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Is there a male equivalent to 'mistress'?
January 6, 2007 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Is there a word to describe males that roughly equates to the word 'mistress'?

I realize that there's 'master,' but that doesn't quite convey the subtleties of 'mistress.'

Any thoughts hivemind?
posted by dkleinst to Writing & Language (50 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Gigolo? Manwhore?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:54 PM on January 6, 2007


I think the traditional term is kept man.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:58 PM on January 6, 2007


Toyboy?
posted by pompomtom at 7:58 PM on January 6, 2007


I've always liked the term "kept man" for this sort of thing.
posted by true at 7:58 PM on January 6, 2007


consort?
posted by carmen at 8:03 PM on January 6, 2007


Consort
posted by JujuB at 8:04 PM on January 6, 2007


gentleman caller
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:06 PM on January 6, 2007


paramour? (not strictly for men and a bit antiquated, but it works)
posted by AV at 8:07 PM on January 6, 2007


the youngin'
posted by paulinsanjuan at 8:13 PM on January 6, 2007


This is one of those questions where you can't escape history (says the historian). There's no *exact* equivalent because, until recently (if that), women, generally speaking, haven't had the same opportunities to keep extramarital sexual partners that men have had. Gigolo or toyboy are kind of contemporary equivalents, but they do have different connotations. "Consort" used to be a title for the male partner of those unusual women who exercised political power in their own right. The fact that the question comes up now says something about the increasing equality between the sexes in contemporary society.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:23 PM on January 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I thought it was "boy toy".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:26 PM on January 6, 2007


'Mangina' is the accepted term.
posted by brain cloud at 8:27 PM on January 6, 2007


Another vote for "consort."
posted by Jonasio at 8:36 PM on January 6, 2007


Ooh, ooh, it's "Poolboy"!
posted by Aquaman at 8:41 PM on January 6, 2007


manstress
posted by Mick at 8:42 PM on January 6, 2007


If you mean 'mistress' like 'woman with whom a man cheats on his wife', it could generally be expressed by saying that the woman has 'taken a lover.'

recently (if that), women, generally speaking, haven't had the same opportunities to keep extramarital sexual partners that men have had.

I was going to bring up libertinism, but I concede that perhaps you don't consider 18th century French aristocracy to be 'generally speaking.'
posted by desuetude at 8:43 PM on January 6, 2007


This question doesnt seem clear enough for me.

Oddly, everyone in this thread is unified in assuming one particular definition of "mistress" for some reason. I'm guessing that if the OP briefly considered "master" as the male equivalent then they have another definition in mind than the one assumed by everybody here.
posted by vacapinta at 8:46 PM on January 6, 2007


fancy man
posted by zadcat at 8:49 PM on January 6, 2007


I'm guessing that if the OP briefly considered "master" as the male equivalent then they have another definition in mind than the one assumed by everybody here.

Perhaps it's a reference to sadomasochistic culture, in which case "daddy" is probably closest. "There are only 'slaves' and 'daddies'."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:53 PM on January 6, 2007


vacapinta writes "Oddly, everyone in this thread is unified in assuming one particular definition of 'mistress' for some reason. I'm guessing that if the OP briefly considered 'master' as the male equivalent then they have another definition in mind than the one assumed by everybody here."

Yeah, good point. I don't think the OP would have even considered "master" if they he thinking of the "man with whom a woman has an extramarital affair" definition. He must be thinking of the BDSM definition. Consider that, I'll suggest "dom".
posted by mr_roboto at 8:58 PM on January 6, 2007


"Ponce"

from the OED: "A man who lives on money earned by another person (esp. a woman); a kept man. Also: a person (usually a man) who lives off a prostitute's earnings; a pimp."
posted by felix betachat at 9:01 PM on January 6, 2007


lover
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:12 PM on January 6, 2007


catamite?
posted by seawallrunner at 9:13 PM on January 6, 2007


Back door man. Though the link mentions modern performers, I've heard it a lot in older blues (Robert Johnson, Lighting Hopkins etc) songs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:42 PM on January 6, 2007


the mikman?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:56 PM on January 6, 2007


"Paramour," though technically gender neutral, would work in many contexts.
posted by washburn at 10:16 PM on January 6, 2007


Bimboy?
posted by np312 at 10:18 PM on January 6, 2007


If you mean someone with whom a woman is having an affair, Spanish has sancho or sanchito.
posted by sugarfish at 10:19 PM on January 6, 2007


I nominate 'Misteress'. (Ah, sweet backformation)
posted by dgaicun at 10:34 PM on January 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I nominate 'Misteress'."

Seconded.
posted by jaysus chris at 11:32 PM on January 6, 2007


I researched this last summer and found no similar term in the English language - the closest I could find was "lover".
posted by rhapsodie at 11:40 PM on January 6, 2007


I researched this last summer and found no similar term in the English language - the closest I could find was "lover".

