It actually means many different things to different cuckolds.
But let's start at the beginning: The truth vs. the Truth.
The Truth, or an absolute Truth, is actually unnamable, or rather it exists, but when you try to interpret it and put words to it, it becomes one of very many truths, as many truths as there are people. This, of course, applies to most of human experience, not just cuckoldry.
There are certain Truths though that are still difficult to express without making up stories or making meaning. We can start with the most basic statement of fact, and then illustrate how many interpretations we can make up. (While these concepts could apply to same sex couples, two men, or even two women, this will focus on a man and a woman.)
1)Penetration has two halves: The Penetrator and the Penetrated. There exists a certain energetic dynamic between a man, whose cock penetrates and a woman whose pussy is penetrated. This energy dynamic is asymmetrical.
2)Size does make a difference in this energy dynamic. Both the size of the cock and the size of the pussy will influence the energy dynamic.
3)Duration, force, and cadence of penetration and thrusting have an impact on the quality and intensity of the energy dynamic.
4)The energy dynamic of penetration will differ with different combinations of cock and pussy. While much of this dynamic may be attributed to connection between partners that can be non-sexual (mind, spirit, heart, etc.), a certain portion of this dynamic is purely the physical combination of cock and pussy.
5)Love and sexual attraction are two real aspects of an energetic dynamic between two people. These are also some of the most unnamable real features of human existence.
6)It is possible to love without sexual attraction. It is possible to have sexual attraction without love. It is possible to have neither, it is possible to have both.
7)Therefore, it is possible to be completely in love with a partner, but lose sexual attraction.
8)This condition sometimes takes the form of a cuckold/hotwife pairing, where a man and woman are deeply devoted and in love, but sexual attraction diminishes or becomes limited (e.g. oral sex for woman only)
This is where the factual statements begin to diverge and the definition of cuckold and hotwife and the relationship that may be formed takes many different forms. It is important to realize that the examples which follow are by no means an exhaustive list. It is also important to realize that none of these forms are more right or more wrong, but are merely the descriptive stories that people make up to describe their relationship that fits them.
The Clueless Cuckold
A Cuckold with no idea. When you see him and his wife (or girlfriend, wife used for brevity), you wonder how he can be so clueless.
He has a smoking hot babe of a wife. She is amazingly sexual. And yet he does not question the fact that their love life is bland, but that she seems so very satisfied all of the time.
She is so obviously cheating on him, that even without any evidence, his friends give him the advice to check up on her. It just seems inconceivable that this relationship works. However there is not zero chemistry. She does love having her pussy licked, and she does not mind if he jerks off.
It is so obvious, that often this type of cuckold does not stay clueless forever. He may become a different type of cuckold before too long.
The Reluctant Cuckold
This type of cuckold/hotwife arrangement is the gateway to consensual cuckoldry, yet is not quite there.
It should be distinguished from the man who refuses to be a cuckold outright, because that either ends with a breakup, or a hotwife denying her needs, and is thus not a type of cuckold/hotwife relationship.
A reluctant cuckold has not quite accepted that his wife has sex with other men, but does not want his relationship to end.
He does not stop her from going out on dates or being with her lover when he is away, but he does not embrace it either. There is a strong tendency for the reluctant cuckold to be in denial of some of the basic facts listed above.
He may remain in denial for some time. It may sort of "work" for some time. She is getting what she wants and he is turning a blind eye to it. This arrangement can come to a crisis where it will either end, or necessarily evolve into something else.
With some acceptance that his wife has sex with other men, some cuckolds will put out a huge effort to measure up.
They will try to improve their stamina, might try hardon pills, might try to learn some new moves. They will then ask their hotwives to give their approval, desperate for validation.
This is where cuckolds often run up against a very hard Truth: The physical dimensions of her pussy and his cock do make a difference in their energy dynamic during penetration. She cannot ignore the difference that her lover's cock makes inside her pussy. While it is easy to make light of this Truth, with jokes about 'Size Doesn't Matter', the Truth is closer to 'Size DOES Matter', and there is no denying this, either by the cuckold or the hotwife.
