If you’ve spent any amount of time scrolling through Kelly Ripa’s Instagram feed, you invariably know two things: No. 1, she loves to post thirst-trap-snapshots of husband Mark Consuelos and, No. 2, she cannot — nay, will not — stop referring to him as “Daddy.” And TBH, I used to share the general sentiment of commenters who were a little put off by the term of endearment. But after spending admittedly far too much thinking about the familial nickname, I fear Ripa calling Consuelos “Daddy” may be giving me, ahem, daddy issues.
I find myself, at this puzzling juncture, amid an existential crisis (or maybe I should say sex-istential crisis). Is calling your partner “Daddy” cringe-y? Or is it sexy? Do I call my husband “Daddy” and not realize it? I haven’t fallen that far down the rabbit hole just yet. But seriously, what’s the deal with this whole daddy business?
Let me level with you: I have two children. My handsome and virile husband helped to create those beautiful babies. And while watching him with our kids does make me swoon in a sense, “daddy” to me is inexorably tied to decidedly un-sexy things.
Like giving birth (beautiful, yes, sexy, nope). Goldfish literally f***ing everywhere — crushed into the floorboard of the car, shoved into air vents, in my purse. Getting virtually no sleep at night, not for hot and bothered reasons but because my son just puked down the side of his bunk into my daughter’s hair. Or walking into the bathroom after my son and wondering what fresh hell awaits. And, you know, there’s also the connotation of my actual father.
I love all of those things. They just aren’t exactly the things I envision when my husband is laying me down by the fire, so to speak.
Then again, to play devil’s advocate, is calling your partner “daddy” any different from calling them “baby”? If you explore that line of thought, it can go awry real quick, too. Or what about calling out “oh, God” during sex? My husband says it’s because he takes me to church, but some might argue that it feels a little too Leda-and-the-Swan (time to brush up on your Greek mythology).
As for the idea that calling your partner “daddy” fetishizes your literal father, stepfather, what-have-you, therapists say this pet name has nothing to do with family dynamics. Rather, it’s a matter of power dynamics: Daddy in this context means someone in charge, the protector, the boss.
So, going tit for tat, I’ll give Ripa that. It’s not hard to imagine that she thinks all of those things when she looks at Consuelos. Who doesn’t think those things when they look at Consuelos?
Ultimately, Ripa DGAF what people think and we love her for that. “Daddy”-fying Consuelos is totally her prerogative although it won’t keep it from creeping out some of her fans, though.
Will I be calling my husband “daddy” anytime soon? The jury’s still out. I’ve been forced to examine my own romantic pet names and, well, they’re probably not any better. They may even be worse. I may have opened an entire psychological can of worms by exploring them. At this point, I’m thinking of my husband as “Daddy,” Consuelos as “Zaddy” and I just made a note on my calendar to call my actual dad.
So, Ripa, you do you, lady — daddy issues come in all different shapes and forms. And as Consuelos’ shape and form proves, they aren’t always a bad thing.