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Pragmatic Pansexuality

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Cinder Fall: I'm not all that interested in hooking up with people. I honestly find it rather pointless.
Roman Torchwick: Really?! Could've fooled me with how much enthusiasm you put into our little romp just a few minutes ago.
Cinder Fall: Well, if you're going to do something, you might as well be good at it. It just never holds my interest. It doesn't mean I'm repulsed by it. After all, it seems to be very valuable in keeping you on board.

Pragmatic Pansexuality is when a character seduces or flirts with both men and women (or anyone else) as a means to achieve their goals. Especially prevalent in works dealing with professionally seductive spies and assassins who use sex to gather intelligence and/or make their kill, but can include any character who has sex with both genders for pragmatic reasons. Common among Depraved Bisexual villains, but increasingly popular for heroes.

The character may be attracted to both genders anyway, or they may be willing to overlook their preferences for the sake of the job. They may not even be interested in anyone. That is the most important thing for this trope: they don't have to be pansexual for them to count. In fact, not being pansexual would make this trope even more applicable.

See But Not Too Bi if the character supposedly sleeps with targets of any gender, but primarily only flirts with or kisses targets of one gender. Compare Situational Sexuality, where the character has a preference but makes do with what's available, and If It's You, It's OK, where a single character is an exemption to a preference. If it's a woman who uses sex to achieve their goals but only goes after men, it's Femme Fatale.

If the character's orientation really does encompass all species, that's Extreme Omnisexual.

No real-life examples, please.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Shadow Mei doesn't show any sexual desires, but is fully willing to be seen naked by Soga (male) and heavily make out with Suzu (female) to advance her goals.
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith spends a night with an elderly noble named Gennon, who is a notorious homosexual and pederast, in order to receive financial compensation to fund Griffith's army. This event demonstrates Griffith's willingness to do anything to accomplish his goals. Gennon, on the other hand, fell for Griffith hard (and apparently thought it was mutual), ordering his men to spare Griffith when they met in battle years later... and seemed taken completely by surprise when Griffith killed him on the spot.
    • Later, Griffith seduces Princess Charlotte, and it's implied that his motivation is based on a genuine attraction in addition to using the princess's status to further his own aims.
    • Seemingly, Griffith's fixation on the main hero, Guts, was the only one that didn't have some kind of ulterior motive. However, Griffith descended into yandere territory because Guts wanted a life for himself and outside of just Griffith.
  • Contractors from Darker than Black, due to their nature as The Spock, are generally presented as asexual aromantics. This doesn't stop them from engaging in Honey Trap shenanigans as part of their spy work, with first-episode character Louis having done so in order to entrap a scientist. In particular, Brita and Hazuki are Contractors whose Remunerations require them to have intimate contact with someone after using their powers, and as such have to kiss anyone (Brita, who also worked as a Honey Trap for an American official) or kiss or have sex with a man (Hazuki, which annoys her because she's still a lesbian even as a Contractor) to stay effective at their jobs.
  • Mecha in DARLING in the FRANXX can only be operated by a male and female pilot in a blatantly sexual manner. Many of the pilots simply do this as a means to an end with no attraction to their partner. One of them is even a lesbian who spends her operating time thinking about a girl she actually is in love with.
  • In a manga-only chapter of Lupin III, the titular thief has to enter the trap-filled hideout of a sultry woman (only called "Queen"), who's willing to give Lupin her secret treasure of jewels if he can satisfy her lust. Lupin eagerly strips and is about to jump her when he's dragged away, revealing that the Lupin we saw was actually Fujiko (in one heck of a Full-Body Disguise), as she knew that the Queen hates women so much she'd have them killed on sight, forcing her to adopt the disguise. Another example is from the Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, where Fujiko is willing to flirt with her enamoured female students while working as a teacher to get her hands on what she wants.
  • MW: The Depraved Bisexual villain Yuki sleeps with several characters to manipulate them, including Garai, who is a priest, his boss's daughter, the closeted Minch and Minch's wife, and Sumiko.
  • Downplayed in Ranma ½: Ranma is a Sex Shifter with no attraction to men, and though he's very averse to actual sexual contact with them, he becomes willing to flirt or otherwise use his sex appeal in female form for his own gain.

