In case you arrived directly to this post, I strongly suggest you read the previous ones in this series:
Being such a complex and sometimes controversial subject, slavery cannot be analysed in a simplistic or shallow way. Therefore, I’ll approach it first by framing/describing what is written in the Books of Gor, so of course not everything that happens in the Books can happen the same way in our society, but we’ll analyse that later.
In Gor, slavery is an integral part of the society, being accepted, recognized and enforced by all members of the society. The female slave is called kajira (plural kajirae) and the male slave is called kajirus (plural kajiri).
For more detailed analysis of what is a kajira, I recommend reading the following posts about kajirae:
I won’t get into much detail describing the role of a kajira (as that is being done at length in other posts), but it is important to focus that Gorean is a patriarcal society and “reenacts” life as was lived by humans through millennia following the concept of “Natural Order”. This means that Goreans believe that both sexes have distinct roles and that either of them can only feel fulfilled when acting according to their natural roles of Master and slave.
Commonly though, I am asked about male slavery and if Goreans don’t accept that males can be submissive and females dominant, because in the books there are accounts of occasional situations where a female played a “dominant” role (the infamous Tatrix of Tarna is one example) or where males were slaves (Tarl Cabot himself was enslaved at one point in the story).
Before dwelling in any deeper analysis, it is important to reiterate that as stories can’t be read at literal face value and that we must understand the principles that support the Gorean Philosophy before making any overarching conclusions based on isolated stories/quotes.
Although the books recognise the existence of male slavery, it has a very different role in the philosophy from that of female slavery and we must review all the information before jumping into the conclusion that male slavery is endorsed by the Books.
Let’s start by analysing some points regarding the female slave (kajira) considering what is the common line in the stories and therefore supports the “principle” behind this:
- Females reach their full potential after being enslaved when they “blossom” and “slave fires” are ignited in their bellies;
- The enslavement of a female is connoted as being a “goal”, something without which the female is incomplete;
- Free women are often depicted as being bitter and envious of kajirae
- As stated often in the books, free women are priceless and thus, in a sense, without value or worthless, but on the other hand, kajirae have value, a specific value, depending on what men were willing to pay for them;
- The enslavement of a woman is considered something permanent and irreversible, considering the Gorean Saying that states “it is only a fool who frees a slave girl”;
- This is well explained in a quote from Book 28 – Kur of Gor: “As an extreme example, let us suppose that the daughter of a household is captured, carried away, and enslaved. Then, let us suppose that she, say, through exchanges, buyings and sellings, and such, is recovered by her family. They will not free her, but, disowning her, will keep her as a slave, as any other slave in the house. She will serve as any other slave, and, as any other slave, if her work is not satisfactory, will be lashed. (…) She is now only goods. It is the Gorean way.“
- Another good example of this is the case of Talena, daughter of Marlenus of Ar. Cutting the story short, buy asking to be purchased (and therefore released from the panther girls that had captured her), she inadvertently declared herself a slave. This resulted that her own father (that moved mountains in the attempt to recover her) disowned her. And even after Tarl Cabot (in one of his episodes of falter in abiding to the Gorean Principles) released her and had her returned to her father, she was not returned to her former glory as is stated in book 10 – Tribesmen of Gor: “When Talena, the daughter of Marlenus of Ar, Ubar of Ar, had, in a missive to him, begged her freedom, he had, on his sword and on the medallion of Ar, sworn against her the oath of disownment. As a consequence, she was no longer of high birth, no longer his daughter. I had had Samos free her and transmit her to Ar. There she lived, free but of no status; she was no longer recognized, in the sight of its Home Stone, as a citizen of Ar; she had not even the collar of a slave girl for her identity; she was kept sequestered by Marlenus in the central cylinder, that his shame not be publicly displayed upon the high bridges of the city.”
None of these situations applies to male slaves. In the books we mainly find report of two kinds of kajirus, the “draft slaves” and the “silk slaves”.
Starting with the draft slaves, these are “ordinary men”, just like any free man, with all the “manly instincts”, etc. with just the difference that either due to being in the loosing side of a war or being unable to pay debts, they are enslaved and submitted to hard works (in many cases for a predetermined period of time). We can say that in their core they are still Masters that for a period of time are deprived of the power to ennact their Mastery.
What about the “silk slaves”, often referred to as “tamed”? These are “docile” men, deprived of their “manly instincts”, tamed to serve submissively and please women. On the first look, these might look just like a male version of the typical female slave giving reason to those who claim that in the Gorean Philosophy both genders can be submissive, but let’s take a closer look in 2 main points:
- Unlike kajirae that are connoted as being the zenith/apogee of femininity in a woman “silk slave” kajirus are described as not being fully men, as missing something, as not following their natural course;
- Unlike kajirae (that can never truly become free again after tasting the collar on their neck and the slave fires in their bellies), even “silk slave” kajirus can “revert” to their “manhood” at any time (becoming fully fledged Masters) and most women that own them “fear”/”desire” this possibility as is well described in the following quote from Book 14 – Fighting Slave of Gor: “I did not tell them that I came from a world in which almost all the males were perfectly tamed, indeed, a world in which males were supposed to pride themselves on their inoffensiveness and agreeability. “I do not trust Kajiri,” said the first woman. “They can revert. Can you imagine how fearful that might be, if one turned on you?” The second one shuddered, but I thought with pleasure. “Yes,” she said. “Consider your danger, and what they might make you do,” said the first. “Yes,” said the second. “They might treat you as though you were little better than a slave.” “Or perhaps as only a slave,” said the second. “How horrifying that would be,” said the first. “Yes,” said the second, but it seemed to me that she, beneath her robes and veil, shuddered again with pleasure.“
From the analysis of all the Books of Gor, it is then safe to say that:
- As a common Gorean Saying states: “All free women are merely uncollared slaves”
- “Silk slave” kajiri are described as only men that have not released their manhood but can at any moment “revert” to their natural state.
In conclusion, by carefully analysing all the stories and the underlying Philosophy, it becomes self evident that the Gorean Philosophy does not support the idea that men can have a submissive role. Gorean society is inherently patriarcal in which men are the natural Masters and females the natural slaves.
As an afterword and anticipating some usual backslash when this topic is addressed, let me state that the views expressed in this post (as always) are my personal perspectives and this is an analysis of things through a Gorean Philosophy perspective and in no way it is supposed to be understood as a value judgement on anyone that thinks differently. Each person lives their life the way they choose and just because I state that something is not correct or in accordance with the Gorean Philosophy that should never be understood as a critic or judgement toward those that live that way. In my perspective it is their way of living, which is perfectly fine, it just can’t be called Gorean (or in accordance with the Gorean Philosophy).
As always, feel free to share, comment and send me your feedback that is invaluable to continue to improve the content of this blog for all those that desire to understand better what is the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle!
List of posts in this series:
I wish you well!
©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix