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Unproblematic Prostitution
In some works of fiction, prostitution is portrayed as a dream job, or at least as a pleasant and reasonably unproblematic career, even if the sex worker would like to move on to another occupation someday.

Common elements include:
  1. Lots and lots of enjoyable sex, often portraying prostitution as getting paid to have a good time.
  2. No physical stresses: sexually-transmitted diseases don't exist; women never have unwanted pregnancies; no one has to work when not "in the mood." Working girls and guys also have complete control over the calendar and can take time off whenever they want.
  3. The social stigma attached to prostitution is very mild, if it exists at all. In many cases, the sex trade is considered no worse than any other service job. Sex workers are never harassed by police or the Moral Guardians.
  4. High profits for low effort with no taxes and no one demanding a cut (see #6).
  5. Safe, pleasant working conditions: no customer is ever violent or dangerous; no one is unwashed, unattractive, unsanitary, or unsavory. If the customer has a kink, it's one that the prostitute is happy to indulge. No one ever has to do for money what s/he wouldn't do otherwise — or if s/he does, this doesn't cause any emotional problems afterward.
  6. Any middlemen (pimps or madams) are always looking out for the best interests of the prostitute and are never abusive. Or all pandering, protection and other support services are dealt with by a completely worker-run and non-exploitative Band of Brothels.
  7. Everybody cheerfully pays whatever the sex worker's going rate is. She never gets (ahem) stiffed.

If a character in this role has a personality of her own (rather than being a pure Ms. Fanservice or similar), don't be surprised if she's a really good person who you can really talk with.

Sometimes Truth in Television in regard to #1, #2 and #5, since the girls would try to avoid at all costs people who look dangerous, violent, gross, visibly drunk or drugged, and respond to people who look nice, for their own safety. Where prostitution is legal and regulated, #7 may be half-true for at least some—some might stiff her, but since she can sue them for her fee, this happens less often.

In many depictions (and Truth in Television examples), the closer the woman is to working as a High-Class Call Girl or some equivalent thereof, the more it is possible (although far from certain) for this trope to be achieved. This is generally because, as the name suggests, the High-Class Call Girl is in theory able to earn more money for doing less work overall, which in turn allows for more education, greater freedom to pick and choose clients, greater control over her own earnings, greater ability to hire or work with people to best safeguard her own interests, and so forth.

See the analysis tab for why sex work being portrayed as unproblematic is a trope.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Played very straight in Buck Godot, where the Velvet Fist is a famous galactic corporate brothel-empire and the workers therein are, as far as we know, quite happy with their jobs.
  • Vary in Finder: her job has its stresses, and she's more complex than the usual example of this trope, but she's still mostly fulfilled and happy in her career. It's clear that nastier forms of prostitution do exist in the Finder universe, however.
  • Jill: Part-time Lover covers all of the above criteria to a tee as the title character's Establishing Character Moment is waking up in a gangbang with three Latin Lovers she brought home last night and admitting she's a "horny nut and nuts about fucking" while feeling like she's practically getting away with murder with how much fun she's having, it's an STD Immunity world with only an offhand mention of putting in her diaphragm otherwise she takes her clients completely raw whenever she wants, her clients both respect her staying on the DL and would be even more fucked if word got out given these are uppercrust executives and the like, she's self-employed, makes a minimum of thousands per call where only half of her first client's payment as merely a sex-free incentive would've covered her rent and then some with her rich clients doing the networking for her by word-of-mouth to other rich guys and the closest thing to a truly bad customer is one that hurt her in a slapstick way before she left him and his blue balled brother for some nearby Scary Black Men that she had a free orgy with involving friend, Jaliera Dane.

