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"Then let me keep it simple: once a month on the full moon, you return the book to me, followed by a night of paaaaaassionate fornication. Aaaaand you get to keep it for the rest of the time, hm? Sound fair, my little imp?"
Stolas, Helluva Boss

The act of trading sexual favors for non-sexual favors: having sex with someone you wouldn't want to have sex with "for free" — or even if it's someone you would do "for free", you let them believe otherwise — in exchange for gifts, doing work for you, or the like. 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)

"Unlucky sex-trader" versions:

  • Entitled to Have You: The service-trader just keeps nagging the sex-trader about sex that she/he doesn't want, until she/he finally gives in with an "okay, but at least do something for me as well". Alternatively, he/she does something for her/him 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).
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: In a more odious version of the above, the service-trader demands sex in exchange for the life of the sex-trader's loved one. There's no real choice here.
  • 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.

"Unlucky services-trader" versions:

  • A Man Is Always Eager: Alice exploits Bob's sex drive to get whatever she wants.
  • Gold Digger: The sex trader wants money... and lots of money... and even more money. They may also pretend to fall in love with their mark 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.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: Something of an inversion, where one party withholds sex from another in exchange for resources or a personal change.
  • The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: When the only reason a beautiful woman would come on to an unattractive man is if she has ulterior motives.

"Portrayed either way" versions:

  • 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 to get the prize over more skilled or deserving competitors.
  • 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 that 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. It's often a sub-trope of the Gold Digger.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: When a woman (hence the trope name) uses her sex appeal to convince another to do something she wants.

While one can certainly consider this a form of whoring, the sex-trader rarely intends to make an official career out of The Oldest Profession from making deals like this. The various uses of this trope are all Truth in Television, though not universal and some occur more than others. Compare Pragmatic Pansexuality. Contrast Platonic Prostitution, where one partner is a prostitute but they don't have sex. If a person perceives having sex as something they do solely for services and has hangups having sex with someone they're emotionally intimate with, this can be a variant of Romance and Sexuality Separation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Blade of the Immortal:
    • When Rin and Manji meet for the first time, Rin attempts to convince Manji to become her bodyguard and help her get her revenge on the Itto-ryu, but Manji blows her off. After explaining how he can't just work for anyone who wants him to kill for them (his curse requires him to kill a thousand evil men to be freed from his immortality but whose judgement can he trust about who is "evil"?) he challenges her to prove to him that she's really ready to give up everything for her revenge. Misunderstanding him, she resignedly tells him he can do whatever he wants to her, but she's only just starting to undress when Manji smacks her across the face in appalled anger, since Rin looks like his late little sister.
    • Played with shortly afterwards, after Manji kills Kuroi Sabato, the man who actually cut down Rin's father — he agrees to bodyguard Rin for four years until she's grown up and filled out properly, then he'll sell her to a brothel for far more than he can get for her now. Rin is not amused. This arrangement is pretty much never mentioned again.
  • Berserk: During the Golden Age arc, Governor Gennon of Chuder has young boys as hand servants that he molests and rapes constantly. To provide funding for the Hawks, Griffith slept with him, an act that fucked Griffith up badly and left Gennon with an obsession with him that would ultimately lead to his death at Griffith's hands in the Battle of Doldrey.
  • Gate: It is common in the Empire for people to use sex as a bribe or reward. Tuka considers selling her body to pay for her stay in Alnus and Princess Piña orders Bozes to sleep with Itami to get him to forgive her knights for beating him up (which doesn't work, since after psyching herself up for it, on entering Itami's room Bozes finds him having a tea party with the demihuman maids and slaps him). They are very surprised when the JSDF turns these offers down.
  • Higehiro: After Running Away From Home, Sayu survived for months by doing this. Yoshida is the first man to turn her down, letting her stay at his apartment without demanding sex (especially since she's only 17).
  • Lucoa tries offering herself to Shouta in exchange for room and board in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, though he understandably doesn't take her up on her offer (he's under the impression that she's actually a succubus). In her defense, this was after she had already offered him endless riches, supernatural charisma, and boundless magical powers; all of which he turned down for various reasons.

