[[folder: "Often Licked, Never Beaten." ]]

-->-- One of the mottoes of the Guild of Seamstresses, ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''

This is an organization that supervises, um, you know. Working girls. Ladies of the night. Women of negotiable affection. Those in {{the oldest profession}}. Those who turn tricks for goods and/or money. They who walk certain streets. Soiled Doves. Women who follow camps. Girls who are on call. Courtesans. In groups: [[HurricaneOfEuphemisms Tray of Tarts, a Blazon of Strumpets, an Anthology of Pros]]. In other words: ''[[BrutalHonesty Prostitutes.]]''

There are some particular benefits of unionisation in the World's Oldest Profession; they might provide daycare for a young SonOfAWhore, or [[WifeBasherBasher security against unruly customers]] (they might even [[TykeBomb train the former to provide the latter]]).

Certainly a WeirdTradeUnion. Sometimes the HookerWithAHeartOfGold will be a member; there's sure to be at least one MissKitty, possibly running the whole thing. Often goes with UnproblematicProstitution (with implications or outright statements that they're the people who keep it Unproblematic), but not always.



[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* Casca from ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' was taken in the protection of a band of prostitutes in a refugee camp when she wandered away from the protection of the elf cave that Guts left her in. So protective are they of the wayward, insane girl that they bandaged Casca up as a syphilis victim in order to keep the lecherous eyes of men off of her, as they did not force her into prostitution due to her condition. The girls are led by Luca, [[HookerWithAHeartOfGold one of the few genuinely nice characters]] in the Berserkverse, who acts much more as a [[TeamMom mother figure]] rather than a madame, splitting her shares evenly among the other girls and coming to their aid in the most dangerous of situations.
* Not a technical organization but Lady Eboshi's headquarters in ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', Irontown is staffed largely by ex-prostitutes.

* The prostitutes of Old Town in ''Comicbook/SinCity''. They have struck a deal with the cops to keep the police out of their section of the city (The police receive free services from the prostitutes, a cut of the profits, and receive a guarantee of no-harm while in Old Town) and this leaves the girls free to keep the pimps and mobs out themselves. Old Town is in essence its own little self-governing city, with a leadership and armed enforcers to make sure their women are treated properly by their clients.
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Buck Godot|Zap Gun for Hire}}'' stories by Creator/PhilFoglio, Buck's friend Louisa dem Five runs a brothel, the Velvet Fist -- and has established, as of the "Gallimaufry" arc, a Velvet Fist franchise on the title SpaceStation.
* Aneva's brothel in ''ComicBook/RedSonja'' is a corrupt version where the guards protect the workers, but not from the guards themselves. Her dream is to overthrow the guards and replace it with a prostitute-run version.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In The Basalt City Chronicles, the Order of the Courtesan (basically a "saint" in the Smilodon religion) oversees baths and brothels. This creates some InUniverse ValuesDissonance, as in [[Webcomic/GeneCatlow Furriston]] brothels are illegal due to their tragic history.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' fic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5055274/5/The-Graduation-Class The Graduation Class]]'' is largely concerned with the inner workings and selection processes of the Guild of Assassins. But for one adult entry to Assassination, it was only her second career choice. Her first job interview was with the, ermm, Guild of Seamstresses. Read more about how this Guild recruits for new members in this chapter.
* And in the Expanded Discworld of Creator/AAPessimal, in ''Fanfic/TheNewGuild'', Mrs Sandra Battye has in fact secured Guild status for the ''other'' sort of ''Seamstress'', the type that actually mends clothes, and is naming it the '''Guild of Prostitutes'''.

