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Unproblematic Prostitution

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When you see a prostitute on the television, it's all drugs, knives, beatings, babies, and AIDS. And it is all those things, but we wanted to show the positive side, you know, how sexy it all is.
The lazy writers on their show "My Shags as a Whore", That Mitchell and Webb Look

Prostitution — the only job where you can charge more for having no prior experience!

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. The most simplistic examples often portray prostitution as nothing more than having fun and getting paid for it.
  2. No physical stresses: sexually-transmitted diseases don't exist, or no one has a problem with using condoms, dental dams, etc. Reliable and side-effect-free birth control (or abortions) are available as well, and easily obtained without a lot of rigamarole. No one has to work when not "in the mood" or so much that it causes them physical wear and tear. 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. Indeed, it might even be sanctioned by that society. note  If and when they decide to pursue a different career path, their sex work won't be held against them. Nor does it hinder their chances of getting into real long-term relationships or marriages, and no one is considered Defiled Forever by having been in this career path. Sex workers are never harassed by police or the Moral Guardians. This problem especially is what has now led some countries to ban the act of paying for sex, but not prostitution.
  4. High profits for low effort with no taxes (or at least not exorbitant ones) 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, and often thoroughly enjoys themselves. No one ever has to do for money anything that they wouldn't do otherwise — or if they do, this doesn't cause any emotional problems afterward. Also, the prostitute has the option to turn down any clients they choose, for any reason.
  6. Any middlemen (pimps or madams) are always looking out for the best interests of the prostitute and are never abusive. Or all pandering, security, 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. They never get (''ahem'') stiffed.
  8. No drug problems which might be seen as making the situation degrading. The prostitute isn't doing it to support a habit of cocaine or a similar hard drug, and it's probably best if there's no drug use by the client either.
  9. Most critically of all, no one is forced into the trade, either by poverty or with violence or blackmail. No one is tricked into it, either. Also, everyone is above the age of consent.

If a character in this role has a personality of their own (rather than being a pure Ms. Fanservice or similar), don't be surprised if they're a really good person who you can really talk with. Indeed, sometimes talking is as far as it goes, and that's OK, too.

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 safetynote . 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. Contrast Secret Sex Worker, as the reason why the character needs to keep their work secret is because it's being problematized in-universe.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Downplayed in Booty Royale: Never Go Down Without a Fight!. Essentially a Slice of Life Work Comedy series that revolves primarily around adult models and porn actresses, it's very sex-positive and treats sex work as a legitimate occupation worthy of respect, but it doesn't turn a blind eye to the fact that it can be very unpleasant and even dangerous at times. Sexual violence is a recurring plot element, and main character Misora Haebara, a karate black belt who works as a gravure model, is once shown hosting self-defense classes for brothel workers in the red-light district.
  • Interspecies Reviewers: Our main heroes want to find the best lay out of all! Thankfully for them, prostitution is legal and brothels abound, so finding a partner is no issue. Originally prostitution was made legal for the sake of the various Succubi and Incubi species, who need vast amounts of sexing to live, but all other races quickly joined in after pointing out that succubi screw around so much, everyone has at least some succubus ancestry. The endless political success of the Orc Party (who prioritize social stability over everything else and tend to pour ridiculous sums of money into the food and entertainment industries) then cemented the brothel industry as a major part of this cheerfully sexually liberated world. In fact, the only girls who are ever shown as unhappy are two small-eyed cyclops girls who don't get enough customers. All that said, while the prostitution may be healthy and safe, it's still a dead-end job. It's mentioned there's plenty of succu-girls only in it for easy money while they look for something better, and only a few (such as Tiaplate the Salamander, who basically gets paid for laying back and being a very raunchy barbecue) are making serious money and/or see it as a long-term career.
  • Shlick-Crazy Ninja is a comical H-doujinshi series about Yuffie Kisaragi, who starts off having a secret addiction to masturbation. But after finally losing her virginity in chapter 2, she soon finds she can't get enough and turns to prostitution to satisfy her cravings. Despite its subject matter, the series remains lighthearted by averting the dark aspects and potential dangers of prostitution. Likewise, the fact that she's selling her body at 16 years old is never an issue for any of her clients. Instead, Yuffie has 'fun for profit' since they always treat her well and pay her with rare Materia.
  • In the hentai comedy manga Spunky Knight, the exceptionally lusty female protagonist is a part-time adventurer for hire, part-time prostitute. She only prefers adventuring because the brothel customers aren't as exciting as those she encounters on missions. Ironically, being a prostitute actually pays the bills a LOT better even though she takes on a lot of high-paying mercenary jobs. Thing is, she has a tendency to mess up the guild's plans, whether or not she mixes business with pleasure. She once unintentionally snaps the neck of an escaped mook the guild was interrogating. She also kills or nearly kills targets like by draining a Hero Killer down to an unrecognizable husk so she couldn't collect his bounty. Or she spends so much time masturbating that she is late for an exam. She's considered The Load almost only good for sex, which Torre figured out how to make work to their advantage, i.e. Honey Traps and her immodest orgasms that can be heard for miles.