    Comic Books 
  • 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 allows 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.
    Deadpool: Outlaw! Umph! I didn't buy it for you to get into y—
    Outlaw: That's why it's happening.
  • Sin City: Leibowitz has to force a false confession out of framed cop John Hartigan, but after beating him for several days he starts complaining that his back is getting sore, so instead brings in a prostitute and offers her to Hartigan to see if the carrot works better. She's not that happy with the whole thing since Hartigan is accused of being a pedophile serial killer.
  • Fine Print: The Cubi do this, offering humans the best sex ever for their sexual energy, which is used to grow food they need.

    Fan Works 
  • 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 the Miraculous Ladybug AU To Hench or Not to Hench, Marinette and Alya think Gabriel is going to demand this for Marinette's internship... So Marinette is completely blindsided when it turns out he wants her to become a supervillain and fight against Chat Noir.
  • In (Un)Natural, Karen and Martha continuously have long-winded arguments about whether they should be together (platonically). Martha believes that Karen is better off without her while Karen can't imagine life without her best friend Martha. After three weeks of arguing, Karen is at her wit's ends. After a heated argument with Martha, Karen decides to use sex as a way to get Martha to agree with her. It works, in that Martha agrees to leave with Karen, but it also damages their friendship due to Karen manipulating Martha's weak spot.
  • In Promises Kept and its two sequels, Zuko allows Azula out of the asylum so that she can get information about their mother from their father. Her tactic of getting Ozai to talk is seduction. Zuko doesn't initially understand his sister's intentions, but even after he does he still allows her to go through with it. Zuko gets his information but at the cost of Ozai brutally raping Azula, causing her to begin hallucinating again after a period of lucidity.
  • The AU Firefly fic "Treasure" has one that's out of desperation. The economy collapsed, jobs are scarce and Zoe and Wash just became parents. Food is scarce and Zoe's depleted body can't make enough milk. They're afraid the baby will starve, and she reluctantly agrees to have sex with a guy who's been telling Mal he'll trade food and fuel for sex with one of the women aboard. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do it. They run into pirates and after River's Waif-Fu takes care of things, they find a large stash on the pirate ship and Zoe can call it off.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lady X in Foodfight! explains that she exchanged sexual favours with humans in order to achieve her purposes. Exactly how considering that she's just a few centimeters tall is another matter.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 68 Kill: Chip reluctantly performs oral sex on a gas station clerk in return for information she has.
  • 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 "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of the film.
  • Barbarella keeps offering "substantial recompense from my government" to the locals on Tau Ceti, but they insist on getting compensated with sex instead. In fairness our heroine is not bothered by this.
  • 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. This is her stock and trade, really. Roxie wound up in jail in the first place because she killed her lover after he (cruelly) revealed he lied about being able to get her into show business just to get her into bed. She also tries to convince Billy Flynn to take on her case with this offer, but he brushes her off, as he's Only in It for the Money.
  • 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 Henry 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.
  • 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.
  • Played for Laughs in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where George Carlin, as a drifter, explains that this is expected when hitching a ride before getting one with a trucker where he follows through out-of-frame. The duo is conflicted about this when their ride turns out to be a Nun.
  • An interesting variation: The Joker in Suicide Squad (2016) offers Harley to one of his soon-to-be crime partners as a bonus to start the negotiations (and Harley seems OK with that). The fact that the gangster rejects the offer gets him killed.
    • And in Birds of Prey (2020), Harley Quinn takes a shine to a hyena, and the sleazy pet shop owner offers to take payment in sex as Harley is broke. So she feeds him to the hyena.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: Rich Bitch Amber Sweet sometimes sleeps with the Grave Robber to get street zydrate to fuel her surgery addiction.
  • Anna Veigh (Lee Lee Sobieski) in In a Dark Place (loosely based on The Turn of the Screw) sleeps with both the principal of her school (doesn't work, she's fired anyway) and Miss Grove, the estate manager and her supervisor, after she finds a job as a nanny in both cases as an attempt to keep her employment. May have something to do with her past.
  • James Bond
    • The World Is Not Enough. Bond has no problem with seducing an MI6 doctor to get her to clear him medically for his next mission (though they are implied to have had a prior relationship). Her report states that he has exceptional stamina.
    • Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace (played by Olga Kurylenko) is so obsessed with getting her revenge for the rape and murder of her mother and sister at the hands of General Medrano, that she exchanges sex with criminal boss Dominic Greene for getting close to Medrano.
  • In Corvette Summer, Vanessa claims the work on her van was done "in exchange for services rendered." When Kenny asks, "What kind of services?" she says, "You know what I mean."
  • The Girl From Monday: One of Cecile's fellow convict teachers has sex with the school principal in return for reducing her sentence. Later on, Nobody also has sex with him to get Cecile out of jail by him posting bail (but it doesn't work, since he's caught).
  • Subverted in Conan the Barbarian (1982). The well-muscled barbarian has sex with a woman in exchange for information, but she turns out to be a succubus who attacks him during the act.
  • Subverted in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Michelle apparently agrees to have sex with a mechanic in order to get a loan of a Jaguar. She's actually faking it, making the noises to impress his workers.
  • Running Scared (2006): When Oleg saves a hooker named Davina from her abusive pimp, she takes him to a pharmacy for an inhaler when he has an asthma attack. The rude pharmacist refuses to give him one without a prescription, so Davina offers her body in exchange. When he STILL refuses she finds it easier to force him at gunpoint.
  • The author of Handbook for Mortals makes a cameo in the movie Trailer Park Shark (long story) where she plays a woman who offers herself in exchange for the protagonist to fix her air conditioner.
  • Rhona Mitra's character in Ali G Indahouse offers a blow job to Ali G if he keeps his mouth shut about the Big Bad plan. He very reluctantly refuses, but he does masturbate while re-telling the story.
  • The Guest House: Amy indicates that she only slept with Rachel's dad to get hired.
  • Plan B (2021): Andy demands oral sex from Sunny or Lupe if they want his last Plan B pill (which is really just speed). Neither is keen on this, arguing who'll do it. Lupe finally agrees to, then pulls back and gets her hair caught in his penis ring, which is pulled out, so it never happens. Serves him right.
  • Casablanca: Chief Renault demands bribes, in the form of either money or sex, to issue travel permits to refugees on the way to the US. What keeps this from being Sexual Extortion and a gleeful trip across the Moral Event Horizon is that he never actually demands sex; if the refugees decide he is asking too much and prefer to try their luck in Casablanca or manage to raise the money, he'll accept that without question.
  • Timmy Lea in Confessions of a Window Cleaner is often paid in this manner, although it's implied on a few occasions that they hired Timmy primarily for sex rather than his window cleaning services.
  • Playing With Dolls: When Cindy doesn't have enough money to pay her rent, her landlord offers to let him stay in her apartment rent-free in exchange for having sex with him. Her response to this offer is only natural.