* In ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' two cowboys badly injure a working girl. Her fellow ladies of the night pool their resources and put a bounty on the heads of the wrongdoers. Clint Eastwood's particular brand of badassery ensues.
* ''[[Film/DeuceBigalow Deuce Bigalow II]]'' has the European Association of Gigolos.
* ''Film/WhamBamThankYouSpaceman'' has Wild Mary's.
* The Taiwanese art-house movie ''Film/FlowersOfShanghai'' is about the lives of Chinese "Flowers" (i.e. high-class prostitutes) in 19th-century Shanghai. The whole movie takes place within the confines of the houses of pleasure, without a single outdoors shot.
* [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264802/ Live Nude Girls Unite!]] The women at a San Francisco strip joint unionize. Documentary.
* The comedy film ''Night Shift'' deals with this as its subject matter. The protagonists are two men who work the night shift at the city morgue. They decide to become pimps but they dial it up to eleven with the execution. They unionize their girls, give them most of the money they earn (as opposed to their previous pimps who got the larger share), give them health benefits and even invest some of their money in legitimate businesses making them the richest and healthiest working girls in New York.
* ''Film/PrettyBaby'' revolves around the day-to-day happenings of a Louisiana brothel in the 1910s. The protagonist is the twelve-year-old daughter of one of the whores and she helps work around the brothel. A plot point is her virginity being sold - which is unfortunately TruthInTelevision for the time.
* In ''Film/SuckerPunch'' the girls are actually in a BedlamHouse, but the protagonist imagines that they're all whores in a brothel. The trope is subverted when the girls jump at the chance to escape.

* A dedicated Teamsters union worker was attending a convention in Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got to the first one, he asked the Madam, "Is this a union house?" "No," she replied, "I'm sorry it isn't." "Well, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?" "The house gets $80 and the girls get $20," she answered. Offended at such unfair dealings, the union man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable, hopefully unionized shop. His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the Madam responded, "Why yes sir, this is a union house. We observe all union rules." The man asked, "And if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?" "The girls get $80 and the house gets $20." "That's more like it!" the union man said . He handed the Madam $100, looked around the room, and pointed to a stunningly attractive blonde. "I'd like her," he said. "I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam, then gestured to a ninety-two-year-old woman in the corner. "But Ethel here has sixty-seven years seniority and according to union rules, she's next."