    Comic Books 
  • Played very straight in Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, 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.
  • Finder: Vary, a high-class prostitute and anthropology student. 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 upper-crust 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. 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 her friend, Jaliera Dane.
  • Red Ears: There's a comic where a High-Class Call Girl brings a john to her apartment, who is amazed by her collection of classical paintings, academic literature, and refined taste in music. He asks her why a beautiful, intelligent, educated young woman like herself became a prostitute. Her response: "I guess I was just lucky."
  • 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 and hold a shaky relationship with the police, where one person's slipup could bring the stability crashing down.

    Fan Works 
  • The KanColle doujin "Glasses That Show the Number of Sexual Partners of Ship Girls" makes Akitsu Maru into a veteran army prostitutenote  who refers to herself as a "comfort woman" and loved serving with the soldiers.
  • This is Played With in Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic Babylon (Beautiful Fiction) the Riders brothel. The brothel is very upper class with the motherly madame looking out for her workers and most of the workers do seem happy, but she meets Edward when a john tries to rough her up in order to get a refund, and a girl left because she felt stifled on the brothel's set prices.
  • Numerous My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic apply this to the Emotion-Eating Changelings in order to give them an, erm, less invasive means of acquiring their food.
  • Subverted in the fanfic Vale's Underground. Even though it is legal and without general stigma, sex work isn't unproblematic. Yang still has to deal with unruly customers and she has to check condoms to make sure that people didn't try to poke holes in them without her knowing. It's better since they can at least go to the police without fear of being arrested, but it still isn't a perfect profession. It is even noted that while she enjoys the job generally, Mercury is the only one of her customers who regularly makes her orgasm without her having to fake it. To drive that point home, Yang once joked that she'd give a discount for every orgasm she gets and the narration says that she wouldn't be making as much money off of Mercury if she did that.
  • Zigzagged in Satisfaction Guaranteed. While Jaune's job as a gigolo goes wonderfully for him due to being a legitimate business, it's still made clear that there's plenty of cases of prostitutes forced into their careers by drug addiction, debts, or blackmail. He's also told up front that his job is satisfying his clients, not himself. If they get off on blue balling him, then he's gonna get blue balled or he's not getting paid. There is still stigma attached to prostitution though, which is why Jaune's profile is a description and a body shot with his face cropped out; similarly, both prostitutes and clients all use pseudonyms for the app they all use. Lastly, Jaune's "kit" includes both condoms and emergency contraceptives in case a condom breaks, though his boss does say that any client who wants him to "finish inside" is on her own for preventing/dealing with a pregnancy.
  • Played with in The Amorous Argonian Adventurer, in which the protagonist, Keeran-Rei, is a prostitute in addition to being a mercenary and treasure hunter. He mentions that plying his trade in Skyrim is much easier due to the Nords' incredibly easygoing attitude toward sex and that Cyrodiil is much more uptight about it. Early on in the story, he works as a whore at the Bee and Barb in Riften, getting free food and lodging from Talen-Jei and Keerava in exchange for a modest cut of his profits, but mentions that the cut they take is very small compared to some other innkeepers he's dealt with in the past.
  • Discworld-set fic Strandpiel by A.A. Pessimal deals with growing up in Ankh-Morpork. A group of teenage girls grow up and leave school, meeting up again as young adults thrown into the pitiless howling wasteland of having to earn a living. One is an apprentice Witch, another training for nursing, a third has a boring office job, and the fourth is Janey. Janey is following her mother into the Guild of Seamstresses. As she says, it's normal, right, to go into the same job as your parents? Family trade, right? If one of my parents was a plumber and I chose to go into plumbing, nobody would look at me sideways and give me funny looks? Well. Mum's a Seamstress. note 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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 is overall well-adjusted.
  • Pretty Woman:
    • A hooker (played by Julia Roberts) is picked up by a millionaire (played by Richard Gere) and they fall in love. Vivian 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.
    • The original script was a huge deconstruction of it. To start off, Vivian was heavily addicted to cocaine and emotionally unstable, and the movie ends with the millionaire throwing her out of his limo, tossing the cash at her, and driving off. She then dies of a cocaine overdose brought on by a mental breakdown. Some real prostitutes blame the final glamorized version for making them feel it was an okay profession to take up and ruining their lives in doing so.
  • 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. And of course, it's a Foregone Conclusion that she's going to die of tuberculosis.
  • 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). However, the main character cautions a friend who thinks her daughter becoming a courtesan is a good way to get an education and independence against romanticizing this, as it's easy for courtesans to fall from grace into the dire straits of street prostitution.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha averts this trope most of the 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 slave prostitute, 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 told 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 focuses much more on the relationships and rivalries between geishas and puts a lot of emotional weight and drama in these issues, but it seems getting pushed into prostitution by your mentor without anyone asking for your consent or even informing you is just a normal and boring thing.