Film
  • The American, where the main character starts dating a woman that he's been buying sex from and after barely interacting with her apart from that. There doesn't even seem to be any problem with the line between work and personal relationships here.
  • Deconstructing Harry has Cookie Williams, a hired professional who seems at peace with her choice ("beats waitressing") and overall well adjusted.
  • In Pretty Woman, a hooker (played by Julia Roberts) is picked up by a millionaire (played by Richard Gere) and they fall in love. Julia's character is a good person (although she does have some emotional baggage, it's not related to her work) and, over the course of the week he hired her for, completely turns around the millionaire's way of dealing with the world through her sheer goodness and sweetness. Although this is a change he wanted to do for as long as he can remember - what she gave him is emotional support rather than insights. His business partner doesn't care either way about her, until she gets in his way; then he calls her a dirty whore and tries to rape her.
  • Sin City: While the violence and drugs are present, the girls have banded together so there are no pimps and violent customers are quickly disposed of without police interference. However, they are constantly threatened by the organized crime families.
  • In Mammoth Selling sex and "girlfriend experience" to silly white guys comes across as emotionally stressful or maybe even draining... But it still comes across as far less awful than the alternatives presented. Try being a night-shift doctor, not getting enough sleep and spending your nights watching children die without being able to save them. Or try being a nanny, hearing on the phone how your own children's lives are spiraling into hell while you are busy taking care of another woman's child... a rich woman who is jealous of you, frightened that her daughter may love you more than she loves her.
  • In Trading Places, Jamie Lee Curtis plays a prostitute who gives a short rundown of the reasons why it's a safe and profitable venture for her.
  • Moulin Rouge! is a deconstructed version. Satine appears to be this trope, reveling in the fortune and fame of being the nightclub/brothel's star attraction, but in reality it's more of a Gilded Cage for her. As the film goes on, we see how little control over her life she actually has.
  • Dangerous Beauty portrays high class 16th Century Venetian prostitution in a glowing light. There's a scene where lower class prostitutes are shown to be in desperate shape, but for the most part, prostitution is looked upon as a way to empower intelligent women, allowing them to interact with wealthy men on their own terms. (Of course, the film totally overlooks the fact that its main character had, in the Real Life story this movie was based on, six kids with her high class lover. Oh, and also, the earliest, most virulent form of syphilis was raging through Italy at the time, making prostitution a dangerous gamble.)
  • The film from Memoirs of a Geisha averts this trope most of time. It is stressed that geishas are not prostitutes nor courtesans (although they have their own problems and miseries), and the protagonist's sister, who is sold as a prostitute slave, lives a very different and miserable life until she manages to escape. Despite all those statements and implications, it is portrayed as an absolutely normal and mundane thing that the protagonist sells her virginity to the highest bidder. The way it is done is especially shocking: her mentor makes her give wealthy men a special gift that means they are invited to make an offer for her maidenhood, without her even knowing the symbolic value of the gift. When she is explained the meaning of her acts she is neither shocked nor angry for getting manipulated, and the selling of her virginity itself apparently has zero consequence on her mind or her relationships with anyone. The film focus much on relationships and rivalries between geishas and put a lot of emotional weight and drama in these issues, but it seems getting pushed into prostitution by your mentor without anyone asking your consent or even informing you is just a normal and boring thing.

Literature
  • Spider Robinson's 'Lady Callahan' (Callahan's Lady/Lady Slings the Booze) books. She runs a "house of healthy repute" where both the staff and the clients have a good time. It's noted that this is far from the norm. Lady Sally's place is special.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl
  • Used reasonably straight in Mercedes Lackey's Bardic Voices by "Amber's," a house of High Class Call Girls where Rune spends some time working as a musician. None of the girls mind what they do, and Amber, the madam of the establishment, is a kind and lovely woman who looks out for all of her employees like a mother. (The books do at least acknowledge that places like Amber's are not the norm.)
  • Xaviera Hollander, called her autobiography The Happy Hooker: My Own Story.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love. In the far future on the planet Secundus, prostitutes are considered as artists who are looked up to. They don't just provide sex, but emotional comfort as well.
  • Fanny Hill, a novel by John Cleland, was all about this. Of course, it was an openly pornographic book, and most people do not especially like reading about explicit rape, so this may be a justified trope.
  • Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes. The protagonist (and her fellow hookers) is perfectly happy being a prostitute out of her own will, the only drawback to the job being that she's unable to achieve a proper orgasm.
  • Used with Rosa in Much Fall of Blood, an army Camp Follower.
    "Some of them have lost everything and had nothing else to sell. Some who want money. Some, like Rosa, who are too wild to keep to one man."
  • The Seamstresses Guild (hem hem) of Ankh-Morpork in Discworld takes very good care of its members. Any client who causes trouble will have to answer to the Watch if they're lucky, or the Agony Aunts, Dotsie and Sadie, if they're unlucky.
    • As shown in Monstrous Regiment, this is far from the norm outside Ankh-Morpork: the good Sergeant in that book relates that usually, he goes in and gives the poor girls a chance to rest, as their jobs are long, hard, and often thankless, even in a house of ill repute.
  • Many of Anne McCaffrey's series feature organized sex workers who are, at worst, seen on about the same level as modern Western society would see a stripper. In particular, in Damia young Afra has a relationship with a "companion" who openly hoped to be more to him.
  • The Kushiel's Legacy series.
  • The Companions in Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm series. In fairness, they are really courtesans rather than regular prostitutes, are organized into a guild, are generally under contract to the nobility and basically use their roles as kept lovers of said nobility to manipulate the politics of the realm. Although this is frowned upon, quite a few of them end up in loving relationships with their clients, who in turn just keep renewing their contracts so they can basically live as couples.
  • Most of the prostitutes/courtesans from the Street of Lights in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. With a generally upscale clientele, a society with open attitudes about sexuality and access to healing magic things are generally pretty good for them. However, regular prostitutes, mainly patronized by the lower classes, also exist and do not have it anywhere near so well.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga sex therapists are a respectable profession on socially liberal and technologically advanced Beta Colony.
  • The ladies of the night in the city of Camorr in the Gentleman Bastard sequence started an actual gang war with the men in order to earn the right to run their own jobs. Even Capa Barsavi doesn't want to mess with the hookers' union.
  • Fortunato's "geishas" in the Wild Cards series. High-class call girls who received higher education as part of their training to become ideal fantasy women. In addition to making a lot of money, most of them had advanced degrees and extensive contacts in upper-class society by the time they were too old to continue in the business.
  • Dirigent Mercenary Corps: One of Lon Nolan's fellow officer cadets in the first book is engaged to a prostitute at a brothel, and recommends her to all his friends. The implication is that on Dirigent it's a legal, regulated profession. Lon still isn't comfortable with it, although it's more having a hangup about sleeping with another man's fiancee.

