• Thu, Feb 16 2012

DILF Drama: Playdates With Stay-At-Home Dads Never End Well

DILF hot dadWhen it comes to a woman’s place in this world, I’d say even mothers have come a long way. And fathers, increasingly taking time out of their corporate and social lives to spend with their children, are helping to narrow the divide. In my neighborhood, you see nearly as many dads doing the school run as their wives, fathers planning birthday parties, mothers supporting the family with high-powered gigs – the genders seem almost seamless. And yet when it comes to playdates, we all might as well be residents of Downton Abbey.

Get two parents of the opposite sex together in a room – even with an army of rowdy, utterly distracting children – and the tension is almost guaranteed. Who hasn’t brushed past a fellow parent and blushed a little? Or shared a look that lingered a bit too long. Who among us hasn’t asked politely if there wasn’t another bathroom located on another, more private, floor of the house?

I have. And as a result, mixed (for the parents) playdates have become positively Victorian. One dad in my neighborhood who works a four-day week will go to great lengths to avoid playdates with me, stammering excuses and pretending not to hear the doorbell, even though our children are as close as siblings. When there’s an existing date in place and he’s in charge, he speaks to me through his children (“Henry, what a lovely lunch your friend’s mother has made for you!”) and rushes out on errands while I watch the kids. Even my daughters seem to be picking up on the awkwardness. When they see their friends with their mom, everyone’s atwitter, but when dad’s in charge, they give him his space. I sometimes feel we are collectively acting like a jilted teen: just pretend he doesn’t exist and we’ll all be safe indoors soon.

Other dads we get together with are simply… quiet. Perhaps they don’t have the same anxieties about their children and their parenting as we women do. Maybe, unlike most women, they see their family time as more relaxing than their work time, and they don’t feel the need to fill the silences that can make others feel tense. Maybe they’ve never had any female friends. Whatever the reasons, I feel uncomfortable. The rapport I often feel spending time with other mothers, and crave when they’re not around, is usually absent during a daddy date.

I would never have expected to experience such heights of sexual tension at my age and station in life, but the ingredients are all there: wives with diminished libidos, forbidden fruit, spouses working late… sometimes even a naked boob makes an appearance (albeit for a hungry infant). It wouldn’t be too difficult to conduct an X-rated playdate if the mood struck. Not that I’ve ever acted on it, to be clear. I’m just saying it could happen. [tagbox tag="playdates"]

Is this what those reticent dads are thinking? Or are they thinking that their wives are sitting around at work thinking about it, and they want to do everything in their power to ensure they never slip up? And, anyway, what would the neighbors think if they saw us whooping it up while our better halves were hard at work?

Fair enough. I can’t say I’ve never had an impure thought about my local dads. As I’ve said before, there’s nothing sexier than a dad attending to his young spawn in a time of need. And many of them don’t need help in the first place. Coupledom in the era of small children is a struggle. Parents of the opposite sex are like porn for lonely moms who haven’t felt that excited twinge for years. If ever in my life I were to get into a keys-in-bowl situation, I suppose this would be the time.

Alas, I’m afraid none of my awkward friends would be able to handle it.

(Photo: Brand X Pictures)

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  • K

    I honestly cant read this article because just the title offends be being the working wife of a SAHD. its this kind of attitude that keeps him and my kids from having alot to do during the week. Im sorry if im wrong for judging before reading, the title was enough for me.

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  • Jen

    Sounds like everyone is being kind of immature in these situations. How is a playdate sexy? Heck, even if Brad Pitt was there with his spawn I’m pretty sure the constant noise, strains of “stop hitting her” “take that out of your mouth” “seriously, stop hitting her” and general chaos would take away all possibility for any feeling but gratitude that I’m not sitting there alone. Maybe it’s linked to the fact that I generally tend to be at least a decade younger than most of the dads I meet or maybe it’s because I’ve never had any awkwardness about being friends with men–including several ex-boyfriends–but it seems like you ARE behaving just like a teenager and that’s kinda, sad.

    • K

      thanks for your response jen!! makes me feel better that maybe there are moms out there that are not ostrozining (sp?) my husband

    • B

      The solution to this problem is simple: work out a fantasy about this hot Dad and play it in your mind when you are having sex with your husband. Everyone wins!

    • Lisa

      Or better yet, focus on your husband when you are having sex with him. Spice up your love life in the bedroom to make your marriage better since that seems to be the problem here. You’re lonely marriage. Work out the sexy play date dad when you masturbate. But intimacy with your husband should be just that… with your husband.

    • B

      Yes, ITA with all these comments. Work on sex life with husband and on masturbation. There’s no reason there has to be tension if you are comfortable with yourself. Hey, I walk around horny most of the time, but not tense. Masturbation is also underrated. Gee this post is fun to comment on….

