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Submissive Free Women

February 1st, 2007

I’ve always known there were a lot of “online-isms” in the online [[Gorean]] culture.  On IRC we call them “IRC-isms”, but they seem to stretch to all venues that offer Gorean chat rooms.  Things like made up words, and philosophies that simply do not exist in the books.

For example, “karta” is the word used to describe the position in which slaves are expected to beg entrance to a channel (IRC chat room).  The girl goes to her knees, bends at the waist, places forehead or cheek (facing left) on the floor and stretches her arms over her head with her palms resting on the floor and her fingers splayed.  In the books, this is called “prostrate”, and girls do it to beg for things, especially forgiveness, but not entrance.  While [[kajirae]] are sometimes expected to ask before entering or leaving the room their owner is in, they don’t always prostrate, or even kneel, first.  This is an online-ism.

Another example is “ko-lar”.  Not only is ko-lar not a word, but Tarl Cabot (the main character) specifically states that this is not the spelling of the word.  He explains that this is merely the pronunciation the kajira he spoke with gave while she pointed to her collar.

An example of made up philosophies is the belief that girls are to beg mercy, not forgiveness.  This isn’t mentioned in the books.  While girls do beg for mercy, it is usually when they know they are about to be punished and are hoping to lessen their sentence.  Free men on [[Gor]] (as well as free women) have the choice of punishing or slaying a slave for any offense.  Begging for mercy is usually, in all actuality, a plea for the girl’s life.  The girls also beg, and fervently, for their masters to forgive them.  The emotion that goes with knowing a man is disappointed in a slave is supposed to be the most devastating emotion a slave can feel.  Begging forgiveness is an attempt to do away with that disappointment and the emotion it elicits in the slave.

Another online-ism seems to be the common misconception that free women are not submissive in any way.  I find it strange that this can even be a thought considering [[John Norman]] makes it very clear from the beginning that men are the stronger of the species and dominate the world of Gor.  The only real reason I can think of for this is the many “dominant” women who start out in [[BDSM]] and enjoy being a part of the online Gorean culture.  Dominant women trying to make their way in a man’s world.  For that is, without a doubt, what Gor is: A man’s world.

While the women don’t usually serve men who own slaves, they do submit to the men’s opinions and decisions.  A man will sometimes give a woman say so in his household, but only so long as her wishes coincide, or at the very least don’t interfere, with his own.  They also have been noted to submit in the privacy of their bedrooms as slaves to their free companion. 

Free women are, without a doubt, beneath free men.  That’s why according to Gorean custom (and in many places, law) a man cannot be made a slave unless convicted of a crime or captured in war.  A woman, however, may be made a slave whenever a man wishes.

“In Port Cos,” said he,”long ago, I wooed you with all the honors and dignities to be accorded to the free woman. Well did we grow acquainted, and many were the long and intimate conversations in which we shared.”  His eyes then grew hard.  “And in one of these,” he said, “you uttered an unspeakable confession, acknowledging your slave needs.”

“I was so ashamed,” she said, turning her face away.

“How could I take to my bed in honor one who had dared to confess her slave needs? Such girls I could buy at the market.  We parted, naturally.  But our families, desiring the companionship, pressed us for explanations.  That our honors might be protected, of course, yours that you had dared to confess your slave needs, and mine, that I had been the scandalized auditor of so shameful an admission, we remained silent.”

“But,” said she, moist-eyed, “that our courtship not appear to have failed, and that our families not be disgraced, you agreed to proceed with the companionship, this in accordance with your conception of your duty as an officer and a gentleman.”

He looked down at her, not speaking.

“I did not wish to languish, scorned and neglected, in a cold bed, while you contented yourself with market girls.  I fled the city.”

“You are mistaken in at least one thing,” he said.  “I had not determined to proceed with the companionship because of family pressures.  I am not so weak.  Similarly, my duties as an officer and a gentleman were not implicated in the matter.”

“But, why then?” she asked.

“I wanted you,” he said.

“But I have slave needs,” she said.

“I thought long after our conversation,” he said.  “You had dared to confess your slave needs, and this had shamed you, and it had scandalized me.  But, why, I asked myself.  Should not, rather, one be more ashamed by deceit than the truth? Can there truly be a greater honor in hypocrisy than in honesty? It does not seem so.  I then realized how bravely you had trusted me and revealed this to me.  My outrage gave way to gratitude and admiration.  Similarly, I asked myself, why was I scandalized.  Was this not connected with hidden fears of my own, that I might discover complementary needs within myself, the needs to own and be a master? Your confession, so expressive and poignant, tended to undermine a deceit of free persons.  You had dared, it seemed, to break the code of hypocrisy.  Had the gate to barbarism been left ajar? I regretted, for a time, the loss of the lie.  We grow fond of our myths.  Yet our myths are like walls of straw.  Ultimately they cannot protect us.  Ultimately they must perish in the flames of truth.”

“You would have taken me,” she asked, “knowing that I had slave needs?”

“Your slave needs,” he said, “made you a thousand times more desirable.  What man does not want a
slave?”

She looked at him, startled.

“It was thus my intention to take you into honorable companionship,” he said, “but, in the privacy of our quarters, away from the sight of the world, to put you in a collar, and keep you as a slave, even to the whip.”

She looked up at him, disbelievingly. ~Guardsmen of Gor

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