"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."Sex often has a bad reputation in fiction. Often, the only characters allowed to have any sort of sex appeal are not the ones for whom we're meant to root. Character types like The Vamp and the Femme Fatale run amok, doing their evil work, ruining lives and corrupting men into doing nasty things. But not every sexy girl in fiction is evil. Some of them are downright heroic; and not despite their sexiness, but because of it. These are the ladies who epitomize Sex Is Good. They're the ones who use sex as a tool or means to achieve a goal, the same way the vamp or femme fatale might, the only difference being that their goals are... well, not evil. Here are a few ways the trope can manifest:
— Jessica Rabbit, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Sex as a bargaining chip: A night in bed with the heroine to get what she needs to complete her quest or supplies for the town she's trying to save, etc.
- Sex as a distraction: Taking advantage of the Male Gaze, allowing the heroine's allies to complete a task without interruption.
- Sex as espionage: Getting into bed with people who have high clearance levels, or even the Evil Overlord himself, then using that position to get information or just remove the threat entirely.
- Sex as encouragement: The heroine beds a man as a way to get him into a heroic state of mind. Bonus points if she also brings him over to the good guys' side.
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Anime & Manga
- In The Vision of Escaflowne, when Allen Schezar is locked up by his king, Princess Millerna comes down to the dungeons, seemingly trips and Shows Some Leg to the guard, asking him to check her foot. The blushing guard bends down to investigate and gets a Tap on the Head from Allen's lieutenant Gaddess.
- Erza from Fairy Tail loves being sexy. She flirted with two customers at a restaurant while in an outfit showing her cleavage, and she even purchased an armor used for seduction. In Chapter 441, she and Lucy used their seductive charms to bypass guards, and in the Key to the Starry Skies arc, she planned on seducing a group of bandits to distract them. Also she literally has an armor called the Seduction Armor.
- Lucy tries to be this, but fails a lot of the time, and for reasons that aren't her own fault.
- Shiki Aizawa of Aizawa-san Multiplies is the manifestation of the title character's sex drive. She constantly pushes her original forward to be more aggressive in her relationship with their crush. Justified by another one of the duplicates - as the duplicates get all of the experiences of the original when they merge, Shiki gets all the joy of the relationship when she links back up with the original.
- In the fifth episode of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Farangis seduces Pelagius to lure him into compliancy before bringing him in towards Arslan.
- Nancy Lee from Ninja Slayer is a Intrepid Reporter who happens to be a sexy, blonde bombshell who's not afraid to Show Some Leg from time to time to distract bad guys and help the main protagonist. In one instance, she dresses up as a prostitute in order to gain access inside a Syndicate facility. On the downside, her gorgeous looks tend to work against her favor, making her a Lust Object of some vile, sleazy scumbags who all have some... unwholesome thoughts in mind for her.
- Played with in Soul Eater. Blair is a magical cat who likes to take the form of a voluptuous woman. While not really a hero (she's the main characters' roommate and enjoys teasing Soul), she does help out when the son of Death gets trapped in a book. When they enter the book, it temporarily flips everyone's gender and a lust demoness tried to distract our heroes. Cue Blair turning into Mr. Fanservice and blasting it.
- Dorothy in Princess Principal is a spy and a Badass Driver, but whenever she needs to get a man to drop his guard, distracting him with her voluptuous figure and seductive manner is her go-to move.
- Black Widow started off as a villain, but did a Heel–Face Turn and started working for SHIELD. She still uses sex to get information out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s enemies. It is part of her "specific skillset" after all.
- Marvel Comics has Venus, who is a Greek nymph that started out as an evil temptress, but was cursed by a wizard to have a soul as "beautiful" as her appearance. Now, she uses her beauty and Glamour powers to help people.
- The Marvel Universe's Gaea, the Earth Mother, is characterized as a goddess who solves problems by having babies. Lots of babies. For instance, when many of her fellow Elder Gods turned evil, she solved the problem by mating with the primordial entity called the Demiurge and gave birth to the Demogorge (aka, the God Eater). Later, when a certain Top God expressed the need for a son powerful enough to defend the Earth from danger, she offered to give him a son capable of just that. That son became The Mighty Thor.
