i have to wonder.. is this more common in women that did NOT have the daddys girl syndrome and longed for it?.. i mean i had a father at home.. but he wasnt at all the dominate parent ... he didnt really interact too much at all with the kids...
Fascinating question, sugarpunk. Of course I should allow Anna to reply to this herself, and I certainly will suggest she take part in this conversation, but currently she is sleeping as it is horrendously early here. (I tend to be an early riser.)
There seem to be a lot of factors at play in what creates an interest in ageplay, BDSM, spanking, D/s etc. and to pinpoint exactly what causes this desire is difficult. Of course I am not a psychologist and my expertise is limited to my own experiences with my wife and the few people we correspond with online (which frankly isn't many). So what I offer you is my thoughts and opinions based on experience but certainly not an all-encompassing view.
In Anna's case, her relationship with her father was pleasant but as you said of your own, he was not a dominating figure in her life. Her mother was at the helm of the ship, so to speak, and the family followed her rules. I believe Anna's lack of a strongly influential male role model contributed to her need for this later in life.
In addition to this, Anna experienced some abuse in her childhood which I won't detail here but I am certain she won't mind me discussing it with you privately (or may do so herself if she wishes), and this also seems to have added to her ageplay needs. There are many hungers in her that are insatiable for lack of a better word. For example, I cannot possibly tell her often enough that she is a good girl, that I adore her, that she is pretty, that she is the most important person in the world to me; I cannot ever tell her these things enough for her to fully accept them. This derives, I am certain, from being told and shown the opposite by the people who were meant to love her as a child.
And so, my job as her Daddy/Husband is to do all I can do to make her hear that message, as often and as consistently as I possibly can.
In all honesty that isn't an easy task. Anna is a terribly independant woman. She left home very young and began travelling the world (she is Canadian-born) in search of her happiness while she was at an age most young people still live with their parents and receive support from them, both financial and emotional. She struck out on her own in large part due to her own stubborn and independant nature and of course this nature was developed in response to what she believed she needed to be in order to survive in the world. I daresay this strength of will served her well at this point in her life.
However, when first we met, she didn't show much sign of weakness or of needing and wanting a Daddy. I tested her early on, shortly after we met, giving her a cheeky swat on the bottom to see how she would respond. It was a look in her eye that gave her away when I did that and I knew there was something more to be found, a child inside the woman who could be mine if I could teach her to trust me. It certainly wasn't easy.
It isn't easy now, either, all these years later. I believe the nature of the child inside does not allow that part of her to heal, the same way it did not allow that part of her to grow up. There is a childhood wound that I tend to every day of our marriage, with every gentle touch, with every direction I give, with every rule I make and enforce. All these actions are aimed at providing the child inside with security and stability and comfort. When the child is happiest, my wife is happiest as well. She is cheerful, agreeable and easygoing. When the child starts to feel doubts - and it is inevitable, I have learned that she will - my wife becomes more saucy and disagreeable. These signs inform me that she needs more tending, whether that be gentle loving attentions to the girl, or perhaps a session across my knee. Either way, her mood turns quickly back after I have reminded her that she is my girl.
One of the most difficult aspects of this type of ageplay relationship is that it works in a circular manner. The goal, of course, of a Daddy, is to make the child feel completely safe and adored. It did become frustrating to me in the beginning to learn that I could never fully convince her that her childlike side is completely cherished. After a period of being very close, the child invariably slowly starts to slip back to believing she is worthless. It used to make me feel I was a failure as a Daddy that I could never completely heal that child inside her. Over time, and through my own sometimes-awkward learning curve, I have discovered that this is simply the nature of the child. If the child could actually be completely healed, my wife (and all submissive women) would lose interest in this lifestyle as soon as they found a successful relationship. Of course it does not work that way and it is a bittersweet reality that I (Daddys) act as First Aiders, applying bandages and tending to the needs as they arise, but never being able to completely cure the disease.
I use the word disease very lightly, please note, for this interest is not something I view as a liability or frailty. Rather, I find it a lovely and beauteous miracle to find an adult woman with whom I can have an adult relationship who also, simultaneously, encapsulates the spirit of a wee child, innocent and sweet and longing for love and approval. I am incredibly fortunate to share my life with both sides of this person.
The first childhood leaves indelible prints on a child. Ageplay is a way we seek to make peace with the past. What you described, sugarpunk, seems to be a common thread with the women-children I have known. Sadly, I believe that abuse and/or neglect often lie at the root of this need as well. It is the more intelligent and resourceful women who learn to develop a strong adult shell who can be independant and successful while still preserving at their core, the innocent and sweet child who may have a second chance at being parented in another second childhood.
In Anna, the need for discipline is powerful. She often says she "doesn't want it, but needs it" and this is an extremely honest and accurate reflection on her need. Anna's need for consistent and predictable discipline comes from her childhood when discipline was erratic and unreasonable and unpredictable. While I know she does not enjoy the pain a spanking causes to her bottom, it simultaneously assures her heart over and over again that she will be held accountable for her actions by someone who adores her enough to pay attention all the time. Likewise, it proves to her that her discipline from me will always be safe and reasonable and will always be a direct result of her own decisions and behaviour. That is, in spite of submission, paradoxically, she has complete control over her own punishments and discipline because she knows the rules and she knows exactly what the consequences are for breaking them.
Anna's need for approval is also childlike. While she succeeds brilliantly in the workaday world, taking critcism and daily difficulties in stride, she needs my approval. She needs my approval because my approval goes directly to the child inside, a hungry child that longs for the love of her Daddy.
I congratulate you on discovering your need, sugarpunk - a complex and emotionally deep need that will inevitably cause both heartbreak and joy in the extreme. I hope the joys are the majority.