I was still craving the authority of a daddy. I needed somebody to use me and control me, but also care for me and teach me. I’d lost DH, my first daddy, who created a space where I could indulge and explore the depths of my perversity. The loss took over my life for a year, and changed how I saw the world around me. I’d often thought that it was my fault that things didn’t work out, but maybe it was just a part of growing up.
I remember getting up early last Father’s Day and walking down Yonge Street to Nathan Philips Square, then back up University Avenue. I’d routinely walk on weekends just as the sunlight was starting to flood through the city streets. I stopped to admire the provincial legislature at Queen’s Park. All those bricks together made such a complex figure — it would always remind me of DH. He was just as rigid: always moral in his own way, following his code like a religion. I didn’t understand any of it then, and overreacted like a child out of ignorance. I had so much to learn.
We’d met on Father’s Day the previous year without even realizing that it was Father’s Day. We had chatted on Grindr for days before, exchanging dirty pictures and stories. We finally met for drinks at a pub, and then went back to his place for sex. We lasted almost a year. He pushed all of my buttons and my limits grew. Soon I was too far gone to ever go back.
He established himself as my sexual mentor, instinctively knowing it was what I needed. I was so excited to hear him say “sexual mentor.” A few weeks later I asked if I could call him daddy. He didn’t object. At first it was “Daddy H,” and then just “DH.”
My excitement often turned to hatred. He could be indifferent and aloof (a whole lesson in itself, it turned out). I questioned my attraction to him during these times, and we really had nothing in common. I began to loathing the lessons he taught me about bondage and domination and I swore I’d never do it again. I threatened to throw away all the leather he gave me. I didn’t mean any of it, and I knew he was exactly what I would become. We fought like father and son, but no matter how much I rebelled, I knew we were the same.
I made several attempts to stop speaking to him, but it was impossible. The longest I managed was three months. That’s when I knew there was more to the “daddy” label than I previously thought. Even though I was no longer the boy, but rather a boy —if that — he was family. It wasn’t romantic; I cared and wanted good things for him. It made me happy to know that he was happy, even if it was because of someone else.
It wasn’t until the following year that I worked out we’d first met on Father’s Day. His only response to me: “Are you sure?” Our dynamic had changed dramatically during that year. Things didn’t turn out the way I had expected, but I was still grateful and wanted to take him out for the anniversary — he’d been successful at playing the role of my sexual mentor, which had been the deal all along. I wished that I’d had as much impact on his life as he’d had on mine, but he was 20 years older; maybe that wasn’t realistic . . .