  • Ellie

    This is ridiculous. It’s another parent. Who cares what you guys are equipped with? Way to stereotype. What an example for those kids.

  • Nellie

    Is this a joke? I thought this was an “Onion” article because I’ve never heard anything so absurd and immature. Sounds like you have some serious issues with the opposite sex and an unhappy marriage. It’s a really bad sign when you call yourself a “lonely moms who haven’t felt that excited twinge for years” and I suggest you get some counseling to figure out why you feel this way.

    Let me give you a clue about why the other dad’s seem uncomfortable talking to you…it’s not sexual tension, it’s more likely they just don’t like talking to you because you don’t have anything to say that interests them. You “crave” mommy talk (often known as gossip), and it’s apparent that you don’t respect them as men and fathers, and think they’re supposed to act like and talk like moms simply because they are engaged in parenting. Perhaps you should follow their lead and learn how to spend co-ed playdate time focusing on your children instead of creating drama.

    • conqueror bill

      Haven’t you noticed the deer-in-the-headlights look in the eyes of most of those student-molesting school teachers? It’s almost as if they’re hopelessly confused when confronted with the boundary between erotic fantasy and fiction, on the one hand, and RL, on the other. This man finds it a bit peculiar. Perhaps this is because most men have the happy prospect of bunking with large men named Leroy to which to look forward, which concentrates the mind wonderfully. Most of the women who are convicted find themselves facing fantasy “punishment” that does little to shatter this peculiar Victorian double-standard which still treats the so-called “fairer sex” as children when it suits their selfish interests, as it does whenever moral agency proves too heavy a burden to bear. (Sex when BOTH parties are inebriated is another such occasion.)

  • Cait

    I’m going to start by saying you need to be more cognizant of LGB parents, because you’re generalizations about all moms “being there” at one point totally erases those of us with same sex partners that don’t feel sexual tension at all with opposite sex parents. You can write about your experiences without totally bulldozing over an entire group of parents by implying that every mom out there has made accidental contact with a dad and lit up like a christmas tree over it. Jeez.

    I’ll end this by saying you’re overthinking this. The playdate parents and playdate groups aren’t my dating pool and I imagine they are fantasizing about me about as much as I am them–that is, not at all. We’re they’re for the kids. Frankly I find your approach creepy and if anything is making the dates awkward, it might be your tiptoeing-around, what-will-the-neighbors-think, imagined-sexual-tension manner freaking out the parents that are just trying to let their hair down for a minutes while the kids run around the yard. Grow up.

    • conqueror bill

      Oh, good God, give it a blooming rest, for crying out loud! Re your first paragraph’s complaint, has Rainbow Grievances HQ an ongoing campaign that requires these tedious and tiresome little remonstrances, interjecting the differently other-ed into dramas that aren’t–BY DEFINITION–in any way their concern?

  • SE

    I’m going to have to agree with the others that what is making these play-dates awkward for you is … you. If you are overthinking it to this extent everytime there’s a *gasp* father instead of a mother … that’s going to make YOU act awkward. The dads are most likely picking up on your signals – that is why the one dad avoids you. You probably made him feel uncomfortable. I think this is an issue that you need to work out in your own time.

    • Heather

      TOTALLY AGREE!

  • Amanda

    I agree with everyone else’s assertion that this is highly immature. We’re all adults here. Just because you’re spending time with the opposite sex, or whatever gender you’re attracted to, doesn’t mean that there is bound to be an uncomfortable sexual tension.

    I am a woman that was in the military. Read: I spent my working days with men. Lots and lots of men. And we were able to carry ourselves as professional adults and go home to our families each night guilt-free.

    You really should consider growing up. Whether or not you realize it, your kids are picking up on these messages. And it’s really unhealthy to raise your child to be uncomfortable or to continually sexualize scenarios in mixed-gendered company.

    • SJP

      I too work primarly with men – in Engineering. I spend my day interacting with them professionally or just chit chatting about life. I also spend many lunches out with my male coworkers and there have never been any uncomfortable / sexual scenarios. The funny part is the ONLY time I’ve had that happen at work was when a lesbian woman was hitting on me before she knew I was married (I often am in sitautions at work where I can’t wear jewelry)

  • SJP

    Yikes. I’m also the working wife of a SAHD. I cannot believe this goes through your head. He’s never been interested in “play dates” because most of the SAHM’s he encounters just want to sit around and play “woe is me”. He loves being at home and taking care of the kids. He doesn’t need to vent about how horrible it is. Now that our older ones are in school he volunteers quite a bit at the there and has finally found some open minded women who treat him with nothing but respect.

