Gor - Dictionary
A glossary of some terms found in the Chronicles of Gor series of science fiction books written by John Norman, in alphabetical order (a number of them are used by real-world Gorean lifestylers to describe their practices, and a few have been taken up in general BDSM use):
- A term which refers to an individual who does not speak the main common language or lingua franca of known Gor (called simply the "Gorean language" in the books, though there are other languages spoken on Gor) and/or who is conspicuously unassimilated to the culture(s) of the "northern civilized cities of known Gor" (as they're referred to in Assassins of Gor, book 5 of the series — i.e. the region labelled as "Civilized Gor" on the map of Gor.
All those from earth are by definition barbarians, unless they have been intensively acculturated to the norms of the cultural sphere of the Gorean city-states over a fairly long period.
- Gorean-language term for "slave beads", i.e. cheap glass or painted wooden beads considered appropriate for slave adornment, generally worn around the neck. Slave beads can be worn by male silk slaves as well as by kajirae.
- Bondage knot
- A simple loose overhand knot tied in the long hair falling at the right side of a kajira's face can be symbolic of the master-slave relationship in several contexts. Most commonly, the kajira ties the knot in her own hair, and kneels naked before her master to inform him silently that she is in the mood and "ready for love", in which case it can also be known as a "need knot" (of course, a slave on Gor must always obey her or his owner's commands, regardless of mood). Other less frequent uses can include a master tying a loose overhand knot in a kajira's hair to mark her as claimed, or a free woman tying the knot in her own hair (when before a free man) as a gesture of self-enslavement.
- Bondage strings
- In the arctic zone of the northern hemisphere of Gor, the common wearing of metal collars is not practical for several reasons. Instead, a kajira wears four leather strings around her neck, knotted in patterns which identify her individual owner.
- Bound by the master's will
- Gorean term for Honour bondage.
- "Buy me"
- On Gor, it is said that only a true kajira who has fully accepted her slave identity ever spontaneously pleads with free persons to buy her ("Only a slave begs to be purchased"). The sentence "Buy Me, Master" is sometimes known as "the ritual phrase of the inspected slave girl" (who is for sale). If a recently-enslaved woman wishes to convince citizens of her former city, or members of her family, to arrange for her freedom, then she should avoid directly using such phrases as "buy me", since the use of these words would strongly undermine her claim to be worthy of freeing. Even begging to be freed in too direct a manner can be interpreted as an admission that she recognizes the legitimacy of her enslavement.
- A common Gorean garment for female slaves (the simplest and cheapest garment which provides some degree of coverage at both top and bottom). In its basic form, it is a simple rectangle of cloth, about 18 inches wide and up to six feet long, with a hole in the centre. The kajira's head goes through the hole, and the cloth is worn as a sideless poncho, generally belted at the waist by a tied cord, and often falling a little above the knees in front and back (sometimes shorter). Making a camisk requires no tailoring or seaming skills (though the cut edges of the fabric are often stitched to prevent unraveling). A kajira in a camisk would generally wear nothing besides the camisk, her collar, the cord or strap wrapped once or twice around her waist and tied "snugly" above a hip to provide a belt, often also a string or ribbon to tie back her hair (since the hair of kajirae is often full and long, but elaborate hairstyles tend to be considered inappropriate for them), and possible restraints and adornments (though occasionally she might be allowed to wear low non-heeled slippers). Undergarments are not worn, due to the prohibition against a "nether closure" (see the entries for Tunic and Slave silks below). A version of this was the main slave attire seen in the first release of a Japanese fan's efforts to illustrate Gor book #19 (an early, influential, use of Poser software for Gorean fan-art).
- Someone who is under the full control of another person, but is not a slave, and is not being held in an area where she or he is specially protected by law, is a "captive" or "prisoner" — while the person who holds the captive is her or his "captor". (However, if someone is being held within an unconquered city where she or he is a citizen or a welcomed guest, in violation of the laws of that city, then she or he is merely kidnapped, and not a legitimate captive under Gorean laws.) A Gorean captor has rights over his captive which are much the same as the rights of a master over his owned slave. Males are captured on Gor mainly to be held as political or military hostages, or to be put to hard labor on chain gangs. Some upper-class women captives are held for a ransom price, and in such cases their captors are usually careful not to "ruin her for freedom" (if the ransom payment is forthcoming). However, for most captured women, their status as captives is a temporary waystation on the path to slavery. Also, outside the cities (where such matters are decided by courts and magistrates), a creditor can often legitimately seize a debtor who has run up significant debt. Such a debtor has effective captive status, and can then be sold off into slavery or third-party captivity if no one comes forward to pay the debt.
- Term for occupational groups on Gor. The word "caste" is used because occupations tend to run in families, and are ranked by degree of honour; however, unlike Hindu castes on earth, the castes on Gor are not strictly hereditary, do not practice strictly endogamous marriage, and are not connected with matters of ritual purity in everyday life (there are no untouchables). In fact, in some ways they more closely resemble medieval guilds. There are often "caste codes" which indicate how members of a particular caste should behave, and attempt to protect the collective interests of the caste. The five high castes — the Initiates, Warriors, Physicians, Builders, and Scribes — traditionally play the most prominent roles in Gorean city-state politics, but in many cities members of the Merchants are wealthy and influential (and sometimes claim to also be a high caste). The high castes are symbolized by single colours (white=initiates, red/scarlet=warriors, green=physicians, yellow=builders, blue=scribes), while other castes are generally symbolized by several colours juxtaposed (such as the white and yellow, or white and gold, of the merchants, etc.) — however, the Assassins also have a single colour (black). Blue and yellow are the colours of the Slavers, sometimes considered to be a separate caste, sometimes a sub-caste of the merchants. Two of the castes (the initiates and assassins) include only men. The caste system is most developed in the city-states, and in areas within the cultural sphere of the city-states where people of diverse occupations live in proximity. In many rural villages, all the free inhabitants are considered to belong uniformly to the caste of Peasants; while many tribes outside the cultural sphere of the city-states are not meaningfully organized by caste. However, there is a Gorean proverb that only slaves, outlaws, and Priest-Kings are without caste.
- Classic gown
- In certain specialized contexts, kajirae sometimes wear simple long white flowing robes (which can be as long as ankle-length, while kajira garments in the zone of the main northern cities otherwise have hemlines above the knees). This can include kajirae who are the personal maids to high-ranking or royal free women, kajirae who serve at fancy banquets where high-ranking or royal free women are present, kajirae in certain ceremonial roles, and the "Chamber slaves" kept on the periphery of the nest of the Sardar. Such classic gowns, even if made of fine materials, are distinct from the attire of upper-class free women in being sleeveless and worn without undergarments, while the kajirae who wear them are generally barefoot, unveiled, and wearing collars. Nevertheless, ordinary kajirae performing ordinary duties would not usually be allowed to wear "long, sleeveless demurely white serving gowns" in public on the streets of Gorean cities, since this would violate the requirement that the clothing of kajirae and the clothing of free women should be strongly distinguished.
- Close chains
- "Close chains" are shackles which confine the wrists close together, or which confine the ankles close together, or both. Close chains are overkill for ordinary purposes of controlling or securing a kajira, and can be painful when worn for an extended period (and close-chained ankles would interfere with a kajira's ability to kneel in the pleasure slave position). However, kajirae are occasionally close-chained as a disciplinary measure, or when extra high security seems desirable. Close chains are more often used on kajiri (male slaves) or male prisoners. Also, sometimes a captor offers a choice to his free-woman captive, either to wear close chains on the ankles (and perhaps also a Sack gown, see entry below — in which case he will refrain from making sexual use of her, at least for a time) or to wear less cumbersome and confining restraints (in which case he will exercise his full rights over her as her captor, and so treat her as if she were a kajira).
- Contract slavery
- In one Gor book (18 Blood Brothers), Norman mentions the possibility of fixed-length contractual slavery (i.e. a woman agreeing to allow herself to be treated as a slave for a certain pre-arranged length of time, ranging from a day to a year). Such a limited form of enslavement raises several questions — such as the necessarily conditional nature of fixed-term contract slavery (while everywhere else in the Gor books, Norman emphasizes that Gorean slavery is absolute and unconditional); and if such a kajira were to be taken from the city where her contract was signed to another separately-governed city, whether the contract which specifies that her slavery is time-limited would be enforceable there (see the entry Merchant Law below).
- Couching law
- In the city of Ar, if a free woman has sex with a kajirus (male slave) whom she does not personally own, or prepares to imminently have sex with such a kajirus, then she herself becomes the slave of the owner of the kajirus. This law does not exist in all Gorean cities (in some cities kajiri are used as attendants in the women's side of the civic baths, etc.).
- The "slave flower", an alternative symbol to the kef for a female slave.
