How these these things always end up so long… I have no idea. This was not a post that was easily divided into two parts either so it’s just long, but I hope you find it useful.
Since I recently wrote my first Daddy kink book, it’s come to my attention that a lot of people are confused about Daddy Kink and Ageplay. Both are incredibly popular right now in fiction and in the scene, but many seem to think they are the same thing. They aren’t.
I’ve had a lot of requests for Littles topics anyway and I have a few ideas on my list, but this seems like a timely one.
Let’s start with definitions so we can try to clear up some misunderstandings about what Daddy Kink is and what Ageplay is. To start with… did you know there were two kinds of Daddies? There are, and it confuses a lot of people, which is why they tend to think anything with a Daddy also involves ageplay.
I try not to be heteronormative on this blog because I want to include everyone, but there are a lot of different gender/style pairings in here and I’ll probably default to Daddy/little girl at times because the biggest percentage of my followers seem to be M/f. But please know that these relationships are not inherently hetero, or male dominated.
Daddy or Daddy? Oh no! It’s the same word, but the definitions are very different. How will we know what to expect!
Well, the first type of Daddy is just a regular somewhat Dominant lover. That’s it. It’s on the order of a sexy little nickname really.
The second kind of Daddy is a caretaker or parental type of Dominant who takes on the role of a guardian to a submissive or childlike(adult) partner. We’ll get much more into that in a minute, but if they sound so similar how do you tell the difference?
For that you’re going to have to look at context and situation for clues. If the person calling them Daddy is wearing lingerie and saying it in a sexy voice while sprawled on a bed, then we’re talking about Daddy Kink.
If they are saying “Dadddy, I don’t wanna eat my vegetables!” or demanding their hair be brushed and a bedtime story, then it’s probably Ageplay. When it comes to fiction and buying a book, it can be a little more difficult to tell, especially if you only have the title and cover to go by, but typically if there’s ageplay in it, it will be obvious and will probably be mentioned in a disclaimer.
But let’s break it down a little further for you.
Daddy Kink/Mommy Kink: The most common definition for this that you’ll see out there is “A kink where it’s a sexual turn on to call your partner Daddy/Mommy” Or where the dominant partner is turned on by being called that.
One partner sees the other as Dominant and wants to submit to them in a sexy way. For many people it doesn’t go any further than that. You’re simply acknowledging the other person has authority over you in the bedroom. And some people find that Sir/Master/Ma’am has a less affectionate vibe to it. Whereas Daddy has a more familial, loving tone.
You will find plenty of relationships like this where there is no ageplay at all. Daddy kink is not ageplay. Sometimes the two go together in the way that spanking and bondage often go together, but they are very different things that just happen to overlap.
Daddy kink tends to be inherently sexual and is often tied to the bedroom. It has a strong basis in roleplay as in it’s a role that can be put on and then dropped when you feel like it. You might get in a younger headspace for the role, but it’s usually just in a bratty ‘spank me’ way.
Which is why sometimes when you read a Daddy book you get nothing but the girl calling him Daddy during sex and that’s it. Daddy kink isn’t even always BDSM. It can be, again for some people, but many people with a Daddy kink are pretty vanilla in terms of what they like.
The Daddies/Mommies in this kink also don’t have to be caretakers. This is because, again, it’s mostly about a sexual thing that might not even extend out of the bedroom. If you see a picture of a hot, stern looking guy and say “Mmmm, Daddy!” that is Daddy kink.
DD/lg relationship: This is a relationship where the DD (Daddy Dom) takes on a caretaker role of an adult who tends towards being more childlike. It often includes rules and discipline. The lg (little girl) is a grown woman, but in the context of the relationship submits to the Caretaker’s authority, often in a younger way, similar to a kid obeying a parent.
This relationship can be sexual, or it can be platonic. It can be vanilla or include BDSM activities like spanking. There is usually ageplay involved but not always.
