Fifth Month
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Passage Hand
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Year 10,170 Contasta Ar




An Alternate Concept of Slave Positions

by Mike the Minotaur



So let's entertain a hypothetical argument here, and the reason why I want to do this is that I think that my fellow fans and lifestylers of Gor may be thinking about the nature of slave positions all wrong. And the reason why this is a huge deal is that the whole point behind learning slave postures, and positions, and commands, is to accomplish a goal: to be pleasing to their Masters. If a Kajira is to focus more on the minutiae of the positions, then they lose focus on the intent that's hidden behind the words of John Norman's books. It can be easy to become caught up with what's on the surface, and completely miss whatever lies just behind it. When this mistake becomes compounded over a large group of people, then the result can be disastrously divergent from the spirit of John Norman's intent in his writing.

I came to this different way of thinking when I was attempting to classify the different positions and found that it was almost impossible to do so because there was no way to pin down a name for a single position. With the way the quotes are worded, the positions started blending together, such that the only common thread between them was the intent and context surrounding individual behaviors.

So let's look at this in a different sort of way; that there are no such things as "positions."

When we think of language, what we know is that it is merely a method of being able to convey a thought or idea.

It's very clear that in the world of Gor, that intent, and the "concept" itself that you want to convey, is much more important than the surface words, or actions that we choose to use in which to communicate the intent.

For example, with the legal systems of Gor, a sword is far more important than a written law because a sword is something real, tangible. A warrior's heart and skill with that sword is something that creates an environment where the luxury of written law can even exist.

So to Goreans, words are nothing but noise in the wind. That even snapping one's finger at a vessel of water, will indicate to a slave that what he cares about is the water itself, or even more specifically that he wishes her to serve the water, to him or possibly someone else. Even if he were to say "the sky is blue today" but then snap his fingers and point at the water, it's clear to the slave that she is to fetch it for him.

So then the slave would wonder "how would he like me to retrieve it?"

Context then becomes important, did he communicate for her to be on her knees? Does he want her in a form of obeisance? Does he even care?

Let me share a few quotes to try and illustrate what I'm talking about here.

~~~

"There are many ways to perform obeisance," I said.

"I am a free woman," she said. "I know none of them."

"I shall instruct you briefly in three," I said. "First, kneel before me, back on your heels, yes, with your knees wide, wider, your hands on your thighs, your back straight, your breasts out, good, your belly in, good, and now lower your head in deference, in submission."

"Like a slave!" she said.

"Do it," I said. She looked well. "Now that," I said, "may not be exactly a performance of obeisance, for authorities do not all agree, but for our purposes we shall count it as one. It is, at any rate, a beautiful position, and it is, certainly, a common position of slave submission."

"Slave submission!" she cried.
"Yes," I said, "and you do it well. It looks natural on you."

"Now," I said, "and this is clearly a form of obeisance, bend forward and put your head to the mat, the palms of your hands on the mat. Good. Now lift your head a little and come forward, substantially keeping the position. Forward a little more."

"But then my face will be at your feet," she said. "My lips will be over them!"

"Yes," I said. "Good. Now put your head down and lick and kiss my feet."

"I am a free woman!" she said.

"You are a woman," I said. "Now, softly, lingeringly and lovingly. Good."

"I am not a slave," she said.

"All women are slaves," I said. "Imagine what this would be like if you were truly a collared slave."

She gasped.

"Good," I said. "Continue."

Frightened, she did so.

"Now," I said, "for a third form of obeisance. You may 'belly' to me."

"I do not understand," she whispered.

"There are various forms of bellying," I said, "and bellying may be suitably and pleasingly combined with other forms of floor movements, approaching the master on all fours, turning to your sides and back, writhing before him, and so on. We shall take a very simple variation, suitable for an ignorant free female who has not yet even begun to discover the depths of her sexuality."

She looked up at me.

"On your belly," I said. She backed off a bit, and went to her belly. Her hair was before her face, as she, now on her belly before me, looked up at me.

"Now inch forward," I said, "remaining low on your belly, and when you reach my feet, once again, as before, lifting your head a little, tenderly and humbly, and beautifully, as though you were a slave, lick and kiss them. Good. Good. Now take my foot and place it on gently on your head. Very good. Now place it again on the mat, and kiss it again. Good. You may now belly back a little, humbly. I have not yet given you permission to rise, of course."
Mercenaries of Gor, Pages 409 - 411
~~~

