Defining a Daddy vs a Dad - What's the difference?
Father, papa, dad, daddy. Seemingly interchangeable terms, right? Well for many, the term 'daddy' definitely isn't about your biological father. But what is a daddy, what are some of the key characteristics of a daddy, and how is a daddy different to a dad?
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Is there one thing that defines a daddy?
Being a 'dad' or 'father' is straightforward in a technical sense as you've biologically fathered a child. Even absent parents are usually considered to be a dad. The exception to this is perhaps where someone has donated sperm and lack any relationship with the recipient, or knowledge of the child. They may technically be a parent, but legally and in reality, aren't considered a dad.
Being a 'daddy' on the other hand is verrrry different. Being more of a concept than a singularly defined thing, it has quite a broad meaning. In reality, a daddy always has at least a few of the characteristics we'll go through below, however they're mixed up. Watch out though. Some can have all the characteristics of a daddy, but absolutely don't see themself as one - and may even resent being called as such. So in a way, the one thing that defines a daddy is the person themself.
What age is a daddy?
Age is a strong starting point. While many men can be a father in their teens, 20s and 30s, being a daddy in the gay world generally starts early to mid 40s at the earliest. This is at least in part due to the typical age gap with younger sexual partners in their 20s and 30s. If there were no generational difference, it'd be harder to see the mature 'daddy' of the two, and there'd be less guidance for them to share that's commonplace in age gap relationships (but we'll get onto that in a bit).
All these guys could see themselves as daddies!!:
Physical appearance of a gay daddy
The 'dad bod' is the hallmark feature of a gay daddy. But has been taken from the stereorypes surrounding a middle-aging dad! As you get older, your metabolism slows and other factors like being less active in sport or the gym can turn once toned bodies a bit squishier. Some (like me) are big fans of the slightly cuddlier physique and see it alongside the lightly forming wrinkles and grey tinged or receding hair as sexy.
That said, this is perhaps the most stereotypical view of a daddy. They do in fact come in all shapes and sizes. This is true for being a dad or a daddy, but particularly in the gay community people are categorised into sub-tribes a lot more: Muscle daddies, daddy bears, silver daddies, sugar daddies you name it! To help we've written a guide on the different types of daddies for you here.
Mentality of a daddy
Someone may be great (or rubbish) father/dad, but because it starts with biology and parenthood, the mental side isn't really a factor in defining someon. On the other hand, being an identity, the mental side is perhaps the biggest part of being a daddy. People typically see themselves as a daddy either full time, when alone with a younger partner, just in the bedroom, or not at all. Depending on when people are feeling their daddyness, can hint at the type of mentality they may have.
For example, a daddy that is more relationship focused may be more geared towards nurturing a younger partner (aka boy, son), sharing their life experience and guiding them into maturity. This mentoring role is a big time daddy attribute. On top of this, being older they're often a bit more chilled and don't sweat the small stuff so much, being better at going with the flow and caring about things that matter more.
Someone that is just a daddy in the bedroom, is often more likely to be dominant, a top, seeking to take control over the younger and inexperienced 'boy'. This is often the fantasy portrayed in adult videos. To an extent this has likely led to the stereotype of the mature daddy being aggressive and dom in the bedroom, when in practice like most of us a daddy is looking for sexual connection and chemistry like anyone else.
Finally, some may recognise they're a daddy physically and like younger guys - like my husband - but not lean into or see value in the label. Many actively dislike it and simply just want to be seen as an individual so lack the mental side of being a daddy. Whilst others may see them as a daddy, unless they identify as such, they're not and shouldn't be called one.
These are just guides to the mental side of being a daddy and there is big variety between people - you will even occasionally find someone that sees themselves as a daddy in their 20s! The mental aspect of being a daddy is however hugely important. It not only has an impact on the individual but has a big impact on their partner too. Whether it's a one-night fling or a long-term relationship, how they view themselves (and how they see partners in relation to them) impacts the immediate and potential dynamic between you.
While a gay daddy being a 45 year old lightly greying man with a few wrinkles and cuddly tum, that's caring outside the bedroom but a dominant top inside, could be your takeout from this blog post, I hope it's not. Being a daddy is far more nuanced than that (and perhaps apart from potential physical characteristics, it's definitely different to being a dad). With mentality of someone's identity being a crucial factor in someone being a daddy, looks can be deceiving. So, while this post hopefully helps you identify a daddy in the wild, wait until you get to know their personality before jumping to conclusions, and even then, always ask if someone is a daddy and what it means to them before assuming they're the D you're looking for.
x Age Gap Guys x