He liked to talk in bed — a lot, and always dirty — and, as part of his rhetorical repertoire, he liked to tell me about other women he’d been with while he was getting me off. He’d whisper in my ear about how this one went down on him while he told her what a whore she was, or how that one responded when he called her a slut while she was on her knees in front of him. When I told him he wasn’t allowed to call other women by my name — “slut” — anymore, he kissed me so hard I couldn’t breathe and nailed me until I couldn’t see straight.
To me, it was all just fun and games: talking dirty got him excited, it got me excited, it made the sex better and it clearly served as encouragement for him to do things to me that got me off harder, faster and more often. And as long as outside the bedroom he was funny and respectful — and as feminist as he claimed to be — I didn’t much care whether “slut” (or any other word) was a sexual reclamation project or just a way for him to punctuate every time he hit my G-spot.
So when he started talking about the last time he and his ex had sex while I was on top of him, I was enjoying the sensation of his body under me, the timbre of his voice, the sexy twinge of jealousy that came with picturing him doing to another woman what he was doing to me. And then he mentioned that she called him “Daddy.”
Well, I thought to myself, That’s a little weirdly ’70s but… and then I had an orgasm and that train of thought ended — for a while, at least. Later, as we were leaving for brunch, I tried to hint around about it, to figure out whether it was something he liked or she was into, by asking him if there was something he wanted me to call him in bed. He demurred, but it wasn’t very convincing.
Later that week, he had me on my back in bed, my feet around his neck when he looked down and me and said, “Don’t I get a thank you for making you come so much?” And something about the tone of his voice, the tilt of his head and the way he slowed down and looked at me intently reminded me too much of the story of his ex, and I knew what he wanted me to say. “Yes, daddy, thank you.”
He moaned in response, and closed his eyes as he continued to thrust into me, harder than he’d had even before. It clearly turned him on; more than any dirty thing he’d whispered to me, more than me calling myself a slut, more than me saying his name or screaming out an orgasm (a treat for when our roommates weren’t home). It was clearly, obviously his thing — and it was really, really not mine.
I pondered it when we were apart. It didn’t totally turn me off, though it struck me as a little squicky. My sole experiences with the word “daddy” during sex came from ’70s porn and that scene in “Boogie Nights” where Mark Wahlberg’s rival grunts out, “Who’s your daddy?” during his scenes. Neither did it for me. And while I’d known elderly women who referred to their husbands as “Daddy,” I always thought it a weird, creepy throw-back to the pre-Feminine Mystique era — and, frankly, was relieved as a teenager when my mom started referring to my dad as “your father” or “your dad” instead of just “Daddy.” It was something coquettish young women used to wheedle money out of their beneficent (and wealthy) fathers, not something that felt normal to say to someone as I was trying to have an orgasm.
I mean, I like my dad and all — enough so that I find myself dating men who remind me of him, be it his weird sense of humor or his coloring, his height or his copious amounts of chest hair — but I’ve never had any real desire to f**k him or engage in incest play. And it was really, really difficult not to attribute my partner’s desire to be called “daddy” in bed to his fatherless childhood as much as his interest in dominance and submission in bed. I wasn’t sure how to reconcile his sexual interest in my sluttiness with his desire to “school” me in proper sexual techniques — let alone his arousal when I called him “daddy” and pretended to learn things I didn’t already know.
It didn’t take him very long to put together that I was faking the innocent act to turn him on, and he reveled in the idea that I was such a slut that I would play the wide-eyed ingenue just to get him hot and make him screw me better. He admitted that there was something about “daddy” that he preferred hearing over other BDSM standards like “master” or “sir,” which struck him as too practiced and less organic than the connotations of “daddy.” For whatever reason, “daddy” connoted sexual play almost exclusively to him, and the exact opposite to me. So I saved it for special occasions, when I wanted sex more than he did, when I could tell he was getting tired, when he seemed to have trouble finishing — and always, when I’d already gotten off.
But like a few too many freak-in-the-bed/feminist-in-the-street relationships, it fell apart in large part because it’s hard for the dominant partner to leave that love of control at the bedroom door — and it’s harder for a woman like me who is willing to give up control in bed to cede an inch outside of it. But unlike his long-term ex, I didn’t call him “daddy” during the breakup sex. Instead, I said, “I know you’re going to miss your f**king slut.” And I made him say it.
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