The word, “cuckold,” has always elicited strong images in my mind. Images of weak, insignificant men with even more insignificant penises, cowering in a corner of their own humiliation whilst their beautiful wives relish in the sexual satisfaction that comes from being with a more virile man. 

To be a cuckold is the antithesis of what traditional western culture values in men. Men are supposed to be strong and powerful. They’re to mask their insecurities and puff out their chests when confronted in dark alleys.

Cuckolding exploits the very insecurities men are supposed to hide. Which is why you might be surprised to learn that cuckolding is actually one of the most common male fantasies sought out in pornography today. In fact, it’s the second most popular type of pornographic content searched by heterosexual males – according to the book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts.  

If this is actually true, what is it about cuckolding that’s made the fetish so damn popular?

The Modern Day Cuckold

Historically there was great shame in being cuckolded, as can be noted from its representation in medieval and Renaissance English literature. Shakespeare and Chaucer depicted cuckolds as a figure of ridicule, scorn, and idiocy in many of their works and Darwinian themes of masculinity took precedence. Nobody wanted to be cuckolded.

In traditional patriarchal marriage, a man’s power was significantly diminished if his wife sought out another lover. Much of the blame fell on his shoulders. It was popularly deduced that a wife’s infidelity was directly related to her husband’s sexual shortcomings. He was less of a man if his woman had to find pleasure in another. This became exponentially more shameful and emasculating with the birth of child. The possibility that that same child might inherit property and valuables of the cuckold, without ever being biologically related to him, was the ultimate form of humiliation.

But, as we’ve moved farther and farther away from a predominantly patriarchal society the stigmatic shame of being cuckolded has evolved into a fully consensual sexual fetish.

Today, cuckolds aren’t the oblivious fool being made a mockery of by their communities, but instead are begging their wives to actively explore infidelities for their masochistic pleasure. They typically are the initiators, oftentimes having an active hand in selecting the perfect “bull” to fuck their wife. And although they take on an entirely submissive role in the exchange, it is the cuckolds that actually hold a great deal of power. It is the cuckold that agrees and consents to his wife’s infidelity and he plays an active role in setting boundaries and limitations of that sexual experience.  It is a fetish that is as much about the cuckold’s pleasure, as it is the woman’s.

Despite contrary belief, many modern day cuckolds take on a traditional, alpha male role in the professional lives. They are often high-powered executives with a great deal of responsibility. They seek out submissive sex because they enjoy relinquishing the control that their careers often demand of them. Typically these men are highly intelligent, demanding a significant level of psychological and mental stimulation for greater arousal. 

Jimmy Broadway, an adult industry veteran with over 200 cuckolding scenes to his name, credits the power exchange dynamic as being a huge turn-on for him. “In many fetishes and BDSM play you give up control to your partner, but with cuckolding there is that added element of a third (or more) party being involved, This makes it more exciting and intense,” he says.

The experience is equally as exciting for the Bull. Shane Diesel, a prolific adult performer who has appeared on and off-camera as a Bull in a variety of cuckolding scenarios says, “I enjoy the role of the Bull because there’s an incredible rush that comes from experiencing this level of control. What belongs to him (the cuckold) now belongs to me and I can take it anyway I choose.”

The Mind of the Cuckold  – A Little Psychological Insight

Although there hasn’t been extensive research on the psychology of cuckolding (despite its pornographic popularity) clinical psychologist, David Ley, provides some rare critical exploration of the fetish in his book, Insatiable Wives.

When I asked Ley specifically about the power dynamics within cuckold experiences, he mentioned the word “candaulism” to me. Candaulism is a sexual practice in which a man exposes his female partner, or images of her, to other people for their arousal. Psychologically a candaulist deeply identifies with his partner’s body, and by sharing her, he is in a way, sharing himself.

Ley said, “Letting other men have sex with the wife is like letting your buddy drive your corvette. He gets to enjoy the curves, maybe rev the engine some, but he doesn’t get to take her home and keep it. Lots of men today carry naked pics of their wives and girlfriends in their phone, and show them off to friends. This is the same thing.” Many men believe they hold a great deal of power if other people find their wives/girlfriends desirable.

At first glance, this fetish might seem to work against evolutionary psychology which sites infidelity as a major factor in the breakdown of marriage. Infidelity can result in jealousy, sexual dissatisfaction, and oftentimes divorce. However, when asked whether cuckolding would be responsible for destroying the traditional family unit, Ley actually credits those involved in the fetish with having  “tremendous communication skills and negotiation abilities.” He goes on to say, “To play with these hot burning jealousy triggers, and not get burned, takes a lot of skill.”