  • Many Russian books and films of the Perestroika era had a strong tendency towards this when they dealt with the topic. A common figure was the "currency prostitute" (i.e. a High-Class Call Girl who works at a foreign tourism hotel and receives her payments in foreign currencies) eventually finding her Prince Charming who marries her and takes her away to his wealthy homeland. Most prominent example was the 1989 film Intergirl (Интердевочка) which, despite actually being a Deconstruction of this trope, popularized prostitution to the extent that in the following years, 35-40% of female high-school students cited it as their dream job. Meanwhile, in the Russian Nineties, the gap between trope and reality was much, much wider than in the West.
  • In King of Hearts, the inmates of an abandoned insane asylum find their way into a deserted village in World War I France, and set up business there, including a bordello that feels like a pleasant social club.
  • In Guilty of Romance, this trope is an opinion of the character Mitsuko, a prostitute who thinks that by demanding money for sexual intercourse a woman recognizes the value of her body.
  • The Cheyenne Social Club: The girls of the Cheyenne Social Club seem to like nothing better than hanging out in corsets and servicing whoever shows up; they are all mortally offended when John says he's shutting down the business. The men of the town, who hold the sex workers in high regard and imagine the brothel to be a public institution, are outraged as well. (The women of Cheyenne, not so much.) The Social Club's special place in town is confirmed when John learns that the railroad actually owns the facility, and he will lose it if he converts the building into a boarding house.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: Averted. Though the prostitutes have some protection with Arthur and his gang, they still appear to get beaten up by unruly clients fairly often. Arthur and the others then beat up these men in retaliation.
  • I Am Not an Easy Man: Averted with a prostitute Alexandra saw. She later spies him in his apartment across the way from her, pretending he's having dinner with someone, then burying his face in his hands, apparently because he is distraught at the lack of such real intimacy in his life.
  • Flowers of War: Subverted. At first, the young prostitutes come off as a cheerful lot, happy with their lives. Then it turns out some were sold off to the brother before they were even in their teens or tricked into joining. One speaks hopefully of buying her way out too.
  • The World of Suzie Wong downplays it. The bar girls all look like attractive women and never seem to have problems with STDs. However, Suzie is assaulted by a customer who won't take no for an answer, and she has a son thanks to one of her clients. She also became a prostitute because she was thrown out at the age of ten. The book explains that as part of an agreement with the hotel, all the prostitutes have to have weekly medical check-ups. One in the book had three children — two of whom she gave up and the third died of neglect. There are also older prostitutes who have to charge very little in order to get work (one of whom had two children to support).
  • Predestination. Space Corps recruits physically fit, intelligent women to provide sexual and emotional comfort for astronauts on long-term missions, and the recruiters' interest in Jane's aptitude for mathematics and physics implies they work as Bridge Bunnies when not performing this function. Rather than prostitutes (who are often psychologically unsuitable for space work anyway), the recruiters prefer virgins because they can be trained from scratch. Jane mentions that the recruits are guaranteed to end up with a husband as such women are the only kind astronauts can relate to by the end of their own careers.
  • Never on Sunday: Ilya is the prostitute version of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a woman who lives life to the fullest, dancing and partying with her friends and thoroughly enjoying her job, one which usually involves servicing Horny Sailors. When a visiting American tries to get her to stop hooking, he's portrayed as a presumptuous busybody (and his real motivation is My Girl Is Not a Slut).
  • Undercover Heat: gorgeous police woman Cindy Hannen goes undercover at a high class bordello. The establishment is like a 5 star hotel, the other hookers are beautiful and friendly, the madam is wise and kindly and her customers are miraculously all good looking and want her to abuse them rather than the other way around. Now if only she could find that pesky murderer...
  • The Menu: Downplayed. About halfway through, we learn that Margot is actually a High-Class Call Girl hired by Tyler to be his date. She has no angst about her job and there's no mention of her having been in any physical or legal danger, but she also has to put up with clients who treat her with little to no respect. (Tyler, for instance, clearly thinks that because he's paying her for her company, he gets to behave as abysmally as he wants, and at one point he literally snaps his fingers at her like she's a dog.) She says she used to like her job, but has gotten pretty sick of it due to the lack of courtesy and appreciation she gets for her services.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dresden Files both subverts and plays the trope straight. The first Velvet Room, Chicago's chief brothel, is run by the Red Court of Vampires (flabby, disgusting bat monsters with narcotic drool that can put on a 'Flesh Mask' to look like the Vampires Are Sex Gods are concept) subverts this trope — the girls are hinted to be controlled by addiction to the narcotic saliva, they get fed on by the brothel's vampire Madame, Bianca St. Claire, who kills at least one when she loses control. She's also implied to recruit quite forcefully, with Thomas Raith relating that she hates him because she wanted his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend Justine to be one of her 'girls'. After Bianca, who blames Dresden for provoking her and 'making' her kill her favourite prostitute/lover, makes an enemy of Dresden and gets burned to ash along with the rest of the Velvet Room, the city's resident Noble Demon crime lord Gentleman John Marcone sets up the new Velvet Room, effectively disguised as a gym/health club about which this trope is discussed: Sergeant Murphy remarks that the girls in places like this are usually well paid, given/required to have medical tests on a regular basis, and volunteers not coerced or controlled by drugs or violence - all of which fits very much Marcone's habits of being good to his employees and savage in his retribution towards those who harm them. So, aside from token gestures, the cops don't generally do anything because they have bigger problems. However, it is clear that this is not the norm outside of Marcone's control.
