What Is Cuckolding? Everything to Know About This Common Fetish
Some might find the idea of watching their partner in bed with someone else as nightmarish, so unthinkable that the mere thought triggers intense jealousy. For others, it could be a total turn-on. Unfamiliar with this particular brand of kink? Well, there’s a term for it: cuckolding.
Maybe you heard the word in 2011’s “Crazy, Stupid, Love” as Steve Carrell moaned violently at the bar about his wife’s affair. Perhaps you learned of it just recently via the scandal involving Jerry Falwell, Jr., his wife, and the pool boy. Either way, you should know that cuckolding is actually a surprisingly common fetish, and there are many misconceptions about what it entails.
According to certified clinical sexologist Dr. Dawn Michael, PhD, “cuckold” is the second most looked-up porn category (after youth, according to a 2012 book). In other words, whether or not they act on it, there’s plenty of individuals out there that are titillated by the idea of a person watching their spouse get frisky with an outsider.
But what about this particular fetish exactly makes it so popular? And can it ever actually work within the framework of a healthy relationship? We spoke to three sex experts to get the lowdown on cuckolding (especially why some people find it hot AF).
What Is Cuckolding?
Basically, cuckolding involves someone getting aroused by observing their partner having sex with someone else.
Not to be confused with a threesome, in a cuckold situation, the cuck doesn’t get in on the fun — they get off merely by watching the escapades that go down in front of them.
Cuckolding isn’t technically considered cheating as it doesn’t occur behind the partner’s back. in fact, not only has the cuck given permission to their partner to have sex with another person, they’re also typically encouraging it.
Is It Only Men That Want to Be Cucked?
According to Dr. Michael, cuckolding is primarily a male-driven fantasy. However, that’s not to say there aren’t ladies with this fetish as well. When a woman enjoys watching her husband with someone else, it’s known as “cuckqueaning.”
How Common Is Cuckolding?
A survey of about 4,200 Americans conducted by Justin Lehmiller, founder and editor of Sex and Psychology, revealed that more than half of men and about a third of women had fantasized about cuckolding.
Keep in mind that just because they thought about their partner with someone else doesn’t necessarily mean they went through with acting on the fantasy. Interestingly, Lehmiller’s study also found that gay and bisexual men are more likely than heterosexual men, while lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to have cuckolding fantasies, too.
Why Do Some Couples Enjoy Cuckolding So Much?
There are a wide variety of reasons why someone might be into cuckolding.
Clinical sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Laurel Steinberg, PhD, notes that for some, the act serves as a confirmation of just how hot their partner is, which can be a nice ego boost. Another scenario might have one partner with an insatiable sexual appetite that the other can’t fulfill, and since they want to make them happy, they get off vicariously by watching someone else pleasure them.
“For one of my clients who is a male cuck, he revels in the humiliation that the woman is getting greater pleasure than he can provide,” says Davia Frost, certified sex & relationship coach and founder of Frosted Pleasure. “[Men] see a cuckold scenario as a safe way for their woman to have relations with such an individual without love or conflicting feelings. It can be more animalistic and sexual and stimulate partners mentally.”
But for lots of people, the enjoyment that comes from cuckolding stems from the thrill of breaking conventional societal rules around monogamy and marriage.
How Does Cuckolding Work, Exactly?
For cuckolding to go down as part of a healthy, happy relationship, both partners need to be on board. Similar with threesomes, and other fantasies or fetishes involving outside people, it’s crucial to talk it over with your partner to make sure it’s something you both feel comfortable with.
“One misunderstanding can cause a partner to feel terrible emotional pain and have bad memories that last a lifetime, so plan carefully,” says Steinberg. “Have many, many conversations during which you detail exactly what you plan on doing and what the other people will be doing. Be as descriptive as possible, including discussing how you relate to the event when it is over.”
Additionally, their trust should be rock solid before bringing another person into the bedroom.
“Boundaries must be discussed beforehand,” states Michael. “The couple should also talk about why they want to explore cuckolding and what the turn-ons are for each other. With many cuckold experiences, the husband is the one wanting to watch his wife have sex with another man, and in many instances be submissive and either just want to watch or have some involvement. Not all situations of cuckold fall into a specific category, so it really needs to be discussed what the expectations are.”
Very often, cuckolding works out better in fantasy than it does when it plays out in real life. Just because you enjoy the idea of your partner getting it on with someone else in front of you doesn’t mean you can actually handle it in real life.
“The few cases where it has worked out was when the couple was older, the kids were grown and out of the house, and the man was no longer sexually performing as he wished to be,” adds Michael. “The relationship between husband and wife was solid and mature.”
Since acting on this fantasy can be a big step in any relationship, Frost highly advises starting slow with a gradual ease into the full thing.
“I recommend watching someone give your partner a sensual massage, setting the whole scene and everything,” she explains. “If that’s too much for you to handle, please speak your truth with your partner.”
Frost also points out that for some couples, just talking about or entertaining the possibility of cuckolding can be enough to turn them on. An example could be discussing what they would want to see their partner do with someone else, or by having their partner tell them about past sexual encounters.
Is cuckolding for everyone? Certainly not. But if you decide to boldly explore this fetish, heed the above advice and just be sure cover the two C’s: communication and consent.