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In BDSM, Master/slave, M/s or sexual slavery is a relationship in which one individual serves another in a consensual authority-exchange structured relationship. Unlike Dominant/submissive structures found in BDSM in which love is often the core value, service and obedience are often the core values in Master/slave structures. 27–30The participants may be of any gender or sexual orientation. The relationship uses the term "slave" because of the association of the term with ownership rights of a master to their slave's body, as property or chattel. While male "masters" will usually be referred to as "Master", whether or not female Masters are referred to as "Master" or "Mistress" may depend upon whether they identify as following the leather subculture or BDSM path, or simply preference. :
Sexual slavery in a BDSM context is both a sexual fantasy and 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 slave and the owner, and others involved in the relationship, can be of any gender, sexual identity, or orientation.
The Master/slave (or Owner/property) relationship is entered into on a consensual basis, without the legal force of historical or modern non-consensual slavery, that is forbidden by the laws of most countries.
The term "slave" is used rather than "sex slave" 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. However, some calling themselves "slave" may only be submissive within a sexual context/activity whilst others are also submissive within other or all aspects of the relationship, "sex-slave" or "slave" respectively.
Outside the BDSM community, the relationship of Master/slave is sometimes regarded as a form of consensual sexual slavery. In BDSM, a slave is a specific type of submissive. The Master/slave relationship refers to the relationship between the individuals involved, and does not necessarily require any specific acts, sexual or otherwise, though sexual activity is usually an aspect of the relationship. The sexual aspect could be conventional, and not necessarily BDSM. A slave could also be a masochist or bottom, but this is not always the case.
Some participants regard the relationship as sexual roleplay, while others enter into the relationship on the basis of a highly committed, long-term, submissive lifestyle.
Various forms of symbolism are sometimes used to affirm the owner/slave relationship. These include wearing the owner's collar, being registered in a slave register, adopting (sometimes legally changing to) a name chosen by the owner, or engaging in a public declaration or ritualized ceremony of some type.
Some people draw up a slave contract that defines the relationship in explicit detail. These contracts may also deal with domestic arrangements (such as cleanliness, home duties) and interpersonal relationship matters (such as issues of deference, language, etc.), besides the sexual arrangements. Typically, they would provide that the Master has the exclusive authority in all matters relating to the body and behavior of the slave, including underwear and other clothing, social relations outside of the arrangement, etc. Although such contracts are not enforceable in the ways legal contracts are, they can be useful for defining in written form the limits of the arrangement between the signatories, and for documenting the consensuality of the relationships they define between them.
In some traditional rituals, after signing a slave contract, the commitment to the relationship is celebrated by a collaring ceremony, which can be simple or elaborate, often witnessed by invited friends. The slave then wears a collar to publicly declare the slave's subjugation and the Master's ownership. Such a collar may be a piece of neckwear, or may be a bracelet or other piece of jewelry that symbolizes slave status. Such a collar is generally not removed except for practical reasons such as medical or security requirements, unless or until the relationship is dissolved; however, a slave is sometimes permitted to wear a more subdued (or less obtrusive) one outside of the home — for example during work or in social situations with people who may otherwise feel uncomfortable.
Slave training is a BDSM activity usually involving a consensual power exchange between two people taking on the roles of a Master or Mistress and a slave. The objective is to change the slave's behavior in a manner that is pleasing to the Master or Mistress, for example to train the slave to follow a set of rules or commands that the Master or Mistress has provided.
Some Masters adopt a holistic approach to the maintenance and long-term development of their slave by using such models as Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
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 slave may be expected to perform are usually defined in advance and sometimes spelled out in a slave contract, a document with social indications and value but without any real legal value that outlines the desires, limits, and expectations of the parties. The 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.
A Master & slave "relationship" is often a long-term relationship, comparable in duration to vanilla relationships whereas a Dominant - submissive "relationship" could also be of the same duration or shorter, even lasting only the duration of a scene for example, which may range from a number of minutes, to hours. Depending on their contract and if the slave is willing to not be monogamous, a 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 if the relationship has become serious enough to the point where the slave has earned a collar in the master's eyes, though not every slave wears a physical slave collar, however, other jewellery may be worn as a token of their dedication and servitude to their master.
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.
BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves to be practising BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture often is said to depend on self-identification and shared experience.
