The Psychological and Sociological Basis for the Institution of
Slavery - The Gorean Model
In order to understand the full scope of this issue, it is necessary to review a number of facts that might be either overlooked or unknown. Although many would argue that these facts are not politically correct and might even be seen as socially repugnant to a good portion of the population, but, "facts is facts".
The institution of sexual slavery is old and might even predate man's adoption of a tribal structure. Throughout the last 200 years (or less) of man's history, the behavior of capturing females from "other" tribes and having them serve in the capacity of animals, sexual and otherwise, was not only accepted, but rather required. Even in our "enlightened age," the custom of carrying the bride over the threshold is a reminder of these "primitive" customs. Likewise, women's fashion have always reflected the twin themes of "worth capture" and "easily captured", at least insofar as the then dominant culture allowed sexuality to be expressed.
It is also necessary that we study the inherent biology and the sex drives of both male and female humans. Again, looking from a historical perspective, we can see that in patriarchal cultures the superior sexuality of the female was as feared as it was worshipped in the matriarchal cultures. Clearly, both cultural types admitted that the sexual capacity of the female exceeded that of the male. Traditional efforts to overcome this female advantage included the harem, the cultural ideal that "proper women" did not and should not enjoy sex, the idea of "original sin" with its emphasis on female guilt and or course, female genital mutilation.
Having established a biological and logical platform from which to observe, let us now look at the idea of slavery in the social and psychological context. And this brings us to our topic question: Given that slavery has existed (and still exists in many subtle and not-so-subtle forms) here on Earth, what is it about the Gorean model that many find not only fascinating, but also compelling? It would be one thing to see the Gor books being a model for a small segment of the population for a period of time soon after there publication, it is quite another to realize that they have a significant social influence some thirty years after they where published. This, in the face of STD's, feminism, the aftershock of the "politically correct" phenomena, and the radical religious fundamental right-winged groups. John Norman's vision of Gor inspires people today. It addresses the key biological elements of human sexuality as well as the psychological ones in ways that no historical Earth Model ever did. This could well be the reason that many people would like to be Gorean, and, could also be the reason that the percentage of females that want to be Gorean exceeds the number of males in quantity, quality and dedication.
Within the Gorean Model, both male and female chastity is a non-issue. Even FreeWomen, the Gorean "mothers" are not expected to be chaste, having the use of effective contraception and fertility only as desired. This, plus the lack of STD's, removes the biological restraints on both male and female sexuality. The result is that sex becomes as natural a function as eating, and as compelling. Due to her collar, the female Gorean slave is no longer responsible for her own chastity. Like any other animal in the presence of something nourishing and pleasurable, it is expected that a Gorean slave will be "wet and willing" in the presence of any Gorean male. It is not expected that she will be or should be able to restrain herself if she has not had a recently fulfilling sexual encounter. Only within the Gorean collar does the phrase "pure animal lust" take on its fullest meaning and in this day and age on Earth, it is little wonder that it is in pursuit of that freedom that many Earth women gladly don the collar and kneel at the feet of a "Master"... On Gor she, the Gorean slave girl, is finally free from the social and religious pressures, which are so ever present on Earth.
Most men find it MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to become Gorean, because they have been subject to the same social stereotyping and restraints as women, but because the expectations where not on "their side" of the equation, they are, generally ill-prepared to deal with the reality of an unrestrained female sex drive. Recall that it was and is male-dominated cultures that spend thousands of years trying (vainly) to stuff that (female genie) back in her bottle -- to no avail.
Traditionally men had relied on STD's and childbirth and social (and religious) stigma to assist them in maintaining "control" of the female sex drive, but on Gor those obstacles have all been removed. The result of this is that most men who claim that they are "Gorean" or wish they were Gorean fall FAR short of the challenge. The challenge, of course is to accept, in totality and without reservation, the lack of restrain on the female sex drive. For many, this unrestrained female sexuality displayed in its purest form before their disbelieving eyes, terrifies them beyond control.
