Campaigning for the RationalMedia Foundation board of trustees election is underway! Goreans are, all too often, nutters who have taken the works of a science fiction author way too seriously. The basic setup of the universe is that a group of insectoid aliens decided to make a zoo full of humans where people lived "as nature intended" and incinerated with laser beams anyone who developed along paths they did not like. The society in the novels is a patriarchy in which women are enslaved and bought and sold as property there are some male slaves as well, though they're rare. In fact, on the planet Gor, gravity itself seems to be sexist. Tarl Cabot, the Earth-born hero of the series, is described as having much greater strength on Gor, as his muscles developed to function under Earth's higher gravity. However, Earth women have no such experience and find themselves physically helpless before Gorean men. However, vocal proponents of Gorean "philosophy" actually think the series is a good blueprint for society, which has led to the creation of Gorean sex cults.
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What would that look like, and how can 'Sex, Swords, and Sandals' writers take that forward?
In , the sci-fi author and philosophy professor John Norman published the first of his Gor book series, which is sometimes known as the "Gorean Saga. The novels draw on a combination of philosophy, science-fiction, and erotica, and are notorious in sci-fi circles for their sexual politics. In the books, this kind of misogyny-BDSM existence is touted as the "natural order. Norman's books have been widely criticized for essentially being MRA-porn, but because the world is full of all sorts, they have also directly inspired some readers to adopt a "Gorean" lifestyle, which is exactly what it sounds like. VICE: When did you become a kajira? Vivienne: I started eleven years ago. I play Second Life , and got sold in a slave auction hall to a Gorean master. He asked if I had ever explored the lifestyle, but I had no idea what it was. I got really into the books and brought it to my BDSM dom [master] at that time. What did you find attractive about the Gorean lifestyle?
Gorean refers to a kink lifestyle that originated in the novels of science fiction writer John Norman. Those who participate in the Gorean lifestyle, or "Goreans," tend to follow a master-slave relationship structure, although slavery is not required to be Gorean. The Gorean identity is built around Home Stone the home , Caste System the career and the status it brings , and the Order of Nature the gender role. It shares key concepts of servitude and slavery with the BDSM model. Unlike many BDSM practitioners, many people who engage in the Gorean lifestyle tend to follow their roles at all times, both inside a sexual setting and out, although some Goreans only enjoy the lifestyle on a part-time basis. Gorean slaves submit willingly to their masters without the need for bondage, whips, or other BDSM tools. John Norman, the author whose novels inspired this lifestyle, was critical of the physical and psychological harm that can come from BDSM. Because of this, he suggested using symbolic, safe substitutes, such as the sound of claps to punish instead of whippings. Goreans tend to stick to traditional gender roles with women serving as slaves and men their masters. However, this is not always the case and a strong female may take a male slave.
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. Gorean subculture developed independently of Norman's involvement, particularly starting as a fan network after the publishing houses ceased printing new paperback editions of the novels, allegedly due to the controversy and pressure from feminist circles, and the Gor books went out of print in the late s  trade paperback and e-book sequel novels were subsequently published from It does not have a uniform following, but encompasses different groups of varying views and practices. Although Norman's philosophy is concerned with the "order of nature" in a universal context of power and subordination, the Gorean subculture particularly focuses on the master-and-slave dynamic in sexual relationships and associated forms of female submission as portrayed in the novels. Formal slave training, slave positions and commands, as well as slave attire and beautification, are practices central in the Gorean subculture.