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Beyond DD/lg: The Versatility of Daddy Play

By Luna Matatas

‘Daddies’ have been rising in popularity from the increasingly popular Zaddy,’ to dad bods, to Daddy-daughter role-play in the bedroom. Where did the culture-wide popularity of “Daddy” in both gay and heterosexual vanilla sex come from? Why is Daddy a popular kinky role-play? How do you get started with Daddy play? 

Anytime you’re exploring something new it can feel intimidating and exciting. Getting information on all the creativity and diversity of Daddy play can help you unpack a fantasy or get curious about a new one.

Who’s a Daddy?

In gay men’s culture, Daddy usually refers to someone who is dominant and masculine, and typically older. In heterosexual dynamics, Daddy often refers to an older, dominant cis man in a power exchange with a younger, submissive cis woman. 

We also see Daddy archetypes show up in sex work culture with sugar daddies. Sugar daddies are still usually older, dominant, and masculine but there is an explicit financial caretaking agreement with their partner.  

Queer kinksters have opened up gender stereotypes to make space for daddies of all genders and gender expressions, like femme daddies and butch daddies. We see more trans and nonbinary kinksters as well as cis women in leather Daddy culture too. 

What all daddies share is an expression of paternal power with a partner who enjoys surrendering to that. Daddy relationships can be sexual, non-sexual, emotional, relational, or all of these. Daddy play is infinitely creative, from the ways in which Daddy is expressed in relationships to the diverse desires of Daddy admirers. Some people’s Daddy play will begin and end with Daddy dirty talk, while others want more intense play and darker characteristics of Daddy, such as ‘mean Daddy’ or ‘strict Daddy.’

Why is Daddy Role-Play Hot?

Kinky power exchange can be exciting emotionally and physically. Daddy role-play has so much to offer the erotic imagination from leather looks to Daddy dirty talk to Daddy-induced sensations like spanking. Daddy fantasies are often arousing because daddies are associated with power over, desire, possession, authority, and protection. As a dominance fantasy, Daddy role-play can be a way to consensually play out a power dynamic that includes power that is both tender and tough. 

Daddy attraction and Daddy role-play can focus on things like:

  • Physical attraction
  • Age gap
  • Difference in experience, wealth
  • Consensual power exchange in and/or outside of sex
  • Punishment and discipline, behavior control
  • Non-sexual service activities like domestic chores or boot-blacking.

You might find being a Daddy hot because you get to explore things like:

  • Consensual power exchange over a submissive
  • Gender and expressions of masculinity/femininity
  • Leather culture 
  • Being desired for your look, aesthetic, or age
  • Arousal from being called Daddy
  • Intense BDSM Daddy fantasies that may include rough sex, sado-masochism, or humiliation and degradation
  • Nurturing and caretaking Daddy fantasies like sensual daddies (who kiss everything better!)

Daddy fantasies are often arousing because daddies are associated with power over, desire, possession, authority, and protection.”

Who’s Attracted to Daddies?

While not all Daddy admirers are younger and submissive, many enjoy eroticizing the characteristics of youth and submission in Daddy role play. You might enjoy being told what to do or wear, or being bratty and disciplined, for example.  

Some Daddy admirers enjoy role play with an emphasis on the parental dynamic of Daddy-son and Daddy-daughter (this form of age play is sometimes referred to as DD/lg, DD/lb, or DD/lo–Daddy Dom/little girl, little boy, or little one). And some are NOT attracted to the parental dynamic but prefer to focus on submission and dominance while using Daddy vibes and dirty talk. You don’t have to feel fatherly towards your Daddy dom unless it turns you on.

Daddy admirers might have these things in common:

  • Enjoy feeling disciplined, cared for, nurtured, guided, controlled
  • Be aroused by one or more Daddy archetypes (e.g. kind Daddy, mean Daddy, leather Daddy, femme Daddy, etc)
  • Desire an erotic space to consensually surrender to feelings like helplessness, adoration, fear, humiliation, and more
  • Want to explore a specific kinky activity like being spanked or forced orgasms with a specific turn-on for a Daddy to do it

What Daddy Role Play is Not

Let’s debunk three of the most common Daddy role-play myths:

Myth #1:

If you’re into Daddy role-play, it means you have ‘Daddy issues’

We live in a patriarchal, paternalistic world–it’s likely we all have some kind of ‘Daddy issue’. While some people use kink as a therapeutic tool, making an assumption about a history of trauma is unhelpful. Daddy role-play is about eroticizing characteristics of ‘Daddies’ from parental experiences like discipline, punishment and reward, and a hierarchy of power. The word ‘Daddy’ connotes play. It isn’t called ‘Father’ or ‘Dad’ play, which separates it from real-life non-erotic paternal relationships.

