Hot Damn!

Sexy dads are taking over the online world.


MILFs, GILFS and…DILFS? Oh my! Let me introduce you to the newest addition to the older-people-I’d-like-to- fuck internet phenomenon- dads I’d like to fuck, otherwise known as DILFs.

DILFS have officially taken the internet by storm, and women, as well as men, are going insane over pics of hot dads and their cute kids. The title of DILF has been extended to many celebrities such as 50 Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, retired soccer star David Beckham, and 98 Degrees alum Nick Lachey. However, this particular honor is in no way reserved for celebrities alone. Plenty of everyday hot dads have been dubbed DILFs, as proven by the uber popular Instagram account, @DILFS_OF_DISNEYLAND .

As a 20 something who finds myself inexplicably attracted to many of the men featured on the account, I wondered why taking a picture while playing with their small children seems to automatically make a man infinitely more attractive. With the DOD Instagram account currently boasting over 267 thousand followers, it would seem that I am in good company when it comes to being attracted to men who are good with kids.

But, why is this? According to a 2009 study, evolution could be the answer. Men who photograph themselves with children, especially their own, are probably more likely to enjoy the company of children. Men who enjoy the company of children are probably more likely to want kids, or want more kids if they already have them. Men who want kids are important to the continuation of the human species. Therefore, men who photograph themselves with children may be more likely to make good husbands and fathers, and we — women- find ourselves attracted to them, not because of the adorableness of a dad loving his baby, but because of science and the inbred urge to continue the human species.

Lacee Albright, 23, nursing major, is currently dating a 28-year-old man with a 2-year-old daughter.

“My boyfriend has sole custody of his daughter,” Albright said. “When I met him, I didn’t know he had a daughter, but he told me about her on our first date. He was late in picking me up because the baby sitter was late. Then his daughter wanted him to brush her hair. No one else but him would do in brushing her hair. The fact that he took on the sole responsibility of his daughter and that he loves her more than life itself is definitely part of what has attracted me to him in the long term.”

Albright said she can see how it makes sense scientifically for women to be attracted to men like her boyfriend.

“It’s obvious from an evolutionary stand point that women would be. We’re hardwired to continue the species. So yeah, it definitely makes sense.”

Shawna Rhodes, a 25 year old dental hygienist from Upland, Calif. says she doesn’t want kids of her own, but even she finds herself attracted to men who like kids.

“It says something about a guy when he’s good with kids,” said Rhodes. “Guys who like kids tend to be better boyfriends, in my opinion. They tend to be nicer and more attentive. Nice and attentive guys are sexy as hell. I don’t want kids of my own, but I’m not blind. Guys who like kids just seem to be better guys all around.”

After scouring the depths of the internet, I discovered that suprisingly little research has been done on why women find single dads attractive. However, there was one study, done by the British scientific journal, that kept popping up everywhere. It was cited in Dan Hill’s book Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success, as well as a 2012 CNN article. The study indicates that there may be some truth to Rhode’s observation. In the study, women were shown pictures of men and were asked to rate them in four categories: “likes children,” “physically attractive,” “masculine,” and “kind.” University of Santa Barbara psychologist James Roney interprets the results.

“This study suggests women are picking up on facial cues that are perhaps related to paternal qualities,” Roney said. “The more they perceived the men as liking kids, the more likely they could see having a longer-term relationship.”

Men who like kids (obviously) aren’t necessarily “better” guys than those who don’t. But wanting kids is definitely one of many indicators of whether a man would make a good long term partner. Women subconciously see guys who like kids as stable and reliable and therefore better choices when looking for someone to settle down with.

The DOD Instagram page creator Amber Wright, 26, says she has always had a love for hot dads. The page, which started out as a joke between friends, went viral and has earned Wright a place amongst the instafamous. Wright says she has always loved a man with kids.

“You know, I can’t speak for everyone, but I love a man who is great with kids. It shows their softer, more compassionate side. There’s just something about a good looking man pushing a stroller,” Wright said.

While the wildly popular page has received mostly positive reviews, not everyone enjoys the page’s daily dose of eye candy. Some, such as mom blogger Theresa Edwards, have called the page sexist and accuse Wright of objectifying men.

“Perhaps I’m being too pearl-clutchy,” Edwards wrote. “But I think of it this way: women have the right to enjoy a day out wearing whatever they like without being ogled or photographed. If I didn’t feel the same way about men, that would make me a hypocrite.”

Wright insists she isn’t objectifying men and that the page is harmless and brings joy to the families of the men that are photographed.

“I have had nothing but flattered, shocked and thankful husbands and wives send me messages,” Wright said. “They find humor in it. They get me and what I’m trying to do. So they love being featured. It’s an ego boost and men love that.”

Tyler Aimer, 31, has been featured on the account four times. He said that he is very flattered to have be considered a sexy dad.

“My wife took a picture of my son and I at Disneyland and I uploaded it to Instagram. Then, a bunch of my friends started tagging it #dilfsofdisneyland. Sure enough, a couple of days later I was featured on the Dilfs_of_Disneyland page,” Aimer said.

Aimer said that he and his wife both find humor in his newfound “dilfness.”

“It’s pretty funny when people call me a DILF,” Aimer said. “I mean, I’m a dad and I owe my dilfness to my perfect son Luka and my gorgeous wife Casey. Without them, I’d just be another dude. It’s a little weird because I’m a married man with a kid, and all these girls comment sexual stuff on the featured picture. Luckily, my wife thinks it’s super funny.”

Wright says humor is one of the main points of the page. After all, it did start out as a joke between friends. Wright says that the people who have accused her of being racist, sexist, and of objectifying men says have a simple solution: unfollow the page if they don’t like what’s posted.

“It’s all in good fun,” Wright said. “You have to have a good sense of humor to get it, to get me. I’m a total jokester!”

Perhaps that’s what the DILF phenomenon is at its core- a joke. A fun outlet for women and men to express their sexuality in a bold way that’s stereotypically reserved for heterosexual males. The trend has given people permission to say “hey, you’re hot,” even if it is usually from behind the comfort of their laptop screen. After all, according to Wright, that is what she’s aiming to do by bringing DILFs to the masses.

“I just want people to appreciate the hot men, get a little eye candy for the day, and maybe get a little laugh from whatever crazy comment I put up there.”

Photo illustration by Cynthia Schroeder

Substance is a publication of the Mt. San Antonio College Journalism Program. The program recently moved its newsroom over to Medium as part of a one-year experiment. Read about it here.