    Comic Books 
  • Alan Ford:
    • Alan's wife Minuette Macon has always been considered very attractive and hit on by both men and women, but she never seem to return the female affections aside from evasive remarks ("Sorry, but I'm old-fashioned"). Yet, Issue 530 has her agreeing to marry a baroness in a business-related Sham Marriage in Las Vegas (with no actual sex involved, apparently), while the plot of volumes 627 and 628 has Minuette going undercover in a female prison and accept the open advances and kisses of her target, a criminal who gets a huge crush on her, so that she may lead her to her secret stash of stolen money.
    • Minuette's Foil Domitilla Scannagatti is very vocal about her love for Alan and her rivalry with Minuette over this. Yet, volume 363 has her agreeing to kiss a lesbian doctor captivated by her beauty in exchange for a free pass to Alan's hospital room, giving her a light kiss on the forehead before being hugged and given a passionate french kiss, in a gag similar to one used with Minuette in a previous volume. Possibly to underine the difference between her and Minuette, she's rather nonchalant and seemingly pleased by the experience, underlining her false and manipulative nature, while the more pragmatic and honest Minuette ultimately rejected her admirer after being through a similar forced kiss.
  • Wolverine's son Daken, who adopted the role of Wolverine in Dark Avengers, uses sex to manipulate both men and women. Word of God says that sex is purely about control for Daken.
  • Ninjette from Empowered is a true Master of Disguise - she once disguised herself as the groom who was arranged to marry her enemy's daughter, and even somehow managed to consummate the marriage, all to steal a forbidden scroll of power.
  • Harleen: When Harleen is distracted during her session with Poison Ivy, Ivy asks if her pheromones are working on her, curious to know if her powers are working on women, too. This seems to imply that she'd be willing to seduce women if the opportunity arose.
  • Subverted in Justice League Elite when Menagerie blows off an operation posing as one of Deathstroke's groupies after one of the other groupies hits on her; Menagerie is a bit homophobic.
  • Mystique is a Shapeshifting Seducer, who is well known to be pansexual. She has fallen in love with and married both men and women, both as a man or woman (or otherwise) herself. Even in the absence of romance, she is further willing to seduce and sleep with anyone of any gender if it fulfills her goals — whatever they may currently be.
  • The Punisher MAX: William Rawlins is an amoral CIA agent who'll use sex as a means of pursuing his own agenda, whether it be with a man or a woman.

    Fan Works 
  • The Makings of Team CRME: Cinder Fall is depicted as asexual in this series. In My Name Is Cinder, she explicitly states she has no desire for love and doesn't show any sexual interest even when she tries to get into it. In CRME, however, she is shown to have no issue with seducing or having sex with others to manipulate them, regardless of gender. She regularly has sex with Emerald to keep her wrapped around her finger, and later has sex with Roman to keep him from complaining about working with the White Fang.
  • Vale's Underground: Yang is a sex worker who is completely and shamelessly straight. Almost all of her clients are men, but she is willing to sleep with women if they have the money to pay. It's presumably the same case with Pyrrha, albeit she's more reluctant.
  • Spectra from Vow of Nudity is a changeling prostitute who regularly uses her shapeshifting abilities to seduce characters of either gender. But outside her job (and additional motivations in any given story), she shows so little interest in sex that her personal sexuality isn't even known.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: Lt. Lois Einhorn seduced several members of the Miami-Dade Police Department to reach the rank of police lieutenant. Come the Unsettling Gender-Reveal, all the officers reacting with shocked disgust show how much she really got around.
  • The Fourth Protocol: A man walks into a public toilet just as Petrofsky is receiving a package from a KGB courier. He gets uncomfortable with how these two men are staring at him and beats a hasty retreat, only for Petrofsky to follow and coax him into his car for a homosexual tryst, then murder him. Petrofsky himself is shown sleeping with a woman purely for sexual reasons, so the implication is that he's just adopting the role required.
  • By the account of Daniel Craig, James Bond would have no qualms "using" a man in the same way he uses a woman. In Skyfall, Bond implies that he's been with men before while being hit on by Depraved Bisexual villain Raoul Silva.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service includes a scene in which the Kingsman candidates are trained in how to seduce a target, in this case a female club patron; one of the candidates is another woman named Roxy.
  • The Little Drummer Girl (1984) is the story of a woman recruited as a Honey Trap to catch a terrorist leader, but in the Death Montage at the end a terrorist has his throat slit by his bedmate, who is then revealed to be a male Mossad agent.
  • The Mechanic (2011): For his first assignment as a hitman, Arthur Bishop gives Steve McKenna the job of seducing and poisoning a Manly Gay hitman. Both characters are shown with women as sexual partners, but if Steve has any homophobic hang-ups over this method of getting close to his target, he keeps it to himself.
  • In Munich (and 1986 TV movie Sword of Gideon, about the same events) a woman invites a member of the Mossad team up to their room for a one-night stand. He's found by his colleagues shot in the head the next day. When they track the assassin down, she's living in a lesbian relationship, but still unsuccessfully tries to seduce them in the hope of averting her own death.
  • In Red Sparrow, the Sparrows are taught to seduce their targets regardless of their own preferences. Deconstructed as this is showcased as one more detail in the Sparrow program's sexual denigration of its agents.
    Matron: Must have been some boy in a field behind your house. A girl at a rainy bus stop? We'd like to think it makes a difference. But it doesn't. It's just flesh.
  • Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder is a method actor who takes his work very seriously, completely committing to any and all of his roles. One of his roles was as a gay monk in an Oscar-bait period drama; given his comment that in Hollywood, "everyone's gay once in a while", it seems obvious that he's willing to engage in bisexual behavior to advance his own career in cinema.

