Definition of Cuckold

What does Cuckold Mean


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the term. For the 1997 novel by Kiran Nagarkar, see Cuckold (novel). For the 2015 South African film, see Cuckold (film).


The Jealous Husband, a genre painting by Cornelius Krieghoff depicting a cuckolded husband.

A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife; the wife of an adulterous husband is a cuckquean. In biology, a cuckold is a male who unwittingly invests parental effort in juveniles who are not genetically his offspring.[1] A husband who is aware of and tolerates his wife's infidelity is sometimes called a wittol or wittold.[2]

History of the term


c. 1815 French satire on cuckoldry, which shows both men and women wearing horns

The word cuckold derives from the cuckoo bird, alluding to its habit of laying its eggs in other birds' nests.[3][4] The association is common in medieval folklore, literature, and iconography.

English usage first appears about 1250 in the medieval debate poem The Owl and the Nightingale. It was characterized as an overtly blunt term in John Lydgate's "Fall of Princes", c. 1440.[5] Shakespeare's writing often referred to cuckolds, with several of his characters suspecting they had become one.[4]

The word often implies that the husband is deceived; that he is unaware of his wife's unfaithfulness and may not know until the arrival or growth of a child plainly not his (as with cuckoo birds).[4]

The female equivalent cuckquean first appears in English literature in 1562,[6][7] adding a female suffix to the cuck.

A related word, first appearing in 1520, is wittol, which substitutes wit (in the sense of knowing) for the first part of the word, referring to a man aware of and reconciled to his wife's infidelity.[8]


Further information: Cuckservative

An abbreviation of cuckold, the term cuck has been used by the alt-right to attack the masculinity of an opponent. It was originally aimed at other conservatives, whom the alt-right saw as "insufficiently committed to racism and anti-Semitism", according to The New York Times.[9]

Metaphor and symbolism


A flag used in the English Civil War by Horatio Cary referring to the Earl of Essex's notorious marital problems

In Western traditions, cuckolds have sometimes been described as "wearing the horns of a cuckold" or just "wearing the horns". This is an allusion to the mating habits of stags, who forfeit their mates when they are defeated by another male.[10]

In Italy (especially in Southern Italy, where it is a major personal offence), the insult is often accompanied by the sign of the horns. In French, the term is "porter des cornes". In German, the term is "jemandem Hörner aufsetzen", or "Hörner tragen", the husband is "der gehörnte Ehemann".

In Brazil and Portugal, the term used is "corno", meaning exactly "horned". The term is quite offensive, especially for men, and cornos are a common subject of jokes and anecdotes.

Rabelais's Tiers Livers of Gargantua and Pantagruel (1546) portrays a horned fool as a cuckold.[11] In Molière's L'École des femmes (1662), a man named Arnolphe (see below) who mocks cuckolds with the image of the horned buck (becque cornu) becomes one at the end.

In Chinese usage, the cuckold (or wittol) is said to be "戴綠帽子" dài lǜmàozi, translated into English as 'wearing the green hat'. The term is an allusion to the sumptuary laws used from the 13th to the 18th centuries that required males in households with prostitutes to wrap their heads in a green scarf (or later a hat).[12]


A saint Arnoul(t), Arnolphe, or Ernoul, possibly Arnold of Soissons, is often cited as the patron saint of cuckolded husbands, hence the name of Molière's character Arnolphe.[13][14]

The Greek hero Actaeon is often associated with cuckoldry, as when he is turned into a stag, he becomes "horned".[15] This is alluded to in Shakespeare's Merry WivesRobert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, and others.[16]

Cuckoldry as a fetish

Unlike the traditional definition of the term, in fetish usage a cuckold is complicit in their partner's sexual "infidelity"; the wife who enjoys cuckolding her husband is called a cuckoldress if the man is more submissive.[17][page needed][18][19] The man engaging with the cuckold's wife is called a bull.[20] If a couple can keep the fantasy in the bedroom, or come to an agreement where being cuckolded in reality does not damage the relationship, they may try it out in reality. However, the primary proponent of the fantasy is almost always the one being humiliated, or the "cuckold": the cuckold convinces his lover to participate in the fantasy for them, though other "cuckolds" may prefer their lover to initiate the situation instead. The fetish fantasy does not work at all if the cuckold is being humiliated against their will.[21]

Psychology regards cuckold fetishism as a variant of masochism, the cuckold deriving pleasure from being humiliated.[22][23] In his book Masochism and the Self, psychologist Roy Baumeister advanced a Self Theory analysis that cuckolding (or specifically, all masochism) was a form of escaping from self-awareness, at times when self-awareness becomes burdensome, such as with perceived inadequacy. According to this theory, the physical or mental pain from masochism brings attention away from the self, which would be desirable in times of "guilt, anxiety, or insecurity", or at other times when self-awareness is unpleasant.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Steven M. Platek; Todd K. Shackelford, eds. (2006). Female Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty: Evolutionary Perspectives on Male Anti-Cuckoldry Tactics. New York: Cambridge University PressISBN 9781139458047.

