Hookerfic

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: hooker AU, hookers, rentboy AU, rentboys fic, prostitute, prostitutes, prostitution, whore, whores
Related: Pornstar AU
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Contents

Hookerfic is a type of fanfic where one or more of the characters is a sex worker. There are many different types of hookerfic, ranging from more realistic depictions to the more common Pretty Woman-type fantasy of a hooker with a heart of gold, rescued from life on the streets by a client. Sex work of all kinds is portrayed—brothels, escorts, street prostitution, "call-girls" as well as strippers and go-go boys.

Most of the time one character of the pairing is the hooker and the other the client, though some stories have both characters as prostitutes (sometimes along with other canon characters, in either a brothel-type setting or living on the streets).

Hookerfic is not always a full AU. Stories set in the canon universe, but where one character is revealed to have a secret past as a sex worker (often to make their way through college) are also common. There are also stories set after some event in canon, where one character is forced to become a sex worker or prostitute for various reasons.

The term Rentboy AU is sometimes used to label slash stories in this genre. "Rent boy" is a non-fannish slang term for male prostitute, but it is used sometimes in fanworks instead of cruder terms such as "whore" or "hooker" to indicate a romanticized story.

Controversy

Some fans feel that hookerfic glorifies sex work or demeans real sex workers and shouldn't be written. Others feel that it's OOC for most characters to choose sex work if any other option remains.[1]

Characters

Some characters are common subjects of hookerfics. In Batman fandom, any character who spent time homeless or otherwise destitute may wind up as a subject of hookerfic. Jason Todd, the second Robin was living on the streets as a teenager. Roy Harper, after his canonical drug use, also is sometimes portrayed as a former hooker. Some White Collar fics presume Neal Caffrey spent time as a prostitute along with his other criminal activities. In a similar vein, some A-Team fanworks presume Faceman Peck spent time as a prostitute prior to joining the Army, and after, often write of him using sex as a means to gain things for the team (e.g. in The Price of Doing Business by Sonora Coneja)[2]

Fandoms

Some fandoms lend themselves to the trope more readily than others because of the nature of the canon or the popularity of AUs in general.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is especially renowned for for darkfic AUs where members of the Order of the Phoenix are forced into sex work for survival. Also extremely popular is the opposite circumstance, where known Death Eaters are forced (by lack of choice or Ministry of Magic decree) to use sex work to support themselves. Interestingly, these were often different genres -- i.e. not just slash -- as both the Draco/Ginny fic Both Go Down (today i'll be your virginia)[3] and Draco/Harry fics The Escape Verse[4] show for the former circumstance. [Needs het/slash/femmeslash examples for second trope].

Stargate

{needs bit on SG-1; suspect that's a reasonably common trope "hounded out of academia for his exotic theories, how did Danny survive..."}
In Stargate Atlantis fic, John Sheppard and Rodney McKay are regularly cast as sex workers, both in AU and canon-related stories. In John's case, this may in part be due to the somewhat canon and strongly fanon portrayal of John as having very strong sex appeal. In Rodney's case it may be due to backstory of Rodney being in college at a very young age and not getting along with his parents, as well as available photos and film of the actor portraying Rodney in earlier roles making him seem like a not unlikely candidate for sex work.

Example stories

Supernatural

Stories involving sex work of all kinds abound in both the Supernatural and the CWRPS sides of the fandom. Some of the most popular stories in the fandom use the trope, as well as uncountable fills on the kink meme. There have been comment memes for hooker fic and sometimes it seems like every writer needs to give the trope a whirl at least once.

In the FPF side, the two most common non-AU tropes are John left Sam and Dean as teenagers without enough money and Dean would do anything to look after Sam, and Sam ran out of money at Stanford and did what he had to for textbooks. Both of these tropes work the hookerfic clichés into the canon backstory in a way that is at least superficially plausible. Debates always rage over whether the resulting story is really in character for a couple of guys who have a lot of other criminal skills they could use to raise money.

In Supernatural RPS fic, the trope is usually a total or near total AU where Jared and Jensen are not actors, but one or both are sex workers. One of the classic stories in the fandom with over 500 Delicious bookmarks is fleshflutter's Do I Seem Bulletproof To You?, where Jensen is a high-priced call-out prostitute and Jared is his bodyguard.[5] The story, written for the 2008 SPN J2 Big Bang tends towards realism in its portrayal, while still managing to come close to the rescue scenario.

In a big departure from the usual trope, fryadvocate's, A little less conversation takes a more serious look at the trope with a Jared who isn't looking for a saviour, and a Jensen who never understands that Jared really is just in it for the money.[6]

The fandom has produced seemingly endless variations on the trope from extremely fluffy romances to darkfic.

Additional Example Hookerfic Stories

  • Joyboy by Syn Ferguson, a Star Trek TOS AU (Set immediately after Kirk is rescued from Tarsus IV. K/S)
  • Diplomatic Efforts by ninhursag. Star Trek reboot story in which Kirk's secret past as a hooker is revealed. Kirk/Spock/Uhura.
  • Paying the Rent by Elaine, a The Sentinel AU with Jim and an 18-year old Blair
  • A Matter of Pride by P.J., The Sentinel AU. "...one of my favorite prostitute stories of all time. In it, Jim is a famous model and Blair is an anthropology professor. Both are blackmailed into selling themselves. The plot is tightly constructed, and I found the back story beautiful and touching, in keeping with the essence of the characters. Jim and Blair don't give in to the blackmailer to protect themselves, but, rather, to shield people they care about. When they finally find each other and fall in love, it's the beginning of the end for the blackmailer." [7]
  • Professional Reputation by arsenicjade. Suits canon-based story in which Mike isn't making enough to pay the bills and resorts to revisiting his call-boy past. gen friendshipfic.
  • Renting Heero by bonnejeanne and Cassiopeia. Gundam Wing. PWP, Zechs x Heero. "What he was doing now might have shocked his former acquaintances, but it didn't require that he kill anybody. That made it rather higher on his list of preferred possibilities than most of the other things he was qualified for."
  • Fighting Dreamers by KungFuu. Naruto, an AU Kakairu fic: "When Iruka finds Naruto abandoned, he has to take him in. He wants to give Naruto a fighting chance at success in life. That means enrolling him in Ninja Academy, but the cost to enroll is high. Iruka pays with the only thing he has – his body. And Kakashi? He ends up falling in love with a prostitute."
  • Half Past The Point of Oblivion by KahtyaSofia, a Generation Kill AU. Brad unexpectedly meets a charming street hustler who insinuates himself into Brad's heart and life. Can Brad get him off the street? Does he want off the street?

References

  1. Seperis, in which i randomly attack a well-loved trope, July 23rd, 2007, Accessed 15 October, 2008)
  2. The Price of Doing Business, by Sonora Coneja.
  3. Both Go Down (today i'll be your virginia) by Starrysummer
  4. The Escape by Rurounihime
  5. Masterpost for Do I seem bulletproof to you?, accessed April 20, 2011
  6. A little less conversation, accessed April 20, 2011
  7. Recommendations by Anna Bleigh, accessed 3.29.2011
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