  • The Day of the Jackal (and its film adaptation) has the titular Professional Killer seducing both men and women in order to obtain places to hide temporarily (and then kills them later when something happens that makes them too dangerous to keep alive (knowing about him, usually). Like many other things about the Jackal, it is never said whether or not he is an actual Depraved Bisexual or just that good at pretending he is.
  • Friday: The title character is an Artificial Human who was raised to have no sexual hang-ups (early in the story her reaction to being gang-raped is exasperation that her captors would think that would affect her). She now works as a spy for a private agency and has no compunctions against sleeping with both males and females if needed to further her goals.
  • Girls Don't Hit: Joss is a lesbian Professional Killer who seduces people when useful for becoming close with her target. She notes that men are especially easy, rarely thinking twice about allowing women into their houses. She also has a husband and children purely to maintain the cover of an ordinary lifestyle.
  • Done in a less voluntary fashion by Finnick Odair of The Hunger Games, pimped by Snow to rich Capitolites. Given no mention of the gender of these patrons, we can assume that they were of both genders.
  • In Night Watch (Series), one of the eponymous organization's agents, Ignat, is revealed to be an incubus who works for the good guys to use his seduction powers for good. When another agent erroneously refers to him as a "succubus", their boss corrects him but makes an offhand remark that Ignat doesn't really care about his targets' gender, anyway.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: Discussed in volume 2 when Pete comes out to the rest of the Sword Roses as a reversi. Chela idly comments that Pete could "make the most of it", noting that Rod Farquois, a historical archmage who was a reversi, had a variety of lovers of both sexes. (For his part, Pete is suggested in later volumes to be gay.) This line is Bowdlerized out of the manga and anime adaptations.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Cersei Lannister sleeps with some of her underlings to gain more control over them. This mostly includes men, but also the Lady Taena Merryweather.
  • By Vorrutyer from the Vorkosigan Saga is a well-known libertine who doesn't let details like gender interfere with his affairs. This turns out to be part of his job as part of Barrayaran Imperial Security.
  • In the Dr. Watson At War series by Robert Ryan, a German agent familiar with the signs used by the homosexual community uses this to lure away a man for a tryst in order to Kill and Replace him. He's later shows a sexual interest in a German Femme Fatale Spy, but there's no further mention of any interest in men. A later novel has a villain impersonating an establishment figure who's a known homosexual, which also means copying his lifestyle. This is to throw Holmes and Watson off the scent, but he also finds it useful for the contacts it offers to help him carry out his schemes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agent Carter, the female Leviathan assassin a.k.a. Dottie Underwood (forcefully) makes out with Peggy while wearing Drugged Lipstick in order to neutralize her and let her get caught by the SSR agents.
  • Deconstructed in The Americans. Phillip Jennings was trained to seduce almost anybody, regardless of gender, and he's pretty good at it. The downside is that it's very hard for him to be truly intimate with anyone even if he wants to be. At one point, he admits to his wife that he's sometimes used his training on her to keep their marriage together.
  • In a long sketch in The Benny Hill Show, Benny is a courier with a vital message sent from the king to Edinburgh. Along the way, he has changed into women's clothes to sneak through. He comes across some guards and acts coquettishly towards them one by one, so they'll come over to him and he can knock them unconscious. The third one sees "her" calling him over and dismisses her. Benny thinks for a moment, then disappears Behind the Black and reappears dressed as himself and does the same thing again, at which point the guard comes over.
  • Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood, particularly in his first appearance in Doctor Who, when he is still a conman. In his first episode, he rescues Rose, flirts with her as part of a con, then half an hour later flirts with a male guard to get into a gated area. In later episodes, he is still bi but seems to have eased up using sex to manipulate people.
  • Firefly
    • All of the Companions are functionally bisexual and regularly service clients of both sexes. It becomes this due to the amount of power and prestige given to Companions because of their various high-ranking clients. This is explicitly seen in "War Stories", in which the Companion Inara services a female client who also happens to be a powerful councilor.
    • Saffron, who according to Inara also received Companion training (but didn't become a Companion) attempts to seduce Inara during her escape from Serenity in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" (like the above Agent Carter example, she's wearing Drugged Lipstick at the time), and it is abundantly clear throughout the series that Saffron uses her sex appeal to get out of tough situations like the one above.
  • The Ghost Squad. The episode "The Necessary Means" opens with DC Amy Harris in bed with another female police officer she's investigating for corruption. When reporting to her superior, the latter casually mentions that Amy has been 'profiled' and judged likely to 'hit it off' with the target in question. Later as part of the investigation Amy sleeps with the female officer's boyfriend as well.
  • Killing Eve: Villanelle seems to only be attracted by women, but will have sex with men if it aids her goals.
  • Notorious psychopath Nicole Wallace of Law & Order: Criminal Intent slept with marks of both genders if needed.
  • While she certainly seems to swing both ways by default, Bo of Lost Girl has some pragmatic bisexuality. Since she feeds off the sexual energy of others (tending to kill them if they're human), she tends to care less about a given "meal's" gender and more about how easily she can drink their chi. She also has hyper-seduction powers she can use just by touching someone and will use them against both men and women to get what she wants.
  • In Mr. Robot, one of Tyrell Wellick's first scenes is of him seducing and having gay sex with one of his superiors at E Corp, establishing him as someone who is willing to do anything to move up the corporate ladder. Later on, after becoming CTO, he fires two of his employees for joking about rumors that people within the company are going gay to get promoted.
  • In an episode of NYPD Blue a recently released ex-con is suspected in the murder of his former cellmate/prison lover. During the course of the interview, the cop suggests that the man had gotten so used to homosexual relationships while in prison that he couldn't get it up with women anymore. The ex-con replies that in prison you do what you have to to survive, and it has no bearing on what happens on the outside.
  • Rome. A young male assassin infiltrates the Julii Household by offering to fellate the head slave Castor. He then seduces a female kitchen slave to get access to Atia's food so he can poison her.
  • Ellis from Smash has a girlfriend, but is all too ready to sleep with a guy if it'll advance his career. Interestingly, the guy overhears Ellis talking to his girlfriend about him dismissively and figures it out, dumping Ellis and putting his boss's plans at risk.
  • Jokingly referenced in What I Like About You. Holly, acting as her singer boyfriend's manager, encourages him to flirt with the audience to keep them engaged. She points to an audience member she thinks will be an easy target, only for her boyfriend to point out it's a man. Holly's response? "And his money's not green?"
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: When a sleazy photographer takes some nude pictures of Jennifer she tries to seduce him to get them back. He rebuffs her (offscreen) so she thinks he's gay. The others talk Herb (who is otherwise a very straight man) into trying to seduce the photographer. Herb barges back into the WKRP office with the announcement "He's not gay!"
  • The Imperfects: Abbi, the succubus, is asexual and utterly detests how her powers make everyone fall in love with her - unless she stumbles upon a problem she can't solve, in which case she immediately turns around and seduces whoever is convenient.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Loki once cheated a Frost Giant in disguise by shapeshifting into a mare so the Giant's stallion would be Distracted by the Sexy. This eventually resulted in the birth of Odin's eight-legged steed, Sleipnir. How embarrassed Loki is over this incident varies wildly from interpretation to interpretation (sometimes he proudly wears the "Horse-Mother" moniker, other times simply referring to it is a sure way to draw his wrath).
    • Odin is said to have obtained and mastered every form of magic known to the world. One form of magic called Seidr is believed to have been practiced mostly by women, but also occasionally effeminate men, and may have required the practitioner to engage in receptive sexual acts as part of the ritual to either gain the ability or to use it. The implication is that Odin allowed himself to be penetrated to gain access to Seidr magic.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Most editions of the game (and Requiem) presents vampires beneath a certain Humanity treshold as asexual (though some can be romantically interested, usually sharing the preference they held when alive) and will use the Seduction skill against anyone they think is receptive to their advances in order to make Hunting Rolls.

