Looking for a good time, honey?
The lowest in the food chain of the sex industry are the hardened sex workers who cling to their job for one reason or another.
These are women, usually addicted to some form of illegal drugs
, who stand around on street corners in run-down areas. Their Hollywood Dress Code
(usually much nicer than what actual crackwhores wear) includes tiny skirts, six-inch plastic heels, rabbit fur jackets
or fake fur jackets
, a gallon of makeup, and crop tops, even if it's freezing outside.
Among the various forms that prostitution can take, streetwalking is easily among the most dangerous — streetwalkers are at serious risk of being assaulted (physically or sexually), mugged, or outright murdered
, and in countries where they operate outside the law (and even some where it's legal), good luck finding police who care.
Particularly likely to be the Disposable Sex Worker
. Also very common setups for a Dirty Harriet
Compare Hooker with a Heart of Gold
Contrast High-Class Call Girl
. Women in the higher echelons of the sex trade may look at a street prostitute with pity (glad not to be in her shoes) or fear (of ending up where she is once their beauty starts to fade).
Anime and Manga
- In her very first appearances in the comics, X-23 spent some time after escaping the Facility as this. She specialized in cutting clients with her claws, though it's implied her services did extend to actual sex (despite being somewhere between 14 and 16 during this time period. The book is unclear exactly when NYX takes place in her history).
- In Jean Renoir film La Chienne, a cold-hearted streetwalker manipulates the meek older man who falls in love with her. In the American remake, Scarlet Street, the woman isn't explicitly stated to be a streetwalker but it's pretty obvious.
- 1934 Chinese film The Goddess is a remarkably frank portrayal of the depressing life of a streetwalker in Shanghai.
- Vinessa Shaw in Eyes Wide Shut was an absurdly attractive example of one.
- Rita of Idiocracy was one.
- The main character of Pretty Woman was one of these.
- The Da Nang prostitute in Full Metal Jacket.
- Many of them paraded through Old Town in Sin City looking like dominatrices and acting the part when messed with. The comic version depicted standard streetwalkers outside of the neighborhood as well.
- In Hellraiser: Inferno, the Dirty Cop protagonist Joseph Thorne picks up a hooker from the streets to spend the night with.
- 7th Heaven: Diane is a streetwalker. Chico lies that she's his wife to save her from a police sweep. When the cop says they'll be following up on that, Chico and Diane realize that she'll have to move in and pretend to be his wife. Naturally, they fall in love.
- Lulu from Pandora's Box resorts to this after being reduced to poverty. She meets Jack the Ripper.
- In Nights of Cabiria, Cabiria is an Italian streetwalker who has a surprisingly optimistic outlook on life, considering her dire, depressing circumstances.
- Features on Wire in the Blood a lot.
- The Bill has them and female officers have been known to dress like them as part of stake-outs, to keep watch.
- The Ice Truck Killer in Dexter went after a series of these.
- Meg from Xena: Warrior Princess started out as one.
- The Kids in the Hall features a streetwalker duo and their softhearted asthmatic pimp as recurring characters.
- Occasionally are featured on Law & Order: SVU, sometimes as a Disposable Sex Worker, sometimes as The Informant!.
- One episode focused on an aging hooker who has been working the streets for close to thirty years. Olivia met her years earlier and is quite surprised that the woman is still alive. After she helps the police catch a spree killer, the SVU team tries to find a way to get her off the streets.
- Patty The Daytime Hooker on My Name Is Earl
- The first season of CSI has Nick falling for a hooker, who is indeed killed by her pimp. Her pimp claims she was going back to school to recruit for the job and leave him. She is, of course, incredibly beautiful and doesn't suffer from abuse or drug addiction, unlike most real-life prostitutes.
- A rather similar thing happens to Warrick in the eighth season.
- Wendy, a meth-addicted prostitute in Breaking Bad.
- "Slow Down" by Brand Nubian is a What the Hell, Hero? directed at the speaker's ex-girlfriend, who has been selling her body to pay for her crack habit.
- "Tomorrow We'll See" by Sting is based on a documentary on teenage transvestite streetwalkers in Brazil.
- The music video for "Prayer" by Disturbed has one of these that had recently been bought/used. The theme of the song is one of trial and tribulation, so her situation is made decidedly more tragic by images flashing on the screen showing her as a little girl, before she had to turn to her current life.
- "When The Sun Goes Down" by Arctic Monkeys is about a streetwalker and her abusive pimp. It was inspired by the band's chance encounter with one and their wondering what led her to lead that kind of life.
- In Cage the Elephant's "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," the narrator is approached by one of these, who claims she has to make money just like everyone else.
- "Roxanne" by The Police from Outlandos d'Amour is about a streetwalker, and the singer who's trying to convince her she doesn't have to do it.
- Simon & Garfunkel sing about this in "The Boxer".
Asking only workman's wages I come looking for a job
But I get no offers
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare
There were times when I was so lonesome I took some comfort there
- "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer from her album Bad Girls
See them out on the street at night, walkin'
Picking up on all kinds of strangers
If the price is right
- Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, who describes herself as a "kitchen slut" and "the most casual bride of the murdering scum of the earth".
- Broken Saints has Butterscotch, a teenage girl who propositions the Shinto-Buddhist priest Kamimura. Due to his simple, sheltered nature he seems not even to understand what she's offering.
- The basis of Manwhores is the characters acting as these, with much of the early comedy revolving around their ineptness and awkwardness at it. Gems include Kevin awkwardly shouting "Sex for money, sex for money" repeatedly on a street corner. Randy actually turns out to be quite good at it, apparently due to to the power of his Porn Stache.