This kind of activity is usually considered a kink, but only because kink is a bit of an umbrella term. The reality is that the definition of kink requires sexual turn-on and that’s not always the case in these relationships. For instance, you might get turned on by spanking your Little, but the act of having a Little, or doing Caretaker activities is not a turn on. So, there is a connection there, but it doesn’t quite fit.
Ageplay: Roleplaying at an age different from your own, usually younger. Sometimes much younger. The normal ageplay range is from baby to teenager. You’ll notice this is a pretty short definition. That’s because the definition of ageplay is short and simple, but there are a lot of ways to do it.
Misconceptions about ageplay usually come about because people have an issue with a specific way to play and assume that to be the entire definition. Nope.
Ageplay is not necessarily BDSM and may not include any kind of physical discipline. Plenty of vanilla people ageplay for relaxation. Ageplay doesn’t necessarily mean sex. In fact, I would say for most it’s a non-sexual activity that is more about reclaiming the innocence of childhood than anything else.
There are plenty of strictly non-sexual relationships that involve ageplay too, which means that it’s not really a kink for everyone either. It’s basically recreational age-regression.
Some Littles will tell you that ageplay is an entirely different thing from what they do, because ageplay can be turned on and off. Roleplay is a game that you can play and then walk away from. Whereas Littles tend to have a Little side all the time, even when its lurking in the background. It’s more what they are inside than an act they are putting on for fun.
And this is no different from a submissive wanting people to know they are always submissive, even when they have to be bossy at work. There are roles and then there are identities and that’s important to understand.
But to cut down confusion we’re going to consider the act of being overtly Little and doing Little’s activities as ageplay.
Daddy Dom/Mommy Dom/ Caregiver/Big: The dominant partner, who has a more caring and nurturing side. They take on the role of a parent in some ways, which can mean both disciplining and comforting. Daddy Doms usually have subs who are Littles.
I say usually because you can be that kind of Dom and have subs that are not Littles. Identifying as something doesn’t mean that your partner is obliged to fit into the opposite/complimentary definition. You’ll still act like a Caretaker, and lots of subs love that. They probably just won’t call you Daddy/Mommy and that’s fine.
I should also say that there are Daddies, Mommies, and Caregivers who do not add the ‘Dom’. Sometimes this is not about BDSM, and for them they are actually just being a parent. The dominance is a natural kind of authority outside of a BDSM relationship in that case. But since this is more about the BDSM lifestyle we’ll focus on the Doms.
From a DD you can usually expect rules to follow and punishment when you break them. You can also expect cuddles and attention.
Little space/ kid space: This is the act of mentally regressing to a childlike state. Having the mindset of a kid. It can be very powerful, and for some it can be healing. Many people who need Little space are people who feel like they never got a real childhood. This is their chance to experience the love and safety that every child should have.
In this state the world can feel a little scary. There is a sense of vulnerability that can make it hard to cope without a Big/Caretaker there to keep you safe. While in this mode the Little will probably want to do younger activities like coloring, watching cartoons, or playing with toys.
Little: A fully adult person who spends a lot of time in a childish headspace, especially when they are with their Big. This may include playing with toys, cuddling stuffed animals, and coloring. Littles generally need extra care and affection. They can have a fragile mindset and be easily hurt.
While Littles may not always appear little, they generally consider it more of a lifestyle and part of who they are. That doesn’t mean they don’t function as an adult, many do. They go to work, they raise kids, they have romantic relationships all while acting perfectly adult. You can be mature, and sexy, and still have a little girl/boy side.
Littles need little time the same way a sub needs D/s time. When they don’t get it because of life issues, it can really throw them off. Littles are not always into BDSM. Ageplay is not always BDSM. (You’ll notice I keep emphasizing this. That’s because it’s seen so frequently together that it is a common misconception that they are the same.)
And let’s do a quick break down of Littles definitions too.
AB: (Adult Baby) This is someone who ageplays as a baby. This almost always includes diapers and usually pacifiers and bottles.
