Daddy Knows Best
Here, Alex Cooper reflects on Call Her Daddy's evolution.

Alex Cooper Isn’t Sorry For Her Old Messy Dating Advice — But She’s Done Giving It

“I’m so proud of what the earlier Call Her Daddy days did.”

Photo: Vijat Mohindra

“I don’t give a f*ck if there’s controversy,” Alex Cooper announces when discussing the new direction of Call Her Daddy. In fact, the 28-year-old welcomes it. “I’ve been itching to get back into the game of just saying whatever the f*ck I want and having some sleepless nights, wondering ‘What's their response going to be to that episode?’”

More than a year into her $60 million deal with Spotify, Cooper’s the top female podcaster in the world with approximately 3 million listeners per episode. On Sept. 27, she kicked off the podcast’s second season. Now, with all eyes (and ears) on her, Cooper is ready to defy expectations and craft a new reputation for herself and her show — one that’s the opposite of “toxic.”

Since Call Her Daddy started in 2018, the podcast has been a magnet for controversy. The show’s earliest episodes featured titles like “You’re Just a Hole” (a phrase that suggests heterosexual guys see women as a hole), “Butt Stuff” (a 52-minute conversation about different types of anal play), and “The Gluck Gluck 9000” (a blow job technique that’s cited like a research paper among Cooper’s Daddy Gang).

Even now, as Cooper releases episodes on mental health and politics, people on Twitter criticize Call Her Daddy for “toxic advice” and “internalized misogyny.” But she doesn’t mind the hate. “When people say that I’m toxic, I’m like, ‘OK, so you don’t listen anymore,” Cooper says. “If anything, listeners are like, ‘Come on, Alex, give us some toxic. Just a little bit.’”

Despite pleas for more toxicity, Cooper is committed to her new vision. “As the podcast has grown, there is the reality that my show is the most listened to by women in the world,” she says. “Now, it’s intermingling the concept of ‘Let’s always have fun’ with the responsibility of covering topics that I need to talk about.”

Here, Cooper reflects on Call Her Daddy’s past — the moments that make her cringe, the moments that make her proud, and the ones that do both.

Elite Daily: The podcast took on a different direction when you took it solo in May 2020. What prompted that change?

Alex Cooper: Call Her Daddy obviously started with female locker room talk, and it was very salacious. It was just pure entertainment. I wanted to have people talking. I wanted it to be noisy. When I started doing it alone, we were in a pandemic, so nobody was having sex, nobody was dating. That really was the catalyst for the show to shift. I thought, “Do we even want to talk about my dating and sex life right now?”

I was really nervous to start talking about mental health and having more deep, honest conversations because that completely goes against the character I built. I was this wild, confident, know-it-all girl, and now I’m like, “Oh, guys, I struggle too, and I’m in therapy.”

But my audience welcomed it. If anything, they were so grateful for the transition, because it made the show a little bit more relatable of like, “Oh, OK, so you aren't having sex 15 times a day and hanging from the ceilings upside down. You deal with the same sh*t we all do.”

ED: Your docu-style episode on the overturn of Roe v. Wade on Oct. 5 was a surprise. What was your goal for that episode?

AC: I’m genuinely trying to make a difference, and I’m not going to hold back just because I may get some people that are pissed off. It’s for a greater purpose and cause.

I worked on that episode for two-plus months, and I traveled to North Carolina for it. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done, but it felt so right, especially with what’s going on in the world right now. There’s no way I couldn’t speak up on this. I’m really proud of it.

ED: Does the nickname “Father Cooper” feel like a stage name to you?

AC: When I’m wearing the Father Cooper hat, I feel like I have a sense of responsibility because I’m stepping on this massive stage. People are listening to me when I’m speaking. I want to make sure that I’m really careful about that.

We’ve talked about the inside of my vagina. Obviously, we can talk about mental health.

ED: Do you ever listen to old episodes of Call Her Daddy?

AC: Oh, no. I’ll see people play clips on TikTok, and it just pains me because I’ll hear my voice, and I’m like, “That’s not me.” I was so affected and playing such a character. I’m so proud of it because it got me where I am, but no, I can’t watch them. I cringe.

ED: What do you think of the “toxic” label you’ve been given? Do you think it fits?

AC: It’s so outdated. There is the Alex Cooper character that I created three years ago, and it’s astonishing that it’s lived this long. As I’m putting out new content, people still remember that version. I was literally right out of college, and my view of the world was boys, dating, drinking, partying, and talking about my sex life.

Now, I’m 28. I have a boyfriend, and I have a different kind of lifestyle. I don’t associate myself with that anymore. If you listen to the show, we’re talking about really intense topics — women coming on and discussing their sexual assault, eating disorders, and mental health. We also do the fun comedy stuff, but in a way that’s really empowering.

ED: Do you stand by most of the relationship and dating advice you’ve given over the years?

AC: My answer is “Absolutely, but.” I can sit in a room and give someone the advice they need to hear based on where they’re at in their life. I ran into a girl in college the other day and she’s like, “This guy is not texting me back. I really want to go on this group trip that he’s going on. How do I get there?”

I said, “You’re going to turn your read receipts on. The next time he texts you, you’re going to leave him on read, and then he’s going to text you again, and, whatever he texts you, you’re going to double tap and put ‘Haha,’ even if it’s not funny. He’s going to get so insecure and then he’s going to text you, and you’re going to get your *ss on that trip.” And guess what? She DMed me, she’s on the trip.

It’s not something that I would tell one of my friends right now. I’d be like, “Why are you wasting your time?” But I totally get that the girl in college needs that advice right now. She needs to get on the trip.

ED: What do you think of your past advice “Cheat or be cheated on”?

AC: A part of me is like, “Oh, that’s such great advice for a college girl.” It’s applicable in moments. When people throw that in my face, the beauty of it is that to this day, I could give an entire dissertation on why a lot of that advice actually isn’t bad.

I wouldn’t be giving it now because I just don’t talk like that anymore. I don’t have time to go cheat. In college, let’s get after it. So there are some things that I don’t regret saying, but I definitely don’t align with anymore.

ED: What do your critics mostly come at you for? How do you respond to them?

AC: A lot of it is the idea that you can’t be both. “You were toxic, so you can’t be healthy now.” But are you the same person you were when you were 21? I hope not. My growth and my evolution has definitely been publicized, but I was really forced to play into a character. I felt really disconnected from her for a really long time. So when I finally was able to transition the show, I had a feeling of “Thank God, I can breathe now.”

The criticism doesn’t bother me anymore because it’s like, look what I’m doing, look at the show. The work speaks for itself. At this point, I think anything I could’ve been sh*t on for, I’ve been sh*t on for. It’s boring to me. I’m waiting for a new wave of stuff to come. Like, come on, get more creative.

ED: People take your advice — especially sex advice — really seriously. How do you feel about that?

AC: I absolutely adore the investment because it took a lot of time to put those episodes together. Sex was such a taboo topic for so long. For some reason, there’s so much shame around the conversation. Men can talk about it, but women can’t. So I’m so proud of what the earlier Call Her Daddy days did.

I also think that talking about something so intimate laid the groundwork for me to continue to bring up topics with my listeners that might be a little uncomfortable for other hosts or shows. But with me it’s like, of course I’m going to go there, guys. We’ve talked about the inside of my vagina. Obviously, we can talk about mental health. This is a breeze.

ED: Where do you want to take Call Her Daddy next?

AC: For Season 2 and the future of Call Her Daddy, it’s constantly pushing the boundaries and creating a conversation. My goal is always to produce thought-provoking content. It’s really cool to change people’s minds. That’s what I get off on.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.