In first obeisance position, often assumed by a slave in the presence of a free man, she kneels with her head to the ground, and the palms of her hands down on the ground on either side of her head.
Swordsmen of Gor, Page 195
~~~

The usual second obeisance position has the slave go to her belly, her hands on either side of her head.
Swordsmen of Gor, Page 195
~~~

The first quote says an INCREDIBLY important piece of information, and it's in three lines.

~~~

"There are many ways to perform obeisance." I said.

"I am a free woman," she said, " I know none of them."

"I shall instruct you briefly in three," I said.
~~~

There are many WAYS to perform "obeisance" (as a concept, not a position)

Then he goes on to describe the "first position" as what we have come to know of as "Nadu" (which has been long suspected to be the Gorean word for "kneel")

Then the second quote refers to "first obeisance position" to be kneeling with her head to the ground and the palms of her hands down on the ground on either side of her head," This is not what we know of as "THE" Nadu position!!! But it is clearly "A" form of obeisance, and "commonly the first" form???

So the book quotes are very specifically not making logical sense here if we think of "positions" as the ends to the means, so maybe we are thinking about them entirely wrong. Maybe the positions are merely tools in which to carry out the intent of the Master... that so long as his intent is satisfied, the precise manner in which the position is carried out is entirely irrelevant???

If we extract this excerpt and examine it...

~~~

"Now" I said, "for a third form of obeisance. You may belly to me." "I do not understand," she whispered. "There are various forms of bellying, " I said, and bellying may be suitably and pleasingly combined with other forms of floor movements, approaching the Master on all fours, turning to your sides and back, writhing before him, and so on.
Mercenaries of Gor, Pages 409 - 410
~~~

He says that a form of "belly" is to be "on all fours"?!?! (Wasn't that supposed to be she-sleen? Now you can begin to see where my headache began!)

He even describes the act of "bellying" to be a position in and of itself. Again, the INTENT of the master is primary of importance, and there are many ways that a girl can execute that intent, so long as it's known to be pleasing to him.

Even the very writing style of John Norman is very carefully executed so that context is constantly hammered into every... single... event... that takes place, because in the world of Gor... context or intent is EVERYTHING.

What this means, is that instead of looking at the name of a position, or even the trigger for a position, instead, we look at the mind of the free person that is commanding a slave, and THAT'S IT. When that happens, we enter into a condition where "positions" themselves, as identified and defined "things"... to be completely irrelevant. Though there may be this quote here or there that describes a position neatly, it can have many variations even when conducted by the same slave, but at a different time entirely.

Let's remove labels/names/words altogether, and let's look at some of the nonverbal commands.

Any time that a Master snaps his fingers and points at something, a girl is expected to execute the most common sense thing that would be done with that object. If he points at a location, she goes there. If he spreads two fingers apart, they represent legs, and she knows to approach the location with the same number of legs in a similar shape, like a V, with her thighs spread.... because it's EXPECTED of her to be lower than him, not necessarily because she's ordered to a particular "position" but rather ordered to satisfy a particular desire or intent of the Master, such as to show off her cunt in a lewd way. Slaves are for pleasure. Or, another example is in the case when he wants her to humiliate herself by acting "as a sleen does."

As an experiment, I'm going to remove the name of the position from the following quote.

~~~

He then hurled the whip from him. It slid back across the tiles, until it stopped, at the door.

HE SNAPS HIS FINGERS AND POINTS AT THE WHIP.

The girl, on her hands and knees, went to the whip. She put down her head at the heavy, locked door and picked up the whip, delicately, in her teeth. She then, the whip in her teeth, turned from the door and, head down, on her hands and knees, returned to the center of the room.
Kajira of Gor (experimental revision), Page 398

~~~

Now, the line was supposed to say "Fetch," he said.

