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He Wants To Watch
He Wants To Watch

Some men are asking their wives to have sex with other men while they watch. And some women are saying yes

Elizabeth Weiss

Janine had always lived a relatively monogamous life—that is, until her husband of less than a year revealed he wanted to watch her have sex with another man. “I tried it out of fear of disappointing him,” she says. The 31-year-old advertising manager says she was initially buoyed by the act because of her ability to please her husband. “I’ve never been so sexual or confident,” she says. One night, as her husband was ostensibly savoring the sight of Janine having sex with another man, he interrupted them. “Keep going. I’ll be right back,” her husband said, leaving the room. Twenty minutes later, Janine found him watching TV in the living room. “I was doing this for him, and he wasn’t even actively participating,” she says. That night Janine felt used by her husband. This scenario reflects the complicated psychology behind the sexual fetish of cuckolding.

The traditional definition of a cuckold is a man who is made a fool by his obliviousness to his wife’s infidelity. Most men are unlikely to belittle their own manhood or tolerate seeing the woman they love sleeping with someone else. Except that some men want just that.

As a sexual fetish—and it is a notable fetish, the subject of hundreds of porn scenes— cuckolding is when a man watches his wife having sex with another man, called a bull, and gets off on the psychological tension the situation creates. “Being a cuckold is to experience a form of masochism in which emotions are the sources of pleasure,” explains Ricardo Rieppi, a psychologist in New York City. “Cuckolds need to experience these feelings in order to experience a high.”

Unlike the more common “hot wife” fantasy, which focuses on wives having sex with other men to enhance their own pleasure, cuckolding centers on men achieving pleasure through their own humiliation. “Many modern couples interested in new paths to pleasure and fun use ‘hot wife’ and ‘cuckold’ interchangeably,” says Heather McPherson, a sex therapist in Austin, Texas and CEO and founder of the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance. “But the hot-wife lifestyle is about fulfilling the fantasies for one or both partners, as well as the wife’s personal growth, sexual exploration and freedom.”

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December 2016