Little: Someone who regresses to the age of a child usually between the ages of 3-10. The age might not be explicitly stated and may bounce around the whole range of ages according to their mood. Feeling older when they are more confident and needing more care when they are scared and slip into a younger mindset.
Middle: A person who roleplays a pre-teen or teen. A lot of bratty subs tend to slip into this mindset though they may not actually see themselves as ageplaying.
Feral Little: Someone who enjoys being a Little on their own without an ‘adult’ guardian/parent. They just enjoy the regressing for its own sake and are happy to color and watch cartoons by themselves.
Dark Little: Dark Littles are people who rp as a child or identify as a Little but with darker elements. This can include sex, incest, rape (consensual fantasy), and physical abuse.
I think for some it can be a chance to work through childhood trauma in a more aggressive way. Perhaps to take agency of abuse they suffered. It can be extremely intense to see from the outside, so I can only imagine how intense it must be in the role.
Dark ageplay can also include the Little doing bad things (think Damien, or Nora from the Bad Seed) in roleplay. Bullying other Littles, even fighting with Dominants and trying to take charge. (Note, I’m talking about them doing these things with consent and the other parties being fine with it.) If you like ageplay because you want to reclaim your innocence and relax with crayons, then you probably want to stay far away from Dark ageplay.
So now that we’ve laid out some definitions let’s talk about why it matters. I mean obviously it’s just important to know things in general and it might be something you’ve been curious about. Maybe you found this while looking for some definitions because you were confused.
But why is it important that we explore the differences between Daddy Kink, DD/lg, and ageplay?
Well, because a lot of people don’t know there is a difference. And for some that difference is huge. For one thing, many people who ageplay don’t do sexual activities while in that child role. It can be exactly like acting out a real parent/child relationship.
Calling someone Daddy in a sexy voice is Daddy Kink and you probably won’t see Littles doing that while they are in Little headspace (or possibly at all) because part of the innocence of the headspace is that the majority of Littles don’t tend to feel sexual.
So, a lot of people see a Daddy book and go ‘Ew… I don’t like ageplay.” In their head they are picturing an adult acting like a child, while having sex. It squicks them because they connect it with pedophilia or incest. That’s one of the main reasons this kind of relationship struggled for so long and one of the biggest misconceptions. There is such a thing as incest play, but it usually goes along with Daddy Kink and not ageplay.
But to be very clear neither ageplay nor DD/lg has anything to do with pedophilia. A pedophile is very specifically attracted to a pre-pubescent child’s physical characteristics. It has nothing to do with how someone acts. Pigtails and a lollipop aren’t going to turn a pedophile on when there is also an adult body attached to the cutesy Little behavior.
So no, a Daddy Dom isn’t making his lg act like a kid because he’s a pedophile. It just doesn’t work that way.
Of course, with all BDSM relationships and definitions it’s a struggle to pin them down because people tend to put their own spin on things. That’s perfectly fine, we’re all a bunch of weirdo individuals over here and we don’t like boxes—but it does make it hard to lay things out simply for people.
You have some people who do Daddy Kink, but also are DD/lg other times, and it’s just a matter of two separate head spaces for them. We all have a variety of roles we can put on and switching around is normal, but from the outside it blurs together.
As I mentioned, I recently wrote my first Daddy book, Claiming His Brat. The main characters are exploring a relationship that includes Daddy kink with their D/s dynamic. So this book doesn’t really have any ageplay in it. (If you are looking for ageplay you’ll want the other book I put out last month: Daddy Krampus because it does explore that.)
In Claiming His Brat, Sam, the Dominant, definitely has a Daddy Dom side. He is protective, caring, and concerned about Charlie. Charlie does, when she’s scared, show a little bit of a younger more fragile side but I don’t think that’s unusual for most adults having a rough time. In the second book it’s possible I might have her explore some ageplay.
