Daily Gorean Quotes

Tal everyone,

Here goes another quote from the books themselves, considering they are without any doubt the best way to get to know the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle.

Enjoy, follow the blog and subscribe for updates!

©2020 -Written by Azrael Phoenix

Daily Gorean Quotes

Tal everyone,

Decided to start sharing some quotes from the books themselves, considering they are without any doubt the best way to get to know the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle.

Enjoy, follow the blog and subscribe for updates!

©2020 -Written by Azrael Phoenix

Daily Gorean Quotes

Tal everyone,

Decided to start sharing some quotes from the books themselves, considering they are without any doubt the best way to get to know the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle

Enjoy, follow the blog and subscribe for updates!

©2020 -Written by Azrael Phoenix

Daily Gorean Quotes

Tal everyone,

Decided to start sharing some quotes from the books themselves, considering they are without any doubt the best way to get to know the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle

Daily Gorean Quotes

Tal everyone,

Decided to start sharing some quotes from the books themselves, considering they are without any doubt the best way to get to know the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle

©2020 -Written by Azrael Phoenix

Where are Goreans and how do they live their life?

Tal everyone,

I’m trying to build this blog in an organized and structured way in order to help everyone who wants to learn more about Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy by providing focused information regarding the topics most often questioned.

Nevertheless, I decided to open this new area, just to share some random thoughts and ideas whenever they pop to my mind, with no particular order or agenda, just to share them and get your feedback!

One of my latest thoughts is to start gathering informations about all the different Gorean communities/groups that exist around the world and how they live.

Being a Philosophy on which a Lifestyle is based and not a strict set of rules, Gorean Lifestyle inherently comes in a variety of “flavours” considering each group applies the Gorean Principles in the way they see it’s more appropriate to their reality.

I’ve met groups of people that live the Philosophy in a more literal way, following most of the principles quite literally and including many of the “customs” in their daily life, while others use the Gorean Principles to guide their life, but do not actively implement most of the “by the book” practices, like using all the specific positions, ways to act, etc…

Of course there are immense variables at stake and that makes each situation unique. Some live alone while others have already families and kids living with them that restrict the way they act. Some live in a setting that allows the kajira to focus exclusively on her chores and serving her Master while others live in situations that while being Master and kajira, both have to work in order to provide the families needs, some kajirae have a professional life that implies they have to command men at work, etc. etc.

While personally I have my own approach on the Lifestyle, I would love to get to know how you tackle the challenge of living the Gorean way in a society that so clearly contradicts our Natural Order!

So I thank you in advance for your comments and contributions (either here on the post or directly to me) that will surely enrich future posts and help us all to learn from each other!

I wish you well and may your water bags be never empty!

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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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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What it is to be Gorean – Part 7 (“Communal” Slavery)

Tal everyone,

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

In this series of articles I’ve been focusing on the key points that allow us to understand what it really means to follow the Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy, often drawing some lines between Goreans and other Philosophies/cultures. Keep in mind that this does not mean in any way that the former are better than the latter, just that we are all different and it is crucial to keep that in mind. There is no problem if GOR is not for you, it’s just better to understand that and look for what fits you best than trying to “twist” both you and the philosophy, resulting in a never-satisfying hybrid adaptation both of the Philosophy and your nature.

With this in mind, it’s important to analyse another aspect of the Gorean Philosophy that often is not correctly understood and results in a lot of controversy. For Goreans, the slavery of a kajira is inherently communal.

This means that if a female is a kajira, she is always that (remember Gorean Lifestyle and Philosophy are lived 24/7), and not only occasionally. On top of that, she owes respect and obedience to all Masters, and not exclusively to her owner. In Gorean Lifestyle we cannot find a slave being submissive to her Master in one minute, but in the following minute talking arrogantly to another Master (a.k.a. “bitch-slapping”) just because “he doesn’t own her”.

This Principle is well explained in the following quote:

“The discipline of a slave may be attended to by any Free Person, otherwise she might do much what she wished, provided only her Master did not learn of it. The legal principle is clear, and has been upheld in several courts, in several cities, including Ar.”

Magician of Gor, Page 122

Or for example this additional quote:

“You cannot punish me!” she cried. “You are not my Masters!”

“Any Free Person can punish an errant slave girl,” I said.

“Surely you do not think that her behaviour fails to be subject to supervision and correction as soon as she is out of her Master’s sight?”

Magician of Gor, Page 225

So, the “Principle” in Gorean Philosophy is clear and a kajira is subject to the authority and discipline of any Master and this is also a way to ensure that she does not have dual behaviours depending on her Master being present or not.

But we must draw a clear line in the difference between the communal enforcement of obedience on one hand and on the other hand being communal property, subject to the wills and desires of any Master, which in fact are two very different things.

Just because any Master (or even in some cases other slaves) has the possibility (and responsibility) to enforce the obedience of the kajira to the rules that are upon her, this does not mean that any Master can use any slave girl as he well pleases. Take this quote as an example:

“What have we here!” cried a man cheerfully. “Slaves!” cried others.

“Hold,” said I. “We are honest men, and are not thieves. Release them.”

The man loosed the hair of the girls. Swiftly they knelt, frightened.

“These girls,” said I, “belong to Imnak.”

“He is a red hunter,” said a man.

“He is one with us,” I said.

There was an angry cry.

I drew my blade. “None may use them without his permission” I said. “I shall maintain discipline, if need be, my comrades, by the blade.”

Beasts of Gor, Page 387

So, considering this apparent dichotomy, where do we stand? Can any Master command any slave or not?

The answer is twofold, both yes and no. Yes, a kajira owes obedience to any Master, but a Master can only command a kajira that he does not own within the boundaries of what is explicitly or implicitly permitted by her Master.

Explicit permission might be frequent in close communities where Masters know each other well and it is clear how each Master allows other Masters to treat/use his property with very detailed notions of what is appropriate or not in different situations.

Implicit permission is more “broad”, meaning it is applied only in the generic aspects of behaviour a kajira must demonstrate in the presence of a Master. If a kajira misbehaves and unless there are explicit instructions from her Master on how she must be dealt, other Masters might scold her, but do not take direct disciplinary action, making sure that her Master is informed and can take direct action.

There is a common convention within Gorean Communities on Earth that the commands that are given to kajirae by other Masters are restricted to “common chores” like serving them in gatherings, showing respect, etc., etc.. Anything that goes beyond that (particularly if it has any kind of sexual connotation) must be explicitly allowed by her Master.

We must also keep in mind that although a kajira owes obedience and respect to all Masters, her primary and irrevocable submission is to “her Master”. Therefore, if any command is given that contradicts has Master’s will, she must politely and respectfully inform that she cannot perform that action because her Master does not allow it. If the other Master is truly Gorean he will not try to force her, but most surely will inform her Master of the event to confirm if she was being deceitful (and no mercy will be shown to the slave being caught in wrongful use of her Master’s name).

If, by any chance, another “Master” insists in wanting the kajira to violate her Master’s will (showing that he does not effectively follow the Gorean Philosophy), then that clearly is a conflict and the kajira must actively refuse to obey, protecting her Master’s property and following his will!

The “rule of thumb” therefore is:

  • The kajira is the property of her Master and only His will is sovereign over her;
  • The kajira must strive to be respectful and obedient to all other Masters;
  • All Masters have power to command a kajira within the boundaries of what is acceptable in the community and what is explicitly allowed by her Master;
  • If any conflict arises, the kajira must kindly and respectfully inform that the command violates the will of her Master and that therefore, according to her Master’s will, she cannot obey it;
  • If the conflict persists, the kajira must actively take all necessary measures to escape the actions that are being forced upon her against has Master’s will.

On a very personal note, I usually say to my First Girl that if a male (in these situations I do not call them Masters because by their actions they fail to respect the Honor that is paramount to any true Gorean Master) insists in not respecting my will, then he looses the right to be respected but nonetheless she must strive to decline politely and never be disrespectful (because her actions are always reflected on her Master’s Honor). If by any event any male is crazy enough to try to get physical on her violating my will, she is authorised to use all means necessary (I’ve taught her Krav Maga and she is very good at it, which makes this quite simple) to protect herself and enforce my will!

Gladly this never happened and I want to think it never will, so she gladly always acts like the good kajira she is, respectfully treating all men as the Masters they inherently are (unless proven otherwise by their actions).

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

Success! You're on the list.

What it is to be Gorean – Part 6 (Consensual Slavery)

Tal everyone,

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

One of the topics I am approached with often is the fact that in Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle, the kajirae devote themselves in a total, absolute and uncompromising way to their Masters.

Differently from what is usual in other “cultures” where there is a lot of negotiation, hard and soft limits, contracts, etc., in the Gorean Lifestyle the kajira submits entirely to her Master. As was already explained in the previous posts, this is done in a gradual way, where the trust is built one experience at a time.

With this in mind, I intend to state clearly that although absolute, slavery must always be consensual!

Consensual slavery should also be understood as distinct from imagery often associated with the BDSM community. While there is considerable overlap between those who practice sexual bondage, sadomasochistic activities, and consensual long-term power-exchange relationships (whether Master/kajira or Dominant/submissive), one does not in any way imply another. There are many people, in the Gorean community and otherwise, that practice consensual lifestyle Master/slave relationships but do not engage in any sexual bondage or sadomasochistic play (I’ll get into the “sadism” topic in a future post).

The key attribute of “lifestyle M/k” that differentiates it from “modern slavery” is the continued active consent of all involved parties. Claims that a person cannot consent to a relationship in which they are the submissive or servile partner without it being abuse are, quite simply, ignorant bigotry.

So, in order to try to summarise what defines the consensual slavery in Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle, here are some points:

  • Gorean Lifestyle slavery cannot be forced upon anyone.
    • Yes, this is the first point that must be made clear. It depends entirely on the kajira to devote herself to her Master. That is quite different from what happens in the books, but we live on Earth and this is a blog about life according the “Gorean Lifestyle” and its principles. On Earth, females cannot be abducted, enslaved against their will and be “taught by the whip” to embrace and welcome their slavery and anyone who tries to do that has nothing to do with the Gorean Philosophy (but surely suffers from serious issues);
    • We live integrated in a society and this is one of the “hard-rules” that cannot be crossed. Goreans say that “a kajira has no will” and in fact that is one of the main points in the absolute surrender to the power of the Master, but she must enter such an absolute commitment by her own choice!
  • Gorean Lifestyle slavery is 24/7
    • Gorean Lifestyle is quite different from “role-playing” games or from most BDSM cultures where those that follow it devote certain periods of time (“sessions”) to it and then return to their “daily life” in the remaining time;
    • Therefore, the “role” you have in the Gorean Lifestyle is part of who you are, and not something according to which you occasionally “act”. The kajira therefore must endeavour to act like the kajira she is in all situations (I’ll get into more detail regarding this point in a future post about the communal perspective of Gorean Lifestyle slavery);
  • Gorean Lifestyle slavery is not on a sliding scale
    • In the BDSM community it is common to have a wide range of relationship dynamics that use the terms “Dom and sub” or “Master and slave” (or many other variations like Daddy/girl, Owner/pet, etc.), and there is a wide range of interpretations of the meaning of each of those and the degree of control involved in the relationship. It is so fluid that in practice the terms are often utterly meaningless as a form of communication because they might have very different and often interchangeable meanings/interpretations.
    • Gorean slavery is considerably more uniform (although not entirely by any means), and is an inherently total relationship. If a part of the slave’s life is unregulated by her master (as is frequently the case), it is only because he has not chosen to regulate it, not because he would not have the right to do so should he desire it.

As I pointed out in the previous post Master’s care, it is the responsibility of the Master to always look after the well being of His property, and his utmost responsibility to ensure he never gives her any command that in fact is contrary to her well being or take any action that might cause her irreparable damage (either physical or psychological). On the other hand, it is the kajira’s role to entirely submit to her Master’s command and will, trusting Him to always look after her well being.