  • 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."
  • Discworld:
    • The Seamstresses Guild (hem hem) of Ankh-Morpork 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 hopes to be more to him.
  • Zig-zagged in Kushiel's Legacy series. Justified in that the d'Angeline Servants of Naamah are Church-affiliated High Class Call Girls and boys in a country with "Love as Thou Wilt" as its main creed and no stigma against prostitution, so they're quite well-regarded and can attain positions of high rank. However, they're Indentured to brothels as children and obligated to Work Off the Debt, which can be nigh-impossible if they fall short of the brothel's standards of beauty; and Phedre campaigns against the element of debt bondage in later books.
  • 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. Cordelia Vorkosigan, who's from Beta Colony, likens them to a hairdresser on her adopted world of Barrayar: they're formally educated (it takes an associate's degree in psychiatry) people who perform a skilled service. They're quite popular with virgins looking for a safe and psychologically comfortable first sexual experience.
  • 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. Deconstructed in a later book when one of them has become a heroin addict and is disgusted at being a prostitute. She considered it degrading and did it for money but doubly hated Fortunato's airs of sophistication.
  • 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.
  • In Vampire Academy, Ambrose, the male blood whore, tends to sleep with women old enough to be his mother or grandmother. He still believes he has a great job.
  • Misty Carpenter in The Identity Matrix simply loves being a prostitute and a stripper, as she's both a nymphomaniac and an Attention Whore in all senses of that term. But this is not considered normal within the setting — it's the result of a Government Conspiracy deliberately messing with her mind and giving a formerly depressed, introverted person the life of constant attention and sex she always craved as a form of self-reinforcing Stockholm Syndrome. It's implied that her environment (a high-class legal bordello in Nevada) is an intentionally Disneyfied establishment used just for this purpose.
  • Both played more or less straight and subverted in Karen Memory. The title/POV character works at the Hotel Mon Cherie (sic), a bordello run by a madam who truly cares about her girls and where most of the unsavory men in town are priced out of the clientele. However, even there not all of said girls are of age (Karen herself is 17; another girl, Bea, is younger) and it's uncertain whether they enjoy their work- Karen, a lesbian, gets no sexual gratification out of it and would rather be training horses. In an accurate reflection of the broad spectrum of sex work in The Wild West, it's made plain that the Hotel is far from the norm. Karen's eventual girlfriend Priya and her sister Aashini were forced into sex work by the man who paid their passage from India- and who owns a dockside crib of mostly Chinese and Indian girls, drugged or beaten into submission. For an extra Steampunk twist of skeeviness, he also has a Mind-Control Device that he uses with impunity on anyone and everyone who tries to oppose him.
  • Explored in great depth in The Comfortable Courtesan. Clorinda Cathcart, a very high-class prostitute in early-nineteenth-century London, is entirely happy to be a prostitute, but a major subject of the story is the amount of effort and intelligence that it takes her to keep things positive for herself, and she still sometimes fails to escape some of the hazards of the lifestyle. There are also other characters for whom things don't go so well.
  • Hitchhiker ghosts in Ghostroads 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 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. As a "hitcher"-type ghost Rose is fueled by "borrowed life" and describes herself as addicted to things she can only really experience while wearing a borrowed coat - cheeseburgers, coffee, and sex, though sex seems to be more something she enjoys in passing than craves.
  • In The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, the Exodus Fleet has "tryst clubs" that were explicitly designed to be this, being part of the Health and Wellness division of the ship. There's no money in the Fleet (at least traditionally) so there's no exploitation, they get free healthcare, and there's no taboo against visiting one as long as you're of age.
  • Zigzagged in Judge Dee: Prostitution is a part of life, with strict regulations... that are often ignored by greedy brother owners. High Class Call Girls often end up as wives or concubines to rich and powerful men, but that doesn't stop them from being murder victims themselves. Many young women are forced into prostitution after a drought or famine means a poor farmer can't feed all his family. Rich perverts often get off on whipping women (even to death) and only the ones the Judge gets involved with are punished.
  • Katje DaVries of The M Universe was a High-Class Call Girl in Amsterdam before the events of the first book. She considered herself something of a teacher as well as an escort because she helped her more socially awkward clients navigate the world of relationships as well as sex and tended to remain friends with them even when their business arrangement ended. At one point she's asked how she can let herself be used like that, and her response is essentially that if anyone's doing the using, it's her: her clients just get sex. She gets sex and stuff.
  • Swan's Braid & Other Tales of Terizan: Poli is a male sex worker who seems entirely content with his life. It's probably due to sex workers having a guild that is apparently the best in the city, and protecting their members well.
  • The Change Room: Shar it turns out is a sex worker who pays for law school by doing this. There is no mention of any problems, and all her clients have never treated Shar anything but well, while she's never been arrested etc for it either. Her ex-girlfriend Leanne though believed any such idea was a terrible myth due to her being a radical feminist, with all sex work an inherently abusive enterprise, which Shar knows isn't true. The book does not though claim it's always the way Shar experiences it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Two and a Half Men: To the point where Alan's attempts at being respectful to a hooker was Played for Laughs. The joke being, mostly, that Alan overthinks the whole situation because he's hopelessly neurotic.
  • In Carnival Row this is a bit up in the air, as Faeries are considerably more relaxed about sex than humans are, plus Tourmaline works in a relatively safe environment with a Madam who takes good care of her employees. She obviously finds being a sex worker a bit of a comedown after having been the equivalent of the Poet Laureate back in her homeland of Tirnanoc, but when her friend Vignette suggests joining her in the trade Tourmaline's main concern is that Vignette doesn't have the right mindset for it and would likely end up shanking one of the customers, rather than the job itself being degrading.
  • Firefly shows two extreme ends of the spectrum of prostitution:
    • 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 to their clients.
    • "Heart Of Gold" shows the other side, with a decrepit brothel 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 prostitute dolls 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.
  • "Homeland" an American fixer recruits beautiful young American girls (including a pre-Glee/Supergirl Melissa Benoist) to be sex slaves in a Saudi Prince's harem. Except they're all volunteers, trading their favours in return for him funding their hedonistic party lifestyle.
  • "Key West": Savannah Summer is a prosperous and fun loving lady of the night.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl has frequently been accused of this. The protagonist loves her job, and when it causes her problems, it's usually depicted as being due to anti-prostitution prudes unjustly condemning or pitying her.
  • 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 us are.'
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Republic of Murdoch", it turns out George's "aunts" are a group of prostitutes who George's adopted father, a Good Shepherd minister, encouraged to form a Band of Brothels. Having observed their business (and possibly having compared it to prostitution in the back streets of Toronto), Murdoch concludes that the reverend was a very wise man.
  • Criminal Minds doesn't usually go for this, but the episode "Pleasure Is My Business" does. The unsub is a high-class call girl who's going around killing her clients. The team suspects she's targeting them based on a sexual kink (citing the fact that even call girls don't have total control over what acts they have to perform), but her victim selection criteria are based on moral failings separate from soliciting prostitutes, and another (former) call girl they talk to for advice blows off that concern, feeling confident that the unsub could have filtered out unsavory clients on her own. The biggest "problem" presented with prostitution in the episode is the possibility of a scandal, but that's portrayed as a risk for the FBI team investigating the murders more than for the call girl herself, or even her clients note , and while the unsub's Freudian Excuse involves her father leaving the family after having an affair with a call girl, it doesn't play out any differently than if he'd had an affair with a non-prostitute, and we even meet the former call girl in question, who has a cushy life with a good husband. So, as long as you avoid seeking revenge on your Disappeared Dad via poisoning surrogates, being a call girl is a perfectly safe, mostly respectable career choice.
  • Tipping the Velvet (2002): Subverted. At first Nan is quite comfortable with being a streetwalker and perfectly safe. Then however a client tries to rape her after she's unwilling to do anal sex with him. She becomes the kept woman of Ms. Lethaby, which also seems okay at first. Over time, however, Lethaby becomes far more exploitative and controlling to the point Nan describes herself later as her slave.
  • The White Lotus: Played with. At first, Lucia is very upfront about liking her job, even trying to recruit Mia into it, but a few episodes into the season she starts to have second thoughts about her situation, due to her pimp who's harassing her over payment mostly.
  • You Me Her: Izzy and Nina temporarily work as escorts to pay for college tuition. At no point is there even a mention of any danger that they might face, nor social stigma and other issues.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Whores, hoes, or hos were a very prominent part of both the Dangerous Women of Wrestling and Women's Extreme Wrestling promotion. For whatever reason sex workers were prolific throughout them, providing lots of fanservice. While they did serve as Red Shirts for babyfaces to save from or avenge against the heels, the hos apparently had no financial hardships and faced no legal trouble. Some such as GI Ho, Navaho, and Cleo-ho-patra even managed to become pro wrestlers while holding down their sex work. Hos were good mind you. The porn stars making up the Pussy World Order were heel invaders of WEW who were trying to force people into their business.
  • WWE's resident wrestling pimp The Godfather's act involved him walking to the ring with his Ho Trainnote  and offering his opponent his choice. He was so much this that, when The Big Bossman, a former Real Life prison guard who was playing a Heel policeman, once handcuffed one of the Hos and tried dragging her away, commentator Michael Cole didn't understand why he was doing that. But then, this is Michael Cole.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Magistracy of Canopus is known for its sex-positive attitude, with people who are skilled in the carnal arts being held in high regard. As such, it's the top destination for sex tourism in the setting.
  • The Kingdom of Aldis in Blue Rose has unionized prostitution as a matter of course, in line with the land's Free-Love Future culture. The "Guild of Intimates" has the freedom to run pillow houses throughout Aldis so long as the Intimates are practicing of their own free will and get regular health inspections.

