What’s the deal with cuckolding?
Cuckolding has long had negative perceptions associated with the act, both from its ties to racial stereotypes as well as pigeonholing the motivation behind the scenario itself. As with many outdated terms, it’s time we redefined cuckolding to be inclusive of the spectrum that exists within it. Cuck is not an inherently shameful role to play unless you want it to be!
An Ode to Cuckolding
I have a soft space in my heart for cuckolding, but not for the reasons you may assume. It’s one of my favorite kinks for intimacy as I find it utterly romantic to share this experience with and for someone else in a consensual dynamic. That may not be what first comes to mind for you, as the term “cuck” now widely used in certain online circles is loosely thrown around as an insult insinuating someone is weak, unworthy, or more often used for someone who doesn’t uphold a particular set of standards for cis-masculine behavior.
What is cuckolding and where does the word originate?
Cuckolding as a term is derived from the Cuckoo bird as this species inhabits other birds’ nests to lay its eggs. Similarly, cuckolding–in the sexual sense–is when one party is made to watch their partner, lover, or person in other forms of attachment have sex with another individual. In this experience, there is the cuck, who is the one(s) made to watch the sexual encounter of their partner. The cuckqueen is the partner of the cuck who is engaging in the sexual act with another(s). The bull is the party or parties not involved within the cucks’ relationship engaging in the sexual act with the cuckqueen.
Gender and Cuckolding
As far as the vernacular goes, although cuckolding is not rooted in binary language, most modern depiction suggests otherwise. However, there is no reason we can’t adapt cuckolding and move it away from cisheteronormative or overtly and unnecessarily gendered framings. . Cuckolding isn’t a gender, sexuality, or identity-specific term or experience, nor is it related to a specific type of degradation. Cuckqueen is the most obvious gendered word within the lexicon, but we may refer to them as the queen, king, royal, or whatever term feels best for you. While the term “bull” originated in a binary framework having masculine associations in the etymology being a “male” cow, the term as if pertains to cuckolding has no inherent gender. If the idea of being called a bull is off putting for you for any reason you may use any other word you choose. A cuck can be anyone no matter their identity or physicality.
Race and Cuckolding
Race is another facet that gets wrapped up in cuckolding despite having nothing to do with the kink itself. LT Hawk, a pleasure-based sex educator, explains the link between race and cuckolding is a continuation of its role historically. “It has a long history in the concept of white interracial sex being deviant or perverse. A partner being cucked by a person(s) of a race and/or ethnicity you view as inferior, exotic, dangerous, or even bestial is a dehumanising fantasy.” This is heavily represented in porn and leaks well into the fetishisation of race known as BBC. This stands for ‘big black cock’ which is diminutive in nature.
In the case of BBC, Hawk points out, “the desirability of a black person is centered on the penis and not the personhood.” Engaging in these kinds of stereotypes dehumanizes people beyond a consensual kink scenario. Hawk believes “when white supremacy and systemic racism still exist and prevent the equitable treatment of POC, these kinks aren’t actually roleplay, but the sexualization of the greater system of a prejudice power dynamic.” Black men are overwhelmingly portrayed in the role of the bull playing off of these harmful stereotypes rooted in racism. No matter how much you think idolizing one for their genitals may be reverential or well intended, reducing someone to that of a body part is never appropriate unless extensively negotiated. When there is an additional power dynamic present that is subjugation or oppressive in nature this fetishization can be compounded in its severity of harm.
The Draws to Cuckolding
I would argue that those who use the term cuck as an insult are not familiar with the act of cuckolding and all that it can encompass. Cuckolding can directly rebuke feelings of entitlement and possessiveness, as the act is conducted on the volition of the cuck. What many fail to recognize is that cuckolding is an experience that revolves around the cuck. At first glance, it may appear because the cuck is not involved in the sexual act, they must be getting the shorter end of the stick, but it is often their fantasy that drives the scene.
