Check the Label
Hotwife or Cuckoldress: Why Can’t I Be Both?
Let me start off with a disclaimer. I am writing this from a cis/hetero-normative viewpoint. I will use gendered nomenclature, as that best describes my own dynamic and journey. However, I firmly believe that Hotwifing/Cuckolding is a relationship model that can cross sexual orientation, gender, and marital status. In other words, you don’t have to be a white cis, hetero married couple to enjoy this. You can be any race, sexual orientation, or marital status you want. What matters is that we have two people in a relationship who are communicating their needs to each other.
As I am writing this, we are currently in the middle of the first annual Cuck Week. Cuck Week started as the idea of Rose Caraway and her husband Dave as a way to help promote the release of the audiobook version of Dr. David Ley’s book on cuckolding, Insatiable Wives: The Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them. It has grown into a week-long celebration of all things cuckolding. Many of the discussions during Cuck Week have centered around clearing up misconceptions about this relationship dynamic. This has made me reflect on two of the most commonly used labels I see, Hotwife and Cuckoldress, and what they mean to me.
First of all, why bother defining it? Isn’t it all “wife sharing” or open relationships? Why put a specific label on it? Labels can and often do serve as a jumping off point for discussion and compatibility with potential playmates. They can also help us find our community or tribe. This can be so important for someone dipping their toes in the lifestyle or trying to navigate these waters. It can provide a shorthand for communication when talking with potential play partners or in those initial discussions with your significant other as you consider actually living this type of relationship.
However, labels can be problematic. On one hand, labels can serve to mentally box ourselves into a specific niche or placing limits on our own behavior based on this sense of what you should or should not do as a Hotwife or Cuckoldress. But isn’t that the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish when we go against societal norms by choosing Consensual Non-monogamy in the first place? Labels can also cause negative tribalism or gatekeeping when someone else insists that there is only “one true way” to live this lifestyle. Labels can make others feel they have the right to tell you how to live this lifestyle based on their interpretations, experiences or preferences. For anyone starting out and are unsure of where they fit or if they do at all, navigating the myriad of content, some of which can be detrimental to their journey, can be overwhelming at the least. Additionally, the gatekeeping may end their journey before they can even really begin if you cannot find a welcoming community.
For myself, I view Hotwifing as an umbrella term that for me sounds better than the more commonly known term of “wife sharing”. In this sense, Hotwifing represents a spectrum of spouse sharing relationship dynamics. On one end of the spectrum is the Stag/Vixen relationship model and on the other end is Cuckolding. The difference for me is in who holds the sexual power in the relationship. My friend Miss Nookie, the founder of Dating Kinky, defines Cuckolding at its most basic form as, “the woman in a Cuckolding relationship has full power over her own sexuality AND power over her partner’s sexuality, and he is loyal to her, whatever that means.” Often, but not always Cuckolding involves some amount of emotional masochism on the part of the Cuckold. On the other end of the spectrum within a Stag/Vixen dynamic, the sexual power lies primarily with the husband/Stag. He is the gatekeeper for most of her sexual encounters. If you want to have sex with her, then you have to go through him. Somewhere in the middle you find the Hotwife dynamic where the power is shared more equitably between the partners.
When my husband and I started in the lifestyle, I didn’t have Nookie’s definitions. I had a basic idea that Cuckolding was more female driven and Stag/Vixen seemed far more controlled by the husband. I knew I leaned more towards the Cuckolding for my own sense of sexuality, as my husband and I wanted me to be the one in control of who fucked me and when. However, I still had some other misconceptions that Cuckolding was also synonymous with many of the kinks which are often associated with cuckolding. At that point I wasn’t ready to tackle other kinks such as clean-up or making him wear my panties, and I absolutely did not want anyone to humiliate my husband. However, I didn’t want the pendulum to swing too far back. I didn’t want to give up control of my sexual power. Also, many of the Stag/Vixen memes seem to depict Vixens engaging in sex merely as part of their partner’s sexual fantasy fulfillment. I didn’t want the idea that I was only doing this to fulfill my husband’s fantasy to be the driving force of our dynamic. My husband and I both agreed that if our foray into this was going to work, I had to “want to do it for myself.”
By starting with that mindset and those misconceptions, the idea of a Hotwife seemed to fit me the best. It also fit what I viewed our style of playing should be. Early on we both went to meet new potential playmates even though I mostly played solo. Often for purely logistical reasons it is easier for me to go have an evening play session and to come home and relive the experience with my husband afterwards. I view these solo engagements as more of a Hotwife style of playing because there isn’t the same immediate connection that occurs when my husband is physically in the room. He’s never forgotten, and I will text him or sometimes call him during my play sessions. Other times, he simply gets a text when I arrive and a text when I’m leaving. As my husband and I continued in the lifestyle I started vetting and meeting potential playmates alone too. Additionally, we began to explore many of the kinks associated with Cuckolding, primarily Erotic Humiliation (EH). As I began to understand EH as more of a tease than a degradation, I began to embrace my role as his Cuckoldress. I stepped into my power more fully, and we also began to incorporate more Cuckold kinks between the two of us during our reconnection. We also explored what I consider more Cuckolding scenes where my husband is physically present during play and engaged as my cuck and in submission to my desires. The further we have explored, the more I came to view our relationship as a Cuckolding one.
If you haven’t read my post on Single Men in the Lifestyle, you should do so to more fully understand the way I view the difference between a Bull and a playmate. A Cuckolding dynamic with a Bull is, in my mind, more of a mutually beneficial relationship of three. However, most of the men I play with don’t desire to have a dominant role with my Cuck, and, more importantly, my Cuck wouldn’t feel submissive to them. With those men, we engage in more of a Hotwife style of solo play. They are respectful and friendly, but they don’t fill the role of a Bull for us, nor do we engage in Cuckolding scenes of play with them. So while I am a confident Cuckoldress in my relationship with my husband, I am also a Hotwife in my play style with most playmates. I am both because I play along the spectrum.
I have heard comments of, “if you’re a Cuckoldress then you can’t be a Hotwife.” Or from the male perspective, “if you’re a Stag, you’re just a Cuckold who doesn’t want to admit it.” There might be some truth to that. There might be a sense of keeping certain labels at arm’s length until you are ready to accept and integrate those labels into your own life. That was certainly the case for me. However, one thing I am learning as I explore is that we have to make space for people to have their own path of discovery and to use the labels that resonate with them best. The picture of my Hotwife t-shirt is my avatar in all of my lifestyle social media. That t-shirt was a birthday present from the playmate who would eventually become our Bull. I am a very different person now than the one that giggled in glee when she opened her present, but so is he and so is my husband. Evolution and change is inevitable when you have the opportunity to explore new aspects of yourself. I am a different woman now than when I first started in the Lifestyle, but the core of that woman is the same. I am a woman with a loving husband who supports me and wants me to explore the limits of my sexuality. To me that is the center of Hotwifing as a relationship spectrum. As you move along the spectrum what changes is who holds the sexual power in that exploration.