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Simply put, this is a character who has been Made a Slave
for the sexual desires of others. This happens especially often in Dystopia
, The Empire
, and the darker versions of Fetish-Fuel Future
, either to show how much the world sucks
, or, well, just because
. In the former kind, the Sex Slave
is rarely a protagonist. At best, she's a Damsel in Distress
for the hero to rescue. At worst she only exists as a narrative tool to show the audience that this is indeed a No Woman's Land
. In the Romanticized Abuse
kind, however, she (or he
) is usually the protagonist. In that case, expect Property of Love
and Freedom from Choice
to come along with Happiness in Slavery
The contrast between some of the more risque aspects
of this trope and the Crapsack World
environment it usually occurs in can often create Unfortunate Implications
. In some works, the slavery can develop
into a mutual relationship
. Expect Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me
, Go-Go Enslavement
, and/or a Slave Collar
Unfortunately, this is Truth in Television
, although generally quite different
from the fetishised fantasy. Forced prostitution
in general amounts to this. Human trafficking in particular is one of the biggest ways that people are enslaved like this.
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Anime and Manga
- Much of the plot of Ai no Kusabi revolves around how Riki was forcibly Made A Sex Slave as a "Pet" and the effect it has on him, his master, and his ex-lover.
- This is what actually happened to Shiro Masuda aka Amakusa in Amakusa 1637. More exactly, Shiro is captured and given as a slave to Naozumi, an already emotionally unstable Time Traveler, who made him his forced lover due to Shirou being identical to Natsuki, Naozumi's Unrequited Love. According to Naozumi's own testimony, Shirou first attempted to understand his "lord"'s broken psyche via speaking to him politely and gently, then tried to use this to try helping his fellow Christians... but when Naozumi realized that he was starting to fall for Shirou, he strangled the poor kid to death, and then threw his lifeless body into the sea.
- In Berserk, this happened to both Guts and Casca in their childhoods. Guts was sold by his adoptive father Gambino to the mercenary Donovan for one night for three silver coins, leading to his traumatic rape. Casca was sold by her parents to a noble who wanted a new serving girl, only for it to turn out that this was what he wanted her for. She was saved by Griffith before the bastard could rape her, but Griffith made her finish him off herself. Unfortunately, the very same Griffith would later rape her himself after getting hooked on The Dark Side.
- Black Butler II: Episode 8 reveals that old man Trancy captured many young boys to choose sex slaves from, raped most of them, and Alois ended up being his favorite sex slave right up until either he died of old age, or Alois killed him. Also, the flashbacks in the manga to when Ciel is kept as a self-described 'pet' to the cult members has several panels that suggest this probably happened to him.
- What Chaka wanted to do to Yukio in Black Lagoon, after stripping her of power within the Washimine clan. Ginji, Rock, and Revy stop him, though. And Ginji gives him a Cruel And Unusual Karmic Death.
- Blue Drop: Tenchi no Bokura had school girls as sex slaves. To the teachers. The school claimed to be teaching them the usual things, but the real purpose was to teach the all-female students to be sex slaves to their lesbian alien conquerors and be utterly alien to the concept of sex with men.
- One of the many uses of the DearS. Takeya isn't happy when Ren offers to fulfill her function for him.
- Fushigi Yuugi:
- In the manga version, the group enters a Lady Land, and the guys must dress like women to get through safely.
- One of the omakes in the OVA takes it to a more comedic level. A drag-queen Mitsukake apparently looks disgusting enough to have his face censored and make the rest of the cast Blue with Shock, and is still singled out to become the Sex Slave. Then Tamahome and Tasuki drop their disguises and willingly and gleefuly volunteer to become slaves themselves, much to Miaka's chargin.
- Also, Soi was sold to a brothel by her impoverished family when she was a little girl. At the age of 12, she is about to be punished by her pimp for refusing to have sex with a client, but is rescued by Nakago. (She is also "used" by him for her sexual healing powers, but does so willingly out of love, even knowing that the love is more or less one-sided.)
- The emperor of Kutou kept Nakago as a sex slave in the past. This is Nakago's Start of Darkness.