* ''Literature/KushielsLegacy'' by Jacqueline Carey: Prostitution is a sacred profession; there is no shame in it whatsoever, and the prostitutes (male and female) are all [[HighClassCallGirl erudite and intelligent]]. The Court of Night Blooming Flowers is the collective for the oldest and most prestigious brothels in the capital. There is a larger guild as well that provides assistance and sets regulations for the less prestigious establishments and independents. There is a system of houses, each [[FloralThemeNaming named after a flower]] and specializing in an...aspect of sexuality (though, in this world, [[EveryoneIsBi alternative couples are common]]); for example, Valerian specializes in prostitutes who [[TooKinkyToTorture like pain]], to put it delicately, and Cereus house is famed for its particularly erudite (verbally and sexually) servants.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', there's the [[UnusualEuphemism Seamstresses' Guild]]. "Hem Hem." Let's just say that they don't sew a lot. There's a British English expression: "plain sewing" which refers to a sexual service... arguably, a form of massage. Seattle in the 1800s used the same term. Their motto was "A stitch in time will cost you a dime. All night alterations for a dollar."
** By the later books, there is in fact a non-negligible degree of sewing going on. This is because enough people didn't realize that seamstresses was an euphemism, so the Guild hired a number of non-euphemistic seamstresses to cover that sort of need, as well (it helped that non-euphemistic seamstresses are one of the few groups in the city ''not'' to have a guild).
*** Plus customers appreciated being able to get their socks darned while they ''[[UnusualEuphemism got their socks darned]]''.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein novel ''Literature/{{Friday}}''. The California Confederacy has a hooker's union, which sponsored legislation to have the government train and license women who wanted to be prostitutes, then pay them a subsidy not to sell themselves. The union did this to reduce the total number of prostitutes so they could keep the union scale high and make more money themselves.
* The creation of an association of this kind is the main plot in Creator/MarioVargasLlosa's novel ''Pantaleon y las Visitadoras'' (known in English as ''Literature/CaptainPantojaAndTheSpecialService'').
* The city of Camorr in the ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'' series by Scott Lynch had two such organizations dividing up areas of the city. It's revealed they fought a very long and bloody gang war to take control and form a monopoly, so much so that when MagnificentBastard Capa Vencarlo Barsavi took over the entire city's criminal underworld, over a hundred gangs all told, he choose to enter into a partnership with them in exchange for their nominal fealty to him rather than enforce subservience to the extent he does on the rest of the city.
* ''Literature/IslandsInTheNet'' by Bruce Sterling has The Church of Ishtar along these lines.
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga''
** Beta Colony has its [=LPSTs=]: Licensed Professional Sexual Therapists. The hermaphrodite ones are especially popular.
** Meanwhile a colony world of the Barrayaran Empire has [[FunWithAcronyms SWORD]], the Sex Workers Rights and Dignity Association. Notably it was created by the colony's ''governor'', in order to reign in the abuse and exploitation of prostitutes around the local military base.
* Creator/SpiderRobinson's ''Callahan's Lady'' series is about a bar/brothel run by Lady Sally, wife of [[Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon Mike Callahan]]. The working girls have generous benefits, are well taken care of, and the sex is consensual and mutually supportive.
* The Cult of Ashera mentioned in Neal Stephenson's ''Literature/SnowCrash'', which used cult prostitutes to spread their metavirus.
* The Liethe clan in Donald Kingsbury's ''Literature/CourtshipRite''; although they're more like courtesans or geisha than simple prostitutes. They are highly skilled in the arts of music and dance as well as love, and only make themselves available to the rich and powerful. They also have many secrets, and an agenda of their own.
* Literature/JudgeDee often has to deal with these, usually because a young girl was sold or kidnapped and put to work there (which was illegal at the time).
* The Temple of Venus in ''Literature/OneNationUnderJupiter''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Guild of Companions in ''{{Series/Firefly}}'', although Companions are more like Ancient Greek ''Hetairai'', or a cross between prostitutes, geishas, therapists, and confessors (''hetaira'' itself ''means'' "companion" in Greek, so possible ShoutOut).
** Also, in the episode "Heart of Gold", the occupants of a local brothel are all willing to fight and die to protect the baby of one of their own. Well, almost all. The brothel's owner is herself a former Companion who wanted to improve common prostitutes' lives by better treatment.
* In the ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' episode "Republic of Murdoch", it turns out George's "aunts" are a group of prostitutes who formed a sort of collective in the old rectory (the rector was George's adoptive father). Leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny when Murdoch has a very circumspect conversation in which he tries to ascertain if the occasionally naive George actually ''knows'' this. (He does.)
* In the mini-series ''Series/{{Ascension}}'' there are the Stewardesses who combine this with both {{Geisha}} and the HoneyTrap as they are run by the Captain' wife and used to gather information for both her and her husband's benefit.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms setting of ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]'' has an unconventional take on this: the church of Sharess is mostly ''composed'' of prostitutes of all ends of the spectrum, including males, and while Sharess is only a demipower, the church has powerful allies and more influence in certain quarters than one would expect. Sharess is the goddess of pleasure.
* The ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' game ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' has the Aethera Inamorata, a faction within the Children of Gaia [[{{Splat}} tribe]] composed of sexual healers. They're all about the spirituality of sex and maintains the tribe's close ties to the Cult of Ecstacy tradition of Mages. They were originally known as "Houris" and/or "The Hours," and claim that agents of the game's EldritchAbomination mutated that name into "whore" and turned sex into something seen as dirty and shameful by society.
* In ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'', "Jenny's Girls" are an important political group.
* Some ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novels imply that institutionalized prostitution is relatively common.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Rose Haibara, the protagonist of ''VisualNovel/RoseGunsDays'', is the madam of club Primavera, a high-class establishment for [[InsistentTerminology ladies of the night]], which has other establishments related to it and over the course of the story becomes a mafia group, as well as a semi-political nationalistic organisation which pretty much rules City 23 (a district of [[AlternateHistory this story's]] Tokyo).

