You may be surprised to learn that a lot of men (and a few women) have a sexual fantasy where their partner is having sex with someone else. It usually goes like this: their partner is being fucked by someone else and they are either watching or otherwise unable to physically participate in the scene. This fantasy is known as the “cuckold” fantasy. You might be wondering just how prevalent this fantasy really is and why people are aroused by this idea as it seems to go against all the romantic, idyllic notions of sex that we learn growing up.
The Internet actually offers some of the best insights into sexual desires, especially taboo ones. In their book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed millions of anonymous online searches, and said that the cuckold fetish is the second most popular heterosexual interest in English-speaking searches. Interestingly, the most commonly searched phrases are:
- black cock
- black man
- your wife
- another man
- your husband
- big black
- other men
- my wife
- her lover
Their research showed that a third of craigslist ads posted by couples seeking a man to join the party specify that they want a black guy. In porn this scenario is also common, where the woman praises and compares the black guy’s inevitably huge cock to her husband’s much smaller one. We even see this in gay porn; black men are tops seven times out of eight. Reasons for this: “the black man possesses one very special quality in the imagination of both gay and straight men: dominance.” But why would a man get highly aroused by watching a dominant, masculine man have sex with his wife – how does his sexual desire overcome his sexual jealousy? In addition to the eroticizing of humiliation and the feeling of being excluded, biology offers an unexpected answer to this question: sperm competition.
Ogas and Gaddam continue, “Sperm competition refers to a variety of physiological and behavioral adaptations that enable a male’s sperm to compete head-to-head with other male’s sperm in the battle to impregnate a female’s egg. These adaptations are found in a dazzling variety of species. The giant testicles of the chimpanzee, which can blast out an enormous volume of sperm, is one such physiological adaptation. Female chimpanzees have sex with multiple males while ovulating, so a male that can produce more sperm has a better chance of dislodging other males’ sperm and a better chance of his own sperm surviving future matings. Many biologists hypothesize that the bulbous head and extended length of the human penis is another physiological adaptation. Its shape is very effective at shoveling out the sperm of any rivals.”
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, authors of, Sex at Dawn, explain how human male penises have flared glans that form the coronal ridge, which, combined with thrusting actions, create a vacuum in the female’s reproductive tract: “This vacuum pulls any previously deposited semen away from the ovum, thus aiding the sperm about to be sent into action.” This doesn’t pull out a man’s own sperm because “upon ejaculation, the head of the penis shrinks in size before any loss of tumescence (stiffness) in the shaft, thus neutralizing the suction that might have pulled his own boys back.”
The fact that testicles dangle outside the body also suggests there has been a level of sperm competition throughout history. Ryan and Jetha write: “A scrotum is like a spare refrigerator in the garage just for beer. If you’ve got a spare beer fridge, you’re probably the type who expects a party to break out at any moment. You want to be prepared. A scrotum fills the same function. By keeping the testicles a few degrees cooler than they would be inside the body, a scrotum allows chilled spermatozoa to accumulate and remain viable longer, available if needed. Anyone who’s been kicked in the beer fridge can tell you this is a potentially costly arrangement. The increased vulnerability of having testes out there in the wind inviting attack or accident rather than tucked away safely inside the body is hard to overstate – especially if you’re crumpled in the fetal position, unable to breathe. Given the unrelenting logic of evolutionary cost/ benefit analyses, we can be quite certain this is not an adaptation without good reason. Why carry the tools if you don’t have the job?” Without a large penis and the “spare beer fridge,” men would have tiny genitals and produce few sperm. In addition, monogamous species, males and females are the same height and weight, and in polygynous species, males are typically twice the size of females. Humans are somewhere in between, where men are 15 to 20 percent larger than women.
Ogas and Gaddam explain, “A man getting aroused by the psychological cue of cuckoldry is another behavioral adaptation. If a man believes that his sexual partner may have been with a rival, this adaptation drives him to have sex with her as quickly and as vigorously as possible… In many species, the more dominant the potential rival, the stronger the sperm competition cue and the more intense the arousal… British psychologist Nicholas Pound even speculates that the erect penis and the ‘money shot’ are both visual cues of sperm competition that trigger arousal. If Pound is right, this would also explain why large penises play such a prominent role in cuckold porn, especially large black penises.”
One more thing, Pound also discovered that men are consistently more aroused by multiple men than by multiple women or by a heterosexual couple. This explains why there is often a greater number of males participating in group sex porn. For men, this is a sperm competition cue. For example, in gang bangs there is a greater number of men than women participating, yet the scene is still highly arousing for many men.
Some people that have the cuckold fantasy find it a frustrating one because they realize they would be physically aroused if it actually occurred but mentally they find the idea of their partner with someone else repulsive. They are not sure whether that is a situation they are willing to test out in real life. Other people that are mentally and physically on the same page find partners who are also turned on by the situation so are able to explore their fantasy.
Keeley has worked with a few clients who express sexual desire similar to the cuckold fantasy. One had the fantasy of his wife making him closely watch her have sex with another man (in the fantasy, he had caught her cheating on him with this other guy). The fantasy proceeded like this: the wife would make the husband measure the other mans’ hard cock, then the other man would fuck his wife, and the husband would count how many thrusts his wife would take – so he would have to pay really close attention. After the man would finish (ejaculate), the husband would tell the wife how many inches she took. The biggest part of the turn on for the husband was that the wife wanted a big cock and then she would humiliate the husband by laughing at his little cock. For this client, this desire always stayed a fantasy and he had no strong need to make it a reality.
For women with a cuckold fantasy, known as cuckquean, the sexual gratification gotten from witnessing one’s partner engaged in sexual play with someone else also varies in motivation and desire to follow through with in reality. A woman who wrote in told us that, “my boyfriend is, in my opinion, a fine specimen of a man. I love watching his body when we’re fucking and enjoy watching him have sex with other women. When I watch him, I think to myself, ‘wow, that’s what it looks like when he’s doing that to me!’ His stamina is such a turn-on.”
Interestingly, in a study of habituation in sexual arousal forty male volunteers were divided into two groups; one group was shown images of five different heterosexual couples in sexual situations while the other group was shown the same image five times. The arousal in the first group increased while the arousal of the second group gradually diminished. In a similar study using explicit film clips, male participants’ sperm volume and quality increased significantly and time to ejaculation decreased significantly with exposure to new females. One could infer from these studies that in a cuckquean fantasy, if the male partner ends up ejaculating in his main female partner, she benefits from higher quality sperm.
– Nikita & Keeley
Featured image via WeHeartIt