Being founded on TRUST and backed by the Master’s HONOR, the true 24/7 Master/kajira relationship is built and strengthened over time, needing no contracts, rules or limits to be defined.

If, at any moment, the Master stops following the Gorean Philosophy and his desires go against the kajira’s well being, then that means he stoped acting as a Gorean Master and (as we live on Earth under Earth Society’s laws and rules), the kajira can follow her own separate path on a quest to find a true Gorean Master at whose feet she can truly, fully and consensually submit her life.

List of posts in this series:

To all those that enjoy reading long texts, I highly recommend the article written by Marcus of Ar regarding Being Goreans on Earth that you can find here.

I wish you well!

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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What it is to be Gorean – Part 5 (Master’s care)

Tal everyone,

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

There is a saying that ‘behind every great man, there is a great woman’. Let me take the freedom of adapting this to Gorean terms by saying that behind every kajira there is a Gorean Master.

I say this because a Master that truly follows the Gorean Philosophy and Lifestyle must have several traits that make him different from the regular Master/Dominant.

I frequently come across comments that it is not possible to live according to Gorean Principles like the fact that a kajira commits to her Master without reservations and that in Gorean Lifestyle there is no such thing as negotiations, contracts and agreements regarding soft and hard limits.

I say that it is quite possible to live according to those principles if all the persons involved (and in particular the Master) truly follow the Gorean Philosophy.

There are some topics I’ll address in more detail in future posts, but regarding the Gorean Master I must highlight the following mandatory traits:

  • Honor
  • Care for His property

You can read more about Honor in the post Introduction to Honor.

Yes, although the Masters will is absolute, it is tempered with care and consideration for his property.

In Gorean Lifestyle, no Master will cause irreparable damage to his property or inflict upon the kajira unnecessary or gratuitous suffering for his own amusement (I won’t get into the “sadism” topic for now because that will be addressed in a future post).

Let’s say that the relationship between a Gorean Master and a kajira is a two-way street. The kajira must fully devote herself to the Master without limits or restrictions, and the Master must focus not exclusively on his own needs and desires, but on caring for his property, on making sure she has all the conditions to serve him pleasingly, but much more than that! The Gorean Master concerns himself with the development of his property, tries to understand what makes the kajira ‘tick’ and indirectly does all that is within his grasp for her to blossom her femininity and become her best self!

It is a guiding line in the stories, that a Gorean Master truly likes to understand how the kajira thinks and gets to know his property in a much deeper level than any “earth man” ever gets to know his wife.

I borrowed the following excerpt from a text that I believe describes quite well this:

The Gorean Master

The Master is a strong man, a dominant man. He is sure of himself, confident in his place in society and in His Homestone. He cherishes females, revels by their presence. He is giving, caring, loving and understanding. When the Master takes on the responsibility of owning a kajira, He discovers her, learns to know her inside and out, and slowly possesses her. He gently pushes her, always ready to show her that she is strong, that her limits are not what she believes them to be, that she can be taken farther. In this, the Master reveals to the kajira her own confidence, her own levels of self esteem, and all the beauty that she holds within.

As the Master learns his new kajira, an understanding takes place. He senses her desires, her needs, her passions. With this new knowledge, the Master takes care of the kajira, always giving what the kajira needs, but not necessarily what she presumes she needs, or thinks she wants.

It is the Master’s responsibility to care for, protect and love his kajira. If she is sick, he will see that she is cared for. If she is exhausted, he will allow her to rest, stroking her hair as she does so. If she is scared, he will comfort her. If she needs affection, he will hold her. These things, he does willingly, because he knows her and loves her (although few Masters will ever admit this to their kajirae). He understands her as no one else does. He has seen into her soul, and held it in his hand. Her mind is his, to read, to know. Her body is his to feel, and enjoy. Her heart is his to caress, and she becomes his true possession.

The Master does not take away the kajira’s identity, but allows her to grow into her own being, her own likeness. Her commitment to her Master is not a vehicle of punishment or hatred, but one of love and development. The kajira is given the room to come into her own, under her Master’s care, like a flower that flourishes under the sun’s warmth, the kajira radiates from his love and devotion. She becomes a rose; a beautiful being that knows she is loved and cared for.

There is the profile of a Master: strong, able, confident, loving, caring, encouraging, and gentle. “What about punishment and discipline?” you may be asking. Punishment is handed out lovingly yet firmly. The Master should not punish out of anger, there is no place for anger with punishment. The Master should discipline only for the sake of teaching. Punishment and discipline need not be physical: it can be psychological It is not done out of harshness or hostility, it is done out of love and forgiveness, although strict and demanding.

The Gorean kajira

The kajira is a woman, firm in her femininity, strong in her commitment, and solid in her spirit. she offers herself to her Master freely, of her own choosing. The kajira gives the gift of her slavery in exchange for his protection, care and love. she is obedient because she chooses to be, not because she is forced to be. her first priority is pleasing her Master. she willingly does whatever he asks in order to meet his desires.

The kajira comes to her Master unsure of her place in her Master’s world. With His guidance, she quickly learns what is expected of her. With this learning, she begins to give more and more of her self, of her mind, of her body, of her spirit, and of her soul, until she has given her all to her Master. There is no power given up, no control taken away. The kajira is intelligent, and strong. she has a spirit that is worthy of serving her Master as a slave, and learns to focus her spirit and her energy only in those direction which are pleasing to her Master. An immense measure of trust is built between the two, and the highest levels of respect are earned as well: The kajira must trust her Master completely in order to give him so much of herself and the Master must trust the kajira in order for him to accept it.

The “Training” of the kajira is the journey or the process of learning what the Master desires. Some of this journey is met with joy and happiness for both, but like any worthwhile journey, there are also times when the road is rough and long. These are the times when the Master’s strength and the kajira’s strength are needed the most. The Master does not travel this road out of a sense of cruelty or for a desire to beat his kajira, nor does the kajira travel this road out of fear of beatings, or of being caste from her Master’s Homestone, she does these things because she wants to: she aims to please her Master in all ways possible, because of her love and commitment to her Master, and He because of His love and commitment to her. Even the most “bratty” female comes to know just what is expected of her and what her Master’s needs are, and will strive to meet His every expectation of her. her spirit may in play push her Master just so far, but to exceed that limit would be to displease her Master, something a true kajira will always attempt to avoid. And even the most strict of all Masters will make certain His kajira knows what is expected of her at all times.

The kajira seemingly has no responsibilities, no thoughts of her own, and to many are seen as less than human, but a deeper observation shows otherwise. It could be said, and has been said by many, that the Master holds all the responsibilities; however, many of the kajira’s responsibilities are subtle enough to be overlooked. It is said on Gor that her only responsibility is to please her Master. This is a simple statement that holds so much importance, and so much more than it might seem at first. Pleasing a true Gorean Master is not easy, nor is it meant to be.

A Master will not only push the limits of His kajira like often happens in the BDSM arena, but will delve into her world, and love her enough to show her all she can be there as well. Opening this part of her life, and soul is often more than the average submissive is willing to do. But, if it was easy, all submissives would be kajira.

Very few submissives have the strength or commitment to serving with such intensity. This intensity comes from the amount of faith the kajira has in her Master. she must believe and trust that what he does is for her own good and never question his motives. If he orders her to do something she will do so happily, and without embarrassment, because that is what her Master wants. The kajira will not harbor any resentments or guilt from this action, and trusts that her Master knows what is best for them B/both. The kajira learns to never anticipate her Master’s actions or desires, but she may ask if he does desire a particular action or item before she does it or retrieves it for him.

The Master, on the other hand, must always be certain that what He is ordering is truly what is best for His kajira and that He is not demanding more from her than she can give, or working to destroy His prized possession with ego driven desires.

Even though a Master has the right to treat His kajira any way He wants, if He wishes to be honored and respected by Others, and keep His slave(s), He will treat each of them as an honorable Man.

Although many do not understand and accept the Gorean lifestyle, and claim that it is based on books that are not reality, for those who have taken the time to learn and understand this way of life, being kajira is a wonderful role to live with the right Master.

With him, she will grow emotionally and spiritually into her soul. she will become what she is deep within, and learn to love freely and unconditionally. The Master also becomes the man he feels within his soul and the two will share a journey that will take them out of the realms and limits of any society and into the timeless dimensions of the Multiverse.”

Much more could be said, but after this amazing text, I’ll keep all other comments to future posts because all that needs to be said is that Gorean Masters are not egoist or egocentric. A kajira serves unconditionally and a Gorean Master cares compassionately!

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What it is to be Gorean – Part 4 ([Female] slavery)

Tal everyone,

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!

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What it is to be Gorean – Part 3 (Principles)

Tal everyone,

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

By definition a principle is “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning”. If you agree with or believe something in principle, you agree with the idea in general, although you might not support it in reality or in every situation.

Some days ago I read a comment in one of my posts where someone mentioned that in a religion you follow strict rules/dogmas but on the other hand in a philosophy you have to understand the guidelines and discover for yourself the best way to apply it.

This comment was quite precise considering that Gorean lifestyle is based on a philosophy that on its turn is based on principles.

In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture, and a search for knowledge. In this sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions, such as “how are we to live” and “what is the nature of reality.” A broad and impartial conception of philosophy, then, finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality, morality, and life.

Gorean Philosophy therefore is the global set of concepts that help us navigate our life and make decisions in accordance with the mindset of the Natural Order.

The issue here is that those concepts come to us not in a “plain” and “clear” way with a list of what you can and cannot do. Using Christianism as a comparison, in the Old Testament everything was quite simple, Jews had rules for everything they could and could not do (there were over 600 commandments, so the Ten Commandments were just the tiny tip of the iceberg)! On the other hand, in the New Testament, Jesus used a different approach and although he laid down some basic rules, most of his teaching was done using stories and parables.

The author of the Gorean Saga Books devoted his life to the study of human mindset and has published several amazing books under his true name (John Lange), from which I recommend everyone should read “The Philosophy of Historiography“.

Nevertheless, in the Books of Gor we read stories that transmit to us the principles of the philosophy and only by reading them (in case I haven’t made that clear in the previous post) can we gradually absorve the different nuances and grasp the concepts that will help us judge each different situation and make the decision that we consider is more appropriate.

Often when talking with people that don’t totally understand the philosophy I hear them defend actions that go against the Gorean Philosophy and defending their point by stating that they read once in a book that a certain character did that!!!

It is important that we keep in mind that in all stories there are heroes and villains. Just because Joker likes to wreak havoc, that does not mean the Batman story is about that! Hell, even “heroes” are human and make “less than perfect” decisions so just because the “hero” of a story on a specific occasion takes a certain action that does not qualify it as being something that defines him or that he condones in every situation.

The “main character” of the books is Tarl Cabot (at least in the first ones before the author started diversifying the roles), but even he has ups and downs, helping us understand the inner struggles all of us go through in life! Just because Tarl Cabot once did something that does not qualify that action as part of the “Gorean Philosophy”, you have to understand the framework of the situation, what is the point that is being transmitted, etc, etc, etc…

In the following posts I will try to list what (in my personal point of view) are some of the principles that guide the Gorean Philosophy (Female slavery, Honor, etc.)! Feel free to send me your comments and contribution!

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What it is to be Gorean – Part 2 (Origins)

Tal everyone,

Continuing this series of posts, I believe it is important before anything else to review (and define) the origins of the Gorean Lifestyle.

Gor is a fiction world depicted in a series of books that has become the longest-running fiction series ever existed. The first book was published in 1966 and the 35th on 2019.

The author of this series is John Lange that publishes his fiction work under the alias John Norman and his non-fiction work covers philosophy, ethics and historiography.

