When I first discovered I was submissive, I believed myself to be only that. A submissive partner who craved discipline from and the power of my Dominant partner. Those things are still true. What I found out along the way, as I began to explore the world of Dominance and submission more, was that there was another part of me. A part I was afraid to name.
I’m not just a submissive, I’m also a babygirl. Babygirls, and their babyboy counterparts, fall within the little spectrum of what we most commonly call the Daddy Dom/little girl (DD/lg) dynamic. Just because we call it DD/lg doesn’t mean that’s the best name, though. DD/lg can make others who aren’t Daddies or little girls feel excluded which is sad because like any other kind of kink, everyone who wants to experience it, should.
Figuring out my babygirl side and admitting it were difficult processes. I couldn’t admit it to myself at first, and then confessing to my partner, John Brownstone, made my stomach hurt. The reason? I believed a lot of myths about DD/lg, and I wasn’t comfortable with what I thought that said about me. For anyone else who believes they know what DD/lg is all about, it’s time to bust a few myths.
“Ugh! She called him ‘Daddy.’ Bet she’s got Daddy issues.” Actually, no. Kinksters come from every walk of life so yes, some of us probably do have emotional issues we need to work out about our parents. Being into DD/lg isn’t about solving underlying neuroses we’ve suffered from childhood thanks to our father. Actually, in some ways, it takes the best part of a parental figure - nurturance, guidance, and protectiveness - and wraps it up into a partner that, for many of us, in no way reminds us of our father.
If we all have Daddy issues, how do you account for all the Mommies in the dynamic? Does that mean those people have Mommy issues? Well, I guess if you’re already judging the Daddies, you might think so. Take it from someone who has a relatively positive relationship with her family, no, being into the DD/lg or any other variation isn’t a substitute for the therapy I need to deal with my childhood.
Age play, defined as a type of role play where one partner assumes the characteristics of a child while the other is their caregiver, is a legitimate fetish and kink. It might include diapers, pacifiers, bottles, toys, and other items associated with children. For a time, the “young child” gives up all control and power to their parental figure who assumes all responsibility for them as you would any child.
Yes, it can be a part of a DD/lg dynamic. No, it doesn’t mean the people involved are pedophiles. More importantly, it’s not some required within the DD/lg dynamic. Like every other kink, some people like it, and others don’t. Many of us who identify as a “little” think of it in a much more abstract way. We still have some autonomy even when we’re expressing our younger side. We’re not all into age play.
From the outside looking in, DD/lg relationships look fairly relaxed. The Dominant partner tends to be indulgent and gentle. The submissive partner may be giggly or even bratty. There’s often a lot of teasing, whining, begging, and otherwise being “little” for the submissive. We do this for a million and one reasons but primarily so that our Dominant will be the caregiver we need in the moment. And for the record, my Daddy Dom can be extremely stern if I really screw up, so don’t think you know about my dynamic when you see the indulgent version first.
For some kinksters who prefer a heavy dose of discipline, protocol, and decorum with their D/s, DD/lg doesn’t look like a power exchange relationship to them. Well, it absolutely is. It may be a gentler exchange, one where comfort and kindness take precedence over discipline and protocol, but the Dominant is definitely in control, and the submissive consents to it. Don’t yuck on my kink just because I do it differently.
DD/lg or Daddy Dom/little girl is the most common name we give the dynamic but that doesn’t mean it has to be heteronormative. Although, yes, I admit that it’s depicted in a much more cis, straight, and white way, and we as a community need to work on that. A more inclusive reference to the overall dynamic is Caregiver/little which doesn’t imply a specific type of Dominant either.
Female-identifying Dominants might use Mommy or Daddy. Not all Daddies want to be called “Daddy.” Both Caregivers and littles come from every aspect of the gender and sexual spectrum. DD/lg or C/l (while unfamiliar to most is probably better) are no different than other D/s dynamics in that what matters most are that the people involved enjoy the power exchange and find what works for them. Names, titles, gender, and sexual preference are unique to the people involved.
Kinksters really can’t win, can we? Either we’re all trying to be children (we’re not) or we’re either too young or too old for it. The assumption, in which our biases show up very clearly, is that in a DD/lg relationship, the Daddy will be older and the little will be younger. But no one is allowed to be too young or too old. Insert eyeroll here.
Older couples, Doms who are younger than their subs, and younger people (as long as you’re of legal age) have every right to express their power exchange, relationship style, and kink in whatever way suits them. Yes, you can be in your 60s and consider yourself a little boy or girl, and a Dominant partner can definitely be younger than their submissive. The only time age matters is in determining if your partner is legal or not.
Everything in BDSM, kink, and D/s exists on a spectrum. There is no one single right way to have a power exchange relationship with someone else. All that ever matters is that you have the consent of your partner, you understand the risks, and you communicate - a lot. After that, call yourself Daddy, Mommy, or All Mighty Leader of the Kink World if that gets you and your partner off.
The Caregiver/little dynamic can be whatever the people involved want it to be. You don’t have to like it to accept it, and you don’t have to want it for yourself for it to be okay for other kinksters. For those who really want the nurturing, gentle, kind D/s relationship that DD/lg represents, don’t reject it because of false myths you believe. Find what works for you, call your partner what you like, and forget what anyone else thinks about how you get your kink on.