  • 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.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Discussed in 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.
    • Certain magical beings will offer a sexual encounter for information, products, or power to the one requesting it.
      • In the short story "Bombshells" Harry Dresden's Fairy Godmother, Lea, notes that in the Norse myths of Freya reclaiming some stolen treasure from the Svartalves, the concept she simply kissed each of them is a Bowdlerization. They wouldn't let go of something that valuable for so little. She slept with the Svartalves. All of them who wanted it.
      • In the same short story, a man was caught spying on Svartalf territory. He is able to negotiate his freedom if he spends the whole night with any Svartalf who would have him. Luckily he is has the body of a Greek hero, and the Svartalves love beauty of all sorts, and is an incubus, so he has a very large sexual appetite.
      • Harry witnesses the initiation of Queen Mab's newest Winter Knight: having sex with the knight on an ancient stone table. Mab broadcasts the affair on any surface of water in all the kingdoms of Faerie. Later the Knight wonders if one could even call it sex because he felt Mab was, in those moments, like some ancient and powerful force of nature and one cannot have sex with a hurricane.
  • In The Goblin Emperor, a woman offers such a trade to Maia. He doesn't accept, as he is embarrassed about his lack of sexual experience. That is after he has already done her the favor she wanted, without fully understanding the deal he was being offered.
  • Guardians of the Flame: In return for passage to another city in the first book, the captain of the ship the party's taking demands that Doria heal his impotence... then prove it through having sex with him. She agrees reluctantly.
  • In The Silver Pigs, Marcus Didius Falco gripes that he's sometimes offered "payment in kind" from female clients, instead of money or a fine fish (he has to eat, after all). Played for Drama in the film adaptation Age of Treason, when Helena Justina offers herself to use or abuse as Falco sees fit if he'll just continue with the case. Falco rejects the offer, partially because he was badly burned last time he got involved with a female aristocrat.
  • In Kane Series story "Lynortis Reprise" teenage Sesi offers this to Kane in exchange for not giving her up to Jeresen. He muses that it's nothing original and anyway he could take it by force but for some reason agrees.
  • In Skippy Dies, Lori trades sexual favors for drugs with Carl, though she won't sleep with him, much to his frustration.
  • For Your Eyes Only. Judy Havelock implies she discovered the location of von Hammerstein by sleeping with some criminals who'd done business with him.
  • Conan the Barbarian
    • In The Vale of Lost Women, a desperate captive offers her body if Conan will rescue her, only for Conan to point out that she has nothing to bargain with, as anyone can take her whether she wants it or not. He decides to rescue her on principle, but she flees rather than submit to him, and by the time Conan catches up with her (and rescues her a second time) he's already decided it would be wrong to take advantage of her that way.
    • Man Eaters of Zamboula. Well aware of how Conan is Eating the Eye Candy, Zabibi offers her body if she will kill the Evil Sorcerer who tried to drive her lover insane. The fact that she already has a lover is not a problem; Conan noting that women are more pragmatic about such things than men. He doesn't get laid this time either, though she gives him a bag of gold in compensation.
  • In The Magicians, Julia is so desperate to learn magic after being rejected by Brakebills that she goes so far as to sexually offer herself to Quentin, who once held a torch for her before passing the Brakebills entrance exam. Ultimately, he turns her down. The sequel reveals that she ultimately prostituted herself to hedge-magicians so they would teach her what little magic they knew.
  • Bazil Broketail: Relkin lies to Bazil that he got a potion which can regrow his tail stub through giving a witch orchids and sexual favors. Bazil sees through it immediately, aware of Relkin's boasts.
  • Hitchhiker ghosts in Ghost Roads can only receive favors freely given, and sex is the only way Rose Marshall has to repay people for rides or meals. She doesn't particularly mind because there can be no consequences (ghosts can't get pregnant or diseases) and it's an experience she wished she'd had in life. She's also not above using "a trip to the woods" to delay someone long enough to miss their appointment with death.