You can learn more about John Norman and the “Books of Gor” saga in the following posts:

The “Book of Gor” saga is a crescendo of detailed stories occurring in the planet Gor, also known as “Counter Earth”. I use the word crescendo intentionally because the books start by focusing on more generic and “practical” topics and gradually evolve into a much more rich analysis of the human mindset, description of life following the “Natural Order” and interesting new ways of depicting scenarios that not only expose the fallacy of modern days society mindset, but also amazing descriptions of the natural inner conflicts, questions, doubts, etc. that we all go through in our life.

Let me say here that for me it is critical that the books are read in the order they were published! Although there is a handful of books that might be read independently without spoiling the storyline and the evolution of the narrative, only if you effectively read them all in order can you in fact gradually absorve all the concepts and principles that are implicit in Gorean life.

This is particularly relevant considering that Gorean Lifestyle is not based on rules but on principles, which is quite simple and at the same time extremely complicated. There is no list of everything you can or cannot do, there is no detailed set of actions to be performed in specific situations, etc.

Many “cultures” / “streams” (both the ones focused on “sessions” and the ones focused on 24/7 lifestyle) work with very detailed scripts and rules. This results in very elaborate and sometimes complex things like “High Protocols”/“Low Protocols”, hierarchies among slaves with specific actions/tests that have to be achieved in order for the slave to “evolve” in the “path”, etc.

This does not exist in Gor, what you have are stories from which YOU have to distill the core principles and find ways to apply them to our life! Keep in mind, the Gorean Lifestyle, as the name states quite obviously is a way of life.

This way of life is based on the description of life in the planet Gor, but this description cannot be applied directly to our life on Earth. It would be wonderful if that was possible, but unfortunately (at least for now) that is an utopia.

Why is that, you might ask?

The simple answer is that the society described in the Books lives under a set of rules and principles that abide by and enforce what is called the “Natural Order”, recognizing and enforcing slavery, etc.

These sets of rules and principles conflict in many ways with the rules, principles and laws of the societies we live in. If the conflict is with a “soft rule”, this means that we can find ways to “bend” it and live our lifestyle as ideally as we want depending only in how open we want to be about it (and if we have the structure to face occasional criticism). But when the conflict is with a “hard rule” / law, then that is a definitive limit that cannot be passed!

To give a radical example, in GOR slave life’s have no value (other that the commercial value of the property they are), so a slave can be killed if the Master so decides and no one will think twice about it. It is unthinkable for a Gorean on Earth to apply that to his Lifestyle and if anyone does try to live by that in our society, he obviously cannot be called a Gorean but suffers from serious pathological problems.

This being said, the Gorean Lifestyle is based on the Books, period! The lifestyle is based on all the principles depicted along the whole series and only by reading the books you can absorve all the concepts, all the mindsets, all the subliminal information that is passed in each story.

I will repeat it again in case I wasn’t obvious the first time: You have to read the books!!!

You have many information in the Internet that is wonderful to review details, to answer some questions, etc. and the goal of this blog is exactly to help in the process, but no blog, Wiki, FAQ or whatever can ever replace the actual reading of the books (yes, all of them and ideally in order).

In the next posts I’ll start to analyze some of the pillars that define what it is to live according to the Gorean Lifestyle. In the meanwhile, continue to read the books!!! 😉 😉 😉

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What it is to be Gorean – Part 1 (Introduction)

As I always like to mention, these writings are based on a personal perspective of things (except when mentioning historical or empirical facts) and should not be taken as absolute truths or in any way as an insult just because we might have totally different perspectives on a specific topic. Don’t forget, you’re in a Gorean blog, written under a particular Gorean perspective of life.

Gorean Lifestyle / Culture is characterized by several pillars, one of them being consensual slavery. This alone is far from unique, considering that in the world many thousands of people live in some sort of consensual hierarchical relationship characterized by power exchange agreements.

There is such a broad variety of types of relationships that this in fact means there is a flavor for every taste, the BDSM community, the “general kink” community, the Gorean Community, the TPE community, and others, all practice a different variant of dominant and submissive relationship dynamics.

Over the decades, there have been many influences between several of those ‘streams’ and sometimes the lines between them become blurred, but the fact is that each has its main characteristics although in many cases disagreements are plentiful regarding the actual definitions both between ‘streams’ and many times inside the ranks themselves.

One of the points in common among many of these ‘streams’ is the existence of slaves. In the Gorean Lifestyle there are slaves and they are called Kajirae (plural for kajira). But it is extremely important to keep in mind that a kajira is a slave, but a slave is not necessarily a kajira. Likewise, a Gorean Master is a Dominant, but a Dominant is not necessarily (at all) a Gorean Master.

Considering the complexity of this topic and the amount of conflicting views that are shared all over the Web, I decided to put together a compilation of thoughts on several areas that together can help to have a clearer view/perspective of what it is in fact to be a Gorean (Master/kajira).

In my next post I will start by defining the origins and sources of the Gorean Thought / Philosophy in order to define the boundaries of the philosophy, the scope of the thought and the general guidelines.

Please follow the blog and share your comments/inputs so that I can tailor the future posts in order to answer any questions that you have or address any topic you find relevant.

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Gor and the Evolutionary Sexual Selection


Tal, all!

During the time I have been actively writing about Gorean subject matter, I have always steered clear of delving too deeply into the scientific basis for any validity which might be present in Norman’s sociobiological theories. I have done so for several reasons; first of all, there are so many conflicting theories regarding possible biological basis for human behavior that to do so would be to embark on a never-ending exercise in point/counter-point hypothesizing; and secondly, because Norman himself never saw fit to author a scientific analysis of his own work. Where Norman chose not to go, therefore, neither goeth I.

Nevertheless, it was probably only a matter of time before someone encountered some of the generalized, hyper-simplified explanations I have been tossing out on these pages and attempted to rebut them as if they were, indeed, formatted as legitimate scientific theses.

That seems to me to be going a bit overboard, in my opinion. It should be obvious that much which I have written to the pages of the Silk & Steel website, my recently critiqued essay “The Gorean Argument” notwithstanding, was written in a rather off-the-cuff manner. The very verbiage which I tend to use in my essays here is nothing if not casual, sort of a “Hey! Maybe A has something to do with B” approach.

I have never considered it necessary to write a formal scientific point paper in defense of Gorean evolutionary theory, quite frankly because the subject matter is quite voluminous, nor have I bothered to expend the time to publish any of my research to these pages. The source materials are out there for anyone to study, should they seek a greater understanding of evolutionary psychology theory as it relates to human sexual selection strategy. I have therefore left it at that.

Nevertheless, I will now scratch the tip of the iceberg and mention a few points which I feel to be somewhat supportive of Norman’s theories. I realize now that it was perhaps a mistake to leave so much open, in my earlier writings, to the selective interpretation of the reader.

Perhaps a redefinition of some of the primary elements which I have drawn upon in my work here might do much to clarify the mistaken misinterpretation which some have drawn from my writing, in their assertions that Gorean theory seems to be based in some invented pseudo-mythical prehistory in which everyone was the fantasy equivalent of Conan, dwelling in an environment where everyone fought everyone else for the chance to get a bit of nookie. : )

Further, I must admit I find it vaguely insulting that those who have chosen to critique the generalities which I have expressed in essays such as the one mentioned above, actually seem to believe that I have no clue regarding the intricacies of sexual selection in the human animal, of the role which culture plays in that process, or of the various hypothetical models of prehistoric interaction currently being studied by various anthropologists in the field.

When someone approaches an anthropologist (I happen to have more than a few friends who work in that field, so believe me, I know) and asks a question of them such as “Are women genetically programmed to behave submissively to all men?” or “Was physical combat the only pertinent factor in prehistoric sexual selection?” said anthropologists have a hard time taking the question seriously. Because the answer to both of the above questions is a resounding “no.” The process of human sexual selection is, and has always been, much more complex than that. But as long as questions such as those described above are asked of scientists and social scientists, there will continue to be a dearth of understanding regarding what Norman was actually talking about.

To begin: In my opinion, Norman was describing, in his work, not some all-powerful urge for all females to fall down and worship the men around them. Rather, he was discussing a particular peculiarity in engrained human female sexual selective response. Ergo, he was discussing a built-in mechanism which, when not countermanded by societal or cultural intervention, can often result in an extremely powerful physiological attraction of a certain type of female towards a certain type of male. “Submission,” that all-powerful buzzword of the BDSM set, is a series of interactive response behaviors in which that attraction is expressed and solidified. First comes attraction, based in part upon engrained female reproductive strategy behaviors, then, if a particular type of reciprocal bond is established, occurs the onset of “submission” behaviors.

Is there any evidence which supports this?

Norman’s work is similar in many ways to theories which are advanced in Tiger and Fox’s The Imperial Animal, considered by many to be the seminal work on the subject of evolutionary psychology. Norman’s theories seem to be firmly rooted in the scientific discipline known as sociobiology.

For the record, pure sociobiological theory does not assert that all human social behavior is determined by genes. Rather, it states that there are three distinct possibilities:

  1. The human brain has evolved to the point that it has become an independent organic computer controlled and programmed solely by cultural influences;
  2. Human social behavior is determined by genetic coding but the human species has ceased to evolve, and we are all locked into the same pattern;
  3. The human species is pretty much genetically set, but displays enough genetic variability among individuals to further evolve in their biological capacity for social behavior.

The Gorean viewpoint holds that of the three possibilities related above, the third possesses the highest truth value: that Homo sapiens, though possessed of a relatively fixed genetic code, retains the ability to evolve. The speed at which such an evolution might occur is hampered by current technological advances and cultural trends which have resulted in much of the human race experiencing an extended period of “survival downtime” wherein basic survival is no longer as difficult to achieve. The speed of evolutionary process tends to manifest itself in direct relation to the necessity of genetic alteration dictated by environmental factors. Hence, in many cases, cultural dictates have outstripped the rate of evolutionary change required to alter the biology of the human race to match them.

There have been quite a few modern anthropological studies, fully meeting the criteria of postulational-deductive science, which delve into the effects of genetics on human behavioral compulsion. Joseph Shepher’s work on the incest taboo and sexual roles, Mildred Dickeman’s studies on hypergamy and sex-biased infanticide, William Irons’ study of the relation between inclusive genetic fitness and the local set of evaluational criteria of social success in a herding society, Napoleon Chagnon’s work on aggression and reproductive competition in the Yanomamo, William Durham’s work on the relation between inclusive fitness and warfare in the Mundurucu and other primitive societies, Robin Fox’s expressed research on the relation of fitness to kinship rules, Konner and Freedman’s work on the adaptive significance of infant development, and James Weinrich’s studies on the relationship of genetic fitness and the details of sexual practice; all dealt with the relationship of genetic encoding to human behavioral function.

One of the most frequently used methods to study genetic effects upon the individual is to compare the similarity between identical twins, who are known to be genetically identical, with the similarity between fraternal twins, who are no closer genetically than ordinary siblings. When the similarity between identical twins proves greater, this distinction between the two kinds of twins is ascribed to heredity.

Using this and related techniques, geneticists have found evidence of a substantial amount of hereditary influence on the development of a variety of traits that affect social behavior, including number ability, word fluency, memory, the timing of language acquisition, sentence construction, perceptual skill, psychomotor skill, extroversion and introversion, homosexuality, the timing of first heterosexual activity, particular sexual preferences, likes, dislikes, and various behavioral tendencies.

Loehlin and Nichols, for example, studied aspects of the environment and performance of 850 sets of twins who took the National Merit Scholarship test in 1962. The early histories of the subjects, as well as the attitudes and childrearing practices of the parents, were taken into account. The results showed that the generally more similar treatment of the identical twins did not explain the greater similarity in general abilities and personality traits manifested between sets of twin, or even in their shared ideals, goals, and vocational interests. It seems evident that these similarities are based in aspects of genetic identity.