Myth #2:

You must be into age play if you’re into Daddy role-play

While some people are into Daddy role-play that includes emotional and/or physical age role-play or regression play, many people aren’t. Some people find the taboo of age play really appealing but it isn’t mandatory to express submission through embodying child-like characteristics or adult baby/diaper lover play (ABDL). 

Because of age play stigma, many people with Daddy desires feel ashamed of their fantasies or kink, or worry that people will associate their desires with pedophilia or incest – which are not consensual or legal activities.

Daddy is just the outline for your fantasy, fill it in with whatever turns you on and leave out what doesn’t.

Myth #3:

Daddies get the final say on everything

Both people participating in Daddy role-play need to clearly communicate where the Daddy dynamic begins and ends, what boundaries are important and what happens if there is a disagreement. Mutually beneficial Daddy role-play means that both partners take responsibility for checking in with themselves and their partner. Appreciate the vulnerability of the role-play and keep the communication open to re-negotiating.

Daddy is just the outline for your fantasy, fill it in with whatever turns you on and leave out what doesn’t.

How To Get Started With Daddy Role-Play

Get the most out of your Daddy fantasy by first digging into the juicy parts of the fantasy for you.

Flesh out the Daddy fantasy

Ask yourself:

  • What is hot about Daddy play for you? What kinky activities, clothing, and Daddy vibes are in your fantasy?
  • How do you want your submissive/Daddy to feel? How do you want to feel? 
  • What are you nervous or worried about? (e.g. confidence, communication, not knowing what to do)

Knowing these questions about yourself and discussing them with your partner can be a great way to get on the same page about what kind of Daddy role-play is the hottest for you both.

Not sure what’s hot about it, but you’re curious? Get inspired by taking a BDSM class, reading erotica, or exploring queer and feminist porn from places like Crashpad Series

Build a kinky Daddy play scene

Building a kinky scene with your partner can be a turn-on and a way to communicate and make sure you’re on the same page about things like: 

  • What kinky activities, sex acts, and language are on/off the menu?
  • What barriers or safer sex precautions do you need?
  • What clothing, gear, colors, textures, music, or props would put you in a Daddy mood?
  • How will you start and close the Daddy scene?
  • What kind of aftercare will you offer/need afterward? (e.g. cuddles, de-brief, massages, food)

Once you have a shared idea of which Daddy vibes turn you both on, you can get started slowly by dropping those Daddy vibes into activities you already like. For example, talk about exploring orgasm control or using the word Daddy during spanking or control in non-sexual ways, like polishing Daddy’s boots. 

Emotional And Physical Safety In Daddy Play

Daddy role-play can inspire vulnerable feelings in both partners. Playing with ‘darker’ emotions like fear and humiliation can open the door to triggers known and unknown or other discomforts. If your Daddy activities include painful physical sensations or intense kinky tools like canes, paddles, or clamps, for example, the risk of injury may increase. 

Practice consent throughout your Daddy dynamic with tools like safe words, safe systems (e.g. traffic light safe word system or number scale), and communicative debriefs. You can always pause the role-play to get clarification or adjust something that isn’t working. 

Create conditions for emotional and physical safety by having conversations outside of Daddy play to check in on what’s working and what’s not. Take time to explore your own reactions and responses before, during, and after Daddy play. Discuss boundaries, turn-offs, and wishlists. 

Be open to ranges in your Daddy play, some days you might be in the mood for something less or more intense. 

Some partners will experience altered states of mind like Dom/Top space and sub/bottom/little space. Altered states of mind are conscious states of mind that are a bit fuzzier, may feel slower and lost in time, and may produce intense emotional responses like uncontrollable giggles or crying. If you already know you go into an altered state, let your partner know what it might look like when you’re there and what you need when you come out. Altered states don’t mean you’ve done it the ‘best’, they are just an experience among many. 

Daddy role-play might feel natural to you and it might feel awkward. Kinky activities can sometimes take trust from our bodies and emotions to follow what the erotic imagination is turned on by. Communicate with your partner. Explore erotically. Get BDSM skills in my All About Daddy role-play On-demand Webinar. With practice and communication, you’ll find more flow, confidence, and connection in your Daddy play!

"Daddy relationships can be sexual, non-sexual, emotional, relational, or all of these."

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Luna Matatas

Luna Matatas is a Sex and Pleasure Educator with over 15 years of experience teaching sex and empowerment workshops. She celebrates body confidence, self-adoration, and building shame-free pleasure in and out of the bedroom. She teaches a wide range of topics; including threesomes, BDSM, and sexual confidence. Luna hosts The Plug Podcast, an anal sex podcast. She created Peg the Patriarchy® and Meditate Medicate Masturbate® brands as part of her sex-positive and feminist merchandise.


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