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The Most Interesting Takeaways from the First-Ever Study on Gay Cuckolds

We used to think of cuckolding as just a straight thing, but now it goes both ways

About a year ago, Redditor Megalomaniac07’s boyfriend ordered him to put on his chastity cage (a device worn by men that prevents an erection) and drive him around while he surfed Grindr looking for a guy to fuck. While they drove, Megalomaniac was permitted to rub his boyfriend’s dick through his shorts, but that was it. It drove Megalomaniac crazy, he says, because he was super horny and his erection only made the cage that much tighter. When his boyfriend finally found a match, Megalomaniac drove him to the guy’s house and parked in the driveway.

“Who’s my good little cuckold?” Megalomaniac’s boyfriend whispered.

“I am, sir,” Megalomaniac replied.

Then his boyfriend walked into the house and fucked a stranger for two hours.

Such cuckolding used to be the exclusive purview of heterosexuals. In fact, Merriam-Webster still defines it as such: “A man whose wife is unfaithful.” But that’s changing, as an increasing number of PornHub videos, Tumblr sites and Reddit threads are being devoted to the phenomenon in gay relationships.

Academics are taking note, too. Earlier this year, Justin Lehmiller, David Ley and Dan Savage co-authored “The Psychology of Gay Men’s Cuckolding Fantasies,” the first scientific paper on the subject. (Despite its prominence in the zeitgeist, there’s been very little research into cuckolding in general.) Specifically, they analyzed 580 predominantly gay-identifying men who reported having fantasies about watching, hearing or learning about their partner having sex with someone else.

Among their main findings: Male same-sex couples are increasingly indulging in cuckolding, albeit slightly differently than their straight counterparts.

Savage attributes this to the legalization of gay marriage. “I’d long gotten letters from straight couples into cuckolding,” he told CNN in March, “but none from gay couples until after marriage equality began to gather steam.” That’s because, he posits, with marriage comes an expectation of monogamy, so violating those norms has become taboo for gay men where it wasn’t before. Another reason cuckolding is having a moment, Lehmiller tells me, is because it can be easily customized to meet a range of sexual kinks — e.g., humiliation or voyeurism — which are shared by gay and straight men alike.

But that’s just one of the fascinating takeaways from the first-ever academic study on gay cuckolding fantasies. Here are five more…

#1: There’s often a racial element to straight cuckolding fantasies, whereas gay men prefer ageplay.

Straight cuckolding fantasies often violate multiple taboos (cheating, unprotected sex and interracial relationships) all at the same time, with the interracial element — i.e., a white man fantasizing about his wife having sex with a black man — being the most typical. In the gay world, on the other hand, interracial relationships are far more common, and therefore, less risqué. “Interestingly,” Lehmiller notes, “we did see age discrepancies emerging more often than racial differences in gay men’s cuckolding fantasies. Gay men were more likely to fantasize about their partner having sex with someone who is much older or much younger than they were to fantasize about their partner having sex with someone of a different race.”

#2: Cuckolding is neither a threeway nor an “open relationship.”

Lehmiller says the modern usage of the term “cuckolding” doesn’t exactly line up with its original meaning: “a man who is married to an adulterous woman,” which is derived from Old French cucuault, or cucu, and the bird’s habit of laying its egg in another bird’s nest. That meaning, though, has been bastardized in recent years and come to encompass anyone who happens to get off on watching their partner have sex with others. Technically, however, cuckolding is totally different from having a threesome or being in an open relationship. That’s because it’s explicitly an unequal sexual partnership: Someone does the fucking while the other person watches, listens or learns about it later.

#3: Men evolved to get off on cuckolding, whether they’re straight or gay.

The idea behind sperm competition theory is that males evolved to be aroused by scenarios where multiple men are competing over the same woman, Lehmiller says, which leads to behavioral changes that will help their sperm get a competitive edge. “Men in general are thought to have evolved a certain sexual psychology, one that’s linked to increased interest in a variety of sex acts that are likely to increase the odds of reproductive success,” he explains. “This includes more willingness to engage in casual sex, a greater propensity toward infidelity and more interest in having a greater number of sexual partners. It also includes a greater likelihood of being turned on by certain forms of group sex, which is thought to be a cue for sperm competition.”

While this would seem to only apply to straight men, Lehmiller says evolutionary psychologists argue otherwise. “What we see is that men — gay and straight — are quite similar in their sexual psychology. The main difference is in the gender of the people with whom they wish to have sex. Whatever orients us toward a certain gender doesn’t necessarily override other sexual predispositions or evolved tendencies. So the fact that gay and straight men are both turned on by cuckolding wouldn’t be a surprise to evolutionary psychologists because this is something that’s tied to male sexual psychology, not sexual orientation. In fact, research has found that there are more differences in sexual fantasy based on gender than there are based on sexual orientation.”

#4: Whether or not humiliation needs to be part of the equation is open to debate.

Degradation is kind of the whole point of cuckolding according to Savage. But Lehmiller says not everyone who has these fantasies wants to be humiliated. In fact, there are two very distinct types of cuckolding — one with a humiliation element and one without. Among heterosexuals, the latter is referred to as “hotwifing,” the arousal coming from knowing others find your partner attractive, rather than from being humiliated by your partner having sex with someone else. As for the other variations — foot cucks, cuck slaves, cuck queans, etc. — Lehmiller says there’s yet to have been a scientific study identifying them. For instance, we have virtually no idea how the practice relates to lesbian women. “All I can say is it seems like they do exist,” he notes.

#5: Your enjoyment of cuckolding has a lot to do with your personality.

One such example: “For those with abandonment issues, acting on a consensual non-monogamy fantasy could very well be a negative experience,” says Lehmiller.

Of course, this wasn’t an issue for Megalomaniac. “I waited in the car for about an hour,” he writes. “When he finally came back down he was a little sweaty, and I could smell the sex on him. He got in the car and told me to drive. ‘Yes sir,’ I said. I tried to ask what happened, but he just shot me a look, and I didn’t ask again. We went out to dinner afterwards, me still locked up, and excited that I’d just been cucked.

“Before the end of the meal, the cage was getting uncomfortable. I asked if I could go to the bathroom and remove it.

“‘No,’ he said. ‘You haven’t earned it today.’

“‘Yes sir, I understand sir,’ I responded sheepishly.”