Translated as active or agent. It refers to the man who has the active role in anal intercourse, as opposed to the one receiving, the patient or passive one. The origin of these terms come from the literal translation of the Latin words, and appear for the first time in a Theological moral treaty form the XVI century:
“Moses´ Law (Leviticus) commands the agent as well as the patient to be executed”
J. Benedicti, La Somme des péchés, 1601.
From this moment on, the term became very common in Literature to signal the roles of each of the members in a homosexual relationship. Today it has been substituted by “Actif” (active) or by the anglicism “Top”.
Related: Agir et pâtir.