- First girl
- In a household or establishment with multiple kajirae, one of them is often given authority over the others, in order to help in maintaining discipline and ensuring the efficient and orderly performance of kajira duties. Such a "first girl" might wear a talmit or headband to mark her status, and/or have other differences in her clothing. She is addressed as "mistress" by the other kajirae, and is sometimes given a five-strap flogger or "slave whip" to help enforce her authority over them. However, she is still a full slave and must follow the orders of free persons with perfect obedience. Of course, who (if anyone) is designated as first girl is entirely up to the owner of the kajirae, or the free person who has been given charge of them, and first girl status can be withdrawn or transferred at the whim of masters. The opposite of "first girl" is "low girl" — one who is at the bottom of the kajira pecking order (often the kajira most recently added to a group, or "new girl"), and frequently made to do the most tedious domestic chores.
- Five steel loops
- The "five steel loops" or "five pieces of metal" are a rounded narrow circle of steel locked around a kajira's throat as a simple collar, accompanied by four rounded and relatively narrow rings locked around her wrists and ankles. Binding fiber passed through such loops can be used to restrain the kajira by means of a large variety of ties (including "control ties", "discipline ties", and "pleasure ties" — not mutually exclusive classifications). In "several popular slave ties", the kajira cannot close her legs, which increases her sense of vulnerability. For another tie which only needs the kajira to wear a standard collar, see the entry Submission tie / Tharnan tie below. Also, a hogtie — her crossed wrists tied and her crossed ankles tied behind her body, with the two bindings fastened together — can be used to immobilize her using binding fiber only. If she is then placed on her knees, she is well-displayed (with her body arched slightly back) and suitably defenseless; this is a "common slave tie". (However, the word "hogtie" does not appear in the Gor paperbacks, and such a tie would only seem to be appropriate for relatively short-term use.)
- Free companion
- On Gor, the pledging of a "free companionship" between a free man and a free woman is the counterpart to marriage. In a number of ways, a woman in a free companionship is more autonomous than a wife in a traditional marriage on earth: the man and woman are viewed as partners in a contractual relationship; there is no particular expectation that the woman should submerge her personality in that of the man; the woman keeps her name; in many cases, a free companionship is automatically dissolved after a year, unless annually mutually renewed by the parties; and most of the time a woman free companion is fully respected as befits her status as a free woman. However, woman free companions are sometimes subject to occasional arbitrary assertions of male authority by their partners (in accordance with prevailing Gorean views of the basic natures of the two sexes), and if a man in a free companionship has sex with a kajira, normally this is not viewed as adultery or "cheating" according to Gorean laws and social customs. Gorean free woman are often frustrated that they are effectively in competition with kajirae for the attentions of free men, but in some ways are kept at a disadvantage in such competition by the restrictive social customs governing the behavior of free women; since free women can't generally vent such frustrations on the men themselves, they often take them out on the kajirae, so that free women often despise kajirae.
- On Gor, "being a gentleman" means going above and beyond the ordinary obligations of city-state laws and caste codes to respectfully aid or give special protection to a woman who is in difficulty or distress and relatively helpless to improve her own situation. However, on Gor the attitudes of selfless deference to women which form the basis for such altruistic deeds of chivalry are quite a bit rarer than on earth, and Gorean men are just as likely to take advantage of a woman's helplessness (if they can do so to benefit themselves) as they are to act the gentleman. The common Gorean attitudes in this area can be seen from the widespread law which decrees that if a free man saves a free woman's life in a manner which involves personal risk to himself, then she automatically becomes his personal owned slave on the spot. And the conventions of gentlemanliness (only sporadically honoured on Gor with respect to free women) do not apply at all to the relationship between a master and his kajira. A master often cherishes his slave, and feels protective of her well-being, but this almost never leads him to treat her more as a free woman than as a slave, or to take upon himself tasks which she is validly capable of performing as part of her assigned duties. A kajira is considered to exist for the sole purpose of serving her master's convenience and pleasure, and if (for example) a master and kajira are walking down a street with a load to carry, then one will often find that the kajira is shouldering the whole burden, that the master is perfectly comfortable in assuming that this is how things should be, and that the master doesn't display any hovering solicitousness or desire to help the kajira carry her load (as long as she is fully physically able to do it herself).
- High slave
- A kajira who is kept clothed in somewhat dignified slave silks, often with expensive jewelry or a collar of gold alloy (as opposed to common rep-cloth with cheap slave beads and a plain steel collar), and is given rather light duties to be performed in elegant surroundings. However, a high slave is still a full slave who must follow the orders of free persons with perfect obedience; her clothing consists of a single thin layer of silk which is sleeveless, has a hemline above the knees, and is without a "nether closure" (i.e. is open at the bottom); and only a minority even among high slaves are completely exempted from performing common domestic chores. Of course, whether or not a kajira is a high slave is decided by her owner, and status as a high slave can be withdrawn by the master at any time. The opposite of high slave is "low slave" (which refers to a kajira whose slavery is not sugar-coated with costly attire or decorous and light tasks, but rather the reverse). Note that the role of high slave should not be confused with that of first girl (the two concepts are fully distinct, and a kajira can be one of the two without also being the other).
- Honorifics of address
- All slaves must address all free persons as "master" or "mistress". In some contexts, a slave must address even other slaves placed in authority over her or him as "master" or "mistress". The form "my master" is reserved for a slave addressing her or his actual owner. For one free person to address another free person as "master" or "mistress" is usually a sign of obsequious cringing servility on Gor. Also, the words "master" and "mistress" are not used as titles on Gor (i.e. regularly prefixed to names) — in fact, almost the only situation in the books where "master" is prefixed to a name is when a kajira is speaking to one free man, and mentions the name of another free man who is also present and overhearing the conversation; in that context, the name of the second free man will be preceded by the word "master" to acknowledge his presence. Note that slaves are generally not permitted to directly address free persons by name, unless given special permission to do so.
- Hook bracelets
- Locking wrist manacles or leather wrist cuffs, each of which has a ring or "U" on the outside which latches shut without locking (i.e. "snap rings"). If hook bracelets worn by a kajira are attached to fixed points more than a few inches apart, or are snapped together behind her body, then anyone who comes along can easily unlatch the bracelets, but she is powerless to free herself. Not to be confused with "snap bracelets" — which are permanently chained in place (separated by more than a few inches), and made so that the bracelets latch shut around a kajira's wrists without locking — though the end result is the same (others can free the kajira, but she cannot free herself).
- Iron belt
- Chastity belt for female. Such belts seem to be used fairly rarely on Gor, except to protect a kajira's "white-silk" status, or when a kajira is off her slave wine. However, the iron belt may occasionally be used when sending a kajira alone "on late errands, or into disreputable neighborhoods", or in some specialized contexts to emphasize that an unaccompanied kajira's nudity does not imply free sexual access to her.
- Word for female slave in the Gorean language (the Latin-style plural is kajirae). A less commonly-used metaphorical synonym is Sa-Fora (which most literally means "daughter of the chain" in the Gorean language). Other synonyms used in certain contexts are "bondmaid", "property girl" etc. A woman who is enslaved loses all legal status (citizenship, caste membership, name etc.) and cannot own anything (but is herself owned). Under Gorean laws, a slave is the absolute property of her or his owner, and has no rights or protections; no obligations or duties are ever owed to a slave. A slave of either sex (kajira or kajirus) must render perfect obedience to an owner of either sex (master or mistress) or suffer the consequences — but many on Gor believe that the situation of a male master owning a female slave is most in accord with the basic natures of the two sexes. Only a minority of women on Gor are enslaved, but there is a fairly common opinion that the female slave is the paradigmatic or ideal woman (kajirae "are closest, perhaps, to the essentials of the female, those of subservience to the masculine will, obedience, service and pleasure"). The institution of female slavery exists in the vast majority of Gorean societies, with a small number of exceptions (in the city of Tharna before the revolution described in Gor book 2 Outlaw, among the "rencers" of the Vosk river delta before the introduction of the great bow, and among the tribe of Alars), and is partially standardized across Gor by the conventions of Merchant Law. In a very few Gorean societies, almost all women are kept as slaves (the city of Tharna after the revolution, and certain rencer village-islands mentioned in book 24 Vagabonds). Only a minority of kajirae were born into slavery (and only a minority of these born kajirae are "exotics", bred to possess special characteristics). The great majority of kajirae on Gor were born free, and were subsequently enslaved in one of several common ways — such as when their city or community was conquered in war; or because they were legally sentenced to slavery for committing a major crime, falling into significant debt, or persistently displaying behaviors unsuitable to the status of a free woman; or because they were abducted in various circumstances. Less common ways of being enslaved can include: having sex with a kajirus whom she does not own (in the city of Ar; see Couching Law); being sold or given away by her father, in accordance with his paterfamilias legal powers over his minor children (in some cities); being seized as a minor to satisfy her father's debts, or the debts of her late father's estate; because her male champion(s) have been defeated in the "Love Wars" of the Plains of Turia (or in similar competitive games or duels between different cities or communities); because her life was saved (see entry Gentleman above); or when a woman voluntarily chooses to become a slave — whether so that her family will benefit from her initial sale price, or because she prefers the life of a slave to the particular somewhat fixed free woman's social role that she was born into, or occasionally in order to escape the gruesome and fatal punishments sometimes imposed on free persons who have committed serious crimes (since a slave is not liable to criminal punishment as such, though the slave's owner has unlimited power over her or him, theoretically including the power of life and death). Note that kajira status is not confined to women of any particular cultural, ethnic, linguistic, caste etc. grouping, but affects all such groups more or less evenly. (In a few isolated and remote regions of Gor, all women from outside the region found there are considered to be ipso facto automatically kajirae or captives, since no other legitimate reason for their presence is recognized; however, even in such areas the local women are not exempt from also being enslaved.) Free women can be very conscious of kajirae, and sometimes envy them for being uninhibited by the restrictive customs which frequently govern the behavior of free women (especially high-caste women in the city-states), but they often seek to distinguish and differentiate themselves from kajirae as far as possible.
