What Is A Cuckold?

Believe it or not, there isn’t one fully agreed-upon answer to the the seemingly simple question “What is a cuckold?”. The purpose of this mini-article will be to comprehensively yet cohesively define the word cuckold as a noun in a way that gives a nod to its historical definition yet also incorporates certain contemporary elements it has become associated with.

cuckold (n) /ˈkəkəld,ˈkəkōld/ : a submissive man (or a man with a submissive side) who derives masochistic, erotic pleasure from his female partner having sex with another man.

This definition has three key components. Let’s briefly break them down:

  1. A submissive man (or man with a submissive side)…
  • You’ll notice that this definition requires a cuckold to be a man. That is not because women can’t have a reciprocal desire, but rather because women with a reciprocal desire have a different name.

    • The “submissive” qualifier is necessary for two reasons.
      • The first is that it helps clarify the fact that some men identify as inherently submissive by nature, and other men simply have only a part of who they are that can be or are submissive.
        • The notion of parts is very important when it comes to human natures/identity; our true “identity” is composed of different parts of ourselves.
      • The second reason for this qualifier is that it helps differentiate cuckolds from men who identify more as stags or hotwife husbands and who don’t consider themselves submissive in any way, but are still capable of deriving pleasure from their wives sleeping with another man. You can read more about the distinction between stags/hotwife husbands and cuckolds in the article I wrote here.

2) _…who derives masochistic, erotic pleasure…_
  • The erotic pleasure a cuckold gets has some element of masochism to it, but when I use the word masochism, I don’t necessarily mean he wants to be tied up and have physical pain inflicted upon him. Rather, the masochistic quality/element that infuses a cuckold’s erotic pleasure is more psychological and can encompass many auxiliary feelings (i.e. shame, humiliation, etc.)

    • This component also implies that the man is aware of his wife’s infidelity; if he were not aware of it, he could not derive pleasure from it, and therefore would no longer be considered a cuckold as per this definition.

3) _…from his female partner having sex with another man._
  • Notice this doesn’t require that a woman be married for her to “cuckold” her male partner.

    • The line between officially being able to call oneself a “cuckold” without having any qualifiers (i.e. partial, emotional, financial, wannabe, gay, etc.) is drawn at sexual intercourse. If a man’s female partner has a sexual encounter with another man but this sexual encounter does not include sexual intercourse, he would not be a full-fledged “cuckold” according to this definition.
      • This criterion precludes a man being a cuckold if his female partner has slept with another woman.
    • Males cannot have sex with other males in the “vaginal intercourse” sense of the definition of sex, and therefore according to this definition wouldn’t be considered “cuckolds” in the same sense as men whose female partners have sex with other men. Rather, the qualifier “gay” would be prepended onto the word cuckold just like the words “wannabe” or “emotional” would need to be prepended onto the word cuckold if certain parameters of the above definition were not met.

Now that we’ve taken a deeper dive into the three components of my definition of the word “cuckold”, it should also be noted that this definition makes no remarks about whether or not a man needs to be a willing and encouraging participant in his wife’s infidelity in order to be considered a cuckold.

I am making it a point to say this because there are some in the community who would maintain that if a man encourages his female partner to sleep with other men, he is a wittol and not a cuckold. Although I am not disputing the differences in the historical/traditional definitions of the words cuckold and wittol, I currently do not see these differences as relevant enough to warrant the promotion or use of two separate words (such as I do with stags vs cuckolds) for reasons that have to do with the relationship I believe definitions should have with contemporary connotations and sentiments.

Please feel free to leave any comments on this story in the comment section which can be found after the below Public Service Accouncement.


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