I agree. Just think of the parallel to "oh that's not my wife, that's my mistress. Don't tell my wife"

"That's not my husband, that's my lover. Don't tell my husband. Or the UPS man."
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:53 PM on January 6, 2007


appantly.
posted by longsleeves at 12:06 AM on January 7, 2007


it's apparant.
posted by longsleeves at 12:08 AM on January 7, 2007


I'm also not clear on whether we're looking for a BDSM term, a chattel slavery term (women who owned slaves or were members of the slave owning family were usually called "mistress," if I remember my antebellum history correctly), or an illicit lover term.

But since I have a bit of experience in the realm of BDSM, I'll pitch in on that front.

"Master" is generally considered the male equivelant of "Mistress." Both are specific categories of dominants. Usually the term "master" means that the person "owns" a "slave" where as a dominant might or might not.

There are also some other words I've heard used for men who are in a committed owner/owned (or comparable) relationship: they include "sir" (as in "my sir" or "a sir"), "Lord" (as in "Lord Fred" or "Lord Bill"), and, as someone else said, "Daddy." There are probably some others I'm forgetting.
posted by Clay201 at 1:08 AM on January 7, 2007


It also depends on whether the word is meant to refer to simply an illicit lover or, more specifically, to an illicit lover who is financially supported. I prefer 'kept man' to 'paramour' or 'lover' (where there could be an equal relationship) , but I do have a fondness for 'pool boy'.

For years I thought the song "Drive My Car" was about a woman who wanted to keep a man, ostensibly as a "driver" even though she didn't have a car.

Or you could call them what Queen Elizabeth called her, um, friends: Masters of the Horse. Sort of cute.
posted by watsondog at 2:28 AM on January 7, 2007


I vote for "kept man" as about the closest in contemporary English, assuming you are using "mistress" to mean an extramarital woman supported by a man. "Gigolo" has more of a connotation of male prostitution, rather than a guy who has found his sugar momma. (As an aside, a Spanish equivalent is "mantenido" --- a "maintained" or supported guy. It's not a term of endearment, usually.)
posted by Forktine at 4:20 AM on January 7, 2007


"Kept man" sounds like the best answer, but I've always been partial to "cabana boy."
posted by saladin at 4:40 AM on January 7, 2007


Mangina?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:09 AM on January 7, 2007


Yeah, I was thinking "kept man."
posted by Alt F4 at 5:22 AM on January 7, 2007


For years I thought the song "Drive My Car" was about a woman who wanted to keep a man, ostensibly as a "driver" even though she didn't have a car.

Isn't it?
posted by squidlarkin at 6:28 AM on January 7, 2007


Could the poster please do us the favor of clarifying what he meant? Because it's really kind of a waste of everyone's time to have them sitting around coming up with words for what he might have meant.
posted by languagehat at 6:30 AM on January 7, 2007


Seconding Mick's "Manstress". We used the term to taunt a friend of mine a few years back, and I've used it since...everyone, upon hearing it, gets a funny look in their eye, then starts using it him or her self. It takes a minute to "get", but it works perfectly.
posted by notsnot at 8:28 AM on January 7, 2007


tennis pro
posted by bukvich at 8:30 AM on January 7, 2007


If you mean someone with whom a woman is having an affair, Spanish has sancho or sanchito.

As Sugarfish said. Here in South Central Texas (San Antonio-Austin corridor) Sancho is the word of choice.
posted by jsteward at 9:10 AM on January 7, 2007


You'll have to tell us what you think "mistress" means in order for us to come up with a suitable equivalent.
posted by jjg at 10:00 AM on January 7, 2007


mistress has a sort of bossy tone to it- like the other woman is secretly in control of the unfaithful man because she has power over him by virtue of her feminine wiles, or because she could publicize their affair and wreck his marriage.

for me, the word "mistress" doesn't conjure images of a kept woman- rather, i think of her as a woman who's keeping a man captive- sexually, financially, etc.

so "boytoy" and "poolboy" don't sound right to me- they lack that authoritative ring. "lover" seems too loving- doesn't reflect the power dynamic. on the other hand, "master" sounds like he has too much power. "daddy" is better but it's a bit gross, which mistress is not.

i've never heard sancho before, but that's pretty good. i vote sancho.
posted by twistofrhyme at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2007


I would also say fancy man. See also here. If I can get the OED cite I'll post that later.
posted by Flitcraft at 1:29 PM on January 7, 2007


Mandingo man
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:00 PM on January 7, 2007


Kept boy--one of whom would possess most of the following qualities:


Be gorgeous
Have a voice like cashmere
Be urbane
Be an impeccable dresser
Have flawless manners
Have perfect hygiene
Be fantastic in bed
posted by brujita at 8:43 PM on January 7, 2007


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