Two years ago, Christina, a thirty-one-year-old married administrative assistant, was about to have sex with Claudio, a man who wasn't her husband. She pulled out a ruler from underneath her bed so she could measure his penis. "Ten inches with a seven-inch girth," she said to Claudio. Then she turned to her husband, who was standing next to her and Claudio, videotaping, and emphasized to him, "He's huge."
It all began in 1997, when Christina met her husband Kurt online. After they married, they spilled their guts to each other while high on ecstasy: they both had sexual fantasies about sleeping with other people. At that point, "we knew we couldn't eat the same meal everyday," says Kurt. They agreed to have an open marriage, and Christina began having sex with a coworker. When she told Kurt about it, he felt "outwardly jealous, inwardly curious," he says. "A part of me wished that I could've seen it." Kurt also worried for his wife's safety when she slept with male strangers. "At first, it was about making sure she wasn't in danger. Now, it's about me being there, seeing it and getting off."
Kurt is a cuckolder — or "cuck" — a man who
derives sexual pleasure from watching his wife or girlfriend have sex with other men. He assumes a disempowered, beta-male role as part of the fantasy. His wife, or any woman who cuckolds her male partner, is called a hotwife. When I ask Christina how she feels about the arguably degrading epithets, she shrugs and throws her hands up. "I'm a slut," she says. Kurt cracks a smile.
Christina and Kurt (not their real names) post ads online seeking extramarital male partners for her. These men are called "bulls" or "studs." After spending hours searching Craigslist for bulls, I found Claudio (not his real name), Christina and Kurt's current bull. He responded to my request for an interview, and then put me in touch with them.
On my way to their Manhattan apartment, I am walking a path that countless bulls have walked before. Kurt, a forty-one-year-old former Army man is still cut like a soldier — lean and muscular, with a shaved head, and pecs bulging underneath a baby-blue basketball jersey. He looks like the antithesis of a beta male, though anyone would peg Christina as a hotwife. Her curly, black hair is pulled back by a headband, and her eyes reflect the intensity of her persona; everything, from her short, snappy statements to how she takes a drag from her smoke, is executed with an unapologetic frankness.
It is the same matter-of-fact tone that she uses to describe Claudio's generous package: "[Claudio] is hitting spots in me that Kurt isn't." Kurt nods in somber agreement, adding, "He fills her up. I love watching her react to his bigger dick because I can't provide her that. I get off on the truth, on what's real." The couple's ads specify that their bulls have to boast a penis of eight inches plus, given that Kurt's is seven. The bull needs to exemplify masculinity in ways that Kurt cannot. He needs to be not only better endowed,
"It's unrealistic to think that I can be the best at everything. There's always going to be something another guy can give her that I can't."
but also alpha enough to make Kurt feel small, both physically and psychologically.
The idea of any husband wanting to watch his wife have sex with another man goes against the grain of marriage, masculinity, even patriarchy, in a radical way. Before meeting Kurt, I'd never known a man who liked the idea of another man messing around with his wife. But Kurt, who enjoys submitting to the bull's larger penis and his wife's high sex drive, says his sexual passivity is more a role than the reality. He can personify the beta male role, even eroticize it, because he knows he's not inherently inferior to other men.
As an alpha male in life, Kurt's bedside compliance also serves as a refuge from his competitive, high-strung personality. "This is the one area in life where I can choose to be submissive," he explains. "I always have to win and be the best at everything. No one can do better than I can. If another guy eats her out better than I do, well, he's just raised
The couple's ads specify that their bulls have to boast a penis of eight inches plus, given that Kurt's is seven.
the bar, but I can do better. But a bigger dick I can't complete with. Something about that turns me on."
Kurt watches his wife have sex with bulls through a video camera, sometimes inches away from the action. He makes it a point to videotape the bull's penis, then turns the camera on his own smaller one to emphasize the size disparity. Afterwards, the couple will watch the tape with the bull, and then again together after the bull leaves. They've accumulated an extensive library of homemade porn. "I can't stand fading memories," says Kurt.
"I'm not threatened by these guys," he says. "Though I do envy them — I give em props, those lucky bastards. Nothing turns me on more than seeing her react to someone else's bigger dick." Motioning toward his wife, he adds, "It's unrealistic to think that I can be the best at everything. There's always going to be something another guy can give her that I can't."
For those unfamiliar with cuckolding as sexual fetish, try to recall high-school English, and more specifically, Geoffrey Chaucer's reference to cuckolds in The Canterbury Tales. The traditional Middle English meaning of the word — a man with an adulterous wife — echoes the modern-day fetish: "One cannot be a cuckold if not wed. But I do not therefore asperse your bed; few are the wives who make their husbands sad, a thousand good for every one that's bad."