- Also from Marvel, the Young Avengers had a member called Enchantress who named and modeled herself off of Thor's nemesis, Amora the Enchantress. Similarly, she could also use her looks to her advantage, although she was much more benevolent.
Films — Animation
- Aladdin: Jasmine had her moment by keeping Jafar distracted long enough for Al to get the lamp back. Backfired, since Al was (rightly) too squicked out upon seeing her kiss Jafar to keep moving toward the lamp, losing a few crucial seconds.
- Songstress Angel attempts to seduce Mok in Rock & Rule so that Mok will abandon his Evil Plan to summon a demon during a rock concert. Unfortunately, Mok is Ax-Crazy, and laughs off the attempt, ordering his minions to "take her away".
Films — Live-Action
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. CIA agent Felicity Shagwell seduces the villain Fat Bastard in order to implant a Tracking Device in his buttocks.
- Barbarella: She displays this trope in a number of ways.
- After sleeping with the angel, Pygar, he regains his self-confidence and will to fly.
- At the climax of the film, she breaks a torture device designed to kill with orgasms!
- Lisa Fremont in Rear Window acts like a classic Femme Fatale seductress (she is Grace Kelly in a nightgown after all). At first, the movie seems to be setting her up as Ms. Fanservice or someone who will cause the male lead (James Stewart) to be Distracted by the Sexy. But as the film progresses, she is fleshed out as a seemingly good-hearted, intelligent, and helpful character who assists the wheelchair-bound male character in his investigation about the suspicious behavior of his neighbor.
- Mademoiselle Rimbaud in History of the World Part I.
- Scheherazade in Arabian Nights allowed herself to be married and have sex with a mad sultan for the purposes of saving her people (as well as any potential future brides of his). Of course, this is overshadowed by another type of seduction she employed, that of telling really captivating stories.
- In Stephen King's The Stand, Dayna Jurgens of the Boulder Free Zone goes to Las Vegas to infiltrate and spy on Flagg's organization. She sleeps with Flagg's right-hand man Lloyd Henreid as part of this mission.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel Oath of Fealty: Tony Rand, the chief engineer of the Todos Santos arcology, needs to come up with a plan to rescue someone from police custody. He's talking over his plans with a woman named Delores Martine. Because of problems in his personal life, he can't concentrate and starts to lose control of himself, so Delores repeatedly seduces him to calm him down so he can think.
- Francesca in The Shadow of the Lion uses her position as a high-class courtesan to end a deadly family vendetta and to further the education (in all sorts of ways) of prince Manfred.
- A lot of problems in the first trilogy of the Kushiel's Legacy series are solved by having the High-Class Call Girl protagonist, Phedre no Delaunay, find the right person to sleep with. This ranges from seducing an on-the-fence admiral to infiltrating the harem of a horrific dictator.
- In Mercedes Lackey's Owlflight, Lilly keeps the Barbarians from raping any of the village girls by keeping their attention on her.
- "Mary" from Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters is walking death with hands/feet, with knives, and with guns. Lots of guns. Everyone of the guns. But her principle weapon is her sex appeal, which "Sam" is happy for her to use on him, but which is more useful for detecting aliens, due to their not understanding human emotions like physical attraction.
- It may take some stretching of the term "heroic," but in No Good Deed, Elsabeth Soesten is not the least bit hesitant to sleep with Lord Cuncz as an easy means of gaining access to some documents she's come to steal. It's also made clear when she describes the plan to Hieronymus that she's used this particular trick many times in the past. The plan nearly falls off the rails and she has to resort to drugging him, because rather than getting an opportunity to slip away later after he falls asleep, Cuncz was ready and able to go all night. It also turns out to be subverted in that Cuncz wants her to have the documents and knew why she was there all along. He just went with it for the opportunity to bed her.
- Linda Downey from The Warrior Heir is implied to be this, but she can wrap people around her little finger with her looks and some flirting. Actually having sex with them doesn't seem to be necessary. It turns out this is her magic power.
- The eponymous Esther wins a "beauty contest" to find a new queen, and saves her people from destruction by using her charms and sex appeal. She did this by being the sexiest girl and the best lay out of an entire harem of women chosen specifically for their beauty and sexuality. It would be like if US presidents chose consorts by selecting their favorite lay from a harem of pornstars, models, and beauty queens, and then one of those chosen consorts then used her position to get slavery abolished / civil rights enacted / favorable conditions for Native Americans.
- In The Epic of Gilgamesh, a wild man named Enkidu (who later becomes The Lancer to the eponymous Gilgamesh), spends a week with a temple prostitute named Shamhat, who teaches him how to be civilized. He curses her for that, because if he had just stayed in the forest and lived as a wild man, he wouldn't have experienced so much loss during his and Gilgamesh's adventures. The Sun God sets him straight, by pointing out that even though it doesn't always seem that way, becoming civilized has made Enkidu's life better, and he owes Shamhat for that. Enkidu takes back the Curse he put on Shamhat.
- In Maupassant's short story, Bed 29, Irma fell in love with a Captain who later went to fight in the Prussian War. When he came back, he realized that Irma had caught syphilis after she was raped by the Prussians. On her deathbed, Irma asked Captain Epivent to visit her once more, only to realize that he despised her for ruining his reputation, especially since she was now known as "the wife of the Prussians." Hurt by his accusations, Irma explains that the reason for her actions was to poison the Prussians. She then proceeded to laugh, exclaiming that she had killed more men than the Captain and his troops combined. She died the following day.
- Alias: Sidney Bristow has been known to dress provocatively on occasion in order to get into secret lairs and charm crime bosses.
- The episode "Mirror, Mirror" from Star Trek: The Original Series shows Lieutenant Uhura get minxy with Mirror-Sulu, so that he doesn't notice a warning light that signals transporter tampering by Chief Engineer Scott. Once the danger is past, Uhura switches off the sexy.
- Many episodes in TOS feature Kirk having to seduce some lovely woman in order to save his ship and crew.
- Inara Serra in Firefly.
- In the series as a whole, she is a minor example. Her status as a Companion granted the Serenity crew a level of respectability, allowing them to get around more easily.
- In a full-blown moment of the trope, Inara's involvement with the son of the guy who runs Canton gave him the confidence he needed to stick up to his dad, and sooner or later, when the responsibility passes to him, he'll rule with a gentler hand.
- Lexx: Xev was not above using her libido to get what the crew needed. That she finally got the chance to satisfy said libido was of course an added bonus.
- Chiana in Farscape.
- At one point, the crew is short on food. When someone offers them what they need in exchange for a night with her, she is more than willing to go through with it for the sake of her crew.
- On many other occasions, she's used her inherent sex appeal to extract information, or to keep attention on her and be a distraction while her teammates are working.
- Game of Thrones:
- Margaery Tyrell. She's sexy and she knows it. And what does she do with her sexiness? Keeps Joffrey from being too cruel. Given the Gray and Grey Morality of the show, may be a case of Pragmatic Villainy; she seems to see befriending the people as a path to power, rather than getting power in order to help the people.
- Shae counts to some extent, being Tyrion's main emotional support.
- Ros is likewise skilled at using sex to get information. She feeds said information to Varys, who uses it to keep Sansa away from Littlefinger. This gets her killed.
- Of Dany's many achievements, convincing an enemy general to assassinate his two co-generals and grant her control of his army, simply by being the sexiest woman he's ever met, is pretty close to this.
- Sloan Sabbith of The Newsroom is a minor example, in that she isn't so much a "hero" in the classical sense. She is however a morally upright, utterly brilliant and stunningly attractive woman who Mac hires to report on economic news specifically because she is both A: eminently qualified, and B: so attractive that keeping the audience's attention won't be an issue. Aside from that, she once also charmed a teenage lech into giving her his phone (during a breaking news story that required a phone, while Don was using hers), and on another occasion, told a former student of hers that she was single (she wasn't, but her lover was in the room and indicated that saying so would be ok) in order to get information that could save their jobs.
- The Walking Dead: A minor example, and possibly a subversion. During the third season, the survivors are being terrorized by a man known as The Governor, whom Andrea just happens to be involved with. Knowing this, Carol suggests she take a page out of Jael's book; sex him to exhaustion, then impale his skull in his sleep. But after he's finally out, she can't bring herself to do it.
- The heroine of the TV show Lost Girl is a succubus who uses her magical seduction powers to flirt information out of bad guys regularly, and occasionally knocks them unconscious with a kiss. In particular, physical contact with her causes intense sexual pleasure, which is very useful for getting information out of people.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003)
- Mrs. Tigh may be a woman of questionable morality, but her liaisons with the Cylon Cavil were ostensibly to secure her husband's release from the detention center, where he was likely being tortured, and had lost an eye.
- Baltar's Head-Six bounces like a pendulum between this and The Vamp every few episodes or so. Makes sense since Ron Moore has described her as being a Madonna-Whore made real.
- Emma, the protagonist of Once Upon a Time, did this for a living as a Bail Bond Investigator, prior to taking over as The Sheriff of Storybrooke. Admittedly, the only time she's ever seen on the job is during the pilot, but holy crap did that dress not work like a charm.
- In Horatio Hornblower, Miss Cobham used her sexiness and sex to preserve her alias as Duchess of Wharfedale when she was staying as a civilian in Spanish fort (and prison), and consequently she saved her and Hornblower's life. It also saved Horatio's super important dispatches for the Admiralty she was hiding for him. While the inquisitive French soldier she had to sleep with was sleazy and she was not happy about it, she saw it as the only way to keeps their plans safe.
- In the D&D episode of Community, Annie, roleplaying as "Hector the Well-Endowed", seduces an elf maiden for a flock of Pegasuses.
- Ernestine seduces and sleeps with her master in order to protect her children. She clearly hates it, but she does make him promise that her son won't be put to work in the fields.
- Elizabeth performs a burlesque dance at the governor's ball to distract the crowd while John steals some valuable intel for the Underground Railroad. Later in the season, she reluctantly sleeps with the town Marshall (who just so happens to be her ex-fiance and still very much infatuated with her) to keep him from taking away Boo, the runaway slave child she's been harboring.
Myths & Religion
- The Bible, of all places, has quite a few examples of this.
- Judith from the apocryphal book of the same name uses her sexuality to get close to Holofernes, the leader of the oppressive enemy, then kills him while he's vulnerable. She takes it a step further and cuts his head off.
- Tamar in the Book of Genesis. Her father-in-law Judah misblamed her for the deaths of his first two sons and wouldn't give her his third son in marriage as was the custom. As a result, his line was in danger of dying out. She then disguised herself as a veiled temple prostitute so that Judah lay with her. The result was twin boys who became the ancestors of the Judah tribe and of King David.
- Rahab is a prostitute, or a brothel madam, who gives the heroic Israelite spies a place to hide. She's one of the ancestors of Jesus.
- Yael, according to some translations of the word "covered." The Bowdlerised assumption is that she tucked Sisera in all nice and snug before assassinating him, but "covered" may have more adult-themed connotations.
- The title character in the Book of Esther prevents an extermination of her people by using her looks to manipulate the king into preventing it.
- The Kitsune is a fox-like spirit who often shapeshifts and seduces human men. However, their intentions are rarely ill, with some actually encouraging or inspiring heroic and courageous acts, and many of them often wind up falling in love and become completely devoted wives and mothers.
- Jackie Gayda served as one to protect The World's Greatest Tag Team (one of them being her husband) and Rico Constantino when they were babyfaces by using her assets to distract enemies trying to hurt them.
- While Tammy Lynn Sytch was unsuccessful in seducing Austin Aries, her efforts kept him out of The Age of the Fall trying to hijack Ring of Honor and set the events that would lead to their downfall in motion.
- If the game you're playing has a seduction skill, chance are someone, somewhere, made a character with points in that skill and used it that way.
- In 7th Sea, it is likely that any PC Vodacce courtesan will fill this role, given their skill set. The are several NPC courtesans who fit as well, especially in the Sophia's Daughters secret society.
- It is possible (but by no means required) to play the Princess as this in A Dance with Rogues.
- Sha'ira, the asari Consort in Mass Effect. She's introduced as a very powerful woman who is part confidant, part therapist, part soothsayer, and part prostitute. We're never given a clear indication of what she does...only that she "helps" people and that it sometimes involves sex. The only quest involves calling Commander Shepard to her room, and asking him/her to deal with a problem (one of her clients has become a Clingy Jealous Guy and she needs him to be talked down). She makes it clear that the man is a dear friend and that she wants him to get his act together. If you're disappointed with the platonic reward she gives, she'll also sleep with you.
