Words by Gareth Johnson | @GTVlondon

Spicing up our sex lives with some daddy/son role playing.

It’s a widely accepted fact that I will have sex with anyone.  Unlike some of my friends who have quite specific requirements when it comes to choosing boyfriends or casual encounters, I’m not that bothered by what they look like, how tall they are, or where they’re from. I just want to feel something – or perhaps to have had enough to drink to feel nothing.

I am however fascinated by what goes on in other people’s relationships. Voyeuristic it may be, but I like to think of it as just being curious. I’m a curious person.

I took part in an exhibition a couple of years ago produced by photographer William To. His concept used different stereotypes of gay relationships to explore the possibilities of marriage equality. I was hoping to be portrayed as a ‘muscle jock’, however William cast me in the ‘daddy/son’ scenes – I was the daddy.

I quizzed him as to why he’d decided to use these stereotypes in his work:

“It was mainly to search within my own identity, to explore what role society might categorise me as.”

“Growing up in Australia, I was labelled as a typical “gaysian” – so the daddy/son scenario is something that I kind of connected with when I first came out.”

“A lot of younger guys are definitely trying to work out what being gay really means – trying to find themselves, so a daddy/son relationship kind of gives you some sense of comfort or security, something to look up to and a chance to gain experience.”

I was intrigued to try and work out how common daddy/son role play actually is in gay relationships.

Did I turn to Google? Wikipedia? No. I turned to Grindr.

Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of location-based dating app Grindr is an absolute font of knowledge about male sexuality, able to provide real-time insights into what gay men around the world are up to.

Grindr has over 735,000 users in the UK. About 49% are in their 20s, 29% in their 30s, 17% in their 40s, and 5% in their 50s.

Jeol reveals that the use of labels or self-categorisation is playing an increasingly important role in gay sexual encounters:

“We live in a fast-paced world and we’re so used to instant gratification. Categories and descriptors help speed up the process of finding someone you’re more interested in meeting. ‘Daddy’, ‘son’ and ‘boy’ are some of the more popular categories used by gay men in the dating world.”

But how healthy is the sexualisation of roles such as daddy/son?  I decided to lay my issues on the table with Justin Duwe – a counsellor who specializes in working with gay men and gay relationships. He takes a fascinating, cerebral approach to male sexuality:

“While there is no general rule of thumb, men who are interested in daddy/son role play may find it sexually stimulating because it deals with the taboo of family incest, and others may find it appealing because they are attracted to older or younger men. They may find the difference in the power dynamic to be exciting, they may be acting out a subconscious relationship pattern (especially in cases of abuse), or they may believe that a younger/older man is the answer to their past sexual or relationship issues.”

“While there are no studies that I’m aware of that link paedophilia with daddy/son role play, I would caution those who have been abused in their past to reflect upon any similarities between their past abuse and their current sexual partner. Often survivors of abuse will act out the effects of the abuse, especially when they have not had the support of a mental health professional to help them process the complex emotions and thoughts that are a result of the abuse”.

“As long as the sex is healthy, safe and is between consenting adults, then why not enjoy what you are turned on by or attracted to?”

I was wondering if I was perhaps getting a bit daddy/son curious. Justin takes a typically pragmatic approach:

“If you find yourself turned on by looking at daddy/son porn, sexually interested in older men or younger men, or excited by power and submission within a sexual context, then you may find daddy/son sexual role playing a welcome addition to your sexual menu.”

When I was 27 I briefly dated a guy who was 63.  I asked  Justin whether once a ‘son’ always a ‘son’? Since I’ve now over 40, should I be loitering in the toilets of nursing homes in order to find my next ‘daddy’?

“As we age our sexual tastes change, just like our tastes for foods. The evolution of your sexual interests is natural and healthy as long as it is safe and involves consenting adults. As you become older you may find that your sexual tastes start to lean towards you being the ‘daddy’ and having sex with a ‘son’.’

It’s probably time to update my online profile and put away that school uniform. 

What do you think? Are you into ‘daddy/son’ role paying? Let us know @FSmagazineUK.

This article is from FS magazine #150