(Introduction: 2011. This post has a slightly different history than others here. It was something that I wrote on the old Silk&Steel Gorean discussion board in a thread about slave failure. When I finally shut down the board, it was lost (the story behind all that, and my separation from the S&S "community" is something I will address in a post here before I finish and lock this blog, I promise). Recently on another discussion board the topic of slave failure was again brought up with questions directed specifically at me. I linked to my previous post here on the subject and, while that post details my thoughts, it is a short form of them. One poster, aggrieved for his own reasons, claimed that I advocated for a complete and perpetual community-wide rejection of a slave after her failure. He claimed that my position was that once a slave fails, she can never again be a slave. This was done, of course, to make the concept seem too radical to be feasible thereby allowing some people to try to avoid or escape entirely the responsibility for their own choices. As I've said, he has his own reasons to try to reject the idea of slave failure. Luckily for me and my sore typing hands (and to the great detriment of his argument) he re-posted the writings of mine which you can read below.
I believe the kids call this "self-pwnage". ;0)
In any case, I am indebted to him for doing so, for this essay lays out in some detail my own thoughts on slave failure, and serves as a rebuttal to those who - perhaps in trying to deny the failure that they themselves or their property has chosen - would mis-characterize my stance on the matter.
So here, for your perusal, are more thoughts by Bear on slave failure.
There is never a good reason for a girl to fail. And there will NEVER be an excuse for a girl to do so.
Most times, when faced with the choice of leaving or facing harm at the hands of an out-of-control dom, she should leave without compunction for the truth is that she has already failed, her value has already been reduced and Gorean men will take that into account in the future in any dealings with her.
To reiterate: There is never a good reason for a slave to fail. The sad truth is most women out there who come into this lifestyle from online probably have failed, arm-in-arm with the vast number of posers, losers and idiots online pretending to be Gorean. It is rare to find one who has not, and when we do find them, those women we tend to keep around for a long time.
It is after that failure, when a girls value is judged, that her worth is determined. Men have many different yardsticks for that - as well they should. But we both know that in the end those who have failed and who continue to do so are seen more and more widely as valueless and often have to find refuge with weak men whose standards for ownership consist of little more than having something moist and wet between a girls legs.
Failure as we speak of it in this context is a very serious thing. It severely and forever affects a girls value, of course, but it does not have to be the end of all value. That decision is made by men, and they alone can make that decision (indeed, there are times when we just watch, blink, shake our heads and shrug as some of these repeated failures get collared over and over as they work their way down the ladder from the strong to the weak). What the girls have to realize is that they never, ever can forget nor walk away from that failure, that they never, ever will reach the potential value as a gorean slave that they could have had they not chosen to fail, and the failing will, inevitibly, close off some avenues, chances and possibilities that would have been open to them had they not chose to fail.
To my mind, it would have to be a very special girl who failed, whom I would take as my slave when there are literally hundreds of potential gorean slaves out there who have not, who would beg for a moment of a Gorean mans time. Once failure is chosen, it is easier to fail the next time. And the next. We all know examples of such girls.
Simply, there are no degrees of failure. There is simply failure, and that is a black and white choice a girl makes. It is that failure, and how it affects a girls value in the eyes of men, where the only chance remains for a failed slave to redeem some kind of measure of what she could have once been, had she chosen not to fail. If a Gorean man takes a moment of time to notice a failed slave, she should consider herself one of the luckiest women alive and work hard to provide that man proof of whatever value might remain in her.
There is never a good reason to fail, girls. This is serious business, giving your life to another, not some kind of twisted high-school romance fantasy. Put yourself in a position to fail; beg the collar of that Conan wanna-be online, take that "protection collar", mouth the words of surrender but dont really mean it, run and bolt when things get tough and you will have already failed as a gorean slave. Your actions will have repercussions and you will bear the responsibilities of them forever. The choice is always yours, indeed, it is the only choice you retain once you surrender - so you damn well better be sure you know whom you surrender to, no matter how long it takes.
I would point out that this is not "my position" on this so much as it seems to be the natural progression of the concept that we put forth as gorean slavery. It has to be this way, or what we profess to be gorean slavery in this society is in actuality something much, much less. Let me explain.
When a girl surrenders her life and becomes a Gorean slave, she does not do so "until I beg release" or "until I am no longer happy", or "until I feel it becomes too hard" or "until I am no longer challenged and fulfilled", or "until I " anything.
She does so forever, with one one choice remaining for her.
If she does not surrender without conditions, then she has not surrendered, she has simply submitted. She has placed restrictions and conditions on her slavery, even if those restrictions are not given voice or agreed to, and that is simply not gorean slavery.
I have spoken out in public for years on the topic of making sure you know who that man you are handing your life over to is. I have warned and cautioned for years that there are repercussions for not taking the time to get to know the man one is supposedly giving ones life to - repercussions that will follow a girl for the rest of her life. I have spoken out for years that the gorean slavery we practice in this society is not a game, not a part-time thing to be tossed away when it no longer titillates, not something that is just a new way to play the junior high-school "I have a crush on you" games we all played when we were twelve and thirteen years old. I have told people for years that this is a dangerous, adult, alternative lifestyle and that it exacts a cost for living it - and for failing to do so.
--Bear of Ar, 12/9/00 3:58 pm