The Gorean Lifestyle: An Introduction

Much has been heard and written about the Gorean Lifestyle, but sadly, not everyone who speaks or writes about Gor has an idea of what Gor actually is. Some say that Gor is a sub sect within BDSM, while others say that Gor is just a medieval fantasy, just like the more mainstream Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter, with the concept of women’s slavery being incidental to the entire storyline.

Here is a basic introduction to Gor and Gorean Lifestyle.

The 27 Books:

The Gorean lifestyle is based on the twenty seven books written by John Norman in the late seventies. The books describe a fictional planet, the Land of Gor, a medieval fantasy land, which has a lifestyle quite different from what we see in our everyday lives. On the planet of Gor, the men are the dominant gender, whereas the women are the submissive gender. Basically, the terminology for the dominant man would be a master and the terminology for the submissive women would be slave, or the more poetic ‘kajira’.

The entire storyline was based on wars, captures, etc, and therefore there were a few instances of a man being captured, thereby giving a nod to the submissive man, but this aspect was not as prevalent as the aspect of submissive women. In the case of men who were captured, they would be called as ‘kajirus’.

In the Gorean books, Gor was a land that was fraught by war and perils, which would in turn come up with opportunities for women and men to be captured, and therefore enslaved. Norman has taken several aspects from Greco Roman lifestyles, Asian Indian lifestyles, etc to create a world that romanticized the past world as much as a pulp fiction novel set in the medieval world.   The 27 books are therefore considered to be the ‘be all’ and the ‘end all’ of the Gorean lifestyle. Many forums, sites and interactive groups that follow the Gorean Lifestyle require anyone who wishes to join them to read at least some of the books, whereas the stricter groups would require one to read all the books.


Though BDSM is as controversial as Gor, Gor has been the favorite whipping boy of feminist groups and human right groups all across the world, simply because Gor is much more systematic and has its protocols chalked out quite strongly, putting up all its rules and regulations out in the open.

Another aspect that is controversial about Gor, and something that is not found in the world of BDSM, is that Gor, for the most part is not an interpersonal interaction, but something that can be considered to be a group interaction. Basically, a group of dominants will own a group of submissives, and it at the very end that a person would actually have an interaction with another. This has given rise to a thought that Gor is more demeaning to womankind than the general BDSM, which normally has a person interacting with a person.

Why People are so scared of it

Say the word ‘Gor’ and you either get a very positive reaction or a very negative reaction. Gor is one of the subsets within the world of BDSM that has grown so vast that some people consider itself to be a lifestyle, though it is not so. While Gor was not as popular in the seventies and the eighties, with only a handful of people knowing about it, or even watching the movie ‘Gor’ (yes, there were two of them, lampooned by Mystery Science Theater). On a more serious note, most people who follow BDSM do not approve of Gor, and are even of the thought that Gor is dangerous, as compared to BDSM. Here are some reasons why people are scared of Gor:

Gor is Intense:

Gor is comparatively more intense than other lifestyles, because Gor does not depend on screening. People who follow Gor do not consider it to be a roleplay, or a scene, but in fact say that they are leading the lifestyle – which cannot be denied because there are after all twenty seven books that outline the life and times of the Gorean region. Actually speaking, the world of Gor is as detailed and streamlined as would be the Star Wars world, or the Lord of the Rings world, etc.  

Gor Requires Reading:

The lifestyle, or the true meaning of Gor, can be understood only when people read at least two or three books out of the twenty seven books – and these books are not small PDFs or novelettes, these books are six hundred pager hunks, which are not as racy and lucidly written as your favorite fantasy themed novel. The people who follow Gor, known as ‘Goreans’, appreciate it if the person reads and understand the books and actually frown on people who come into the lifestyle without reading the books. If reading books is not your thing, Gor might put you off in this aspect.  

Gor is majorly Polygamous:

People who live by the books will tell you that Goreans may have relations and interactions with more than one, even countless submissives. This might not be the relationship that you might be looking for, if you wish to interact with only one dominant or only one submissive. However, you would also like to know that while Gor is more of a polygamous lifestyle, most people do end up in monogamous lifestyles at the end of it all.   All in all, Gor is a much misunderstood lifestyle, with the people following the lifestyles being too secretive about it. But Gor does have the ability to give you the satisfaction and commitment that you might receive in any of the alternate lifestyles.

Article: William Morris

Related Articles:

Gorean – A short brief page on its origin.

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