Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Caste stories - one joke


Four men; a Warrior, a Physician, a Merchant and a Builder were drinking in a tavern. Having imbibed for most of the night, they proceeded to have an argument about the importance of the various castes in their city. It went something like this:

The Builder said: "Were it not for my caste, there would be no city, for my caste designs and sees to the building of such things as cities.

The Physician said: "Were it not for my caste, the city could not be completed, for my caste treats and heals the sickness and injuries of those who build the city."

The Merchant said: "Were it not for my caste, there would have nothing to build with, for my caste sells such materials so that others may build cities."

The Warrior said: "Were it not for my caste, you would soon be forced from your city, for my caste defends its walls with our lives."

With that, all four men looked at one another for a moment and as one, and uttered a word:



Five men, a Warrior, a Physician, a Merchant a Builder and an Initiate were drinking in a tavern. Having imbibed for most of the night, they proceeded to have an argument about the importance of the various castes in their city. It went something like this:

The Builder said: "Were it not for my caste, there would be no city, for my caste designs and sees to the building of such things as cities.

The Physician said: "Were it not for my caste, the city could not be completed, for my caste treats and heals the sickness and injuries of those who build the city."

The Merchant said: "Were it not for my caste, there would have nothing to build with, for my caste sells such materials so that others may build cities."

The Warrior said: "Were it not for my caste, you would soon be forced from your city, for my caste defends its walls with our lives."

With that, all four men looked as one at the Initiate, who said:

"Barkeep! More paga!".

I wish you well.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Let us eat and drink...


"Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." - 1 Corinthians 15:32

Tal and greetings to everyone reading,

Never thought that I'd see a biblical passage quoted here on this blog, but it is apt as I will explain in a moment. It's been a hell of a week in my household. My Free Companion is recovering from her second surgery. Her mobility is extremely limited. I am in pre-testing for my surgery to repair my back, which will soon keep my off of my feet for several weeks. My girl is working to take care of us both, at this point.

In thinking about what to post this week and having several things on the burner, but not yet ready for mass consumption, I stumbled across an article which made my choice much easier. I don't have to make a choice. It won't matter, you see, because it's all over on Saturday. No blog post this week. Yeah, been nice knowing you, too.
(copy, paste and read)

So I leave you to read the article and to ponder at the short duration of the rest of your lives, while I, just in case, continue to care for my Free Companion, prepare for my own situation and try to remember how to party like it's 1999.

Be back next Friday.

I think.


Friday, May 13, 2011

"Why don't you leave the gamers alone?!"

(May 2011. Blogger is finally back up and we are getting close to the finish, here. This essay below was first written around the turn of the century. As always, enjoy.)

What follows is my reply to one of the characters/screen names of a Yahooian who tried to claim on a chat-board to a slave that a group of people using gor as a roleplaying venue had no effect at all on those few of us who actually live as gorean men and women in this society. Sadly, despite how weak that opinion is, it is a rather safe and comfortable one, and his opinion is in the majority with those who use the word "gorean" in relation to themselves online. My reply is complete and speaks for itself and after all this time I have only one thing to add to it.

I've come to the painful realization that unless you actually do try to live as a gorean man or woman in this society and unless "gor" means more to you than chat boards, playing characters, and chatting up lonely housewives claiming to be "kajira" then you probably will never understand why those of us who do live this do take offense when someone plays "Dungeons and Dragons with tits" with the philosophy and facets of the culture we strive to direct our lives by.

Rest assured that I understand that the vast majority of those who have read and would ever read this fall into the former category. For those people who do and still loudly go about the net claiming to be "gorean" I say: Shame on you, you are the gamers. And for the few people whom I love, who also have bent the truth in order to "get along" with others and to "grow the community" and who have surrendered to this P.C. mindset I say: I still love you, although you cost the ideal that I have dedicated my life to dearly. I still love you -- but I weep for us both.

Tal folks,

Here we are again, this comes up about once every two months. 

"Why can't you leave the gamers alone, *I* game in Shadowrun /Vampyre/Dungeons and Dragons and it harms no one..."

Okay, I will bite again, this time. I will respond to you and once more explain *WHY* this kind of conduct harms the community. Remember, the issue is not about the *right* to game, but what *harm* it causes us as a community. Once you get the gamers and their apologists to *see* that, then it is up to the individuals sense of honor to dictate what they do.

