“Cuck” remains a common insult these days, though it really peaked as a pejorative around 2016 or so. It’s one of those words that has kind of lost its meaning and is now used any time a person wants to convey that someone else is somehow a “beta” — secondary to or beholden to something or someone. But what if you’re actually kind of into being a cuck? Lots of people are.
What’s a cuck?
Let’s just get the real definition out of the way: “cuck” is short for “cuckold,” which good old Merriam-Webster defines as “a man whose wife has sex with someone else.” The second definition listed is “a man whose wife commits adultery.”
Unsurprisingly, many people become aware of cuckoldry via porn — there is a whole subgenre in which a man watches while his wife has sex with another man (or multiple men). The thing is, though, that cuckoldry is a thing people are into, and is often a lifestyle choice like any other.
It’s sort of like an open relationship, in a way. Self-proclaimed cucks are people who are in on the plan and enjoy the knowledge their partner is sleeping with someone else. So, does that count as “adultery?” If you want to get technical about it, sure, but it isn’t as nefarious as the negative connotations of the word make it sound.
So, is being a cuck somehow bad?
If you get cheated on in a monogamous relationship, it’s usually seen as a bad thing. That might be where cuckoldry got its bad rap; people who aren’t into it may not be able to fathom why another person is into it. But as long as the people in the arrangement are consenting, no, it’s not bad. Rarely is anything in a consenting relationship objectively bad. Everything depends on the specifics of a situation.
On Reddit, a subreddit dedicated to Cuckolds and their hotwives — the term given to the women who sleep with other partners at the behest of their primary partner — has 817,000 members. They post graphic photos and details of encounters. They seem to really enjoy it, the same way anyone with a fetish or unique sexual interest enjoys their special thing, whatever it may be. That’s not bad.
Yes, the word is used as an insult, one especially popular in right-wing memeland, but that doesn’t mean it is bad either. Think of how and why this became an insult in the first place: The idea that a man being humiliated–even on purpose–by a wife who has sex with someone else is objectively bad is built on outdated notions of gender and relationship dynamics. (That those outdated notions are all part of the appeal for those who partake just goes to show how complicated kinks can be.)
So if you’re into it, go for it. Fight the patriarchy! Be a cuck!
No, seriously: If you want to be a cuck, do it
OK, you’re not really taking a great moral or philosophical stand if you do what you want in bed, but you also kind of are. It takes guts to pursue your own pleasure, especially when it takes the form of something oft derided in the mainstream.
Simply put, if you want to engage in cuckoldry, do the damn thing. Just be safe. Have frequent conversations about your wants and needs with your partner. Make sure the bull–or man who has sex with the partnered-up woman–has recently been tested for STDs, and get yourselves tested, too.
You don’t have to be one of the 817,000 Redditors who post about it, either. This can be a private thing for you and your partner — and, of course, a willing third party. If you don’t feel like taking up the cause and reclaiming the word in the public square, don’t do it. But don’t let the negative associations around the word bother you if that’s the lifestyle you want. Life is too short for that, you cuck.