A dominatrix is a woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities. A dominatrix might be of any sexual orientation, but her orientation does not necessarily limit the genders of her submissive partners. The role of a dominatrix may not even involve physical pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks, or servitude. A dominatrix is typically a paid professional (pro-domme) as the term dominatrix is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.
Bondage, in the BDSM subculture, is the practice of consensually tying, binding, or restraining a partner for erotic, aesthetic, or somatosensory stimulation. A partner may be physically restrained in a variety of ways, including the use of rope, cuffs, bondage tape, or self-adhering bandage.
Sexual roleplay is roleplay that has a strong erotic element. It may involve two or more people who act out roles in order to bring to life a sexual fantasy and may be a form of foreplay and be sexually arousing. Many people regard sexual roleplay as a means of overcoming sexual inhibitions. It may take place in the real world, or via an internet forum, chat-room, video-game, or email—allowing for physically or virtually impossible erotic interests to be enacted.
Ageplay or age play is a form of roleplaying in which an individual acts or treats another as if they were a different age. Ageplay is roleplaying between adults, and involves consent from all parties. Ageplay is not necessarily sexual. Portraying any age can be the goal of ageplay, from babies to a child to the elderly. Usually this involves someone pretending to be younger than they actually are, but more rarely can involve assuming an older role.
In BDSM, servitude refers to performing personal tasks for their dominant partner, as part of their submissive role in a BDSM relationship.
Male dominance, or maledom, refers to BDSM activities where the dominant partner is male.
Female submission or femsub is an activity or relationship in which a woman consents to submit to the direction of a sexual partner or allows her body to be used sexually by or for the sexual pleasure of her partner. The expression is often associated with BDSM, when the woman voluntarily and consensually submits to such activity. Submission usually involves a degree of trust by the woman in her partner. The dominant partner is usually a man, but can also be another woman, or there can be multiple dominant partners simultaneously. The submissive woman may derive sexual pleasure or emotional gratification from relinquishing control to a trusted dominant partner.
Discipline in BDSM is the practice in which the dominant sets rules which the submissive is expected to obey. When rules of expected behaviour are broken, punishment is often used as a means of disciplining.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to BDSM:
Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired sexual activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice.
This glossary of BDSM terms defines terms commonly used in the BDSM community.
Dominance and submission is a set of behaviours, customs, and rituals involving the submission of one person to another in an erotic episode or lifestyle. It is a subset of BDSM. This form of sexual contact and pleasure has been shown to please a minority of people.
Master is an English honorific for boys and young men.
Erotic humiliation is consensual psychological humiliation performed in order to produce erotic excitement or sexual arousal. This can be for either the person(s) being humiliated and demeaned or the person(s) humiliating, or both. It is sometimes performed before spectators, including pornography and webcam viewers. It may be part of BDSM and other sexual roleplay, or accompanied by the sexual stimulation of the genitals of one or both parties in the activity.
In human sexuality, kinkiness is the use of non-conventional sexual practices, concepts or fantasies. The term derives from the idea of a "bend" in one's sexual behaviour, to contrast such behaviour with "straight" or "vanilla" sexual mores and proclivities. It is thus a colloquial term for non-normative sexual behaviour. The term "kink" has been claimed by some who practice sexual fetishism as a term or synonym for their practices, indicating a range of sexual and sexualistic practices from playful to sexual objectification and certain paraphilias. In the 21st century the term "kink", along with expressions like BDSM, leather and fetish, has become more commonly used than the term paraphilia. Some universities also feature student organizations focused on kink, within the context of wider LGBTI concerns. Psychologist Margie Nichols describes kink as one of the "variations that make up the 'Q' in LGBTQ".
Animal roleplay is a form of roleplay where at least one participant plays the part of a non-human animal. As with most forms of roleplay, its uses include play and psychodrama.
The terms top, bottom, and switch are used to describe roles for the duration of a sometimes-sexual act, or may be used more broadly as a psychological, social, and sexual identity, as well as indicating one's usual preference. The terms top, bottom, and switch are also used in BDSM, with slightly different meanings. In both contexts, the terms top and bottom refer to dominant or submissive, or active and passive roles, not to who is physically on top in a particular sexual act. The older term "versatile" is sometimes used instead of "switch".
Financial domination is a sexual fetish, in particular a practice of dominance and submission, in which a submissive gives gifts and money to a financial dominant.
This is an index of BDSM articles. BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves as practicing BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.
This article incorporates text from the article on Master/slave in the Ownership Wiki, the free-content guide to the Ownership Subculture.