But all the same, the manner in which she carried out his intent was sensible. She was being chastised, so it would call to sense that she would place herself lower than him, in what we would know of as the modality of the she-quadruped, but that wasn't even named either? He didn't need to say anything at all because his intent was all that mattered. There was no "crawl" command. No "all fours" no "she quadruped," etc. The name was irrelevant. She just simply knew from the situation, precisely what was expected of her, because she was trained to think "as a slave."

Okay, so let's look at a quote where they use "all fours" or "she quadruped" as a position.

~~~

"Go to all fours," he said. "Fetch the leash, and bring it to me, in your mouth."

"Yes, Master," I said.
Plunder of Gor, Page 184
~~~

He is describing what he wants, not naming a position.

~~~

"To all fours," he said.

I went to all fours.
Plunder of Gor, Page 321
~~~

Again, describing what he wants.

~~~

Lale was then on all fours.

"You are now in the modality of the she-quadruped," said my hostess.

Lale moaned.

"Esne," called my hostess. That woman, she who had earlier taken the Lady Labiena from the floor, came over. She, too, carried a whip, and was dressed in brief leather, rather like that of a warrior. At her belt was a chain leash.

My hostess made a sign and Lale was leashed.

"Can you understand me, my little she-quadruped?" asked my hostess.

"Whimper once for 'Yes,' whimper twice for 'No.'"

Lale whimpered once.

"Good," said my hostess. "You are a bright little she-quadruped."

The chain shook, as Lale trembled.

"Have you ever served as a she-quadruped before, asked my hostess.

Lale whimpered twice.

"But you understand something of what is involved, do you not?" asked my hostess.

One whimper.

"For two weeks," said my hostess, "or more, if I choose, you will be chained in the darkness, in one of the back alcoves, serving there as a speechless animal any who may come upon you or desire you."

Lale groaned in pain.

"Do you understand?" asked my hostess.

Lale whimpered once.

"Take her away," said my hostess. "Delta Tunnel, Alcove Twenty-One."

That would be on the left side of the tunnel, as one entered. The even numbers are on the right.

I watched Lale being conducted from the floor. Her head was down. Once or twice her head was jerked up, as the leash was tautened, Esne hurrying her along.
Mercenaries of Gor, Page 328
~~~

At no point do they specifically NAME a POSITION... they simply describe what it is they expect of her, and what they want her to do.

~~~

"To all fours," said her keeper.

Immediately she went to all fours.

"Describe a circle, of some five paces in diameter, on all fours, as you are now," said her keeper, "and return to this place."

I watched her.

In this way was she well displayed, and in the attitude of the she-quadruped.

She was then again before us, on all fours, head down.

"On all fours," remarked a fellow.

"In such a posture she does not seem as insolent," said another.

"She is not," said another.

"No," said another.

"A fitting posture for the little she-sleen," said a man.

"Yes," said a man.

"Look up," I said to the girl.

She looked up, through her hair.
Magicians of Gor, 230
~~~

Again, "she sleen" and "all fours" is NOT NAMED, instead, they tell her what they expect or are observing from her, and simply call her an insult.

The intent is important, the position is secondary, as a means to an end.

Let's look at another example of intent. If a man snaps his fingers and points at a cup, he obviously wants it refilled.

~~~

Marlenus snapped his fingers, pointing to his cup on the table.

The slave girl came forward, from where she knelt to one side, and, kneeling, from a two handled vessel, filled it. She was very beautiful.
Hunters of Gor, Page 149
~~~

As a man snaps his fingers, without explanation, a slave would be expected to approach. His intent clearly is no more than to get her attention.

~~~

I snapped my fingers, and the girl, to the side, rose from her knees and lightly hurried to the table, beside which she again knelt, head down. "You may clear, Lola,"" I told her.

"Yes, Master,"" she said, and began to remove the dishes from the table.
Rogue of Gor, Page 127
~~~

Alright so let's look at Nadu then. Because we all know... KNOW that Nadu is a clearly NAMED position... right??? It's the king of all positions, the grand poohbah!