Frank Salter, of the Max Planck Institute, was an avid defender of sociobiology and its theories. A particularly interesting read is Daniel Dennett’s work, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, in which he defends Darwin against those who would rewrite him to reflect modern trends of scientific thought. But the validity of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology is hotly debated, particularly by the social scientists, many of whom assert that genetic structure and biological factors have little or nothing to do with human behavior and the resulting development of human culture.

In addition, recently a book was published entitled “A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion,” which scientifically explores the possible biological forces which contribute to male sexuality, based upon the principles of evolutionary psychology. And which makes assertions which seem to be functionally identical to many of Norman’s own, as they appear in the Gor books (I add that that book, even before its publication, came under fire for the politically incorrect nature of many of its proposals. Which is what reputedly happened to Norman, and eventually resulted in his blacklisting and censorship in the late eighties. Apparently there are some theories which scientists are not supposed to propose, no matter what their evidence suggests).

In order to determine whether or not Norman’s arguments in favor of ethical naturalism in regards to human behavior hold any water, and whether or not his assertions regarding the biological basis of human sexual selection have any merit, we must answer the following questions:

  1. Does evolution exist?
  2. Are biological traits passed down from individual to progeny via evolution?
  3. Do these biological traits affect propensities regarding emotional response and behavior?
  4. Does natural selection exist as an evolutionary factor?
  5. Does sexual selection exist as an evolutionary factor?
  6. Is competition among males a primary element of sexual selection?
  7. Is Homo Sapiens a high order primate?
  8. Is the common chimpanzee a high order primate?
  9. Do Homo Sapiens and the common chimpanzee share a factor of genetic identicality in the range of 98 plus percent, making those two primate species more genetically similar to one another than to any other species?
  10. Do Homo Sapiens and the common chimpanzee therefore share most of the same gene patterns?
  11. In naturally occurring chimpanzee societal pack-structure, do the males compete, sometimes violently, for the right to breed with the most fertile females?
  12. Are chimpanzees and Homo Sapiens even more behaviorally similar, in that they are both high primates which, though primarily herbivorous, periodically hunt other species and eat their meat?
  13. Are chimpanzees and Homo Sapiens both high primates which maintain a primarily patriarchal society, which periodically wages interspecies warfare?
  14. Of all other high order primates, is the only other species which compares to the genetic similarity of Homo Sapiens and chimpanzees the Bonobo ape?
  15. Is the social grouping of Bonobo apes (somewhat) matriarchal, herbivorous, and mostly non-aggressive?
  16. Might this be because the Bonobo ape developed under different habitat conditions, rarely encountered other groups of its own kind (strangers), and because the Bonobo females actively control the Bonobo males by diverting their aggressive behavior via sexual enticement (i.e, by offering sexual rewards to those males which behave as the females wish)?
  17. Might it be safe to say that Bonobo females control their males by rewarding them with sex, and threatening to withhold it from them if they do not conform to the wishes of the female?
  18. If Homo Sapiens was subjected to sexual selection, which includes male-male competition behaviors, over a period of a million years, would certain genetic patterns begin to emerge and become biologically engrained in members of that species?
  19. Would these genetic patterns then affect behavioral propensities?
  20. Has the gene record of Homo Sapiens recently been erased and begun from scratch?
  21. Do we all still carry those evolutionarily engrained genetic patterns within us all?
  22. Do we therefore still possess a propensity to experience certain emotional states engendered by those genetic patterns?
  23. Are we really that different, genetically, from the common chimpanzee?
  24. Are we really that different, genetically, from the Bonobo ape?
  25. Do certain patterns of human behavior reflect the behavior of those two species?
  26. Is one of the primary difference between Homo Sapiens and other high order primates the size of our brain, which continues to grow and develop after birth to an extent not seen in other primates?
  27. Can we therefore entertain abstract concepts much better than other high order primates?
  28. Is the human process of thought capable of developing behavioral dogmas and taboos which specify non-naturally-occurring behavior patterns in Home Sapiens, based upon abstract concepts which cannot be fully understood or generated in other high order primates?
  29. If our dogmas and taboos are not based in biological function, might they be based in cultural peculiarities, or sometimes even in metaphysics–i.e, abstract concepts which have no physical base (religion, etc)?
  30. Can our dogmas and taboos become detrimental to an understanding of the behavioral patterns which our genetic encoding attempts to compel us to enact?
  31. Can male territorial and sexual competition result in decreased procreative opportunities for the less successful competitors?
  32. Does the stronger, healthier member of a species have a higher chance of survival than a weaker, less combatively skilled member of that same species, in a competitive environment?
  33. Can the dead procreate?
  34. In a society wherein there are competitive males, is female attraction to the stronger representatives of the pack males, and the ability to attract and maintain the attentions of such males, a beneficial survival trait?
  35. Can a female produce offspring without the acceptance and copulation of a male? Would her offspring stand a better chance of surviving if the male accepted both her and the child and chose to protect and provide for them? In a competitive breeding environment, would the ability to inspire such devotion from the male be a beneficial survival trait?
  36. Would the genetic patterns which produce these behaviors be passed down via natural selection?
  37. Were we, in our ancestral past, similar to the common chimpanzees?
  38. Are we now, in our less procreatively-competitive modern environment, behaving more like Bonobos?
  39. Is there a correlation between human behavior and the behavior of the genetically similar primate species mentioned above?
  40. If certain sociosexual behavior could be simulated which emulated specific male/female sexual interaction patterns from our ancestral past, would we not be subject, to some extent, to the inbred emotional responses which our genetic encoding would provide, in relation to sexual and hormonally-induced emotion response in those situations?

Recently, there has been a trend in which many biologists have used Darwin’s principles of sexual selection as a coherent theoretical framework for the study of sex differences across hundreds of studies and across scores of species.

At the same time, social scientists have, for the most part, been studying sex differences from a completely different theoretical perspective: gender roles. That mode of thought suggests that most nonphysical human sex differences are the result of the culturally-mediated social roles that are adopted by boys and men and girls and women. Too often, it seems, this belief that human sex differences are entirely based upon the adoption of such roles has been accepted wholeheartedly, without nearly enough critical observation.

The Mechanisms of Evolutionary Selection

Any event, occurance, process, or environmental condition that in any way influences daily existence, life, death, or reproduction is a potential selection pressure. Each such selection pressure affects the individual whom it affects. In many cases, even slight differences between individuals can determine which of those individuals will survive to reproduce, versus those who will die. In such instances, the process of evolutionary selection is taking place.

Because of this selection, the individuals who happen to possess whatever characteristic influences survival and reproduction will, understandably, survive in greater numbers than their peers. If these specific characteristics are inherited, then the survivors will produce offspring who also possess characteristics different than other members of the same species (conspecifics).

If these characteristics continue to influence life, death, and reproduction in the offspring’s generation, then the process will repeat itself. Over generations there will be an alteration in the selected characteristic: the average individual in the population will have developed different characteristics than those possessed by the average individual several generations earlier.

This process, natural selection, alters species to better fit their ecology. The only requirement for natural selection to function is that the particular beneficial survival trait must vary from individual to individual, and that some part of this variability must have a genetic basis. Under such conditions, selection occurs, whether the trait is physical, physiological, or behavioral.

Behavioral characteristics, in order to evolve, must therefore possess variability, and a genetic basis. Heritable individual differences provide the raw materials for evolutionary selection. Since nearly all features of human anatomy, physiology, behavior, cognitions, etc, display individual variability which is at least partiallyly heritable, they are all, therefore, vulnerable to variable selection pressures.

Still, the process is not as simple as it appears. For instance: particular selection pressures can diminish or erase heritable variability, making them no longer heritable. Therefore, some traits which have shown great selection variability in the past may no longer be heritable (e.g, the genetic pattern which standardizes basic physical elements in Homo sapiens may no longer be prone to drastic change– humans have two arms and two legs, for example, a trait which is inherited but no longer variable on a large scale).

Some human traits that seem to display heritable variability have avoided being subjected to extreme selection pressures, and some variable heritable traits are only subjected to selection pressures when certain conditional modifiers are met, such as adjustment to a particular climate or environment.

The process is always occurring, though what traits are affected depend upon the current level of selection pressure being applied by external forces, which can vary from generation to generation or from one geographical region to another.

Under the correct conditions, the process of selection goes into “sleep mode,” as it were. When food is abundant and predators and parasites are scarce, certain selection pressures which deal directly with survival issues are weak, and most individuals survive to reproduce. Individual differences in survival traits are not particularly important under such conditions.

Once the process of sexual reproduction had evolved into existence, an integral part of the life history of all members of sexually reproducing species was to obtain a mate with whom to procreate. Where this process becomes complex is that factors of individual variability, which result from the gene-mixing which occurs through sexual reproduction, also determines that all potential mates are not inherently equal. This interesting state of affairs gives rise to competition for the most suitable mate, or the greatest variety of mates. The processes whereby mates are selected, and the competition behaviors which result from this, are known as sexual selection.

Sexual selection is a complex, active process that is influenced by numerous factors, among which are various sex differences, the costs and benefits of reproduction, and especially the ecology of the species. There are additional factors which impact upon this process, cultural and societal dictates included.

The necessary dynamics of this process tend to express themselves as aspects of female choice of mating partners, which gives rise to male-male competition over access to mates, or efforts to control desirable resources which females require to support their progeny.

Pay attention, Goreans, because this is important: at its heart, the process of sexual selection is primarily a manifestation of female choice. Females determine what natural aptitudes indicate desirability in a male as possible breeding partner. The males then proceed to engage in competition behaviors which:

  1. determine who controls the resources (land, food, etc.) which the female will require.
  2. determine who has access to the best potential female mates.

Once this basis has been established, and the dynamics of female choice and male-male competition are in place, we may then begin to study the mechanisms which influence the various expressions of the differences between the sexes which relate to sexual selection, be they biological, behavioral, and cognitive. This is where sex homones come into the picture. The body maintains its own internal breeding strategy, and provides the appropriate sex hormones to compel psychological,emotional, and physical behavior.

The majority of sex differences which are present in Homo sapiens are also present in other primate species. One of the most intensely researched area of primate social behavior is the area of male-male competition. Human males, like many other high primates males, compete in certain contexts via physical attack and physical threat, in an effort to establish social dominance over other competing males. Gorean thought holds that these behaviors still occur in the human animal. History and science seem to bear this out.

Depending upon the current environmental dynamic, the place one occupies in this reproductive pecking order can have serious reproductive consequences for individual males. Often, depending upon the context, only the most dominant (alpha) male sires offspring. How social dominance is achieved, however, is determined by the specific structure of the particular social grouping. It may be achieved by one-on-one physical contests, willingness to cooperate within a specific male group, the display of a high degree of intelligence, or even by the social support of females in the group, either the young females or the older matriarchal females.

The specifics of female choice remain, to a certain extent, a mystery, and have not been studied nearly as closely as male competition behavior. Current research suggests that females in most primate species do prefer some males to others, though the reasons for this have not been fully explained, and seem variable. For the most part, it seems that primate females base their choices upon possible risks of infanticide (no one wants to mate with someone who is going to kill your children) and the possible level of social support which the male may provide to the female. In some cases, the overall choice seems to be based upon the level of protection which the potential male mate can provide to the female and her young against possible abuse or attack by other males.

Female-female competition also occurs in most primate species. This behavior, however, seems to be associated with competition among females for resources, rather than mates. Access to high-quality food, for instance, which has long term consequences in regards to the health of the female and her young. This might be seen as an indication that part of the female primate’s reproductive strategy concerns security and longterm health benefits for both she and her potential offspring.

Female choice is an extremely large part of the reproductive “mating dance.” But what about male choice? Where does that enter into the equation?

Male choice is evident among the higher primates, also, and is an important factor in reproductive behavior. Male choice appears to be based on the nature of the relationship between the male and individual females and on implicit reproductive concerns. This is where the possibility that female submissive behaviors influence the male’s choice of possible mate enters the picture.

