What it is to be Gorean – Part 8 (Sadism)

Tal everyone,

In case you arrived directly to this post, I strongly suggest you read the previous ones in this series:

Cumulatively with reading the previous posts of this series, I highly recommend you also read the post regarding GOR vs BDSM and the following articles regarding the Gorean Philosophy:

It is quite common to see a lot of talk regarding GOR and BDSM. Considering that in both worlds there is dominance and submission and there might be some overlaps in some specifics, it is understandable that in many cases some confusion may arise.

This post in particular is focused on the “sadism” perspective and its “compatibility” with the Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy.

Let me start by saying that despite some more radical approaches, in general Goreans do not “demonize” sadism, some Goreans might even enjoy some “practices” that BDSMrs also enjoy (some light whipping, some bondage, etc), so it’s important to start by defining the concepts and work from there.

The word “sadism” has evolved considerably in meaning from the late 1960s. Clinically, at the time, it referred to a malevolent enjoyment in causing suffering in others and an inability to achieve sexual satisfaction without it. That is, it was a form of “wanton cruelty” and rather intrinsically non-consensual.

In modern parlance, however, in the BDSM community, sadism became a much softer word involving consensual extreme nervous system manipulation (eg, via pain), which is ultimately pleasurable for both parties.

Even the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual (DSM) in its current version no longer defines it as a disorder (unless it causes the patient problems in daily life, which is true of almost anything in the DSM). That is, what the BDSM community means when it says “sadist” and what a 1960s psychiatrist (or book series) meant are extremely different.

Rather, the focus should be on “wanton cruelty”. The books argue, rather, that a desire to abuse those weaker than yourself is a sign of a sick mind, one born of a social structure that seeks to demean and tear down its members.

When one feels powerless, a sadly common response is to assert power through violence against those who cannot defend themselves. Thus a society that tears down its members will see its members try to tear down others in turn.

In a society that seeks to build up its members, there will be little need to compensate for a feeling of powerlessness through abuse.

Goreans view the infliction of pain as a punishment and kajirae dread to be put to the whip not because of the pain itself, but because it means they have been found displeasing to their Masters.

We should keep in mind the following quote:

“Perhaps it should only be added that the Gorean Master, though strict, is seldom cruel. The girl knows, if she pleases him, her lot will be an easy one. She will almost never encountered sadism or wanton cruelty, for the psychological environment that tends to breed these diseases is largely absent from Gor. This does not mean that she will not expect to be beaten if she disobeys, or fails to please her Master.”

Outlaw of Gor, Page 53

The fact is that as I already mentioned before, we don’t live in a black and white world and there is a myriad of variables and possibilities that must be taken into account in each situation (that’s why the Philosophy is guided by Principles and not by Rules).

So, taking aside all the “unhealthy” pathologically sick minds that go to extremes, we still have many people that enjoy pleasure inflicting some sort of pain in ways that both individuals (the one that inflicts the pain and the one that receives the pain) enjoy the moment it it’s own way and take pleasure from it.

Let’s take a “personal” example to try to explain this point! Although I seldom do it (now that I think of it, haven’t done it for a very very long time), I have to admit that in the right context I consider interesting to “play” with candles. Playing with candles implies that we cause some degree of pain (regardless of how light) to the other person in whose skin the wax drops, but with the appropriate care so that the “pain” does not become unpleasant and with the right environment and sensory stimulation, it can become quite erotic, exciting and pleasant.

Therefore, liking some light types of sensory stimulation, for example in the form of pleasurable “pain”, a game involving the delicate stimulation of senses in order to magnify the erotism in a particular moment (as long as it is something occasional as we’ll discuss later), that gives pleasure to both people, does not define someone as being “sadistic” if, as stated, it is an accessory, an “exception” and not the rule itself.

But when someone defines itself as being “sadistic”, then that obviously is a key point in who they are, and that deviates them from the Gorean Philosophy.

Let’s take look at another example.

A Gorean Master whips his kajira for 2 reasons:

  • Mainly to punish her because she has been displeasing;
  • Occasionally without any particular reason, just to reassure her of her place at His feet.

