Calling Your Boyfriend "Daddy" Doesn't Make You A Problematic Feminist

By Katherine McDowell

There is no such thing as a feminist who isn’t problematic, and before Twitter hounds me, let me explain. Feminism is about equality and progression and encourages women to support other women…regardless of their beliefs or background. Still, we find ourselves at constant war with each other.

For example, I absolutely can’t stand Lena Dunham. When Girls first hit HBO, I thought she was revolutionary, a pioneer, a voice for women and millennials. She was not afraid to speak her mind about body positivity and urged the public to always believe survivors. When the #metoo movement went mainstream, one of the writers on Girls was accused of sexual assault. Instead of standing with the female victim as she said we all must do, she claimed that the victim was lying, citing that her relationship with this writer was more valid than the victim’s personal experience. Naturally, I was livid when I heard this. How can someone be so hypocritical?

See, I am a problematic feminist.

As I started to grapple with my feminism and its flaws, I started to uncover that I, like Lena Dunham, am a walking oxymoron. Instead of going against a victim, I do something that may or may not be worse than that. I call my boyfriend “Daddy.”

I am not one hundred percent sure where it came from or why that word turns me on. I have a great relationship with my father and would not identify myself as someone who has “daddy issues.” Still, when my boyfriend and I are having sex, I exclusively call him daddy. He did not request that I do that. I asked him if I could.

I am an extremely dominant personality in everything other than my sex life. When I feel that special clitoris tingle and my nipples getting more sensitive, I only want to be told what to do and degraded. According to my sex educator friend, this is because my sex life is not my real life. It is a fantasy of some sort, and – most importantly – it is okay for me to be so submissive and crave degradation, part of which includes calling my boyfriend “daddy.”


There is nothing wrong with this type of sex life/fantasy, so if you are like me and find it deeply problematic, know that it actually isn’t. Unlike Lena Dunham, your kind of problematic feminism is about you – no one else. You are not doing any harm to other people or yourself. You are simply fulfilling an urge, a human urge at that.

If this kind of dominant – submissive play is something that you are interested in, then talk about it with your partner. When you engage in a consensual, sexual act, you will feel empowered even if you like/are being degraded. There is a difference between consensually giving someone power over you in the bedroom and having it taken from you. There is nothing stopping you from exploring except you.

You might think that you are a problematic feminist, and maybe you are. But to me, you aren’t. You are a human being and thus a sexual being who is also a feminist. If that is problematic, then so be it. But it isn’t worth hating yourself.

So come play with me, daddy.