What is cuckolding in kink?

Allow us to tell ya *all* about it.

27 January, 2024
What is cuckolding in kink?

Do me a favor and picture this: You’re in a cage on your bedroom floor. Your (super sexy) partner is wearing the most kickass thigh-high leather boots. She’s on the bed. With another man. Having the time of her life. You are LOVING it.

Does the idea of watching someone get it on with your partner in front of you get you so horned up you feel like you’re about to explode? Or maybe the roles are reversed—maybe you’re the impossibly hot one in the thigh-highs (although sexy footwear is optional) totally getting off on the power trip of hooking up with someone else in front of your adoring partner. Either way, it’s time to talk about cuckolding, my friends.

Back in the day—we’re talking way back, like, Shakespeare times—cuckold was an old-school term referring to a man whose wife had sex with other men without his knowledge, making him look like a fool. The word gets its name from the cuckoo bird, known for its tricky habit of laying its eggs in the nests of other birds. “The cuckoo’s chicks consume the resources of the other birds and deprive that other birds’ chick of food,” explains psychologist David Ley, PhD, author of Insatiable Wives. “Naturalists believed this was what potentially happened when a wife cheated on her husband—the cuckolded husband would then end up investing his resources in the caring of children not genetically related to him.” Men portrayed as cuckolds are found throughout folklore and literature, particularly in the work of the aforementioned Mr. Shakespeare, the perennial pervy playwright. 

While these early depictions have clear negative implications—and while the term “cuck” is still used as a slur in some (rather controversial) circles today—modern “cuckolding” as a consensual sex practice in the kink and ethically non-monogamous communities is all in good kinky fun. Basically, consensual cuckolding is when a man’s wife has sex with another man—usually in front of him—and everyone involved is 100 percent on board with it. (It’s worth noting that while the husband/wife dynamic is traditional to this practice, folks of all genders and relationship styles can partake of this kink—more on that later!) Instead of one partner (traditionally the wife or female one, but not always) engaging in secret, non-consensual infidelity, a modern cuckolding scenario involves the full support and encouragement of an equally excited partner who’s actively into the idea of their person being sexual with others, Ley says. You simply love to see it.

Feeling intrigued? Horny? Confused? Don’t you worry. From the basics of cuckolding scenes, to why it gets people so hot and bothered, to how you can try it for yourself (if you dare!), we’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cuckolding riiight here.

Okay, So What Is Cuckolding?

In its most basic form, cuckolding is when a man watches his wife have sex with another man, often in front of him. “One could think of cuckolding as fetishized infidelity or adultery,” says Celina Criss, PhD, a certified sex coach specializing in BDSM. While cuckolding may seem like it would be strictly heteronormative given its roots, it can take place in any relationship dynamic, with people of any gender.

The three main roles in a cuckolding scenario are as follows:

  • The Wife/Hotwife: The (usually) female partner who has sex with the other man/person. The “wife” is sometimes referred to as the “Hotwife” in certain contexts and scenarios.

  • The Bull: The outside person (usually a cis-man) who has sex with the wife/hotwife.

  • The Cuck: The man/person who watches his partner have sex with the bull.

Crucially: Everyone involved in a cuckolding scene is a consenting adult. Scenes are highly negotiated and everyone involved is completely into it. Which brings us to…

Why Are People Into Cuckolding?

Kinksters who are horny for this tres risqué kind of play may be into cuckolding for a whole (very) hot mess of reasons. What can we say? Human sexuality is a complex and wonderful thing. Here are some of the main aspects of cuck play that may be appealing to those who practice it.

Power Dynamics

The core of kink play lies in the Dom/sub dynamic and the power play that comes with it. When we’re talking about cuckolding, the cuck is often submitting to the hotwife and/or bull.

Humiliation Play

This kind of play often involves an element of intentional humiliation in the form of verbal insults or degradation from the bull and/or wife. “The cuckold, or ‘cuck,’ is verbally belittled by the bull and made to seem inferior and ‘beta,’” explains Cosmo’s ‘Navigating Non-Monogamy’ columnist Zachary Zane, author of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto and sex expert for Fun Factory. “A bull may talk about how much bigger his dick is or how much better at sex he is than the ‘pathetic’ husband.” It’s all about creating the fantasy that the bull is a much better lover than the cuck, for the cuck’s enjoyment.

Partner Sharing

While these scenes often tap into an element of humiliation or submission, these aspects aren’t always inherent to cuckolding. Sometimes the cuck simply enjoys “sharing his wife’s extraordinary sexuality with other men,” says Ley. “These relationships are sometimes called hotwifing, or stag/vixen relationships.” This is where the ‘wife’ role turns into the ‘hotwife’ role. Rather than getting off on being humiliated by his wife or submitting to another man, the cuck is like: Look how HOT my wife is! You should definitely bang her! Get it?

