This entry, the third in a series on cuckolding, has been delayed because I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get those individuals I know participate in cuckolding and a few I have met since starting this series to go “on record.” Despite my best efforts, these conversations have been exceptionally informative but ultimately colored by apprehension. In more than one instance, the interview subject was willing to go into detail but once the recorder went on, or a direct question was put to them, they became coy or became fixed on needing not only a pseudonym but even an acronym or adoption of a fictional character or label. At first, this was very frustrating – without verifiable information, this series would be nothing more than the popular (and I would aver, fictionalized/heightened/pornified) “information” circulating on Literotica or Tumblr. Such information is meant to arouse interest, but is dubious at best. Names like “CuckoldWimp” and “HotMama” were suggested, as were monikers like “Ms. Queen.” This was, as I said, frustrating at first until I began to accept it as part of the appeal of the cuckold community. Cuckolds are “deprived” of their wife and, in some sense, “stripped” of who they are in normal, everyday life. Like the names cosplayers might assume or the pet names one has in a traditional relationship, there is a strong appeal to being someone else, stepping outside of the “normal” rules and playing, even living, within the relationship and hierarchy established by and for the fantasy.
I want to be clear that I’m not convinced the lines between “reality” and “fantasy” were especially clear to me. Some interviews, there was a very defined line between the sexual and social relationship. In others, that line was so blurred I felt at times I was being conned or made an unwitting fool (something of a wittol, you might say). Accordingly, and in an effort to avoid respect the privacy of those I met with, many of the conversations that took place were unusable and those that are included below use false names to protect them, their identities, and – as will be made clear – to keep events recorded here outside the vantage of family members.
What stood out to me, as I touched on in a previous entry, is the network of related themes in cuckoldry. Submission, humiliation, themes of jealousy, denial, arousal, bisexuality (even sexual fluidity), and ultimately a measure of altruism are present within the fetish and were relatively consistent among the interview subjects. When asked why cuckolds participated in this kink and “allowed” their partner to flagrantly have sex with someone else, the answer consistently gravitated towards love and wanting their “princess” or “Queen” to enjoy life, sex, and satisfaction. While the cuckold may have introduced or suggested the fetish to the relationship, they insisted that they wanted their partner to have sex with someone else “because I love her” or because she “is so great, such an amazing woman, I want to share her. I don’t want to keep her all to myself.” One interview subject said he felt a strong compulsion, “like it’s just wrong, just wrong to say I’m the only one allowed to have her. It’s like it’s disrespectful to her, and to the world, really, to say something else like these other guys who are like all ‘This is my woman.’ Man, fuck that, man. That’s just wrong. A real relationship isn’t about shutting them down and keeping them locked up, it’s about sharing them with the world and saying, ‘Hey! Look at how amazing my wife is! She’s fucking awesome!’, you know?”
Contrarily, and at least for me this was an interesting aside, this altruism is not shared. The cuckold is “kept” for the cuckoldress in some way, denied shared sexual activity with other partners. The cuckold, when “allowed” to participate in sexual activities with the cuckoldress and her bull, takes a submissive role. If this role breaks or is deviated from at any point, the fantasy begins to break down. For there to be a cuckold, there must be denial – or, at best, conditional satisfaction. As stated in the last entry, that is what makes cuckolding different from partner swapping or open relationships. One partner, the cuckold, is denied in some way, limited, restricted, and “kept” for (semi)exclusive use by the cuckoldress and bull. Where the cuckold feels they must share their partner with others, the cuckold typically feels they should be denied this same freedom by their cuckoldress and/or her bull. Elements of chastity in all of the interviews, such as chastity devices or having opportunities denied to them (ex: one of the cuckolds said that his wife had interrupted an attempted flirtation with the very direct, “He has a small penis. Don’t bother”).
This negation particularly interested me because so often, I have seen the cuckold fetishized towards denial not only of sexual activity, but of manhood. Whether they are denied verbally, sexually, physically, or emotionally, what kind of toll does this take on the human psyche? Partners and their bulls would talk freely about how and why the cuckold “didn’t deserve” to be treated as an equal, even the cuckolds themselves. One subject said he got off on verbal humiliation and the threat of castration because “I’m not able to satisfy her – sexually or any other way – I’m not enough. So, it’s like, I’m okay with that and kind of get off on it, you know?”
The hope of finding (even, perhaps primally “hunting and gathering”) a replacement or sexual surrogate to make up for the cuckold’s inadequacies was something they enjoyed even if this enjoyment was mixed with a measure of shame, not unfamiliar to BDSM. When a cuckold devotes themselves to the satisfaction of their partner, it gives their submission, expressed through (self) denial, meaning and purpose. In the mind of the cuckold and very often the cuckoldress and her bull, this form of submission proves the degree of love and adoration in a very real, permanent way.
“It’s not like he’s just saying he loves me,” said Anah, “Or me knowing he loves me, it’s a reminder every time that this man would do anything for me. Absolutely anything. And I think, for us, it entirely did away with jealousy or anything like that. I work with [other] women who will say, you know, ‘I think my husband is cheating on me,’ and I feel so bad for them because I never have to wonder and neither does my husband. We’re always, always, completely 100% honest with one another.”
