• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What Is Cuckolding, and Why Are People So Turned On By It?

·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Cuckolding, while it doesn't seem very well-known or talked about, is in fact a very common fantasy among couples. In researching for his book Tell Me What You Want, Justin J. Lehmiller, Ph.D., surveyed 4,175 Americans and found that 26 percent of heterosexual women, 52 percent of heterosexual men, 42 percent of non-heterosexual women, and 66 percent of non-heterosexual men had fantasized about cuckolding. There are even entire subreddits on Reddit devoted to the r/cuckoldcommunity, r/cuckholdstories, and even r/cuckoldpsychology each with tens of thousands of members.

But what does cuckolding mean, exactly?

Here, answers to all your cuckolding questions (plus some you probably didn't even know you had) and advice on how to communicate about cuckolding with your partner(s).

Sit back, relax, and let yourself explore the possibility of a new sexual adventure.

What is Cuckolding and Why Are People So Turned On By It?
What is Cuckolding and Why Are People So Turned On By It?

What Is Cuckolding? A Quick History Lesson

The history of cuckolding can be a bit complicated — but that's exactly why, as a sex educator and relationship therapist, I'm so passionate about educating, breaking stigmas, and empowering people to embrace who they are. (Even the parts of you that you don't even know about yet!)

TBH, I'm not a fan of the internet's official definition of cuckold. But, for the sake of history and continuing to break down heteronormitve stereotypes in our society, let's talk about it.

According to Merriam-Webster, a cuckold is a man whose wife is unfaithful. The wife of an adulterous husband is a cuckquean.

For example: In Hamilton, after it's discovered that Alexander Hamilton himself has been sleeping with another woman, her husband writes to Hamilton saying "uh oh, you made the wrong sucker a cuckold."

Over the years (thank goodness), the term cuckolding has evolved to mean something more along the lines of a fetish or kink in which a person (often called "the cuck") gets turned on by their partner (often called "the cuckoldress") having sex with someone else (often called "the bull"). In many scenarios, the cuck is turned on specifically by watching their partner have sex with someone else.

Of course, like many other words in the realm of sexuality, the exact definition can be up to each couple's interpretation and what each person is happily consenting to (probably after having lengthy discussions about comfort levels).

Nowadays, you could interview several couples who all participate in cuckolding and they could each have different ideas of what cuckolding means to them — that's the magic of communication, experimenting, and the ever-evolving world of sexuality!

Why People Are Into Cuckolding

If you've never heard of cuckolding or have never entertained the idea of trying it, you may be wondering why so many couples find it incredibly sexy.

For many people, the idea of watching their partner doing sexy things with another human being is beyond exciting. Let me paint you a picture: You get to have sex with your partner on a regular basis and obviously, that's hot! But, rarely do you get to see what it looks like from other angles and what they really look like while having sex. I mean, it's live-action porn, in front of your face, and your partner is the star. (Related: How Might Virtual Reality Porn Affect Sex and Relationships?)

For some people who enjoy voyeurism (enjoying watching people have sex), watching is truly just as thrilling as being in the action (maybe even more). And for those who are exhibitionists (those who enjoy having sex in front of others), this is also a fun way to explore that.

Plus, there can also be some sexy power dynamics at play in a cuckold situation. Often, the bull is in the more dominant role, creating a scene or situation in which both or one of the other people can be submissive.

Depending on the gender of the people involved, cuckolding can also be a wonderful way to explore your sexuality while remaining within an existing relationship. Fun fact: More than 12,000 people search Google for "bi cuckold" every month. (Related: What Bisexuality Means, Doesn't Mean, and How to Know If You're Bi)

And for some people, cuckold humiliation is the main draw; basically, the idea of being cheated on (consensually) brings up feelings of jealously and humiliation that can be a huge turn-on. Humiliation is actually a common fantasy and close relative to dominant-submissive play.

Cuckolding is essentially a container in which lots of different exciting dynamics can happen: compersion (the act of experiencing joy at your partner's pleasure and growth), jealousy (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), fulfilling a fantasy, power play — the situations are endless.

How to Get Started with Cuckolding

Now, that you've learned about cuckolding, how do you start? (If you and your partner are interested in experimenting.)

My first suggestion is to talk. This probably sounds obvious, but let me explain.

First, talk about what each of you finds sexy about the idea of cuckolding and why. Then elaborate on the roles each person would be participating in if/when the cuckolding were to happen. This way you're both on the same page and can start envisioning the same fantasy.

Then, take it into the bedroom — but just as the two of you. While you're having sex, talk sexy together about what would be happening right now if you were in a cuckolding situation. Let each person share what they would be doing, what they would want their partner to do, and what the third person would be doing. You might also consider watching some ethical cuckolding porn to get comfier with the idea and see how it could play out. (More here: How to Have a Healthy Threesome)

This is important because it makes it more realistic and it allows you to play out this fantasy together before jumping into anything.

Then, start looking! There are so many sexuality-inclusive apps that couples can use to find a third-party lover to join the fun. Hashtag Open allows couples to make a profile about themselves, what they are looking for, and what they are comfortable with in terms of arrangements. This ensures that people can narrow their search to find the right consenting individuals for cuckolding fun. Feeld is another sex-positive app for couples and singles looking to "date beyond the norm."

A word to the wise: Never "surprise" anyone with cuckolding (or anything sexually for that matter). If someone consents to have sex with you but you're intending to bring them home to your partner...that's definitely not the best approach. Honesty, over-communication, and planning are needed for most sex experiences — and trust me, it makes the sexy time way better when it's worry-free and everyone's boundaries/limits are out in the open! (Related: How to Set Boundaries with Anyone In Your Life)

Be Free, Sexy Lovers!

If there is absolutely anything you take away from this, let it be: communicate, communicate, communicate. Sex is complicated, but it can be less complicated (and far more fun) if you bring all expectations and boundaries out in the open so all parties involved can see them. Then, go have some cuckolding fun.

Rachel Wright, M.A., L.M.F.T., (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator, and relationship expert based in New York City. She's an experienced speaker, group facilitator, and writer. She's worked with thousands of humans worldwide to help them scream less and screw more.