- This is implied to be what the slave traders truly want to do to Miaka and Yui in the beginning. Miaka tries to fight back, but is overpowered, and then Tamahome steps in.
- Almost happens to Kurumi Akino in Haou Airen. When she has a Heroic BSOD and tries to run away from Hakuron in the middle of Hong Kong, she's captured by some Triad members who intend to sell her as one; then, they strip and almost rape her. Hakuron finds them and shoots them to death, then takes Kurumi to safety.
- In Legend of the Blue Wolves Captain Continental has many sex slaves and tries to make Jonathan into one as well. Jonathan refuses so Captain Continental rapes him.
- Underclassmen at Garderobe Academy in Mai-Otome are given to the Onee-samas as "room attendants." One student states, when explaining the system, that the kohai could be made to do This and That for the Onee-sama, complete with Imagine Spot.
- Master of Martial Hearts: The fate of those who lose the tournament is to be Mind Raped into mindlessness and then sold into sexual slavery. This drives the Cycle of Revenge in the series in general.
- In the Peacemaker Kurogane manga, the old merchant Yamatoya makes Suzu his sex slave after Suzu's master was killed and he was left all alone starving in the streets. Suzu wasn't the only one, however — two twin kitty boys were also picked up by him for this purpose.
- In Sensitive Pornograph, Aki-chan is this to his Bastard Boyfriend. After being dumped, battered, and thrown out for having sex with the Unlucky Everydude who came in expecting a pet rabbit to look after, Aki-chan ends up in a new relationship with said Unlucky Everydude.
- In Shitsurakuen, this is mostly Fridge Logic, since we don't see what the boys do to their girls in the off-hours. Ironically, the one unambiguous case is the heroine's encounter with Reiko, as part of a Batman Gambit to save her.
- Legato Bluesummers from the Trigun manga was revealed to have been one in his past... until Knives happened upon the town Legato was in and massacred everyone. Legato managed to use his strings to stop Knives from killing him at the same time, and then said he was going to let him go, so he could kill him if he wanted, but please don't. Knives decided he was interesting, and asked his name, and the rest is history. This notably explains Legato's insane loyalty in the face of Knives' indifference and cruelty in really depressing terms: Knives isn't good to him, but he's better than anyone else ever was.
- Being reduced to this drove Mai Kamio insane to the point of a Face-Heel Turn in Video Girl Ai.
- Yuria 100 Shiki: If Dutch Wife Yuria has sex with someone, and she automatically becomes programmed to become said person's sex slave.
- Ninjette was intended as one for her clan. Training her to be a Bad Ass ninja first was probably a bad idea. Emp herself is nearly subject to this in the "Cosmolactic Emperor's" harem. Her clan's intended use for her isn't as a sex slave per se; the forced sex would have been "merely" a necessary prerequisite for her bearing lots of ninja babies.
- Emp herself was nearly taken as one, but the Robot sent to capture her decided her butt was too big. She was more devastated by the insult than her good fortune.
- The Incredible Hulk features a surprising amount of this. In one story, the Maestro, an insane, evil version of the Hulk, rules the world and keeps a harem of slave girls for this purpose.
- "The Slavers", an arc in The Punisher, has Frank Castle taking on a slave-trafficking ring. The horrible things that the slavers do to the people they've enslaved hits every one of Castle's Berserk Buttons concerning mistreatment of women and children in general, resulting in one of his most brutal killing sprees.
- In Chaos Is Very Good, Discord threatens to do this to Luna.
- Red Fire, Red Planet: Meromi Riyal, first officer of the IKS mupwI', was one of the 1,500 Orion slave girls given to the Great Houses of the Klingon Empire by the Orion Syndicate at the signing of the Treaty of Ter'jas Mor.note She decided she'd had enough of Klingon sex and escaped into the Qo'noS underground where she joined a smuggling ring.
- Blue Velvet: Dorothy Vallens is forced into this role after her child and husband are kidnapped by a local crime-boss Frank. Eventually, she develops a sort of Stockholm Syndrome and seems to take a twisted pleasure in Frank's rape at one point.
