The Price of Being 'Daddy' in Queer Relationships

Via Ari Fitz  Youtube Channel

Via Ari Fitz Youtube Channel

Who’s your daddy?  No, seriously.

And I’m not talking about the dude who knocked up your mom and tricked her into giving him the big piece of chicken and primo seating at the dinner table when you were a kid. 

There are so many terms of endearment to choose from: “bae,” “boo,” “honey,” “sweetheart,” “Thanos”. . .

What’s the pull toward “daddy culture” in particular?  Some say it’s just lighthearted fun, others feel like it’s unceremoniously tethered to toxic masculinity. 

Who are you submissive to and why?

Daddy culture is beyond the act of whispering sweet nothings in the ear of your partner, it’s been catapulted full force into the cultural zeitgeist. It’s not just straight couples and it’s rarely related to actual ‘daddy issues’. 

This also falls under the same umbrella as people who ask lesbian couples who the “man” is in their relationship, which implies the need for a masculine-type figure, as if this somehow further legitimizes the relationship in any way. This outdated thinking suggests that women aren’t as equal as men.

In the lesbian community, there is an adherence to the social construct that states, “men need to be bringing in the most money,” which often gets interpreted as and translated to: “whichever person is aligning themselves [the most] with their perceived idea of masculinity.”  Things get complicated fast. The fact is masculinity doesn’t belong to any one person or gender. Anyone can identify as masculine, masculine of center, or be masculine-presenting. 

After chatting with a friend the other day about relationships I discovered that there are femmes who truly believe the more masculine presenting partner should pay all the bills in the relationship, obviously, this feels insanely problematic. However, my friend seems unfazed, she says that she expects this thinking when it comes to relationships because there is no equity within the queer community. 

Shifting in my seat, head on pug tilt and face on Cardi– I shout, “OK, sis!”  She’s not wrong. The stigma and unspoken taboo of stud-for-stud relationships comes to mind. Toxic masculinity permeates every aspect of our world, it’s more than just a buzzword of the moment. And it’s definitely not just a cis het problem. It’s many layered and pervasive.

What are we talking about when we talk about gender roles in the queer community?

It wouldn’t hurt to consider what exactly we’re robbing our partners of when we play into these chosen roles. 

Daddy culture dictates that you both end up coming up a bit short, one person now has the same stereotypes and expectations rooted in society’s perverted and long-held ideas of what it means to be a man– while the other person is boxed into the prescribed “complementary” role of submissive. 

Here’s the deal, we’ve all gotta buy into these antiquated notions for them to even be a thing. Our collective conditioning is evident, making our expectations true to form.

The LGBTQIA community has always been at the forefront, fighting for acceptance from the mainstream. 

Maybe it’s time to pivot?  Maybe, just maybe our former-gayby selves have outgrown the subconscious desire to align and acquiesce with the heteronormative relationships of yesteryear?

In the 21st century the queers overstand the delicate nuance of fluidity and gender equality.  Who needs the straights to show us how it’s done??

Toxic masculinity rears its head in everybody’s garden– it’s our collective responsibility to build the guillotines.


Rita Nicole Leslie is an Atlanta native, senior copywriter, co-producer and host of Bleux Stockings Society– she puts periods at the end of her "haha's" and "lol's" because her joy is definitive and never overstays its welcome. More inspiration and profundity can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/minxielarue/