I have a confession to make…Not much shocks, surprises, or quite frankly, turns me off when it comes to sex. I have been this way for as long as I can remember and I truly believe the trauma of my molestation early in my childhood, lead me to want to understand all I could about the psychology of sex. I have written about S&M, and monogamy and keeping sex interesting, but thanks to a conversation I had with my firefighter the other day, my writer’s block is gone! Or hadn’t you noticed I was absent for a week?
We had been talking over coffee as we usually do after his 24 hour tour at the firehouse, trying to reconnect and catch up about current events, and our teens mostly, when the subject quickly turned, due to a comment my fireman made about a couple we casually know. The next thing I know my jaw was open, part mock horror, part mock dry heave, and seriously a state of holy shit, no fucking way. The revelation was about their sexual life style as a married couple and the fetish this husband had with his wife. Apparently they are into the whole cuckold fetish. Which, if you are unfamiliar with the term is defined as; “A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife,” according to Wikipedia, which also went on to define the origin of the word, which comes from of all things, the Cuckoo bird, known for its ritual of laying its eggs in other nests. So essentially this couple’s sex life involves the wife having sex with other people, mostly men, while her husband watches. So of course my firefighter and I got into the psychology of it all, because, well that’s just who I am, I want to know things!! Human behavior fascinates me! Now when I say I was shocked, it was only by the thought of this couple, not because I couldn’t imagine it, but more importantly, I didn’t want to imagine them, because, I’ll be honest, I despise them as human beings, no judgement in their sex life, but they make my skin crawl! But I was so intrigued by this phenomenon in general, as it pertains to couples. In the case of this couple, there had been rumors of infidelity on the wife’s part, and my husband and I stated the obvious, that this was probably a way to save an already disastrous marriage by allowing this woman to explore her sexuality in a way in which, the husband is somewhat involved, so it’s less of an adulterous event, as it is a mutual sexual experience. Now here is where my husband and I differ in our thought process. He sees this as the husband not really enjoying this idea, being a man, but going along with it for the sake of his marriage, and to keep his wife happy. But I see this from the compulsion of the man. I know I relate to the male psyche on some strange level. I have researched this phenomenon before for my “other writing” obsession, (erotica) can’t you tell? And I was simply floored by the articles from both the wife’s prospective and the husband’s. Not all couples were married, some had been in long-term relationships and wanted to spice up their relationship. Some started by going to swingers clubs in the city, as a one time thing, but began to spiral downward, into both of them becoming obsessed with sex with other partners, sometimes simultaneously in the same room, other times while one partner watched. Now from a psychological stand point in the case of this couple, it makes perfect sense, as Sigmund Freud, described the cuckold relationship as “the eroticisziation” of the fears of infidelity. Take this a step further, as the cuckold fetish, is categorized in psychology, as being part of the masochistic component of S&M, as psychologists see the spouse being made to watch the other engaging in sex with another, as a form of humiliation, hence the masochistic component. Which to some, is part of the allure of the act, and is not necessarily a bad thing if two people in a loving, committed relationship, see this the same way as mutually gratifying and a way to enrich a healthy sex life. The problem comes in when jealousy, emotions, and attraction to the other people joining the couple come during sex, come in to play, Many people in the research articles I read, admitted they went into this with eyes wide shut. They read about the scenario in an erotic book, or saw it played out in a cheesy porn (for the record I don’t think all porn is cheesy), and thought that they were prepared for the reality of inviting another person into the bedroom, only to find out that fantasy is sometimes way better, than reality.`
For some it may be a last-ditch effort to save a failing marriage, another possibility is that it may be a way for a woman to punish her husband for his short comings, and the resentment she feels towards him, or quite simply, it is a truly enjoyable way for a couple to explore their sexuality. I have talked to people, through the years, who shared with me their about threesomes, who have engaged in them once, or even a few times. For most, they lost their inhibitions with the help of drugs or alcohol, which made it a little easier for them to explore their sexuality in a deviant way. Which, for those of you not aware, the act of threesome is defined as a deviant act from a psychological stand point, since, while it is quite common, especially in today’s second coming, of free love and sexual redefining, since it is a deviation from a “normal” a one on one sexual encounter. Of those I talked to who had some regret, mostly women, it was never explored again. Now of the men I know, who were all heterosexual, or at least identified as such, and had engaged in sex with two females, they seemed less regretful, if only, that it hadn’t happened quite enough!
Many years ago when I worked as an Assistant HR Director, there was an CEO that was very open about his sexual escapades and conquests, whether you were a man or a woman, he would blurt it out, seriously, in staff meetings, out to dinner for “team building” exersices, read: drinks and shots, part bragging, part shock factor, to which he quickly realized did not faze me in the least, but I did feel terrible for his wife, now this was pre-Anita Hill, and sexual harassment was not yet a thing in Human Resources to be dealt with, or taken seriously. He was a Texan, who bragged about his numerous affairs, and even talked about how he would bring women home for his wife, mostly to her dismay, to have sex with. I asked him one day when we were all out for drinks after work, shortly after he made a bold play for one of the other females in our company, what he would do if the tables were turned and his wife wanted to bring men home. He stared me right in the eye, with the most intense stare and said, “Sweetheart”, in that Texas, good old boys drawl, “she knows better, that isn’t the way I like it, she knows her place, I’d divorce her.” I had no reason to doubt he would. He was a cold, and heartless person but a very successful, savvy businessman none the less, who owned a very successful global, multi-million dollar company. Here was a man who felt it perfectly acceptable that his wife should go along with his sexual compulsion, but couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her with another man. Now I have no idea personally, whether she enjoyed this or not, and I had only heard rumors, that she did not. I would be willing to bet that most men would not be able to handle the idea of their wives or girlfriends with another man, as easily as it would be for them to handle another woman with their wives. I think for the cuckold man who is secure in his relationship, or a woman for that matter, who is comfortable in her relationship, the two can explore their sexual fantasies and desires in a healthy supportive way. For some people this compulsion allows them to feel closer to their significant other by allowing them to satisfy something many consider taboo, in a way that is gratifying to know you love someone enough to allow them to be who they are.
I personally feel, that it is important to be able to talk to your partner about what you both expect in terms of sex, your turn-ons, your fantasies, and what your level of comfort is, with what the other person may desire. Exploration in an otherwise healthy and mutually loving marriage. is part of intimacy. Some people have such strong aversions and hang ups when it comes to sex, that even vanilla sex is not enjoyable, and is seen as a chore. I believe this starts in childhood, it can be as complex as being sexually abused, at a young age, or as simple as a parent or parents who make sex seem dirty and shameful, more than likely, will make a child will grow up with this idea in their psyche, and the child as an adult will inevitably have a difficult time with sex and letting themselves explore. For me, I was blessed with a mother who was open, and allowed me to see that sex could be a beautiful thing with the right person. Although, I think she’d blush at just how open her daughter is on the subject, but I do think she’d approve, none the less!
So here’s what I will leave you to ponder. Everyone has a freak inside of them, they may not know her or ever want to know her, but she’s there. When you are in a loving relationship, and feel safe enough to let her out to play, it can be a beautiful way to enjoy intimacy and the love between two people, and as such, I personally do not see it as infidelity. If you are uptight about sex, or with the wrong partner who doesn’t allow you to be who you are and explore sexually, well, this freak may lie dormant sadly, until the right person comes along and let’s her out to play. So with that I say, wheter you let her out on occasion, on a daily, or even for a full-blown fetish, don’t be afraid to let your freak come out to play….Ever!