  • In The Curse of M, Katje, who was a High-Class Call Girl before she was captured and sent to the Institute, has sex with Doctor von Rached in exchange for small amenities, and because she figures (correctly) that he won't perform any truly nasty experiments on her so long as she's entertaining. She views it as a straightforward business transaction, and is puzzled by how much it squicks the other inmates.
    Katje, to a visibly skeeved Geezer: It is business — he say he will pay, and he pay. I do not see you with chocolate and booze.
  • In The Merman's Children, the selkie Hauau helps to repair the damaged cog Herning and navigate back to safety in exchange for sex with Hooker with a Heart of Gold Ingeborg.
  • Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart is part of the Arthurian Legend, written in the 1170s or early 1180s. Lancelot is on a quest and so he's traveling and needs somewhere to stay for the night. He meets a woman who offers to host him if and only if he has sex with her. He says he doesn't want to. She says she won't host him otherwise. He reluctantly agrees. There's a lot of focus on Lancelot's discomfort and the Questionable Consent nature of this. At the last moment the woman lets him out of the deal because he's so visibly uncomfortable.
    Hostess: Sire, my house is prepared for you, if you will accept my hospitality, but you shall find shelter there only on condition that you will lie with me; upon these terms I propose and make the offer.
    Lancelot: Damsel, I thank you for the offer of your house, and esteem it highly, but, if you please, I should be very sorry to lie with you.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). In "Dog Star Swing", Jet seeks help from an old contact from his police days. To Spike's amusement, she turns out to be a vampish middle-aged woman who rejects the idea of getting a cut of the bounty in favour of other things.
    Woodcock: I was thinking less along the lines of cash, more along the lines of...dinner. Me, you, a bottle of Chianti... Two bottles if we're feeling dangerous.
    Jet: Sounds to me like blackmail.
    Woodcock: Damn right it is, but Jet, you are black and you are male.
  • Fargo. After the death of her husband, Gina Hess flirts with Lester Nygaard to expedite the insurance settlement. Lester finds out the insurance policy is no longer valid, but this doesn't stop him taking up her offer, promising to 'grease' a few palms in exchange. Needless to say Gina is not happy to find out she's been conned.
  • 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.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • In "The Cushion Convolution" it becomes clear that the only reason Howard has access to the Physics Department's rapid prototyping equipment, while everyone else's budgets are getting cut, is because he's having sex with Leslie, who is in charge of access to the equipment. Leslie makes the transactional nature of their relationship clear when she holds an opportunity to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN over Howard's head in exchange for being her date to a wedding.
    • In "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 (US) has Lip do other people's homework for extra money. Karen can't afford it, so she gives him oral sex instead.
  • Rome:
    • Cleopatra wants Marc Antony to publicly acknowledge her son by Caesar as legitimate. Marc Antony whispers his price in her ear which she agrees to, but slaps him when he tries to touch her. As Cleopatra points out, if she's a whore, "then the customer pays first, does he not?"
    • Atia is introduced having sex with Timeon, who is disappointed in discovering she's actually more interested in the White Stallion he's just acquired. Unlike the usual version of this trope, Atia has the power in this situation, as she's a Roman noblewoman and Timeon is a Jewish horsetrader who secretly works for Atia as a hired thug. So it's an Establishing Character Moment — rather than just bribe Timeon to give her the horse Atia has sex with him, then puts him down with a Backhanded Compliment when he complains of her hidden agenda.
    • However, in a later episode, Atia asks Timeon to hire extra muscle in case an angry mob turns up at their door (which happens that very night). Timeon demands 'extra' payment for the extra men and makes it clear he doesn't mean more money. This gets him slapped across the face, but when Timeon threatens to walk out on her altogether, Atia says that if Timeon does his job to her satisfaction she will see to his.
  • Doubled down on in Sons of Anarchy. SAMCRO needs two dead bodies to stage a crime scene and avoid being connected with two workers killed in an explosion on a SAMCRO property. They attempt to bribe Skeeter, a man who works at a crematorium, for the bodies, but the only payment he'll accept is a night with his long-time crush, Emily Duncan. Jax, SAMCRO'S Vice President, asks Emily, a Crow Eater (club groupie) to do this favor for the club. Emily is physically out of Skeeter's league and repulsed by his profession. However, she is willing to sleep with Skeeter if the very attractive Jax is willing to sleep with her. Quid Pro Quo.
