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I am looking for a word describing a man who has a lot of female friends, and who prefers female friends.

I was "Wikipedia surfing" (going through Wikipedia pages and clicking on links found within the wiki), and I came upon the page of a man who had a lot of female friends, and there was a word that described that attribute succinctly.

I do not remember any details about the bloke. I looked up the word (I seemingly immediately forgot it), and, to tell the truth, I am unsure whether the word defined "someone who has a lot of friends of the opposite sex" (which, if true, means in my memory I incorrectly paired the word's definition to his gender), or more specifically, "a man who has a lot of female friends (and/or) prefers female companionship", where companionship does not insinuate sexual relationships.

If there were two words for the two definitions I just gave that'd be all the better! I have tried to remember for quite a while to no success.

An update: perhaps an example for some clarification is necessary. Imagine a scenario where you have a gay man (who has never had sexual interests in women) who has all female friends, who know he is gay, and no male friends. Here he prefers the companionship of women, and not of men; thus, he could be a "ladies' man", but only speciously, since I believe the word implies some yearning, from either the women or the "ladies' man", to copulate, which doesn't exist here. The word would also apply for a lesbian who only has male friends (who she has no desire to copulate with), and who thus prefers them as companions. So, generally, we'd get: "someone who prefers the company of members of the opposite sex". I hope this clarifies the request some. Thank you.

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  • Googling led me to a sizeable number of people (like this blogger) who consider the word androgynous to mean "a man who has a number of women friends". The word actually means nothing of the sort (even, based on a quick look, as slang). But it might have been the one you encountered on WP. Jan 27, 2013 at 19:52
  • @coleopterist Thank you, but I am 100% sure that is not the word I came across (as I wouldn't mistake the two)
    – Bragi
    Jan 27, 2013 at 23:08

4 Answers 4

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After doing some round-about searching (i.e., searching the wiki archives starting with "friendship"), I believe I found the word I was looking for: heterosocial, meaning prefering non-sexual relations with the opposite sex. Thus the man in question (whose wiki page I'm likely to never come across again) was exclusively heterosocial, ascribing to him a fondness (of a non-sexual nature) of only female acquaintances and who, with a dearth of a heteronormative love life, could be perceived to be homosexual.

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    You do realize, though, that your question specified a word for a male who is heterosocial. You should probably update your question to be less gender specific in order to mollify all of us who couldn't think of the male-specific word for heterosocial. Jan 28, 2013 at 5:38
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    @Jim He actually clarifies in his question that the word could well mean the more neutral "someone who prefers the company of members of the opposite sex". Jan 28, 2013 at 13:32
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For a long time, the standard name for such a person has been lady's man.

lady's man also ladies' man
n.
A man who enjoys and attracts the company of women.

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    I disagree that this doesn't imply sexual relationships. While a lady's man might be more likely to enjoy platonic friendships than average, they'd certainly also be a bit of a "player" in more modern usage.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 27, 2013 at 14:07
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    Certainly sexuality is part of it, but not the only part.
    – Robusto
    Jan 27, 2013 at 14:12
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    Yes, but I think the querent wants to exclude it entirely, in which case this wouldn't suit. On the other hand if they don't mind it being a component but not the full component it's perfect. More than perfect, I think this phrase is under used today. I personally am invested in seeing terms for men who enjoy the company of women, where sexuality is sometimes a component and sometimes no more than a bit of flirting, gain renewed currency ;)
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 27, 2013 at 14:29
  • Perhaps your reading of "where companionship does not insinuate sexual relationships" is more perceptive than mine. I think it would have to approach clairvoyance, though.
    – Robusto
    Jan 27, 2013 at 14:35
  • Perhaps yours more than mine. As long as they know it doesn't entirely exclude such an element they can decide for themselves.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 27, 2013 at 14:37
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The closest I can get:

Philogynist – a person who likes or admires women

Gynocentric – centred on or concerned exclusively with women

I don't know any term that specifically refers to 'a man who has a lot of female companions'.

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    These are good! Though to me "philogyny" does not necessarily mean he/she enjoys "the company of" them. Perhaps a word that means "someone who prefers the company of the opposite sex"? In a non-sexual way - think, as I mention above, a gay man who prefers hanging out with female friends, and not with men, regardless of their sexual orientation. The gay man does not, in this example, want to procreate with the women, and sees them exclusively as friends.
    – Bragi
    Jan 27, 2013 at 19:20
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I am guessing player would be appropriate.

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    How is player appropriate? Any explanations? References?
    – Mohit
    Jan 27, 2013 at 6:15
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    I disagree - "Player" implies more than friendship with the female companions in question.
    – Lynn
    Jan 27, 2013 at 6:32

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