Sex Ed: Calling Someone “Daddy” During Sex Doesn’t Mean You Have Daddy Issues

You’re in the heat of the moment and you call your partner “daddy”. You don’t know why you did it! It just slipped out, but it felt good. You tell your friends about it later and they seem concerned.

“Do you have daddy issues?” they ask. “You may want to unpack that.”

There has long been negative connotations around the phrase “daddy issues” and people that have them. But why is this? And what do the term actually mean, if anything?

“The judgment around having ‘daddy issues’ is primarily rooted in outdated psychoanalytic ideas and gender stereotypes,” Lovehoney Ambassador and Psycho Sexologist, Chantelle Otten, tells POPSUGAR Australia.

“The idea of ‘daddy issues’ perpetuates the notion that any problems or difficulties experienced by an individual are largely due to their relationship with their father, even though various other factors may have influenced those experiences.”

Where Does the Term “Daddy Issues” Come From?

“The concept of having ‘daddy issues’ is thought to have originated from the psychoanalytic theories developed by Sigmund Freud during the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” Otten explains.

Freud’s Oedipus complex outlines that a child will develop an unconscious sexual desire for their parent of the opposite sex. This theory suggests that this inner conflict between a child’s love and hate for their father can lead to unresolved issues which can manifest into psychological problems in adulthood. And then, manifests into sexual fantasy.

So, Is It a Real Thing?

Otten says not really.

While it may often be assumed that women who prefer this type of sexual interaction in their relationships, may be drawn to it as a way of resolving childhood conflicts and other unresolved trauma stemming from a difficult relationship with their father… it’s not true.

“I mean, the origin of these desires is often much more complex than simply unresolved issues with your father!” she says.

Enjoying sex with older men, or a more submissive style of sex could be due to any number of factors, according to Otten. Factors such as the individual’s own personal exploration and experimentation with their sexuality or even fantasies based on cultural messages about power dynamics, all have the potential to play a large role in a person’s desires.

Sometimes, it can even be down to the media we’ve consumed. Perhaps you read a book about a specific relationship dynamic that turned you on. Or a TV show or film. So many stories in pop culture have romanticised relationships between younger women and older men, offering up a power dynamic that could absolutely impact what you’re into when it comes to sex.

“When people make assumptions about why a person might engage in certain sexual activities they may be perpetuating damaging stereotypes and reinforcing stigma around a person’s sexuality,” says Otten.

“We need to remember that everyone has different needs and desires when it comes to sex, and those desires don’t always have anything to do with unresolved childhood trauma or father figures.”

But Does Trauma Sometimes Play a Part In Our Desires?

Trauma, especially when unresolved, can’t help but impact our lives in many different ways.

“It’s possible for individuals who experienced difficult relationships with their fathers during childhood to develop certain desire patterns, as a result, says Otten, “but this is always an individualised approach, and we need to avoid making sweeping generalisations.”

Basically, Otten says, it’s impossible (and potentially dangerous) to make assumptions about someone’s sex life without understanding their individual context. It definitely isn’t fair or accurate to assume all women who enjoy dominant sex have daddy issues simply because of cultural stereotypes surrounding gender roles and power dynamics.

“Everyone should feel empowered enough to express themselves sexually without fear of judgment or stigma from others — regardless of how they choose to explore their desires!” 

So, What Does It Mean If You Call Someone “Daddy” During Sex?

It’s just a playful way to add a bit of spice to an otherwise ordinary experience, says Otten.

“Calling someone ‘daddy’ in the bedroom is not toxic. While some may think that this behaviour indicates an underlying problem, it’s actually quite common! In the end, it’s important to remember that engaging in a little role-play is perfectly natural and healthy.”

According to Otten, as long as you have a trusting relationship with your partner and both of you are comfortable using terms like “daddy” during intimate moments, there’s no need to worry about any underlying issues or problems.

“Make sure you ask if it’s okay to call someone that first, and if ever either person feels uncomfortable at any point in time, then simply cease all activities immediately and talk things through together respectfully.”

It doesn’t have to mean anything. It may come out in the moment, which is totally okay and not worth overthinking (unless it feels problematic to you personally). You may just like the way saying it makes you feel. You may just like the look of an older man, a “daddy” a “zaddy” and like, same. You might want someone to take control of you for a bit, “discipline” you in the bedroom, play around with kink and fetish and that might be what you’re into.

Understanding what you like is a super healthy way to go about sex and, after all, communication is key! 

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