Giving sociological, biological, and historical evidence, a controversial new book reveals how being scandalous might just be your nature – and how you’ve been tricked into believing it isn’t!
Our attempt to review Dr. David Ley’s Insatiable Wive – Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them has been met with fierce quandries. Should it be approached from a clinical stand point so the importance of the book’s message isn’t overly sexualized? Or should it be written in the hot nasty style such subject matter conveys in people’s minds? Should we highlight the interviews with real couples who live a cuckolding lifestyle or do we concentrate on the historical theories and facts as to why some women – many women – aren’t hardwired to be monogamous?
Insatiable Wives as an in-depth look at the psychological, biological and sociological forces that impact the decision-making process of men who find sexual and psychological fulfillment in the knowledge that their wives maintain relationships with other lovers, as well as the motivation behind the women’s choice to do so. In other words, it seeks to explain why many women in relationships sleep with other men and why their boyfriends and husbands love them for it! The book also highlights in detail the resulting female sexual empowerment that arises within the not oft-spoken of dynamic of cuckoldry. That empowerment, as the book details, is often tied just as closely to economics as it is to sexuality.
Ley explains that female sexual freedom throughout the history of the world ties directly to the economic independence enjoyed by women in society. So, among the Inuit for example, where women could pursue sex with other men, the women traditionally oversaw the family’s economy. Among the Islamic culture in 19th Century Morocco, wealthy women often engaged in flagrant affairs, protected from their husband’s anger by the fact that family’s wealth was in the wife’s name, inherited from her family. In today’s Western world, as women’s economic status has risen, so have the rates of female infidelity, and, not incidentally, the attention to female sexual satisfaction within heterosexual relationships (translation: guys are trying much harder to make us happy in the bedroom). Even among individual women, the more economically independent a woman is, the greater her chances of engaging in infidelity, and the more personal value she puts upon her sexual satisfaction. So, as female social and economic independence has grown in the past century, her sexual independence and autonomy has likewise grown.
The book also details how religious traditions have equated female sexuality with shame to keep it suppressed. One surprising (or not so surprising) piece of trivia the author gives is one of the first laws in recorded history was an order to stone women to death who’d had sex with more than one man! And, ironically, it’s women themselves who have played a large role in suppressing their own sexuality by labeling their sisters as ‘sluts’ if they’ve embraced their sexuality.
Yes, there’s a lot to cover in this book – so much that one review can’t do it justice. In this exclusive Q & A with the book’s author, Dr. David Ley’s own words weave a narrative about his book that that is well worth your valuable time to read.
Scandalous: Welcome David and thanks for taking the time out to speak to us…. Tell us where are you based in the world?
David: I live and work in Albuquerque New Mexico, though I travel a lot for business. For my book, I interviewed couples across the country.
Scandalous: Tell us briefly about your new book?
David: My book is called Insatiable Wives, Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them. It’s available on Amazon. It is an examination of the history of cuckoldry and permissive female sexual infidelity, along with the research that explains some of this phenomenon. In the book, I talk about women through history who have been sexually liberated, with their husband’s encouragement. The book began after I encountered some couples who live a hotwife lifestyle, and discovered that there has been nothing published about this phenomenon, even though there are lots of people pursuing it currently as well as many stories of it in history and literature. I wrote the book in part because so many of my fellow counselors and therapists believe that couples who are not monogamous are automatically unhealthy in some way, a belief that I did not find to be true.
Scandalous: So hotwifing/cuckoldry is not a new phenomenon?
David: I think a lot of people believe it is new, though I found evidence that this lifestyle has truly been around as long as human sexuality has. In my book, I talk about examples of this lifestyle in the Bible, in many non-Western cultures, and throughout Western history. What is new today is that the Internet has allowed more men and women who might be interested in this lifestyle to learn that they are not alone in these desires. In the past, people suppressed their desires for fear of social rejection and stigma. Finding that there are others out there who share these desires has led more husbands to be brave enough to express their desires to their wives, and more wives to be willing and able to explore their sexuality outside their marriage. The resource of the Internet has also offered them more venues through which to pursue fulfillment of their desires and fantasies.
David: I argue in my book that there are lots of reasons for this phenomenon. For women, it is a means to explore the full reaches of their sexuality, safe within a marriage and with the knowledge that their sexual explorations will not cost them their husband. Sometimes, it is an avenue to explore male bisexuality, even if only vicariously through the wife’s adventures. It can also be a means in which men can “experience” the greater capacity of sexual fulfillment available to women, getting sexual excitement by watching their wife achieve greater sexual pleasure through the attentions of more than one man. Some men celebrate that they have a wife that other men want – they can even share their wife with other men, and enjoy the admiration and envy they get for having such a sexy and uninhibited wife. Some of the men I interviewed talked about feeling like they are a “king” with something other men want and some women talk about the feeling of being a “queen” desired by so many men and so powerful in holding that desire. Some men, as in the story of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, have physiological difficulties satisfying their wife sexually, and do not want her to “lose out as a result.”
Scandalous: How do we end up with this kink?
David: I think there is a lot of biology at play here, in different ways. Our brain chemistry changes over the course of a relationship. When we first start a sexual relationship, we are driven by our neurochemicals to have lots and lots of sex, and think about our partner all day long. After a few months though, those chemicals subside, and our sexuality changes somewhat, becoming more nurturing and bit less passionate. But, when we start a relationship with other people, those early exciting neurochemicals roar back at full strength. When the wife goes off with another man, she then brings that chemical excitement back to herself, her husband, and her primary relationship.
