Competitive fertilization success can depend on the relative abilities of competing males to fertilize available ova, and on mechanisms of cryptic female choice that moderate paternity. Competitive fertilization success is thus an emergent property of competing male genotypes, female genotype and their interactions. Accurate estimates of intrinsic male effects on competitive fertilization success are therefore problematic. We used a cross-classified nonbreeding design in which rival male family background was standardized to partition variation in competitive fertilization success among male and female family backgrounds in the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. Male effects were close to zero, supporting previous quantitative genetic designs in which male competitors were assigned at random. In contrast, some 22% of the variance in competitive fertilization success was explained by female effects, suggesting that paternity in this species is influenced strongly by cryptic female choice. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.