Sunday, May 22, 2016
Some gay men are known for having a multiplicity of sexual partners. Yet there is no generic term for this kind of person. Straights do much better. There are three, derived from personal names, for heterosexual womanizers: Casanova, Don Juan, and Lothario.
Casanova (1725 – 1798) was a real person, best documented via his Memoirs (Histoire de ma vie), just published in a sumptuous new edition in France.
Don Juan (Tenorio) is a legendary figure who may never have existed; he first appears in a 1630 play by Tirso de Molina, "El Burlador de Sevilla."
Lothario, originally a Florentine, figures in a story, "El Curioso Impertinente," embedded in Cervantes' Don Quixote. The character takes on fuller form in a 1703 play by the Englishman Nicholas Rowe.