What is candaulism? The unusual sex practice used by couples to get aroused

Have you ever heard of 'candaulism'? Even worse, has your partner suggested you try it, but you don't know exactly what it's all about? We'll explain.

What is candaulism, this sexual practice everyone's talking about?
© You / Netflix
What is candaulism, this sexual practice everyone's talking about?

The word 'Candaulism' is said to come from the semi-legendary king Candaules from Lydia, who lived in the VIIIᵉ century B.C. For the record, King Candaule found his wife, Nyssia absolutely sublime. He constantly praised her beauty to his bodyguard, Gyges.

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One evening, Gyges, very tempted to 'verify' the beauty described by King Candaule, hid behind the door of the queen's bedroom to watch her go to bed. But she caught him red-handed.

Humiliated by this situation, she proposed to Gyges the next day that he either be executed or kill Candaule and seize the throne. He accepted the second option and stabbed Candaules in his sleep.

The different ways

There are many ways to practice candaulism:

By definition, candaulism defines a person who feels aroused by sharing or exposing his or her sexual partner. The practice exists among both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

  • A man or woman has relations with their lover in front of their spouse.
  • The man or woman knows that their partner is cheating on them, and is deeply excited by the idea of discovering the details of the lovemaking.
  • In some cases, a man may participate in a sexual relationship between his spouse and another man.

If you are into candaulism, be sure you have a clear and confident yes from your partner. Consent is key to making this kink safe for both you and your partner.

Read more: Kink or fetish: Here's how to tell the difference

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Is candaulism voyeuristic practice?

Not necessarily. Voyeurism is the pleasure of observing individuals mating. Candaulism is specific to couples: it's the excitement of watching your partner having sex with someone else.

Exhibitionism, on the other hand, concerns the excitement of showing one's genitals and is punishable by up to two years imprisonment. So nothing to see here.

In candaulism, pleasure is not directly linked to sexual intercourse, but to the vision! A 'surreptitious' glance can be enough to raise the temperature...

In short: if you're tempted by the experience, make sure you're on the same wavelength as your partner to avoid any misunderstandings...

This article is translated from Ohmymag FR.

Sources used:

Wengood: 'What Is Candaulism? - It’s A Form Of Voyeuristic Pleasure'

Urban Dictionary: 'candaulism'

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