What is Internal Enslavement?

Two terms that nearly always cause confusion in conversation are “mental BDSM” and “internal enslavement”. They sound like they might be similar concepts, but “mental BDSM” usually refers to psychological (rather than physical) control, while “internal enslavement” refers to what you’d imagine the dictionary definition of “slave” is.


Internal Enslavement is a sub-culture within the broader BDSM umbrella, bringing power exchange to the extreme maximum. It was coined by Tanos, and there is very little negotiation (and a lot of training) in this relationship.

Tanos defines it on the Internal Enslavement website as:

“One of the key concepts of IE is literally – slave: this is just the everyday definition of “slave” that everyone grows up with, and it doesn’t include the roleplay slaves you sometimes meet elsewhere in BDSM. For example, this is from the definition of “slave” in the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary: “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.” When we say “slave”, we mean literal slave, defined in this way.”


Internal Enslavement will always have an initial training period, but as the relationship develops it does not require much communication and there is very little or no negotiation at all. The Master holds the supreme authority and power, the slave does not have a say, and the household is run for the sole benefit and pleasure of the Master. Individuals who are into IE, look for extreme ownership, regardless of being loved or not, regardless of it being healthy a relationship or not, and more extremely, regardless of danger to physical health or not.

It may sound extreme, but for a certain type of person you can see how this lifestyle might be attractive. By reducing one’s life into a simple slave form, from morning until night, every day, the slave is being fed, used, told what to do, etc. The complexity of living is reduced to a simple logic.

Nobody’s life is easy, it’s always complex. What course do I choose to study, how do I earn a living, would I be able to survive, does my family support me, what should i eat in the morning? What’s the point of cooking when you are just yourself, what’s the point of living? Internal Enslavement cancels out all this life confusion and constant complexity, reducing it to a simple power dynamic.

Some may argue that Internal Enslavement is a lazy way of slavery, where the slave throws their entire life to the Master, but i disagree. Every M/s relationship is unique, there are many different approaches. There are Masters who have the time and luxury of dedicating their energy to Their M/s Dynamic, and Internal Enslavement might be the right kind of relationship for them. There are Masters who have many competing demands on their time and energy and live complex and multifaceted lives, so Internal Enslavement might not be exciting to Them. The same obviously goes for slaves. Some wish to focus all their energy, 24-7, on their role, others wish to lead more varied and textured lives.

There is no one formula, and only you will know if Internal Enslavement is your nature or not. It is worth understanding the concept, because when we meet potential partners we use terms like Master and slave quite freely, sometimes not consciously being aware that one person’s perception of its meaning may not be the other person’s. Obviously, negotiation works best when terms are clear.


Internal Enslavement
The Slave Register
Ownership & Possession
• FetLife – Internal Enslavement
• FetLife – Ownership & Possession

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Non-consent says:

    Just to tell you all, when a person who is abusive and with a personality disorder gains this type of knowledge, they end up destroying another person during the relationship. I have been in therapy for two years, removing all of the mental BDSM control and power.

    This is torture when used on a person who never agreed to it, this was never discussed, there was no open communication. This has been very damaging to me as a person and to my life.

    Although I understand what you’re discussing is consensual, mine was not. Not at any point did I agree or want any of this. I never did, and it was used on me to control, own and humiliate.

    This was true suffering for me, what was done. Be very careful and more to the point, be honest if you’re going to do something like this to another person. They will never be the same after this experience. Never.

    1. boy denon says:

      Hi Non-consent,

      Thanks for commenting and giving Your thoughts, i agree with You. It is a tricky subject to tackle, BDSM, Power Exchange or Internal Enslavement, i see it as a strong magic or power, just like other religion, it often is a double edge magic wand. Have the power to heal, and destroy.

      my own early journey has experience similar situation, so i can very much relate to how painful, detrimental it is. i really want to reach out to You, so please drop me an email if You need someone to talk about Your story. You have all the support from me.

      The lack of understanding about BDSM and Power Exchange are (never) the excuse for any Dom/Master to justify their abusive acts toward submissive. Like many other relationship, when You have a power dynamic in place, it’s easy to misuse that power ended up in an abusive (Mental or Physical) relationship. It is not a D/s-type relationship, it happens in vanilla setting too. We love deeply and hurt deeply, but i think, and hope Your bad experience will add textures to Your life, and make You a stronger person rather than a prison heavy ball that tied to your feet, and imprison You for life.

      all the best,

      1. Non-Consent says:

        I appreciate your thoughts on the subject, however this was not a D/s relationship. As I have progressed in therapy, worked through some of the mental damage that was done, this was more of a cult type experience. I do have a history of sexual abuse in my childhood by family members, and I believe that this was the catalyst for all the abusive relationships that I have been in.

        The major struggle is with EMDR therapy. It brings up repressed memories that sometimes come out as flashbacks with physical, auditory and sensory hallucinations. Basically when the worst comes back, I re-experience the abuse and trauma. In full. It’s being raped all over again. It’s living a nightmare. I have no one besides my therapist to talk to, I have lost friends and the slander that has gone on about me has been unreal. No one has asked for my side of events, even critical thought is ignored.

        I’m alone. I’m suffering. I’m doing my best, and every day is shit. All because someone wanted to own me, enslave me, program and train me like a fucking animal, and I was far to naive to see it coming and too weak to get out. Too trusting, too fucked up from childhood when at 6 years old, my dad put his dick in my mouth. There is no strength that can come from that, only nightmares and horror. No one can be held accountable and all I can do is pray for God’s judgement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *