Sex for Services
Rocket: Well, supposedly, these bald bodies find you attractive, so maybe you could work out some sort of trade.The act of trading sexual favors for non-sexual favors: Having sex with someone who you wouldn't want to have sex with "for free", or pretend that you wouldn't have sex with "for free", in exchange for work, gifts, or similar. The whole thing may or may not be portrayed and/or perceived as really being a form of prostitution. This trade may be portrayed in a neutral manner, or it may portray either the sex-trader or the service-trader as more or less a victim of the other. In either case, the act is often closely related to at least one other trope. Neutral versions (As in, they are either equally good or equally bad)
Gamora: You must be joking.
Rocket: No, I really heard they find you attractive.
Gamora: You must be joking.
Rocket: No, I really heard they find you attractive.
- For Happiness: They both get something they want, and everyone is happy. Life is good.
- Sex Is Evil: They both get something they want, and they are both immoral creeps.
- Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: They both get something they want, and they are both pitiful creeps.
- Casual Kink: Any of the "unlucky sex-trader" or "unlucky service-trader" variants below, but as a Safe, Sane and Consensual sexual role-playing game.
- Pizza Boy Special Delivery: The exchange is little more than an excuse for sex.
- Entitled to Have You: The service-trader just keeps nagging the sex-trader about sex that she doesn't want, until she finally gives in with an "okay, but at least do something for me as well". Alternatively, he does something for her first, and doesn't reveal until afterward that the help actually came with a price tag.
- Sexual Extortion: Sure, the sex-trader is the one taking the initiative, but what choice does he really have if the service is the only source of the medication his dying child needs, or the like? (In regular Sexual Extortion, the service-trader pushes An Offer You Can't Refuse on the sex-trader).
- Manipulative Bastard: The service-trader weasels his way into the sex-trader's bed with promises he never intends to keep and might not even be able to keep.
- Drugs Are Bad: The sex-trader is addicted and will do anything to get his fix.
- A Man Is Always Eager: Alice exploits the Bob's sex drive to get whatever she wants.
- Gold Digger: The sex trader wants money... and lots of money... and even more money, and perhaps will even invoke the Murder Tropes to get the "inheritance" faster.
- Manipulative Bitch: The sex-trader makes the eager service-trader think he'll be getting sex in return for doing her a favor, but she has no intention of actually giving him any.
- Bastard Girlfriend: Alice gets poor Bob all worked up, but makes sure to to keep him constantly frustrated (whether he gets any sex or not) for the audience's amusement.
- Henpecked Husband: They are married, and Alice uses "withholding sex" to dominate and manipulate Bob.
- Sleeping Their Way To The Top: The sex-trader offers sex in return for a promotion, a better job, or a higher social status which the services-trader can provide. May run the whole spectrum from plucky underdog overcoming adversity by acting out of the box, to a cynical and shrewd manipulator using underhanded tactics.
- Casting Couch: An actor (model, singer etc.) sleeps with a producer to get the role. This is a Sub-Trope of Sleeping Their Way To The Top in which the "service" is specifically a part in a cast.
- Sextra Credit: The "service" is better grades for a student and the services-trader is a teacher or professor.
- Compensated Dating: A light form of prostitution which may or may not include sex; the focus is more on a "dating" relationship in which one partner (who otherwise might not be interested) is compensated with lavish gifts.
- In Preacher, Cassidy used to be a junkie. In one flashback scene, he is giving oral sex in exchange for some drugs... and then beats the living shit out of his girlfriend for catching him in the act.
- In the Swedish comic Elvis, the titular character often falls prey to the Henpecked Husband variant, with Elvis having to do all kinds of chores and concessions in return for the rare marital intercourse with his wife Hedvig. Also reversed (but still with Hedvig as the abuser) with a Played for Laughs case of the Sexual Extortion variant: Elvis is desperate for a new PlayStation, and Hedvig forces him to dance like Chippendales for her before she allow him to buy it.
- In Morbus Gravis, the protagonist Druuna has to endure the Sexual Extortion variant: Her boyfriend is very ill, and in her desperation for medication she begs a disgusting old doctor to have sex with her.
- Whatever Love Means portrays traditional gender roles (man works, woman is housewife) this way (some would say rather unfairly).
- Deadpool bought his friend Outlaw a new place after her old one was wrecked in a fight with The Punisher. She ends up doing this. Deadpool tells her that she doesn't have to, but she does anyway.
- In the Death Note Slash Fic The Unwritten Rule Light makes this offer to Ryuk in exchange for Shinigami eyes. It backfires on him horribly.
- In Chicago, Roxie comes up with a plan to use a fake pregnancy as a moral weapon against a possible death penalty. In her words, "I would just like to say that my own life doesn't matter now. It's just that of my unborn child." She's put up for medical inspection of course. She uses sex to convince the doctor to back up her story.
- In Duets, Suzi Loomis often uses sexual means to fund her cross-country trip, including a scene in which she needs to get a new paint job for a stolen car.
Suzi: "Sir, we're a little bit short on cash at the moment, but I would consider it an honor and a privilege to suck your dick."
- In Forrest Gump there is a rather loose variation.
Hancock: "Your mama sure does care about your schooling, son!"
- In My Life In Ruins, the man at the counter at the hotel offers Georgia this option in exchange for postage, but she's mortified.
- Perhaps the most triumphant example occurs in the film Dangerous Beauty, in which Venetian courtesan Veronica Franco has sex with King Henri III of France in exchange for French naval support in Venice's war against the Turks. After one night with her, he returns to his royal barge to leave the city, sits down very gingerly on a cushion, and tells the Doge "You'll get your ships." The entire Venetian crowd cheers wildly. Talk about doing your patriotic duty.
- Discussed in The American President when President Shepherd's election opponent implies in a talk show appearance that his girlfriend, a lobbyist, may have traded sexual favors for votes. Shepard calls him out on this specifically in a literal "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of the film.
- Implied to occur between Pris and Sebastian in Blade Runner to convince Sebastian to get Roy past Tyrell's security to see Tyrell. Roy later kills both Tyrell and a crying, guilt-wracked Sebastian once the bargain is complete.
- When she finds out that Chang the bandit chieftain is about to have her boyfriend's eyes put out in Shanghai Express, Lily offers herself to Chang. Chang accepts.
- In Xenocide, Wang-Mu "bribes" a foreman to allow her to strike up a conversation with the local aristocrat's daughter, Qing-Jao, in hopes of raising her social status. (It works.)
- Subverted in War and Remembrance. Natalie, out of pure desperation, offers this to a Nazi camp guard in exchange for protecting her child. The guard replies contemptuously that she has nothing to bargain with as he could have it any time but really didn't feel like it.
- Discussed in The Dresden Files: Grave Peril. A homeless girl named Lydia comes to Harry for help, and he tells her that he wants something in return. She misconstrues it as a request for this trope and he quickly stops her because A) he just wanted more information, not sex, and B) she doesn't even look legal anyway. He comments in his internal monologue that it's probably not the first time she's traded sex for favors.
- In Frasier, Bebe subtly insinuates that she will become Frasier's agent again if he sleeps with her. ("I'm just talking about having a little fun. After all, when I'm having fun, I'm happy. When I'm happy, I work harder. When I work harder, you become famous and powerful. Isn't that what you want? Fame and power?") He tries to bluff her by subtly enticing her with the possibility of sex, since he notes that she loves the chase, enough to make her want to take him on again in order to pursue him. He fails, badly, as a freak collision of coincidences makes her seem so much like the devil that he loses his head and runs screaming.
- In Mad Men, Joan does this with much angst in the episode "The Other Woman."
- Hanna's mother engages in this do get her out of shoplifting charges in the pilot of Pretty Little Liars.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Harmony asks her ex-boyfriend, Spike, to shelter her when she assumes that Buffy is out to get her. (Harmony has sort of an unrealistic view of how much Buffy cares.) It takes Spike a bit of sarcastic hinting before she realizes what he wants in return. Her response is basically "oh, sure, whatever."
- In Season 7, Anya offers to have sex with a demon if he provides the information they want. The demon rejects the offer in disgust, as Humans Are Ugly.
- In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Hook-Up Reverberation", Penny casually admits her high school PE coach turned out to have a close personal interest in her which amounted to an unwise teacher-pupil crush. She took the young Penny to see a Melissa Etheridge gig, and Penny played along with the idea to ensure she got A-grades. Penny does not disclose how far she had to go to get those A's but casually says "it all worked out just fine".
- Shameless has Lip do other people's homework for extra money. Karen can't afford it, so she gives him oral sex instead.
- Subverted in the official video for Madonna's song Material Girl: Madonna's character let the rich men buy her all kinds of expensive stuff, using their competition with each other over her as her convenient excuse to not kiss any of them - eventually sneaking off to kiss some guy who didn't try to pay her for it.
- In the official video for Studio Killers Ode to the Bouncer, lead singer Cherry has sex with a bouncer to get into a night club.
- Angelina Love and Velvet Sky "gave" Madison Rayne to referee Slick Johnson to ensure Love remained TNA's "Knockout" Champion. Later, when Rayne left The Beautiful People, she would approach referee Brian Stiffler of her own volition. (Vince Russo works there, can you tell?)
- An animal psychology textbook describes this trope as it applies to some animals. For example, a male insect gives some food to the female, which generally takes 5-10 minutes to eat. This keeps the female occupied by eating, allowing the male to proceed.
- Dragon Age:
- In Dragon Age: Origins, you can get Isabela to teach you the Duelist specialization with this trope, though the sex happens offscreen. If your character is female, you can also suggest this to Dwyn as payment for fighting to defend Redcliff, but he will decline.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, one of the options to conclude Josephine's questline involves offering "an unforgettable night" to a noblewoman as payment for the ennobling of a family.
- Inverted in Fallout 2: if the Bishop family godfather in New Reno finds out you've been messing with his wife or daughter, he'll "hire" you to do various jobs for him for free.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, one of the earlier levels involves you trying to get a powerful explosive from a bunch of mobs. If your character is female and has a high enough seduction level, you have the option to offer this to their leader as payment. Since you are a vampire however, no sex needs to ensue: your character instead just bites the mob boss in the neck and sucks some of his blood, leaving him with blurred memory and the vague impression something sexy happened.
- In Ménage à 3, the relationships between actors Amber and Dillon and producer Nathan start out as Casting Couch arrangements (although Dillon is naive enough to think that Nathan has feelings for him), but when Nathan tries to set up a threesome, Amber manages to arrange matters so that she and Dillon come out of the deal with an apartment as well as three film roles each.