A bargaining cuckold, running up against a Truth he cannot overcome, will turn towards other means of improving the sexual energy dynamic between himself and his wife. Very commonly, he finds that giving her oral pleasure is still a way in which he can achieve this. She will often respond even more strongly to his tongue, for more than one reason. First, she often feels some guilt, so a chance to enjoy and validate her cuckold gives her relief. Secondly, a cuckold's performance with his tongue does not rely upon the size of his cock, thus cunnilingus can be his best bet to continue his sexual connection with his hotwife.
The Accepting Cuckold - Hidden Hotwife
Thus begins the more stable stages of cuckoldry. The Cuckold has accepted that his role in his Hotwive's sex life is not that of Penetrator, but that he has a valued position as Chief Pussy Licker. All of his demons have not been exercised, but this acceptance at this stage does provide some peace and some solid ground for the further acceptance that is to come.
At this stage, the Hotwife conducts her other life in relative secret. Her dates are out in the open, and her Cuckold will get to watch or even participate in her preparations, but he is denied any direct knowledge of her activities.
She has the freedom to explore for herself, to date around with various lovers, to find her own new normal sex life. She too has adjustments to make such as dating for sex, without the need to date for stability or being provided for. She has her loyal Cuckold at home for that.
But a change is looming on the horizon. One day, she will reach a critical point with one of her lovers. It may take time, or it may be the first date. One day she will want to be fucked bareback and allow her lover to cum inside of her. When this happens another absolute Truth will come to pass: Her lover will biologically leave a physical trace of himself. Even if she cleans the outside of herself off, inside that physical Truth will remain for several days. And this trace is detectable.
The Accepting Cuckold Challenged - Unseen but Detectable Bull
Even a previously well-adjusted Accepting Cuckold will face a Truth that is undeniable that will challenge him in that deep way that only a Truth can.
Even in the dark and blindfolded, on that day when a Hotwife returns from the date where the condoms were left off, and even with a careful cleanup, the change that took place will be deeply known to the Cuckold fulfilling his role with his Hotwife.
Even with no visible trace of semen, there will be an absence of the taste and odor of latex. Even without obvious cream, her fluids will be altered. The longer that she is Penetrated and Inseminated by her Bull bareback, the more her normal pussy aroma will be persistently transformed. She will cease to smell and taste like she did when she only used latex. She will begin to carry the pheromones of not only herself, but those of her lover.
Facing this, the Accepting, but Challenged Cuckold may falter in his devotion, however, nature provides a positive feedback loop at the crucial moment. As she takes in semen, her baseline turn on will rise. As the Cuckold detects and ingests her Bull's pheromones, his urge to please his Hotwife will increase dramatically. He will lick her more and try to make up for what he lacks.
The Accepting/Reluctant Cuckold
This mindfuck is a bit of Nature's mischief. This Cuckold finds himself trapped in a place that is a paradox. He is accepting that he is a Cuckold, that his Hotwife deserves to get penetrative satisfaction elsewhere. He accepts that his best bet for maintaining a sexual connection with the woman he loves is through giving her oral pleasure. He even finds great sexual satisfaction in doing so. But the trap he finds himself in is that while he does want to perform his duty and maintain his connection to her, that he cannot easily lick another man's cum.
If his Hotwife also gets off from this dynamic, she and he will dance in a game of domination and submission. He wants to lick her, but he cannot submit on his own to licking her Bull's semen.
Thus, she is forced to force him to do it. Only with this domination is he able to do what he truly wants to do. She forces his head down to her pussy. She grabs his hair. She verbally commands and may even verbally abuse him. It is necessary and at the same time a lively dance that is also unnecessary. It is one state that maybe so wrapped up in the story in his head, that it seems to be an absolute Truth, when it is only his current truth.
This dynamic is often characterized by the paradox of the Cuckold's humiliation at the knowledge that he is tasting and smelling and feeling a superior man's cum, deposited at her urging, that requires the Hotwife to humiliate him further by forcing him to dive in.
In this case, the humiliation soon becomes the turn on for the Cuckold. Though he struggles with that knowledge and the inability to just admit it and release the humiliation, he stays trapped here because, for lack of a better term, it makes his dick hard.