    Video Games 
  • In A Dance with Rogues, top agents of the Family are expected to use seduction and sex in pursuit of the organization's goals and are trained to seduce targets of any gender. Case in point: the Princess' seduction instructor is another woman. However, the Princess very rarely encounters women later in the game who can be of much assistance to her even if seduced, compared to a large number of men in power.
  • Dragon Age
    • Zevran from Dragon Age: Origins is bisexual and mentions that most Antivan Crows (assassins from his guild) swing both ways because it allows them to get close to their target whether it is a man or woman.
    • Throughout the entire nation of Orlais, most nobles are bisexual to some degree since sleeping with other nobles is a great way to advance oneself in the aristocracy.
    • In the Mark of the Assassin DLC of Dragon Age II, there is a scene where you can flirt with the son of the story arc's villain in order to lift a key off him, and this occurs regardless of whether or not you're playing as a male or female Hawke. Of course, you can always just knock the guy out as well.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Inquisitor can offer to sleep with a female Orlesian magistrate as part of a long series of quests and operations to end an assassination contract on your diplomatic ambassador's life, regardless of gender. As mentioned above, this is Orlais, and the implication is that the magistrate was willing to sleep with the Inquisitor in order to gain power and prestige.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, there are perks that allow the player to seduce male and female characters (Confirmed Bachelor and Lady Killer for male PCs, Black Widow and Cherchez La Femme for female PCs), in addition to doing a bit of extra damage. Naturally taking both gives the player an advantage for both genders (although the Gay Option applies to different NPCs). The unlocked dialogue options can vary from anywhere between genuine attraction (or lack of it) and pragmatic seduction, so it's ultimately up to the player to decide what the perk says about the player character.
  • In Mass Effect 2, as part of Samara's Loyalty Mission, you must go to a club on Omega and seduce her Ardat-Yakshi (read: vampiric) daughter, Morinth, so you can isolate her and let Samara finish her off. Like the above Dragon Age II example, this occurs regardless of Shepard's gender, but unlike the above example, this mission can only be completed if you succeed in seducing your target.
  • Practically a requirement in Shin Megami Tensei. To successfully recruit demons, you have to resort to anything and everything, and that includes seducing them. Keep in mind that most of them are beast-like or deeply in the Uncanny Valley, or both.
  • Zig-Zagged in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. You can get very far in the game with good seduction skills, but male characters can only seduce females (and one specific male NPC), locking them out of an easy way through several quests. Female characters can seduce male and female characters as necessary. It's not hard to guess why this the case.

