|WikiProject Sexuality||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject Women's History||(Rated C-class, Low-importance)|
Not sure about this. A Google search for "candaulism" turns up nothing but swingers' websites, and the article on King Candaules has it right: he showed off his wife to his bodyguard Gyges naked, she noticed and made it quite clear to Gyges that only her husband could see her naked. Gyges took the hint. 
Just wanted to add that the term was first defined in 'Richard von Krafft-Ebbing: Psychopathia sexualis. Eine klinisch-forensische Studie. Stuttgart: Enke 1886.' So this term is more than 100 years old.
Explanation of behaviour
Are we discussing the accuracy of the definition of the word "Candaulism" or the accuracy of the description of this sexual behaviour? I think the exact accuracy of the term is of less interest, of more interest is the occurence of this kind of sexual beaviour. It is well-known that some men enjoy watching their wifes having sex with other men. How can this be explained? Latent homosexuality does not seem to be a very complete explanation.
Explanation of behavior II
In fact, latent homosexuality is an awful explanation. I happen to be an individual with a cuckold fantasy who also has had homosexual fantasies. But I can assure you, when my wife is with other men, it is what is happening to her that is the turn on. I would even go so far as to say that nothing about the man (save what he is doing to her) is a turn on at all; the turn on is simply knowing that my wife is having intercourse with someone other than me and I'm not going to stop it. I think it is typically something like this that gets cuckolds excited.
- Latent homosexuality is a now-misunderstood power term. Has nothing to do with sex per se. The classic army drill sergeant is a latent type. Wiki's own page on this is wrong.
- A woman of my acquaintance, now in her 60's, confessed she was once a woman in this situation. She was not only willing, she quite liked it and is now sorry she is too elderly to be attractive in this way. She was married at the time to a very virile man (her description) who liked showing her off. Each of the three parties had their own agendas.
- The husband had a power relationship with the other man, which might have been latent in nature, which is to say, that offering his wife to the man established his power over him, that he was subservient to him. He also got to see his wife in a setting that was thrilling for him.
- For this to have been a safe, one-time encounter, the second man had to accept his role as inferior. He presumably thought the wife was hot and wanted a one-time encounter with her and did not mind showing off for her husband (male to male competition). The unsafe version is when the second man saw the wife as the prize, and the contest as to which man would have her. Which is potentially deadly. In employment terms, this is known as never hire anybody smarter and more cunning than yourself.
- The wife got to act out fantasies of all sorts. Being fought over by men, as well as helping to make the selection as to who was invited to be with her. She could have all the men she wanted, do whatever she wanted with them, so long as her husband was in the room with her. She says he encouraged her to act out her wildest fantasies, and she did.
- As you would expect, these two highly sexual people eventually fell out. She divorced him when he could not be faithful, which is to say, having sex on the side without her being present or having any say over it. Indeed, there is an aspect of female dominance about this. My friend said she would not accept her husband having sex with another female with her present (the typical 3-way). There was an aspect of the husband procuring males for her enjoyment. Dave of Maryland (talk) 22:25, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
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Unsourced material in need of sourcing
I'm moving this material here until it can be sourced:
This is a list of seduced, sexually unfaithful wives, happily married for many years to famous consenting men (who deliberately ignored, tolerated, approved, encouraged, or even induced the non innocent nude exposition or promiscuous sexual behavior of their spouses, all facts fully proven, and widely known to the public). These persons/characters must have a relevance in arts, history, literature, science, cinema or cartoons, not belong to the world of pornography, and have stable relationships extending over many years.
- Queen Catherine II of Russia, wife of Peter III of Russia
- Clodia, wife of the Roman citizen Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer
- Faustina the Younger, wife of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, mother of emperor M.A. Commodus Antoninus, said to be a son of a gladiator
- La fornarina, lover of the Italian painter Raffaello da Urbino
- Gala Dalí, wife of Catalan painter Salvador Dalí
- Queen Guinevere, wife of mythic British King Arthur; her lover was Arthur's champion, Sir Lancelot
- Clara Bracken McMillen, wife of American sexologist Alfred Kinsey
- Valeria Messalina, wife of Roman emperor Claudius
- Marina Punturieri former wife of Marchioness Lante della Rovere
- Marta Marzotto, wife of Italian count Marzotto, lover of painter Renato Guttuso
- Madame de Pompadour, wife of the French citizen Charles-Guillaume Le Normant
- Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, wife of Panfilio Pamphili, brother of Catholic Pope Innocent X
- Queen Marguerite de Valois married with King Henry IV of France
- Emma, Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton
- Wallis Simpson, wife of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
The statement "as it is preferable that all partners are consenting and willing there should be no breach of trust involved," apart from being a sentence fragment, violates WP:IMPARTIAL. While I'd personally agree that this is preferable, we have to avoid editorialising. If we want this sort of moral judgement, we need a source that actually says it, something along the lines of "swingers as a whole prefer..."
Explanation of behaviour III
The above two explanations are way off-base, and I am going to provide testimony as an actual Candaulist to help explain this.
It has nothing to do with swinging or being bi-sexual. The simple explanation is that it is one voyeur (V1) showing off his other to another voyeur (V2), and enjoying the appreciation for the show from V2. V1 enjoys seeing V2 watching, and is actively doing his best to give a good show to V2 in order to get a good show from V2. This is much more common than you think, and may have encountered it in some way or another if you are not a prude.
I (V1) take my wife out to a nude beach. It takes me about 30 seconds to spot V2, and I lay the beach blanket down in a way that favors him. We undress, and I get her to lay down with her toes pointed to him. I watch him looking until he knows he has been caught. Simple, non-verbal, international communication occurs between V1 and V2, and he knows it's cool by me that he looks and enjoys. I grab the sunscreen, and put it on her. Use your imagination. I am enjoying rubbing the lotion all over her body, but I am also enjoying spreading her legs for V2 while I am rubbing the lotion into her thighs. I am paying attention to the task at hand, but am also watching him showing his erection to me. Official nudist places frown on such behavior, so everything is done so that no one else can see what's going on. As a V2 discovering myself, becoming a V1 has been a lifelong fantasy.