The male fantasy, and this is what we are dealing with, is a double-edged blade. Part One is the unrestrained female, and Gorean ideas and ideals place that within reach for the very first time. Part Two is the insidious idea that somehow he is so sexually superior that all of that sexual energy will be kept for him and him alone. The problem is that men "cannot" have it both ways. Prior to the creation of the Gorean Model, what has been the solution is to BLAME the woman for HER lack of responsiveness while at the same time DEMANDING that she ONLY be "out of control" for just one man. (The lady in the parlor and the hooker in the bedroom fantasy.) Which is, of course, stupid and makes the woman the Victim and the Guilty at the same time.
Let me give you an example. I have a horse, a stallion. He is generally friendly, but extremely powerful and also very intelligent. We enjoy each other's company. If I call him, he comes to me. He will not come as easily or s quickly to anyone else, even those he is familiar with. When he comes to me, I pet him. This system works. Now from time to time, I also give him a treat. He really enjoys these treats. Sometimes other people also feed him these treats. Should I beat him if he takes the treat from a hand other than mine? Tell him he is a dumb and cheap horse because he enjoyed the treat that someone else gave him? What sort of a relationship do you think would develop if I did that? Right, you would tell me that I was being totally unrealistic and cruel, that the treat is a treat regardless of the hand that offered it, and that If I wanted him to prefer my treats to the treats offered by others, I should treat him better than others do and perhaps make certain that I give him plenty of treats so that he is not so eager to get them. Maybe you will even suggest that I find other things to share with him so that he has other things that pleased him than just the treats. And in each case you would be correct.
The reason so many men are unable to deal with the Gorean model is that they want BOTH the unrestrained sexual energy and the restrained control that directs that energy to them as the sole beneficiary. The result is that they get NEITHER.
Granted, it is possible to train the horse, or the slave, to only take a treat from your hand, but it is quite another to expect, as men are prone to do, that they will not WANT a treat that is offered to them, clearly visible and desirable. The price for that restraining is the dampening of the desire OVERALL, which is not the goal of a Gorean female slave, because she accepted the collar with the understanding that she was not longer going to be forced to dampen that desire, that indeed, the OPPOSITE would be REQUIRED of her.
I have been known to say that possessiveness and jealousy have killed more slaves than disobedience, and I stand by that statement. What few who casually read that rule understand is that the possessiveness and jealousy I refer to is NOT the sole property or problem of the Gorean slave, it is equally (and shamefully) the province and problem for some GOREAN MASTERS as well.
Let us turn our attention to the "contract" between a Gorean Master and a Gorean kajira (female slave). We will use the contract model because it is a clear outline and because, living on Earth, we do not have the advantages of Gorean law and social norms to work with. Indeed, because we live on Earth, the very nature of such a contract as we envision is "illegal" within the strictures of an Earthly legal system, and, like many useful and necessary social contracts, it is unenforceable" except as regards the honor of the contracting parties.
First, as regards to property: implicit in this contract, and indeed in all things "Gorean" is the acceptance of the fact that any animal can be the property of another. On Earth, however, except in rare cases, only governments are allowed to exercise this right. Which does NOT keep the idea of "I belong to" or perhaps more importantly "you belong to" from being used (and relied upon) by lovers, family, friends, employers, schools, churches, cities, states, fraternities, etc. etc. .etc. Examples abound everywhere. What is lacking is the open acknowledgment of this principle, which is no less then hypocrisy in action. However, as I stated, generally only governments are allowed to ENFORCE this ownership.
In the Gorean Model of things, there is a shift of ownership to the more personal level. A clear and precise line: The collar. Tangible or, as is the case in many Earth/Gorean relationships, a creation of the mind only, the collar signifies that "this one" is the property of "that one". Further, the visibility of the collar removes all chance of doubt as to the legitimacy of this condition. On Earth, it is of double weight, because a collar is accepted and worn in defiance of the previously operative social norms. So, when a woman on Earth accepts the condition of slavery, Gorean style, she is giving up all rights, present and future to self-determination, self-control, property ownership, and the uses of her body and intellect. As one kajira stated to me, on reflection, it is almost like being married and in the Army at the same time.
