12. He’s reliable.
“Reliability” gets wrapped up in the list of things we generally want and expect from parent figures — and rarely get from them. Here is an opportunity to explain daddy-son things for guys who might not “get” them.
When I date a man, I will comfort him, hold him, scold him, apologize to him, play with him, get into trouble with him, make him feel safe, and — if we get to this point — love him deeply. In this way, I am father, brother, and partner to him. I am his best friend when we go downtown. I am his daddy when he’s crying and my arms are around him.
These are all things we generally expect from parents, but the fact is that we don’t get them from parents, and don’t really need them from parents. We need them from partners. We need them from people we love. A “daddy” is really just someone who addresses our needs the way we need them addressed and gives us that place of comfort that so many of us go through life lacking. Sure, there are other things we generally expect from daddies on top of that — sexual dominance, established means, some know-how about the world, and hot, hard, kinky sex — but the core requirement for the role, in my opinion, is the willingness to be that idealized father figure: reliable, encouraging, safe.