  • B

    Haha! This is funny. Um, I have sexual feelings for:
    Dads
    my son’s soccer coach
    my son’s assistant soccer coach
    men who I see in bars
    men who I see on television
    movie stars
    hot guys who I see on the subway
    hot guys who I see on the street
    etc…
    The list goes on and on. I’m sure if I propositioned someone, sooner or later someone would agree to have sex with me. That doesn’t mean I do it…
    Be happy that you have some nice masturbatory fodder or someone to think about when you are having sex with your husband.
    Enjoy

    • Ruth

      So,just so I’m clear: according to everbody here (except for “B”) the idea of sexual tension between two adults (who are not married) is 1.) immature 2.)weird 3.)ridiculous 4.)sad 5.)CLEARLY symptomatic of a failed marriage/home sex life….In my experience,none of this is true.Do you folks ever read or listen to Dan Savage/Susie Bright or do you even understand the complexities of human sexuality? You can put your fingers in your ears and say “no! no! no!” but that’s not gonna change the fact that monogamy is not natural for either sex.

    • Jen

      Ruth: The idea of sexual tension between adults isn’t “sad” or “immature”. The idea that you can’t function as a reasonable human being interacting with another reasonable human being because he or she happens to have the type of genitals you find sexiest is sad, immature, pathetic and weird. Most people grow out of their inability to interact with those they find sexually attractive sometime around senior year of high school and one would hope by the time you’re old enough to have children going on play dates you are capable of not jumping every attractive adults bones at any minute.

    • conqueror bill

      Amen and Hallelujah! “I’m horny and I can’t help myself!” is the lament of every rapist and pedophile, as well as philanderer, who has ever lived. News flash to the whole freaking human race: Sex is a powerful drive, but thou art not automata.

      Jeesh! If it were really THAT difficult to control one’s libido, then the locker rooms of our sports teams and HS gymnasiums would be filled with wriggling masses of human flesh.

    • B

      To be clear, anything “could” happen, but it’s all up to you. As I said before, I have sexual feelings for a great deal of men but I’ve never cheated. Mind you, this might be because I’m not that attractive, but hey, as I said before, I’m sure that someone would say yes eventually if I asked every guy who I feel hot for to bone me…. It’s all up to you, my dear…

    • conqueror bill

      Must be nice, thought every man not named Liam or Leonardo.

  • DiaperDad

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? As a SAHD I am offended if you think we’re just a bunch of horny nerds just dying to touch hands with a girl. Please. The only person with a problem here is you.

    I change diapers, mend boo boos, try to keep the fighting down to a minimum, and make sure that my son and anyone he’s with plays nice together. I’ve got way more on my mind than some SAHM with bedtime issues at home. I’m sick and goddamn tired of society painting dads as bumbling idiots when it comes to anything household related. I’ll be damned if I have to also be painted as some uncomfortable horn-dog who either wants to hump everyone outside of my home or is being hunted by horn-dog women who aren’t getting attention at home.

    If you’re turned on by dads being dads…then maybe you should have your husband step up to the plate and stop projecting your neurosis on us.

    I don’t offend easily…but this did it.

    • Abigail

      DiaperDad- So glad you said something. I thought this was such a weird post, but I didn’t want to say anything mean, because the Mommyish writers tend to get really easily offended. So glad you spoke up. I think it’s nonsense. I have a ton of SAHD friends who are lovely and wonderful, interesting people, but that doesn’t mean I want to jump in bed with them or that they have any interest in me beyond which juice boxes I brought to playdate.

    • June

      DiaperDad, I am so glad you commented. I too, was offended by this post.

    • Sasha

      Perfectly said.

      As for Mrs Himelfarb… Get a grip and change your damn panties.

    • conqueror bill

      LOL

    • B

      Hi Diaper Dad, To be clear, I am a stay at home mom who wants to hump almost all hot males who I see. I’m getting attention at home, but it just doesn’t stop the fantasy. All I can say is that I do a damn good job of hiding it, because people who don’t know me don’t seem to know how horny I am. I really hope you’re not saying there is anything wrong with people like me, ’cause I can’t help it. I’ve never cheated, unless you count a fantasy and a date with a vibrator….

    • KMilt

      This is my favourite comment of all time. Well said.

    • Ellie

      applauds

    • conqueror bill

      Housework performed by dads has disparate effects on the libidos of those who observe it being done. It’s diminished in one’s own mate, increased in other women of childbearing age, variably affected in the man himself, and induces sufficient laughter in other men as to temporarily satisfy their own craving for additional oxytocin.

  • Renee J

    Well, if he’s buff like man in the picture and walking around without a shirt, I can see the sexual tension.

  • Gail

    That’s a sad way to look at relationships. Like everyone will jump at the chance to cheat…. I think you need to look at your view on things. You’re the only one I’ve heard of wanting to boink every play date dad you run into. Or even thinking they all want to boink you…. Just saying.

