Men, usually more so than women, frequently tend to be stereotyped as "egotistical," "macho," and "territorial," particularly when it comes to their relationships with their female sex partners (i.e., wife, fiancée, long-term girlfriend, etc.). Given that valid or not-so-valid generalization, it would come as no surprise that any man who would openly admit to allowing his female companion to enjoy sexual relations with other men would probably be harshly criticized and ridiculed by many of his male friends and acquaintances.
Not too long ago, I exchanged some Facebook messages with a married man who was leaning toward "opening up" his relationship with his wife. He wanted to engage in what is known as "swinging" and "couple-swapping," and he wanted to know what my thoughts and opinions were on this idea. He indicated to me that he had already shared his desired objective with a few close male friends of his, and all of them went on to call him "crazy" and "foolish" for even entertaining the idea.
I am no official "expert" in this area, but over the years, I have gathered enough informal information to maintain a lengthy discussion about the subject, and throw in my own thoughts and opinions on the subject.
What does it say about a man who would knowingly allow his significant other to have sex with other men? Is this representative of low self-esteem on his part? Sexual insecurities? Sexual dysfunction? A desire to add "kinky spice" into his relationship? Other?
While in college, I enrolled in a "Human Sexuality 101" course. One thing I learned from that class is that there is no such thing as "normal" sex. The type of sex that many of us may consider to be "normal" may be perceived by someone else as "kinky," or vice versa. For example, many men and women consider one-on-one monogamous sex to be 'normal,' but they consider any type of group sex (e.g., threesomes, foursomes, orgies, et al) to be 'kinky.' What if you engaged in threesomes and foursomes on a weekly and monthly basis? If group sex was frequent and habitual for a man or woman, it would then become a part of that person's 'normal' routine.
I told this Facebook acquaintance to think about everything involved with his desired objective, and if he found that he was not going to experience any profound feelings of guilt or regret days later, weeks later, months later, or years later, to go ahead and proceed with his desire to "open up" his relationship with his wife, as long as they both agreed that it was a mutually beneficial objective.
I remember while working a temporary employment assignment back in late 1999 in Beverly Hills, one of my fellow temps told me about a married couple who were friends of hers. She said that this married couple was headed toward divorce, but just weeks before the official divorce proceedings began, they got invited to a 'swinging party.' The first party they attended, they did not participate ... they just watched. The second party, they participated. A few weeks later, according to the woman I was working with, her married friends called off their divorce. At the time of that particular conversation, she said that this couple was the happiest they had ever been.
I've heard "success" stories related to swinging and couple-swapping, and I have also heard 'horror' stories. Just like I would say marriage is not for everyone, I would definitely say that various forms of polyamorous sex are not for everyone either.
From what I have observed, there are basically four types of men who tend to knowingly allow their long-term female partners to enjoy sexual relations with multiple men. Here is a breakdown of each one:
1) The "marriage of convenience" partner
Comment / Description: Surely, you have heard of men and women who are involved in "sexless" marriages. I had a female acquaintance who once told me of a situation where her husband had frequently cheated on her, but each time, she forgave him. Guess what happened when he discovered that she had cheated on him with a former lover? He refused to have sex with her any longer. Instead of filing for divorce, they mutually decided to remain married (mainly, in 'name' only) for the sake of their children and finances, but they stopped having sex altogether. As of right now, she has sex with whomever she wants to, and he has sex with a number of different women who interest him.
Many politicians, Entertainment Industry celebrities, and professional athletes, among others in society, have been known to maintain these types of relationships. Personally, I am not in favor of any man or woman remaining married if there is no romantic or sexual intimacy involved. Children or no children. That just does not make sense to me. But ... to each their own.
2) The "swinger" and/or "couple-swapper"
Comment / Description: Unlike the "marriage of convenience" partner, a man who is involved in 'swinging' and 'couple-swapping' is very enthusiastic about their female partner engaging in sex with men other than themselves. These are usually men who have exceptionally high "voyeuristic" and "exhibitionistic" tendencies (note: for those readers who may not be familiar with those terms, a 'voyeur' is someone who becomes sexually aroused while watching someone go from being clothed to fully nude, or even more so, they become incredibly aroused by watching someone engage in sex; An 'exhibitionist' is someone who becomes sexually aroused when they know they are being watched by someone when they are nude or partially nude, or when they are being watched while having sex).
Also unlike the "marriage of convenience" partners, who have no desire to know the names of their female companion's male sex partners or know any other information about them, a man who is into swinging and couple swapping usually becomes acquainted with their female companion's other male sex partners. Just in the last few years, I met a woman who was part of what she referred to as a "family." In her 'family' were four men and seven women.
Based on her description, it was as if they were both "polyamorous" and "monogamous" at the same time. For example, the men were not allowed to have sex with any women other than the seven women in their "family"; similarly, the seven women were strictly prohibited from having sex with any other men other than the men in this polyamorous 'family.' They could invite a new male 'family' member or new female 'family' member into the group if everyone agreed with it. Dr. Phil once reported on an episode of his television talk show that over ten million men and women in the United States engage in some form of swinging and couple-swapping. Some of the most listened to episodes of my talk radio podcast program, Upfront & Straightforward, have been the episodes that centered on swinging and polyamorous dating.