And we have all seen, online at least, what kind of a sense of honor that is.

"Laugh? Cry? Why do either? Nothing they're doing has anything to do with you."

Obviously, you are incorrect in this. People pretending to be what we are, and pubilically posting issues concerning Gorean philosophy and tradition within the rules for a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game, has a lot to do with us.

They're not hurting the community.

That is total and utter bullshit. By reducing the concept of "Gor" to a roleplaying game, they make it that much harder - by each person who stumbles on them - for us to gain any amount of initial respect or understanding from someone who then subsequently comes across us.

"Oh yeah, Goreans, that's that 'Fantasy Roleplaying' thing I saw the rules for on the net..."

While he many not have had this exact experience, I suggest you read the threads of Ox here recently (Note: This refers to a man who entered a lifestyle chat venue in the guise of a character -- this was what he thought "gor" was all about since all he ever saw on the net was a role-playing game) for an example.

They're not deceiving anyone.

Again, utter bullshit. They are deceiving anyone who stumbles on them without knowing that this is a rich, demanding and adult alternative lifestyle into thinking it is just a version of Dungeons and Dragons with tits and ass.

There is no potential for misunderstandings leading to pain.

No? How many girls come crying to you, each week, because their "masters" turn out to be boys who become enamored of the game, and do not realize until too late that it is and becomes more than that to some? How many weep in front of you, their hearts crumbling, because their "master", the man who begged them to take a collar, was actually married and playing a "character", but his wife now found out, and they have not heard from him in weeks? How many do you have to console, deal with, and try to put them back on the path to healing when they are attacked by people on and offline, because "Gor" is just a "fantasy game" played by "computer geeks"? 

When you have some of those experiences and have dedicated a large part of your life to living in and serving this lifestyle community on and offline, then you can talk about how there is "no potential for misunderstandings leading to pain" and not look foolish.

They're not even calling themselves or the world they're playing in Gorean.

Obviously, you did not read the site. I quote:

"The world is based mostly on John Norman’s series about Gor, with some generic fantasy elements."


"Other notes. Desecration of the homestone(sic) calls for an immediate death penalty. Use of magic in public is forbidden."

Now you tell me... on second thought, don't. Just read the site before you put fingers to keys next time.

They are honest roleplayers, playing a roleplaying game in a world that resembles one we know. Yes, the world of Tragoth has a lot of features taken from the novels Norman wrote... so what?

See replies above.

>>>These people are not coming into Gorean lifestyle chat rooms.

My being Gorean does not start and end in "Gorean lifestyle chat rooms", thanks. I *LIVE* this lifestyle and *IDENTIFY* myself on and offline as doing so. Unlike some then, I and others like me *obviously* have an issue with those who would have people who have never considered the concept of being Gorean see it as a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game.

They are playing a game, with each other, according to mutually agreed-to and understood rules, each knowing exactly what is roleplay and what is real. 

They indicate on the site, very little that is "real". It is all a game, nowhere do they speak of anything else. Perhaps we read two different sites?

They're having fun, and harming no-one.

For the third time, utter bullshit. They might not be harming many, since there are few goreans in existance, but I assure you that they are certainly harming the few Gorean men and women who struggle for a chance to walk their path in this society with head held high.

Are they Gorean? They would laugh at the question, and answer "I'm playing a character in Tragoth." So what? No harm, no foul.

No harm no foul till those who look at "gor" find that place, and paint us all with the same brush. Doesn't happen? Walk into some bdsm channels (or any other, for that matter) and tell them that you are Gorean and see what they think of it - I have watched that opinion change over the last few years, all because of the posers online (which these people are not) and the gamers who by their very game rob us of the chance to be seen honestly and openly for what we are.

If you take a moment to read through the page, it becomes obvious that they're not even playing online- this is a tabletop roleplaying group, which meets in person for a weekly gaming seesion, which happens to have posted their background information on the web so that all members of the group will have easy access to it.

Which will then show up, eventually, on search engines listing "Gor", "John Norman", "Kajira", "slave", etc.

As I noted to you before, my being Gorean does not stop and start online, so where they play is immmaterial. The simple fact is that because they put information on the web that depicts "gor" as a "Fantasy Roleplaying" game, they do the small community of *actual* Gorean men and women who exist, harm.

In short: save your laughter, tears, scorn, or mockery for those who are actually deserving of them, girl. And take a second look, next time.