Well, let's apply this hypothetical argument, this shift in thinking to how we interpret the book quotes on "Nadu," and let's see what happens.

~~~

"Nadu!" he snapped. She swiftly turned, facing him, and dropped to her knees. She knelt back on her heels, her back straight, her hands on her thighs, her head up, her knees wide. It was the position of the pleasure slave.
Explorers of Gor, Page 77
~~~

"It was the position of the pleasure slave." This is big. Why include that? Why would John Norman go to the trouble of adding that extra context? I believe because it's key to understand that what he was doing, was giving a command to express intent, and she was performing in a way that was COMMON to do so, but not necessarily THE way of doing it. Many many pleasure slaves have done it this way, so she is doing it this way too.

Bit of a stretch? Okay, let's keep analyzing.

~~~

"The hands of a Pleasure Slave normally rest on her thighs but, in some cities, for example, Thentis, I believe, they are crossed behind her."
Priest Kings of Gor, Page 41
~~~

Nadu wasn't even spoken as a position name. Instead, it is the girl's status that's important. Status implies intent because that status is imposed upon her. And it varies how pleasure slaves execute the "Nadu" position. In Thentis, the expected position "a pleasure slave" would normally do it is with her hands crossed behind her...

But this is still "Nadu" is it not?

Well, does it matter what it's called?

Apparently, Nadu is also called "position!" such as in this quote.

~~~

"Position," said Kamchak.

I spoke sharply to the girl. "Be as you were before."

Terrified the girl straightened herself and again, knees placed, back straight and head high, knelt before us in the position of the Pleasure Slave.
Nomads of Gor, Page 48
~~~

It's the same, identical, position, but he was describing her to "be as she was before." to execute "Position." The inconsistencies build up as you find more and more quotes. It's almost as if the act of kneeling needs no name at all.

This next quote, I believe, is the damning evidence which serves to be a sucker punch to all of this. The very process of training of a slave carries with it, the point of context, that the "intent/image/concept" of what a slave is expected to do, requires a mental shift from the surface, to something a bit more fundamental.

~~~

The conditioning, of course, was subtle, as well as gross, being a combination not simply of torment and reward, but including the intended inculcation of an image and understanding of themselves as well.
Assassin of Gor, Page 195
~~~

And another quote for emphasis.

~~~

Frightened, Miss Blake-Alien straightened her back, and lifted her head. She knelt back on her heels, knees wide, hands on her thighs. It was the position of the Pleasure Slave. I had taught her the position. It is one of the first things a good-looking woman, fallen slave, is taught on Gor.
Tribesmen of Gor, Page 53
~~~

Again, it's the position OF the pleasure slave. Not THE "pleasure slave position." The focus is the status of the girl... what a girl IS. The focus is the context, not the actual position itself.

Goreans don't care about what's on the surface, what they care about is what matters. What is tangible. What is REAL. What is in accordance with the nature of being human!

If a man is to say "Nadu"... what is he really saying???

Place yourself in a position where you are among others that are speaking another language entirely. Speaking Gorean.

In English, it may be that it translates to "knees" or "kneel" but very RARELY does a girl kneel in the books where a man actually uses the word referring to the act of kneeling... maybe this word attaches to the concept of kneeling, as opposed to being attached to a particular position... IT JUST SO HAPPENS that the way most girls kneel, is as a pleasure slave does! But there are many ways to kneel, and depending on the circumstances, location, etc. the way you kneel will change (such as in Thentis!)

John Norman hammers it home time and time and time again, that it is the position "OF" a pleasure slave... or to "be as you were before" or to "be on your knees." etc.

But surely, in some instances in the book there are points where the actual positions are identifiable by a name, such as the training that took place on the ship in Explorers of Gor;

~~~

"Lesha," snapped the second officer to the blond girl.

She spun from facing him, and lifted her chin, turning her head to the left, placing her wrists behind her, as though for snapping them into slave bracelets.

"Nadu!" he snapped.

She swiftly turned, facing him, and dropped to her knees. She knelt back on her heels, her back straight, her hands on her thighs, her head up, her knees wide.

It was the position of the pleasure slave.

"Sula, Kajira!"" said the man.

She slid her legs from under her and lay on her back, her hands at her sides, palms up. her legs open.

"Bara, Kajira!" he said.

She rolled quickly to her stomach, placing her wrists behind her, crossed, and crossing her ankles, ready to be bound.

"She is a pretty thing," said Ulafi, and turned away.

"Yes," I said.

"Sula!" said the man. "Bara! Nadu! Lesha! Nadu! Bara! Sula! Nadu!"

The girl was gasping. There were tears in her eyes, as she knelt on the deck. Once she had been struck when her transition between two of the movements had been insufficiently beautiful. Another time she had been struck when her response had been insufficiently prompt.
Explorers of Gor, Pages 76 - 77
~~~

Let me try explaining it this way...

