Is There Such a Thing As Consensual #Slavery? #BDSM

Is Consensual Slavery a Myth? In my personal opinion.. no. Some people crave the loss of control and being told their every move by a loving Master is reward enough in itself for losing their ‘freedoms.’ Others will not want a 24/7 relationship and only wish to relinquish their independence and control in the bedroom – it is a personal flavour of choice. The crucial point is that every party needs to be happy doing what they’re doing. Perhaps not happy all the time, but the pros certainly have to outweigh the cons… What’s your opinion?

Consensual Slavery – Is it a Myth?

Original article posted on BDSM Digest

John Locke, who defined slavery as a state of suspended war where one person is conquered and has no rights relative to his captor, also said that no one could become consensually enslaved since they cannot give away what they do not own. You can free yourself from a despot at any time by taking your own life. If fear of your own demise stops you, then you can be enslaved by someone who is willing and able to exercise this threat against you. Because consensual enslavement does not include a threat to one’s life by one’s owner, it cannot be real enslavement according to Locke.

“This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power is so necessary to, and closely joined with, a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it but by what forfeits his preservation and life together. For a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot by compact or his own consent enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another to take away his life when he pleases. Nobody can give more power than he has himself, and he that cannot take away his own life cannot give another power over it.” –John Locke in “The Second Treatise on Government”

Victor Frankl who survived Auschwitz and went on to create the psychological theory logotherapy, echoed Locke in this when he said, “Everything can be taken from a man but… the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” What choose one’s own way means in that sentence is one’s own way to face death. Once again, if death cannot dissuade you, no one can enslave you.

This is, of course, the genesis of the philosophical argument that no one can actually ever really be enslaved because they always have that ultimate freedom of choice. Many people look on this philosophical hair-splitting with contempt, and rightly so. Taking a philosophical truth that doesn’t apply to most instances of everyday life and pretending that it is part of our daily consciousness is a tremendous mistake. It ignores the historical and present reality that within the moment by moment living of our lives, people are controlled and under another’s power. And it is reasonable to ask whether consent and choice matter if they are not reachable by the conscious mind.

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If we are not going to look to history for the definition of slave and we are going to ignore our philosophers, where do we look? The dictionary is always a good place to find definitions. The second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines slave as: “One who is the property of, and entirely subject to another person, whether by capture, purchase or birth; a servant completely divested of freedom and personal rights.”

OK, so the word “slave” is not a great one. What do we do then? How do we indicate a state a person has entered consensually and given up all rights relative to the person she is enslaved to? And how do we deal with the absolute reality that such a person can break her vow and walk away? What is she? The problem is that we don’t have a good word.

But labels serve a useful purpose. They help us communicate what we want to other people and give us a short-cut to describe who and what we are. The word “slave” does not do a particularly good job of this because it has so many meanings, but since there are so few options, we are stuck with it.

Those of us who identify as “slaves” believe in the concepts of “owner” and “property” and relinquish our personal rights and freedoms in the context of our D/s relationship with a partner. The extent to which that transference of power exists is usually limited by circumstance and logistics, rather than by limited power exchange. Consensual Slavery, for us, is often the description for a Total Power Exchange with a Dominant, limited only by the restrictions of living in the “real world” (job, children, spouse), even if it cannot truly be 24/7. Does that make us less a “slave”? Perhaps. Purists aside, however, most of us in the lifestyle are content to use the term and grow weary of the endless debates about whether “slavery” is possible, healthy or legal. If the Master is happy with his property and the slave is able to serve Him satisfactorily, that is all that really matters.

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4 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing As Consensual #Slavery? #BDSM

  1. Without speaking for my Master, i believe that He is happy with His property and that i serve Him satisfactorily. Being a Southern man who has spent His entire life in the capital of the Confederacy, He’d been uncomfortable with ‘slave’. Since it was something that W/we were both longing for, a long conversation ensued, mainly emphasizing that it was my choice to offer it rather than a violent and involuntary taking. W/we live apart, but for me it’s an all encompassing state–mind, body and soul. Every waking moment is mindful of Him– a reflection of His Dominance, whether we’re together or not. For U/us, it is very healthy. Not bound by rules or within anyone’s lines but O/ours. It is just TTWD. ~~ slave tasha💜

  2. I believe consent lies at the heart of every BDSM relationship. You consent to be a slave because you find comfort and stability in someone else making the decisions and looking after your every need. If you didn’t consent to the relationship you wouldn’t be in it, right? That’s not to say that there isn’t forced sexual slavery where women are kidnapped and pressed into service against their will (sort of like Jenny in Rough Ride), but I think that’s different. She didn’t sign up for the BDSM lifestyle, and even though she’s no longer trying to escape, I believe she would turn her back on Albrecht’s if she was ever presented with the opportunity. But what was done to her embodies the definition of non-consensual slavery, and it’s considered illegal. Yes, she was a bit of a spoiled brat before she was pressed into being a sex pony, but she’s clever and a survivor and she’s learned some valuable lessons, so I’m confident at some point she will gain her freedom. When that happens, she’ll have a decision to make. If she chooses to remain in the lifestyle of her own free will, then she will be doing so with her consent. So, if it’s not illegal, it’s either a consensual, or a consensual non-consenting relationship (yes, that’s an oxymoron, but some participants enjoy the illusion of non-consent, even if it is only an illusion).

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