- Word for male slave in the Gorean language (the Latin-style plural is kajiri). There are far fewer kajiri than kajirae on Gor, since Gorean men can only rarely be effectively "tamed", so that most male slaves are considered inherently slightly dangerous, and have little value other than as unskilled heavy labor which must often be kept under continual armed guard. Men conquered in war who are not left free are more often killed than enslaved, while women in the same situation are almost always enslaved (since kajirae are a readily-negotiable commodity, among other reasons). As is also the case with kajirae (but with much greater reason), kajiri are normally strictly prohibited from handling weapons or being trained in the use of weapons. (However, a few kajiri are allowed to become proficient in weaponless combat, to serve as "guard slaves" or as mixed martial arts quasi-gladiators, as seen in book 14 Fighting Slave.) Note that clothing for kajiri is not required to be differentiated from the clothing of free men to anything like the same degree as is true for kajira attire vs. free women's attire. In fact, there is an opposing school of thought, that kajiri in the cities should not wear any distinctive garments or publicly-visible tokens of ownership — since if they could easily recognize each other, they might more easily join together to potentially cause trouble. (Thus the laws of the city of Ar require that "all female slaves must wear some visible token of bondage" — usually a collar, less commonly a bracelet or anklet — but there is no such requirement for male slaves.) However, in practice kajiri usually wear simple sleeveless and relatively short tunics of wool or silk (or of leather among the Wagon Peoples of the Plains of Turia), which are not the types of clothing most commonly worn by free men; and kajiri generally wear collars of some kind (though mostly not the thin cylindrical locking collars often worn by kajirae in the northern cities). Thus it is usually not difficult to tell apart kajiri from free men.
- Gorean-language term for a slave brand. See the entries Dina, Kef, and Merchant law; and article branding. In addition to the common Kef marks (for both male and female slaves) and the Dina mark (for female slaves only), some less common slave-brands mentioned in the books include the Sa-Fora, the Taharic Kef, the mark of the city of Treve, the mark of Port Kar, the Palm (tree), the Torvaldsland brand, and the emblems of the four tribes of the Wagon Peoples of the Plains of Turia (the bosk horns of the Tuchuk, the "three-weighted bola" of the Kassars, the bow of the Kataii, and the bosk head of the Paravaci). A distinct minority of slaves on Gor are thus branded with symbols which indicate the region or city or tribe where they were first enslaved or first branded (as opposed to the general Kef or Dina), but slaves are not branded with symbols of individual ownership, because who owns a slave can often change.
- Letter of the fictional Gorean alphabet (slightly resembling a Latin-alphabet "k"), which is commonly used as a symbol for a slave (since it writes the first sound of the words Kajira/Kajirus). The kef symbol is the most common slave brand on the planet Gor (though other marks are sometimes used). In the case of a female slave, it is most commonly placed high on the side of the left thigh below the hip in a stylized cursive form, called the "staff and fronds" (a "strict" vertical line or bar denoting authority, and to its right two upwards-curling quasi-floral curves which join together near the base of the vertical line to denote vulnerably open femininity in submission to authority, or "beauty under discipline"). Kajiri (male slaves) seem to be less often branded, but a simple block script form of the letter kef can be used to designate a male slave. Both the kajira and kajirus forms of the Kef can be used as decorative symbols (as well slave brands) on Gor, in which case they are often painted in red.
- When a household has few kajirae (or only one), a kajira often sleeps on a mat on the floor at the foot of her master's bed or "couch" (sometimes fastened to the fixed "slave ring" which is almost invariably found at the foot of a Gorean couch). It is considered a privilege for a kajira to be allowed on the master's couch (something which is more appropriate for Free Companions than for kajirae), and kajirae are generally trained to kneel before the couch and kiss it before "ascending" to join the master there. However, in some circumstances (especially when a household has multiple kajirae) it is considered desirable for a kajira to have a separate bedroom or "kennel". A kennel can be reasonably roomy, but it is generally too short for the kajira to stand up straight in. It is constructed so that a master or first girl can easily inspect the kajira within from the outside at any time. The door is usually relatively small and square, so that the kajira must enter and exit the kennel on her hands and knees; it is thus easy to attach a leash to a kajira's collar etc. as she is exiting the kennel. When the door is closed, it latches shut so that it cannot be opened from the inside. Usually a kajira is required to be naked in her kennel, except for the blanket that covers her when she sleeps.
- Kept woman
- If a free man is economically supporting a free woman, and they are not Free Companions or members of the same family, then she is the man's "kept woman", and he is her "keeper". A kept woman can choose to leave if she is willing to renounce the man's future protection and financial support — but if she stays, then he is within his rights to demand that she follow certain basic ground-rules within his dwelling, and that she never have an inside locked door between them at any time (since such a locked door would limit the keeper's right to fully make use of all the dwelling which he has paid for, at all times).
- In the cool climate of Torvaldsland, the common kajira garments of more southern latitudes are not practical during much of the year, so that the main kajira garment there is the "kirtle", or long ankle-length white wool gown (of thin wool in summer, and presumably of thick wool in winter). However, it is sleeveless, has a plunging neckline ("slit to the belly"), and is worn without underwear, to clearly indicate that it is a slave garment. If this would make doing a task easier and is allowed by the weather (or if the master orders it), then the kirtle is often hitched up so that its hemline is some inches off the ground.
- Ko-lar (Collar)
- The collar is an important symbol of Gorean slavery; the brand (usually the Kef or Dina) symbolizes general slave status, while the collar proclaims ownership by a particular Master or Mistress. Many different types of collars can be worn in different circumstances or cultures, but the type most commonly worn by kajirae in the northern temperate zone city-states is a thin cylindrical metal locking collar (which usually fits closely enough to leave only the width of a finger or two in space between the inside of the collar and the neck), with the lock worn at the back of the neck. Collars worn by slaves under a long-term ownership and/or who go out in public generally have an emblem or inscription which identifies the slave's owner, and thus indicates whom the slave should be returned to if lost, stolen, or runaway. (By contrast, in a closed environment such as a slaver's establishment, a collar can sometimes be just a plain narrow bar of iron bent around the neck.) A collar is sometimes inscribed with the name of the slave who wears it, but this is not always feasible, since slaves have no permanent names, but are only given names for the convenience of their owners (who can change them or remove them at will). Occasionally a slave is named by her collar — that is, if a collar of the correct size happens to be available for a kajira to wear, and this collar has previously been inscribed with a name, then the kajira might be given that name simply to match the collar.
- Gorean-language term for a five-strap flogger ("five-stranded Gorean slave lash") or "slave whip", described as typically having an eighteen inch long handle (suitable for either one- or two-handed use, and about an inch-and-a-quarter to an inch-and-a-half in diameter) from which hang five relatively soft and flexible flat lashes, each an inch-and-a-half wide and two-and-a-half to three feet long ("five soft, broad strands"). It is intended to effectively discipline female slaves without real risk of injury or scarring. Gorean kajirae are fairly often required to kiss the whip, or to fetch the whip to the master (carrying it gripped in their teeth while crawling on their hands and knees across a room), in order to remind them of their status, and what the consequences can be if they fail in a kajira's duty of being "absolutely obedient" and "perfectly pleasing". Kajirae are usually punished not so much for any specific fault as for having been generally "displeasing". Since a master's power over his kajira is absolute, he can punish her for any reason, or no reason at all (other than to "remind her that she is a slave"); however, the goal of a good Gorean master is to get a master-slave relationship running along smoothly so that only rather sporadic physical punishment is necessary to maintain perfect discipline. Gorean masters are occasionally quite harsh in order to impress on a kajira the fact of her slavery and subjection to male domination — but inflicting pain on a slave solely for the personal gratification of the master, without any legitimate relationship to discipline or training, is what Norman condemns as "sadism" (and insists is rare on Gor). Sometimes professional slavers follow a strategy of heavily restraining or closely confining a recently captured or recently enslaved woman for a time, before beginning her real training. In this way, the alternative in her mind to learning how to be a kajira will be returning to such heavy restraints or close confinement (not her past life as a free woman).
- La kajira
- A sentence meaning "I am a slave girl" in the Gorean language (the main lingua franca of the northern temperate zone city-states). In some cases, a free woman who utters this sentence becomes legally enslaved. This is one of the few Gorean-language sentences given in the books. The Gorean language appears to have sex-specific first person pronominal forms (the corresponding masculine being Lo).
- Law courts and slaves
- Slaves are generally not permitted to play any role in legal proceedings except passively, as property whose ownership may be disputed etc. Slaves are usually not allowed to touch or read legal documents or testify in court. If a slave's actions inconvenience her or his owner, the remedy is left entirely up to him alone, and the matter would not normally come before magistrates. If a slave's actions inconvenience someone else, then the penalty would be levied on her or his owner, not on the slave individually (just as with an owned animal that causes problems), and the slave's punishment would again be left up to the owner. Only in rather serious cases would magistrates be likely to punish a slave directly, and then in accordance with the master's power to punish slaves who have been "displeasing", in any way he chooses (instead of as part of a system of laws in which the penalty is calibrated to fit the crime, as is done for free persons). In rare cases where a slave's testimony is considered indispensable, it is usually extracted under judicial torture — which is not intended to punish or permanently harm the slave, but rather to try to overcome the fact that normally a slave's highest duty is considered to be perfect obedience to all her or his master's commands.
- Love furs / Furs of love
- Thick and soft furs which can be spread on the floor (often at the foot of the master's bed or "couch") to provide a comfortable platform for master-kajira lovemaking. (See entry Kennel for the reason why such lovemaking often does not take place on the couch itself.)
- Love silks
- Sheer, sometimes almost diaphanous, garments worn by upper-class free women to entice their partners in Free Companionship (or sometimes their owned kajiri) in the privacy of their own chambers. In contrast to the slave silks worn by kajirae, love silks seem to tend to be unskimpy long gowns (with hemlines that fall well below the knees), and not to be made out of almost fully transparent material. Note that among the tribes of the Wagon Peoples of the Plains of Turia, free women are actually forbidden to wear silk (considered suitable only for slaves to wear). This is not the case elsewhere on Gor, where upper-class free persons often wear silk as part of their clothing (though only slaves wear garments of just a single layer of thin silk in public).
- Love slave / Love master
- On Gor, a kajira must follow her master's commands with perfect obedience whether she loves him or not, and a master feels perfectly justified in using his absolute powers over his kajira to obtain the highest degree of service and pleasure from her whether he loves her or not. However, the master-kajira relationship can be enhanced if a master and kajira passionately love each other; this is said to deepen a kajira's slavery, rather than weaken it. If a kajira puts a yellow talender flower (a Gorean symbol of love and beauty) in her hair, this is traditionally interpreted as a silent declaration of her love for her master. There is also the concept of a "true love master" / "perfect love slave" — i.e. the idea that a man and a woman can be perfectly suited to each other (soul-mates) in a master-kajira relationship, if they can find each other.
- Merchant Law
- On Gor, the degree of legal comity (i.e. the ability or willingness of the magistrates of one city to examine and enforce the internal laws and judgements of another separately-governed city) is ordinarily minimal or non-existent. However, there is a widely-recognized body of "merchant law" governing inter-city trade. The main purpose of merchant law is to provide a legal framework which can help establish confidence and stable expectations for business relationships between citizens of different cities (something which might otherwise be difficult, given the entrenched local particularism and distrust of strangers common in the Gorean cities, and the lack of inter-city comity). Merchant law also encourages a certain degree of standardization of weights and measures across Gor, and the standardization of certain practices connected with inter-city commerce. Merchant law is the only form of international or "intermunicipal" law on Gor; if a city violates the norms of merchant law by showing blatant favoritism to its own citizens, then it might find its trading relationships disrupted and be banned from the Sardar Fairs. Part of merchant law is concerned with slavery, and defines exactly who is and is not considered to be a slave for the purposes of inter-city slave trading. So if a prisoner or captive has not been branded or made to wear a collar, and has not performed a "gesture of submission" or uttered a formula of self-enslavement, then that individual is not a slave according to merchant law. Merchant law recommends that female slaves always be branded, that the brand be at one of three locations (high on the side of the left thigh below the hip, high on the side of the right thigh below the hip, or on the lower left abdomen), and that a token of who owns her (almost always a collar, rarely a bracelet or anklet) be securely fastened on her. These recommendations are not any form of limitation on an owner's absolute power over a kajira, but in practice the vast majority of kajirae on Gor are branded on the left thigh — and if a master ends up losing ownership of a kajira because he did not have her branded or did not have her wear a collar with his name inscribed (thus potentially making it more difficult to prove her slave status or his ownership of her), then he has only himself to blame for not following the standards of merchant law. Note that someone who is a slave under merchant law is not always a slave under the laws of every Gorean city; if a woman was illegally enslaved in a city, she is free according to the laws of that city (and those who subjected her to false enslavement are criminals in that city) — but if she is then smuggled out to another separately-governed city, she will generally be considered a fully legitimate slave there (due to the lack of legal comity, which accords with Gorean attitudes that women of other cities are most naturally slaves to the citizens of one's own city).
- A Gorean-language command which invokes a classic sexual submission kneeling position, with torso over heels and knees widely separated. (This position was described in the Story of O, though the name "Nadu" is Norman's, used by him only in Gor book 13 Explorers.) By default, the hands rest on the thighs. Also called "the position of the pleasure slave, that of a woman who is of interest to men". (See Gorean slave positions for a more detailed description, and further Gorean cultural context.)
- Nakedness ("slave naked" etc.)
- Bodily nudity is generally not considered to be shameful, offensive, or obscene in Gorean cultures (except among a few free women, or the ascetic "sames" of the Barrens). However, being able to present oneself properly clothed on all social occasions is a significant support to a free person's sense of dignity and autonomy — and conversely, having no control over one's clothing, and being forced to appear scantily-clad or naked whenever ordered to do so, is an important reinforcement to an enslaved person's self-identity as a slave. A kajira's attire is always subject to her owner's approval, and some Gorean masters take pleasure in supervising the details of their kajira's clothing and adornment. A kajira is said to be "slave naked" usually when she appears nude before a free man or free men who are themselves clothed, and who subject her to a full frank open unashamed scrutiny, while she is aware that they can do with her as they please ("She was naked, before clothed men... It is hard for [a woman], in such circumstances, not to see them as her masters and herself, before them, as an exposed slave."). A kajira has no "right" to clothing (since a slave has no rights at all, and cannot own anything); wearing clothing is a privilege, and a master may keep his kajira naked until she has (in his opinion) earned the privilege of clothing by the sincerity of her efforts at being "absolutely obedient" and "perfectly pleasing" — a privilege which he may of course withdraw at any time in the future, at his whim. Sometimes a master keeps a newly-enslaved or newly-acquired kajira naked until she attests to her full acceptance of her enslavement by spontaneously begging to be given a slave garment to wear. Upper-class free women in the city-states clothe themselves in cumbersome Robes of concealment (see entry below), and almost never show their faces to free men who do not belong to their own family, in order to differentiate themselves as far as possible from kajirae, and in order to fully protect their dignity and autonomy as free persons (a dignity and autonomy which is inherently more fragile and more in need of safeguarding for free women than for free men in Gorean societies). However, this means that such women have farther to fall if they become enslaved (sometimes when a woman who is used to robes of concealment is abruptly captured and disrobed, she is said to instinctively cover her breasts with one hand and arm, and cover her face with her other hand, since it is being "face stripped" which she feels to be most directly and immediately humiliating). Note that kajirae can always be kept naked in private residences, or in many semi-public areas (especially those which are effectively off-limits to free women, or where it is commonly understood that the preferences of free women are not catered to, so that they run the risk of seeing something they might find displeasing if they choose to enter, such as paga taverns). However, in some Gorean cities it is not ordinary or usual for kajirae to be naked in fully public areas, such as city streets or plazas, and sometimes in such cities "magistrates tend to frown upon the practice" (though it is not technically illegal). Also, the conventions governing having sex with kajirae in full public view are much the same as those governing public kajira nudity — some free women profess to find it disgusting, but it is generally not illegal; however, in some areas it might transgress the norms of accepted good taste, and so sometimes be discouraged by the authorities there.