  • 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 the 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.
  • La Traviata is a deconstruction similar to Moulin Rouge!, which owes a lot of inspiration to it. The audience's first impression of Violetta is of a lively, cheerfully cynical party girl who revels in the luxury and "freedom" of her life. But we soon learn just how lonely and unhappy she really is. Ultimately, all she wants is a quiet life in the country with a man who really loves her... but she can't have that, because society views her as Defiled Forever and won't allow it.

    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).
  • Fallout:
    • 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 Fallout: New Vegas, the prostitutes working for Pretty Sarah are fairly content with their position, particularly since they consider it safer than working for the Omertas, who would control them through drugs and are not above raping them or handing them over to dangerous customers who can pay for the damages.
  • Mass Effect: Right on the Citadel Presidium, the seat of galactic power, across a walkway from the Embassies and a short walk away from the Council Chambers is an establishment run by Sha’i’ra the Consort. The Consort is often visited by various high-ranking officials and diplomats for “advice, comfort or pleasure”. If the Consort herself cannot see a client, there are numerous acolytes, each with their own “specialties” who attend to the needs of the client. Sha’i’ra herself is a very powerful well regarded highly respected asari and her acolytes appear to absolutely love working for her and supporting each other. The fact that the Presidium is the safest most secure part of the Citadel doesn’t hurt either.
  • 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...