The Eager Cuckold
Some Cuckolds, in contrast to the humiliation junkies, bypass feeling humiliation altogether or experience the sensation completely differently. They are not feeling shame, but are instead feeling the turn on in their freshly and well-fucked Hotwife as their own. The taste and odor of her Bull is more a confirmation of her infidelity that he interprets as good instead of bad. After all, the Humiliated Cuckold still feels pleasure, the Eager Cuckold, in contrast feels the pleasure but chooses not to feel shame.
In any case, the Hotwife does not need to force the Eager Cuckold to do anything. He is eager to please her whenever she returns and he is eager to give her as many orgasms as she wants. This especially works well for the Hotwife who really gains no pleasure from domination, but even if she did, the Eager Cuckold would not mind being pushed under the covers or grabbed by the hair.
It should be noted here that most, but not all, cuckolds do not want to be allowed to fuck their Hotwife. Most, but not all, would simply feel further inadequacy from that experience. However almost all cuckolds do want to achieve some form of release. This can vary quite a bit and whether orgasm is denied, allowed through self-stimulation, co-created with the hand, or given a blowjob by his Hotwife or even via Cuckold Penetration, there are no rules about what form of release (or denial of release) goes with which type of cuckold.
Distinct from the Reluctant Cuckold, the Humiliated Cuckold has a relationship with his Hotwife that includes humiliating situations, that may be public and for the first time include her lover, though certainly not limited to those conditions.
In fact, pages and pages could be written describing humiliation scenarios between Cuckolds, Hotwives and Bulls. A very common dynamic is the comparison between the Cuckold and the Bull that make it clear why the Hotwife chooses as she does.
One common feature is that this teasing may upset the Cuckold, but ultimately this dynamic is satisfying, providing strong turn on for the Cuckold as he masturbates in the moment or later.
A brief listing of examples: Talking about the Cuckold in public or talking about the Bull in public, being seen leaving the home with the Bull, outing the Cuckold publicly, making the Cuckold watch them have intercourse, making the Cuckold serve the lovers, making him sleep elsewhere besides the master bedroom. A whole list of humiliating fetishes could be described but far exceed the scope of this document. Some special examples will follow.
The Voyeur Cuckold
Whether a Reluctant or Humiliated Cuckold who is forced to watch, or an Eager Cuckold who desires to watch, the Voyeur Cuckold watches.
The rules may vary. Some may be forbidden to masturbate, while others allowed. Some may be required to keep silent, while others may even have duties to take photos and video.
One thing is for sure. Another Truth is revealed to the Cuckold. Seeing his Hotwife's pussy penetrated by her Bull is a kind of knowing that cannot be substituted and once seen, cannot be unseen.
Depending upon where the Cuckold is on the Reluctance/Humiliation/Eagerness spectrum he is, watching his Hotwife will have a profound effect. One common feature is that wherever their head is on that story spectrum, their bodies will respond and most commonly, their smaller dicks will stiffen. After all, if porn is stimulating, live porn is more rare and more stimulating and live porn with your Hotwife as the porn star is by far the most stimulating.
Seeing how their Hotwife responds to her Bull's expert cocksmanship, hearing her grunt and moan, watching his larger cock penetrate her and experiencing the energy between them firsthand, every Cuckold will attain new heights of titillation and acceptance. No longer will their egos be able to hide out in stories that "he cannot be THAT much better."
The Sissy Cuckold
The Sissy Cuckold has basically just taken all of the above and wrapped it up into full submission. As her man, he has submitted so fully to the desires of his Hotwife and her Bull, and has relished in licking cum, or even sucking cock, that the obvious next step is to take on the role of another woman in the arrangement.
Licking pussy, lapping up cum, sucking cock, not using his dick for fucking, and eventually, taking on more feminine roles, appearance and demeanor are areas for greater pleasure. It is not much of a leap from there to wear women's clothing, makeup and offer up an asshole for an eager cock.
As stated, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is clear, from what has been presented here, and by reading the many stories and captioned photos, and watching porn that the cuckold life is many-faceted and probably more diverse than is commonly presented.