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Is the male version of a mistress, a mastress? It's a term I would use, but I don't know if it is just slang or if it is formal...

P.S. I mean a male that sleeps with a married woman (love, not business)

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    Fancy man:(UK) A woman's lover. – user66974 Nov 6 '14 at 16:54
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    Definitely a UK term. I've never heard of it before (in the USA) – kayleeFrye_onDeck Nov 6 '14 at 17:12
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    I like mastress. If a mistress is what comes(!) between a mister and his mattress, surely it works the other way too! – Mynamite Nov 6 '14 at 17:28
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    My word association when thinking of the word "mastress" is a mattress in BDSM gear. I think I like "mastress" for different reasons than you, Mynamite. – kayleeFrye_onDeck Nov 6 '14 at 18:21
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    Is a gigolo pronounced jigolo or gi golo? Because it makes a difference whether they jiggle or giggle while on the job. – Blessed Geek Nov 6 '14 at 23:06
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Personally, I would call such an unofficial sexual partner a lover, no matter what the genders of the people involved. The online Merriam-Webster's dictionary's definition of lover includes the following meaning:

someone with whom a married person is having a love affair

So, while the word does not necessarily imply a man sleeping with a married woman, it most certainly can be used that way.


If you're looking for a disparaging term, you could use boy toy, defined by dictionary.com as:

Also, toy boy. a young man noted for his good looks and sexual prowess, especially one who maintains relationships with older, more powerful persons.

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That would definitely be slang (slang that ignores the fact that words ending in -ess usually denote something feminine, for that matter). "Paramour" is more unisex and means something similar, though.

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As J.A. said, "paramour" is a gender-neutral equivalent, and a good way to express a "male mistress", so long as there is a some gender-context provided for the reader/listener. But the question specifically asked for a male-equivalent, not a male-acceptable equivalent.

Technically, Cicisbeo is the word you are looking for. However, I had not even heard of the term before today. It could be a product of merely ignorance, or its lack of prevalence in the USA. I won't speculate.

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    As I understand it, a cicisbeo was a lover in the romantic sense, but explicitly not in the physical sense. – TimLymington Nov 6 '14 at 18:51
  • Interesting. As I had never seen its use before, I had only the Wikipedia article to reference. What context have you seen it used in, and where? – kayleeFrye_onDeck Nov 6 '14 at 19:27
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If you want to restrict the connotation of mistress to a kept lover, then gigilo would be appropriate as a male equivalent.

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    A) OP specifically says "love, not business" and B) gigolo would be better. – TimLymington Nov 6 '14 at 23:23

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