Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Cuckolding Anthology Closed

Publisher has decided to pass on this project after listening to feedback.

Can you clarify on the orientation? You have listed M/F only, but because there is a third person involved is M/M/F or M/F/F, etc. ok?

Hey folks,

I don’t want to throw a social-justice bomb on this or anything, but I felt that I had to say something about this. Cuckolding, at least in the United States, has a pretty complicated social history that the editors and publishers should be sensitive to when moving forward on this project. For a very long time, cuckolding was intimately tied to a generalized white panic where black men would steal the wives of white men and subvert their purity; it was used as justification for beating or killing black men who just smiled a white woman the wrong way in the Jim Crow South. Those racial undertones still permeate the cuckolding space – there are a lot of fetish stories that point to black men as ‘mandingoes’ or ‘bulls’, the interlopers who shame those white husbands. While the tone of these stories hold up black men to be “more primal sexual aggressors” and “better men” in the context of the fantasy, there is still enough sexual stereotyping and objectification of black bodies to make the idea an uncomfortable one.

Most of the articles I’ve found for further reading tie cuckolding pretty strongly to the alt-Right appropriation of the word, and I know that this anthology is an attempt to remove the term from its ugly place in current American politics. However, the word and idea has almost always had a political element tied to it in the United States, and it’s important that this is recognized and handled with all due sensitivity.

Here are a few articles I’ve found about the history of cuckolding. Most of them only touch on the racial aspects of it, but should help to provide context:

“Cucked: Defining Manhood the Alt-Right Way” - Note to Self (podcast). http://www.wnyc.org/story/internet-slang-cuck/

“Popular sex comic under fire for glossing over cuckolding’s racist past” - The Daily Dot. https://www.dailydot.com/irl/oh-joy-sex-toy-cuckolding-racism/

“Cuckolding: The Sex Fetish for Intellectiuals” - The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/cuckolding-the-sex-fetish-for-intellectuals

“It’s Time To Confront Porn’s Biggest Taboo” - Esquire UK. http://www.esquire.co.uk/life/sex-relationships/longform/a14383/racism-in-porn/

Good question.

The sex is male+female, with the odd person left out who’s usually a male, known as the cuckold. Rare but possible, the person on the outside can be a woman, known as a cuckquean (yes, spelled with an A oddly).

So not a threesome, nor same-sex pairings (i.e. two women having sex and a man standing awkwardly in the corner). I know that’s very specific and limiting, but part of it is consistency to the kinks/issues being hit, and part of it is reader interest. I suspect that this particular kink is in higher demand from hetero crowds. Yes, cuckolding is a thing in M/M erotica, but it’s a little bit different, and I suspect it is less predominant a thing. If there is a strong demand for M/M or other-orientation stories with this theme, then I would make that available in a future sequel.

Thanks, Jakebe. I was not aware of how deeply it was tied to racial issues. I will keep that in mind going forward.

I’ve received some concern about stories being too similar, so I wanted to address those issues and help offer some alternatives. The first concern is that the strict requirements for the kink itself (consensual, guy aware of it but it not being a Poly deal, female partner having sex with third party, guy enjoys it) leads to only a few possible scenarios. Secondly, enjoying being a cuckold means being into depowerment and emasculation, and that lends itself to a specific personality/character type.

So let’s look at different ways this manifests. First is the textbook standard way–he wants his partner to have sex with another man, he may or may not arrange who/when/where she hooks up with, he may/may not be present to watch, he may/may not be completely neglected in any form of pleasure or attention afterwards. His partner having sex with another man makes him feel humiliated, dismissed, and have no control, and that excites him. It’s a form of insecurity turned into a kink.

How do you have variety with this formula?

First, let’s look at the kink. It doesn’t have to be about depowerment and emasculation. An easy component is voyeurism; he just wants to watch. It could even be a way to explore an attraction to men without actually engaging with them.

You can twist it into empowering [p]him[/b]. Studies show that when a man suspects his partner is cheating, he produces more sperm, has a harder orgasm, and performs sex more aggressively. For some, the presence of another man might be less demoralizing so much as a challenge–he must win his partner back, he must re-assert his dominance. The cuckolding becomes foreplay to the sex between him and his partner, similar to how many couples treat BDSM as foreplay before sex rather than have sex during a BDSM scene. This could even be incorporated into a fantasy roleplay, of the cuckold chasing the other man off, or perhaps “catching” his wife and she pleads for forgiveness or he “punishes” her.

The kink could also manifest as a form of humiliation of the female partner. The cuckold might see her having sex with another as being slutty and lewd, and the exciting part is her being degraded. Perhaps he likes sloppy seconds or otherwise messy. Again, the cuckolding becomes foreplay.

