Call Me Daddy?

When did I become a “daddy”? As I said on Monday, my hair has turned gray and there is much less of it while there is more of me around my midsection. Lately, I have been logging onto the dating apps a little bit more. Inevitably, a younger guy will message me and at some point, he’s going to call me “daddy.” I guess as a gay man, when you get older, there can be a few shocking moments. One of these moments is when you’re chatting with a younger guy, and he says he’s into older guys. And then it hits you: I’m the older guy.

So, what exactly is a “daddy?” Generally speaking, “daddy” is a category that gay men use to define themselves and/or each other. It is not to be confused with a “sugar daddy,” an older man who provides money or gifts in return for sex and/or companionship with a younger man. Other categories for gay men include “otters” (slim hairy men), “bears” (bigger hairy men) and “twinks” (skinny, smooth men). Some people outwardly identify as a “daddy” often on hook-up apps or on alt social media accounts*, and some people describe others that way. In its most stereotypical form, a “daddy” is an attractive older man who takes on a dominant yet paternal role in relationships with men who are usually younger. He is well-groomed, toned, masculine, and often successful. He takes the lead outside the bedroom and (again, so the stereotype goes) is a top in the bedroom. 

Similarly, to concepts like “queer” and “camp”, “daddy” is much debated, and its meanings and representations can be different depending on the person. For instance, not everyone thinks a “daddy” must be mature in age. Also, in today’s world, there is a bit of a change with the standard definition because of the seeming obsession with the “dad bod.” This phrase has been adopted to refer to an “average” guy who doesn’t have a lean, fit physique. He might instead have a paunch, a spare tire, or a middle-age spread. I guess that’s where I fit into being a “daddy” since I don’t have the perfect body. Usually though, a guy looking for a “daddy” associates the type with sexual dominance and penetration. For some, “daddies” are men who physically and mentally dominate while turning on their partner’s submissive side. When guys call me “daddy” it means they want a masculine or dominating person; neither of those descriptions particularly fit me.

In short: daddies tend to be older and, often, on the dominant side. But not always. The trope is an identifier for older men, but also a label that’s often put on them by younger guys whether they like it or not. Depending on the person, it can be a kink fantasy, or a genuine relationship philosophy. I asked one guy why he was interested in an older chubby guy like me when he had a fantastic body and a big dick, and he said, “It’s my fetish.” I can respect that. I have my own fetishes. By the way, what shocked me most about this particular guy is he recognized me from my profile picture and told me that he’s seen me around for the last couple of years and has always fantasized about me fucking him and how he wanted to “suck my cock.” He had no interest in kissing or getting blown himself. He wanted to please me. A dream come true, huh? I asked the guy if I knew him. He implied I’d recognize him but not know his name which is possibly true since I am terrible with names. He begged to get together, and we tentatively set a time. However, “something came up.” He was either telling the truth, or he got cold feet. That happens with “discreet” guys. We’ll see if I hear from him again. Anyway, the conversation caused me to think about my “daddy” status.

I find the concept of being considered a “daddy” interesting. I’ve never fit into other gay categories. I was never a “twink.” I’m not hairy so I’ve never been an “otter” or a “bear.” I’m not feminine or outgoing so I am not a “queen,” nor would I be considered “campy.” I’m not muscular so I’m not a “gym bunny.” I guess you could put me in the category of a “chub,” but I also don’t think that fits very well either. The fact is, I have never fit a gay stereotype. I, therefore, find it interesting that the “daddy” thing seems to be coming up a lot lately. Maybe it’s because my hair has gone nearly completely gray. Who knows? I just know most people would identify me as gay fairly easily.

One thing I do think is true about gay culture is that people are beginning to become more comfortable with being open about their preferences, fetishes, or kinks. A wider societal acceptance of kinks and sexual practices have changed how people communicate with each other online. For starters, it’s part of the reason “thirst” language has become increasingly violent and explicit. “Choke me daddy” is a common phrase seen online these days. Most of the time, the person is not saying they want someone to literally choke them but instead, expressing a desire for a particular person to dominate them. I’m going to choose to believe that “daddy” is used as a compliment even when someone, like me, doesn’t fully fit the stereotype.

* Alt, or alternative, social media accounts are secondary profiles people use in addition to a main account on a social media platform. They are a way of representing the self that deliberately displays a different identity facet and addresses a different audience to what someone considers to be their main account. The term “alt” originated from videogame culture and has been incorporated into social media accounts.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

7 responses to “Call Me Daddy?

  • bryandspellman

    As I approach 72 years, I tend to think of myself more as a grand-daddy. I remember a time, many years ago, when two of my contemporaries and I were standing in what passed for Missoula’s gay bar. As survivors of the AIDS years, we were the only people our age in the bar. Looking over all the guys twenty years younger, Tommy said “If we were only willing to be daddies.” My problem with being a “daddy” or now a “grand-daddy” is that I find very little in common with younger gay men. Yes, they might have great bodies and astounding sex drives, but if there is nothing between the ears, or at least nothing to which I can relate, what point is there in going forward? I watched the Tony Awards last night, and kept hearing about a musical Jagged Little Pill. I was intrigued, but knew nothing about the play. Turns out it’s based on an Alanis Morrisette album that apparently revolutionized rock music. I don’t know Morrisette’s music, and frankly am not terribly interested in learning more about it based solely on the songs I heard last night. And that’s what worries me about interacting with younger men. (Boy, that makes me sound like an old fogey, doesn’t it. And maybe I am an old fogey.)

    Anyway, I’ve gone way too long about my “daddy” issues. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy reading your posts.


    • Joe

      Bryan, when I was in high school, a girlfriend introduced me to “Jagged Little Pill.” I have to admit, I loved every song on the album. I was raised on country music, so it did change my taste in music, but that’s a whole other story. I’ll be honest, I cannot can next with younger guys over culture, it’s just beyond me. The ones 10 or so years younger, but can connect with better. Those 20
      Years younger are just fun for a bit of sex, if you can get them to commit to even meeting.

  • Steve Davis

    Great post! I’m with you on this topic. I don’t fit the stereotype definition, but am in the age category. Luckily, I look much younger and have dark hair with only a little silver in the sideburns. I’m usually on the more submissive side, the small spoon in the relationship. I was called a “daddy” a couple of years ago and it was startling to realize I was being pursued due to age. Funny, because there are a number of guys my age or younger I’ve thought of as hot daddies! Good stuff as always! Hang in there “daddy!”

    • Joe

      A lot of these guys want to be dominated and I’m just not the dominating type. However, there are some who want to dominate an older guy, and that can be a lot of fun.

  • Stan

    This really is an interesting dynamic. I’m an older guy, too. I’ve struck up an online friendship with a much younger guy. He says he doesn’t like “daddy’s” but finds older, mature guys more interesting and attractive than guys his age. It’s interesting to me because when I was his age with my mop of light brown, wavy hair and a 29 inch waist, I didn’t give a second glance to anyone more than a few years older than me.

    I’m glad some younger guys feel differently.

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

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