    Visual Novels 
  • Choices: Stories You Play: In Blades of Light & Shadow, you can flirt with male and female characters to achieve your goals... monsters can also be targets.
  • As shown in both Contract Demon and First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree, this is a useful trait to have for contract demons. Olog is asexual, but he is still willing to do some intimate things if a client asks him to, or at the very least try to find a reasonable compromise (he has no problem with kissing, for example). Meanwhile, his sister Kamilla is both sex-repulsed and a bad negotiator, so she ends up turning down multiple clients who summon her for sexual purposes, to Olog's disappointment.
  • Lovestruck:
    • In Queen of Thieves, Vivienne is a seductress and a lesbian. In her first meeting with her future teammate Remy, she's flirting with him for a con.
      Vivienne (narrating): I'm certain he's attractive to straight women, but to me, the nicest thing about Remy is his expensive leather shoes.
    • In Speakeasy Tonight, Sofia is primarily interested in women (contradictory developer statements have her listed as both lesbian and bi) but she flirts with anyone who might help her gather information, and practically speaking that usually means men.


    Web Videos 
  • In an episode of Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series, after The Charmer and ladies' man Viari exhausts all other options to convince a (male) NPC to help, he ends up seducing and sleeping with him for his information instead.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Archer episode "Honeypot", Sterling Archer is sent to seduce a gay Cuban operative who's blackmailing his mother. Archer tries to pick up Ramon using the same faulty tactics he uses to pick up women, and thus he utterly fails at it.
  • Hazbin Hotel: According to an "in-character ask session", Angel Dust will sleep with women for money, but as far as actual attraction goes, he is gay only, not bisexual. The "ADDICT" music video reveals Valentino is forcing him into sex work and then taking most of his earnings, explaining why Angel Dust does this. The tie-in comic Dirty Healings also reveals that he charges women extra.
  • Producing Parker: In the episode, In Dee Club, Dee decides to declare herself lesbian to get more audience and better ratings than her Sitcom Archnemesis Victoria.