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Sexual slavery in a BDSM relationship refers to a submissive person in a BDSM relationship consenting to a dominant person (also called a slave owner or the master or mistress) treating the submissive as their slave, i.e., their property. Sexual slavery in a BDSM context is both a sexual fantasy or sexual roleplay. The slave master or mistress might be any person or group, though the majority of such relationships are usually either one dominant, or a committed dominant couple, owning one or more slaves. A sex slave and the owner, and others involved in the relationship, can be of any gender, sexual identity, or orientation.
The use of the term 'sex slave' rather than just 'slave' is sometimes used to differentiate between consensual slavery and non-consensual slavery, because sex is not a necessary component of consensual slavery. In BDSM, a slave is a specific type of submissive. Not all submissives are slaves, though all slaves would normally be considered submissive in the relationship.
Sexual slavery is a consensual exchange of power by the submissive to the dominant, though the scope of the surrender of discretion may be limited and may be withdrawn at any time.
The types of activities that the sex slave may be expected to perform are usually defined in advance and sometimes spelled out in a slave contract, a document that outlines the desires, limits, and expectations of the parties. The sex slave is often expected to perform sexually, though typically many relationship-oriented dynamics are also clearly negotiated, including clothing, diet, speech restrictions, household affairs and schedules, though the details may be left to the master or mistress. Typically outlined are clear expectations of whether the couple will be monogamous or polyamorous, and if there would be permission or expectation of sexual interaction with other people. Otherwise, a sex slave may be expected to perform many of the same functions that are expected of a slave/submissive, including wearing very revealing clothes, being shared, wearing a slave collar or leash, S&M activities, or bondage.
The duration of the slave relationship may vary from a few minutes, as in a scene, to a lifetime commitment. Depending on their contract, a sex slave may be traded by the master, facilitated by sex club events, personals in BDSM interest magazines or internet based social networks. Commonly, a slave is also said to be a collared slave, though not every slave wears a physical slave collar.
A slave who has satisfied the duration of the negotiated time of service is expected to be released, unless a new duration of service is negotiated. A slave may at any time withdraw consent to the relationship; effectively nullifying the slave relationship.