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“My Husband told me that he wants me to have sex with other men.”
As a sex therapist, I have heard this more often than you would think. There is a small population of men and couples that engage in “cuckold” relationships.
The term cuckold first appeared in English Literature in 1562. Cuckold refers to the fact that the man being cuckolded is the last to know about his wife’s infidelity. This also refers to a tradition claiming that in villages of European time, the community would gather around to collectively humiliate a man whose wife gave birth to a child that was not his own. According to this legend, a parade was held in which the hapless husband was forced into wearing antlers on his head as a symbol of his wife’s infidelity.
The term cuckold in modern times has morphed into what some refer to as a sexual fetish, or for some couples, a lifestyle. As a clinical sexologist and intimacy counselor working with clients in cuckold relationships, I’ve observed that the practice is usually male driven, not anything like the unwanted humiliation of the past. With the couples I counsel, the husband derives sexual pleasure from watching his wife have sex with other men. The husband’s “victim” role is definitely a major element of the kink. In the fetish cuckolding subculture, the female is typically portrayed as being sexually dominant while the man takes on a submissive role, only becoming involved with her or her lover when she permits it—sometimes remaining completely celibate in the marriage altogether. One of the main ingredients in the cuckold marriage is the practice of humiliation, and for the husband’s sexual release to be withheld until his wife decides to allow him to climax.
In some marriages, the husband may even wear a male chastity belt as a way of his wife controlling his orgasm, playing out the fantasy that he is not capable of controlling it himself. Part of the sex play is also the comparison of penis size, and humiliating him for not having a large enough penis to give her full enjoyment of penetration.
Not Swinging or Polyamory
Many times the concept of cuckold gets confused with swinging or polyamory, but cuckold is different. For most men that want their wives to join them in a cuckold relationship, it takes the pressure off to perform sexually. Indeed, the majority of the men who enjoy the cuckold lifestyle do have some form of sexual dysfunction. They feel that they are not able to please their wives sexually, so they want another man to do it for them. They are also obsessed with the size of their own penis in comparison to other men. They feel that their penis is too small to please their wife, regardless if whether that is true or not.
Often times because they are insecure with their penis size or sexual performance, they begin to fantasize about a cuckold relationship. Some men even reported that after they had been in a prior relationship with a woman who cheated on them, instead of getting upset, they found that the idea turned them on. Some experts could say that part of this is deeply hurt feelings turned into a sexual fetish. As this theory goes, the man thinks that because of his small penis or failure to please his partner, she cheated on him. Although when pressed further, many men admit that they themselves created and perpetuated the idea in the woman’s head so that she would go out and cheat. Is it the chicken or the egg? It’s complicated, which is partly why it’s been designated as a fetish.
Cuckold Relationships & Sexual Domination
Another aspect of this fetish is sexual domination and punishment by the wife. She may spank him, paddle him, or flog him and shame him for lack of fulfillment of her sexual desire. This may become a part of just the sexual play in the couple’s life or this may become a way of life for the couple, depending on the degree of the cuckolding in the marriage.
For a man that is already married and wants his wife to engage in this fetish with him, it typically does not end well. Most women do not understand why their husband would want another man to have sex with them, so communication and intimacy break down. Occasionally a wife will go along with this cuckold relationship to please her husband and / or because she has an open mind and an adventurous spirit. At some point though, the end result of this behavior is that she falls in love with the other man, or realizes that she is not okay with this fantasy at all, and is in fact harboring resentment toward her husband. The few relationships that have had some success with cuckolding are the ones where both the husband and wife were interested in the concept before marriage, and set up boundaries with clear communication beforehand.
For more information or to seek help with a cuckold relationship e-mail Dr. Dawn Michael at [email protected]