If certain types of relationship behavior are attractive to the male, then this may well be a factor in whether or not he selects a particular female with which to mate. Apart from any such concerns, male primates tend to seek mates who display signs that they are particularly fertile. There have been studies regarding the development of female human breast size, waist-to-hip ratio, et all, which allude to the possibility that these physical traits may well have been selected for as indications of female fertility.

The most obvious and measurable effect of male-male competitive behavior in primates is the evolution of males who are larger and stronger than females of the same species. The existence of male-male competition in the primate species, and the extent to which it has been practiced, seems to determine how great is the difference of physical size between the two sexes of a primate species. These size differences seem to be far less in species where male-male competition is based upon male-male cooperation within the group.

Here I quote David C. Geary from his book “Male, Female;The Evolution of Human Sex Differences” (for the record, much of the information I have included here is paraphrased from elements of his work):

“The consistent relation between physical sex differences and the intensity of male-male competition allows inferences to be drawn about the likely nature of male-male competition in our ancestors. Beginning with our Australopithecine ancestors and continuing to modern humans, males are physically larger than females. When these patterns are combined with the patterns of male-male competition and female choice that are evident in extant primates inferences can be drawn about the potential pattern of sexual selection during the course of human evolution (Foley & Lee, 1989).”

In most mammals, the male has little or no direct involvement in his offspring. Therefore, the male reproductive strategies of these species tend to be largely involved with simple male-male competition, and the female reproductive strategy tends to concern itself with obtaining the best genes for her offspring (i.e, getting more buck for her bang). Humans, however, display a far greater level of parental investment.

When both parents invest in offspring, and there are differences in the quality of care or genetic make up which the parents provide to their offspring, then the elements of female-female competition and male choice suddenly become much more important. They do not supplant male-male competition and female choice– but they do become much stronger factors in reproductive strategy.

Human sexual selection is highly complex and often varies among cultures and historical periods within a culture. Competition behaviors can be altered by cultural dictates or expectations, along with value systems. For instance, the definition of “success” and “valued resources,” both of which may be important in determining the female reproductive strategy in female choice.

What might have formally been a leadership position in the clan or tribal group may be transposed into having a high paying job, of some other form of social prominence. In addition, the resources which a female seeks to obtain to secure a better future for her offspring may no longer be access to food or tribal resources, but may now be such culturally valued resources as a large house with a four-car garage, a large bank account, etc. Nevertheless, research shows that men who are considered “successful” by their particular culture typically have more wives and children, or at least more reproductive opportunities, than males whose culture determines are less successful.

The fundamental motivating agenda of complex organisms, including human beings, seems to be the effort to establish some measure of control over the social (people), biological (food), and physical (territory) resources that encourage survival and reproductive success. The evolutionary process seems to have selected for individuals who have the means and motivation to obtain some measure of control over the above listed resources.

In primate societies where relatively intense male-male competition occurs, not only are the males larger, on average, than the females, but the males tend to mature later than the females and experience a larger growth spurt during puberty. In species where there is little male-male competition, males are the same size (on the average) than are the females, and they mature at an identical rate. The fact that human beings conform to the larger-male/different-growth-rate dynamic detected in male-male competitive species seems to indicate that male-male competition has been an extremely large part of the human social dynamic during the evolution of Homo sapiens.

Phylogenetic Relationships

Our social arrangements most closely resemble those of the high order simian primates, which are genetically our closest living relatives. This makes sense. It seems to be an established fact that we share a common ancestry with these primates, and if human social behavior is influenced by genetic predispositions in behavioral development, which modern scientific evidence tends to support, then the argument that modern Homo sapiens is still subject to behavioral pressures which were bred into us during our prehistory makes much sense.

It is widely believed that complex forms of human behavior are controlled by polygenes (genes scattered on many chromosome loci), which affect their owner through a powerful array of physical control systems, including elementary neuronal wiring to muscular coordination and “mental set” induced by hormone levels.

What is the relation of genes to culture? Many social scientists discard the findings of sociobiology because they believe that variation in human cultures can have little or no genetic basis. The social scientist is interested only in variations in behavior which are the direct result of the twin factors of culture and the environment. Sociobiology is interested in the more general features of human nature and the limitations that exist in the environmentally induced variation. By studying the features of human social organization and comparing them to the organization of other, closely related, primate species, sociobiology attempts to reconstruct the earliest evolutionary history of social organization and to discover its genetic residues in contemporary societies.

The Myth of the “Submission Gene”

This ubiquitous “submission,” which everyone seems to spend so much time talking about, is too often misclassified as being some kind of miraculous psychological or biological force. But it is not, in and of itself, a specific genetic trait; i.e, there is no single “submission gene” which some people possess, which others do not, and which is passed along from generation to generation.

The same is true for “dominance.” Some people insist upon treating dominant personality trait-packages as the result of some miraculous “dominance gene.” This is about as far from the truth as can be imagined.

I have, in the past, repeatedly been confronted by individuals who either wish to infer that I believe there is some kind of magic recipe for “dominance,” or who insist upon treating what we might call “dominant behavior” as a unique shopping-cart item which one can either be born with, or born without. That is totally ludicrous. Nevertheless, you’d be amazed by how much time I’ve spent trying to explain my take on the causes of dominant behavior to them. Semantics always seems to get in the way, for some reason.

The reality is much simpler. Neither “dominance” nor “submission” are specific identifiable genetic traits in Homo sapiens. Rather, both are categories of personality traits. What we might refer to as “dominance” and “submission” are fairly broad sets of genetic traits, which are either supported or repressed by one’s active culture, which act as survival modifiers. In a procreative paradigm, they can also function in cooperation with one another to generate specific sexual attraction by those who possess those traits toward a particular personality type, or type of individual.

Both sets of genetic traits (as well as countless others), which came into existence in the human animal through natural selection, in response to environmental factors which existed throughout most of human prehistory, give rise to certain genetically engrained behavioral patterns in relation to same-sex competition, and procreative male-female mating strategies.

Currently, much of civilized western society, and a large part of the modern world, is in a state of evolutionary “survival downtime”– ergo, quite often modern man is freed from the rigors of formerly existent selection pressures by his existence in a non-competitive environment where daily survival issues are much less pressing. In such an environment, when food is abundant and predators and parasites are scarce–selection pressures are minimized and most individuals survive to reproduce. Survival traits are not especially important under such conditions.

Still, the gene patterns remain. The genetic preprogramming which formerly supported successful survival and mating strategies still exists, and will continue to exist until such time that Homo sapiens has evolved beyond it, a process which will take countless generations to occur.

It will continue to exert subtle psychological pressures on human behavior, and can result in numerous symptomatic behaviors in which the human animal’s metaphysical culturally induced value-systems attempt to circumvent instinctual response initiators which are a deeply engrained part of the human being’s inbred survival instincts. Old survival and selection pressures will be culturally replaced by new ones, though perhaps far too swiftly for the evolution of the physical and genetic model of the human animal to match.

As long as that situation is in effect, biologically engrained mating pressures and selection processes will continue to manifest themselves in human social interaction. Sexual attraction will remain a matter of survival strategy, and human biology will continue to support the old agendas built into the human genetic imprint.


Submission is not a single behavioral trait; rather, it seems to be a behavioral act and emotional response inspired by genetically engrained survival strategy. Genetic mating pressures and selection pressures have created within the human animal a preprogrammed behavioral agenda in relation to survival issues. In human society, sexual selection is almost universally based upon the choice of the female.

Therefore, when a heterosexual female human being encounters a male who triggers the necessary switches which invoke the ancient survival agenda (health, success, strength, power) she typically experiences sexual attraction. When this occurs, quite often she begins to establish particularly powerful emotional bonds with the male whom she has selected as the attractive mate (bonds which, due to the difference in male vs. female mating strategies, the male often does not share, or experiences in a different way).

In any event, upon consummation of the relationship, the female often experiences a certain psychological “leap of faith” in which she emotionally transfers power over her body into the control of her selected mate, one who has satisfied (to a variable extent) the conditions of her procreative survival strategy.

If the male in question satisfies the conditions of her procreative survival strategy to a particularly high order, i.e he is a particularly smart/healthy/strong/ independent/powerful specimen, then it is the Gorean belief that she will experience a deep sense of satisfaction, an almost spiritual “surrender.”

That is, as I understand it, precisely what John Norman is talking about when he discusses “submission.”

It seems to me that some women would naturally be more responsive to this particular form of emotional bonding than would be certain others. Much would depend upon other external factors, including cultural indoctrination and life experience. But it also seems evident that unless the female in question was possessed of a radically different genetic structure than that possessed by other females, or unless she had been either culturally trained against it or had endured life experiences which served to interfere with her natural response, that this process of response to the consummation of her sexual selection would be almost universal.


This, then, is my personal interpretation of how evolutionary science fits into Gorean thinking. It is my hope that, this having been written, henceforth I will be subjected to fewer indignant responses to some of the more simplistic explanations of basic evolutionary science I have tossed up on these pages in the past.

Then again, a few years back I authored an essay in which I commented that Goreans seem to feel it is beneficial to “control and diminish weaker and less adaptive elements” of their society, at which time I was referring in a rather general sense to the need to deal with criminal and socially maladjusted individuals who fail to contribute to their society. Nevertheless, a particularly paranoid muckraker chose to interpret that particular phrase to indicate that Goreans are Nazis who want to lock up the physically handicapped in concentration camps. So, there is no accounting for willful misinterpretation, it would seem. : )

In any event, the evidence is out there. Go see for yourself. You don’t have to agree with it– the merits of sociobiology are being hotly contested in anthropological and sociological circles at this very moment, and have been for years.

But there seems to be plenty of supporting evidence that our genes contribute to our behavior, and that sexual selection in human beings has much in common with sexual response behaviors in other high primates. And that where those primates now are, we once were. That being the case, what sexual selection behaviors might we still be subject to, from our ancestral past? And might not our current state of “evolutionary downtime” be subjecting us to non-biologically-related cultural pressures, which countermand the dictates of our heritable genetic identity?

You be the judge.

I wish you well!


Suggested Reading:

Male, Female; The Evolution of Human Sex Differencesby David C. Geary

Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Evolution of Human Sexualityby Malcolm Potts And Roger Short

Primate Sexuality: Comparative Studies of the Protosimians, Monkeys, Apes, and Humansby Alan F. Dixon

Darwin’s Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern Worldby Micheal R. Rose

Copyright © 2000 Marcus of Ar, All rights reserved.

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The City-State – City Expansion

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

There are numerous ways for a city to expand its territory, power and influence. A city’s military might can be used to conquer other cities. For example, Ar was able to conquer twelve other cities, becoming more like an empire than a simple city-state. But, conquering other cities is a difficult task, requiring the use of vast resources. And it is often unsuccessful. There are easier and more efficient ways to expand. 

Cities can try to spread their influence through commerce and financial support. For some time, Ar, Cos and Tyros attempted to financially influence the towns of the Vosk River, vying for control of the river. This type of influence works best if your city possesses a resource that is needed by another city and which it would be difficult for that city to acquire on its own. 

Colonization of new lands is another common method for cities to expand and there are two main types of colonies. The traditional colony actually becomes a separate entity from the main city. They are often formed when the main city becomes overpopulated or there is a serious political division within the city.

The colonization is carefully planned and before the colonists even leave the original city, they will have formulated a charter, constitution and laws. The colony will acquire its own Home Stone, thus acknowledging its own independence. Though the colony is independent, it will still retain some ties to the original city such as trade.

The other type of colony is more an outpost than a true colony. These outposts retain close ties to the original city and are not permitted to acquire their own Home Stone. They are simple an extension of the main city. For example, Port Cos, on the Vosk River, was a traditional colony formed by citizens of Cos. Ar’s Station, also on the Vosk River, was only an outpost, an extension of Ar. 

