Dear Dan: I'm a 33-year-old straight woman, been with my husband for 10 years, married for six. When we first started dating, I was an extremely jealous person. Fortunately, I got it under control with lots of therapy. But once I did, I started having fantasies about him hooking up with other people. We incorporated these fantasies in the bedroom — as a fantasy — and it was insanely hot.
Anyways, I had a baby a year ago. It took some time for my libido to come back, but she is back with a vengeance. I'm horny all the time. I'm so horny that when my husband mentioned that an old friend of his who lives in another city was getting flirty, I immediately encouraged him to see if anything might come of it. With my blessing, he shared with her that I might be a cuckquean. (Sticking with "might" for now, as we've never actually done this.) She was interested, and the flirting escalated. Now she's coming to town for work. Having never actually done anything like this, I started to feel unsexy jealousy creeping back in. We decided that he wouldn't do anything with her, just grab a quick drink. But she asked to have dinner with both of us instead. That changed the math and I agreed to dinner. But I find myself vacillating between titillation and anxiety. Am I there to watch or participate? (I'm bi, so it's not out of the question.) They've already got a rapport going and I'm insecure about feeling left out.
I'm writing because I don't know how to process this cognitive dissonance. One minute I'm so excited about realizing this fantasy that I'm sneaking away to get myself off just thinking about it. The next minute I'm worrying about what will happen if I see him giving her more attention than he gives me. I don't know how to make sense of what I'm feeling. Am I really a cuckquean if I feel this conflicted?
— Completely Confused Cuckquean
Dear CCC: When I shared your letter with Venus, the host of the "Venus Cuckoldress Podcast," she responded with three words and one exclamation point: "The elusive cuckquean!"
Cuckolding is a loving, consensual, "one-sided open relationship," as Venus likes to describe it, and most self-identified cuckolds are men. It's rare to encounter a cuckquean in the wild — that is, a woman who gets off on her husband or boyfriend sleeping with other women. I've received hundreds of letters over the years from men who wanted to be cuckolds (some gay, most straight or bi), but only a handful of letters from women like you, CCC. You are a rare flower, a black swan, a precious gem.
And what you describe — that feeling of arousal and dread, titillation and anxiety — is so common among wannabe and even practicing cucks that Venus gave it a name: cuck angst.
"That emotional angst comes with a beautifully complex cuckolding relationship," Venus says. "To be able to process and overcome damaging jealousy and turn it into something highly erotic is truly an emotional feat. It's something I admire so much about cuckolds and cuckqueans."
While cuck angst can be confusing, CCC, it's not disqualifying. If your angst is manageable and the rewards are worth the effort — and if your partner can help you manage it in an affirming way — you can get to a place where you want to realize your fantasies. But like, say, bungee jumping, CCC, it's still gonna be scary.
"One minute it can feel great and the next minute it can feel terrifying," Venus says. "But your partner plays a big role in providing reassurance and support for you during all of this. I know of a wife who wrote a thoughtful letter to her cuckold husband in advance of her first encounter with another man. It was for him to read if his cuck angst became overwhelming, and it turned out to be exactly what he needed at that moment. He was able to work through the anxiety and make room for the excitement and thrill of thinking about his wife with another man."
The partner of a cuck has to strike a tricky balance. You're going to need your husband to acknowledge your insecurities and offer reassurances to minimize them, CCC, but you don't want those insecurities to disappear. For most cucks, eroticized insecurities are at the heart of the cuckolding/cuckqueaning kink — no insecurities, no thrills. And while this can sound like a lot of effort to someone who doesn't share this kink (or have a kink that requires emotional prep and aftercare), the rewards — the experiences you'll share, the connections you'll make, the orgasms you'll have — can be great.
"But be prepared for some ups and downs," warns Venus, "because cuckolding is truly an emotional rollercoaster."
And please — please, please, please — don't rush into your first cuckquean experience just because this particular woman happens to be in town this particular weekend. "Taking things slow is the key to success," Venus says. "There's always room to move forward with flirty teasing, but having to take steps backward due to jumping into things too quickly is never easy."
A bad first experience with cuckolding can destroy a relationship. Learning where the line is between "good/bad" feelings (sexy jealousy) and "bad/bad" feelings (unsexy jealousy) takes time and not just good communication, CCC, but excessive communication.
Dear Dan: I'm a 30-year-old lesbian who listens to your podcast and reads your column religiously. I'm in a long-term monogamous relationship, and I'm very much in love with my girlfriend. I recently told her that I want to explore my kinks and my sexuality and may need an open or at least a monogamish relationship. It looks like she isn't into that. Perhaps we are sexually incompatible and need to part, but what if I act on my fantasies (swinging, orgies, BDSM) and then find out that I'm not really into any of it? Then I would have given up an otherwise good relationship for nothing. I've never tried any of the things I mention, so what if they're just things I should masturbate about? Mainly, I get very turned on by the thought of being fucked by a group of women wearing strap-ons. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the verge of a life-changing sexual discovery and other times I feel like I just want to stay home with my dog. Where do I go from here? Should I continue just masturbating to these fantasies or do you think that a glorious kinky future awaits me?
— Suddenly Thinking Repeatedly About Passionate Orgies Now
Dear STRAPON: You're gonna have to make your best guess.
If you think staying with your current girlfriend and not acting on these fantasies and never getting to fully explore these fantasies will cause you to resent your girlfriend, and your resentment will become a cancer that eventually kills your relationship, then you should end things with your girlfriend now. But if you wouldn't be able to enjoy the experience of being pegged by a roomful of hot women because you're filled with regret about dumping your girlfriend for something so "trivial" as a few easier-to-fantasize-about-than-realize sexual fantasies, then make up your mind never to act on these fantasies. (I put "trivial" in quotes because I don't think there's anything trivial about sexual fantasies.)
But I gotta say ... when you think about setting these fantasies aside, it's not your girlfriend you see yourself cozying up with at home, STRAPON, it's your dog. Well, I'm here from the kinky future to tell you that you can attend an orgy or BDSM play party and go home to your dog afterwards. So, you can have your orgies and your play parties and your dog too; it's your girlfriend you may not be able to have.
But is it your girlfriend you want? Or is it your dog?
If you want it all — your girlfriend, your dog, your adventures — there may still be a way. You say it "looks like" your girlfriend isn't interested in opening the relationship. Which means she didn't rule it out. So it's my turn to venture a guess, STRAPON: I'm thinking your girlfriend might've had a different reaction to your request to open your relationship if you had invited her along on these proposed adventures. Instead of saying, "I'd like to have hot sexual experiences involving other people on my own while you wait at home with the dog," try saying this: "I'd like us to have some hot sexual adventures together — you and me, the two of us, and some hot women who dig us both!" Inviting your girlfriend to run around with you, STRAPON, instead of asking for her permission to run around on her, could get you from "looks like a no" to the kind of qualified yes that can become — with time, patience, and open and honest communication — an enthusiastic yes.