1. At no point did we see him say "When a man says Nadu, then you must do it this way." "When a man says Sula, then you must do it this way."

2. Everything she does is based on her executing his intent.

So let's try a thought experiment with the quote, to see if it makes sense. Instead of saying Lesha, we will put Leash. Instead of nadu, kneel. Sula, back. Bara, belly.

~~~

"LEASH!!" snapped the second officer to the blond girl.

She spun from facing him, and lifted her chin, turning her head to the left, placing her wrists behind her, as though for snapping them into slave bracelets.

"KNEEL!!!"" he snapped.

She swiftly turned, facing him, and dropped to her knees. She knelt back on her heels, her back straight, her hands on her thighs, her head up, her knees wide. It was the position of the pleasure slave.

"ON YOUR BACK, Kajira!"" said the man.

She slid her legs from under her and lay on her back, her hands at her sides, palms up. her legs open.

"BELLY, Kajira!"" he said.

She rolled quickly to her stomach, placing her wrists behind her, crossed, and crossing her ankles, ready to be bound.

"She is a pretty thing,"" said Ulafi, and turned away.

"Yes,"" I said.

"BACK!"" said the man. "BELLY! KNEES! LEASH! KNEES AGAIN! YOUR BELLY! BACK NOW! KNEES!""

The girl was gasping. There were tears in her eyes, as she knelt on the deck.

Once she had been struck when her transition between two of the movements had been insufficiently beautiful. Another time she had been struck when her response had been insufficiently prompt.
~~~

If we transpose the names of the positions, with regular language communicating the same intent, then the book reads exactly the same. Again, THE WORDS DON'T MATTER.

When we are to look at this phenomenon logically what we are presented with are two different interpretations of the evidence, both that require some form of substantiation...

...So what we have here are two modes of thought.

1. There are defined positions, and they have names to them.
or

2. There are no defined positions, only commonly executed ways of carrying out expected intent.

These two forms of thought are the two different interpretations, but when you try to substantiate the first one, you run into problems where a certain shape that a girl forms with her body may have 5 or 6 different names that refer to it... this was the problem I ran into when I attempted to classify the slave positions.

What this means, logically, is that the first mode of thought MUST BE incorrect because it doesn't match the evidence available. The only conclusion we can draw is what I said at the beginning of this letter:

"There are no such THINGS as positions."

This changes the whole ballgame. This throws everything we know about the novels in regards to slave training out the window and turns it upon its head.

So when I tell a girl, ANKLET... what it means, in interpretation 1, is that she would, every single time, go into a position where she is half kneeling, half lying, with her leg extended... you know how it goes.

But in interpretation 2, it would mean simply that the person giving the command wishes to see the anklet... and she is expected to present her anklet, and a girl, already kneeling, is doing it in the way that makes the most sense in the moment... BASED ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

So if a girl was standing, and I said "Anklet" to her... how would she do it?

In the 2nd mode of thought, she would simply step her leg wearing the anklet forward, so that it may be easier to see. If she were to kneel first, she may be violating the intent of the person commanding her. Maybe she is expected to remain standing for the purposes of displaying herself?

Anklet, in this case, isn't a position... but instead, a word that implies the notion that "I wish to see that anklet... so make it easier for me to see it," and so she does. I simply bark the intent, "Anklet!" while looking at is as it is clasped about her ankle, as opposed to barking a position command, "Anklet!"

And I want to touch on one more thing... the reason why I think it's important to go to the trouble to change the way we think about positions...

Let's say a school in Second Life goes to all the trouble to teach positions to a bunch of girls... and teaches the prescribed way to do a position, or describe a position when they emote. Let's say a lifestyler goes to teach her slave to do things the way he wants them done, and starts teaching her the positions from popular web sites.

