I’m asking this with a “concubine” being a woman, or one in a group of women, that one man considers routine sexual partners, with no intention of assuming marriage or a romantic role beyond what might be necessary to keep each woman happy. These women are not necessarily aware of each other; they constitute a “stable” of routine sexual partners.

Is there an equivalent term for a man, or group of men, who are in a relationship with a woman that routinely has sexual encounters with them under similar circumstances? I’m looking for a word that would describe a man who functions as such a concubine, whether he’s aware of it or not.

  • "Consort" might be too strongly associated with royalty, but it is applicable to men as well as women.
    – user888379
    Nov 14, 2021 at 20:52
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    I don't think there is/was a male equivalent. A concubine was a woman who slept with a high-status man on an 'official' basis, but was of lower status than his wife/wives. For reasons of biology and gender politics, it never happened the other way round. Nov 14, 2021 at 20:58
  • @KateBunting according to Wikipedia Lawrence's fiction about Lady Chatterley was inspired by real events. Or is the difference that the situation you describe was endorsed: was no secret? Nov 14, 2021 at 22:13
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    Called by whom? In what language? Nov 14, 2021 at 22:14
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    For a group of men, a stable. See AHD for the use of stable to refer to all the horses owned by one person or organization, or all the athletes under common management.
    – Xanne
    Nov 15, 2021 at 3:14

4 Answers 4


I've always heard a phrase used for this: male concubine. (It is, in fact, such a natural term for this that it's used in the question itself.)

Here are some examples:

The rise and fall of Emperor Qian's male concubine — South China Morning Post

Women were forbidden from taking a male concubine. — Wikipedia: Islamic views on concubinage

You may also be able to borrow a term from another culture, if that's what's being discussed. For example, when discussing the Romans:

[M]any well-off Roman men kept a male concubine called concubinus — The Evolution of Same-Sex Attraction

Finally, when talking about a modern-day relationship, there are more words available. (But the word concubine wouldn't be used here, not for a woman or man.) The term that comes to my mind is side-piece, which although being most commonly applied to "the other woman" can also be used for a man:

A side piece in an affair is not gender specific. Hollywood has portrayed the side piece to be a woman or a victim of the "situationship", imposing double standards. Typically, cheating is associated with men, and the language used to describe it include jump off, side piece, and mistress, which refer to men sleeping with multiple women. Yet we don’t talk about women doing the cheating, or women having a man as their side piece. — Medical Daily


If it's a monarch or other important person - I don't think regular people get to have concubines - "Favourite" is often used. James I had "favourites" who were always attractive young men, and Potemkin is often described as Catherine the Great's most famous "favourite".



Concubine is interchangeable. Given the -one suffix would denote a male and concubone is not a word, concubine serves for both sexes.

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    – Community Bot
    Nov 14, 2021 at 20:43
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    I think 'concubone' creates entirely the wrong picture in the mind's eye. Nov 14, 2021 at 20:47
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    You could add a reference to the Etymonline account of the word. It confirms exactly what you sat. The Latin root has the stem "concubin-", of which the masculine form is 'concubinus' snd the feminine is 'concubina'. As it happens, English adjectives do not inflect by gender. So there is no semantic or grammatical reason why 'concubine should not apply to male as well as female. Of course, historically, there have only been female ones. the same is true of 'prostitue' so that we speak of a 'male prostitute' On that precedent use 'male concubine'
    – Tuffy
    Nov 14, 2021 at 22:28
  • In the Bible, concubines were baby makers, not low-value toys or high-value spouses. See Hagar and Abraham. Not easily male. Nov 15, 2021 at 23:36

Lexico sheds some light as to the etymology of 'concubine':

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin concubina, from con- ‘with’ + cubare ‘to lie’.

The nominative singular noun, concubina, with the suffix -a, implies a feminine form (see also here), and the male equivalent would be concubinus (also 'bridegroom'), which is corroborated by Etymonline.

The fact we only have a single word is arguably more of a testimony to our hetero-normative and androcentric history than to the origin of the word.

A short but more nuanced article on the usage of both terms can be found here.

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