Daddies are not particularly defined by their appearance, but more by their demeanour and the way they carry themselves. These are the men who enjoy being the top in a relationship and are the more assertive, dominant partner. There is almost a father-son dynamic in the way that the daddy provides support, encouragement and guidance to his more submissive partner. Silver daddies are men who are similarly dominant, but are going grey on top. They may only be in their forties and they retain a youthful appearance, but their hair gives them a distinguished look and gives them their ‘silver’ edge.

Often a daddy is a mature individual seeking a relationship with a younger man and who wants to take control of the situation and offer protection, support and guidance to his less experienced boyfriend. Sometimes, within this kind of relationship each man specifically adopts the label of ‘daddy and boi’ or ‘daddy and son,’ but for others the relationship is more fluid and the need for such labels is rejected. Daddies generally give off an air of confidence and assertiveness that makes them a daddy figure whether they call themselves a daddy or not. They tend to attract younger more submissive men who want a strong, dominant man to take control.

Silver daddies are also dominant, confident men who submissive men tend to be attracted to. They have the advantage of experience, which clearly comes with age, and they also have the benefit of being attractive and youthful-looking. Often, the only thing to give their age away is their greying hair hence the term "silverdaddies". These men are confident enough in their own skin not to feel the pressure to try to disguise their age and, indeed, their age can be seen as a positive attribute for those men seeking an assertive, experienced partner who can give them the direction and guidance they crave. The term 'silver daddy' can also be used to refer to a subculture within the gay community that is made up of older men who maybe be interested in mentoring and supporting younger members of the gay community. However, it is important to note that the term is informal and not all older gay men identify with it.

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