When a colony, outpost or other new community is formed, they must first claim their new land. To do so, requires the yellow stake of claimancy. To claim this new land, one must place a yellow stake into the ground during the morning. Next, one must remain there and defend that stake until sunset. If you are still there at sunset, and no one has contested your claim, then the land becomes yours and your Home Stone can be placed there. 

“There are good fellows in all cities.” (Magicians of Gor, p.240)

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Written by Ubar Luther in Gor-Now.net

©2020 by Azrael Phoenix

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The City-State – Outside the City

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Roads: The cities of Gor can be reached via a system of roads, often kept in very good condition. On these roads, Goreans will commonly stay to the left of someone passing in the opposite direction. This allows a person to keep their sword arm, commonly the right arm, to the other person. Wagons commonly travel down the center of the road except when passing. This usually leads to a set of ruts in the middle of the road. Most roads are not traveled at night as it is considered too dangerous. Important roads often are marked by cylindrical pasang stones. These stones will be inscribed with the symbol of the closest city and indicate the approximate number of pasangs to reach the city. There are three primary types of roads: great road, secondary road, and tertiary road. The great roads are commonly built next to major cities and are often military roads. They are built very solidly of stone, meant to last for quite some time. These would be similar to some of the best roads of ancient Rome. Secondary Roads are most often graveled roads though sometimes they may be paved with logs or plated stone. They can be difficult to pass during rainy weather. Tertiary roads are minor roads, simple dirt trails. Inclement weather can often make these roads impassable. Some cities deliberately fail to properly maintain their roads in order to inhibit the ability of other cities to reach it. For example, Besnit is one of those cities. 

Villages: A number of villages will be located in the vicinity of a city. The villages often provide the city with needed food such as meats, milk, fruits, vegetables and grains. The villages may be tributary to the city though it is more common for the village to remain free. The Peasant Caste is a proud Caste, protective of their freedom and independence. If the village does supply food to the city, whether it is tributary or not, the city will help defend that village. This is a traditional matter, not an actual obligation, followed by nearly all cities. But, if a city fails to protect such villages, it is unlikely the village would willingly provide them with their produce. 

Farms/Orchards/Ranches: Beside the agricultural lands owned by the villages, there are also independents who may own fields, farms, orchards and ranches. Bosk, hurt and verr ranches are common. Bosks are commonly raised for milk and meat while hurts and verrs are raised primarily for their wool. Ka-la-na and grape orchards are common for winemakers. Sul and Sa-Tarna fields are also usually located near cities. 

Mines: Mines, for various metals such as silver, iron and copper, are located in hilly and mountainous regions. Such mines are valuable assets and disputes over their ownership are common on Gor. Tharna is said to have some of the greatest silver mines on Gor though other cities, such as Treve and Argentum, do have silver mines, though not as valuable. 

Villas: Not everyone wants to live within the city though they do want to remain in close proximity to it. They also do not want to live in a small village either. One option is to live in villas located within a few pasangs of the main city. For example, in the Fulvian Hills near Ar, there is a major villa region. There are also villas located near Lydius. 

Dar-Kosis Pits: Some cities have Dar-Kosis pits located outside their walls. These pits are meant to permanently house the contagious victims of the dreaded Dar-Kosis. The pits are commonly built like wells though they are quite large, about 100 feet deep and 200 feet wide. There are caves dug into the walls of the pits, the living areas of the infected, and usually a cistern in the center of each pit to provide water. There are Dar-Kosis pits located outside the walls of Ar. 

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Written by Ubar Luther in Gor-Now.net

©2020 by Azrael Phoenix

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The City-State – City Defences

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

In case of emergency, such as a natural disaster, an imminent attack or some other major danger, cities often have alarm bars. These are hollow metal tubes that are struck by hammers to warn the citizenry. It is unknown whether certain signals delineate certain types of emergencies.

For example, there could be one type of signal for an imminent attack while another signal concerned a city fire. Multiple alarm bars might be placed in different sections of the city to ensure that everyone hears the sounds. 

Fire within a city can be devastating but the cities have fire wagons that handle such matters. A fire wagon would be equivalent to an Earth fire truck though it is unknown how such a wagon handles fires.

Fire wagons, possibly pulled by tharlarion, race through the streets to a fire. To facilitate their movement, many buildings at intersections have rounded corners so the wagons can turn quicker. Fire wagons may bring their own supply of water to help combat the fire. It is unknown if they possess any chemical mixtures to fight fires. 

The worst disaster that can affect a city though is to be attacked and conquered by a foreign city. Thus, cities make preparations to enhance their chances of defending against such an invasion. The city walls are one important aspect of this defense.

Some cities also have moats surrounding their cities. The danger of aerial attacks is very real because of tarnsmen so tarn wire was invented to handle such a threat. Tarn wire consists of very thin wires that are stretched over a city. If a tarn strikes one of these wires, the wire will slice the bird, possibly amputating a wing or even its head.

Most cities will not place these wires in place unless there is a clear threat. A city’s Warriors are also a key component to the city’s defenses. They must be brave and skilled, able to repulse the efforts of the attackers. 

To effectively attack a city often requires siege weapons, created and manned by trained siege engineers. Siege engines are used to topple walls and gates, to attack the defenders and to place attackers into the city.

Catapults, onagers, springals and ballistae are used to launch stones, missiles, flaming oil and more at a city. A giant chain grapnel can be fired by one of these siege engines. Once it attaches to part of the city walls or gates, the engine can pull back the grapnel and destroy parts of the structure.

Siege towers, with battering rams, can be used against a city’s gates. Attackers may dig tunnels and try to bypass the city walls though the defenders are likely to dig their own tunnels to engage the attackers. Successfully attacking a city though is a difficult task, often requiring the attacker to outman the defenders by at least three to one. 

An attacker could attempt to besiege a city but that is rarely effective on Gor. Most cities contain adequate supplies of food and water to outlast a lengthy siege. Usually, the attackers will run of out supplies before the defenders. 

The most successful method to conquer a city include trickery or bribery. It is said that the legendary mercenary captain, Dietrich of Tarnburg, has captured more cities with gold than iron. 

“More gates are opened with gold than iron.”

Magicians of Gor, p.188

“It is sometimes said that any city can fall behind the walls of which can be placed a tharlarion laden with gold.”

Mercenaries of Gor, p.101

“I can take any city,” said Marlenus, “behind whose walls I can get a tarn of gold.”

Hunters of Gor, p.140

The city of Turia, a city that had never been conquered before, was captured by the Wagon Peoples in Nomads of Gor through trickery. The city of Ar was captured in Magicians of Gor by Cos through bribery and trickery, a number of citizens of Ar willing to betray the city to the Cosians. 

If you conquer a city, you often claim the spoils of war, the usual fees collected by a conqueror. The assessment of these fees is meant to remove any potential future threat the conquered city will ever be. The following is a typical set of such fees though it will vary depending on the desires of the conqueror.

The population is disarmed and possession of a weapon is made a capital offense. All of the officers in the Warrior Caste, and their families, are impaled. A thousand of the most beautiful free women are given to the conqueror’s highest officers as slaves. Thirty percent of the remaining free women will become slaves for the troops.

Seven thousand free men will become siege slaves. All of the children under twelve years old will be randomly distributed to the other free cities. This seems to support that adoption does exist on Gor. Any slaves in the city will belong to the first man to recollar them. As can be seen, such fees devastate a conquered city. 

For more information on war, see:

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The City-State – Miscellaneous City Items

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Accent: Though nearly all cities speak Gorean, many cities acquire their own special accent. This accent can often be used to discern the city of origin of someone speaking. 

Script: Though most cities use the same common script, there are differences among the cities in how they write. Though the formation of the cursive letters is fairly standard, the differences are in such areas as letter size, letter spacing, linkages between letters, length of loops, nature of end strokes, and more. Thus, like the accent, one’s script can often be used to identify your city of origin. The peoples of the Tahari region, though they speak Gorean, have their own script, called Taharic. 

Graffiti: Graffiti is common in Gorean cities, especially in the areas of the markets and baths. The graffiti can range from crude sexual comments to fine poetry. Would-be poets may post their works and others will then comment on it. Men might rate bath or paga slaves, adding comments to the ratings of others. Graffiti is not commonly seen as a city nuisance. 

Public Boards: These boards are official areas where news and messages can be posted. They are most often located in the main plazas or squares in the city. There are two main types of these boards: state boards and privately owned boards. State boards are only for official city announcements and news releases. Privately owned boards sell space so that anyone can post advertisements, messages or anything else they wish. Heralds, criers and sign carriers can also be hired for advertising or to publicize a message. 

Art: Art is taken very seriously on Gor and is considered an enhancement to the city. Thus, cities will often commission artists to create statues, murals, friezes and other art objects for the city. Such items will often commemorate important people or events in the history of the city. The beauty of a city is very important to its citizens. 

Insurance: Certain types of building insurance are available within the cities. Though only fire insurance is specifically mentioned in the books, other forms of insurance may exist as well. Insulae often cannot obtain fire insurance because they are considered too high a risk. 

Pace of Life: A Gorean city is not commonly like the fast-paced cities of Earth. The pace of life is much slower, more relaxed. Though the general Gorean work day is ten Ahn, about twelve hours, it is a much more leisurely shift. For example, two Ahns for lunch is not unusual and Goreans often leave early as well. In addition, a break during the day, even a lengthy one, is not uncommon. Goreans might close their shops simply to observe a beautiful sky. This would tend to reduce the amount of stress in the lives of Goreans and be more conducive to good health. 

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The City-State – City Workers

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Slaves are used for much of the labor within a city though there are certain activities that slaves are not permitted to work on. Slaves that are owned by the city are called “state slaves.”

Female state slaves may all have to wear a similar mode and/or color of dress. For example, in Ar, female state slaves are garbed in gray. Female state slaves may be used in the public kitchens, laundries, to tend children, to serve at official feasts and dinners, for cleaning and a myriad of other tasks.

State slavery is considered an undesirable position, especially because it is one where the sexual needs of the slave are often ignored. At times, the kajirae may be loaned to city guards, workers or male slaves. But, this is not the norm. Because of this deprivation, state slaves often bring in a good price when sold to a private party. 

Male work slaves are usually used on merchant ships, mines, great farms or as porters on wharves. Within the cities, male work slaves are commonly chained together while they work. A slave work chain might have up to one hundred men on it.

Within a city, male slaves will perform either heavy work or unpleasant tasks, such as emptying the city’s waste vats. Male slaves though will not be used for road construction, siege works, raising walls, or the construction of public buildings. Those tasks are reserved for free men. 

There are two groups of free men that often do such types of work: the free gang and the free chain. A free gang consists of men, skilled or semi-skilled, who work under a general contractor. The contractor rents the services of these men to various cities.

The gang may travel around in wagons, working in numerous different locations. A free chain consists of criminals. Instead of going to prison, the men are “sold” to the owner of the free chain. For the length of their prison sentence, the men must work for the free chain. As the men are obtained cheaply, the chain can be rented out inexpensively.

These men are kept under strict discipline and the work master does have the legal right to kill the prisoners. Some of the work masters have a lengthy series of rules for the men on the free chain.

If they violate any of the rules, then time will be added onto their sentences. Less scrupulous work masters ensure that such men are always guilty of some infraction, thus guaranteeing a longer sentence. 

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The City-State – City Buildings

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Thousands of different buildings will exist in each city and this scroll will not address every type of possible building. It will address many of the different buildings that were mentioned within the novels. Such information will give you a better understanding of the composition of a Gorean city, including its differences from the cities of Earth. 

As many Goreans are illiterate, many of these buildings need a way to identify their function to such individuals. Thus, they often hang signs outside their buildings with pictures to identify the type of business. For example, a sign may have a paga goblet, thus indicating a paga tavern. A sign might have a hammer and anvil to indicate a Metal Worker, or a needle and thread to indicate a Clothworker. The exact name of the establishment is more likely to be known through word of mouth. 

