What follows is a reprint of previous writings of mine that appeared in The Gorean Voice, which I co-created and served as editor for a few years. The webzine is long defunct, and the archives of the site are sadly incomplete, but it pleases me to present my thoughts then, to my audience here.
In my part of the world, February is a time of cold, snow and chill blowing winds. For some reason, I have to fight the strong urge to just give up and sleep until around April. One of the ways I keep myself awake and the blood moving is to go visiting online. I wander very rarely, but always seem to find interesting things when I do.
Aside from keeping myself awake, these rare trips allow me to go from place to place and chat with people whom for various reasons I would not otherwise come in contact. I do this for the same reason I came online years ago and identified myself as a Gorean lifestyler, that is, to find others who also live this philosophy. They are rare, very rare, but they do exist.
This short adventure happened in an IRC channel, but it could have happened almost anywhere online where there are people who put the word "gorean" in an identifiable position in regards to themselves, while at the same time disregarding many of the basic tenets of the philosophy, gather.
It started out nicely enough, chatting with the "owner" of the channel. I was impressed that this was one of the few places online where "slaves" did not hold ops (ops, or operator privileges, for our non-irc friends, is like being a bouncer in a bar, you have the ability to kick people out of the channel, and if need be, ban them from returning for a time or forever -- needless to say, holding "ops" power over a free person, no matter the rationale, is not something an actual Gorean slave would ever consider doing). I began to chat privately with the owner of the channel when she found out that I was *that* Bear, and she related to me what I thought was a sad tale.
It seems her sister, a lady who used to visit the IRC channel myself and my partner own, had died. She used to come to my channel and enjoy herself at times and I recalled the name and seeing the nick on my channel on occasion, although I could never really remember speaking to her. She was the owner of a channel on IRC where at least two self-proclaimed "gorean men" were auctioned off of a slave block, if my memory serves, to the highest bidder (these men, of course, still considered themselves free men afterwards, as one told us, it is all bdsm fun, dontchaknow). Thinking to ease a bit of the pain of this woman's loss, I expressed my sincere sympathy on the death of her sister, and gave my best wishes to herself and to her family.
She thanked me for my concern and sympathy, and then told me something that might sound astounding to some of you out there not familiar with online Gor, but something that should not have surprised me in the least.
She informed me that she did not recognize it the first time she was killed, she just ignored it, but she decided to accept it the second time she was "IRC kill(ed)". This was a legal death, and was duly recognized by all. Things were much better for her now under this new name and channel.
I should have known better. I should have looked at the net I was on, and handed myself a clue. I should have seen the people in the channel, how they behaved, acted to one another and the slaves there, and known better. But I did not. I was simply lonely that night, out wandering, looking for some new people, others like myself who live and/or express interest in this lifestyle and philosophy in a serious manner. I was fooled, for a bit, and the fault was mine, for I more than any know that 95% of online "goreans" are gamers just like the lady above.
I told her I was sorry, that I thought she was serious, and took my leave.
She messaged me, obviously understanding and uncomfortable with my departure (and the injection of reality in her fantasy, no doubt). I invited her to #Silk&Steel on aust.net, a Gorean lifestyle discussion channel, in order that she come and chat and learn a bit about those who live this lifestyle and the harm such silly games do to them.
She told me she probably could not attend, as she was soon "travelling(sic) soon to be joined real life".
I nodded and told her that wherever she goes in her travels, I wish her well, but that she should be careful -- because in "real life" they only recognize the FIRST kill.