In Honor of Our Hot Dad Obsession, Here's a Brief, Sexy History of the DILF


There are many types of dads in this world.

There is the corny dad with goofy dance moves who recycles the same dad joke basically every few hours. There is the absentee dad. There is the stay-at-home dad who proudly tends to the children and home while his wife leans in at the office park.

And then there is the dad you'd like to fuck. Also known as the DILF

In the thirst-fueled climate of our modern-day internet, the DILF obsession is real.

Celebrities like Tom Hardy, Chris Hemsworth and Josh Duhamel have all been praised for their abilities to be both hot and fatherly at the same time. Chrissy Teigen famously started referring to her husband John Legend as a DILF after she birthed their daughter in April. 22 Cartoon Dads have been named DILFs by BuzzFeed. An Instagram account called DILFs of Disneyland has nearly 340,000 thirsty followers. In February, People officially crowned known DILF Ryan Reynolds with the title of "Sexiest Dad Alive."

Meanwhile, on Tumblr, Daily Dose of DILF has become the premier destination for almost 60,000 subscribers to get their, uh, daily dose of DILF. It was launched five years ago by a 20-something gay guy named Andrew who was inspired by his lifelong appreciation of hot dads.

"I had a couple high school teachers who were so fucking hot and DILF-y," he said. "It was torture sitting through their classes every day. I would get so distracted by their muscles that would be pressing through their clothing."

So what, exactly, makes a man "DILF-y"? It depends on who you ask.

"I think 'DILF' can apply to men who don't actually have kids," Andrew said. "You definitely know a DILF when you see one... They're more experienced. They're also super confident and sure of themselves."

Andrew's interpretation of the term essentially makes it interchangeable with "daddy," which is currently having its own major moment amongst internet youths.

"I'm not into dads, per se, but I can sure as hell fuck with a daddy," Eve Peyser wrote for New York Magazine's Beta Male earlier this week. "A daddy is an imperfect combination of authority and appreciation; a man my age (early 20s) is none of those things. A daddy is older and probably acts like he knows better than you; you're okay with that."

Others, however, would say that what sets a DILF apart from a daddy is the fact that a DILF is hot solely because he's a dad, regardless of his age and/or other qualities. GQ's description of a DILF, for example, is based on the well-known fact that babies — like dogs, cars and tweets about feminism — are total chick magnets, dude.

"Why do chicks dig DILFs? Well, because they like men and they like babies," Simon Mills wrote back in April. "Dads become DILFs when they embrace fatherhood, when they strap on the shearling and calfskin papoose, and when they give up Sunday-morning hangovers in favor of swing-pushing sessions."

One of the first times the fetishization of fatherhood became mainstream was in 1987, when British poster company Athena released a now-infamous print titled L'enfant and also known as "Man and Baby."

The artsy black and white photograph shows a shiny, shirtless hunk with tight jeans and perfect hair as he gazes into a baby's eyes while his chest and biceps distract viewers from the fact that there's also a baby in the picture.

"To [some people], in particular teenage girls and young women, its juxtaposition of a rugged male and helpless infant had instant appeal and was held as presaging the arrival of the sensitive but sexy 'New Man,'" wrote Cahal Milmo for the Independent. The poster sold five million copies.

The actual term "DILF" wouldn't make its way into our hearts until at least 12 years after the massive success of L'enfant, with the release of the classic 1999 comedy American Pie. There weren't any DILFs in American Pie — unless you have a thing for Eugene Levy, which: no judgment. But, there was one very famous scene in which the term MILF — mom I'd like to fuck — was used to describe the character of Stifler's mom.

Frat bros had been throwing around the term MILF since at least the early '90s, but it wasn't until American Pie that it started to become the cultural trope, and wildly successful porn genre, that it is today. And once MILF became a thing, it was inevitable that its gender-reversed version would also eventually take off. DILF first appeared in Urban Dictionary in March 2003, defined as "a heterosexual female's version of a MILF."

That definition may not be totally accurate, though, as there are a few notable difference between the hotness of a MILF and the hotness of a DILF. MILFs are typically conventionally hot sex sirens, whereas a DILF can be a fit and toned hunk or just an average Joe with a dad bod who happens to be a good-looking father.

"The crux of the MILF's hotness is that it's hard to believe she is someone's mother," notes Dave Lesser in a blog post for the Good Men Project. "DILFs...are vastly different. They're desirable because they're parents, not in spite of it."

Twenty-nine years after L'enfant and 13 years after DILF's humble entrance into our daily internet lexicon, the fever for hot dads is stronger than ever. Whether it's a celebrity dad on the cover of People or an anonymous stud on a DILF-worshipping social media account, DILFs have officially set up shop in our fantasies.

And for those of us out there actually fucking the dads we'd like to fuck, our realities as well.

"Everyone should try out a DILF in bed," Andrew said. "At least once."

So anyway! Got any plans for Father's Day?

Read more: • This Feminist T-Shirt Is the Perfect Accessory for Dads Everywhere