Live-Action TV
  • Two and a Half Men: to the point where Alan's attempts at being respectful to a hooker was a joke
  • Firefly shows two extreme ends of the spectrum of prositution:
    • The Companions Guild, whose members are among the Alliance's upper class, can wield a fair amount of influence with their favored clients. It is also Guild law that a Companion chooses her clients, and they are paid very well for what they do. Companions get regular health screenings and have systems in place to blacklist clients who don't treat them with respect. One such Companion, Inara, is considered to be the most respectable of Serenity's crew (above the on-board reverend, even), and the only one who makes a completely "honest" living. She is shown to enjoy most aspects of her work, but at the same time her lifestyle causes some degree of friction. One of her clients snubs her when she politely refuses to settle down with him (and it is implied that this happens a lot) and another calls her a "whore" when he loses his temper with her (and she subsequently blacklists him from the client registry). Companions are also more than simply prostitutes, and are shown providing counsel and psychological help with their clients.
    • "Heart Of Gold" shows the other side, with a whorehouse run by Nandi, a former Companion, where the girls are explicitly not Companions. Their harsh lives make a big contrast against the good companion life. Nandi also remarks that it used to be much worse, with many of the girls being abused drug addicts, until she killed the brothel's previous owner and seized control.
  • Dollhouse encompasses most versions with how their whores don't mind it at the time and don't remember it later. They are very well-paid in flat-rate service, their pimp tends to protect them, and they don't even know they're being prostituted, genuinely believing that they are in love during the encounter. Later though things aren't so glamorous.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look parodies this trope (and more specifically Secret Diary of a Call Girl) using the recurring scriptwriters who never, ever do any research. Their show "My Shags as a Whore" is about a prostitute who outright states that "being a prostitute is brilliant!"
    Who wants to be a doctor or a lawyer when you can be a prostitute like me? A proper one I mean, not one of those grim ones, a nice, pretty, clean one, which in reality, most of are.
  • Wild West Tech One episode harshly deconstructs this trope.

Theatre
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • In the musical Tenderloin, the prostitutes have only one thing to be unhappy about: reformers trying to close their Red Light District down. They do have corrupt police to pay off, but that's just a cost of doing business.
  • Sweet Charity: While Charity is a taxi dancer rather than 'officially' being a prostitute, this trope is still played with; it's not presented as a bad life, although she hopes for something better. Her problem, according to one of the other girls is that she falls in love too easily.
    Nickie: "You run your heart like a hotel you've always got people checking in and checking out"
  • In George Bernard Shaw's play Mrs. Warren's Profession, Mrs. Warren defends having sold herself to men as having been at least better paying and less damaging to the health than other supposedly respectable occupations for women.

Video Games
  • Dragon Age: Origins, which comments on just about any other aspect of Thedas society, doesn't use the brothels for anything but throwaway sexual adventures for the player and sources for information about missing people (because everyone seems to frequent them).
  • Mostly avoided in Fallout 2, in which many prostitutes are Jet addicts, and some in New Reno are actually chattel slaves. Played straight in the case of the Cat's Paw, which seems to be a brothel of clean, consenting, prostitutes who take professional pride in their skills.
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, you can convince a maid to give up her terrible job for a glamorous career as a brothel prostitute. You can visit her later at the brothel, where she is ecstatic about her new job and even gives you a freebie as thanks. One has to wonder exactly what her old job required of her...

Web Comics

Web Original


This Bed of Rose'sThe Oldest Profession    
Unplanned CrossdressingAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Unprovoked Pervert Payback

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