To be honest I haven’t decided yet and might just let the characters do what they want to do. (Like I could stop them!) I like the idea of keeping it as Daddy Kink so that people can see the difference. But on the other hand, I feel like Charlie could heal a bit from getting in touch with her younger self. And, ageplay or not, I think we all have younger selves inside of us trying to get out.
No matter how ‘adult’ you are. No matter how jaded and world weary, there are always certain things that make you squeal and just for a second your inner-child peaks out. It might just be a flash, like yelling ‘Moo!’ at a cow as you drive by, or it might be for a while, as you relax by coloring and watching cartoons at the end of a long day.
Does that count as ageplay? No, not really. You’re not pretending to be younger. It doesn’t make you a Little either. During times of stress it’s normal to retreat to things that gave us comfort and joy as kids, and it doesn’t have to go any deeper than that.
But what you feel and enjoy as you connect with the more innocent version of you, is a taste of what Littles and age players find when they drop into that headspace. I think for a lot of us it’s hard to let ourselves be vulnerable and open. Ageplay is like a sneaky shortcut to that place. When you have a Caretaker to keep you safe it can be a truly wonderful and healing thing.
It’s like all the innocence and fun of being a child again, while still being adult enough to appreciate it because you know the alternatives. It can also be scary, especially when you don’t have a Big around, because in a younger headspace you especially look for guidance and notice when it’s not there. I also think you’re more easily hurt, so Caregivers have to be careful of all the sensitive emotions.
Littles can really let go of their outer shells when they have a safe place to be small. It’s like dropping all the hard parts of life, but with it goes your protective instincts and self-defenses. Doms who aren’t used to Littles can often underestimate this so it can be important to keep open lines of communication when exploring this dynamic.
However, Littles aren’t always good at expressing themselves in well thought out, reasonable arguments. That headspace is more about emotion than facts and logic. You may experience acting out or sulking with no idea what’s wrong. So basically, when they are in that mode treat them like you would any child, except maybe with more variety in punishments, depending. Constant love and reassurance will be necessary for most of them, as well as a lot of patience.
And I know a lot of Littles worry that taking care of them is too much. They wonder what the ‘Big’ gets out of putting so much effort into doing things for them. I mean the perks of being a Daddy in bed are obvious, right? Hot sex and a partner who submits is reward by itself.
But making someone dinner and cutting the crusts off, filling the tub and washing their hair, helping them into jammies and then cuddling them until they fall asleep… well, that all feels like a lot of effort to a Little and they often worry that it’s too much work. But remember that both partners always get something out of a dynamic or they wouldn’t be there. So even if you don’t always understand what the other enjoys about it … just trust that they are enjoying it.
For a Daddy or Big in a relationship with a Little the perks are mostly emotional. There can be a lot of ego-stroking involved, in a good way. I mean a jaded adult, who can still let go enough to let themselves be fragile and trust you to take care of them while they do so … that’s a gift.
It builds you up. It makes you feel amazing. It’s fulfilling to be the one that makes their eyes fill with trust and happiness.
There is nothing so special or wonderful as having someone put their total trust in you. And I would say that a large number of Daddy/Mommy Doms are also people who are natural caretakers. They enjoy looking after people, so Littles fill that need for them.
This, by the way, is why you’ll often find that people who mostly identify as submissive can sometimes end up with a sub or Little of their own. The need to take care of people can be a strong one and when you know someone is struggling and needs help, and you can provide it, it can make you step out of your normal role to be what they need.
And it’s not really that unusual. I mean I know 24/7 lifestyle slaves who nevertheless are also mothers to children, and managers at work, both of which have to include some form of authority and discipline. Most of us are not just one thing and it doesn’t make you less of a sub if you aren’t a sub with everyone in your life. In fact, I’d say it makes you a healthier more rounded person when you can function in multiple roles.
But maybe that’s a topic that deserves a longer article at some point. So, for now I’ll wrap this up here. If you have questions, or if I missed anything, please feel free to let me know. In the meantime:
Stay safe, Stay healthy, and Stay home if you can!