Beyond the kink itself, there can be character motivations going on. Remember that just because the cuckolding is consensual doesn’t mean that the character enjoys it. It could be a compromise to resolve another issue.

He could be impotent, or unable to satisfy her in some way, which is causing definite sexual frustration and conflict in their relationship. Thus the cuckolding is to satisfy her and convince her to stay. Perhaps it’s a trade-off: he has a fantasy or other desire and, in order for her to agree to do that for him, he agrees to let her sleep with someone else (after all, he couldn’t scratch her itch if her desire is “Sex with x species” or “y person”).

Often we use fantasies to deal with fears in a controlled and safe manner. One theory as to why rape fantasy is so prevelent is because it’s a way to cope with a fear of rape. Infidelity is a very primal fear; evolutionarily speaking, it means male is uncertain if his mate’s offspring are his. So if a guy has a fear that his wife will leave him because he isn’t good enough, or she gets a wild hair, or whathaveyou, he may agree to the cuckolding as a way to rip the bandaid off, or to let his partner relieve any pressure while giving him some control in who/when/where.

Finally, the cuckolding could be a way to atone; he could have cheated in the past, and this is a means to make their relationship “even”. Either as a way to prevent his infidelity from being held over his head, or for him to experience how she felt.

Add to these scenarios that the cuckold might not enjoy the situation and that causes conflict, or that he does enjoy it, and he feels conflicted about enjoying that emasculation and depowerment.

Not to mention that this is all focusing on just the cuckold. Any manner of trouble and variation can come from his female partner or from the other man in the situation. Stories from the POV of the other characters are quite welcome.

I hope that these scenarios help get a broader picture of the possibilities.

Just posting a quick update here so that those members who follow the forums, but aren’t active in the #adult-chat Slack channel will know.

We have decided not to go forward with this anthology.

So, there’s a few things around this I’d like to address briefly.

Concerns among various FWG members around the theme of this anthology (for reasons Jakebe and others explained here, along with other concerns about misogyny in cuckold stories), and the title specifically (while “cuck” derives from “cuckold,” that shortening was explicitly coined as a slur by the alt-right crowd), became a topic on the FWG Slack team on Monday and again, rather more actively, on Tuesday. The conversation didn’t involve Rechan (the anthology’s editor) until pretty late on Tuesday, and only involved Fuzzwolf (the anthology’s publisher) sporadically.

“Hey, a bunch of people have been talking about how the anthology idea you’ve announced is misogynistic, racist and an invitation to alt-right trolls, and nobody involved you for over a day” is not a good look. Slack notifies people when their username’s mentioned (“Fuzz” won’t do it but “Fuzzwolf” will), but it didn’t ping Rechan even though his name was brought up. I’m not sure why, although it’s possible for users to turn Slack notifications off, and I suspect that’s what happened. But both Rechan and Fuzz should have been brought in earlier, and as the coyote running the Slack, this falls on me. I’m sorry.

Now, a couple things.

First, I’m confident that no one had the intent of this being a “secret tribunal.” The FWG Slack is open, after all; this wasn’t happening in a private channel. Not everyone regularly checks Slack, or is even on Slack. But some people are on Slack regularly and almost never check the forums. There’s an FWG Telegram group that I’m not a part of! This is an unavoidable problem with having multiple official online spaces. (Declaring one to be the Only True Official space likely isn’t desirable, and certainly isn’t practical.) Fuzzwolf was alerted to the discussion on Monday night, and it’s my understanding that he sent a direct message to Rechan then. So please, let’s not harbor ill will toward other FWG members for conspiring against this anthology. That’s simply not what happened.

Second, why didn’t I step in as moderator to stop the discussion until Rechan and Fuzz could be involved? As a practical matter, that wasn’t a choice; I wasn’t online a lot of Tuesday. But I’m doubtful that would have been the right course.

Yes, it would have avoided the perception of piling on people who weren’t there to defend themselves. That’s good. But it might have–well–shut down the conversation. That’s not so good. There were people who said point-blank that they wouldn’t have brought up their concerns about the anthology if they hadn’t seen others speaking out. And while I suspect I’ll ruffle some feathers just by mentioning this, the FWG membership is mostly male and mostly white. As much as we might like to think that doesn’t matter, sometimes it does. When you know your viewpoint is a minority one, you may be less likely to bring it up, knowing it could be dismissed as overblown or oversensitive. As uncomfortable as the conversation got, if those viewpoints hadn’t been aired then, they might not have been aired at all.

I won’t lie: I don’t think these kinds of conversations are ever ones that everyone walks away from feeling happy. But that doesn’t mean they’re not important. I’m open to suggestions on how we can handle these kind of fraught topics in the future–we just need to make sure that everyone feels comfortable speaking up.

Compared to many other groups and fandoms over the past few years, I don’t honestly think we did that badly this time. That doesn’t mean we can’t do better.