How Becoming Daddy’s Little Girl Made Me Strong

Exploring BDSM and power exchange enhances my life and my relationship

Rachael Hope
Dec 5, 2020 · 10 min read
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Photo purchased from Body Liberation Stock

Full disclosure: it wasn’t that long ago that the thought of referring to a romantic partner as Daddy really squicked me out. I didn’t understand why anyone would want to associate such a familial word with anything sexy or erotic. I was judgmental, and very sure that I would never!

Of all the surprising things I’ve discovered while exploring my sexuality, my love for Daddy/girl power exchange is one of the least expected. It’s also one of the things I’ve talked about the least. Sure, I’ve talked about having a Dominant/submissive (D/s) dynamic. But delving further into the specifics is trickier. Opening up to ‘vanilla’ folks about floggers, spankings, or rope bondage feels safer than delving into the more misunderstood corners of kink.

When I met my future Daddy, the attraction was immediate and magnetic in a way I’d never experienced. PG emails quickly gave way to in-depth conversations exploring non-monogamy, sexuality, BDSM, and kink. He was already involved in the local community, and his interest in helping me explore was one of the foundational blocks of our relationship.

I’m so lucky that my first forays into the world of BDSM happened with someone with a good base. He was thorough in leading me through negotiations about our relationship, and it didn’t feel like work. Our first meeting happened on a blazing June morning, eating and talking on the patio of a local café then walking in the park. Sitting on a bench facing the gently lapping water, I knew we had something; but I never could have imagined the depths, pleasures, and connection of the power exchange relationship and partnership we’d develop.

What is power exchange?

BDSM and kink are huge and varied categories covering an infinite number of relationship models and activities. Power exchange is the overarching term for relationships that include one partner giving over control or authority to the other. These relationships are often referred to as Dominance and submission (or D/s).

Delving further, you’ll find many different types of power exchange relationships, from in-depth, hard-edged Master/slave relationships to simpler top/bottom dynamics. Also included are Caregiver/little relationships, which include various combinations of Daddy/Mommy Doms and littles ranging from Adult Babies to people who identify as Middles.

The types of relationships included in power exchange are widely varied, and at face value may not seem similar. Each dynamic is unique, but ultimately they’re about power and control between the participants.

But… why Daddy?

Following the end of my marriage, I entered a phase of blossoming. I was discovering a new confidence and power, and taking what I wanted. This new relationship? It felt different.

Almost immediately, there was an energy exchange that brought out my shy side when it came to initiating anything. He was low key, but grounded and commanding, and his demeanor made me want to wait for him to ask me. I started to submit to him before we were ever alone in private. He surprised me, his presence strong and quietly dominating. It felt incredibly natural to fall into a D/s dynamic with him. It felt right.

Before long, it was time to figure out what I would call him in the context of our D/s relationship. Having designated names or titles in a power exchange relationship is part of getting into the roles, and reinforces the dynamic. The most common titles in the BDSM world are Master, Sir, and Daddy. I knew immediately that Master didn’t feel right for the connection we were building. Sir was closer, but not quite right either. Both felt too stiff, too formal, too hard for what was developing.

I had almost no experience with the Daddy/girl (D/g, or DD/lg for Daddy Dom/little girl) dynamic, aside from limited role-playing with a long-distance boyfriend over texts and phone calls. I knew I felt safe with him, protected, but at first the idea of calling someone Daddy felt super strange. As I mentioned, before getting involved in kink and power exchange, I was sure saying Daddy in the context of a sexual or romantic relationship was not for me.

Yet there I was, heavily drawn to it. Daddy. The person who would watch over me, look out for me, and set me straight when I’d lost my way. He was becoming someone who told me what to do, but also someone who sheltered and protected me. It flowed from my tongue more easily when I felt bashful, unsure, or inexperienced, and he made me feel all of those things.

I started out in texts and emails, calling him Daddy and signing off as his little girl. He called me his sweetheart or good girl. At first, I was very shy about calling him Daddy out loud, but the more I did, the easier it became.

Doesn’t calling him ‘Daddy’ remind you of your actual Dad?

In a word, no. For one thing, I have never in my life called my father Daddy. At least not that I can remember. I called my parents by their first names until high school, and then switched to Mom and Dad. Even if I’d called him that as a small child, that was decades ago.

People love nicknames and pet names. Baby is used as a term of endearment all the time, and no one asks “doesn’t that remind you of an actual baby?” Sweetheart, honey, my girl, babe, papi, pretty momma, and baby are all commonly used in the context of romantic relationships, and this isn’t all that different.

Calling your partner Daddy has nothing to do with visualizing your literal father. Power exchange relationships often emulate a power dynamic, whether it’s a Master or Mistress or a Daddy. My D/g dynamic isn’t about incest, it’s about emulating the power dynamic between a nurturing but firm man, and a sometimes-rebellious, often younger girl who needs guidance. It works because it incorporates elements of authority, nurturing, teaching, protecting, and sometimes punishment.

Each set of labels used by kinksters practicing power exchange captures unique nuances about the dynamic they’ve chosen. Using Daddy as a title on the dominant side of the equation implies that the Dominant takes care of the submissive, acting as a provider who gives guidance to an innocent.

Doesn’t age play sexualize children?

Again, no. In fact, it’s possible to have a D/g or Cg/l relationship without participating in age play at all. Many who identify as Daddies and girls play in a sort of grey area where an age difference may be implied, but the submissive does not identify as an under-18 persona.