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism

“You're essentially getting a live show! You get to watch someone having sex, which is just hot,” Zane says. A cuck with a voyeuristic streak may enjoy watching his partner sexually engage with another person, and their exhibitionist partner may enjoy being watched in the act. 

Bondage and Fetish Play

The cuck may be placed inside of a cage, tied up, or made to wear various fetish gear (such as a cock/chastity cage or latex clothing), depending on the scene. The bull and wife may also wear fetish gear as a part of the scene.

Sexual Novelty

For the “wife,” it can be exciting to have sex with someone new. Ley says this can be especially true for women with high libidos, who may enjoy having varied sexual encounters.

Plus, you’re literally the star of the show. “The hotwife [feels] desired by both the bull and the cuck. It's fun being the center of attention,” Zane adds.

Cuckolding vs. an Open Relationship: What’s the Difference?

Open relationships are simply when all parties are able to have sex with people outside of their primary relationship. Zane says that cuckolding is a specific kink that may (and can only) occur within the context of an open relationship, as it involves getting busy with people outside of a committed partnership. The main difference is that while partners in a consensually non-monogamous relationship may sleep with folks outside of that relationship, for those who practice cuckolding, one partner sleeping with someone else is an act of kink play in and of itself—one that actively involves all three parties. Ley adds that cuckolding often focuses more on the sexual activity of the wife, rather than the cuck. The cuck is often monogamous to the wife—or sometimes bisexual, engaging in sexual activity with the men who sleep with his wife.

Criss says that cuckolding scenes are less like consensual non-monogamy and instead are more in-line with CNC (consensual non-consent), in that the power dynamics of this kind of play are intended to mimic non-consensual infidelity. Essentially, the scene is made to look like the man doesn’t want his wife to have sex with someone else, but in reality, he totally does.

“In this case, the cuckold (husband) is excited about his hotwife (wife) having sexual encounters with another partner outside of the traditional marriage commitment,” Criss says. “Consensual non-consent may be involved in terms of the hotwife’s selection of partner, timing, or place.”

5 Ways to Try Cuckolding (If This Is Something That Gets You Going)

Do Your Research

First, learn literally everything you can about cuckolding before trying it. Ley suggests reading his book, Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and The Men Who Love Them, with your partner. This book deeply explores the ins and outs of cuckolding and open relationships. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to dive into this kind of play.

Start With Fantasy

Starting slow is a must, must, must! Jumping into a cuckolding scenario without proper planning is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, try manifesting the scene in your head and/or dirty-talking about it with your partner. This will give you a chance to try on the fantasy in a safe and contained way. You can watch some cuckolding-style porn, read erotica, or even role play. Zane suggests trying the following: Have the hotwife talk about past sexual experiences she’s had with a dominant man. The hotwife can humiliate the cuck by talking about how pathetic he is and how she wishes she was having sex with a more dominant and virile man.

Set Expectations and Boundaries

Before you try a cuck scene, everything needs to be thoroughly discussed in detail. You need to think about what sexual acts are on the table, how you want the scene to play out, and what kind of language is acceptable. Criss says that when it comes to scenes with humiliation, you have to be really mindful and intentional of boundaries. Awareness is key. When it comes to doing these scenes in real life, Zane says that “there should be no surprises.” Stick to the script, folks.

Have a Safe Word

A safe word is your golden ticket in kink scenes. You may think a cuck scene is going to be the hottest thing in the entire world and then once it happens, it might turn out to be not at all what you pictured.

“We can't predict how sexual experiences are going to make us feel, no matter how hard we may try,” Zane says. “That's why you can stop the scene at any point using the safe word.”

While it may feel awkward to pull a boundary mid-scene, it is SO important to speak up if you’re not feeling comfortable. “If someone does use the safe word, you don’t need to explain yourself,” Zane tells us. “You can just say that you’re really not enjoying the scene the way you had hoped.”

’Nough said. 

Be Respectful of Everyone Involved

Just like in any group sex situation, the feelings, boundaries, and needs of every single person in the scene should be taken into consideration.

And this is not just for the primary couple. This respect also needs to be extended to the bull, too. Criss says that even if this is a one-time experience, the third party is still a human being and they need to be treated as such. Everyone deserves to have the scene happen in a way that feels sexy, safe, and authentic for them.

When done with intention and care, a cuckolding scene can be very spicy and enjoyable for one and all. Remember: Don’t yuck anyone else’s yum. Everyone deserves to have the amazing, creative, and wild sexual experiences they desire—without judgment.

Credit: Cosmopolitan