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Universal media trope that can occur regardless of the genders and sexes of the characters. Subtrope to Blackmail, with the defining elements of the ever-popular combination of sex and the abuse of power.

Alice is Bob's superior, and wants to employ his other talents. The thing is, Bob is not interested -- maybe he already has a sweetheart, or his moral code won't allow for what Alice wants, or he's just not into her. Maybe he's asexual or just not into women. Maybe he Can't Have Sex Ever. Alice chooses to "let him make the decision"... but not really. Technically Bob can refuse, but saying "no" may come with a whole host of nasty consequences, whereas an "okay" might gain him something or things he needs or wants. Oftentimes this is related to his and Alice's professional relationship -- promotions, connections, qualifications etc. Sometimes all he can hope for is just maintaining the status quo. Some works portray the victim enjoying it, but this doesn't change the coercion that lies at the heart of this trope.

In general, Alice's plotting fulfilled would mean Bob undressing in tears and offering himself to her, but thanks to a heroic Love Interest or a nifty Deus Ex Machina, it only rarely gets that far (let alone any farther). If Bob angsts too long about what he should do, Alice might drop the act entirely.

In a nutshell, Sexual Extortion is a form of sexual assault wherein financial and/or social threats largely replace physical violence. This trope only works if the perpetrator has some sort of leverage over the victim. Compare with Scarpia Ultimatum. Compare and contrast with Casting Couch.

Typical flavors would be a boss/employee or a professor/graduate. One variety is a police officer/petty offender. The trope was more popular before the 1960s and 1970s, when pre/extra-marital sex was a way bigger deal than today. Older Than Feudalism qualifier: Joseph and Potifar's wife in the Bible.

Subtrope of Questionable Consent. Goes hand in hand with Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny. Contrast Ethical Slut and Safe, Sane, and Consensual.

No Real Life Examples, Please

Examples of Sexual Extortion include:


Anime Edit

  • In Boys Love Genre Ai no Kusabi, Riki was a Sex Slave of Iason Mink and has been free for about a year. Iason then comes to claim Riki back. When Riki has refuses to return and Iason has Riki's best friend Guy in "custody", Iason threatens to Brainwash Guy into an Empty Shell of a sex doll unless Riki agrees to come back as his Pet.

Comics Edit

  • Ralph König's Killer Condom (Kondom des Grauens) begins with this trope - underage female student hates herself for it, but chooses to let her professor have his way with her in turn for passing an exam. Lucklily, the condom he picks turns out to be a genetically engineered monster that eats his dick and then crawls away, leaving him bleeding and her laughing hysterically.
  • In one Batman and the Outsiders storyline, a professor tries this on a student, who refuses and tries to kill herself when threatened with having her education ruined. When GeoForce hears about it, he tries to pound the perp into gelatin, but is stopped by Superman. Batman comes through with a more ethical and lawful solution, finding some of the professor's other victims and convincing them to file charges.

Fan Fiction Edit

  • The Green Hornet fanfic The Hornet's Girl plays with this trope. The narrator is an escort at a speakeasy and reluctantly agrees to "entertain" the Green Hornet after her boss threatens to fire her if she doesn't. The story takes place during the Depression and she couldn't afford to lose her job. Fortunately, the Hornet is a gentleman and politely turns her down once he sees her discomfort (it also helps that he was on a mission and wasn't interested in doing it anyway).

Film Edit

  • The 1953 film Hilja - maitotyttö is a classic example of Finnish rural romanticism. The main plot: evil farm owner lusts after his eponymous dairy maid Hilja, a young graduate loves her.
  • In Horrible Bosses, Dale's boss Julia does this to him as part of a concerted campaign of sexual harassment.

Literature Edit

  • The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife in The Bible: mentioned more or less in passing in the Genesis, but illustrated with detail in the apocryphal Testament by Joseph. Joseph was keen on following the Jewish law in any case. Potiphar's wife introduced heavy threats and blackmailing into the play, finally accusing him of raping her in a fit of rage after Joseph escaped her rape attempt. Afterwards she promised to set him free from prison, where he had been sent, if he would do as she wanted.
    • The Jewish Law that hadn't been given yet?
      • Considering the incidents with Abemelech, it's clear that the prohibition against adultery predates the Ten Commandments.
  • In Ragtime (novel version only), Tateh's wife is sexually abused by her boss and doesn't speak up because (Tateh being an artist) her income is what's supporting the family. When her husband finds out she's been "unfaithful" to him, he declares her dead to him and throws her out of the house.

Live Action TV Edit

  • Invoked in season 3 of The L Word, after Helena is seduced by a filmmaker whose documentary she's funding. One day, the filmmaker gets her role playing during foreplay, and gets her to pretend on camera that her support of the film is contingent upon the filmmaker having sex with her. The next day, Helena's served with a sexual harassment lawsuit; as it turns out, the relationship was a Go Seduce My Arch-Nemesis plot by the filmmaker's boyfriend to squeeze money out of Helena.
  • In season one of Pretty Little Liars, it is revealed that Jenna had done this to Toby. He refused to have sex with her, on the grounds that they were siblings; she countered that they were Not Blood Siblings. When he still refused, she threatened to tell their parents that he had raped her if he wouldn't consent; they both knew that she would be believed.

Newspaper Comics Edit

  • A minor character in Doonesbury is a soldier who was forced into sex by her commanding officer and is now in therapy. The strip goes surprisingly in-depth on the various psychological conflicts she's now suffering. (Notably, one of her issues is that she never directly said no to the officer, and thus feels that she consented--this is lessened to a degree when she discovers that his actions are classified as "command rape.")

Porn Edit

  • A common scenario in porn.

Video Games Edit

  • Tomo gets this treatment in hentai game Virgin Roster.
  • You can do this in the Neverwinter Nights mod The Bastard of Kosigan, in several places. Though in most cases, having a high Charisma score will get you a similar scene without any moral problems.


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