Central Cylinder: The largest cylinder within a city is most often its Central Cylinder, so large that it nearly forms its own community. The cylinder commonly has a huge entrance, large enough for a number of tharlarion to enter side by side. This cylinder includes the bureaus and agencies that help run the city. The city ruler also resides here and has his offices here as well. The High Council will have offices and meet in this cylinder. This meeting room may be referred to as the Chamber of the Council. In the Chamber, Council members will sit on stone benches, separated into five tiers. The wall behind each tier is painted a color to match the High Caste that sits on that tier. The highest Caste, the Initiates, has the bottommost tier. In the center of the room will be a throne for the city leader. No Council member or visitor is permitted to be armed within this room. Other city Councils are also likely to have offices and meet in the Central Cylinder as well. This Cylinder is likely to be located close to the middle of the city and often very large and important streets lead to it. 

Caste Cylinders: The books mention specific cylinders exist in some cities for the High Castes of Initiates, Physicians and Warriors. Little details are given on these cylinders though it does appear that they include dormitories for caste members, offices, training areas and more. It would seem logical that such cylinders also exist for the Scribe and Builders Castes, the remaining two High Castes. It is less certain if individual cylinders would exist for any of the Low Castes. If so, they would likely be for the more important Low Castes within a city such as the Merchant Caste. 

Baths: A number of cities contain private or public baths, similar to the baths of ancient Rome. Gorean baths are often important social centers. Most of them are public and you just pay a small fee for entrance. They are segregated by sex so that free men and women do not use the same baths at the same time. But, slaves of the opposite sex do not face such segregation. Both female and male slaves work in the baths, the male slaves often being the ones who clean the baths. Bath girls may be rented by a man similar to the use of a paga kajira. Weapons are generally not permitted within the baths. The larger and more encompassing baths will include many additional rooms and services such as massage rooms, steam rooms, exercise yards, recreational gardens, art galleries, strolling lanes, merchant markets, physicians, reading rooms, and music rooms. 

Brewery/Distillery: Many cities will contain breweries and/or distilleries to make their own paga, wine or other alcoholic beverages. Each city’s products will have their own distinctive taste. For example, diverse cities such as Ar, Tyros, Ko-ro-ba, Helmutsport, Anango, and Tharna all brew their own brands of paga. Ta wine is not restricted to Cos. Other cities actually create their own Ta wines though Cosian Ta wine is still considered the best. 

Brothel: Some cities contain brothels and such brothels also vary considerably. Some are simply places one goes for sex with slaves. Others bear little difference to a paga tavern. The cost for entry into a brothel may be as little as a tarsk bit or as expensive as several gold tarns. Brothels are not very popular on Gor, paga taverns being the general preference. Some people mistakenly believe that free women willingly work as prostitutes in some of these brothels but the books do not state that. The books do mention that some men, as punishment or a joke, might capture a free woman, keeping her bound and gagged, and then force her to work for a night in a brothel. The next morning, the poor women would be set free, naked, onto the streets. Such women are not willing prostitutes. 

Carnarium: The plural form of this word is carnarii. These are refuse pits, kept outside the city walls. They are for the dumping of waste and garbage from the cities. Male slaves usually collect the garbage from within the cities and carry it to the carnarii. Certain companies exist that provide these slaves to a city. It is unknown what is ultimately done with these refuse pits. They may simply be buried in time or there may be methods used to eliminate the refuse. 

Cylinder of Documents: In some cities, this cylinder would be a place where legal and official documents are kept. It is assumed that this Cylinder is well protected against the threat of fire as such a disaster could devastate those city records. 

Cylinder of Justice: This cylinder would be the location for the civil legal authorities within a city. There is also the possibility that the civil authorities would share this cylinder with the Initiates who would use it for their own legal proceedings. Prisoners might be kept here, especially those awaiting trials. Trials, before judges and/or juries, would be held here. Court documents and legal scrolls may also be maintained here. Executions, mutilations and other punishments might also be enacted in this cylinder. For example, in Ar the top of their Cylinder of Justice contains a fifty-foot high impaling spear. 

Inn: Inns are not common on Gor though a few exist in most cities. An inn is a place where someone can rent a room for a night. Visiting merchants, foreign delegates and certain other travelers have need of such rooms. You cannot rent a room at a paga tavern. An inn may also provide food and drink with your room. The average price for an inn room, including food and paga, is about two to three copper tarsks a night. Some inns let you share a common lodging room with other visitors while the wealthier travelers will obtain their own private room. Such wealthy men may also bring their own food or even their own cooks. 

Paga Tavern/Café: A paga tavern is a combination bar, restaurant and brothel. In the southern hemisphere, cafes often take the place of paga taverns but are essentially the same type of entity. Paga taverns exist primarily for the pleasure of men, but such pleasures range widely. Men go there to relax or be sociable. They often play Kaissa there. Some taverns even have special tables with a Kaissa board inlaid on the table. Men may wish to watch slave dances or other men duel in the sands. It is also a place where men can learn a lot about a city and hear the latest news. A new visitor to a city can learn much at a paga tavern about his new surroundings. A paga tavern is much more than just a place where men go to enjoy kajirae. Certain paga taverns do permit free women, and even children, to visit. Such establishments are obviously run much more modestly than a normal paga tavern. 

For more information, see Scroll #8, Paga Taverns.

Casino: Some paga taverns and cafes may have gaming tables for gambling. It is unclear if any businesses exist strictly for gambling, such as a casino. It would be possible and even likely due to many Goreans enjoying games of chance and gambling. 

Insula: The plural form of this word is insulae (an ancient Roman term). Insulae are tenements, rentable apartments. They differ from inns in a few ways. Insulae are often rented for long terms than inns. Inns are also maintained in better condition. Insulae are considered to be cheap and quick to construct. They are built of wood and brick and are infamous for their proneness to fire problems. Because of this, insulae often can not obtain fire insurance. Room ceilings are often low, allowing the insulae to stack additional levels in less space. City laws often limit how high these insulae may be so space is at a premium. Stairways are also narrow, helping to conserve space. At the bottom of the stairs is a central vat for waste. The insulae residents will pour their own waste pots into this central area. Eventually the vat will be taken to the carnarii. By law, the central vat must remain covered. This is not always done. In addition, some of the lazier insulae occupants are not too careful in ensuring that all of their individual waste pots gets into the central vat thus this can be a disgusting area. Insulae often also have poor ventilation. Some insulae do not permit animals or slaves to be housed there while others have either basement kennels or slave rings in a yard. Insulae are not comfortable places to live but their cheapness is attractive. Most charge only a tarsk bit a night and they are popular for secret affairs and rendezvous. 

Public Nurseries: These buildings are where very young children are educated. The basics of the First or Second Knowledge will be instilled here, dependent on the Caste of the children. The basics will be disseminated in story form to the children. 

Library: Most cities have a library where thousands of scrolls are kept, all organized and catalogued by members of the Scribes Caste. These libraries are open to all castes, both High and Low. The libraries do not restrict information to the Low Castes. A Low Caste person could actually learn the truths of the Second Knowledge within a library. But, with illiteracy being very common, especially with the Low Castes, few such persons would ever learn those truths. 

Palestra: The plural form of this word is palestrae (an ancient Roman term). These are basically gymnasiums for men. A city will often contain several different palestrae and these different palestrae will sometimes compete against each other. They rarely compete against palestrae from other cities. At these competitions, they will engage in various events such as hurling a stone (similar to a shot put), hurling a javelin both for distance and accuracy, various running races, high jumping and wrestling. These competitions resemble the ancient Greek Olympics in some ways. Contestants will generally be separated into age brackets. Winners will receive prizes, often wool ribbons of varied colors. The ultimate champion of the tournament will often receive a crown of Tur tree leaves, like a laurel wreath. 

Gladiatorial Arena: Some cities enjoy gladiatorial combat, similar to the ancient Romans, and have a special arena for this entertainment. For example, Ar has a Stadium of Blades for such battles. Most of the arena combats are to the death. Thus, most of the combatants are slaves, criminals or poor mercenaries. Members of the Warrior Caste rarely enter the arenas. Successful arena combatants can win money or even their freedom. These combats are very popular with the Low Castes so men trying to earn the support of the people will host arena games. Some men, involved in pending litigation, may even host a game to help induce their jury to side with them. The games can be expensive so they are most often hosted by Merchants, Initiates, Ubars, and Administrators. 

There is much variety in these arena combats. Men will battle with a wide assortment of weapons. They may battle each other or vicious animals such as larls and sleen. Both Outlaw of Gor and Assassin of Gor discuss some of the different types of combats that might be fought. Even slave girls might be forced to battle in the arenas, armed with steel claws attached to their hands. Some arenas might even be flooded to enact a sea battle. At this time, the water would also be filled with marine predators. As these gladiatorial games can be a major business, some cities contain training schools to educate such combatants. 

Tarn Racing Stadium: Some cities enjoy tarn racing, similar to the chariot races of the ancient Romans, and have a special stadium for this entertainment. For example, Ar has a Stadium of Tarns, for such races. Tarn racing is generally more popular than gladiatorial combats and the audiences for each event are often quite dissimilar. Tarn racing teams are divided into factions, often denoted by specific colors. For example, in Ar there were factions divided into blue, orange, green, red, gold, yellow, silver and steel. Racing fans commonly wear a patch on these clothes to indicate the faction color they support. New factions can be created but it is an expensive and risky venture. Racing rules indicate that a new faction must win a significant portion of races during two racing seasons or lose their ability to remain a faction. 

A tarn racing stadium will include not only a racing track but will also contain cylinders holding tarn cots, offices and dormitories of the various factions. Special racing tarns are used for these events. They are very light birds, cannot hold much weight and lack the stamina of other tarns. Thus riders generally need to be small men, like Earth jockeys. Racing tarns also have broader and shorter wings than other tarns and this permits them to make a more rapid take-offs and maneuver better within close quarters. Though permitted, few racers would use any other type of tarn in the races except for racing tarns. The typical tarn racing track is an open padded ring suspended over a net. The track is one pasang long is is shaped like a rectangle with rounded ends. The two straight sides are about 1700 feet long and the rounded corners are about 150 feet wide. The track is divided by twelve rings, each hung from a supporting tower. The six rings on the straight sides are rectangularly shaped. The six rings in the corners are round. Wooden tarn heads, kept in the middle area enclosed by the track, are used to make the number of laps that have been completed. The tarns start on perches and must race through the rings along the path of the track. 

Tharlarion Racing Stadium: Some cities, especially in areas where the domestication of the tarn does not exist or is much rare, enjoy tharlarion races. The city of Venna is famed for its races. Special racing tharlarions are bred for this purpose and they are commomly larger and more agile than normal saddle tharlarion but smaller than draft or war tharlarions. Some famous breeds of racing tharlarion include the Venetzia, Torarii and Thalonian. 

Slave Pens: Both public and private slave pens exist in most cities. They are essentially a place to board your slaves when you must leave the city for a time and you do not want to be accompanied by your slaves. The private pens are considered better, by owners and slaves, though they do cost more. The private pens may also be able to train your slave while you are away for an additional fee. 

Slave Lockers: In some cities, there are slave lockers where an owner can keep his slave for a temporary time. The idea is similar to the lockers you see in Earth gymnasiums, bus depots, etc. An owner places a coin in a slot, often a tarsk bit, and receives a key to a specific locker. He then places the slave in the locker. The door of the locker is perforated so the girl can receive air. These lockers may be stacked together. Obviously a girl cannot be left for too long in these lockers as she has no food or water. 