- Paga tavern
- An establishment which combines convivial male company with alcohol served by provocatively-clad kajira waitresses who are generally sexually available to the customers (often in well-equipped alcoves conveniently provided for the purpose). Sometimes skilled kajira dancers provide entertainment. Some fancier establishments are "themed" (clothing their kajirae in southern hemisphere garb, or in somewhat elaborate costumes, for example), while lower-end taverns dispense with such inessentials, and tend to clothe their kajirae in scanty almost-transparent yellow slave silks (or sometimes have them serve naked). In a paga tavern, the kajirae constantly perform the classic two-handed beverage-serving position (a variation of the pleasure slave position), often with accompanying rituals (see Gorean slave positions). In the cities, paga taverns are the most common way for a free man who does not personally own a slave to legitimately have sex with a kajira. Some paga taverns ban free women, while others allow free women accompanied by free men to be admitted (on the understanding that they will not make a big fuss about what they may see in an environment which is not intended to cater to their preferences). Only a few rather tame establishments (not paga taverns in the usual sense) admit unaccompanied free women and families with children. If a free woman enters a paga tavern under false pretenses (having disguised herself as a kajira or a male youth), she is intruding in violation of well-understood and accepted customs and conventions, and may find herself being dealt with quite summarily and abruptly.
- Panther girls
- Some women who are dissatisfied with the relatively narrow roles allocated to free women in Gorean societies, or who have run afoul of the laws of their native city-state or community, run away to the northern forests of Gor, joined there by some successfully-escaped kajirae. Such women are known as "panther girls" (from the panther-skins they wear as clothing) or "forest girls". Since they are outlaws (not under the protection of any Gorean home stone), they can be legitimately enslaved by anyone they meet, so they group together into roaming bands for mutual protection, and generally avoid men except in a few specific contexts (tense barter encounters, surprise ambushes to acquire captives, and occasional temporary bandit alliances). Some panther girls are very skilled with bows and arrows, but they're not real warriors (Norman thinks that a woman warrior is a contradiction in terms). Their only real military tactic is to try to arrange a surprise ambush to capture isolated individuals or small groups in the forest; if they fail to achieve a surprise ambush, or take on a group which they do not outnumber, then they very often lose and are captured and enslaved. They wear panther skins instead of cloth partly because they try to be self-sufficient, making do with resources available in the forests, in order to keep potentially dangerous encounters with outsiders to a minimum. However, they do periodically barter captives and stolen objects for a few items which they greatly need or desire, but which they can't make for themselves — knives and arrowpoints of hard metal forged to a sharp edge, and the occasional block of hard sugar candy. Panther girls are often contemptuous of women who are not suited to the panther-girl way of life, and show little compunction about making use of their male and female captives (including sometimes raping male captives) while usually trying to quickly trade them for weapons and candy. Also, the word "talunas" refers to lesser-known groups of women who have a somewhat similar lifestyle to panther girls — except that talunas have run away to certain remote areas of the equatorial jungles (instead of the northern forests), and sometimes dominate over pygmy tribes there.
- Parade of slaves / Contest of beauty
- Gorean equivalents of earth fashion shows and/or beauty pageants, in which scantily-clad or naked kajirae display themselves before a group of free men and are evaluated or judged. The Contest of beauty of Torvaldsland is an actual competition with judges, and the owner of the winning kajira is given a monetary prize. The ordinary Parade of slaves is less formally structured, and is usually an occasion for the proprietor of an establishment to display his wares. Gorean men are uninhibited about freely discussing and comparing a kajira's attributes and characteristics in her presence. Beauty increases a kajira's selling price on Gor, but most Gorean masters also strongly value other characteristics in a kajira. In the Gorean cities, the prevailing body type, as well as the prevailing standard of beauty, is for relatively short-statured and "curvaceous" women (ideally with "short but shapely" legs, "sweetly wide hips", "narrow waist", and who are "amply but medium-breasted"). Other body types are more common in other areas on Gor, but the tall stick-thin body type of modern Western models is rarely admired.
- Permission to speak
- Except in a few specific situations (such as when "gagged by the master's will" or under the "discipline of the she-quadruped" etc.), a kajira can almost always ask or beg her master for permission to speak (and is advised to do so if she is unsure whether she is allowed to talk in a particular context). Such permission may of course be granted or withheld as the master chooses.
- Pierced-ear girl
- Traditionally in the "northern civilized cities of known Gor", piercing a woman's ears was usually done with the serious intention of permanently marking her as a particularly low slave, who should never be freed, and who should never even be made a high slave — since according to Gorean interpretations, a woman wearing ear-rings has an overwhelming sexual symbolism in which "the penetrability of her sweet flesh is brazenly advertised upon her very body, a proclamation of her ready vulnerability". (The use and meaning of ear-piercing described in Norman's Gor books was presumably influenced by Bible verses Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17.) After the fall of the southern-hemisphere city of Turia described in book 4 Nomads, ear-piercing became more common in the north, often done by commercial slavers simply to attempt to increase a kajira's price, but pierced ears still retain connotations of brazen sexuality and permanent status as a low slave ("in Gorean eyes, [earrings] fasten a woman's degradation helplessly upon her"). By contrast, septum-piercing and the wearing of nose-rings is considered to be a simple kajira adornment (also practiced by free women in some cultures on Gor), without any strong symbolic significance.
- Plays and actors
- Actresses on Gor are usually kajirae, and if so are frequently available for rental after plays as "tent girls" (to satisfy any interest which their performances have raised). Gorean comedy plays show influences from ancient Roman comedies and the Italian commedia dell'arte, and have a similar repertoire of conventional stock characters, such as the braggart soldier (miles gloriosus or Timid Captain), Golden Courtesan, Comic Father, Desirable Heiress, Pedant, Pompous Merchant, Wily Peasant, Saucy Maidens (further classified into the sub-types of Bina, Brigella, etc.), comic male servants (Chino, Lecchio, etc.) and so on. Saucy Maiden characters often wear short stiffened bell-shaped skirts (worn without underwear, of course), which are intentionally designed to tip up whenever she bends over. There are a number of common dramatic conventions, such as walking in a circle across the stage being understood as traveling on a long journey, etc. Aside from simple farces, many of the more extended comic plots appear to involve a free woman or free women who are reduced to slavery in a somewhat ludicrous manner as they or their protectors are taken in by a glib fast-talking con-man. In contrast, "serious" plays on Gor often involve the wearing of masks and highly-stylized outfits significantly larger and taller than the actor's body, and in such serious drama it is not uncommon for all roles to be played by males.
- On Gor there are a number of proverbs or maxims about slavery; some common or typical sayings include: "Curiosity is not becoming in a kajira", "There are only two sorts of women, slaves and slaves", "The free woman is a riddle, the answer to which is a strong man and a collar", "A slave is not permitted modesty", etc. These aphorisms are not always intended to be interpreted 100% literally, but they reflect certain Gorean attitudes or customs — such as that a master is never obliged to consult with his kajira, or inform her in advance of decisions which might result in great changes in her life; many on Gor are of the opinion that kajirae are closer than free women to basic natural true womanhood (even though only a minority of women are enslaved); and a master is entitled to display his kajira's beauty however he pleases (and to a certain degree is even encouraged to do so by the general requirement that kajira attire should be strongly distinguished from free women's clothing). Other proverbs are quite transparent in meaning, such as "Only a fool buys a woman clothed", "Any man who frees a slave girl is a fool", etc. Also, "Nothing is owed to a slave" is a statement of a basic Gorean legal principle, as well as a proverb indicating that a slave has no rights or legitimate expectations of being treated in any particular way, and that normally no bargains are made with or promises made to slaves — and if (probably ill-advisedly) such a promise or bargain were to be made, few Gorean masters would feel that their honour was involved if they refused to keep such a promise or bargain. However, most Gorean slave-owners do have a strong implicit ethics of mastery which inhibits them from committing any acts of pointless "sadism" (as defined by Norman — see entry Kurt above) which would needlessly diminish a kajira's usefulness or value. And of course many masters develop feelings of love and protectiveness towards their kajirae (though this doesn't usually lead such masters to treat them any less as slaves).
- Public fountains
- Many public fountains on the streets of Gorean cities are arranged so that passers-by can conveniently drink water from them. If there are multiple drinking areas at different vertical levels (as is often the case), then slaves must always drink from the lowest level.
- Ravishment lamp / Lamp of love
- The "ravishment lamp" or "lamp of love" is an oil lamp which gives a "soft and sensuous" light — low enough to cast something of a romantic glow over master-kajira lovemaking, but bright enough to fully reveal the kajira to the master. The term "lamps of love" can also refer to small lights placed in the windows of dwellings in the Gorean cities, as a signal that their occupants should not be disturbed.
- Rebellion of Compliance
- A stage in some women's adjustment to enslavement, when a kajira offers no explicit resistance and obeys all commands with promptness — but she thinks to herself that she is still the same independent free person as she was before being enslaved, except that she is now forced to go through a routine of meaningless rituals which do not affect her basic self-understanding. Gorean masters seem to commonly have the view that the nature of women is such that there are few kajirae who cannot be brought beyond the rebellion of compliance and into a fuller and more transformative acceptance of their slave identity, with the passage of time and a little adroit handling. Gorean masters rarely punish a kajira just for her thoughts and feelings alone (though formulating a concrete plan to evade or diminish the master's authority or power is likely to be punished, even if the plan is never acted upon).