In both situations, the whipping is something the kajira dreads because it implies discipline, even if by being reassured of her place she ends up feeling better, more at peace with herself as is very well explained in the following quote:

Surely the instruction of the switch’s swift, stinging admonitions would be more than sufficient for her control, management, and improvement. Assiduously would she attend to its lessons and strive to correct her behaviour, that she might become more pleasing to her master. In short, the slave, as most slaves, had very ambivalent feelings toward the whip, that unmistakable symbol of the mastery, that he was master and they were slave. They loved and revered it as a symbol of their treasured bondage, of the preciousness of their collars, put on them, and kept on them, by masters, but would do much to evade its stroke. Yet, too, oddly, through their whimpering and tears, they might sometimes rejoice as it might be applied to them, as it left in them no doubt that they were truly in their collars, truly the slaves of their master. Their status, their condition, their reality was then well confirmed upon them. So Cecily feared the whip, but was pleased that she was subject to it, and that it would be used upon her if she were not pleasing. She now well understood, given the events of the afternoon, that she, though an Earth girl, was the abject slave of a Gorean master. The slave fears the whip, but is thrilled to be subject to it. She sees the simple device, always present in her milieu, suspended on its peg. She sees it with apprehension, and yet, too, with reassurance and ecstasy. She is profoundly reassured of her specialness, her worth, her importance, her identity, slave, her desirability, her womanhood.

Book 28 – Kur of Gor

Another good description of the attitude of respect a kajira must have regarding her collar and the discipline is the following:

“Surely you fear the whip,” I said, “and the hazards of the collar?”
“The whip is good for us,” she said. “Perhaps it is hard for you to understand that, as you are not a woman. It makes our womanhood a hundred times more meaningful. The essential point here is not being whipped, of course, which hurts, but being subject to the whip, and being truly subject to it. You see the distinction, I am sure. We know that men are by nature sovereign over us. That comprehension requires no great insight. Accordingly, men must then either fulfil their nature, or deny it, and in denying their nature, deny us ours, for ours is the complement to theirs. Accordingly we despise men who surrender their natural sovereignty. Surely we would not be so stupid, would not be such weaklings and fools as to do that, if we were men. It would be too valuable and glorious a thing to give up. Its surrender would be a tragedy. But we are not men! We are women, and want, truly, with everything in our hearts and bellies, to be women, and we cannot be women truly if men are not truly men! Accordingly, I would not want a man who could not whip me. I would not have the least respect for a man who was too weak to use it on me. Lay down the whip, and we will attack you, and undermine you, and use your own laws, institutions and rhetorics to destroy you, inch by inch. Lift it, and we will lick your feet in gratitude. Own us, dominate us! Enslave us, properly, so that we may love you as women are meant to love, wholly and irreservedly, totally, without a thought for ourselves!” She looked at me, tears in her eyes. “Is it so wrong to want to be ourselves?”

Book 23 – Renegades of Gor

Additionally, when a Master exerts his Dominance over the kajira, that is usually sexually arousing, causes a testosterone and adrenaline rush in him. Therefore, when providing the aftercare after the discipline is applied and caressing his property, the Master might feel the impulse to ravishingly sexually possess her, taking them both to exhilarating pleasures!

There would be no problem with that, of course! But what if, after some of these events, the kajira’s subconscious establishes a correlation between the whipping and the ravishing sexual marathon that usually follows? What if, in her subconscious, she stops looking at the whip as a tool for discipline, but as a key for what usually happens after the whipping? She might even begin to “inadvertently” misbehave in order to trigger the event.

If this happens, then clearly the “exception” is becoming a rule, meaning the Master/kajira are in the boundaries of crossing from being Goreans that occasionally enjoy sexual activities with a “sadistic” flavour (to whom the whip is still for discipline and the kajira does not look to the pain as being inherently a source of pleasure) into being more defined by their sadistic pursue of pleasure. If effectively following the Gorean Philosophy, the Master will in this case have to be careful to “break” that causal correlation between the discipline and the pleasure (by being conscious not to end up “rewarding” his kajira the next times he has to discipline her, etc, etc.)

I repeat again, I see no problem with those who take pleasure from “healthy sadism”, but as described in the previous paragraphs, if that takes a predominant role in your life or if that conflicts with the Gorean Principles (like the one that the Gorean Master, by principle, only inflicts pain upon his kajira as a means for discipline), then you will not be following the Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy, but your own path.

There is more than enough place on Earth for anyone to be a Gorean, a “healthy” Sadistic, or even to be juggling between the two worlds until they figure out where they fit best, but if you effectively want to live in accordance with the Gorean Philosophy, it’s important to know what is involved, so read the books, study the Lifestyle and Philosophy and enjoy the ride in discovering the fulfilment that arises from living in accordance to our Natural Order!

In order to continuously improve these articles, help me address the topics that are important to you and be of use to all those that are interested in learning more about the Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy, as always, feel free to share, comment and send me your feedback.

List of posts in this series:

I wish you well!

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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