I would suggest also that you take a second look. These people are as deserving as many, and a bit less than most. While they do not prey on others while posing as Gorean (that we know of), they do harm this community by taking some of the concepts and traditions we hold dear, and using them in a manner that will cause us as Gorean men and women, hardship and pain.

There is no amount of wishing, wiggling, or sand deep enough to stick your head into, that will change that simple fact.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Response to a critic

Preface - 2011. The following was the culmination of an exchange on the old silk&Steel community discussion board which I owned and ran for several years. Then, like now, most of what we did was attempt to clear up the misconceptions and outright lies about what living Gorean in this society entails. (As an aside, I find it ironic that these days most of the more popular and active Gorean discussion venues are attached directly to BDSM sites. Despite this, I have found that there exists some good discourse amongst the obvious romantic fallacies and the outright trolling that goes on).

Please enjoy my responses, below.

As always, I can be reached here at



Again, as you have done several times in the past, you confuse living the Gorean philosophy with trying to be a character out of a book. I can appreciate how confusing this can be, to someone standing outside this lifestyle and looking at the mess that "online gor" is. I assure you that we as lifestylers rarely spend too much time worrying about many of these issues. Some things are important, some not, some things are indicators that a person claiming to be Gorean (which you do not do), has not even read the novels which contain that philosophy and some things are a matter of taste.

You said:

>>>"I am a writer, and my owner would be dreadfully cross if anyone did that with my books, as of course all my work is now my owner's property."

And just what have we done with his books? We are not producing product, for profit, that interferes with his copyright or his ability to gain recompense from his work - indeed the exact opposite is true: It has been noted that without those two fellows meeting in a chat channel, without that IRC channel being formed, without the work of those two men and many many others, "GOR" would not be enjoying the popularity it currently has, nor would the books be in reprint. Nor, I will point out, would there be a glimmer of a chance that the 26th book may someday see print (indeed, that is why the author tried his hand at a non-Gorean creation recently, which did not capture the following his previous work had). The "Gor" license was moribund, Cara, before three or so years ago. 'Certain' people have communicated their appreciation to us, for doing what we did, I assure you. ;0)

I suspect the author is not going to become "dreadfully cross" any time soon, with us. ;0)

>>>"However the question that I wanted to ask is, who decides what is and what is not Gorean?"

That is simple: We do. The community of men and women who live this lifestyle. Unlike what you seem to wish to imply, there is a great wide area that covers what is Gorean and what is not. People are not living this philosophy in narrowly defined avenues. Indeed, there are men whom I am friendly with, who live a Gorean lifestyle that I could never live - for instance, some live a nomadic lifestyle patterned after the Wagon Peoples. Completely different than me, my home and my microwave oven. ;0) However, this does not make them any less Gorean than I am.

Where the rub comes in, and where you see the friction, is when the vast majority of those online claiming to be Gorean seek to change the *philosophy*, to ignore the *traditions* or to betray the codes of their proclaimed caste, usually because they are sniffing around some subbies crotch. These "gorkies" stop being "gorean" as soon as the computer goes off. Those kind of people, Cara, are what make up the vast majority of online "goreans" you have probably come to know.

But there are a few, small in number but growing, who understand what this lifestyle demands, and live it every day - not exactly as I do, nor as the next fellow, but in a way that is in keeping with what I mentioned above, so as to demand respect.

>>>"I have noticed lots of things that have puzzled me."

Indeed, we noticed you noticed. ;0)

My suggestion is to stop seeing this as a game, with "rules" that allow you to play, or not. Stop seeing it as akin to BDSM, where the rules say that when the 'safeword' is given, one must cease. Where the 'social rules' say that men must defer to a woman if she identifies herself as a "Domme".

This is a lifestyle philosophy. Those who understand it, simply do not seem to have much trouble manifesting it in a manner that others can respect, even if those ways are very very different from their own - those who do not have it in them for whatever reason, can not do so. That is the rub.

>>>"A few examples are slaves saying frequently "This one" I do not recall ever seeing this in a book."

Girls oftentimes spoke in the third person, in the novels, most especially in training and when being corrected. Indeed, when told in the novel to speak "as a slave", a girl speaks in third person. When my partner and I started all this, we decided that due to this being a text-only medium, the communication in third person is a valuable tool to reinforce to the girl (whom obviously is not there and one cannot see) that she needs to think and shift from her ordinary manner of speech, to one that is pleasing to men (See: Vector of Pleasure on the Silk&Steel web site).