- Deadgirl: The titular zombie girl is used as a sex slave after a pair of teens discover her chained in the basement of an abandoned mental hospital. The discovery that she is undead only provokes her captors into even further depravity.
- In Don Juan DeMarco, the titular mental patient relates a yarn about spending a year in the 'service' of a lusty Sultana. Not that he seems to've minded much. It probably helped that she kept him hidden in the Sultan's harem (apparently she didn't mind sharing.)
- This is the whole premise of the film Human Trafficking - the trafficking happens only to get sex slaves.
- In "Manos" The Hands of Fate, this is the sickening fate of the hero's wife and his child.
- Three or four unfortunate young blondes are locked in an attic as forced prostitutes in The Sinful Dwarf.
- The "Furniture Girls" in Soylent Green. The one owned by the murder victim even becomes the love interest of Ty Thorn.
- Similar to the Orion girls from Star Trek are the Twi'lek girls from Star Wars. According to the Expanded Universe they actually encourage sexual slavery: since they have no spacecraft of their own, becoming sex slaves is their primary method of going offworld, with the plan of freeing themselves to get a real job at some point. However, they don't seem to be doing a very good job as it's been this way for thousands of years.
- The Street Fighter: Because the guy who hired him didn't have enough money to pay him for the job he did for him, Terry sent the guy out the window and then sold the guy's sister into sexual slavery. It's quite the dick move on Terry's part, cementing him as a very dark antihero, and when the sister gets out of this, she is very much pissed at Terry and goes after him for revenge.
- In Taken, the Papa Wolf main character must pretty much race against the clock to make sure his kidnapped daughter won't be sold into sex slavery. He's too late to save the daughter's best friend, but does manage to save his child.
- In The Ten Commandments, Lila is blackmailed into this position via Scarpia Ultimatum by Dathan, who promises not to have Joshua executed if she agrees to it and tells anyone who asks that it's consensual. Despite the type of man Dathan has proven to be thus far, he keeps his end of the bargain.
- A.N. Roquelaure's Beauty series features more of a sexual indentured servitude. Before they're permitted to take rulership, young nobility and royalty are sent into training as sexual slaves. It's also a means a social mobility, as commoners and lesser nobles may also submit themselves for the same treatment. Slaves may also beg to remain so for life.
- Piers Anthony invokes this in Bio Of A Space Tyrant, where the hero's older sister Faith gives herself up to pirates as a sex slave in order to save her fellow refugees from being destroyed. Even more dispiriting than it sounds, since the family had fled the planet to protect Faith from being raped in the first place.
- In J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, we learn that Zsadist, kidnapped by his nanny as an infant, was sold into slavery and eventually used as a sex/blood slave by a sadistic mistress. Zsadist is eventually rescued by his twin brother, Phury, and kills his mistress but suffers intense psychological damage. He is considered souless by his fellow Brothers, and dangerous. His book in the series involves him falling in love with a woman and having to overcome (well, not completely) his past.
- Black Jewels:
- Ttwo of the three main male good guys were pleasure slaves in Courts in Tereille. Aside from Daemon and Lucivar, there's also Jared (pre-Invisible Ring) and a small army of others.
- Jaenelle and the Briarwood girls also count, being kept in a secure facility, drugged, and used for sex on a regular basis.
- The Red Temple in Fred Saberhagen's Books Of Swords series is known to use sex slaves among its prostitutes, and the Silver Queen sells her own daughter into slavery to the Red Temple for this purpose. Arian is rescued by Baron Doon and his party before she actually gets to the Red Temple or is raped, but things don't end well.
- In Nora Keller's Comfort Woman, Akiko was forced to serve as a military "comfort woman," a sex slave provided to troops during the Japanese occupation of Korea in World War II. Her daughter Beccah does not know of this history, and as she learns of it, she comes to understand her mother's apparently strange ways.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian has rescued his share of slave girls in his day, such as Olivia from Shah Amurath in Iron Shadows in the Moon.
