It seems that gay, trans, and bisexual men are at a changing point in our personal society. Especially when it comes to the terms we use.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in the term “queer” being used progressively instead of insensitively. In addition, we’ve also seen terms like cis, shade, read, and more not only become popular in LGBTQ society but in the mainstream world.
But its one term, that’s always been used by both gay society and the straight one, that has some gays scratching their heads. And what’s that term? Daddy.
A recent post on the reddit subforum/subreddit AskGayBros has asked the question, “Should we stop using ‘daddy’ as a standard term for older gay men?”
“Do gay and bisexual men who are 40+ really like that younger guys essentially reduce their existence to a ‘daddy fetish?’” wrote the original poster.
He continued by asking:
“Is this term perpetuated by the gay porn industry and should we let porn terms define how we have sex in our actual lives?”
“If you ask me: if anyone does have a bad relationship with their father, using an older father figure to fill that spot could be good, but not when it turns sexual.”
“Why is ‘age play’ so big anyway?”
Now, let’s be honest. While this post brought up an interesting conversation, the original poster came at it with a bit of bias. Or as one redditor wrote in his response, “You’re making a lot of (probably incorrect) assumptions here. Gays call anyone daddy. It’s not a standard term for older gay men.”
But putting misguided questions aside, the conversation of, “Why is gay (and mainstream really) culture so obsessed with the word Daddy?” is an interesting one. You can’t go onto an adult film site without seeing the word written every few sentences. And you can’t go on social media without witnessing fans praising celebrities with the term. Daddy culture is everywhere.
But that said? Is it incestuous? Are we secretly dealing with some reverse Oedipus complex on a society-wide scale? Not likely, said sex therapist Vanessa Marin to Vice.
“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 cliché. I’ve never run across a woman who called her partner ‘daddy’ because she genuinely liked fantasizing that he was her father.”
While Marin was clearly focused on straight relationships in her example, the same can be said for gay couples. The term “daddy” isn’t about incestuous lust but more about an appealing show of power, masculinity, and authority.
“Words change in meaning. I don’t think of “daddy” is referring to ones father,” one redditor said in agreement with this sentiment. “Just someone strong and protective that you can trust and be vulnerable with.”
“Plus it’s not just a gay thing anymore since the straights(tm) can’t let us have nice things.”
That said, the same commenter did recognize that age play is rampant in the gay community. But, he gave his perspective on why that is.
“Age play is prevelant in LGBT communities because our pool of compatible sexual pwrtners is significantly smaller than straight cis people. They can be pickier. Plus some of us do have legitimate ‘daddy issues’ and may or may not use sex to turn past traumatic experiences into something pleasurable. Whether or not that’s healthy is for open minded, hopefully LGBT, expert psychologists to evaluate.”
But is this ok? Is there inherently a problem when younger gay/bi/trans men use the term daddy in a sexual sense to heal bruises from their family life? Ultimately, it’s not for us to decide as a group. Instead, we should just let others decide for themselves.
“As for your statement that ‘having an older father figure could be good but not if it’s sexual’…. Why not?” wrote the redditor from above. “Our relationships with people aren’t two-dimensional. Sexual partners can provide more than just sex. An older partner you have sex with can still provide the wisdom or guidance that you may or may not get elsewhere.”
Another commenter agreed that while the conversation’s interesting, it’s not for anyone to decide and enforce on others.
“Interesting questions, but they seem to be based on the belief that gay men ‘should’ be doing things. No one is in charge, mate. This is not a club. There are no rules.”
But what do you think? Why do you think gay and straight society are so obsessed with the term daddy? Do you think we should do away with it or let people use whatever terms they like? Let us know down in the comments below.