So what is the deep burning desire that motivates couples to explore this fetish? Ley provided me with a few examples:

  • A deep-rooted desire, by the man, to be submissive and humiliated.
  • Having a safe environment for the man to explore his own bisexuality while still in a committed, heterosexual relationship.
  • The pursuit of female empowerment. Cuckolding allows women to assert themselves and embrace a more confident, dominant side of their sexuality.
  • The joy that comes from watching another man sexually fulfill their significant other in ways that the cuckold can otherwise not (size, endurance, technique)

Sperm Competition and Cuckolding

So biologically how can we really explain the dynamics of cuckolding relationships? Easily! With this little thing called, Sperm Competition Theory.

Evolutionary biologist, Robin Baker, speculated in his book Sperm Wars, that sperm competition might be responsible for the arousal men derive from a woman’s infidelity and its overall effect on his sexual urges to compete with the other man’s sperm.

Back in the day, men had to compete with other men to impregnate women. Several men’s sperm had to compete for the chance to fertilize a woman’s egg with only the strongest and fastest ultimately “winning.” I know I’m turning you on, but stay with me. Because of sperm competition, some scientists believe that men ejaculate harder, produce more sperm, and stay harder longer when they know their wives have been with another man. The need to compete often creates this supercharged sexual experience for the cuckold – he becomes more aroused and excited.

But the effects are not limited to just the cuckold in these scenarios. Women also experience a biological supercharge, according to David Ley. “Women are often more orgasmic and sexually responsive when having sex with someone other than their mate. This may relate to mating selection strategies as well. So, the wife’s body may also respond strongly and with great arousal. Knowing that she’s turning on her husband as well, might be an even greater thrill,” he says.

So it’s a win-win for the cuckolding couple in the end!

Sub-Fetishes Within the Cuckolding Genre

Depending on the couple, cuckolding can take on a variety of different sub-fetishes as well. A few noteworthy ones include: 

  • Extreme humiliation and degradation – Making the cuckold feel small, worthless, and incapable of pleasing his wife/lover. This can range from laughing, mocking his lack of manhood to clean-up duties of sexual fluids with his own mouth.
  • Forced bi – The Bull “forces” the cuckold to engage in sexual activities with him. In these situations, the cuckold practices bisexuality.
  • Racial Preferences – Seeking out a bull that is a specific race. Black Bulls are certainly the most popular within this fetish. Many couples believe that black men possess a greater level of sexual prowess, boast larger penises, and are ultimately sexually superior making them the ideal candidates for the experience.
  • Celibacy or sexual deprivation – The cuckold is not allowed to participate or engage in any sexual activity. This can be limited to denial only when the Bull is present to full on, lifelong celibacy.
  • Cuckqueanry– Although not as prevalent in popular culture, this is the female equivalent of the cuckold. A woman that derives pleasure from watching her man get off having sex with another woman. Like cuckolding, this can involve humiliation, degradation, etc.
  • Hotwifing – It is hotly debated whether this is considered a form of cuckolding, because it does not typically involve any form of masochism or degradation. However, it is still important to include as a potential sub-genre. Hotwifing is more focused on the physical enjoyment of the wife with less attention to the emotional and mental effects on the husband.

So You Want to Cuckold. What Next?

If you’ve gotten this far, and cuckolding still sounds like fun to you, here are some tips to keep in mind when exploring the fetish!

  1. Baby steps! Don’t jump right into the deep end the ocean before you’ve learned to tread water. Do some experimenting. You won’t know how you feel about cuckolding until you are actually in the moment. Everything seems like a blast in the fantasy world, but it doesn’t always translate to the real one – so be prepared for that!
  2. Establish boundaries before you jump down the rabbit hole! This is critical. The last thing you want to do is go into a psychologically masochistic situation without knowing you and your partner’s boundaries. Remember that when all is said and done, you still have a relationship with your partner and it’s very important that you don’t do anything to potentially damage that connection.
  3. While testing the waters, check out local fetish gatherings (called munches) and seek out online group pages on Facebook or Fetlife. Talk to more experienced people and ask them questions!
  4. Rent videos and get a feel for what type of cuckolding style turn you on. Are you more of a voyeur or an active participant? Are you OK having physical interaction with the Bull or would you prefer to keep your distance?
  5. Decide how you want to go about finding a bull. Would you prefer a stranger? A trusted friend? Remember that although this experience is ultimately about the couple, who you select as your Bull is absolutely critical. You want a person that isn’t going to create trust issues, someone who understands that although they are playing a dominant role, you and your partner ultimately call the shots.
  6. Have fun. Remember that at the end of the day cuckolding is for your enjoyment. The second it stops being fun, you should seek out another fetish with your partner. Keep lines of communication open at all times and check in with one another about every experience to ensure that you both are still on the same page.

Although cuckolding remains somewhat taboo in today’s society, the popularity with which it is sought out in pornography and practiced in real life is proof that it might not actually be as perverse of a fantasy as society might like us to believe. Embrace the fantasy. You are not alone!