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A kept man is a man who is financially supported by a wealthy and often older person other than a spouse or close relative. Availability for some kind of social interaction is almost always expected in return. This can range from occasional to constant and from simple companionship to emotional and physical intimacy. A man may be kept by either a woman or another man. Being "kept" can be seen as a form of male prostitution if the relationship has a sexual dimension. The kept woman is a female version, more usually put under the umbrella term "mistress" and considered more common.
In popular culture
Kept Boy is a novel by noted author Robert Rodi.
Being a "kept man" was the theme of an episode from critically acclaimed sitcom "Ellen" originally aired on January 15, 1997 called "Joe's Kept Secret". In the episode, David Anthony Higgins' character, Joe, is kept by a significantly older woman, Madelaine, played by Florence Henderson.
The character of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard is a "kept man" who is being "kept" by Norma Desmond, a famous star.
Throughout An American in Paris others allude to Jerry Mulligan being "kept" by Milo Roberts.
In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paul Varjak is being kept by the character of Mrs. Failenson, whom Paul introduces to Holly as his decorator.
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