Peircing the fog surrounding Gor

  • Another writing from a long time Gorean kajira. I think it is good to post the views from the female perspective.  Re-posted with permission of the Author.

    Amidst the buffet of lifestyles currently represented, here are a few of the spices that comprise a Gorean world, written by michelle, kajira of William of Houston.

    What is it exactly that makes what one is doing more or less real? Is it common belief - the public majority? Is it a history and familiarity of doing a particular thing, or a library of books pertaining to it? Is it growing a conscience (and a nose to boot, a la Pinocchio), or maybe the love of another (as with the cute and fuzzy The Velveteen Rabbit)? Or is it, perhaps, something else entirely? Something a bit more … esoteric? A bit more personal, frightening, dangerous even? For this girl, every self-decided reality takes its first breath within her … body, mind and soul; and requires belief, effort, self-discipline, dedication and determination in equal doses to protect it in the presence of nonbelievers and naysayers. To further complicate things, reality is a rather temporal concept, as it is fundamentally an individual’s perception based on their learned knowledge and personal experiences up to and including this moment in time. Thus reality is perpetually a work in progress, for one’s next breath may hold a glittering morsel of truth never before considered, which may challenge the very essence of what was previously understood or accepted as real, leading to the evolution of a new reality. As the Talmud says, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.” If we take this as truth, as reality, then this girl’s belief that her Gorean life is real, is at least as fundamentally valid (to her, if no one else) as it is not real to those individuals who are anti-Gor and/or anti-John Norman, or simply don’t even know what either of them truly are … With one singular caveat – she has put time, effort, study, attention and conviction into her reality, how much of these have the naysayers provided to create their simple truth that Gor is less real than their reality? Hopefully, others put their best efforts into crystallizing their own truths. Perhaps, if we all focused on our own truths, and accepted the realities of others as their truths, we might land somewhere closer to a universal reality.

    Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” As the Gorean lifestyle has taken the stage in this little corner of Fetlife this week (, this girl, silly or no, felt compelled to share a few select slices of what it actually means to be Gorean, at least to her. Why would she wish to do this? The answer is two-fold: 1) she has read the original 25 books of the “Norman invasion” (which were written prior to a somewhat lengthy break before being followed by another 9 books to date; these now residing at the top of her reading list); and, perhaps more importantly, 2) she has and continues to live as a kajira in a Gorean relationship 24/7 since October of 2009, just a breath or two longer than 7 years … and no itching yet, imagine that! (Note to kajira: keep two bottles of Calamine lotion at arms reach should Master even begin to lift a hand to scratch!)

    By nature this girl is an avid researcher, as a matter of fact, it’s one of her more self-appreciated talents, as it helps keep coffee in the canister and scallops on the table. Point in case, her entry into the fetish scene in Houston was by no stretch of the imagination “accidental”; it was, in fact, a research project – a hands-on investigational study for a series of books she is currently writing. Yes, she is thankful that she does in fact appear to have at least half a brain, and yes, her style of research often leads to dirty hands, which, in this case, translates to the crack of a whip, a life built around dominance and submission, restraints at each bedpost, and, yes, from time-to-time, a bit of a mess to clean up. Thank God for Bounty and band-aids!

    Well, seven years and three paragraphs later, her experiences in this lifestyle have enabled her to identify what she sees as a few key differences between the public face of Gor and some of the other, much more common, and/or commonly-accepted, hence publicly perceived as more “real” kinks prevalent in the Houston community today. For what it’s worth, here they are. Do please keep in mind that this girl has every confidence that you (the reader), on the other hand, most definitely do have at least half a brain, if not a synapse or two above and beyond, and thus, will keep what you like and simply toss the rest. Bravo! That is as it should be. This is not a lesson, but a sharing of one girl’s findings along this wonderful journey. Having said that, she will add one cautionary note … don’t be surprised if one dark night many moons from now you find yourself chewing on some of what you so quickly tossed away today. Some things tend to slip down smoothly from our first introduction and leave us all tingly and begging for more, like blackberries dipped in warm chocolate, a Pennsylvania Dutch (best Eggnog ever) or a filet mignon grilled to perfection (rare, of course). Others can be an acquired taste, they may even bite back at first, like a Ketel One martini (yes, shaken not stirred, and olives, not onions, please), habanero peppers, or that cracking whip … but damn if sometimes we don’t just find ourselves craving exactly that which bites back hardest!

    Difference #1: Bubbles

    Due to popular interest, lifestyle parties are often very well attended, despite, or perhaps rather sadly fostered by, Fifty Shades and our dear, troubled Mr. Gray. Conversely, Gorean events are typically much smaller in scale, despite the plethora of interplanetary adventures of one overwhelmingly masterful Tarl Cabot, formerly of Earth.

