If you’ve been online long enough, you have probably seen the word cuck thrown around quite a bit. And if you’re like me, you probably wondered what’s the difference between a cuck and just watching your partner have sex.

Recently, while discussing polyamory, it has come to my attention that I have a very surface-level understanding of what a cuck is. I know that it’s a person who likes to watch their partner fuck other people. But, isn’t that just voyeurism? As you can tell, I have a lot to learn about what a cuck is.

What is a cuck? 

To answer this question, we must first talk about what cuckolding is. 

Cuckolding is a kink in which a person likes to see their partner/s have sex with another person in an “unfaithful” way. Unfaithful being in quotes because all parties are consenting to the act; therefore, no real cheating is happening.

The purpose of cuckolding is to degrade, humiliate, and tease the watcher, who is known as a cuck (cuckold), to escalate their sexual arousal. Cuckolding is a type of degradation play. 

Sharing ≠ Cuckolding 

Cuckolding is a type of sharing that doesn’t represent the entire community of people who want to share their partners. Sharing your partner isn’t a synonym for cuckolding because the intention isn’t always to humiliate the watcher or compare at all. 

In some cases, sharing a partner is about watching them receive pleasure from someone else and viewing it from an angle you’ve never seen before. I’ve seen stories about Doms who share their submissives as a form of power or objectification play.

There are many dynamics and wants behind sharing partners, and they aren’t all cuckolding.

Where Does the Term Come From? 

The term cuckold was first used in a medieval poem in 1250. The term at the time was used to describe “a male who unwittingly invests parental effort in juveniles who are not genetically his offspring.” The wife of a cuckold was called a cuckquean. 

The word itself originates from the Cuckoo bird, Cuckoo Birds are known to lay their eggs in the nest of other birds for them to raise as their own unknowingly (get it?). 

In this context, the word is negative, implying that the husband is a fool, sometimes even taking a jab at them for not being good enough. Now, if we just skip to the modern day, this makes it the perfect term for a BDSM title. 

Final Thoughts 

Much like a lot of the kinks in the BDSM scene, being a cuck is about that feeling of submissive degradation, it’s an eroticization of insecurities we never want to face. Cuckolding is that feeling of looking but not touching, wanting what you can’t have…that feeling of inadequacy.

Just like someone who wants you to piss, spit, or step on them, being a cuck is about feeling less than. Why? Because it turns them on. It gives them a thrill. Moreover, It sexually excites them! And, as long as the participants approach the dynamic from a position of genuine respect for each other’s sexual desires, I think there’s a lot to explore for those who have this kink.