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* In ''WebComic/{{Drowtales}}'', the [[UnusualEuphemism Guild of Flowers]].
* ''Webcomic/KillSixBillionDemons'' has several, including the [[http://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/ksbd-1-14/ Golden Pearl Pleasure Guild]] and the enterprises of the possessed demigod [[http://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/ksbd-2-35/ Praman Nand]] in Hell 71. Unfortunately, since the realm of Throne is a lawless CrapsackWorld, these Guilds overlap heavily with the slave and drug trades, to say nothing of [[WeirdTradeUnion even stranger enterprises]].
* In ''Webcomic/RiversideExtras'', the all-female gang the Roses, led by Ma Oceana, started out as this, but has expanded to selling opium. Their dominance in the sex trade is the main reason they're the second biggest outfit in Riverside, though.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision: There is such an organisation in the UK called the ''International Union of Sex Workers''. They're part of the GMB, and an article was written about table-dancers joining the GMB as well, inspired by the example. (The GMB is Britain's General Union -- basically a way for those who aren't part of the huge professions to have a chance at some representation at the higher levels).
** There is also the English Collective of Prostitutes.
** In general there are a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Sex_worker_organizations lot of these]], including the admittedly silly-sounding Canadian Guild of Erotic Labour and the International Sex Worker Foundation for Art, Culture and Education, which also focuses on the collection and preservation of art by and about sex workers.
* In Ancient Rome, prostitutes had their own guild (''collegium''), along with bakers, butchers, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc.
* This is also dead serious in some South American nations; they want their rights.
* The equivalent US organization is COYOTE, for Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. FunWithAcronyms, indeed.
* And the Finnish sex workers' organization is called SALLI. Salli is both a traditional woman's name and the second person imperative form of the verb "allow" in Finnish.
* The German equivalent is called Hydra e.V.[[note]]''eingetragener Verein'', "Registered Association"[[/note]]
* New Zealand's Prostitutes Collective were instrumental in passing the Prostitution Reform Act 2003
* One of the oldest ones is the "Rode draad" or "red thread" in the Netherlands. Being both a lampshade of the infamous red light districts and a Dutch-language pun on having something in common.
** Even punnier: the Dutch word for sewing ("naaien") is slang for screwing. Yep.
** And it is probably a play on the story of Jericho, where the whore Rachab put a red thread out of her window.
*** So they're [[Literature/{{Discworld}} seamstresses]] (hem, hem)?
** Appropriately, the organization takes it's left-wing, or "red", roots very seriously. It is one of the powerhouses of Dutch politics, and has done valuable work in multiple areas, including law enforcement, workplace safety regulations and public healthcare reform.
* Religious institutions have often taken on the role of "supervisor of the brothels," typically maintaining standards of cleanliness of facilities and ensuring the welfare of the prostitutes. In some cases, this was because the religious authorities held a "better allowed, safe, and under our control than prohibited, dangerous, and out of our hands" attitude towards the practice; in other cases, this was because the prostitution was a religious ritual/duty.
** In London the brothels of Southwark were owned by the Bishop of Winchester.
** But in Paris and Lyons in medieval France, they were part of the guild dealing with baths, which led to moral censors deciding to completely close the public baths in France as well in the 17th century.
** Even the Catholic Church (of all institutions!) had some specially-sanctioned prostitutes, on the basis that they acknowledged that men have certain [[ImAManICantHelpIt "needs"]] and would commit rape if they couldn't get those "needs" fulfilled. (Rape was seen as being about sex, not power and control.) They also assumed that even if the Church did not control prostitution, prostitution would happen anyway, and better that they control it than anybody else.
** This is one interpreted meaning of Creator/WilliamBlake's quote "Prisons are built with the stones of law, brothels the bricks of religion."
** Slightly further in the past, most of the... "quality" prostitutes were found in temples.
*** The term devadasi originally described a Hindu religious practice in which girls were "married" and dedicated to a deity (deva or devi). In addition to taking care of the temple, and performing rituals, they learned and practiced Bharatanatyam and other classical Indian arts traditions, and enjoyed a high social status. Over time, the institution became identified with prostitution.
* The temple prostitution of Ishtar is OlderThanDirt. Makes sense, as Ishtar was ''literally'' the goddess of sex.
** And of War, but not of Childbirth.
* The Sex Workers Outreach Project USA protested against ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'''s use of DisposableSexWorker.