Book Review: Insatiable Wives

Image description: The book is setting face out on a stack of cut tree trunks. The cover features the painting entitled ” Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his Ministers, as She Goes to Bed” by English artist William Etty.

Welcome back everyone! To make my return to book reviews here on TUL I’m going to write about “Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them” by Dr. David Ley. A book I’ve been meaning to review for quite some time now. Like… four years. I know. I know.

I first read this book in 2016. I was exploring topics in open relationships and polyamory and this book popped up in a search. One look at the cover and you can see why I couldn’t say no.

This book does talk about some aspects of open relationships and polyamory but the central focus of the book are people in the Hotwife lifestyle (also at times referred to a cuckolding.)

Some definitions are in order:

A hotwife is a married woman who has sexual relationships outside of her marriage, with the full knowledge and consent of her husband, who himself doesn’t have affairs. Hotwifing is the wife-sharing arrangement or act of carrying out such affairs.

Cuckolding (present participle): (of a man) make (another man) a cuckold by having a sexual relationship with his wife.

Participles aside, this book delves into all the nooks and crannies of this type of relationship. From the history and evolution of this sexuality into modern times, to the fetishistic aspects of the lifestyle, to examples of such in media.

The book also covers some prerequisite ground discussing female sexuality in a more general way as well as the cultural and personal meanings of non-monogamy.

In between chapters are hearty vignettes of couples or individuals that the author interviewed while researching this book and I found these were vibrant, insightful, and illustrated taboo concepts in refreshingly human ways.

The author is aware of counterarguments and stigmas levied at Hotwifing and non-monogamy in general, but I don’t feel the text ever became defensive. Mostly I just found myself interested, at times even fascinated.

I very much so enjoyed chapter seven “Fetish and Fantasy.” Readers of The Unlaced Librarian know fantasy is kinda my thing. And being knowledgeable of non-monogamy concepts, I didn’t feel anything was oversimplified or sugar coated. The book is foray into a topic that can be endearing for some, threatening to others, and simply intriguing to the rest of us with a genuine curiosity to explore the gnarly, gorgeous, complicated realm of sexuality and relationships. I’m really glad that search engine back in 2016 thought You Also Might Like….

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Insatiable Wives

  1. Maria und Hartmut September 21, 2020 — 2:35 pm

    Hi Leandra,
    We are a couple in our midfifties living the Cuckold-lifestyle consequently since many years. We read David Ley’s book about 4 years ago and were enthusiastic about it. To our knowledge, it is the only book that deals so intensively with the subject. We very much agree with your review. It would be nice to translate the text, e.g. in german, for example.
    Greetings
    Maria and Hartmut

    1. Thanks for reading! I’m glad there is a book out there that looks at the topic intensively, and I’m glad I finally got the review posted.
      Take care.

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