- Red silk
- Non-virgin (especially of a female slave), one whose "body has been opened by men" for the "uses of men". "Red-silk" kajirae are not actually required to wear red clothes, or wear silk (though in some contexts, the wearing of red or scarlet slave silks can indicate that a kajira is a pleasure slave). The phrase is used because silk is a fabric which is considered very appropriate for slaves to wear, and because there is a symbolic opposition between the colours red and white on Gor: in some cases, red means non-virgin and white means virgin — while in other cases, red indicates a pleasure slave and white indicates a tower slave / house slave. (The second set of symbolisms is actually more commonly useful, since very few adult kajirae are virgins. In a non-slavery context, white can symbolize peace, while red symbolizes war; or white can symbolize the caste of Initiates, while red or scarlet symbolizes the caste of Warriors.) Male silk slaves (kajiri) can also be made to wear red silk tunics to indicate the sexual nature of their servitude. Note that in Gorean cultures the colour yellow can be associated with talender flowers (a traditional symbol of feminine love and beauty), and kajirae who serve in cheap paga taverns very often wear scanty yellow slave silks, but there is no such thing as a "yellow-silk kajira" in the Gor books.
- A relatively cheap and durable fabric which the majority of ordinary kajira garments are made from in the zone of the "northern civilized cities" (though that's not its only use); it is often dyed or printed with floral designs. The basic plant fibers are soft, but the type of cloth used for slave garments is often rather coarsely woven. Some serving slaves owned by free women wear tunics of closely-woven white rep cloth starched to stiffness, which can be relatively modest (as slave garments go). However, kajirae more often wear unstarched clothing of rather thin rep-cloth which is closely clinging and not very concealing (quite revealing when wet). Male slaves (kajiri) more often wear garments of wool than rep-cloth.
- Robes of concealment (free women's attire)
- Everywhere on Gor, it is required that the clothing of kajirae and the clothing of free women be strongly distinguished, so that people can tell at a glance whether a woman is free or slave, and thus be able to react to her appropriately according to her social status. In the zone of the main northern hemisphere cities, this almost always means that the gowns worn by free women in public must be long (falling well below the knees), be made of opaque material (not thin rep-cloth), and have high necklines that fully cover the shoulders. Since kajira garments are always sleeveless, in some cities free women's gowns must have sleeves in order to contrast; however, low-caste women sometimes do wear sleeveless gowns in other cities and regions. Free women also usually wear slip-like undergarments, stockings, and shoes (while kajira attire is generally restricted to one layer only, and kajirae usually go barefoot when the weather permits); however, some impoverished free women, or free women living in certain geographically-remote areas somewhat independent of typical city-state culture, sometimes do wear a gown without undergarments (such as the summer dress of the women of the Alar tribe). High-caste or wealthy women in the cities emphasize their high social status by wearing voluminous "robes of concealment", with many layers of petticoats, and veils covering the face, and in some cases also high platform shoes (which can be almost mini-stilts). Such upper-class free women invest great emotional and symbolic significance in never showing their faces to any free men outside their family — but poor free women in the cities (especially those not in a free companionship) often find it impractical to go veiled, and the custom of face-veiling is unknown in many rural or tribal areas outside the cities. Some free women of intermediate social status in areas where veiling is practiced compromise with a single veil of plain cloth (as opposed to the multiple layers of sheer veiling worn by upper-class women); in the Tahari desert region, such free women often wear a haik (black burka). If a kajira puts on clothes suitable for free women (without having been ordered by her master to do so), this is tantamount to an escape attempt.
- Ruined for freedom
- This phrase is used to describe a kajira who has gone so far down the path of pleasure, service, and obedience, and has so deeply embraced her identity as a slave, that she would not be able to very successfully revert to the role of an autonomous dignified independent free woman, and would not sincerely wish to be freed even if the opportunity were offered to her. Similarly, a captive woman who has been treated as a kajira for a period of time sometimes begs to be enslaved so that her outer circumstances will match how she now thinks of herself. Also, a non-captive free woman can be described as "ruined for freedom" if she develops kajira-like thoughts and feelings which disturb her life as a free woman (whether because she imaginatively puts herself in place of the kajirae she sees around her and empathizes with their feelings about their experiences, or because she herself has undergone some kind of experience which placed her in a kajira-like role). Sometimes such a free woman semi-consciously invites enslavement by putting herself in unsafe situations, etc. (The most classic such situation is walking unescorted on high bridges connecting cylinders in the Gorean cities, the area in a city where women are most vulnerable to abduction by swooping tarnsmen of enemy cities. Also, a free woman who enters a paga tavern under false pretenses, having disguised herself as a male youth or as a kajira, can be very unsafe.) Due to restrictive social customs governing free women in Gorean societies, and the measures which free women (especially upper-class women in the cities) have to take to safeguard their autonomy and dignity as free persons, as well as the need for free women to strongly distinguish themselves from kajirae, free women are often inhibited and awkward in their relationships with men, while kajirae can be joyfully uninhibited. For this reason, the opposition between remaining a free woman and becoming a kajira is sometimes presented as a choice between freedom and love.
- Sack gown
- A grain-sack made of rather coarse fabric, which has been converted into a long dress by being opened at one end, and having slits or holes cut at the other end to create armholes and a neckhole, is sometimes worn by young teenage girls of low-caste poor families in certain rural regions of Gor. Such a sack gown or dress is often considered the lowest-status garment appropriate for a free female to wear, and for this reason it can also be worn by captive women (and when a sack dress is worn by a fully-grown woman, it fits more tightly around her body and the hemline falls higher on her legs). If a captive woman is not to be treated as a full slave (or is not yet to be treated as a full slave), but is also not to be treated as an honoured hostage, then being made to wear a sack dress emphasizes her lowly captive/prisoner status without asserting effective slave status — since a sack dress is not a kajira garment. (However, a sack dress is sleeveless, and when it is worn by a captive woman, she would commonly be barefoot, without undergarments, and unveiled; these are all factors associated with kajira garments or with the garments of low-caste/poor/rural/tribal women, so that a wealthy or upper-caste woman of the city-states would generally feel wearing such a sack dress to be deeply humiliating.) And women who are considered neither worth enslaving nor worth holding for ransom (or who their captors wish to imply are not worth enslaving or holding for ransom, in order to insult their families or communities) are sometimes released near their home cities wearing sack dresses.
- Secret slave
- Sometimes a woman submits herself as a slave to a man in secret, and at first her master allows her to continue to lead her old life as a free woman in public, while treating her as a full unqualified slave when they are in private. However, if she truly lives as a slave in her relationship with her master (and undergoes experiences suitable to a kajira), then she will fairly soon become less able to keep up a public role as an autonomous independent free woman — and Gorean free persons can be enraged if they think that they have been tricked into offering inappropriate respect and deference to a mere slave. A secret slave would not usually attempt to wear a collar in public, but would be more likely to wear as a token of her slave status a bracelet, anklet, or ring whose meaning would not be obvious to those not in the secret. For this reason, her master will often insist that she always wear a collar whenever they are alone in private.
- Sign of the looped binding fiber
- In the arctic zone of the northern hemisphere of the planet Gor, it is not practical for kajirae to wear skimpy attire, so that kajirae wear the same basic clothing as free women. However, every single garment worn by a female slave there (whether an inner garment or outer garment) must have a distinctive pattern of stitching which represents a looped binding fiber (such as is often used to tie up kajirae). The design, sewn into the clothes with red-dyed sinew, appears on the left shoulder of upper-body garments, and on the left hip of some lower-body garments.
- Silk slave
- A male slave kept by a woman owner for bedroom duties (most male slaves on Gor are used for hard labor in work gangs). When a free woman makes use of a kajirus sexually, he is often chained so that he is unable to hold her in his arms — since allowing this would be considered to add a note of male domination to the lovemaking. Some free women carefully avoid kissing a kajirus when making sexual use of him, since they would consider it degrading to soil their lips by touching them to the body of a mere slave. Note that only a small minority of rich free women on Gor own silk slaves, and (in contrast to the usual situation with free men and kajirae) it is often not very easy or convenient for a free woman to obtain the sexual use of a kajirus whom she does not personally own (in the city of Ar it is strictly forbidden by the Couching Law).
- A set of linked chains and attached locking circlets intended to thoroughly restrain a woman's movements, but without needing to fasten her to anything, and while still allowing her to stand, to walk with mincing steps, and to kneel in the tower or nadu positions. The main chain (about five feet long) hangs down from a locking collar (sometimes a loose Turian collar which can be slipped over a regular slave collar); a bracelet chain (connecting two locking wrist manacles that are usually about 6-12 inches apart) is attached to the main chain roughly two feet below the collar, or at the "lower belly", while an anklet chain (connecting two locking fetters that are usually about a foot to a foot-and-a-half apart) is attached to the end of the main chain. Ideally, the chain lengths can be adjusted to taste; Norman suggests that best results are obtained when the main vertical chain (collar chain) is long enough to rest on the floor for several inches when the woman is standing straight (alternatively, the collar chain can be slightly shorter, and end in a small ring, through which the anklet chain is allowed free play). The chains should be light enough not to be too burdensome or uncomfortable when worn for hours. A "work sirik" differs from the common sirik in having a bracelet chain about a yard long, to allow the kajira to perform domestic tasks while wearing a sirik.