“Totally,” agrees Anna’s husband. “It’s not just jealousy either. I think-” he pauses to make sure Anna agrees with him, “- that after we started doing all this, well, really even before, that we were having to have some really, sometimes amazing, conversations that I think could have killed us.”
“Like divorce,” Anna adds. “And finances. Expectations-”
“Yeah! Expectations of marriage and what that means to us, the kind of families we grew up in and how that shaped us, our financial stuff, everything. We just laid it all out and it was this whole other thing now. Like [Anna] said, I’ve been in those conversations too where guys will tell me they think this or that [about their wife] or that they want to do something but feel like they have to hide it from her and I feel really bad, but at the same time it reminds me of how great we have it now. Because we were there once. And now, we have someone who we can trust with every part of ourselves.”
The trust that Anna and her husband discussed with me was common, though not as easy of a transition for all subjects. One of the cuckolds, Daryll, shared with me that his first marriage ended because he encouraged his wife, Melinda, to cuckold him with a workmate. “I think I was at fault when I think back on it because she wasn’t into it at first and I don’t think – see, it’s weird. Or bad. Or… well, I don’t know what you call it, but I’m part of that 70’s generation that knew about the key parties and swingers and all that but it’s not the same thing. Cuckolding isn’t like that. And so when I told [my first wife], she cried and it just went on forever. I mean, every day I would go to work and think, ‘Will she be there when I get home?’ because things got so much worse after we started – Well, after I brought it up, after I told her what I wanted her to do. I could have handled it better, looking back.”
I asked Daryll what caused him to continue, given his first wife, Melinda’s, reaction to their initial conversation. “Well,” he pauses and thinks, “I think she wanted to be a good wife. She wasn’t, at the end. But I think at the time, she would have thought, ‘Well, that’s what a wife is supposed to do. She’s supposed to, you know, do what her husband wants in the bedroom.’ And she knew Michael. I made it a point to bring him around a few times first to get to know him. They got on okay. They chatted. And she thought, probably, ‘Well, Michael is nice. He’s okay. I like him. He’s attractive and Daryll wants this, so okay, fine, we’ll try it out.’”
But Daryll says the fantasy got away from all of them. “Well, my thing was that I’ve always thought I had a small johnson. Penis. Whatever. So I thought I just wasn’t and couldn’t be any good. She never had an orgasm and stuff, so I knew I wasn’t any good. I wasn’t. I know that. And I tried to do different things. Bought her a vibrator. You know, I tried to bring her along and really tried. I tried to find a way and it was important to us. To me. But I couldn’t cut it. Wasn’t making it. And that was where it all started.” Daryll says that he had seen Michael’s penis a few times on construction jobs while they would urinate, and “I thought, if I was a woman, that’s what would do it. This guy would make her, you know… ” He began to talk to insinuate things with Michael to see if he was receptive. “And then I told him and just asked him to come around. We were friends and as crazy as it sounds, I just thought it would be fine. She could decide. That would be it. There was no pressure because I knew and he knew and she knew, and she could see for herself if there was anything there.” There was, and within three months, Daryll began to watch and masturbate while his coworker Michael had sex with Melinda.
“It was immediate. Well, almost immediate. I think she had an orgasm the first time. I’m not sure anymore. Maybe not. I know we stopped, or they stopped, and she cried and we stopped. But I wanted to try again and so did she, so did Michael – maybe she didn’t – and the next time, it was like wham. There you go. She was coming and it was amazing to see her finally be satisfied. When he left, it was so great because we cuddled and I told her how much I loved her and I think she could have said to do anything and I would have done it. I was so happy that she was finally satisfied. But the next day, well even I guess that night, I felt so… small then. I felt like, Here’s this guy having sex with my wife and getting her to do things she could never do with me. It was great, but it also made me feel ashamed.” The marriage would began a cycle where Daryll would encourage his wife, watch her with Michael, then experience jealousy and ask them to stop. Then, something Daryll didn’t expect took place. “Michael told me he was starting to have feelings for Melinda and when I told her what he had said, I knew it was the same. She had feelings for him too. And, well, I mean it’s all a blur. One day I’m there, one day I’m not, you know? They’re out there, doing it all secret and hiding it, but I didn’t know any of that. I thought it had stopped and she got pregnant and so we settled down a while and… well…”
Daryll’s story gets complicated after that and, in turns, he becomes very emotional and angry. He says that he and Melinda divorced a decade later, and he had always wondered whether his two sons are biologically his or Michael’s. “She said at one point when we were getting really crazy that they weren’t mine and I think there’s something to that. She said later that she was just saying that to piss me off, fuck with me. Fuck with my head. But I’ve always wondered.” Though he still wonders, he never pressed it during the divorce. “I don’t think I wanted to know, to be honest.” As their sons got older, Daryll had to push the question out of his mind. He raised both sons, after all, “so they’re mine whether or not they’re mine.” Despite the questions of paternity and the tremendous amount of anger he still holds toward his now ex-wife, he still thinks about it occasionally, “you know, sexually. Maybe I’m messed up.”