What can end up happening sometimes is that the students can fall into a repeated cycle where all they do is a ritual, regardless of the intent of the master. They are not engaged with the master's intent, and lose sight of the environment around them. I think a lot of decent slavers out there know how to stay on top of this issue, but I want to reach beyond that and try to reach the Free, and Enslaved wherever they are. To reinforce the purpose of a girl's entire existence which is to:

~~~

Now bend all their efforts and intelligence to the pleasures of their masters ... that women are by nature slaves, deserve to be such and are fully content and pleased only when this is so.
Assassin of Gor, Pages 195 - 196
~~~

Their whole training is described, again, thusly.

~~~

The conditioning, of course, was subtle, as well as gross, being a combination not simply of torment and reward, but including the intended inculcation of an image and understanding of themselves as well. In its most primitive expression this was begun in the first two weeks of the girls' training. The first week, surprisingly, consisted of nothing but the girl kneeling before the great mirror, in the position of a Pleasure Slave, for several Ahn a day. During this time they wore only their collars, and in the case of Virginia and Phyllis the slave anklets on their left ankles. The point of this, as Elizabeth and I supposed, was simply to accustom them to seeing themselves as slave girls.
Assassin of Gor, Pages 195 - 196
~~~

A mental shift is taking place in their training. The focus must be taken away from the position itself, and instead, must shift to "pleasing the master"

If a master were to tell a girl "nadu" it is my firm belief that she would acceptably be able to do so, on her knees, with her hands behind her neck if the situation called for it. Because she is kneeling, and showing herself off... so long as the context of the situation was appropriate.

Let me write a hypothetical scenario in Gor...

~~~

"Bob" lay there on a cushion, his drink at which point bringing his eyes to wander as one would under the effects of fermented drink, but the intermittent focus would draw towards the lovely slave girl that he had rented for an Ahn. He had paid quite handsomely for this one, for she was known and well spoken of to be very good at what she does.

"Nadu, girl." He said to her, with a slight slur of his words.

She smiled, femininely, knowing him to be within the warm embrace of arousal, and not just the alcohol.

Her body slithered down to her knees, and she kneeled there before him, her chest thrusted forward, her hair gathered up in her fingers as her elbows reached upward to the moons of Gor, lifting her breasts nicely as she yearned for him to see her as the sexual being she knew she was. She was using the posture of the pleasure slave to great effect with him.

And with that, his will had been done in, as he grasped for her and pulled her to the furs with him. She laughed and giggled as they enjoyed the remainder of the ahn that followed.
Writing Exercise, Mike the Minotaur
~~~

Nadu, in this case, would simply be read, as to expect her to be on her knees, but the passage is most definitely substantiated by the book...

And here's the quote I use to substantiate such a thing...

~~~

"A girl, incidentally, in the position of the Gorean pleasure slave, but who is not being kept in position as a discipline, in which case she remains rigid, is allowed much subtle latitude, which she exploits, without breaking the position. Sometimes, as she becomes animated, she rises a bit from her heels, sometimes her hands move on her thighs, her shoulders and belly move, her head moves, her eyes are live and vital, she speaks and laughs, and, radiantly, every inch, every bit, of her alive, converses lyrically and delightedly."
Slave Girl of Gor, Page 36
~~~

At long last, we discover that context... CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT... is everything.

A "position," doesn't exist. Intent exists, and the method in which the slaves of Gor carry it out merely follows a pattern that fits expectations. The expectation that she will be found pleasing, placating, obedient, and seeing herself as nothing more than an extension of her Master.

If we do not teach this most critical shift of thinking, across Gor, whether it's in real life, or role-play, then we lose the intent between the lines of the novels that John Norman wrote. We miss the point entirely.

And so what I propose, is that we go to the trouble of trying to find a way to express the quotes on "positions" in such a way as to center the logical premise on "what does the master intend for her to do?" and not simply a ritualized (trigger) then (response) format.

Because, to call the positions by names, I believe, is going to be unintentionally misleading, and will hold everyone back from being able to truly tap into their inner Gorean heart. And the goal here, I imagine, is to try to allow everyone the chance to live the way of life that John Norman intended, or to at least to think as a Gorean would:

!!! To focus on John Norman's INTENT. And not his use of words. !!!
























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