Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 999–1013 | Cite as

The Psychology of Gay Men’s Cuckolding Fantasies

  • Justin J. LehmillerEmail author
  • David Ley
  • Dan Savage
Original Paper


Cuckolding (also known as troilism) is a sexual interest in which one obtains sexual arousal from the experience of a romantic partner engaging in sexual activity with someone else. The present study investigated fantasies about and experiences with cuckolding in a large and diverse sample of predominately gay-identified men (N = 580). Compared to previous research focusing on heterosexual men’s cuckolding fantasies, our results indicate that gay men’s cuckolding fantasies share many common elements; however, they differ in some important ways. Most notably, interracial and BDSM themes do not appear to be as common in gay men’s cuckolding fantasies as they are among heterosexual men. Our findings also indicate that frequent fantasies about cuckolding are linked to several overlapping sexual interests (e.g., voyeurism, group sex) and, further, the content of these fantasies is associated with a number of individual differences (e.g., agreeableness, sensation seeking, sociosexuality). Finally, this study also suggests that gay men who act on their cuckolding fantasies tend to report positive experiences; however, the likelihood of reporting positive outcomes appears to depend upon one’s personality and attachment style.


Cuckolding Sexual fantasy Gay men Consensual non-monogamy Troilism DSM-5 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and CounselingBall State UniversityMuncieUSA
  2. 2.The Kinsey InstituteIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.New Mexico SolutionsAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.The StrangerSeattleUSA

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