    However, while this girl enjoys both types of events, they are quite simply not cut from the same length of fabric. This girl has found Lifestyle parties to be positively filled with bright shiny bubbles, each bubble safely, almost invisibly enveloping a couple or single individual. The only time this transparent membrane appears to be truly breached, is when individuals in two separate bubbles decide to cautiously slip a hand out to negotiate a quick “handshake” for a scene. If successful, this negotiation creates a new, conjoined but temporal “scene” bubble, which the two share for the duration of their scene, before slipping quietly back into their own comfortable, familiar, and safe glass enclosures. Minimal contact. Minimal risk. Pain on demand. Pre-arranged dominance & submission. Finite. Quick, clean, in-and-out/limited-scope BDSM. Though, perhaps a bit sterile to most Goreans, it seems to at least temporarily, if not somewhat more completely, satisfy the hungers of the majority of lifestyle participants.

    Gorean events, on the other hand, are almost entirely bubble-free. Only when a guest list happens to include one or more non-Gorean-identifying individuals do bubbles rear their bald shiny heads. Consequently, Gorean fetes, by mere definition, are more intimate, less insular engagements. Even a dinner party is celebratory in nature – for each moment of the Gorean lifestyle is exactly that, a celebration of life, of love, of dominance and submission, of virile masculinity and sensual femininity. The free men interact with one another more as brothers, or at least as long-standing close companions; something more akin to a group of high school or college boys joking around in the gym or at lunch, but without all the teenage angst, judgement, isolation, and competition. These men are comfortable and confident with the masters they know themselves as, or are quickly finding themselves to be, and they revel in sharing that most invigorating, rewarding, and powerful knowledge with their fellow Gorean free men. Gorean masters dominate and take pleasure from all kajirae as they will, with a captivating ease, a demanding hunger and a graceful confidence and patience that emanates from their innermost selves.

    Provided they adhere to the host’s customs, these masters do just about anything they wish to any girl they wish at any time they wish; the guidelines are most often quite simplistic: no insertion … well, at least during meals. As for the slave girls, well, they aren’t allowed to so much as hold a bottle of bubbles, much less climb into one. For that matter, they are typically not allowed to stay in much of anything, clothing or otherwise, besides the arms (or chains) of a free man, a string of bells (used to both enhance the senses and enable her master to keep an easy tab on where she is at every given moment), and slave silks, which do little more than enhance the girls’ femininity as well as her relative nakedness. Anyone may touch them, male or female, dominant or submissive, free person or slave. Period. Kajirae must address all free men as Master, and all free women or first girls as Mistress; and a kajira may occasionally be required to speak of herself in third person, particularly while in training, being disciplined, or when serving. In addition, every kajira is expected to please and serve all who are free, immediately after she first serves her own master, of course. Thus, it follows quite naturally that Gorean slaves will rarely, if ever, balk or make catty or disparaging remarks about how they may have been treated, spoken to, or handled by others, particularly free people. This is another key defining mark of a Gorean slave versus other submissive individuals in the lifestyle.

    Thus, Gorean events are rather straightforward, and are fundamentally characterized by a guest list of unguarded, unshielded, non- (or at least much less) judgmental individuals. It’s a bit difficult (much less naïve) to carry preconceived prejudices with you when you yourself are so open, so self-decidedly armor-less, and vulnerable compared to other lifestylers of your particular class (e.g., master or slave, dominant or submissive, top or bottom, daddy or little girl, owner or pet,…). There is quite simply, no playing bumper bubbles, no sticky residue, just you, body and soul, clothed or no, stripped naked of guilt, inhibition, hesitation, and judgement, for all the world, or at least those present, to see through to the very heart of, and to enjoy, if not love.

    Difference #2: Safety nets

    Lifestyle events can positively overflow with discussions of safety, after-care, play acting, environmental, psychological and social issues, and negotiations & contracts. In fact, most of the scheduled discussions in the greater Houston area tend to fall into one of these categories, each of which serves as a safety net in one sense or another.

    However, in the Gorean community, the singular affirmation that a girl sees herself as a kajira, and will serve a given free man (and, by extension, or at a minimum by her master’s demand, all free men) as a kajira, is all it takes to enter this world. Moreover, it is also more than sufficient to keep her there the rest of her days. The night man of Hotel California has nothing on Gorean masters! They are always quick to receive new kajirae. However, the negotiations of a Gorean slavery take place exactly once for any given kajira; for in the very breath in which she agrees she is a Gorean slave, she releases every trace of ownership of all her earthly possessions, as well as of her own being, for the rest of time. Thus, Gorean slavery is, by its very definition, a one-way ticket; there is no disembarking platform for the embonded kajira, no secret escape hatch, no eject button, not even a bathroom break. This is a true, limitless, all-encompassing total power exchange that is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through every breath of every day for the rest of her life. With or without a master, branded (as this girl is) or no, she will always be a kajira, albeit perhaps a rather lonely one, as he will forever be a master, with or without his chosen kajira(e). One does not define the other, rather they create a sensual synergy, each complementing the other.