Some claim that those who desire to participate in cuckolding are somehow “damaged” or, to use more legitimate language, survivors of trauma. Something terrible must have happened, the narrative goes, to want something like this. The same reasoning is used to excuse explain individuals who enjoy rough(er) sex, BDSM, and most other non-traditional sexual practices. Remember, masturbation was, at different points in time, considered a symptom of inattentive parents, brain damage, retardation, social inhibitions, neuroses, and insanity. Coming into the 20th Century, many women were institutionalized in America and Europe because of an incorrect belief (based, at least partially, on the initial efforts of Freud to define psychoanalysis and Victorian sexual manuals) that masturbation was a symptom of mental illness.
While I think there are certain, limited, and unique instances where individuals gravitate toward certain abusive or harmful sexual engagements because of prior trauma, those should be considered – as I stated – to be certain, limited, and unique instances. Just because a sexual practice is not something a rural pastor would feel comfortable discussing from a pulpit does not make that sexual practice illicit, harmful, or inherently bad. It is not evidence of trauma. People enjoy all kinds of sexual acts because they are novel and for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with prior experience. People also find certain sex acts more arousing at different times. Many times, we just want to experiment or “spice things up.” But more often, we have no idea why we’re attracted to or aroused by the things we are attracted to and aroused by. There is not accounting for horniness.
The same is true of cuckolding. And, as important as it is to point out that those who find cuckolding arousing are not “damaged” or a survivor of abuse, it’s also important to point out that exhibiting compersion and finding arousal in the unfaithfulness of a partner does not necessarily indicate a problem in the relationship. More often, you will find a strong relational bond between the partners who claim emotional and mental satisfaction (often, even sexual satisfaction) in the primary relationship. As with all kinks, sexual preferences, and interests, we’re best served shrugging, smiling, and moving on with a “Who knows?” We like what we like when we like it… until we don’t.
“Lynn” at LifeStyleMentor.com puts it like this:
Human sexuality is as widely diverse and intricately woven as the people interested in sex. If the “trauma becomes cuckoldry” theory were true, it would mean that everyone who is interested in cuckoldry has a traumatic pinpoint around which their sexuality developed – men and women alike. Or it may mean that everyone who experiences trauma would become a cuckold or Cuckoldress. The likelihood of this, from a logical or even mathematical perspective, is slim to none. Granted, a percentage of men who grow to enjoy cuckoldry do so after their spouse cheats because they realize it arouses them rather than angering them and it moves them to explore this newfound thrill. But that does not mean the environment, both internal and external, formed by a spouse cheating created the desire or [that it] was merely a catalyst for discovering something that was already intrinsically part of their psychological and sexual makeup. If the former were true, would it not then follow that women whose spouses cheat turn to cuckolding, or being cuckolded by, their next mate?
The truth is, sexuality is mercurial. As humans, we find things interesting, appealing, and arousing that stir something within us. Sometimes it takes a jolt to our system – sexual, psychological, or otherwise – to bring clarity and direction to our sexuality. Sometimes, we do not know that we will enjoy something until we are exposed to it. Sometimes, our fears, belief structures, upbringing, political leaning, religious influence, profession, social standing, or family background make us believe, think, or feel we should be something, behave a certain way, or have a specific type of relationship. These beliefs, thoughts, and feelings inhibit us from exploring what actually works for us, which could mean we find more sexual fulfillment through fantasy, pornography, and masturbation that through connecting with and opening up to a partner.
Daryll’s paternal instinct, what we might think of as paternally-inclined denial, is not uncommon. Many men push away the suggestion that their children are not theirs, never questioning it. It becomes somehow part of the fetish, the ultimate (even if private) proof of a wife’s sexual exploits. If questioned, it publicly shames him no matter the outcome and disturbs the family dynamic – if the children are indeed his, he looks like a cad to question his partner’s faithfulness and must now live with the knowledge that he shamed the children’s mother. If the children are not his, it reveals to the world his supposed inability to “keep” his partner faithful and his long-standing ignorance. And it still does not dissolve legal responsibility.
In a 2009 case in Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court ruled one Pasqualino Cornelio had to continue paying child support for 16 year old children the court had already determined conclusively by DNA testing were not his biological children. According to The Globe and Mail’s Sarah Hampson, “In her ruling, Madam Justice Katherine van Rensburg used an expansive definition of a father under the Family Law Act as ‘a person who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat a child as a child of his or her own family.’ She wrote that while the mother’s infidelity ‘may have been a moral wrong against Mr. Cornelio, it is a wrong that does not afford him a legal remedy’ to get out of his obligations as a father.”
“Dan Savage delves into the cuckolding fetish” Metro Times, 19 Feb. 2014
“Take My Wife, Please: The Rise of Cuckolding Culture” Nerve, 23 July 2014