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Do the right thing; Karma will get you laid!

A common practice in Self-Insert Fic, the female will "redeem" a Draco in Leather Pants, and IKEA Erotica ensues. Frequently, the female who "redeems" the bad guy is a Mary Sue.

Redemption Sex can be written well - provided the relationship constructed is realistic. For example, the canon anti-hero/villain is in love with this other person. And love of course changes him (he's a nicer, more emotional person), but doesn't change his view of the world that much - ie, he still likes this canon person, dislikes the other, and punches people in the face but has a fondness for the one he had sex with.

For the reverse (Sex Equals Redemption), see Sex Face Turn. Happens because All Girls Want Bad Boys. Naturally, things could be worse...

Examples of Redemption Equals Sex include:

Comic Books

  • Used in Ultimate X-Men as Wolverine's reason for permanently joining the X-Men, as opposed to killing Xavier and leaving like he was supposed to. Unlike most examples, however, Jean didn't know that Wolverine needed to be redeemed, and after finding out, promptly dumped him, disgusted that that was his original reason for joining them.
  • Captain Atom and Plastique consummated their affair only after she had repented of her crimes (also right before the final battle with the Faceless One). They got engaged after the final battle.

Fan Fiction



Live Action TV

  • Heroes has this during Sylar's Heel Face Turn phase with Elle. Ironically Elle was the person to turn him evil in the first place.
    • It doesn't last, and Sylar's first act upon returning to evil is to kill Elle.
  • This happens and then is subverted in Season 2 of Dexter. Lila, his new NA sponsor, "redeems" Dexter and then they have crazy people sex. But then later Dexter realizes how Lila was manipulating him and is totally a Yandere pyromaniac. And also decides he likes killing people too much to stop
  • Disappointingly averted in Angel. Angel helps Faith make her Heel Face Turn - he's the only one who believes in her, tucks her in gently, brings her food, and then hugs her closely. And yet, though there are several scenes which look like they could turn into this... nope, nuh-uh.
    • Justified in this case -- as far as he knew at the time, if he tried it would be an inversion of the trope and he'd be the one making a Face Heel Turn instead. (The fact that the act of having sex wasn't in itself enough to make him lose his soul wasn't really concretely established until later.)
    • Also justified in that a) he didn't really have a thing for Faith, and b) given her low opinion of the human race was interconnected with her low opinion of men, which was extremely linked to the fact that most guys would go for sex with her at the first opportunity, in terms of having Faith trust you and having any ability to strengthen her desire to try to redeem herself, having sex with her, especially when she's emotionally vulnerable, is probably the worst thing you could possibly do. Like, sticking a knife in her would not have been worse.
  • Averted with Buffy who has lots of passionate Destructo-Nookie with soulless Spike in Season 6, but in the following season when Spike gets his soul they spend a few chaste nights together.

Video Games

  • Heavily implied if you're playing Light Side Female in the first Knights of the Old Republic. You even get a choice as to heterosexual or Gay Option. Unlike your male counterpart and Bastila, neither romantic interest will follow you to the Dark Side.
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