News & Politics

CNN Endorses Cuckolding: 'Can Be a Largely Positive Experience'

On Thursday, CNN published an article pushing the idea that cuckolding — the practice of men letting other men have sex with their wives — can be a positive experience. No joke.

“Overall, our research found that for the most part, cuckolding tends to be a positive fantasy and behavior,” David J. Ley, a clinical psychologist in Albuquerque, N.M., told CNN. “It doesn’t appear to be evidence of disturbance, of an unhealthy relationship, or of disregard for one’s partner.”

CNN’s report focused on research published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior last month. That study didn’t focus on the whole population, however. The title says it all: “The Psychology of Gay Men’s Cuckolding Fantasies.”

One of the authors, Justin J. Lehmiller, the director of the social psychology graduate program at Ball State University and a faculty affiliate of The Kinsey Institute, also discussed his forthcoming book — Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help Improve Your Sex Life.

“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 told CNN. His book will report on a survey of thousands of Americans, claiming that 58 percent of men and about a third of women have fantasized about cuckolding.

The study’s third author, LGBT activist Dan Savage, also chimed in.

“The reality of watching your spouse have sex with someone else — or knowing they’re doing it, if you’re not there — is often very different than the fantasy. It can dredge up powerful emotions, so take baby steps and keep talking and communicating,” said Savage. “That said, the rewards can be amazing, according to couples who have successfully folded cuckold play into their relationships.”

CNN’s Ian Kerner went on to endorse the practice, at least half-heartedly, in the article.

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.

Make no mistake, this article is an attempt to normalize as “fantasy” a traditional man’s worst nightmare. Despite Kerner’s caveats, he nowhere condemns the practice or suggests that men and women should have a healthy respect for their marriage vows — which almost always forbid such “fantasies.”

Indeed, Kerner even gets a jab in at the alt-right term “cuckservative,” suggesting that the mocking term should not mean “spineless and emasculated,” but rather a man in touch with his own sexual desires, which the article suggests are not unhealthy.

The affiliation of Lehmiller proves particularly revealing in this assault on the institution of marriage. The Kinsey Institute is named after notorious sexologist Alfred Kinsey, a man who performed sexual surveys on inmates and passed them off as representative of the general public.

Even The Guardian mocked Kinsey’s sexual “adventuring.”

In fact, Kinsey wasn’t running a science project but a cult, with himself as its L Ron Hubbard. He wasn’t a happy Hubbard. Tormented by sexual guilt, he routinely inserted a toothbrush (bristle-end) deep into his urethra and scrubbed vigorously to excruciating climax. His genitals were an area of never-ending fascination and mutilation. On one occasion he performed a self-circumcision in the bathtub, without anaesthetic.

This affiliation may no invalidate all of the research, but it certainly suggests their sex advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

CNN’s rush to publish, and even to partially endorse, this research seems reckless. Marriage isn’t just the fundamental institution on which society rests — it is a covenant between two people (and God, G-d, or Allah) to remain faithful for life, and that emphatically includes sexual fidelity.

This callous assumption that sexual “fantasy” should take precedence over a solemn vow is extremely troubling.