place themselves in aren’t inflexible and allow both partners to have rights and their needs met:
“I think that when that language comes up, it’s just as likely to be in a healthy relationship. You’re getting back to very early warm attachments.” She also didn’t necessarily have a problem with the DDlg dynamic. “Sometimes people are merely recognizing a pattern in their relationship. That’s why we have relationships, so we can rely on each other. It’s not necessary for everyone to be equally strong in all things.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that most people aren’t into the Daddy/little dynamic, so before you jump to any conclusions if someone calls you “daddy” while getting schwifty with it (I realize that’s not a sexy word, but I had to go with my heart) remember that it’s likely just a pet name or a tribute to your masculinity and not an incest thing. (Comforting.)