    Consequently, the Gorean girl may only choose to dawdle, balk, or bicker if she intends to court her master’s whip, quirt, or other disciplinary instrument of preference. Not unheard of, but not particularly wise either. Case in point would be that silly kajira who rather foolishly chooses to act troublesome in the middle of an open-air bar at an upscale resort in Cancun, merely to find her hands thrust forward on the bar, as her master jerks her skirt up (mind you, Gorean girls are often allowed no nether closer under said skirt) and proceeds to rather generously educate her in Gorean social etiquette with his belt to the shock and awe of all those standing around. Not that this girl has any personal knowledge of just such an event having occurred mind you! But, damn, when that salt air cuts across those little open cuts, sure makes for a hard lesson not to learn and remember! Oh, and be sure to remember to thank the bartender as he hands you that glass of ice water!

    Clearly, punishment for a recalcitrant slave is not by any stretch of the imagination anything remotely similar to “playtime”. Therefore, unlike other kinksters out there, while a kajira may play, tease and taunt her master, and is often encouraged to do so, it is rare for her to blatantly disobey or cause a scene that would bring unwanted negative attention upon her master.

    Somewhat paradoxically, it is precisely through this level of unadultered, ubiquitous slavery that the Gorean girl is truly set free … free to lead a life uncluttered with the busyness of the day, and the complexities of the modern world ever waiting just outside the front door … free to be truly, utterly and entirely the feminine, soft, pleasing, and yielding pleasure slave she is and so wants to continue to be.

    Difference #3: Protocol shmotocol

    Protocol is an integral component of the Gorean lifestyle, and one which often brings the most disdain from non-Goreans in or out of the lifestyle. Perhaps this is because the protocols inherent to Goreans are much more biologically-based than with other “kinks”. Kajirae are expected to be soft, feminine, instantly pleasing, completely obedient and docile.

    It seems to be rather discomforting to those BDSMers who request permission to hug a slave when they are, more often than not, given permission by the girl’s master before they ever finish the question. There is no need to ask. She is a slave, period. Meaning, she is a slave to all free people … she is to see to her master’s needs first and foremost, but she is to see to the needs of all free people the moment her master is satisfied with her service.

    As she is a slave, she makes no decisions regarding finances, does not handle money, engages only in the activities her master has selected, or has approved, and speaks to others only when permitted. The tricky part here is that masters delight in owning highly intelligent, sensitive slaves. Intelligence fosters lively discussions, and often enhances a girl’s interest and ability in learning her master’s subtle cues, enabling her to please him in ways he perhaps has yet to discover he has developed a hunger for. She may be praised or lashed for this, depending on the context, his mood, and timing. A kajira’s innate sensitivity, on the other hand, provides her master with an endless array of opportunities to entice her, to stimulate her senses, to test her limits (if not stretch them almost beyond belief), to tease her, to humiliate her, and, of course, to arouse her. What’s not to love?

    In addition, also in contrast to other lifestyles, as kajirae are expected to be eternally feminine, they are usually encouraged to touch their masters freely and frequently, as well as other Gorean free men who may be present. Similarly, rather than avoiding meeting the eyes of their masters, kajirae are most often required to meet their masters’ gaze. Gorean men feed on the open vulnerability of their slaves, and drink from this cup each and every time they look down into the eyes of their girl(s).

    Difference #4: Reality-check

    The possibility of living the lifestyle 24/7 can prove quite difficult, particularly in vanilla settings, for most people in the scene, including littles, pets, even BDSMers. This is significantly less true for Goreans. As this lifestyle is fundamentally based on the male dominant / female submissive dynamic, slight modifications in protocol can facilitate Goreans slipping in and out of vanilla society fairly unobtrusively, and almost seamlessly. For example, one of the simplest protocols a kajira follows day in and day out is to take a sip only while keeping both hands on the glass or bowl. This is one of the easiest protocols to maintain in vanilla society, particularly if she is allowed to “blend in” a bit more easily by using a glass rather than a bowl. A kajira may also perform drink service to perfection, albeit usually seated in a chair at a restaurant rather than kneeling on the floor, as is expected in all non-vanilla settings ... although even this can prove manageable in dimly lit and/or sparsely attended restaurants and venues. When menus are offered, it is quite inoffensive for a girl to simply leave hers resting on the table, as her master will, of course, be selecting and ordering all food and drink, so that steak or scallops this girl mentioned earlier (much less the shaken-not-stirred martini!), will only pass through her lips should her master wish it to do so. A Gorean master may even go so far as to request only one plate at a restaurant, deeming it to be “more romantic”, and then follow that by feeding morsels to his slave without so much as raising a single eyebrow, and often getting naively knowing looks of “oh, how sweet”. If they only knew that Gorean slaves are more often than not allowed food only from their master’s hand!