- By extension, the other Consorts in her employ are also this trope—but nowhere near her level of skill.
- You can play this type of character in Dragon Age: Origins. For example, one of the bargaining chips you can use to convince a pirate queen to mentor you, to convince a demon to stop possessing a child, or to solve a Succession Crisis is to sleep with (or in the last case marry) the person involved.
- You can also play this type of character in Fallout: New Vegas. Aside from the normal dialogue trees, there are specific perks that affect men or women (both are available to either men or women) that will have some sort of desirable outcome gained through flirtation or outright sex. For example, you can resolve the situation with the Starter Villain by using this perk to follow him to his hotel room, whereupon you can either kill him, sleep with him, or sleep with him and then kill him. There are other examples as well, with one of the most direct ones being finding the military contact for a smuggling ring with the Great Khans gang, and convincing him to make his scheduled delivery by... well, you know.
- Dragon Quest VIII's Jessica Albert is this through Gameplay and Story Segregation. Many of her special skills in battles are seducing based that lets her debuff enemies. All her alternate costumes are also heavy on the fanservice. In the actual game though, she's actually more of the exact opposite.
- Witty Ritts of Dragon Age: Inquisition was actually able to weaponize this: The Hinterlands is a all out battleground between templars and mages with civilians caught in the middle. As a Inquisition scout Ritts was set upon by a female mage, who did not attack her. Instead Ritts seduced her into laying down her arms. If Varric is in your party he is amazed at her gift and encourages her to become an agent.
- Carmelita Fox plays this role in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time when she has to belly dance to distract some guards.
- THE MURRAY gets to be a crossdressing example in the same game.
- Octopath Traveler has Primrose the dancer as one of its eight protagonists. Her unique skill, Allure, lets her seduce most NPCs (of either gender) into following her around and participating in battles as an assist character. In her backstory, she insinuated herself into the employ of a loathsome tavern owner who is heavily implied to take advantage of his position over her and the other dancers, all as part of her plan to hunt down the men who murdered her father when she was a girl.
- Ann in Persona 5 plays the seductress role to distract Yusuke to get into Madarame's house in order to unlock a door. At another Palace, she and the other girls have to talk up a Shadow for information. Though all the girls are wearing swimsuits, it is Ann that ends up doing much of the work by using her looks.
- Ayla in Chrono Trigger has the Charm (get an item from an enemy) and Kiss (heal an ally) abilities, in addition to wearing only a Fur Bikini. She's also the single strongest character in the game, able to rip robots and monsters apart with her bare hands.
- Miss Fortune in League of Legends is implied to be this. In her biography, it's stated she uses her great number of lovers to help her get rid of the Pirate King Gangplank. Shown directly in the comic Fortune Smiles, when she invites to dinner a rival local crimelord and seduce him to gain him to her side.
- In Key Chain Of Creation, seduction is Marena's favored tactic, though she is not above turning into an 8-foot tall werefox should that fail.
- The Simpsons: Played for Laughs. The episode "Large Marge" has Homer Simpson get masticated by their old elephant Stampy. The Springfield police are ready to shoot the beast, but Marge realizes that the police are very likely to shoot Homer as well. To allay this, Marge flashes her enhanced breasts to the crowd, and the police stop to ogle and drool. This gives Krusty the chance to comment, "Check out those mogumbos." This key word was the elephant's signal to play dead, and it spits out Homer intact.
- Lana, in Superman: The Animated Series, tries to be this during her relationship with Luthor by taking advantage of how close she is to him to deliver information about his schemes to Superman, despite the latter's reluctance. It backfires when Luthor finds out about it, and she gives up on it.
- Sexual surrogacy. Taken from The Other Wiki:
"A sexual surrogate is a member of a three-person therapeutic sex therapy team consisting of surrogate, client, and supervising therapist. The surrogate engages in education and sometimes intimate physical relations or sex with a patient to achieve a therapeutic goal."
- Recently unearthed stories about the Unseen Dutch Resistance of World War II include that of Freddy Oversteegan, possibly the closest this Trope can get to a real-life Natasha Romanoff.