Also, such speech is pleasing, to our ears. ;0)

Since that day, it has become a tradition for girls to talk this way. Indeed, since we are not playing a game, nor are we portraying characters out of the books, we will tend to, as a living breathing community end up developing our own traditions over time. And that is a good thing, as long as they do not conflict with the philosophy.

I might point out that 95% of the online traditons, including the online collar {}, the third person speech, asking to enter/leave, using alcoves instead of having 'relations' in front of everyone, etc., were all originated in and copied from the Silk&Steel.

I might point that out, but then, I am far too humble to do so. ;0)

>>>"There is a lot of mention of slaves *failing* if they behave in certain ways, and yet in the books they were often haughty, and indignant and displayed other unsubmissive behaviour. I could go on and on citing examples, but I don't want to be too boring."

Slaves in the novels cannot fail, Cara, for if they approach that, they are either beaten into submission, crippled and left to beg for substance, or killed.

Now, if we were simply playing characters out of a book, we would be a very dangerous bunch, in this society, indeed.

But we are not. We do not harm those who are too weak, stupid or incomplete to be a slave. Simply, we release them and let them go. Attached to that, is the stigma of failure. Not every release is due to failure, of course, but when a girl fails, release is inevitible.

And *failing* is simply deciding to behave in certain ways, Cara. *Failing* is defined simply: It is when a girl decides on her own to stop being a slave for her own comfort or ego. It is, truly, also the definition of a subbie/slubbie.

Slavery is a goal, Cara, and as a word is tossed about with abandon, but few girls actually ever reach it. Most are submissives, putting the cloak of servitude on and taking it off when they need to (such as when their hubby comes in the room), and fooling themselves about the truth of it.

But there are some who, no matter what they are doing at the job, at the office, at the grocery, at the dentist, never forget that their very lives are owned and that they exist for the pleasure of men.

Those girls, Cara, are very hard to find, and when a sub blossoms into a slave, she can be very highly prized among men.

>>>"I appreciate that many adaptations have to be made to live in our respective cultures, but who decides what these adaptations might be? Is there a committee of elders? Is it thrashed out through debate? Do you follow the dictates of one or two *leaders*? And what happens if someone does not agree with something? Who then decides that the person concerned is *not* Gorean?"

Ah, it would be easy to do so, Cara, if we were only playing characters out of a book. I direct you to AOL/gor and such places, where just what you speak of has manifested - where no one claims to be Gorean, and it is all just a roleplaying game to them. There, things are pretty cut and dried - there are rules, dice tables, and saving throws. They step in and out of "character" (ooc) and speak of their real selves as "muns" (mundanes).

Only one problem: They bicker and hurt one another more than the lifestylers and the gamers on all the rest of the venues combined. ;0)

Who decides? Again, *we* do, as a community of Gorean men and women. What you try to assert is that there is some 'board' that oversees what is Gorean and what is not, and if we were playing a game ala AOL, then we would need one. The truth of the matter is that Gorean men and women are by and large intelligent and honorable, and will honestly look at how another is living their lives based on the philosophy, traditions and codes, and judge them thusly. If they are very different, but meet the criteria, then they are respected - they might not be liked, they might have nothing at all in common - but they are respected as Gorean. I gave an example of this earlier.

Indeed, I have sat and watched this community reject those who claimed with all kinds of shouting and gesticulation to be Gorean, yet who did not walk the talk. Those people, once rejected, have slunk off to other venues, to form their own nets where they could be Ubar (indeed, to my knowledge only one "gorean" net in all that have been tried, was not formed for the reason that the owner was rejected by the Gorean lifestyle community) and try to *MANDATE* the respect that they could not earn by their actions. These people, some who read here today [Bear waves], sit on those silent and empty nets, wondering why people have deserted and still seek to desert them.

Where you see friction online, Cara, is the point where a multitude of people have changed that philosophy, have emasculated it, dumbed it down and who seek to change the traditions and codes into something that more fits what they *are*, rather than changing themselves to more fit what the philosophy demands.

That, Cara, is where you see friction between those who live this - a very diverse bunch to be sure - and those who *want* others to *think* they do.

That, Cara, is why you must ask the things you do.

I hope that things are a bit clearer for you, now.


copyright 1999 Bear- All rights to reprint are reserved.