- Slave bells
- Small bells worn by a kajira to make her more conscious of her body movements and/or to make it easier for masters to track her whereabouts, while providing a pleasant background of sound (the "music of bondage"). Such bells can be worn in many forms, but the most classic method is as five bells attached to a locking slave anklet (this is worn by state slaves of Ar, etc.).
- Slave bracelets
- A pair of locking wrist manacles connected by a light chain often about five inches in length, and often consisting of three links. They can be used to confine a kajira's hands in front of or behind her body (more often the latter, as indicated by the "Bracelets!" command). Slave bracelets are the most basic and commonly-used system of locking restraints, and can be symbolic of slavery in some contexts (as when it said that the "distance between the free woman and the slave" can be "as short as the three links joining slave bracelets"). In contrast to such ordinary slave bracelets, specialized "serving bracelets" are connected by a foot of chain and fastened in front of her body, to allow her to perform some domestic tasks while chained (especially serving drinks).
- Slave dances
- Solo kajira dances which are in part the Gorean counterpart to earth bellydancing. Typically the kajira dances a quasi-narrative (or part of a narrative) of a woman's capture and enslavement, and her series of changing feelings as she eventually blossoms in her slavery and discovers her uninhibited slave sexuality. Some phases of some dances are quite openly erotic. Dancers often wear specialized chains which are intended to aid the dancer in expressing her slave status in her dances, without restricting her movements so much that the beauty of the dance is impaired. Skilled kajira dancers are admired as fine artists, and can bring high prices if sold. For "the basic position of the slave dance", see Gorean slave positions.
- Slave hobble
- A locking wrist bracelet and locking anklet joined by a chain about six or seven inches long (often consisting of five links). If a kajira is right-handed, then the wrist ring is usually fastened on her right wrist and the ankle ring on her left ankle, with the chain passing behind her body. This prevents the kajira from moving any distance, but without having to chain her to a fixed object or place her in heavy or burdensome restraints, and while still allowing her to easily kneel in the pleasure slave or tower slave positions (with one hand behind her back), or to recline on her left side with her upper body propped up by her left arm.
- Slave livery
- A term which usually refers to a specific type of basic slave tunic when this becomes a conventional kajira uniform in certain contexts. Thus "state slaves" owned by the government of the city of Ar wear standardized grey tunics, the "state livery of Ar". Also, in some Gorean cities during certain periods it was customary for kajirae to wear tunics with one or several diagonal stripes of colour across the front. If in a household or establishment with multiple slaves, the kajirae are generally required to wear the same standardized attire most of the time, that's the "livery of the house".
- Slave mat
- A cheap somewhat coarsely-woven floormat of fibrous material such as straw or reeds is considered an appropriate platform on which kajirae can perform slave positions, while avoiding direct exposure to a possibly cold hard floor or dirty ground etc. Sometimes a slave mat is used for master-kajira lovemaking, if the master is not feeling considerate of the kajira's comfort, or wishes to impress on her the fact of her enslavement. Particularly coarse and "rough-fibered" mats can be known as "submission mats" (especially in the Tahari desert region). A slave mat or submission mat can be used as part of a ritual of enslavement for women of a newly-captured city: for example, each woman might be presented naked before the officers of the conquering army and given a choice between immediate "honorable decapitation" and kneeling submissively on the mat (which in context is interpreted as a declaration of self-enslavement). In the city of Tharna, a "scarlet rug" is traditionally used in ceremonies of enslavement (rather than a slave mat).
- Slave nannies
- A kajira in a household with children often adds childcare duties — as a "nurse, governess and playmate" — to her other tasks. Note that while Gorean cultural attitudes have the result that certain kinds of quasi-sexual displays are fairly commonly publicly visible on the streets of Gorean cities etc., Norman makes it clear in a passage in Gor book 16 Guardsman that a kajira's nanny role is generally strongly distinguished from her pleasure-slave role, so that kajirae "are almost always modestly garbed" in a "family house" when children are present. (Of course, in the zone of the main northern cities, even "modest" slave attire is almost always a single layer of fabric which is sleeveless, with a hemline above the knees, and open at the bottom.)
- Slave papers
- Legal documents which include minute physical descriptions and measurements of a slave, along with information about the circumstances of her enslavement, whether she was a virgin when first enslaved ("white silk"), her ownership history, the names she has been called by at different times, the type and location of her brand, her various abilities and characteristics, etc. Often such papers will include attestations by doctors who have examined her, magistrates or merchants of cities where she was sold, etc. Probably only a minority of slaves on Gor are the subject of papers of this type, since they are not usually necessary to establish a kajira's slave status. (If a woman in a city has a slave-brand on her body, and there is no specific evidence that she was branded in the city contrary to the city's laws or that she is a citizen of the city who has suffered the illegal indignity of false enslavement, and the woman has no manumission papers showing that she has been freed, then the fact of her being branded is taken as an overwhelming indication that she is a kajira.) However, slave papers might come in handy if a kajira is being kept in the same city where she was formerly a citizen (to show that her enslavement was legitimate and above-board), as proof of ownership when a slave has become lost, stolen, or runaway, or as proof of slave status if a kajira is (unusually) not yet branded. As is generally the case with legal documents on Gor, slaves are not allowed to read or touch slave papers (except to add an ink impression of their fingerprints).
- Slave silks
- Sheer or diaphanous garments with some similarity to earthly lingerie, but generally respecting the Gorean "no nether closure" rule (as well as typical requirements that kajira attire should be sleeveless and remain above the knees); also known as "pleasure silks". Sometimes silk garments which are almost completely transparent are said to make a kajira feel "more naked than naked". Note that kajira clothing is more often brief, open, and loose than tight-fitting, thus allowing fairly free access to the kajira's body without the need to remove her clothing first (though kajira garments are sometimes tightly belted at the waist); for this reason, bra and panties or bikini type garments are not particularly Gorean — though minimal silk G-strings (which can easily be pushed to one side) are occasionally worn. (Earth bras and panties are often considered to be somewhat paradoxical garments on Gor, since their skimpy cut and being made of thin or sheer silk-like fabrics strongly suggests kajira attire, but the way in which they fit tightly over the most intimate areas — thus potentially obstructing the master's right of constant unhindered access to all of his slave property — would almost never be tolerated in kajira garments worn in the zone of the main northern hemisphere cities.) Also, slave silks are not underwear (since kajira clothing rarely has more than one layer, except for an occasionally-worn outer "slave cloak").
- Slave strip(s)
- A garment which consists of a cord tied around a kajira's body at the belly (usually fastened by an easily-untied slip-knot or bow at the left hip), sometimes with two rectangles or strips of cloth folded over the cord (one in front and one in back), but often with only one rectangle folded over the cord, in front. Less commonly, one edge of the rectangle(s) of cloth is hemmed over the cord; this means that only one thickness of cloth hangs down (not two), but also means that a rectangle cannot simply be yanked free by the master without untying the cord.
- Slave veil
- A small triangular veil of thin and almost fully-transparent silk, which can be worn by a kajira; one side of the triangle goes over the bridge of her nose (under her eyes), and the veil covers her mouth as it narrows downwards, coming to a point at her chin. It is held in place by a short length of string which goes behind her ears and around the back of her head (the veil and string often being yellow/golden, the colour of a talender flower). Gorean men consider the sight of a woman's lips and mouth to be extremely sensuous, or even sexually provocative, which is one reason why free women often veil their faces; however, a slave veil calls attention to the kajira's mouth more than it meaningfully conceals it. (This fits in with the pattern that a number of Gorean slave garments are designed more to call attention to a kajira's intimate areas, and to be very easily and quickly removed or brushed aside whenever the master wishes, than to fully conceal them.) A slave veil can be a parody or mockery of the concealing veils worn by free women — which is emphasized when a master requires his kajira to be naked except for a slave veil.
- Slave wine
- Semi-permanent female contraceptive, usually taken by drinking an unsweetened bitter liquid. This is a medical refinement of the naturally-growing "sip-root" (traditionally used as a short-term contraceptive in some Gorean cultures); its effects can be reversed by administering a dose of a "releaser".
