There is a large difference between consensual slavery, and real slavery. Now, of course, most people will pick up on the key word, consensual, but for some reason that is not enough. There are many other differences besides that one word, that it seems those that are not involved in the BDSM slavery scene do not pick up on.
First, a quick lesson on real slavery. Slavery, unlike what most in America think, is older than the slavery triangle after the “discovery” of America. Most societies in one way or another were built on the backs of those taken in war, raids, or enslaved for infractions against the law. In battle, slaves would sometimes be used as “cannon fodder” for the warriors of the ancient world, taking the arrows and blades of the enemy.
Of course, there were also slaves whose whole purpose was to be objects of desire. Brothels would be stocked with not only men and women who were attempting to make a living, but slaves of various sorts. The gladiators of Rome were normally slaves, some of the more famous becoming free in the sands of death.
However, it’s those that were used as sexual objects, and domestic objects that we must concern ourselves with. As those are the ones that are normally emulated by BDSM slaves, finding ways to please those that “own” them.
Notice the quotations around own? There is a reason for this. And that reason is consent. Whereas a real slave would not be allowed to leave their Master outside of death, or freedom, a consensual slave always has the right to end what is happening.
The general ideal of a BDSM slave in the media is a broken girl or woman, one who is easy to manipulate. That is as true as the ideal that only those of black skin were enslaved in America. There are many different types of men and women who give themselves to another person, in a manner that is appropriate for both, or all involved.
The other main ideal in media is that consensual slaves are all sexual objects. Again, false. Above, I stated that it was not only those used in such a manner that are emulated. There are many out there that gain enjoyment from doing domestic activities, such as cooking or cleaning, where sexual contact is not allowed. Sometimes, it is, but that all depends on wants, again, of all involved.
Not only does consent play into this, but also the extent of the slavery. Whereas someone that is enslaved against their will really has no choice in the manner of their slavery, one who willingly accepts the collar has, really, all the power. There are no limit slaves, similar to real slaves, but even than there are limits to what can be done. As stated, not all BDSM slaves are used for sexual purpose. There are those that truly want to serve as a maid, or butler, but with punishments that would not be placed upon on such as that.
Punishments are another way that these two are different. A consensual slave normally is punished with a whip or flogger, time out, or being placed in a kennel. A real slave could be maimed, or killed, for a small infraction. I don’t know any that are involved in consensual slavery that would allow themselves to be killed.
Now, there have been some big cases of consensual slaves having issues. One accused her former master of using tapes of her performing in sexual ways to gain money. Others claimed they were brainwashed into allowing what was happening to go on. Are there those that take it to this level? Sadly, the answer is yes. However, they are rare, and are scorned by those that have any ideals within the community. The key, as always, is consent.
These are only some of the ways that the two types of slavery are different. Now, how about the similarities?
The similarities really depend on the level of the relationship. As stated, there are no limit slaves. These slaves say that they wish to be used in any way that their “owner” wishes. Sometimes, this may be domestic. Sometimes, this may include being handed to their owners friends for bedroom play. These, all in all, are closest to the real slaves of the world, outside of most punishments.
One of the signs of slavery that is known across the world is the collar. Many real slaves had been collared for one reason or another. Normally, it is so that others know the name of the owner, as well as a devise to remind the slave that they are no longer free. Many in the consensual slavery world use it for the same reasons. Also, there are many that say a slave just looks better with a piece of metal around their neck.
Many consensual slaves also are punished physically. This may be from the whip, or the hand, of the person that owns them. Some even go as far as to be branded. This has been used by real slavers as a type of identification mark. Some in the consensual world use it as such as well.
There are many other ways the two differ and are the same. This, as normal, is just a sampling of those differences.
I wish you well.