I Like Calling My Boyfriend “Daddy”—And No, I Don’t Need Therapy

While I know some people are creeped out by the idea, I actually enjoy calling my boyfriend “daddy” and there’s absolutely nothing weird or troubling about it. The next time you hear someone going off about how wrong it is (or find yourself thinking it), here are a few things to consider.

  1. My boyfriend and I are equal in every other part of our relationship. We have a very balanced relationship; we each make our own decisions and respect each other above all else. Just because I sometimes like my boyfriend to be the dominant one in the bedroom doesn’t mean either of us want him to be in charge in our daily lives. We’re totally equal in our relationship and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
  2. Freud wasn’t right about everything. There are many theories about why some women like to call their male partners “daddy,” but probably the most widely (and falsely) accepted is Sigmund Freud’s theory about all boys wanting to bone their mothers and all girls wanting to bone their fathers. And while it may be true that a lot of people end up dating versions of their parents, it’s hard to find any evidence that children are sexually attracted to their parents. After all, Freud is the brilliant mind who brought us the disgustingly sexist theory that women are biologically programmed to want a penis, so we should take his ideas with a grain of salt.
  3. There’s a big difference between nicknames and roleplay. If my boyfriend and I were actually roleplaying my use of the word “daddy” on a literal level, it might be kind of weird (though if that’s what you’re into, no judgment here). For us, “daddy” is just a nickname, and as such never goes beyond its meaning of designating him as the boss in bed for the night.
  4. Why is “baby” normal for most people but not “daddy”? If we’re going to take pet names as literally as the people who freak out over the use of “daddy,” we should be panicking about the nearly ubiquitous use of the word “baby.” The thought of having sex with a baby is at least as disgusting as having sex with your dad, so why aren’t the literalists up in arms about couples calling each other “baby”?
  5. Sometimes sex is actually just sex. While it can bring out a lot of deep-seated truths in a person, sex can also be just sex. My boyfriend and I have always had great chemistry in the bedroom, partially because we both love sex and don’t bring a lot of baggage to the table. The “daddy” nickname comes from that mutual playfulness and comfort that we have with each other. It’s light, sexy, and not weighed down with any kind of psychological significance.
  6. It shows a level of intimacy and trust. As a truly free-spirited and independent woman who’s almost always the responsible and authoritative one when it comes to work and relationships, I like to call my boyfriend “daddy” in bed as a way of exploring my vulnerable side. It’s a way of shutting out the rest of the world and showing him a part of myself that is just for us. Being a boss lady is what I do and where I belong, but everyone needs a little balance sometimes.
  7. Being turned on by dominance in the bedroom is pretty common. A recent study in Canada found that 65% of people who identify as women have sexual fantasies about being submissive with their partner. When I call my boyfriend “daddy,” it’s just another way of telling him that he’s in charge, a dynamic which is clearly very common and widely accepted.
  8. Maybe if my boyfriend was an alpha male, I’d feel different. I’m not the type to settle down with a guy who thinks of himself as a man’s man and thinks of me as a “little woman” who needs protecting, but if I was dating a guy like that, there’s no way I’d be calling him “daddy.” My boyfriend is the most mellow, levelheaded man I know, so using that nickname in bed is just a fun way to tease each other, not an acknowledgment of our respective roles in our relationship.
  9. The origins aren’t as straightforward as you might think.  According to Columbia University professor Jack Halberstam, there are many origins for the sexual use of the word “daddy,” from post-slavery America to 1930s Berlin. So while everyone sits around pointing fingers and passing judgment on anyone who dares mention their fondness for the term, it’s worth learning the facts and getting up to speed on all of its non-Freudian origins.
  10. The whole concept of “daddy issues” is just another way for society to criticize women and their sexuality. Not only is “daddy issues” a catch-all term that allows men to overlook their own egotism and relationship deficiencies by blaming their female partners, it’s yet another way to shame other women for what they do in the bedroom. If men aren’t ridiculed for calling their girlfriends “baby” in public, why are women constantly attacked and lectured for calling their boyfriends “daddy” in private? Everyone needs to take a breath and let other people enjoy their own sex lives without public scrutiny.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.