Sexual slavery is a special case of slavery which includes various different practices:

  1. forced prostitution and religious prostitution
  2. single-owner sexual slavery
  3. slavery for primarily non-sexual purposes where sex is common or permissible

In general, the nature of slavery means that the slave is de facto available for sex, and ordinary social conventions and legal protections that would otherwise constrain an owner's actions are not effective. Women slaves are at highest risk for sexual abuse and sexual slavery.

The term "consensual sexual slavery" (meaning see for example BDSM, total power exchange) has occasionally been used. This usage is oxymoronic; no slavery can exist because of acts or conditions to which a person freely and fully consents.

Forced prostitution

Forced prostitution is a form of sexual slavery that is often directed at immigrants to western countries. Often the "owners" of these people will confiscate passports and/or money in order to make the women involved completely reliant on them. This practice is universally illegal.

In the mid-19th century in the US, there was a white slavery scare which suggested that large numbers of white women were being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The prevalence of this practice was greatly exaggerated due to xenophobia. In fact, at that time, the US victims of sexual slavery were overwhelmingly women of African descent, held as slaves, often purchased with sexual exploitation as the primary goal. The true story of one such girl, purchased as a sexual slave when she was fourteen, is told in Celia, A Slave (ISBN 0-38-071935-5) by Melton A. Mclaurin.