Gorean subculture

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Gorean subculture is a fandom based on the philosophy espoused in John Norman's long-running sword and planet novel series Chronicles of Counter-Earth.[1][2]

Sexual roleplayer in a kajira pose at Folsom Street Fair. The model is displaying nadu, the typical position of a "pleasure slave".

Background[edit]

Gorean subculture developed independent of Norman's involvement, particularly starting as a fan network after the publishing houses ceased printing new editions of the novels, allegedly due to the controversy and pressure from feminist circles, and Gor books went out of print in the late 1980s.[3] It does not have a uniform following but encompasses different groups of varying views and practices.

Gorean concepts[edit]

Although Norman's philosophy is basically concerned with the "order of nature" in a universal context of power and subordination, the Gorean subculture particularly focusses on the master-and-slave dynamic in sexual relationships and associated forms of female submission as portrayed in the novels. Therefore, although they are estimated to compose less than 5% of the total female population on Gor,[4] training and keeping a female slave (often known as a kajira) is central to Gorean subculture. Formal slave training,[5] slave positions and commands,[6] as well as slave attire and beautification[7] are practices central in Gorean subculture.

Gorean community[edit]

Literalists, otherwise known as lifestylers, incorporate elements from the Gorean culture and gender roles in their daily lives[8] and some adherents of this approach were prosecuted for leading coercive sex cults.[9] As opposed to literalists, the role players, divided into real-life sexual roleplayers (engaged or not engaged in BDSM practices) and online role-playing gamers (present particularly in Second Life)[10] are not necessarily committed to Gorean philosophy and ideals.

Gorean role playing in Second Life. Panther Girls, Gorean Amazons from the Northern Forest, attending a meeting at the town hall of the city Thentis.

Starting from the 1990s, Gorean subculture has become attractive to a number of male teenagers through role playing in chat rooms. The teenage role-playing Goreans who concealed many of their personal aspects such as age or lack of experience thanks to anonymity managed to appeal to a considerable number of married and middle-aged women as kajirae in role-playing contexts. Such notoriety caused by this profile and related practices in the virtual Gorean community succeeded in creating disdain among both feminists and the BDSM community.[11] Nevertheless, scholars have discussed the way that Gorean subculture groups on mediums such as Second Life and Internet Relay Chat have influenced the development of online role-playing and even the Mmorpg genre.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Officers discover sex-slave cult". BBC News. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Paul (19 May 2006). "Gor blimey! Subservient cult is unleashed on Darlington". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  3. ^ John Norman the Libertarian
  4. ^ The Thousands Theory
  5. ^ Gorean Culture - Slave Training
  6. ^ Gorean Culture - Slave Positions & Commands
  7. ^ Gorean Culture - A Slave's Wardrobe
  8. ^ The Gorean Lifestyle
  9. ^ Behind Gor, a 'slave master' subculture of sexual deviance
  10. ^ Gorean roleplay in Second Life
  11. ^ Makai, Michael (2013). Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook. 
  12. ^ Jøn, A. Asbjørn (2010). "The Development of MMORPG Culture and The Guild". Australian Folklore: A Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies (University of New England) (25): 97–112. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 

External links[edit]