I met a man in an underground bar who called himself a 'daddy.' I ended up crying in his lap, and he helped heal my childhood trauma.
- Growing up in a toxic, homophobic environment left me feeling terrified of masculine connection.
- Engaging in the "daddy-boy" fetish helped me heal my inner child and feel safe around other men.
Like many young queer men, I grew up in a homophobic environment. To step outside the hetero-masculine box was to be threatened, humiliated, and treated as an outsider. As a result, I never felt safe around other men.
My family home was conservative and religious. I was taught that being gay was a sin and that to be "feminine" was repulsive. When it dawned on me that I might be one of these repulsive, sinful men, I was terrified.
I felt that I had been robbed of my childhood. I didn't get to grow up feeling safe or protected. I never felt a sense of pride from my father or acceptance from my peers. I had no one to guide me or teach me how to be a man.
I grew up hyperanxious, rarely feeling grounded. It was like my body had matured but my psyche had not. Though I had a man's body, there was a scared little kid trembling inside.
Like many traumatized adults, I turned to casual sex for comfort. I'd learned that queer men like me could expect to find love only in dingy clubs and gay bars. But it was there that I had a profound healing experience.
I met a self-proclaimed 'daddy' in a nightclub in 2014
While dancing in an underground gay club at 24, I met a guy who was older than me. He introduced himself as a "daddy." At first, I didn't know what that meant, but he explained it was a fetish term that meant an older, dominant guy. He asked whether he could call me his "boy." To be clear, this role-play has nothing to do with actual fathers, boys, or incest.
For some reason, the words "daddy" and "boy" lit a fire within me. Without knowing why, I immediately said "yes."
He took me into his arms and ruffled my hair. He let me rest my head on his lap in the middle of that dingy underground club. He talked to me in soft, nurturing words saying, "That's a good boy."
Something about this nurturing presence was utterly intoxicating. For the first time, I sensed my body start to relax. I felt safe, secure, and protected.
As my "daddy" held me, an indescribable thing happened: The traumatized little boy inside me started to awaken. The guards I had built started to melt away as my inner child came alive.
I snuggled my head into this "daddy's" chest and looked up into his kind eyes. He kissed my forehead and said, "It's OK. Daddy's here now."
It was then that I began to cry. As the tears came streaming down, he just kept holding and comforting me.
After this first encounter, I was desperate for more
I couldn't get enough of the feeling. It was like "Little Mark" had longed for this his whole life. But as soon as I saw my "daddy" again, things started to change.
The "boy" part of me became used to being vulnerable. The more we saw each other, the less intense the sensations were. I got to know my "daddy" as a person beyond the role-play, and he got to know me.
He was a genuine guy and respected me as a person. We talked a lot about our childhoods and connected on many things. Soon, I discovered that I could let the "boy" side of me out at any time; it didn't have to be part of the role-play.
I realized I had been repressing my inner child out of fear it would be hurt, but being with my "daddy" made me see it was safe to show that part of me as a man. The men that hurt me as a boy were no longer around.
I've learned I just need to feel loved and protected
That feeling this "daddy" gave me was vital to my personal growth. He taught me how to feel and accept love. He taught me how to be a strong, grounded, and confident adult.
I'm eternally grateful to my "daddy" for healing my inner child and making me feel safe and whole. While it wasn't a "normal" healing experience, I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.
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