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Cuckolding is the New Swinging


A few months ago, I wrote about the rapidly rising interest in consensual non-monogamy. In short, a 2016 article in the Journal of Sex Research indicated that searches for non-monogamy, and especially for hotwifing, are on the rise. Interestingly, at the same time, searches for swinging were on the decline.

You might be wondering what the difference between swinging and cuckolding is? In essence, swingers are couples who enjoy having sex with other couples or people.  Both the man and the woman are usually involved in the sexual act of swinging, though not always.  Occasionally, one of the two will choose not to participate, but there is a defining difference between this situation and cuckolding, 

A cuckold derives his sexual pleasure from watching his partner have sex with other people.  Even when swingers find it sexy to watch their partner with other people, they don’t typically become aroused via psychological masochism.  For a more thorough look at the cuckold’s arousal, check out our post on the Psychology of Cuckoldry.

Although there are distinct differences between cuckolding and swinging, both involve partner swapping within the context of consensual non-monogamy. The two also have additional elements in common, such as voyeurism and exhibitionism.  Swingers often find it erotic to watch their partner having sex with someone else – a trait they share with cuckolds. The difference between the two is that the swinger is aroused almost entirely through a voyeuristic mechanism, while the cuckold often eroticizes feelings of inadequacy or shame.

I should point out an additional element here – hotwifing. Unlike cuckolding, hotwifng does not involve psychological masochism.  In fact, we can conceive of hotwifing as one-sided swinging. Given the overlap of voyeurism and exhibitionism, it’s easy to see how interest in one could easily lead to interest in another.

hotwife-fantasy-google-trends-dataIf you look at the graph above, you’ll see the search patterns for cuckolding and swinging over a period ranging from 2007 to 2016. Google searches for swinging are illustrated in blue and searches for cuckolding in red.  Around 2012, search volumes for swinging began to decline just as searches for cuckolding began to rise. So what accounts for the difference?

As you may have guessed, the majority of these searches are related to pornography. There are regrettable few quality websites that offer engaging information on swinging or cuckolding, which leaves most people searching for porn.  One exception to this rule is Swingtowns – a lifestyle site that focuses on polyamory, swinging, and cuckolding. You can check them out by clicking the banner below.


In order to understand the decline in swinging and the rise in cuckolding, we’ll need to take into account the pornographic depictions of both. Admittedly, some of this is guesswork, but I have logical reasons for making my conclusions.

One possibility is that people who normally enjoy swinging porn (this could be orgies, MMF, FFM, etc.) liked what they saw in a cuckold porn.  After all, there are several elements in common with both that we have touched upon.

It’s also possible that cuckolding adds an element of novelty and edginess to an otherwise jaded consumer of mass market porn. There are elements of BDSM and female dominated relationships that are often absent from “swinger’s porn,” but very present in “cuckold porn.”

Another possibility is that producers themselves began making more cuckold-oriented porn in place of swinging porn. For one thing, it’s cheaper to shoot a scene with three people than with four or more people. Another reasons might have to do with search statistics.  Ogi Ogas, in his book A Billion Wicked Thoughts, notes that “cuckold” is the second most searched for term in all of porndom.

If you’re a producer of pornographic films, it makes financial sense to cater to the largest audience possible. We can see both from Google search volume and the Alexa index on porn that cuckolding far surpasses swinging in popularity.

The nagging question of why still lingers, however. To try and answer it more thoroughly, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that it had a lot to do with male sexual psychology in a world that is becoming increasingly female driven.

It’s no secret that women are taking over the world.  As an aggregate, they far surpass men in educational achievements and have the ability to think both logically and intuitively. Consider this in light of the fact that, until relatively recently, women have been subjugated by men and the patriarchal establishment.

The pendulum has swung far to the other side with the rise of feminism. As women move up in the world, men are increasingly perceiving them in a more dominant light.

I believe that, for some men, the idea of relinquishing control (and the social responsibility that has been historically heaped upon men) proves erotically tantalizing. And what could be more submissive that to essentially hand over one’s sexual power to their wife?

Add to that, the taboo nature of the affair and its risqué qualities, and you have a potent cocktail of erotic arousal.

Whatever the reasons, cuckolding is surpassing swinging in popularity, at least in terms of Google searches and porn. Whether or not this is reflective of real world differences is impossible to know without further research.

If you would like to explore consensual non-monogamy in all of its wondrous varieties (polyamory, swinging, and cuckolding), then check out Swingtowns and tell them Cuckold Relationship sent you.


Ben Steel Founder of Cuckold Relationship
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