For many years, there was small segment group within the Gorean community that taught and practiced the denial or need of the Gorean Lifestyle. This tiny faction, (of usually online Goreans); regularly dismissed, belittled and ridiculed any person who mentions or shares openly about many different aspects of living and incorporating Gorean principles and ideals into their daily lives.
In the past, it was common to read their disapproval in threads bemoaning that you can be Gorean only with the Philosophy; ignoring and removing any focus on the Gorean Lifestyle as “fluff” or “fantasy”. There was even a push to say that incorporating the principles found throughout the Gorean Lifestyle were just written to “sell books” and “were not Gorean at all!”
The following are reasons why I believe that openly living the Gorean Lifestyle is important. It is one of three main requirements necessary to call Oneself “Gorean”. The other two cornerstones include striving to follow and practice the Gorean Philosophy and the Gorean Ethos. I firmly believe that in order to call Oneself Gorean; they MUST incorporate all three into their daily lives – The Gorean Philosophy, the Gorean Ethos and the Gorean Lifestyle.
John Norman wrote often of rituals, traditions and symbolisms that are very important to Gorean culture, Gorean identity and Gorean Lifestyle.
“Ritual is important. It is fulfilling and meaningful. It is beautiful. It is symbolic, mnemonic, instructive. It establishes protocols. It expresses, defines, and clarifies conditions. It is essential to, and ingredients within, civilization. Similarly, do not overlook the significance and value of symbolism.”
—Vagabonds of Gor – page 213
The Home Stone
It may seem to be just a simple rock. but to Goreans it means so much more. That simple rock symbolises the central focus and identity of a community, or a Household or Family. I personally believe that every Gorean should belong to a Home Stone, to be citizens and part of a larger Gorean community. Here is my Home Stone.
The Master/slave Dynamic
If you are Gorean, within the Gorean community you can either identify as Free or slave. That is it. there are no other options. Period.
it does not matter if you are single, as a couple or in a triad. In the eyes of everyone, if you identify as a Master, that is what you are to every kajira. If you identify as a kajira, that is what you are to every Master.
The Master/slave dynamic is key and essential to Gorean culture and society. It is what establishes community and the boundaries and expectations of those within the Gorean community.
It is who you are. Your identity. In your heart. In your personality. In your homes and community.
Throughout the Books, the importance of Collars is emphasized over and over again. Whether the material used was metal, leather, chain or rope; the symbolism and meaning of the Collar takes on special significance to a Gorean.
First and foremost, it expresses and identifies a slave as being owned. She belongs to a Master. She is property and in service to a Master. A Collar does not make a person a slave. She is a slave already in her heart. She is a slave and identifies as a slave already within her local community. She is expected to serve and act as a slave; regardless whether she is owned or unowned. It simply identifies to everyone that she is owned by a Master.
There are literally dozens and dozens of quotes regarding the importance and symbolisms of a Collar, but here are two that speak well for the need of Collars –
“A man, in his heart, desires freedom, and a woman, in her belly, yearns for love. The collar answers both needs. The man is most free, owning the slave. He may do what he wishes with her. The woman, being owned, is institutionally and helplessly subject, in her status as slave, to the submission of love.”
Slave Girl of Gor – page 180 -181
“… the brand is impersonal; the collar is intensely personal; the brand marks her property; the collar proclaims whose property she is . . . the brand relationship to the free man is institutional; the collar relationship, on the other hand, is an intensely personal one.”
Tribesmen of Gor – page 42
Service is part of a slave’s personality, her DNA. It is an outward expression of surrender and submission. The drive and motivation behind serving is part and parcel of a slave’s personality. She yearns to serve, to be pleasing. There are many ways a slave can serve. This can be done through simple actions as pouring a drink, serving food, providing and performing some form of entertainment such as a dance, a song, a poem, etc..
“I had also received lessons in the proper performance of domestic sevilities, such as cooking, sewing, laundering, cleaning, and such. Other lessons were almost lessons in customs, manners and decorum. For example, we were taught how to serve at a table, deferentially, skillfully, unobtrusively and, for the most part, silently, and how to move and walk, and kneel and rise, gracefully, and even such tiny, interesting things, as how to pick up a fallen object, by crouching down, retrieving it, rather than bending over. we were being taught, it seemed, to be graceful and beautiful.”
Dancer of Gor – page 70
Service also can be unnoticed forms such as cleaning up at a Gathering afterwards, doing the laundry, cooking and baking, etc, etc.. Service comes from the heart. It is acted upon when seeing a need, and looking after that need without the need for acknowledgement or fanfare.
There are several slave positions that identify strictly as Gorean. The purpose for using slave positions is to reinforce within a slave’s heart, through outward expression that she is indeed a slave, is desirable and is pleasing.
Throughout the Book series, there are dozens and dozens of quotes mentioned regarding the importance of slave positions. Here are some examples and quotes.
Gorean dances are outward expressions of service and of being pleasing. Oftentimes they are stories expressed through dance. Dance can show a slave’s sensuality performed through movement, expression and emotion. It is a form of entertainment that is special to many Goreans.
“The dancing of the female before the male, that she be found pleasing and he be pleased, is one of the most profound lessons in all of human biology. Others are when she kneels before him, when she kisses his feet, when she performs obeisance, when she knows herself subject, truly, to his whip.”
Dancer of Gor – page 193
“A significant portion of our training was intimate and erotic, or sexual and sensual, in nature, ranging from such things as make-up, body ornamentation, cosmetics and perfumes, to techniques, psychological and physical, usually a combination of both, of pleasing men. In the latter range of our studies some of the girls were even instructed in the rudiments of what, perhaps for lack of a better word, might be described, using the Earth expression, as “ethnic dance.” It did not surprise me that the men of this world, who seemed to have such a lust for, and such a relish for, and appreciation of females, would command such a dance of them.”
Dancer of Gor – page 70
In closing, above are just some of the reasons and examples why the Gorean Lifestyle is important and is part and parcel of calling Oneself Gorean.
Over many years, I have found and discovered that many of the naysayers are either individuals who have been unable to live an enriched and rewarding Gorean Lifestyle on a daily basis; or have been people who have failed miserably. This could have happened through failed slavery, failed mastery, or expulsion and removal of citizenship from a Home Stone or community.
To deny and belittle the importance and Gorean cultural symbolisms and traditions such as the Home Stone, the Master/slave dynamic, the Collar, of service, etc. is simply erroneous and wrong.
They will continue to deny, belittle or downplay any aspects of living the Gorean Lifestyle. If they were unable to live it, no one else can. Unfortunately, they have never experienced an enriched, meaningful and fulfilling way of living as Goreans; including the traditions, rituals and symbolisms that make being Gorean so special.
A final thought –
“Let those who can climb mountains climb them; let those who cannot climb them console themselves with denying their existence.”
Rogue of Gor – page 19