Sex Work

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Prostitutes
Related: Pornstar AU, Hookerfic
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Sex Worker refers to anyone employed in the sex industry. This is a topic explored widely in fanworks, often as an AU. Sex work of all kinds is portrayed- brothels, escorts, street prostitution, "call-girls" as well as strippers and go-go boys. The sex industry of broad and some occupations in the industry do not involve the transaction of any sexual acts. Most fanfiction exploring sex work is mature.

Most of the time one character of the pairing is the sex worker and the other is the client, though some stories have both characters as sex workers. In a brothel-type setting or a scenario with character living on the streets, more of the canon cast will be sex workers.

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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]

Others object to people who do not support sex work in real life creating negative portrayals of sex work in fanfiction.

don't 👏write👏stripper👏AUs👏if👏you👏don't👏respect👏sex👏workers👏[2]


A Sentinel fan wrote:

Canon Jim and Blair seem about as likely to become prostitutes as...oh, say, Madeleine Albright. Or whoever you think is the least likely person to become a hooker. And yet, TS prostitute stories are a thriving sub-genre. For many of us, they are an enjoyably [[guilty pleasure]]. They certainly are for me. And so, I wanted to understand why.

I think the appeal of such stories is that it's the ultimate rescue. From the threat of physical danger that goes along with being a prostitute, from disease, abuse, lovelessness, societal scorn, the very annihilation of the soul. The person is redeemed by love. A lot of romance novels have a rescue theme. I think there's something appealing in that to a lot of women, even if we also know that it's all just one big fantasy, that no man is actually going to come to our rescue and that it would irritate us if he tried.

Still, it's nice to dream.

And then also, there's the whole issue of Jim and Blair choosing each other no matter what. For me, one of the things I love most about the relationship between the guys is the almost karmic sense of meant-to-be that I feel about their connection to one another. They really do seem like soul mates. Maybe what's so weirdly satisfying about these prostitute stories is the notion that Jim and Blair would still recognize each other in a very elemental way, despite the degrading circumstances, despite the barriers that being hooker and john put between them. Their love, destined and true, overcomes all. [3]

Example Works



Links & Resources

Meta & Further Reading


  1. ^ Seperis, in which i randomly attack a well-loved trope, July 23rd, 2007, Accessed 15 October, 2008)
  2. ^ Jun 25, 2017 by quadwaxel
  3. ^ Why Prostitute Stories? by Annabelle Leigh