Scandalous: How would you say guys into this lifestyle are able to control the jealousy emotion in their minds that so many men would never be able to do? Why do you think some men get so excited about seeing their wife or girlfriend with another guy?
David: I think another form of biology is involved here, that of sperm competition. Sperm competition is a theory of evolutionary sexuality based on the theory that male sexual biology responds to the risk of cuckoldry with increased sexual energy and by ejaculating more sperm and behave more aggressively, in order to combat the sperm of another man. A case in point – the overwhelming male fantasy is for a threesome with two females, but surprisingly, research shows that the overwhelming image present in pornography is a single woman with multiple males. Why? Because when a man watches pornography with multiple men and a single woman, his ejaculate contains more sperm, he ejaculates harder and longer and is more disposed to become erect again and ejaculate again. Hotwife and cuckold couples have unconsciously found ways to use that biological mechanism in order to trigger enormous sexual excitement in their primary relationship, as the husband’s sexual chemistry is kicked into overdrive by his wife’s sexual explorations with another man. At the same time, the wife is often more orgasmic with a man other than her husband, as her body reacts with physiological excitement to being with another man.
Scandalous: Do you think women have this lifestyle within them or are they driven to it and adapt to it by the freedom their partners give them?
David: Female sexual capacity is infinitely greater than male sexuality. A woman can have as many as fifty orgasms in an hour; a man is limited to at most three or four. But society has condemned and constrained female sexuality for millennia, and it is only in cultures where women had economic power that women could resist those constraints upon their sexuality. In our society, it has been the rare woman who innately embraces the full capacity of her sexuality, and explores it outside social dictates regarding monogamy, and being “proper.” Most, but not all, of these couples start on the path of hotwifing at the husband’s initiation. But, as the wives explore the sexual and personal freedoms in it, many of them enjoy the ability to reject the social pressures upon their sexuality that they have experienced throughout their lives, and embrace the opportunity to pursue unrestrained sexual explorations with other men.
Scandalous: Do you think all or most women have potential to live life as a hotwife?
David: I saw a lot of men who desired to find ways to turn their wives into hotwives. But women are under intense social pressures from an early age, telling them to be “nice,” to suppress their sexuality, and to avoid ever being a “slut.” This history of pressure is difficult for most women or couples to overcome. Also, while many women enjoy casual sex, few women truly embrace the exploration of casual sex, even with the support and encouragement of their husband – the social conditioning is just too strong. And, for some women, even sexually liberated women, this lifestyle just doesn’t fit their desires for intimacy.
Scandalous: How did you yourself find an interest in the lifestyle?
David: I have worked with sexuality and counseling throughout much of my career, but most of it focused upon unhealthy aspects of sexuality. Gradually, I found that there were lots of people quietly exploring aspects of sexuality that people judged as unhealthy, just because they were rare or uncommon, not because anyone was getting hurt or because there were issues of nonconsent. When I first met some people living the hotwife lifestyle, I confess that I initially thought that their lifestyle must be unhealthy, or damaging to their relationship. When I found that my initial assumptions were ungrounded, I became fascinated that people were healthily living a lifestyle that rejected so many strong social taboos. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became, as I found how much the lifestyle had to say about human sexuality and marriage in general.
Scandalous: Do you have any personal cuck feelings lurking within?
David: Everybody asks whether I wrote this book about my own sexuality. What I found is that cuckoldry has been involved in human sexuality throughout our evolution. Sure, I found some of the stories these couples told me to be quite arousing. As a man, I have always found female sexuality very alluring, and sexually confident women to be extremely attractive. Having learned more about female sexuality in the course of this book, my admiration for female eroticism has grown.
Scandalous: Have you ever been in a relationship that was this way inclined?
David: My wife and I have been married for ten years. She has always joked about her one day having a harem of husbands. At least, before I wrote this book, I always thought she was joking. Now I’m not so sure. Having written this book, I find that I’m no longer so threatened by that idea. If these other husbands came with some useful skills, like being a gourmet chef who loves to do yard work for instance, I might even be willing to consider the possibility.
Scandalous: Do you really think people can live this lifestyle and still have a healthy marriage?
David: Ultimately, I think that the core components of a healthy relationship, such as good communication, trust, mutual respect, and mutual support, can be implemented in a monogamous or nonmonogamous marriage. I saw several couples who had been happily married for over thirty years, who were pursuing hotwife encounters. I also saw some who got into hotwifing, and got in over their heads pretty quickly, and watched their marriages fall apart. The differences, I think, go back to the health and strength of the relationship’s foundation. With a healthy foundation, couples can explore beyond a lot of boundaries.
Scandalous: What advice would you give to couples thinking of trying out this lifestyle?
David: To be successful, I think couples have to communicate very carefully and clearly about their desires and needs. They shouldn’t try to sneak into this, or “set up” situations where the wife has sex with another man, without consent being established beforehand. Those are traps that will devastate trust in a relationship. I saw many women who simply couldn’t believe that their husbands really loved them, when they told their wives to be a slut with other men. Couples who explore this lifestyle have to work really hard to establish love, open communication and trust.
Scandalous: What is your next project?
David: Right now, I’m recruiting couples to appear in a documentary about hotwifing. It will be based on my book, and will explore the lives and sexual adventures of these couples. Like my book, the goal is to present these couples in an honest, respectful fashion, showing them as normal people exploring an extraordinary and exciting sexual lifestyle.