Male promiscuity  

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"Celles qu'on n'a pas eues"

Fashionable Contrasts (1792) by James Gillray  Male promiscuity is part of the human sexuality portal
Fashionable Contrasts (1792) by James Gillray
Male promiscuity is part of the human sexuality portal

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The words "womanizer", "player", "stud", "pimp", "ladies' man", "lady-killer", "skirt-chaser" and "rake" may be used in reference to a man who has love affairs with women and will not marry or commit to a relationship. The names of real and fictional seducers have become eponyms for such promiscuous men. The most famous are the historical Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), and the fictional Don Juan, who first appeared in the 17th century, and Lothario from Nicholas Rowe's 1703 play The Fair Penitent. James Bond and Captain Kirk are famous fictional characters that can be considered womanizers.



During the English Restoration period (1660-1688), the term rake was used glamorously: the Restoration rake is a carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocrat typified by Charles II's courtiers, the Earl of Rochester and the Earl of Dorset, who combined riotous living with intellectual pursuits and patronage of the arts. The Restoration rake is celebrated in the Restoration comedy of the 1660s and the 1670s. After the reign of Charles II, and especially after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the rake was perceived negatively and became the butt of moralistic tales in which his typical fate was debtor's prison, permanent venereal disease, and, in the case of William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, venereally-caused insanity and internment in Bedlam.


"Bachelorhood is very far from being equivalent to sexual continence. The bachelor receives from society the tacit permission to indulge in the convenience of intercourse with woman, when and where he can ; it calls his self-seeking pleasures ' successes,' and surrounds them with a kind of poetic glory ; and the amiable vice of Don Juan arouses in society a feeling composed of envy, sympathy, and secret admiration." --The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization by Max Nordau, quoted in Bloch's The sexual life of our time in its relations to modern civilization.


Fictional womanizers include Don Juan, the title character in Don Giovanni, Roald Dahl's Uncle Oswald, and Ian Fleming's James Bond. In most of these tales dating all the way back to Don Juan, womanizers are often punished for their callous behaviour in various ways.

Female equivalent

For women, the most common term is seductress vamp or femme fatale; some use the term, "maneater", as in the 1982 Hall & Oates hit song "Maneater", and the term cougar or Mrs. Robinson may be used for older women pursuing younger men. A famous literary example might be Lady Brett Ashley in Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises, a woman of a certain age who chases a nineteen-year-old matador. Blanche DuBois, the third member of a sexual triangle in A Streetcar Named Desire by the playwright Tennessee Williams, is another example.

The Philanderer

The Philanderer is an 1898 play by G. Bernard Shaw.

See also

promiscuity, womaniser (disambiguation)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Male promiscuity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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