In espionage, a honeypot or honeytrap is a trap set to capture, kill or compromise an enemy agent using sex as the lure.
There are many ways in which the technique can be used to gain advantage. If the target is genuinely attached to the person who seduces them, information can be obtained over a long period — the target may trust his or her lover enough to reveal secrets, or may even change their allegience due to their feelings. Even if the target does not deliberately give information to their lover, the lover may accidentally be given opportunities to obtain it themselves. A long-term relationship is not necessarily the goal, however — the technique can also be used to blackmail those who later regret their actions. Incriminating photographs can be an effective tool of coercion, for example. Sometimes, the technique is nothing more than a means of getting the target to lower their guard so that they may be captured or killed, or getting them to go to a location where this is more easily accomplished.
The most common employment of this technique is by women, either female intelligence agents or (if the purpose is simply to obtain material for blackmail) prostitutes. Some intelligence agencies, particularly in the Soviet bloc, are alleged to have specially cultivated agents for this purpose. Not all traps are carried out by women, however — sometimes, women are ensnared by male agents, and sometimes, same-sex traps are used. (The latter were particularly effective eras or countries where homosexuality was frowned on, and the very fact that an agent was homosexual was material suitable for blackmail). Quite often, alcohol is involved, as any inhibitions the target has will be reduced.