- Southern hemisphere slave garments
- In the southern hemisphere of the planet Gor (south of the equatorial jungles and west or south of the Tahari desert), there are some cultural practices different from those prevailing in the zone of the main northern hemisphere cities (or "northern civilized cities of known Gor"). Thus in the largest southern-hemisphere city of Turia, piercing the ears of kajirae, and having kajirae wear ear-rings, was traditionally done much more often than in the northern hemisphere (and without the special meaning assigned to ear-piercing in the northern hemisphere). The loose-fitting toroidal Turian collar is also favored over the close-fitting cylindrical collar of the northern hemisphere. Another difference between the two hemispheres is that in southern hemisphere cultures, kajira clothing often violates the "no nether closure" rule of the northern hemisphere. So among the Wagon Peoples of the Plains of Turia, standard kajira attire consists of the following four items: the Curla, a red cord knotted tightly around the waist and fastened above the left hip with an easily-untied slip knot (i.e. shoelace knot); the Chatka, a strip of black leather about six inches wide and four to five feet long, which is slipped over the Curla in front, passed between the legs, and slipped over the Curla from the inside in back, so that it is tight-fitting in the middle, while the loose ends fall freely in front and back; the Kalmak, a short sleeveless vest of black leather open in the front; and finally the Koora, a strip of red cloth (matching the Curla) used to tie back the hair (note that kajirae of the Wagon Peoples are not allowed to confine their hair in any other way). In addition to the "no nether closure" principle, this also violates the northern hemisphere preference that kajirae should not usually wear leather (which is considered too "masculine" for them), but rather soft clinging fabrics such as silk and rep-cloth. (See the entry on Slave strips for a Chatka and Curla type garment adjusted to northern hemisphere preferences.) In the city of Turia itself, the most common kajira attire is the "Turian camisk" or piece of cloth cut in the shape of an inverted "T": the foot of the "T" is fastened at the neck and goes down the front of the body, between the legs, and up to the lower back where it meets the crossbar; the two ends of the crossbar are then brought around to the front of the body and fastened there. Note that a Turian camisk is not actually a camisk according to the basic northern hemisphere meaning of the word; however, the two types of garment do share the feature of revealing the most common site for a kajira brand (high on the side of the left thigh under the hip).
- Stabilization serum
- Immortality potion. (Slave wine and stabilization serums combine to contribute to certain apparently intentionally unrealistic aspects of the Gor books.)
- Submission tie / Tharnan tie
- When a kajira's hands/wrists are bound together behind her back with a short strap or length of binding fiber, while a longer piece is tied to the front of her collar, run down the front of her body, and used to bind her ankles together (as she is kneeling sitting back), this is called a "standard submission tie" or the "Tharnan tie". This effectively immobilizes the kajira without fastening her to a fixed object or requiring any chains or specialized equipment, while her head is held down in an appropriately submissive way, and her collar exerts pressure only on the back of her neck (since Gorean masters are always careful never to subject the windpipe to uncontrolled pressure).
- The Gorean-language term for a "slave rag", that is, an irregular and generally somewhat fragmentary garment which is vaguely tunic-like, but which does not fit the definition of any of the standard types of kajira clothing styles (tunic, camisk, etc.). Ta-teeras are often customized with strategic rips and gaps to be rather scanty and revealing. The minimum coverage requirement for a ta-teera would seem to be that if the kajira stands still, then her crotch will be covered from the view of anyone directly in front of her (but it might become visible from other angles and/or when she is in motion, as is the case to varying degrees with the majority of Gorean slave garments).
- Gorean-language term for a woman who is the ruler or chief official of a city in her own right. Not to be confused with "Ubara", which usually means a woman who is the "consort" (free companion) of a "Ubar" (male ruler or chief official of a city) — though in Gor book 25 Magicians, when Talena is the figurehead ruler of Ar under Cos, she is for some reason called "Ubara" rather than "Tatrix". For a number of years, the government of the city of Tharna was headed by a Tatrix, even though almost all other women in Tharna were kept as slaves. Some city-states have a political system which is intended to keep any one individual from exercising predominant power, except in wartime — in which case the highest peacetime city official is called an "Administrator".
- Tower slave
- Female slave whose duties do not prominently include sexual services, also known as a "house slave" (derogatory variant: "kettle slave"). The opposite is a "pleasure slave" or "silk girl". Of course, the manner in which a kajira serves is decided solely by her owner, and can be changed at will. The term "serving slave" is sometimes synonymous with tower slave / house slave (especially when referring to kajirae owned by free women), but in other contexts this can refer to a slave of any type who is occupied in serving free persons at a meal or drinking session.
- Tower slave position
- Like nadu, but with knees together (indicating a less sexual submission). Also called "the position of the house slave". When the hands are not occupied with some task, they generally rest loosely in front, with wrists crossed (as if for binding). Gorean free women commonly use a similar position to simply sit on the floor or the ground (without expressing any submission), but in less revealing garments than kajirae, and never with wrists crossed.
- Standard garment worn by men on Gor whose occupations demand physical effort and freedom of movement (such as warriors) — and also (in a rather different form) by female slaves. Tunics worn by kajirae are sleeveless and commonly rather short (with the hemline always above the knees, and usually only coming down to the upper thighs). Those slave tunics worn by pleasure slaves (as opposed to tower slaves) often have a deeply-plunging neckline, which can be slit in front down to the navel, and are often modified so that they can be removed with a simple pull on a "disrobing loop" attached to the left shoulder-strap, or by unfastening a clasp or loosening an easily-untied slip-knot (bow or shoelace knot) at the left shoulder strap. Unlike several other types of kajira attire, a slave tunic usually covers the most common kajira branding site (high on the side of the left thigh, under the hip). However, tunics can be slit at the sides in various ways, in order to be more revealing, and this can allow the brand to become visible. The tunics of the house livery worn by the kajirae of Miles of Argentum are "slit at the sides to the rib cage", so that the back and front are joined only for a few inches below the armpit (of course, if a tunic is slit completely, so that the back and front are not joined at the sides at all, then it becomes a camisk). In the northern temperate zone city-states, all of a kajira's garments are generally required to be open at the bottom (allowing an open-air path to her privates), to symbolize and facilitate her constant sexual availability and accessibility to her master (i.e. a "nether closure" is forbidden), so that no undergarments are worn.
- Two-piece kajira outfits
- The common northern-hemisphere slave garments (camisk, tunic, etc.) can be quite scanty and revealing in many ways, but do not fully bare the midriff. If this is desired, then two-piece outfits can be worn: most often a simple rectangle of cloth worn as a short skirt tied at the left hip (so that the left leg and the common kajira branding site there are fully revealed), and a halter top above. Fancy kajira outfits worn for solo slave dances are often of the same basic type, but of silk rather than rep cloth, etc. For another type of two-piece kajira outfit, see the standard attire of the kajirae of the Wagon Peoples of the southern hemisphere, described above.
- Walking chain
- Light locking ankle fetters connected by a light chain a foot or more long, when worn without other restraints, are likely mainly intended to keep a woman's stride length below some maximum considered aesthetic, rather than to confine a slave as such (especially in the Tahari desert region of Gor). Free women in the Tahari sometimes use an analogous "silken thong" as a beauty aid for the same reason, or occasionally even wear chains (as may have also sometimes been done in Biblical times — see Isaiah 3:16).
- Whip master
- A man who has been given full legitimate powers of command and discipline over a kajira or group of kajirae, even though he doesn't personally own them, is their "whip master". This generally includes full sexual "use rights" over the kajirae, except in some cases of white silk kajirae.
- Whip of the furs / sex conquest / training of the furs
- Master-kajira sex is not only highly pleasurable for the master, but by his control of the circumstances — and over the amount of pleasure that the kajira feels — the master can use such lovemaking to deepen his knowledge of her, impress on her the fact of her enslaved status, and train her kajira reflexes. Sex is never a punishment as such, and the kajira almost always feels some pleasure, but sometimes a master chooses to use a kajira purely unilaterally, for his own convenience and pleasure alone, without caring how much pleasure she may feel. (Occasionally a master may even make a somewhat contemptuous "spurning use" of a kajira, most often to remind her how far she has fallen since she caused problems for him as a haughty free woman.) However, Gorean masters very often care a great deal about how much pleasure a kajira feels, and the experience of Goreans is that if a woman understands and feels her absolute dependence on the master, then almost any moderately experienced and competent master can make her feel fantastic pleasure (if he chooses to do so). Both types of sex (that in which the master cares about his own pleasure alone, and that in which the master overwhelms the kajira with floods of pleasure) can play important roles in bringing a kajira to full acceptance of her slave identity.
- White silk
- Virgin (especially of a female slave, one who has not been "opened for the uses of men"). Virginity in a kajira is more often considered a negative (i.e. a sign of awkward inexperience) than a positive by Gorean men (though in some contexts it can have a certain commercial value on Gor). In the zone of the main northern cities, a "red-silk" kajira would not normally wear pure white garments (without any accents or trimmings of a contrasting colour), since to do so would be to falsely proclaim her to be white silk; however, tower slaves / house slaves often wear simple predominantly-white tunics. (Also, see the entries Kirtle and Classic gown above for white garments which do not imply that their wearers are virgins.)
- Gorean dictionary part A on SM-201 (There are also several other parts; this is a glossary of all terms connected with the fictional planet Gor, not just ones relevant to BDSM.)
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