As well as being 'made to watch' their wives get defiled, it strikes me that these manips have ended up showing cuckolds who almost seem to be submitting to their treatment out of duty rather than any sexual desire. Heads of household, Arab sheikhs, headmasters and military stepdads... these are all men who less-dominant males instinctively find themselves submitting to, whether in life, in the office or in the bedroom!
The fantasy of the lower classes rising up to dominate and cuckold their former masters is certainly appealing (particularly when it's a handyman fucking a middle-class housewife and spanking and humiliating her submissive husband). But the flipside where the upper classes lord it over their subordinates can also be extremely erotic. It's also probably a more accurate interpretation of history - let's face it, in the past (and probably still now) the rich lived lives of comfort and only the lower classes felt the brutality of pain, discipline and forced cuckoldry (Droit de seigneur anyone?)
And in the past of course, spanking and discipline wasn't just a kink, it was a perfectly legitimate way of controlling your staff. Just imagine the fun a sadist could have if they rose to a position of authority in a household, school or prison, with all those nubile maids, stable boys, schoolboys, schoolgirls etc who could be happily thrashed for the slightest infraction (and even when there hadn't even been an infraction!)
It certainly has its attractions... I remember a fantasy on Strict Julie's blog where a domineering mother had her son publicly thrashed after he had been caught shagging a maid. The culmination of the fantasy was that the unfortunate maid was also thrashed (and fucked) by the chief groundsman before being dismissed from the household with references that ensured she would never get another job in a reputable household. I remember being struck by the cruelty and unfairness that the boy got to return to his comfortable lifestyle while the girl he fucked was condemned to a life as a common whore on the streets of Victorian London. But at the same time, the sadistic part of me found this cruelty and unfairness extremely arousing...
With these upstairs-downstairs themes of domination and submission, there's always a tension between it being portrayed as 'real life' or just 'roleplay'. For instance, take the plight of Suzette, the maid in Paula's story 'Sophisticated Ladies':
It later turns out that Suzette is really an upper-class lady, willingly playing the role of the submissive maid as part of an aristocratic club dedicated to debauched orgies, corruption, and other upper-class pursuits:
But would we prefer it if Suzette really was a maid? If she really was required to humiliate herself for the amusement of her betters, and to submit to spankings and fuckings from her masters and the male staff whenever she showed the slightest hint of disobedience?
After all, given recent news stories about unfortunate Western tourists being imprisoned for breaking laws in certain Middle Eastern states, it doesn't seem too far fetched that a Western wife really could be sentenced to serve in a harem while her husband rots in jail (and of course both would be flogged beforehand given the Arabs' legendary enthusiasm for that sort of thing)...