Reluctant Cuckold (ISBN: 978-1-60381-502-4, 344 pp., $16.95), by David McManus, delves into the psychological complexities of cuckoldry.
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“In Reluctant Cuckold, McManus takes us through an erotic and intense psychological journey toward cuckolding. Our main character Dave is an all-American man with an all-American wife, but inside himself, there are doubts. As he begins to suspect his wife Ashley of infidelity, those doubts build into forbidden desires that just might show the way forward. McManus takes us through the adventure with a writer’s eye and vivid dialogue. Not a book you can put down.”
—Alex Hathaway, author of From Housewife to Cuckoldress
Dave is a young, successful, upwardly mobile New Yorker with a great job, a dream apartment, and a wife every man desires. Then comes “the rumor”…. At a party Dave and his wife are both attending, Ashley locks herself in the bathroom with a male co-worker and her best girlfriend, who goads the other two into having sex. Only later, when the co-worker brags about the incident, does Ashley admit the truth of the rumor to Dave, along with the devastating detail that the co-worker is “just bigger, OK?”
So begins Dave’s initiation into the “cuckold” lifestyle, practiced by a large community of men and women who have embraced their dominant or submissive natures in pursuit of sexual satisfaction. Everything Dave holds sacred is at stake. Will adopting the cuckold lifestyle help him preserve his marriage and his sanity, or will it destroy him?
Is the scene legit, or just a colossal mindf**k?
David McManus is not part of the “one percent,” but he does work in finance and lives with his wife in New York. He never imagined writing a book, but always thought that if he did, it would be about his industry. But circumstances changed. This is his first publication.
Read on for an excerpt:
I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. It would be one thing if Ashley had just drunkenly kissed the guy. But I could never have imagined a rumor like this—that Jim Murta had fucked my wife in a bathroom, at a party where I was on the terrace outside.
It seemed so ludicrous and utterly implausible. Ashley wasn’t like that. It would be insanely out of character. We’d been together for over five years, been married over eighteen months. She wasn’t going to fuck her co-worker just because her friend gave him a choice.
The rumor should have been laughable. How could it have gained traction? No one should have believed it, not even for a minute.
And yet, according to Craig, people did believe it. His reluctance to tell me, and the way he said goodbye, suggested he believed it, too.
I walked out into the crowded, rush hour streets, heading home. I was having a mental back and forth. For a while, the “no possible way in hell” side won out. Then I started thinking about that night at the party, and had creeping recollections of what seemed like nothing at the time. I started thinking about going inside to piss. I could hear Tamara’s voice saying “Dave, there’s another bathroom upstairs. Use that one.”
I hadn’t seen Ashley for a while before that. Come to think of it, I hadn’t seen her for perhaps an hour. My heart started racing and my pace quickened. The story Craig had told me seemed so outlandish and freakish, yet strangely peculiar—peculiarly detailed. It wasn’t the run-of-the-mill office story—in fact, the contrary.
“Which one of us do you want to fuck?”
Jesus Christ. That sounded exactly like something Tamara might say.
Suddenly, it seemed potentially possible that Ashley, Tamara and Jim had all been in that bathroom when I had knocked.
Part of me wanted to rationalize it. Perhaps they were in the bathroom smoking a joint. But if so, why wouldn’t Ashley simply tell me that, or at least try and account for the rumor? And how would a story like that come out of nowhere? Why was Craig so reluctant to tell me? Why had he seemed to believe it? Was there even more to the story?
I started thinking how Ashley never actually denied it. She referred to it as a rumor, sure, but by definition a rumor means it’s not confirmed to be true. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
One thought quickly led to the next. She seemed to have told me about the rumor only because she had assumed I’d hear it from Craig. Would she have even mentioned it otherwise? The rumor had been going on since the prior Monday, over a week before she told me. Did she not want to trouble me or dignify it? Or was she working potential damage control on the assumption I already knew? Why, I wondered, had she told me not to bother asking Craig about it?
If the incident hadn’t happened, and people were spreading lies, Ashley would have stormed into HR that very Monday. Granted it’s not some ultra-corporate firm, but that’s how she is. Her dad’s a lawyer, for Christ’s-sake.
I thought back to her demeanor as we were leaving the party. She seemed happy but sober as she said goodnight to her friends, like she always does on any other typical night out.
But I couldn’t get past the fact that Tamara was in that bathroom when I knocked. Or how I didn’t remember seeing my wife at the time, or Jim for that matter. And Tamara’s line, “Which one of us do you want to fuck?”
Heading up Central Park West, I began to wonder … suppose everything Craig had just told me really was true?
All I had to fall back on was, Ashley would never do something like that. She’s absolutely not that kind of girl. Letting a co-worker fuck her in a bathroom at a party with her own husband nearby was off-the-charts-crazy.
Yet none of the tea leaves or strange road signs pointed to “this didn’t happen.” Instead, all the data points were lining up, like weird mental planets in alignment. Impossibility suddenly seemed possible, or maybe probable, or even highly likely.
Holy shit, I thought.
I said the words to myself in my head: Ashley fucked Jim Murta in that bathroom that night. Jim Murta fucked my wife.