- In "Xuthal of the Dusk", Thalis tells Conan to kill Natala because unlike her, she is too soft to survive the sexual demands of the men in the city.
- And in The People of the Black Circle Yasmina is forced to remember past lives of this:
She reeled naked and bleeding over burning sands, dragged at the slaver's stirrup, and she knew the grip of hot, fierce hands on her writhing flesh, the shame and agony of brutal lust.
- In A Witch Shall Be Born, one of the luxuries Salome is after is "handsome men and soft women for my paramours and my slaves."
- In The Count of Monte Cristo, this is the Count's cover story for Haydee's presence. It also helps him to justify why a man of his standing isn't courting women.
- The Draka: The Draka revel in this trope, with "bedwenches" and "prettybucks" (male serfs "for men so inclined"). At the same time, sex between female Draka and male serfs is forbidden, as are homosexual relations between male Draka. Instead female Draka get it on with other female Draka or female serfs. After the Draka developed perfect contraception and switched to using serf women to carry Draka fetuses female Draka were allowed to have male sex slaves. And the genetically engineered 'new race' is altered to be universally bisexual, apparently.
- The White Court's human thralls in The Dresden Files. It should be noted that most of them are essentially brainwashed.
- The Imperium in Dune allows the possession of sex slaves. The Emperor is allowed to have slave-concubines, Baron Harkonnen uses a slave boy as one, and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen spends a lot of his time with the women in the Baron's slave quarters.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Maggard is sexually exploited by his mistress, on top of having his vocal cords removed because it was unfitting for him to speak in his mistress's presence.
- In The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk, post-eco-apocalypse Southern California is ruled by a high-tech religious dictatorship with gene-engineered slave castes, one of which is bred exclusively for sexual entertainment. In one scene, the protagonist Madrone, a witch-healer from the neopagan utopia around San Francisco, is forced by circumstances to share a cot with a five-year-old girl of that caste. The child tries to touch Madrone sexually and, when gently rebuffed, has a temper tantrum — because she has been frustrated in the only only way she knows of to get approval from adults. Madrone, when she is told about the girl's background, and that these sex-slaves' owners can do anything at all to them, remarks, "I was raised not to believe in evil. But I can't think of any other name for this."
- The Handmaid's Tale has a main character who is the sex slave (more specifically, a breeding slave) of a military commander.
- Manpower Incorporated's c-line genetic slaves in the Honor Harrington books, which was the origin of a handful of secondary characters including Virginia Usher and Elaine Kormandorski ( otherwise known as Lady Georgia Young, Countess North Hollow) .
- This turns out to be common in The Hunger Games as the fate of physically attractive winners of the Hunger Games. The money made from renting them out goes straight to President Snow, but they typically cooperate anyways so as to avoid "accidents" happening to their families. Finnick manages to use this to collect information from the powerful people who purchase him, and after joining the rebels he reveals all the Capitol's dirty laundry in a television broadcast.
- A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows: A major character is sold into prostitution by her political enemies.
- Is a main plot point of the John Ringo Paladin of Shadows series, an extremely guilty pleasure for both the reader and the writer.
- A type of sexual slavery shows up in a lot of Werewolf fiction, such as the Mercy Thompson and Kitty Norville novels. The alpha can have sex with any female he wants, and/or decide the lowest female in the pack can be given to other males as reward and the female has to take it.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the city Yunkai in the Slaver's Bay region is famed for its pleasure slaves trained in the ways of the "seven sighs" and the "sixteen seats of pleasure."
- Several female characters, most notably Susan Stern and Dayna Jurgens, share this origin story in The Stand.
- Played with in the Warchild Series. The pirates take prisoners and sometimes recruit children as geishas, which are only loosely based on the old customs. Mostly, they are sex slaves and sometimes assassins. In the first book, the main character was a prisoner whom the Big Bad intended to turn into one of these. He escapes without much of the training (but a lot of the abuse). It's not until the third book that one of these slaves becomes a main character. This is not played for Fetish Fuel, but rather deconstructed to show the psychological ramifications related to such an existence. Very dark portrayal, really.
- Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl features Emiko, a Japanese Windup abandoned by her master in a dystopian Bangkok. Windups, or "New People," are genetically altered to have an irrepressible instinct to please and have been trained from birth that they are in a position of servitude. While revered in Japan as works of art and strong workers, they are hated in Bangkok and, in order to avoid being picked up by police and incinerated, Emiko is forced to work in a sex club, where she is routinely humiliated and abused. Also, Emiko's body has been genetically engineered to feel orgasm automatically under sexual stimulation. When she is raped, she actually comes - hating every moment of it and despising herself for it. Enjoy your Brain Bleach.
Live Action TV
- In Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), one of the many signs that the Pegasus crew have crossed the Moral Event Horizon is their use of a captured Number Six Cylon as a sex slave.
- Warren's ex-girlfriend Katrina in Buffy the Vampire Slayer almost became this when the Trio (a trio of villainous college-aged nerds turned mad scientists) tested their mind control ray on her. She fought off the mind control before anything could happen, and Warren killed her in the ensuing struggle. When setting up their grand scheme, their plans included Conjure Fake I.D.s, Girls, Girls, The Gorilla Thing, and Make Buffy Their Sex Slave.
- The Commish also has an episode where a 15 year old girl (who used to be the babysitter of the Commisioner's son) is forced into doing porno films. And pleasing the boss.
- In Dante's Cove, Ambrosius holds Toby hostage to force Kevin to become his sex slave. Later, Griff uses his influence with the Tresum Council to try to get Grace to submit to him similarly, but she outwits him.
- Every Active in Dollhouse is used for this frequently.
- Though we don't see it directly in Firefly, it is implied that the sexual slave trade is around. When Mal discovers River in Simon's cryo box, the first thing he assumes is that Simon is smuggling her to be sold to a Border-world baron.
- Zev (or Xev) of Lexx was going to be made one of these, but she broke free before the mental reconditioning was implemented. This conditioning was inflicted instead on 790, the robot drone overseeing the operation. Since the conditioning resulted in the victim falling hopelessly in love with the first person s/he saw next, 790 became obsessed with Zev, devoting himself to her completely.
- Lost Girl plays with this: the closest anyone comes to using the word "slave" to describe Lauren is when she refers to herself as the Ash's property, even though she clearly is a slave, even to the point of wearing a Slave Collar. She nevertheless enjoys a great deal of prestige within the fae community, and is primarily valuable as a slave for her medical expertise. All the same, when it suits his purpose, the Ash orders her to seduce and sleep with Bo, even though it ends up wrecking her relationship with Bo when she finds out that that was why Lauren slept with her.
- The final series of the Murphys Law revolves around the search for a missing police officer who has been caught up in a sex slave ring. Does a very good job at describing just how brutal and terrifying the real thing can actually be.
- Orion slave girls from Star Trek.
- These are an interesting example because they were Ret Conned in Star Trek: Enterprise into secretly being the rulers of their race. They used the pretense of being sex-slaves to infiltrate enemy organizations, and then used powerful pheromones to control any males they wished, as they did with the males of their own species. The whole set-up came across as a bit of an awkward plot device, though, and some argue that this situation carries more Unfortunate Implications than just playing the trope straight.
- Another interesting Trek example: In one episode of the Original Series, Kirk is the well-treated prisoner of the ruler of an Ancient Rome Planet. A female slave is sent to his quarters by his captor. The slave makes it clear (quite suggestively) that she was ordered to please Kirk. It's left unclear whether Kirk actually has sex with her, but it is clearly at least a possibility.
- Star Trek: Voyager. The holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton! (a Flash Gordon expy) has slave girls that the players can rescue. Presumably they are quite grateful to their saviours.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Bajoran women were kept as "comfort women" during the Cardassian occupation.
- The plot of Season 2 of The Wire kicks off when a shipping container full of dead Eastern European sex slaves are found on the Baltimore docks.
- The video for "Bad Romance" depicts Lady Gaga as one of these. At the end of the video, she burns to death the man who buys her.
- The video for "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by Swanky Tunes & Hard Rock Sofa portrays kidnapped Russian girls being sold at an "Elite Men's Club."