Even for those who do participate in age play, whether it’s very young or college-aged, age play kinks have nothing to do with incest or pedophilia. When we build these relationships, we are not craving a sexual relationship with one of our actual parents, nor do we wish to return to our past in real life.

This type of play is about feelings: feeling supported, taken care of, free to indulge in activities or interests that grown-ups are supposed to be too mature for. From age play to pet play to mistress/teacher or boss/subordinate, roleplaying is about escape; it’s a big, amazing game of pretend, grown-up style. Being in little space is about going into the head space and safety of a careless life away from the responsibility-laden adult world.

How old is your little?

I consider myself more of a middle than a little. Littles and middles come in all ages, from babygirls who enjoy binkies and adult-sized-cribs to people like me. I identify more in the realm of a naive-but-curious bubble-gum teenager. This type of role-play is perfect for letting your inner child out to be nurtured and taken care of by someone who enjoys a caregiver role.

I’m not little all the time, and sometimes it’s hard to get there without a lot of intention. Rather than a totally alternate personality, it’s more an aspect of myself that shows through more at some times than others; for example if I’m stressed at work and my kids are being needy, it gets pushed down.

I like being cute, and I got excited when my hair got long enough for pigtails and bows, and love unicorns and sparkles and ruffles. I love to color and cuddle with stuffies. When I’m feeling tired, sad, or vulnerable, I feel more little. I feel like I need to be taken care of, to be sheltered a bit more from the world. There’s an immense security and feeling of being seen in knowing I can send a text that says, I’m feeling little. And he gets it.

When I’m in little space, things can be playful, with tickling and teasing each other, or nurturing and soft. She also comes out when I get into trouble, and need my behavior corrected. When we move into things that are more physically intense, like rope or impact play, my little doesn’t show herself as much.

Why don’t you just keep this behind closed doors, where it belongs?

Simple: I don’t believe that sex and sexuality belong behind closed doors. Sex and pleasure are normal, natural things and we need to talk about them a lot more. Because of the repression and shame around sexuality in our culture, so many people end up feeling like they are abnormal or that something is wrong with them.

The sex-positive movement is important to me. Working towards a culture where sexuality and sexual expression are not swept under the carpet is a mental health issue, and a plain old happiness issue. Feeling togetherness, feeling empowered, and feeling accepted are important. I’d like to leave this world a better place than I found it, for my kids and their kids, and using my voice is one of the simpler ways to be able to do that.

Not everyone is in a place where they’re able to talk about these things out loud, and I want to lend my voice to those people. By sharing my knowledge and experiences, I hope to contribute to greater understanding and acceptance of things that people misunderstand and look down upon. Education is important!

Being sex-positive is also a feminist issue. Men are still seen as conquistadors for exploring sexually, while women are labeled sluts. If I share that I’ve slept with 50 people, it’s more shocking and reviled than if a man says the same thing. In her article, My Daddy Fetish Has Nothing to do With My Father, Emma Austin writes:

Men don’t have these same issues. The fetishization of MILFs has full-blown cultural currency, right down to hit pop songs. It’s seen as an entirely ordinary manifestation of male desire and no one ever worries that confessing to a MILF fetish will be tantamount to admitting to some oedipal complex.
The fact that people still look on the daddy fetish with suspicion just shows that we still have a long way to go to normalizing women’s sexual desires. We need a broader, more open conversation about what we really want (and not just fantasies of Fabios on horseback — the pervy stuff, too).

Sex and sexuality carry so much shame, misunderstanding, and stigma in our culture. The only way that we are going to change that is by talking about it, and normalizing all the types of relationships that people have. Everyone deserves love and the opportunity to explore the things that make them happy, as Emma said, even the pervy stuff! What are we here for if not to live in joy?

How has your DD/LG dynamic helped you heal from trauma?

I spent the majority of the five years before finding my Daddy feeling small, unloved, and unworthy. I became invisible. The one person in my life who was supposed to be there for me, to hold me when I cried, to support me, to help me when I was trying to better myself, to love me and generally take care of me when I was in need was not there for me. He was another person in my life I was responsible for taking care of, without the type of reciprocity a healthy relationship provides. I lost myself, and I needed someone to help me find me again.

Sometimes, the universe drops just what we need right in front of us. At the end of a first meeting, you already feel that it’s important. That click can happen with friends or with lovers, the hint of something bigger to come. We filled a spot in each other’s lives that needed just the right piece. Our relationship has been a gift in many ways from the very beginning.

Being little with him has meant figuring out how to be vulnerable again in a safe place. It means I never have to be anybody but who I am. It provides one place (at times the only place) in my life where I don’t have to be the one taking care of everything.

When Daddy tells me what to do, I don’t have to think about it, I just have to do it. He spoils me, and I remember that I do deserve happiness. He makes me feel special, and reminds me that I am worth loving and worth wanting. His love is truly unconditional, which has helped me learn to advocate for myself. I get to embrace every part of myself, share hidden parts with someone who receives them appreciatively. He recognizes the value of my submission, of trusting him to have power over me.

Life works in mysterious ways. Sometimes you don’t know until you’re in it, and then suddenly your preconceptions and assumptions are just blown completely out of the water. Opening your mind can lead to amazing discoveries. I embrace power exchange and my little side because doing so enhances my life. It contributes in such a positive way to my mental health and to to the health of my relationship.

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Rachael Hope

Written by

Polyamorous, loud laughing unapologetic feminist, rad fatty, and epic sweet tooth.


Conversations about sex from all around the world

Rachael Hope

Written by

Polyamorous, loud laughing unapologetic feminist, rad fatty, and epic sweet tooth.


Conversations about sex from all around the world

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