  • The Magicians (2016): Julia lets Pete have sex with her in return for information.
  • American Gods (2017): Essie McGowan saves herself from transportation to the Thirteen Colonies and later death due to having sex with powerful men who have the ability to spare her (in the latter case by getting her pregnant, since they won't hang a pregnant woman). Then she gets her master to free her from her indentured servitude with the implicit promise of this if they get married.
  • In Game of Thrones, Queen Cersei has promised her hand to Euron Greyjoy if he helps her win the war with his fleet (although Cersei has no intention of delivering). Euron points out that wars can last years, and he has already delivered several victories that should earn him her favour. Realising she has to keep him on her side, she reluctantly takes him to her bedchamber.
    • House of the Dragon has a weird foot fetish take on the trope. Lord Larys Strong (who has a clubfoot) provides informations from his spy network to Queen Alicent. In exchange, she... shows her naked feet to him to he can masturbate over them.
  • One of the Erotic Tales series had a woman convincing a bathtub salesman to let her try out an expensive bath on his showroom floor after hours, with him sharing it with her. He pours out his troubles and it's implied they have sex. She has a female roommate secretly video this and blackmails him into letting her have the tub for free, which he's actually not too bothered about. The story ends with the two women planning to get a new bed as well, with the implication being that they'll furnish their house this way.
  • On My Name Is Earl, this is apparently how Patty the Daytime Hooker gets her lunch, at least on Tuesdays. (It's her "Tuesday Afternoon Special.") She traded sex for a burger, fondling for curly fries, and a peek at her genitals for a pickle. Her lawyer asked to be recused from the case.
  • Mentioned repeatedly in The Golden Girls. Lovable Sex Maniac Blanche took the Casting Couch route to get a good part in some stage plays (which relying on backfired on her once when it turned out the new director was gay) and in one episode pays a private detective using "Nature's credit card."
  • World on Fire: Schmidt offers to help Nancy get Albert released if she'll have sex with him. Disgusted, Nancy refuses.
  • Episode "The Comeback" of Seinfeld after Jerry realizes that the salesman who recommends him a tennis racquet is actually a terrible player, the salesman sends his hot wife to seduce Jerry not to make this public knowledge as it would get him fired, but she can't do backing off in the last minute nor is Jerry interested in pushing it.
  • The Day of the Triffids (1981). Bill Masen is looking after a group of blind people, but they start dying of disease and other causes despite his efforts. They worry that Bill will flee, so they get their youngest female member to go to his room to persuade him to stay, with this trope implied. Bill throws her out, and the next day finds everyone has fled and the girl is dying of disease herself, which he presumably would have caught if he'd slept with her.
  • A French Village: Hortense performs oral sex on Marchetti offscreen to get his help on Daniel's behalf, who's been imprisoned by Müller.
  • Oz has Christian fundamentalist and White supremacist Timmy Kirk offering a blow job to Black inmate Clarence Seroy (a convicted arsonist) in exchange for him to arrange the burning of Father Mukada's (an Asian Catholic priest) church hoping to kill him (though only managed to injure him).
  • Intergalactic: Candy nearly trades sex for drugs while going through withdrawal, but stops before doing it.
  • Gilmore Girls
    • In the pilot episode, Lorelai jokes that she'd "do" the Dean at Chilton if it would improve Rory's chances at getting admitted. When Rory receives the admission packet, she nervously asks Lorelai if she "with the Dean" and Lorelai insists that it was just a joke.
    • Lorelai has a habit of joking about this with contractors at the inn. Richard witnesses one such interaction in a telephone call and, as a stickler for professional business interactions, finds it appallingly unprofessional.
  • Avocado Toast: Elle had sex with a client to get a contract for her mom's ad company.
  • Sex/Life: Majid tells Billie he's been sleeping with Crystal to get her investment in his restaurant.
  • The Consultant (2023): Patoff urges Elaine to sleep with her ex-boyfriend Patrice as further "payment" for his help. She's disgusted at first but ultimately does so offscreen.
  • Hit & Miss: Wendy and John had an "arrangement" before her death, with her having sex with him so her family could stay on his property.

