Social Question

submariner's avatar

Are these comedic conventions based on reality?

Asked by submariner (4145 points ) December 29th, 2010

I noticed recurring references in film and TV comedies to two things that puzzle me, and I’m wondering if they are based on reality or are just show-biz conceits.

First, I wonder about “daddy issues”. Supposedly, most younger women have them, and unscrupulous older men can exploit them to get in said women’s pants.

Second, what is the deal with sweatpants? Supposedly, when a woman wears sweatpants, she is signaling to her husband or SO that there will be no sex that night, and he shouldn’t even try to get her in the mood.

I’ve seen plenty of film and TV gags based on these notions, e.g. in mediocre sitcoms like Two and a Half Men or How I met Your Mother, but I’m skeptical. If you are male, have you ever used “daddy issues” to your advantage? Have you observed a correlation between sweatpants and no sex? If you are female, do you or someone you know have “daddy issues”? Do you wear sweatpants when you want to let your partner know he won’t be getting any that night?

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10 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

These things are often based on some anecdotal evidence of the comedian or some of their friends and then it just gets re-perpetuated. Many people, not just women, have daddy issues because plenty of us had bad childhoods but since most comedians are men, they talk about women having daddy issues. As far as sweatpants, that’s cultural and time-bound. I don’t wear sweatpants and when I don’t want to have sex, I just say so – everything else is beyond immature.

marinelife's avatar

Totally made up in both cases. Most women do not have “daddy issues” and they wear sweatpants for comfort.

wundayatta's avatar

What are daddy issues?

I’ve met women who have been abused by their fathers in one way or another, and who seem to be interested in an older man who can give them advice they can trust. It’s as if they are trying to learn what a good father is like. But I can’t say that’s a daddy issue. People have lots of different kinds of problems and they work through them however they can.

In any case, I think if it’s a comedic trope, it’s probably based on some real experience. I don’t know how prevalent that experience is.

I’ve never personally run into the sweat pants issue. It really doesn’t matter what she’s wearing. My wife doesn’t want to make love in anything except her pajamas. Or out of them. Eventually.

Seelix's avatar

My dad and I have always had a good relationship, and I wear sweats around the house because they’re comfy. What I’m wearing has nothing to do with whether I want to have sex that night. My “signal” that I don’t want to is saying, “I don’t want to”.

6rant6's avatar

If my girl puts on her slinky stuff, I know what’s on her mind. The rattier/heavier she dresses, the less likely it is. So yeah, in my world sweats is a red flag. Not that I can’t try to run it anyway.

I think some women are attracted sexually to someone who appears to be a father figure. On the other hand, some women angrily reject the authority of older men even where it would be appropriate to cede same (e.g. at work). Not sure which of those constitutes, “Daddy issues.”

TexasDude's avatar

I think sweatpants are sexy…

janbb's avatar

Sound like stupid t.v. conventions to me. Like the other one where the really fat slob husband gets the hot babe for a wife.

submariner's avatar

Thanks for your responses. You’ve mostly confirmed what I thought, but I must confess that I am a little disappointed. I was hoping someone could tell me how to play the “daddy issues” card on the cute young clerk at the video store. She’s the reason I watch so many stupid movies!

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yes, come to think of it, if sweat pants are supposed to be unsexy, then why do young women wear sweatpants with writing across the seat, which naturally draws men’s eyes to their backsides?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@submariner You want help with that?

wundayatta's avatar

@submariner The “Daddy issue” girls come to you. You don’t have to go to them.

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