For a contract to have legitimacy it must have three parts; authority, that is the ability of the persons to enter into the contract; purpose, that is the terms and conditions for which and under which the contract is formed, and valid consideration, that is the payment or exchange from one party to the other party (or each to the other) that creates the equity or balances the terms and conditions.
In the Gorean contract, it is the Master who must supply the valid consideration, i.e., he must be willing to give the kajira the things, be they physical, psychological, social or emotional, that she exchanged for her freedom. Of course, on John Norman's Gor, society provides many of these things, so the "slave contract" is a different burden. On Earth/Gor it is a matter of quid pro quo.
Although many of the details of this exchange are left as exercises for the students, it does behoove us to touch on a few of the more troublesome ones. The MOST troublesome is, as we might have guessed, the sexual contract. TO make this work, the female GIVES UP any and every pretense of sexual control. By the urging or biology and the lessons provided by kind and loving training, the "normal" woman is transformed into a living expression of sexual desire and desirability. She learns to NEED the sexual contact and stimulation society has long denied her, and need it without reservation or inhibition. On Gor this would be "normal" on Earth it is dangerous! Imagine the woman who, because of a complete expression of her biology is willing to do anything with anyone who offers her a way of achieving sexual fulfillment and pleasure and who, if not regularly pleasured and stimulated will seek out a suitable male and beg him to supply the stimulation she needs.
Of course, in a MAN this would be considered "normal" and "moral" throughout most of history. On Gor, it is normal and moral for the female ALSO, indeed only on Gor is the woman able to become the SEXUAL EQUAL of the man, which could be well why woman are willing to beg to be collared. For the man's part comes the challenge to himself to live up to the Gorean Model, to protect his property by guarding her from the social pressures to retrain herself AND to protect her against and from his own fears of being "sexually" inadequate. He must see that her needs are either met, personally or by PERMISSION, but, having required that she be unrestrained, he must be fully and completely willing and able to deal with all the ramifications of that lack of restraint. If she is loyal to him and he to her, he will not EVER question her chastity, just as if she is loyal to her collar and her contract, she will never assume that chastity, his or hers is a virtue. The assumption is that one of the foundations of the relationship will be the permission and license for her to be a TRUE KAJIRA. He will have to learn manage, cherish and value her as what she is, one who is without hypocrisy or restraint in her sexual hunger, which are the very things that HE became a Gorean to experience. She does not demand or expect that he will not be a Master, exercising his sexuality as is appropriate - it is a non-exclusive relationship. He does not demand or expect that she will be less than a kajira, which means that she will exercise her sexuality as often as the hunger overtakes her and that unless he is there to "fill the void" that that is also going to be a non-exclusive relationship. And both must prepared to change their emotional basis and social assumptions for the relationship to exist.
Being a Gorean on Gor is not easy. Being a Gorean on Earth is infinitely harder. Knowing this we might ask why intelligent and educated people would dare enter these dangerous and risky waters. One possible answer is that they do so because they realize that the Gorean Model is a more honest model, a fairer model than the Earth Model, and that in spite of the many difficulties it is a model that liberates BOTH sexes from traditional and socially accepted biological tyranny and hypocrisy.
The Gorean Model is a challenge for both the master and the slave to overcome the artificial limitations placed on women by cultures and religions that were and remain afraid of the full power of the daughters of Eve. Only on Gor can such women thrive. Only on Gor can men face and repair the damage done by their fearfulness and desire for a "safe" relationship. And it is only through re-defining what is "safe" and "expected" in a relationship that both the Gorean Master and the Gorean slave find the fulfillment that both were seeking.