    Difference #5: Sex 101

    One of the most striking characteristics of a Gorean relationship is the sheer magnitude and depth of sensuality and intimacy that fills every moment of the day. Simply put, Goreans wear their sensuality, their strength or softness, and their shared intimacy as gracefully and naturally as most others wear their birthday suit. Thus, Gorean foreplay quite literally begins the moment the first rays of light whisper across one’s eyelids, simmer (patiently or otherwise) throughout the day, and spiral to peaks of staggering heights as dawn gives way ever so slowly to dusk, and dusk to dawn.

    Difference #6: Look Mom, no hands!

    Boys and their toys … this is a pervasive truth on a cross-lifestyle, as well as a non-lifestyle, basis. Having said that, a Gorean master needs no artifice to dominate or otherwise engage with his fellow free men, much less kajirae – not clothing, weaponry, or even capital letters. While a Gorean master may indeed enjoy using a whip, a length of chain, a loop of rope, bracelets (wrist or ankle cuffs), gags, thumb cuffs and such, there is no overriding need for any of these things for him to effectively hold his position in the relationship. He can steer his ship quite successfully hands-free ... meaning those strong Gorean hands are free to slip into the darkest of places!

    Difference #7: Please wipe your feet on the doormat before entering

    As a Gorean slave, one of the most common misconceptions I have run into is that of a kajira being nothing more than a glorified doormat. While this girl has never pretended to be perfect (remember that Caribbean bartender?), she does strive to be … and in her attempts to achieve something that more closely resembles the girl she would like to see staring back at her from the mirror, she has learned an often overlooked and under-appreciated truth. She will defer to Confucius for his uncompromising clarity on this one, “The green reed that bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” While this girl does not always remember to think her thoughts through before opening her mouth and sharing them with the world at large, she has most definitely learned that: a) it most often takes more strength, courage and conviction to keep quiet than it does to belt out a rebuttal the moment the urge strikes; b) when a room is already swimming with words, hers are quickly lost in the tumult before they even set sail, much less have the opportunity to be truly heard by those around her; and c) just because others may have different ideas, opinions, interests, questions or issues by no means defines them as requiring assistance, guidance or “fixing” (When and if that is what they need and are truly ready for it, they will seek it out themselves; any force-feeding prior to this tends to only delay rather than hasten its arrival.), neither does it mean that their path will be improved or eased by her offering a “shortcut” based on her own experiences or learned “truths” (detours are rarely anything but more time consuming and confusing). Finally, while a doormat serves simply as a collection site for the filth one tracks in, a kajira bathes her master (yes, feet included, and not merely metaphorically) with a truly cleansing devotion, love, and worship that, when performed well, strips the stresses of the day from her master and fills his world with ease, leisure, delight, and the promise of infinite joy. Not quite the doormats one tends to stumble across at Home Depot.

    Difference #8: Choosing your battles

    The final significant differentiating characteristic of individuals in Gorean relationships versus those in other lifestyle-based relationships is based primarily on time, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. As Gorean master-slave relationships tend to be full-time, year-round, tightly-knit relationships rather than weekend road trips or scene-play, they demand the dedicated focus and attention of both parties around the clock. Consequently, Goreans (at least those in a dedicated Gorean relationship) have very little time left over, or interest in using what little time is left over, in getting pulled into, much less initiating, confrontations or riot acts with other lifestylers out there. Thus, most naysaying tends to be directed towards the Gorean community rather than from the Gorean community to other lifestyle groups. Remember, every moment of a Gorean’s life is meant to be a celebration of life, of love, of dominance and submission, of virile masculinity and sensual femininity. It is much more exhilarating, and much less exhausting, to celebrate than to ridicule.

    In closing, J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote “Not all those who wander are lost.” While the Gorean path is not always easy or without discomfort, particularly for slaves, this girl has quite thankfully found rather than lost herself through Gor. Perhaps, regardless of the specific map/lifestyle we choose to follow, we can all enjoy wandering along this journey together, leaving our preconceived ideas and restrictive thoughts of others behind, and explore this life together … But, perhaps, she truly is just a very silly girl in a very big world after all.