Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Acting on adulterous fantasies may strengthen a relationship, as counterintuitive as it may sound. Story highlights Cuckolding has become fetishized into a powerful sexual fantasy for some Sometimes just sharing a sexy thought can be arousing enough -- you don't have to follow through CNN In our current political climate, the term "cuck" -- short for "cuckservative" -- has become an insult of the so-called alt-right, aimed at men they view as spineless and emasculated.
The slur has its roots in the concept of cuckolding, or having an adulterous partner. But, according to a recent study by David Ley, Justin Lehmiller and the writer Dan Savage, acting on cuckolding fantasies can be a largely positive experience for many couples, and hardly a sign of weakness.
References to cuckolding appear in literature as early as the 13th century, usually in the form of male characters who fear that their child has been sired by another man during an act of infidelity.
Today, however, cuckolding has become fetishized into a powerful sexual fantasy for some men, who get aroused by the idea of their romantic partner engaging in sexual activity with someone else. Women also share this fantasy, but less so than men. Indeed, the numbers suggest that cuckolding, or at least thinking about it, is more common than you might imagine. Read More "Men are more likely to fantasize about cuckolding, and they do it more often -- but there are a number of women who have these fantasies as well, which points to the need for more research focused on women's cuckolding desires," Lehmiller said.
Initially viewed as a heterosexual phenomenon, it's increasingly prevalent among gay men, too. To learn more, Savage joined with Lehmiller and Ley for a study of cuckolding fantasies and experiences in gay men. Their findings suggest that there are similarities between the way gay and straight men view cuckolding, but clear differences, too.
Most notably, interracial and BDSM themes don't appear to be as common in gay men's cuckolding fantasies as they are among heterosexual men. The motivations behind these fantasies may also be different. Part of what makes cuckolding arousing for heterosexual men is that they tend to view it as a taboo act.
Is 'Fifty Shades' a boon or bust for couples exploring kink? But that may not be an influence for everyone. For instance, fantasies about voyeurism and group sex seem to overlap with those about cuckolding in these men. And the emotions surrounding seeing your partner with someone else can add to the turn-on, explained Savage.
For those who have a lot of relationship anxiety or abandonment issues, who lack intimacy and communication, and who aren't careful, detail-oriented planners, acting on a consensual non-monogamy fantasy could very well be a negative experience," he said. Remember that sometimes just sharing a sexy thought can be arousing enough -- you don't have to follow through.
If you are thinking about acting on a cuckolding fantasy, it's worth stepping back first and making sure your relationship is in a good place and that you have strong sexual communication skills. It can dredge up powerful emotions, so take baby steps and keep talking and communicating," said Savage.