    Music Videos 
  • 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.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • 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?)
  • The basis of the Randy Savage-Bad News Brown feud in the WWF in late 1988. It all started when Bad News Brown confronted WWF president Jack Tunney on the set of the Brother Love Show and, after being dissatisfied with answers he was getting into why he wasn't getting a shot at Savage and the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, kicked the trope into effect by implying that Miss Elizabeth was seducing him and suggesting the two exchanged "favors" so that he would protect Savage from sure brutal defeat at Brown's hands. Tunney angrily denied the accusation (which led to Brown nearly assaulting Tunney) ... and needless to say, Savage wasn't very happy at all. In the end, Brown was a beaten man.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Venus, the owner of a Night Club in Downtown, has been resorting to this to pay her debt toward Russian mob Boris whenever she can't pay with money. One of the quests she gives you involves killing Boris so she won't have to do it anymore (though having high levels in Domination or Presence can get him to simply back off).
  • World's End has a downplayed version of this. Ivan asks to borrow Oksana's red stone, the source of her magical powers, to see if he can make it work as well. To do so, she demands sexual favors from him. This isn't seen on screen, and the language is vague enough to either imply actual sex or something more like a striptease. Ivan does it, and Oksana does live up to her end of the bargain. note 
  • In the backstory provided for Cunningham in the Silent Hill: Downpour tie-in comic, she agreed to sleep with her boss to get Murphy transferred to the prison she worked at, hoping to get revenge on him for supposedly severely injuring her father.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Mohammed, one of Roman's cab drivers, brags about how he allows his female passengers to pay for their fare with their bodies.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, this is the motivation behind Lauren's sexual openness with the protagonist. She will go all the way with him in return for the social currency of having a famous boyfriend.

