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What Defines A Daddy? A Complete Guide - Age Gap Dating Advice

Used ironically, as a term of affection, or in a sexual sense. the term 'daddy' can have a range of meanings. The different areas that cause someone to consider themselves a 'daddy' are age, physicality and mentality, with mentality being further split into inside and outside the bedroom. A 'daddy' can have one or all of the below facets, So let's explore what makes a daddy:

The Term Daddy and When it Arises

To start with let's set the scene. The term 'Daddy' is a label. And as with most labels, therein lies complexity and nuance. This single word can mean a variety of things to different people. Some people vehemently reject the term, whilst some love and embrace their daddyness.

Whilst occurring most commonly to describe a parent, this term has been extended far beyond that. It occurs in both heterosexual and gay relationships (and various in-between), however it is in the latter that it has gained the most traction. The tribal nature of the LGBTQ+ community has put daddy as a common term alongside that of twinks, bears, etc in gay vernacular.

How Old is a Daddy or a Gay Daddy?

Whilst not exclusively, to a 'daddy' is usually in their mid 40s+. Upon edging into your 60s+ those may be seen as a 'mature daddy', though are still commonly referred to as a 'daddy'.

Dad Bod topless pic
Pic by Mistermister222, from

The Body Type of a Daddy

The famous 'dad bod' is coming into fashion. That is, someone who is a little softer around the edges. They likely have been to the gym in the past if they don't still. Some might say they're the middle of Goldilocks' bears - not to slim, not too big, but juuuust right (though there's no judgement on size here).

The Body Type of a Gay Daddy

In gay culture, physical characteristics can build some sub categories of daddies, that most commonly are used by people searching on dating and hookup apps for their 'type':

  • Muscle Daddy definition: Likely a bit of a gym bunny that works hard on their physical appearance. Muscular and fit (though may have a tendency to skip leg day)

  • Daddy Bear definition: A heavier set daddy with a lot more to cuddle. An older bear that identifies with the daddy tribe. If they identify in this way they've likely embraced their bearyness and are body positive. However don't assume someone heavier likes to be considered a bear or daddy bear.

If you want to lean more about different types of daddies, there's a fun glossary of terms here to widen your age gap dating vocabulary.

The Mindset of a Daddy:

It is the mentality of an older man that truly creates a daddy. It's part of why some younger men see themselves in this light. With potential differences in and out of the bedroom, his is a more nuanced and personal area, however

Day to Day Daddy

There are many ways people can identify as a daddy. As a non-exhaustive guide, the most commonly cited are that of being caring and nurturing to their (usually younger) partners and often good listeners. It is this 'mentoring' aspect alongside the older age and physicality which is what's helped coin and popularise the term 'daddy' outside the traditional parental sense. A key misconception is one of control. Being guiding and sharing experience with a partner does not mean they control or dominate a partner.

The identification of being a daddy in this sense is more aligned to age gap relationships, due to the longer term nature of mentoring and care.

Bedroom Daddy

This has been separated out as it can operate quite differently to a day to day daddy, though can also be seen as a daddy identity.

A daddy in the bedroom is more usually seen as a top, with a younger lover being the bottom. They may be seen as more dominant (a 'dom daddy') and assertive over their more passive partner. In reality this isn't always the case, but has been popularised through online videos. This stereotype has become a quasi-fetish for some and is commonly seen as an identifier in hookup apps. It is through online videos and hookup apps that the bedroom daddy has become a major tribe in gay culture, though outside the bedroom the person is less likely to identify.

Should I Call Him Daddy?

Whilst it might be that you like the term and see it as one of affection, or to add a bit of spice in the bedroom, it is wrong to label someone without their permission. Names and labels are powerful things. Some older men will identify strongly with being a daddy, some fiercely reject the notion. It's definitely ok to express your preferences, however it is up to them to give you permission to call them daddy.


There you have your Complete Guide to a Gay Daddy. Hopefully it helps you to understand the often confusing label a little more.


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