    Visual Novels 
  • Dorothy Haze from VA11HALLA. She's a Lilim prostitute with an earnest enjoyment of her work and the body of a 12-year-old (Dorothy's particular model of Lilim are built young-looking but can earn a free upgrade to an older body after passing three "maturity tests". Dorothy never opted in for the upgrade.) As you can guess, this gives Dorothy a bit of an advantage in her line of work.

    Web Comics 
  • In Drowtales, the "Guild of Flowers" has a permanent seat on the city council and is hosting this year's carnival-style parade. Considering drow culture's comfortable attitude towards sexuality and multiple partners, this is perfectly justified.
  • One such hooker appears in City of Reality. Justified by the setting itself.
  • A complaint levied against Teahouse by its detractors. While it's true that none of the characters have it easy, sources of drama include social differences, messy politics, and at least two unhappy marriages (among many, many others). True, all are tangentially related to the titular brothel, yet the more typical problems that real-life prostitutes would face haven't come up yet.
  • In the Western arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, Morgan is the madame of a brothel. She's also a steampunk mad scientist, as is one of her employees, Elaine. Merlin says not a single one of them has been to his doctor's office with a social disease, and it turns out this is due to nanotech. The idea that it's just about "having fun and getting paid for it" is questioned, but from the opposite direction than you might expect; Arthur warns cowboys about Morgan's establishment because "it's a business doing pleasure with her".
  • In the adult-webcomic Spirit Bathhouse, Olivia aka: "Ollie", the main character, gets a job at a bathhouse because she thought the owner Moma was hot. The bath house provides good pay and benefits, and Moma even encourages the employees, from those who work behind the scenes to the service personnel who work as masseuses/masseurs, waitresses/waiters, and provide sex services, to form a union. Despite worries that she was kidnapped and forced to work as a prostitute, Ollie tells her favorite client, Zagroff, aka: "Zaggie", a humanoid dragon, that she got the job out of her own will and enjoys working there, and it's implied that they may have feelings beyond client and server. Her other favorite client, Ibas, an angel who works a high-ranking government job and who was given a special collar to put on her since seeing his true form during their first encounter made her pass out, opened on investigation into her employment, as he assumed that she was trafficked into this world against her will, but she says she lives in the human world and commutes into the "Spirit Fold" to work at the bathhouse, right before they begin to go at it in his office.

    Web Original 
  • Several different Chakona Space stories mention licensed brothels. Some page time is devoted to the fact that some of the "employees" at these establishments are former sex slaves who are now getting paid to do what they were genetically engineered and psychologically conditioned for. Page time is also given to speculation on the happiness of said former sex slaves.
  • Cracked:
    • The Oldest Profession may be older even than humanity, as it appears to emerge in the presence of money. An article ("6 Things You Won't Believe Animals Do Just Like Us") describes several experiments in which researchers introduced money to communities of monkeys. In one, a female monkey ended up trading sex for money so she could buy some grapes.
    • Cracked also has an article titled "No Fat Tourists: 5 Facts of Life You Learn as a Prostitute in Vietnam" that painted the life of a prostitute in a ridiculously rosy way. According to the article, prostitution was just a nice way for the author to earn some pocket cash, had no social stigma among the locals, she was kept safe by both the police and her "street caller" (pimp), and in fact, it enriched her life because it taught her English. The whole thing is criticized as glorifying Sex Tourism and reads like it was written by a Vietnamese tourism board.
  • The Onion: Housewife Charged In Sex-For-Security Scam (a subversion in that an unproblematic situation is treated like prostitution).

    Web Videos