3) The "voyeur"
Comment / Description: One stereotype that has been maintained in society for a while is that men are typically more voyeuristic than women are, and women are typically more exhibitionistic than men are. Of course, there are exceptions to both of those loose generalizations, but there are a lot of men and women who exhibit behavior that validates those stereotypes.
As mentioned above in the description of 'swingers,' most men who are swingers usually possess both "voyeuristic" tendencies and "exhibitionistic" tendencies. Well, there are some men who exclusively get off on watching their female partners have sex with other men, but they do not really enjoy having sex with women other than their partner.
One low-budget film that highlights a man in this category was a 1992 film entitled, Animal Instincts with the former 1984 Gold Medal Olympian Mitch Gaylord, former soft-porn actress Shannon Whirry, and B-list actor Maxwell Caulfield. Caulfield's character was supposedly based on a real life story of a Florida cop who was married to a woman who was an insatiable nymphomaniac. At first, the cop was angry that his wife was engaging in a number of extramarital affairs, but later, he found that he became aroused watching his wife have sex with other men. Quite a few mainstream feature-films and television dramas have often included a male character with this particular fetish.
4) The "cuckold"
Comment / Description: If you ask ten people familiar with this term what their definition is, you are probably going to receive at least four or five different variations. Originally, the term 'cuckold' was used to describe a scenario where a man's wife was cheating on him with many men in her city or neighborhood, and the husband was the last to find out about it. Another definition of a 'cuckold' was when a man's wife cheated on him, and got pregnant by the man she was cheating with, and then the husband proceeded to raise the son or daughter as if it were his own.
The more contemporary description and definition of a 'cuckold' is similar to a 'voyeur,' with a few differences in behavior. One difference between a conventional 'voyeur' and a 'cuckold' is that the latter has a specific preference of the type of men he wants to watch having sex with his wife, fiancée, or long-term girlfriend. Usually, the cuckold only wants to see his significant other have sex with men who he perceives as more handsome than himself, more erotically dominant than himself, and/or more well endowed than himself. Taking it a step further, this man will usually behave in a very 'submissive' manner toward both his female companion and her chosen sex partners. Many times, the female companion and her sex partner will talk to the husband / fiancé / boyfriend in a very dominating and humiliating tone of voice, which is what the cuckold strongly desires and gets off on.
Some Caucasian men who are cuckolds have a strong, exclusive preference for African-American men to have sex with their female partners. The Black male sex partner is referred to as a "Black Bull" (I just learned this terminology within the last four or five years), and the Black Bull is usually very fit and muscular, very erotically dominant, and well endowed. I once met a (Black) male porn star who told me that this was how he made most of his 'cash-on-the-side' in addition to the income he earned as an adult film actor. He told me that middle-aged to older Caucasian men would hire him to have sex with their wives or long-term partners, and they would usually request that he verbally dominate and humiliate the male cuckold while he was having sex with the cuckold's wife, fiancée, or long-term girlfriend.
A few years ago, I interviewed a sex expert on my radio show by the name of Dr. Susan Block. During the interview, we started talking about male sexual fantasies vs. female sexual fantasies. Dr. Block went on to say that many of her male clients that she engaged in 'therapy sessions' with confessed to her that they fantasized about being either a voyeur or a cuckold. She said one of the factors that led to these types of fantasies was men watching too much pornography. I found that assessment to be very interesting.
Now that I have hopefully enlightened you on some of the reasons why a man would knowingly allow his beloved female partner to have sex with other men, I'll say this: If you are a man who already finds himself in one of these four categories, or you are a man who is leaning toward one of these four categories, ultimately the only person's opinion who counts is yours. Do not worry about what "other people" might think of you. This is your life. You live and die with the repercussions and consequences of your own choices and decisions.
Again, the only category of the four I have harsh criticisms of is the "marriage of convenience" category. I do not believe in "sham marriages." If your marriage has gotten to the point where you and your wife are no longer having sex at all, my strong suggestion is that you should go ahead and file for divorce. The children will eventually understand your decision.
As for the other three categories, I say do whatever floats your boat. It's your (sex) life. Enjoy it.
Alan Roger Currie is the author of a number of books, including Mode One: Let the Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking and Oooooh . . . Say it Again: Mastering the Fine Art of Verbal Seduction and Aural Sex. Currie's latest eBook, The Possibility of Sex: How Naive and Lustful Men are Manipulated by Women Regularly is also available exclusively on Amazon.com in their Kindle format. You can also download a copy of Currie's eBook on your iPhone, Android Smartphone, or other Smartphone.
Upfront & Straightforward with Alan Roger Currie, the most-listened to talk radio podcast program in the category of "Romance" and self-help for dating singles on the BlogTalkRadio Internet Radio Network, can be heard LIVE every Thursday evening at 10:00pm EST / 7:00pm PST. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/modeone and http://modeone.net for more details
Currie offers email, telephone, and Skype consultations to both men and women; Visit http://modeone.net/products or http://popexpert.com/seduction to purchase a consultation. Alan is also in the early stages of organizing a documentary about 21st Century dating rituals vs. 20th Century dating rituals. The documentary is tentatively entitled, CHASM. For more details, visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chasm-a-feature-length-documentary-about-21st-century-dating-rituals