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- In every edition except the 4th, dryads occasionally use their magical abilities to charm men to force them to become their lovers and companions. (Although, in some editions, most release them after a while.)
- The splat book Legions of Hell describes Glasya, the Archdutchess of Malbolge, the Sixth Hell, as a cruel sadist who deals with trespassers in her realm by casting them into torture chambers. Unless they are male and very attractive, in which case it might be worse; she has been known to either force them into this situation or offer it as an alternate punishment. (It's suggested that she kills or imprisons most of them eventually anyway, once they bore her.)
- Earthdawn. The Theran Empire designated some of its slaves as "Pleasure Slaves".
- Exalted: In addition to the "regular" form, some populations have been raised, trained, and even bred (or worse yet, genetically engineered!) for this. A particularly disturbing case of the "regular" variety is found in the Djala, who are slender, delicately built pygmies. True pygmies; as adults, they do not exceed 4'10". Don't think about it too much.
- The Batraeans of Talislanta has this as their Hat: the males, who are grossly ugly, systematically sells their female relatives, who are all incredibly beautiful and sensual, as slaves and concubines to their more civilised neighbours, and treat them very much as chattle before they do. Batraean females has pheromones that makes men lustful, but for some reason their own males are immune, which they often use to be relatively well-treated slaves. Other forms of sex slavery exist as well - Thaecians and Sawilans are preyed upon by slavers for that reason, for instance.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Dark Eldar and followers of Slaanesh practice sexual slavery.
- This is also common among Imperial nobility, though whether they're called courtesans, consorts, slave or whatever else varies depending on the specific planet. As long as the nobles don't go too far (which is pretty far), the Inquisition doesn't care.
- In Crusader Kings II, it is possible for pagan or Zoroastrian rulers to take captive women as concubines.
- Dragon Age II:
- Fallout 3: Alejandra, one of the Temple of the Union residents, is a former sex slave. Crimson and Clover are current sex slaves (the Lone Wanderer can even buy the latter, but nothing sexual comes out of it), and Red becomes a sex slave if you send her to Paradise Falls.
- Fallout: New Vegas:
- Although all the player ever sees of Legion slaves is them carrying heavy loads, it is heavily implied that the women are subjected to rape on a regular basis, and a bit more subtly that the men aren't just used as pack mules either.
- There's also an entire quest ("Bye Bye Love") set in the casino of Gomorrah to break a prostitute out of sexual slavery done in a similar fashion to Real Life: Joana is an expensive hooker who's controlled by her bosses using her drug addiction and threats of violence.
- After you are invited to Davik's estate in Knights of the Old Republic you are encouraged to enjoy a relaxing bath at the hands of his slaves. This being BioWare, there are male and female slaves...
- Keristrasza becomes Malygos's unwilling consort in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, which is essentially this, but said in a more Safe For Work kind of way.
- Implied in one ending of Long Live the Queen, if Elodie has a high cruelty stat; she can, instead of marrying, decide to intimidate her maid Alice into becoming her lover. During the ending, it's noted that Alice is envied for the bejeweled collar Elodie makes her wear.
- In Angel Of Death Pretty Pink Ponytails was forced into prostitution by her brother Zachary in order to allow the latter a way to support himself after his parent's deaths without having to face consequences for the crime's he'd committed by that time. She was only six at the time.
- In Chakona Space:
- Many species of Morph were created for this express purpose, by 2090 The Federation had banned Morph slavery but in the 24th century when most of the stories take place there are still quite a few sex slave traits in the gene pool (ranging from simple big breasts to hermaphrodism.
- Leanna Fennec was designed on a Non-Aligned World where slavery is still legal and most slaves have an overt or hidden sexual purpose, shi was meant to be a combination exotic sex slave and industrial spy (which probably contributed to her master's "accidental" death).
- Orion's Arm has Erotogini, which range from humanoids to living carpets. Though the Sapient Rights accords means that in most civilized regions they are illegal unless designed to be nonsapient (like an animal). Of course, descendants of Erotogini are fairly common.