A gigolo is a male escort or social companion who is supported by a woman in a continuing relationship, often living in her residence or having to be present at her beck and call. The gigolo is expected to provide companionship, to serve as a consistent escort with good manners and social skills, and often, to serve as a dancing partner as required by the woman in exchange for the support (which is contrary to typical norms). Many gifts such as expensive clothing and an automobile to drive may be lavished upon him. The relationship may include sexual services as well, when he also would be referred to as "a kept man".
The term gigolo usually implies a man who adopts a lifestyle consisting of a number of such relationships serially, rather than having other means of support.
The word gigolo may be traced to a first use as a neologism during the 1920s as a back formation from a French word, gigolette, a woman hired as a dancing partner.