As the cuck…
Confronting fear is the common release of many edgier fantasies. That confrontation can be pleasurable on its own or one that becomes like a high you are chasing. This can be similar to adrenaline junkies that jump out of planes and off bridges. They are both chasing that confrontation of fear. Similarly, one may be drawn to cucking if they face pressures in sex like performance, ability to please their partner, or feeling dissatisfied with their own body image. Cucking removes that pressure by allowing someone else to fulfill the physical sexual action while at the same time possibly closing a loop by addressing these types of fears in a controlled environment. In speaking with someone who practices cuckolding who would like to remain anonymous, for this article we will refer to him as Kevin*. Kevin relishes in taking ownership over would-be fears through cuckolding, “The scenario is a perfect simulation to interact and accept our deepest nightmares. A cuckold scenario offers the power of vulnerability and objective humiliation.” Instead of existing with a fear that their partner may leave them if they encounter someone better/stronger/hotter etc, they are able to incorporate and sexualize this while maintaining the consensual boundaries of their relationship. Li is a femme who feels empowered by being cucked,“ I feel like I created a chemistry and [am] viewing it from the outside.” Instead of rooting pleasure from fear confrontation, Li is specifically turned on by finding pleasure outside of her established dynamic by orchestrating a moment between her partner and another without being directly involved.
As the cuckqueen/king/royal…
There is a two-sided draw to being the shared partner of the cuck. The mental draw could be that of satisfying a fantasy of the cuck or by being the center of both the cuck and bull’s attention. Physically, the royal has the opportunity to be selfish, overwhelmed, or controlling. Kevin finds the role of the royal oft limited in porn, ”Very few touch the realistic scenarios of pegging by the queen. I haven’t seen any [porn] where the queen cucks the two men interchangeably.” Where many may see the bull as the leader, it is only the royal who can give that power away or not.
As the bull…
For any individual dealing with issues of image validation or self-worth, being brought in as the seemingly ‘more competent’ lover can be affirming. A bull can be a single individual or a couple. Ultimately, the bull is of service to the cuckold couple. This does not make the bull’s needs or desires any less important, nor does it make them an object. This is a very similar scenario to that of the third in a couple privilege power dynamic. This person is supplying a vacant need for the couple while perhaps fulfilling a fantasy of their own.
Depending on the cuckold’s draw, being denied or romanticising the idea of their partner being physical with another lends itself well to accompanying accessories to really extend the excitement of the act itself. One of the beauties of cuckolding is that it doesn’t require all parties to be physically present. If the draw is romanticising the other’s activities, you can incorporate party-favors like mailing the undergarments worn on a date, sending a video, recount, or other keepsakes as a memento. If the cuckold’s draw centers around denial, chastity, cumming instructions or sheaths that limit sensation all add to the fun. Denial can also be engaged by denying the sense to be able to watch, hear, etc… by using a blindfold, leather hood, or other types of sensory deprivation tools.
Non-Monogamy & Cuckolding
If you’re choosing to engage in cuckolding you’re likely engaging–or at least dipping a toe–into some form of non-monogamy. Cuckolding can be a great stepping stone into non-monogamy as it’s a non-competing method for all parties of a couple to be involved in a sexual scenario without physically involving all people or constantly worrying about physical inclusion. As cuckolding is centered around the cuck, the cuck is directly involved within the royal and bull’s experience. For this reason, cuckolding can be seen as one of the purest forms of compersion.
Because this dynamic is so interchangeable and can play in fantasy as much as reality, it is a perfect breeding ground for creativity. Tease out every aspect of the cuckolding process and not just the act itself. The courting and agreement of the bull, the preparation, the ritual. Just because a cuckold isn’t technically the main player in the extra affair doesn’t mean they can’t get involved. Have the cuck lay underneath the fornicating parties or–better yet–be in charge of clean up. Like much of kink, there are no hard and fast rules of what a cuck can or cannot do just as there are no specific or universal molds for a Dom/me or sub. The more people you add to your cuckolding fun the more complicated it can be to make sure each person is comfortable and on board with the involvement of other parties. It is something to be mindful of in pre-negotiations and in all stages of consent practice through the process.
Whatever your reason for interest in cuckolding–or not–we should strive to expand our sexual horizons and question when we perceive a kink or role as “weak” or “inferior.” It is to our benefit to question when we have any judgemental or negative feelings associated with a particular kink and attempt to identify the origin of why we are having those feelings. When you pay attention to these notions, ask yourself where you learned this from and if that is the best influence for your sex education.
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Lola Jean is a Sex Educator, Mental Health Professional, Wrestler, Pro Domme and World Record Holder for Volume Squirting (solo.) providing the No Frills Sex Education we both need and deserve. Lola brings a refreshing understanding to sex, sexuality and kink to push individuals past what they think they are capable of. There is so much we are not exploring due to fear. Fear of how society will view us. How our partners will view us. How our peers will view us. Lola helps individuals stop making excuses and unlock who they are and what they deserve.