    Web Animation 
  • Gamer Poop parodies it in one of the Skyrim videos, where a woman, unable to afford the fee to prepare her upcoming wedding, negotiates an alternate form of payment by sleeping with the wedding planner. It would have potential for drama were it not for both of their hilariously enthusiastic and casual attitudes and the fact the scene lasts less than thirty seconds.
  • Helluva Boss: After stealing Stolas' grimoire to gain access to the living world, Blitzo ends up developing a transactional relationship with the prince: once every full moon, Blitzo must return the book and spend a night of "passionate fornication" with Stolas if he is to continue using it for his business. It's also worth mentioning that the whole deal started because Blitzo's aggressive attempts to subdue the prince and steal his grimoire ended up arousing Stolas instead. As the series progresses this gets deconstructed, as Stolas and Blitzo are developed to be immensely love-starved individuals that could develop a truly loving relationship, but the context in which it was started as well as the power imbalance between their respective social status is a major obstacles to the both of them realizing real romance is an option.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.
  • FreakAngels: Jack apparently once traded oral sex for weed. With Connor's mum.
  • The BLU Engie-Tan from Nerf NOW!! is trying to get into Poker Night at the Inventory but has no money, so she offers her clothes as the ante. She's not trying to turn the game into Strip Poker, she's trading a strip show for a seat at the table. Unfortunately for her, the Heavy misinterprets it as the former and blows her off because her clothes would not fit his frame.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • Subverted in "Death is a Bitch": Death comes for Peter, but twists his ankle and the Griffins nurse him back to health in the hopes that he'll spare Peter out of gratitude. At one point Death tells Lois that he might consider it if she does something for him. Lois sighs and starts unbuttoning her blouse; Death quickly interrupts, saying he just wanted more food.
    • In Quagmire's Mom, Quagmire is tried for statutory rape after his latest one-night stand turns out to have lied about her age, and ultimately convicted. Yet as he is about to go to prison, the judge shows up alongside his mother to inform him that his sentence has been commuted. It turns out his mother (who in his youth was as much of a sexual deviant as he is) managed to persuade him by way of sex.
  • In the second story of Futurama "Anthology of Interest I", Leela has sex with Fry in order to make sure he won't tell anyone of the murders.
  • In the South Park song "The Most Offensive Song Ever", Mr. Hankey and Kenny sing about Mary blowing the innkeeper to get herself and Joseph a free room.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sex For Favor


Streneous Activity

In order to get a clean bill of health for active duty, Bond seduces Dr. Molly Warmflash.

How well does it match the trope?

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