There is much excited talk on various BDSM fora about the existence of slave markets. I suspect in general, they are a figment of people’s imaginations or desires. However, I have attended a few - mostly in Eastern Europe - and this is a photograph I took at a slave auction held on a farm in Estonia (where there is a flourishing slavery scene - how many of you knew that?) in 2006.
As I was far from home, I was not in a position to bid for any of the stock being auctioned that day, but had I have been a local, any of these four would have been useful additions to my herd. I was particularly taken by the bitch on the far right of the auction block and would have loved to have seen it being mated. In fact, I am still looking for suitable bitches for my own stock today, so if anyone reading this wishes to apply, I would love to hear from you.
According to my host, these Estonian slaves were genuinely sold for sums of around €3,000 - €5,000. The new owners paid in cash and, at the end of the auction, their newly bought slaves were taken with them. I obviously have no idea as to their present whereabouts nor how they have been used. I should also add I believe they were broadly consensual slaves, like my own, but they definitely did change hands for money.
I say ‘broadly consensual,’ as I was told that some of the slaves found themselves in this position due to debt and agreeing to be used as a slave for a certain period was a way of paying off the debt over time. Such slaves are usually indentured for between two and five years, dependent on the size of their debt. They are required to sign a contract at the begining of their period of indenture, agreeing both to obey their new ’owner’ - this term is actually used in the contract - and to work for him for so many days a month. My Estonian friend tells me that the contract also identifies the young man as the ‘property’ of its new ‘owner,’ in the same way in which he might own a car or a dog. The final page of this contract, which is usually signed in front of witnesses, is apparently an ‘ownership certificate,’ listing the slave’s date of birth, address, personal details (height, weight, colour of eyes and hair and, to the slave’s embarrassment I imagine, penis length). This is signed by both the new owner and the slave and, in the mind of an impressionable young man, it is legally binding.
I don’t speak Estonian, but I have been assured that these contracts also require the slave to be naked in his master’s presence and to be subject to corporal punishment as determined by his master. The contract also specifies that the slave’s debt can be sold to any other individual and that ’ownership’ of the slave would transfer to that person. Hence - at least partially - the type of auctions I first attended in 2006. I doubt such contracts would be legally enforceable even in Estonia, but I suspect that the young men in question are so cowed at this point that they sign and believe themselves to be bound by the contract.
I personally know one individual owner who has acquired a number of young men this way. He has visited me in the UK and I, in turn, I have visited his country cottage in the Estonian countryside and seen naked slaves working there, all young men in their late teens and early twenties. I have also seen him whip them across their buttocks for disobedience or laziness. When he tires of a slave acquired in this way, the debt is passed to another owner who pays the first ‘owner’ for the slave. As in the days of real slavery, the young man has no say whatsoever in who acquires him. I would not have believed this had I not have seen it with my own eyes. Another factor in the young men’s acceptance of such conditions may be the long tradition of corporal punishment in the home in the Baltic Republics, so being strapped or caned is hardly a unique experience for these youngsters.
Having said all this, I do also know of ex-slaves who are still in contact with their former masters and actually thank them for putting them back on the ‘straight and narrow’ and, often, for having saved them from a life of drink or drug addiction. Funny old world I suppose is all you can say!
So the slaves being traded - and I am assured auctions still take place regularly both at the farm where I took the above photograph and in other locations in the Baltic Republics - are a combination of consensual slaves (who, like my own, crave to serve) and indentured slaves (who have debts to pay off). But, whatever the reason for their enslavement, they are all put naked on an auction block and sold to their new owners like livestock at a cattle market.
This is probably as close to an historical slave auction as one is likely to encounter in Europe these days. Frankly, I wish we saw more of them.