  2. ^ Davidson, Thomas. "Whitlow to Wyvern". Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary 1908.

  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 19 December 2016.

  4. Jump up to:a b c Williams, Janet (4 July 2009). "Cuckolds, Horns and Other Explanations". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2013.

  5. ^ Geoffrey Hughes (26 March 2015). An Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-speaking World. Taylor & Francis. pp. 191–. ISBN 978-1-317-47677-1.

  6. ^ Coleman, Julie (1 January 1999). Love, Sex, and Marriage: A Historical Thesaurus. Rodopi. ISBN 9042004339. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via Google Books.

  7. ^ Williams, Gordon (13 September 2001). A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature: Three Volume Set Volume I A-F Volume II G-P Volume III Q-Z. A&C Black. ISBN 9780485113938. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via Google Books.

  8. ^ Oxford English Dictionary

  9. ^ Stack, Liam (August 15, 2017). "Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language". The New York Times.

  10. ^ E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.

  11. ^ LaGuardia, David P. (2008). Intertextual Masculinity in French Renaissance Literature. Franham, UK: Ashgate Publishing. p. 133.

  12. ^ Sommer, Matthew Harvey (2002). Sex, Law, and Society in Late Imperial China. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8047-4559-5. Retrieved 2008-07-27.

  13. ^ Brian Joseph Levy (2000). The Comic Text: Patterns and Images in the Old French Fabliaux. ISBN 9042004290.

  14. ^ William Beck (December 1968). "Arnolphe or Monsieur de la Souche?". The French Review. 42 (2): 255. JSTOR 386804.

  15. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). 2010.

  16. ^ John Stephen Farmer (1903). Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present. p. 15.

  17. ^ Ley, David (2009). Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-0031-9.

  18. ^ Kort, Joe; Psychotherapist, Ph D.; Sex, Certified; Kort, Relationship Therapist at Joe; Associates;, P. C. (13 September 2016). "The Expanding Phenomenon Of Cuckolding: Even Gay Men Are Getting Into It"Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 December 2016.

  19. ^ Harris, Lynn. "What do you call a female cuckold?"Salon. Retrieved 19 December 2016.

  20. ^ Kane, Miranda (13 December 2017). "What is a cuck and what is cuckolding? A beginner's guide to the fetish"Metro. Retrieved 24 February 2022.

  21. ^ Klein, Donald C. (1 Dec 1999). "The humiliation dynamic: An overview". The Journal of Primary Prevention. 12 (2): 93–121. doi:10.1007/BF02015214PMID 24258218S2CID 43535241.

  22. ^ Rufus, Anneli (July 29, 2010). "The Intellectual Sex Fetish"The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 20, 2021.

  23. ^ Betchen, Stephen J. (November 18, 2014). "Sexually Dominant Women and the Men Who Desire Them, Part II". Magnetic Partners blog post. Psychology Today. Cuckolding can also be mixed with other non-monogamous relationship arrangements with which it has substantial overlap such as swinging, open relationships, and polyamory. Again, it is distinguished from these concepts in that cuckold's thrill in their partner's acts is specifically masochistic

  24. ^ Baumeister, Roy (2014). Masochism and the Self. New York: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-1138876064.

External links



or hotwife or hot wife or hotwifing [hot wahyf]

Published March 1, 2018


A hotwife is a married woman who has sexual relationships outside of her marriage, with the full knowledge and consent of her husband, who himself doesn’t have affairs.

Hotwifing is the wife-sharing arrangement or act of carrying out such affairs.



The idea of hotwifing comes from the concept of a husband showing off and sharing his “hot wife.” The non-monogamous arrangement is related to a cuckolding fetish, and many (but not all) husbands in such a relationship refer to themselves as cuckolds or hot-wifers.

The difference between hotwifing and cheating is consent: In a hotwife arrangement, the husband is fully aware and supportive of his wife’s affairs. In many cases, one spouse or the other even gains sexual arousal from the arrangement due to voyeurism, the thrill of doing something taboo, or an infidelity and/or jealousy fetish.

Hotwifing isn’t exactly swinging because only one partner is having extramarital sex. One of the most important aspects though is that both partners are open and trusting with each other. It only works if both partners are mutually onboard; the hotwifing arrangement often falls apart when one partner becomes uncomfortable with non-monogamy or when one partner feels pressured against their will to participate.

In some cases, there really aren’t any affairs taking place in hotwifing. For some, it’s mainly a foreplay exercise to talk through a hypothetical fantasy of infidelity.

The term first started showing up online in the mid-1990s, mostly among message boards for swingers and exhibitionists. The term spread in late 1997 in personal ads involving husbands wanting to show off their hot wives before further taking hold online.


So from a realistic practical point of view, a new hotwife first has to meet men socially because Hotwife dating is no different than dating for any non married woman.

Alexis McCall, Medium, August 2016

But hotwifing prioritizes a woman’s sexual freedom as a key component of her partner’s pleasure; her ‘openness’ is an end in itself, not part of a bargain.

Charlotte Shane, Mel Magazine, July 2016


The term is mostly used in the swinger and non-monogamous communities, as well as among hotwife fetishists. It’s popular enough as a fantasy that it also shows up as a tag on various porn websites.

Online, there are also entire forums, websites, and at least one subreddit dedicated to hotwifing, where people come together to share stories and find community around the practice.

Given its explicit nature, hotwife may be considered vulgar or obscene.


A cuckquean is the wife of an adulterous husband (or partner for unmarried companions), and the gender-opposite of a cuckold.[1] In evolutionary biology, the term is also applied to females who are investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own. Similar prying within a family is called wittoldry.[2] The term is derived from Early Modern English dating back to A.D. 1562.[3][4]

Cuckqueanry as a fetish

A cuckquean fetishist is aware of her partner's activity, sometimes actively encouraging it, and derives sexual pleasure from it.[5][better source needed] Among some fetishists, the cuckquean's humiliation or victimization is a major element of the paraphilia.[6]

In the fetish cuckqueaning subculture, the male takes on the role of being sexually dominant, while the female takes on a submissive role. The wife usually only becomes involved with the man or his lover when he permits it—sometimes remaining altogether celibate.

Cuckqueanry (and cuckolding) is commonly depicted as a heteronormative sexual fantasy and/or activity played out between a husband and wife, but can involve any number of gender and sexual orientations[7][8][9] When the fetish is simply androphilic or heterosexual, the wife has sex only with her husband; when it is bi-sexual, the wife has sex with both her husband and the other woman, or exclusively only with the other woman.

The fetish specifics can range wildly. Sometimes the husband and his lovers can treat the cuckquean lovingly; sometimes it involves nothing but swinging, swapping husbands or sharing a lover. But when it goes beyond this, the fetish can require that the cuckquean be humiliated or debased. Sometimes this may be accidental or incidental (e.g., the parties involved are too aroused to stop); but at other times the humiliation may be intentional, and the husband and his lovers act out a story or perform a ritual in which they force the cuckquean to perform humiliating acts, or enter into circumstances that debase her.

Lehmiller (2020) differentiates between fantasies about watching your partner have sex with someone else as voyeuristic cuckolding and fantasies about having sex with someone else while your partner watches as exhibitionistic cuckolding, with women more likely to fantasize about exhibitionistic cuckolding than to fantasize about voyeuristic cuckolding.[10]


Look up cuckquean in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  1. ^ Coleman, Julie (1 January 1999). Love, Sex, and Marriage: A Historical Thesaurus. Rodopi. ISBN 9042004339. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via Google Books.

  2. ^ Amussen, Susan D. "The Contradictions of Patriarchy in Early Modern England." (2018).

  3. ^ Heywood, John (1562). The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood (A.D. 1562). p. 62 – via Google Books. Ye make hir a cookqueane, and conſume hir good.

  4. ^ Williams, Gordon (13 September 2001). A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature: Three Volume Set Volume I A-F Volume II G-P Volume III Q-Z. A&C Black. ISBN 9780485113938. Retrieved 22 November 2016 – via Google Books.

  5. ^ "The Life of a Cuckquean".

  6. ^ Harris, Lynn. "What do you call a female cuckold?"Salon. Retrieved 19 December 2016.

  7. ^ "The Appeal, for Some, of Cuckolding | Psychology Today". Retrieved 2021-06-18.

  8. ^ Tell Me What You Want. 2017-11-07.

  9. ^ "Savage Love: Lesbian cuckolding and monogamy can coexist". The Georgia Straight. 2020-07-08. Retrieved 2021-06-18.

  10. ^ "How Many Women Fantasize About Cuckolding?". Sex And Psychology. Retrieved 2021-06-18.