  • DadsNursery

    Good grief Ms Himelfarb, get over yourself, you sound like a lovestruck 15 year old: ‘Ooh, he can’t bear to talk to me directly, he must really like me’. D’uh…
    Obviously I can’t speak for every other SAHD on the planet but I can confidently say that I’m happily married, would never cheat on my lovely wife and have attended many ‘mixed’ play dates with no element of sexual tension whatsoever. If you changed your preconceptions towards us a little then perhaps you might get a bit more conversation out of us.

    • kate

      well said!!

  • Steph

    Did you ever consider that the other dads are quiet/awkward around you because your advances make them uncomfortable?

    • moira

      this, exactly this, my husband is terrified of most of the mothers in our circle as they all refer to him as “that handsome scot” and make jokes (ha, ha, ha) about his kilt, sporran, you name it. Just embarrassing.

    • conqueror bill

      Jon Hammer seems genuinely disconcerted at the fevered conjecture about his “display” in a certain photo.

  • Lawrence

    Glad to see all the mums coming to the defense of us SAHDs… but sadly it seems the writer is speaking for many mothers, including many I try to arrange playdates with for my 8-year-old. I don’t think it’s necessarily because they fear my animal magnetism, but I do think many mothers would rather be with other women and feel uncomfortable around dads.

    Trouble is in our case, my son, who as Asperger’s Syndrome, suffers because of this. All the doctors say he needs playdates with his peers to learn the develop social skills he lacks. But mothers’ attitudes to me are another hurdle that he has to overcome. A tall order for a kid…

  • kate

    it feels really good to see everyone standing up for the stay at home dad! I maye just show my SAHD husband these comments but not subject him to the article

  • S

    Seriously you guys, lay off B and Himmelfarb. As if being attracted to someone of the opposite sex really makes you pathetic or means that you’re in a bad marriage. Way to oversimplify!

    I’m in a very loving and passionate marriage. But I’m a highly sexual person, and a “guy’s girl” (meaning I get along and make friends easier with men). I am strongly (purely sexually) attracted to many of my friends’ husbands, all of whom are amazing fathers who I respect. So thank goodness none of them are SAHDs, not that I would EVER cheat on my wonderful DH… but I’d rather be going on double dates than private playdates because of the (often mutual) attraction — I am a pretty girl, it’s better not to even be in a tempting situation. I have a great time just hanging out with male friends so I don’t want to make problems on their end. Would rather that their wives are there to keep my flirtatious tendencies in check.

    btw I make a concerted effort not to fantasize about my male friends when I’m intimate with DH (feels too cheat-y), so I either fantasize about other women or just stay in the moment.

    Yes, despite being a horny, flirty, easy-to-be-with SAHM who thinks banging your husband would be super hot, I would NEVER EVER do that or even get into a situation where it would be possible. There is a huge difference between sexual feelings and sexual immorality, so please, stop judging!

    • Lori

      So basically, you rely on the wives to keep you in line. You have no self control?

      Good for you for knowing your weakness and avoiding being alone with their husbands. Might want to alert your friends so they can keep a better eye on their husbands whom you claim are attracted to you too. That way they have a heads up that you might do them. You know, if you’re alone with them, you can’t help yourself.

    • S

      It’s not that I have no self control when it comes to actually acting on my thoughts. My friends would have nothing to worry about on my end, I’m hands-off (and my boobs stay in my shirt at all times). But I do flirt, and I think that in itself is problematic, so yes I try not to be alone with my friends’ husbands for that reason. Even if they were attracted to me I doubt they would act on it (they are actually great guys), but let’s be honest, men have imaginations too.

  • JJ

    As a single dad, I can tell you what I’ve found. Men are basically put down as parental figures. For a lot of people it’s unconscious, but it’s there. We men, it is assumed, simply cannot parent like a woman can.

    I’ve had a lot of people commend me on being a great dad, but most of these have been backhanded compliments. It’s been very insulting at times because in some of these instances the backhandedness is very-thinly veiled. I’m starting to think that a dad who spends time with his kids is a threat to some women and their ‘superior parenting skills’.

    After a while, I just don’t want to deal with it, or even the possibility of it happening. A playdate doesn’t have to include both parents. One is fine.

    • Melanie Black

      let’s be fair…you may be complimented as a great dad because so many dads DO drop the ball. It’s not because they aren’t capable, more that they’re unwilling. And I’m not talking about dads who work and help support their children either. Just try and accept the compliment in the way it should be meant, and not the way that it is. Some of these moms may be dealing w/ deadbeat dads in their childrens lives, and you may appear as a shining example of what they wish their own kids had.

  • Melanie Black

    The movie “Little Children” probably doesn’t help with those kinds of issues.