Slaver Houses: Each city will contain a number of Slaver Houses, complexes containing a multitude of buildings and employees engaged in the business of slavery. The larger Houses will contain such facilities as baths, kitchen, laundry, commissaries, storerooms, medical facilities, library, records room, wardrobe and jewelry chambers, tarncots, training rooms, recreation rooms, pens, kennels, chambers for processing, private sales rooms, and offices and quarters for staff including Metal Workers, Bakers, Cosmeticians, Bleachers, Dyers, Weavers, and Leather Workers. In some Slaver Houses, any free woman who visits must possess a special license. They must also remain in the company of a free man who is responsible for her. Part of the rationale for this is to prevent a slave from trying to escape by pretending to be a free woman. An additional reason is to protect the sensibilities of the free woman and prevent her from seeing certain aspects of the Slaver House which free women are considered better off not knowing. 

Theaters: Most cities will have one or more stages for theater productions, and some of these stages may be quite elaborate. The types of theater on Gor vary from sophisticated comedies and serious dramas to low comedy, burlesque, farce and mime. Many roles are masked. In the more sophisticated dramas, all of the parts are played by men as women are not permitted on the stage. It is believed that the voices of women do not carry as well as a man. But, as most theaters have excellent acoustics and some masks have sound amplifiers, this is not a real problem. In the lesser forms of theater, women are permitted to take on roles though primarily slaves are used. Most theater seating, except for certain privileged sections, is not reserved in advance. You simply show up on the night of the performance and sit in any available seat. In the lower forms of theater, audience participation, comments and criticisms are encouraged. One of the most famous theaters on Gor is in the city of Ar. The Theater of Pentilicus Tallux is a vast structure and its stage could easily hold one thousand actors. 

Temples: Initiates exist in nearly all Gorean cities and thus there is at least one temple to the Priest-Kings within each city. Temple styles vary widely, some being quite ornate and luxurious while others are very simple. Temples are constructed so that they are oriented to the Sardar Mountains, the home of the Priest-Kings. Temples do not contain chairs or benches, except for the Initiates, as Goreans are supposed to stand during religious services. Weapons are not permitted within the temples. A white rail divides the temple into two main areas. One area is for the worshippers and attendees to stand in. The other area is a sacred section for only the Initiates and anyone who has been specially anointed. At the altar area, there will likely be a depiction of the symbol of the Priest-Kings, a large golden circle. There are no actual representations of the Priest-Kings as they is considered blasphemous. Depending on the wealth of the temple, the symbol may or may not be an actual circle of gold. Some temples will also have choirs of young boys, and these boys stand outside the white rail. The boys are bald and have been castrated so that they will have lovely soprano voices. 

Tarn Cot: These are buildings or structures to house tarns. Numerous buildings might possess steel projections on their exterior walls that act as perches for tarns but that is generally a temporary measure. Long term boarding is commonly done with tarn cots. Tarn cots vary in their construction and may be small or very large. Some cots are simply wire cages where the tarn is locked to a perch. Other cots fill large cylinders and have hundreds of perches on the walls. Again, the birds are commonly locked to the perches. The roof may have a portal that can open and close and allow the birds access to the sky. When the portal is closed, the tarns are sometimes allowed the fredom to fly around the interior of the cylinder. 

Homes: The typical Gorean home is a simple place, without the clutter of a lot of furniture. The rooms are often circular rooms and possess about a seven-foot ceiling. Any windows are very narrow, so that a man cannot pass through them. Most entry doors will have locks, generally highly ornate and set into the center of the door. Spiral staircases are common in multi-level dwellings. The floor may be covered with rugs, furs or even tiles. If the house contains a garden or courtyard, it will commonly be located within the cylinder and not outside of it. Some private homes may contain a keep, constructed for personal defense. Such a keep is generally a round, stone tower. It will contain adequate supplies of food and water to withstand a short siege. The more wealthy or important the residents, then the more secure the keep will be constructed. Obviously wealthy Goreans live more luxurious lives. Their homes contain more artwork, fancy rugs, elaborate furniture and much more. Some wealthy Gorean men have a Pleasure Garden within their homes, a special residential area for their slaves. This would be like an Earth harem. Though the slaves there are often pampered with many luxuries, it can be a lonely life, especially if you are one of many slaves in that Pleasure Garden. Such a kajira may not see her owner for weeks if not months at a time. Not all Goreans own their own homes. Some live in dormitories within their Caste cylinders such as the Warrior or Initiate Castes. Others rent rooms in insulae, especially those with limited income. 

Merchant Shops: A myriad of different merchant shops will exist in each city. There are few stores though that sell general items. For the most part, stores specialize in certain items. Though that may be more time consuming than being able to shop in a single store, many cities congregate the various shops together and/or have public markets. Most items are created very close to where they are sold. This allows merchants to better examine the quality of the products they sell. Few shops have windows and they are commonly either open to the street or have counters open to the street. At night, shutters will be closed and locked to protect the store. The more expensive stores will not be open to the street. Instead, there will be a door leading through the store into an inner courtyard where the wares will be displayed. Haggling is the order of business in the markets as the prices are not fixed. Thus, markets are noisy and fun places, busy with the constant hustle of commerce. Slaves may visit merchant shops but if they are unaccompanied by a free person, they must wait until all the free patrons have been waited upon. 

Items manufactured within a city, and considered to be worthy, may be stamped with the official city seal to authenticate the origin of the goods. For example, the goods of Ar are considered to be of excellent worth so that the seal of Ar is important to many. Other cities are known for the quality of specific products so that their city seal is important on those items. But, these stamps can and are sometimes forged so a buyer must be careful of which Merchant he buys from. 

Some of the Caste types that own Merchant shops in a city may include Bakers, Bleachers, Cloth Worker, Cosmeticians, Dyers, Leather Workers, Metal Workers (including precious metals like silver and gold), Potters, Rug Makers, Saddle Makers, Tarn Keepers, Tharlarion Keeper, Vintners, Weavers. Other craftsmen with shops might include carvers, varnishers, table makers, gem cutters, jewelers, carders, tanners, makers of slippers, toolers of leather, glaziers, and weapon smiths. There might also be curio shops that sell a variety of unique and different items. You will also find produce markets, selling a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and other food items. 

Grain Cylinders: Cities often have large storage cylinders for grain, especially to protect against the possibility of a siege. 

Siege Reservoirs: These large cylinders contain stores of fresh water. Like the Grain Cylinders, Siege Reservoirs are a defense against the possibility of siege. 

Public Kitchens: There are no “restaurants” on Gor as we know them. People may get food at a paga tavern or inn. There are also public kitchens where people can go to eat though these are more functional than social places. 

Public Laundry: This city service is provided to any citizen and slaves work at this facility. Free women generally have to do very little work at home unless they want to. Such public facilities allow them to have the work done by slaves. 

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The City-State – Bridges

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Many Gorean cities possess a multitude of tall cylinders, joined by numerous bridges. Thus, the cities become in essence tiered cities, divided into several levels. The higher levels are generally set aside for the High Castes and the wealthy.

The bridges are very colorful and beautiful. Most of these bridges also do not possess safety rails and can be very narrow, some only three feet wide. When the highest bridges may be one thousand feet high or greater, this can pose an intimidating situation. 

“Let those who fear to walk the high bridges not walk the high bridges.”

Outlaw of Gor, p.248

The bridges also serve a purpose in making it easier to defend the city. By blocking off a bridge or two, you can isolate cylinders and limit the movement ability of invaders. 

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The City-State – City Districts

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Certain sections of the city make up specific districts or neighbourhoods. These areas are often united by common businesses or types of neighbourhoods. Two common districts that exist in many cities are the Street of Brands and the Street of Coins.

Despite being known as “streets” these most often refer to an entire district.

The Street of Brands is the merchant area concerned with the institution of slavery. Slaves, slavery equipment and any other slavery related item can be obtained in this district.

The Street of Coins is the district where various forms of banking occur such as money changing and loans.

Other districts might be residential areas, maybe very poor areas or very rich ones. Cities sometimes have rather markedly different districts very close to one another.

For instance, some expensive paga taverns may be near an area of sleazy insulae and tarsk-bit brothels. 

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The City-State – City Streets

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

The length, width and makeup of streets within a city will vary considerably. Street surfaces are commonly either dirt or cobblestone. Most streets do not have a sidewalk or curb. They often slope gently from each side to a central gutter. Some streets are very wide while others are too narrow for a wagon to travel down. Many city streets do not have an official name.

They thus often acquire unofficial names and different people may know a street by different names. A street might be named according to who lives or works on the street. It might also acquire its name from a famous incident that occurred on that street. A long street might be known by different names at different points on the street. This makes it difficult for strangers to travel around in a city.

Thus, they must ask directions to locate a certain street. People generally will only ask someone of their own sex for directions. Free women would not ask questions of a strange man and also would not answer the questions of such a man. Slaves though, of either sex, may be asked concerning directions.

When streets do have official names, a street sign will commonly be painted onto a building corner, a few feet above the ground. Street signs are not placed onto poles. In some cities, it is illegal for non-citizens to make maps of a city or transport a map out of the city. 

City streets are often kept very clean, usually cleaned once a week. Many streets are cleaned by the residents of the buildings facing the street. They are responsible for the maintenance of their own street. The larger streets, plaza and squares are maintained by state slaves.

Where the streets are too narrow for wagons, porters or carts must be used to transport goods to the buildings in those areas. On other streets, the use of wagons is limited to certain times, generally at night and the early morning. This is done so not to interfere with foot traffic during the day.

The narrow streets, because of the closeness of the buildings, are generally kept in shadows during the day. At night, many small streets are dark. Some of the major thoroughfares may be lit by tharlarion-oil lamps or torches, maintained by the state.

Other streets may be lit, but if so, are maintained by the residents of the buildings on those streets, similar to the responsibility for cleaning the streets. Many people, traveling at night, will carry their own torches or lamps. 

The largest streets in a city are often adorned with trees, plants, flowers, fountains, artwork and more. They are made to be attractive as Goreans love beauty. Most city fountains have two basins, an upper and lower one.

Any resident may gather or drink water from these fountains but there is a restriction over who can use the upper basin. The upper basin, often the deeper of the two basins, is restricted to free people only. The lower basin is for slaves and animals.

On many streets, there will also be tharlarion or slave rings, to tether such beasts while the owner wanders the city. There are public gardens in many cities, and they are often maintained so that they are in bloom all year round. Such gardens will have numerous paths winding through the lush vegetation, some providing more private and intimate areas. 

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Written by Ubar Luther in Gor-Now.net

©2020 by Azrael Phoenix

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The City-State – City Walls and Gates

This is part of the work on the City-State Organisation in Gor

Nearly all of the cities of Gor are walled cities, walled to protect the city from attack. The height, thickness and number of the walls will vary from city to city. For example, the city walls of Ar might be thought to be the grandest of walls of any city on Gor. Ar has two exterior walls. The outer wall is about three hundred feet high and the interior wall, about sixty feet away from the outer wall, is about four hundred feet high.

Each wall is thick enough so that six tharlarion wagons, side by side, could pass down the wall. In addition, there is a guard tower spaced about every fifty yards on the wall. The walls of Ar and Ko-ro-ba are painted white. This is done so that the sun’s glare will reflect off the walls and make it more difficult for attackers to see. At night, beacon fires will be lit on the walls to serve as markers for returning tarnsmen. 

Each city will have a number of gates that provide entrance into the city, the exact number varying city to city. Most cities have at least one, though sometimes more, sun gates. A sun gate is open only from dawn to dusk. At night, it is much more difficult to enter or exit a city.

Some cities do have night gates for such evening entrances and exits though such gates are scrutinized carefully. Some cities may also have additional gates such as secret gates or restricted gates. For example, Ar has about forty public gates and an additional number of other gates. There is also a secret entrance into Ar through a Dar-Kosis pit outside of the city. 

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Written by Ubar Luther in Gor-Now.net

©2020 by Azrael Phoenix

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