Even though I can’t get the word out of my mouth, merely thinking of my husband as my Daddy leads to hot urgent sex on the couch. Afterward, we head off to bed, and he falls asleep quickly, but I can’t let go of my inner tension over this new element. I fear we have made a terrible mistake by framing our fledgling D/s life in such pseudo-incestuous terms. Yes, the word Daddy is a common title for dominants in the D/s world. Even outside the D/s world, I’ve heard lots of wives call their husbands by the pet name of Daddy, and seen it in dozens of movies. Yet the idea of calling Michael that grips me with a fearsome power, along with an equally fearsome… I don’t know what. It’s not embarrassment or shame exactly (well, okay a little), it’s more intense confusion over the discovery of this dormant longing in me. I get up and go to my computer and do some Google searching.
The Darkest Fantasy
It doesn’t take long to learn that, historically speaking anyway, Daddies getting sexual with their daughters, and daughters getting sexual with their Daddies, is not a new idea – or even all that shocking. I find historian Lloyd DeMause arguing that incestuous longings are universal, as is the act. He refers to an old Indian proverb: “For a girl to be a virgin at ten years old, she must have neither brothers, nor cousins, nor fathers.” There is even an example in the Holy Bible: Genesis 19 describes how the daughters of Lot (of Sodom and Gomorrah fame), got him drunk on wine, and climbed into bed with him. I come across that reference in a blog post titled: “The Darkest Fantasy” (themonogamishmarriage.com)
The female author of the post writes that after reading that biblical account, “It became a fantasy I frequently revisited as I masturbated my way through childhood. I kept imagining what must have been going on in the minds of those young women. In my imagination, they were both repulsed and excited by this horribly wrong thing they were doing.”
That author is not alone in deriving excitement from such an idea. Nancy Friday, who wrote frankly about women’s fantasies in the 1973 bestseller, My Secret Garden, devotes an entire chapter to “incest” fantasies, centering largely on father/daughter combinations. The pull of such taboo reveries, said many commentators of the time, was all about “the irresistible lure of the forbidden.”
My online wandering tells me that not much has changed since the ’70s. The erotic Daddy/daughter trope pops up so often in the fantasy landscape as to be almost mundane. On the amateur erotica website, Literotica, the second most popular category is “Incest/Taboo.” There is an entire sub-genre of DVD porn geared toward men who fantasize about getting it on with a pubescent stepdaughter. Meanwhile, women are the audience for “stepfather romance” erotica. There are literally hundreds of downloadable ebooks on Amazon with titles like Craving Stepfather, Shhh, Don’t Tell, Pleasing Daddy, My Alpha Male Stepfather, Homeschooled: Learning to Please, and my favorite, The Mystery of Fate: The Heart Wants What it Wants.
I am comforted to discover this vast cache of erotic material. It reassures me that Michael and I haven’t strayed too far off the beaten path of fantasy. Yet, despite the ubiquity of the Daddy/daughter model, it is clear that in our culture at least, it is still considered dark and twisted, whether one keeps the fantasy hidden in the privacy of one’s mind, or enacts it with a partner in role-play. I come across a Dan Savage column that responds to a “married white guy” in his 50s who describes a role-play based on his wife’s ‘script’: “I yell at my “bad” daughter (my wife) over some infraction and send her to her room. Later on, I sneak in and tell her that she could “make Daddy very happy” if we were to do some “secret, special things” together. I usually end up fingering her still-virginal butt while “forcing” her to suck my dick. Then I roll her over and rape the hell out of her. She absolutely gets off on it.”
Well yes, I think when I read it, I am sure she does get off on it. That script is pretty close to my lifelong step-daddy fantasy, too. But while this man takes part in the role-play, shame impinges on his pleasure, and he has written Savage over his concern that it’s “creepy” and that his wife’s ‘script’ might also be based in truth.
Although he is ordinarily an open-minded proponent of experimentation without guilt, Savage answers that all incest role-play has a “high-creep quotient.” He then echoes what seems to be a common assumption that such fantasies might come from real life abuse in the past, and that such “deeply creepy fantasies” allow women to reenact their traumatized past, and have some control over the outcome.
The assumption that such fantasies are somehow more disturbing or “sick” than any other types of fantasies strikes me as wrongfully judgmental. It implies that I should feel shame for something that rises from what feels like an innocent place within me. And to ascribe such a fantasy or longing to brokenness from a crime against me is also irritating. Such judgment also conflicts with a large 2008 study which showed that BDSM enthusiasts hadn’t experienced any more childhood sexual abuse than the population at large, nor were they any less mentally healthy (jsm.jsexmed.org). All kinds of fantasies grow in people’s minds. Would anyone say a threesome fantasy rises from some trauma? How about a foot fetish?
Not that my own childhood was free of inappropriate sexual touching. At the age of six, I – like way too many children – was inappropriately touched by a male relative over the course of a year. My memories of it are a jumble of disjointed images and feelings, but it didn’t involve violent penetration, nor was it at the hands of my father or stepfather. It was wrong, it was confusing, yes, and I wish it hadn’t happened. I also recognize how it led me to struggle with sexual boundaries as a teenager.
Still, I did not grow up feeling victimized or traumatized. Perhaps thanks to my exposure to my mother’s freewheeling sexual attitudes, I’ve always understood that human sexuality spills over the nice neat lines we like to draw, and I never thought to turn the uncomfortable fondling that happened to me into a dark and ruinous story about myself. I do not make light of anyone else’s feelings of trauma over childhood sexual abuse, and I strongly support their right to interpret and voice it however they feel it. But in the process of reaching peace with my own abuse – and especially to reach peace with an abuser who sat at the same table as me every Thanksgiving – I steered away from the roles of victim for me and victimizer for him. It just didn’t serve me.
I suppose many a psychologist could insist that my Daddy fantasy is the result of me trying to overcome my particular abuse, but I know better. And I think all the writers and readers of the “stepfather erotica” genre also know better. Or the writers and readers of doctor/patient erotica. Or teacher/student erotica. Or boss/employee erotica. Or cop erotica. There is something essentially hot – very, very hot – about submitting one’s body to a strong male with some measure of power. And then there is the lovely feel of that strong male granting one permission to be sexual. To be called “Daddy’s good girl” for enjoying sexual touching, to be told it’s okay and nothing to be ashamed of, carries great power, and opens the door to intense pleasure – well, for me at least.
I end up at a comforting article on Psychology Today that tells me how silly it is to impose dark meaning on sexual fantasies given their mysterious and spontaneous origins. So I close my computer and go slip back into bed next to my strong loving Daddy Husband. Although in these beginning days I will have to ward off waves of embarrassment that I feel such an urge to frame Michael’s dominance of me in a Daddy/daughter context, the truth is, it doesn’t feel ‘wrong’ to me at all. The truth is, it feels natural and right.
The truth is, as I curl up next to his sleeping form, I suddenly love the context of having a Daddy lover, strong but benevolent, firm but loving, a man who adores me and protects me and takes care of me. I lie there feeling safe and unconditionally loved and profoundly turned on. The truth is, having my own dominant Daddy feels wonderful.