These are the relevant references from the Books where Love is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
I laughed and held her briefly in my arms. I suddenly sensed the rush of blood in her and in myself. I wanted never to release, her. I wanted her always thus, so locked in my arms, mine to hold and love. Summoning all my strength, I put her from me.
"You're free, my love," I whispered. "Always free."
Indeed, the Frame of Humiliation would be ample vengeance to satisfy even Talena for the indignities she had suffered at my hands. It, if anything, would wipe out forever from her mind the offensive memory that she had once needed my help and had pretended to love me.
I wanted to hate her - so much I wanted to hate her - but I found that I could not. I had come to love her. In the glade by the swamp forests, in the grain fields of the empire, on the great highway of Ar, in the regal, exotic caravan of Mintar, I had found the woman I loved, a scion of a barbaric race on a remote and unknown world.
I had lost the girl I had loved, cruel and treacherous though she might have been.
"Do you wish me to kill you now?" he asked softly. "The tarn death is an ugly death." His hand, shielded from his men by his body, was on my throat. I felt it could have crushed it easily.
"Why this kindness?" I asked.
"For the sake of a girl," he said.
"But why?" I asked.
"For the love she has for you," he said.
"And rumor has it," said Mintar, not looking up from the board, "that she pledged herself to Pa-Kur only that some tarnsman she loved might be given a small chance of life."
This must be Talena whom I loved, to whom my life belonged.
The voice of the girl in the cage was not the voice of the girl I loved. The girl in the cage was not Talena.
Then my hands clutched the mat, and I shook my head savagely to clear it of the uncontrolled tumult of emotion that rocked it. Suddenly I was again my own master, again rational. The shock of seeing her, of knowing the fate that awaited her had been too much. I must try not to be weak in the way of the things I love. It is unbefitting a warrior of Gor.
I sheathed my sword and went to Talena I unbound her. Trembling, she stood beside me, and we took one another in our arms, the blood from my wound staining her robe.
"I love you," I said.
We held one another, and her eyes, wet with tears, lifted to mine. "I love you," she said.
I looked about. Sana stood in the arms of Kazrak, and I knew that the former slave girl had found the man to whom she would give herself, not for a hundred tarns but for love.
"I accept you, Tarl of Ko-ro-ba," said Talena with love in her eyes. "I accept you as my Free Companion."
Her wrists and ankles were secured, and she lay before me, arched over the saddle, helpless, a captive, but of love and her own free will.
I have refused to return to England, and I will remain in this country from which I departed, years ago, for that distant world which holds what I most love.
Perhaps the Priest-Kings, whoever or whatever they might be, reasoned that such a man was dangerous, that such a man might in time raise his own banner of dominion; perhaps they realized that I, of all on Gor, did not revere them, would not turn and bow my head in the direction of the Sardar Mountains; perhaps they envied me the flame of my love for Talena; perhaps, in the cold recesses of the Sardar Mountains, their intelligences could not accept that this vulnerable, perishable creature was more blessed than they, in their wisdom and their power.
"I love her," said Cabot, not really speaking to me.
"Who?" I asked.
He shook his head, and continued to watch the snow.
It was a document pertaining to what Cabot called the Counter-Earth, the story of a warrior, of the siege of a city, and of the love of a girl. You perhaps know it as Tarnsman of Gor.
So standing, the sun upon me, without thinking I raised my arms as in pagan prayer, to acknowledge the power of the Priest-Kings, which had once again brought me from Earth to this world, the power which once before had torn me from Gor when they were finished with me, taking me from my adopted city, my father and my friends, and from the girl I loved, dark-haired beautiful Talena, daughter of Marlenus, who had once been the Ubar of Ar, the greatest city of all known Gor.
This blade had fought its way up the stairs of the Central Cylinder of Ar, when I had rescued Marlenus, embattled Ubar of that city. It had crossed with that of Pa-Kur, master assassin, on the roof of Ar's Cylinder of Justice when I had fought for my love, Talena. And now again I held it in my hand. I wondered why, and knew only that the Priest-Kings had intended it so.
My step was light, my heart was happy. I was home, for where my love waited for me was home.
At such a time a man may not be spoken to, for according to the Gorean way of thinking pity humiliates both he who pities and he who is pitied. According to the Gorean way, one may love but one may not pity.
Why were the lanterns not hung on the lofty bridges? Why were the lamps of a hundred colors and flames not lit in the compartments of the city, telling in the lamp codes of Gor of talk, of drinking, of love?
I longed for Talena, she whom I had chosen for my companion, she for whom I had fought on Ar's Cylinder of Justice, she who loved me, and whom I loved, dark-haired, beautiful Talena, daughter of Marlenus, once Ubar of Ar.
"I love you, Talena!" I cried.
Occasionally the Gorean, like his brothers in our world, perhaps even more frequently, learns the meaning of love.
"I once wore the silver mask, Warrior," said the girl. "But now I am only a Degraded Woman, for I allowed myself to love."
On Gor, the singer, or poet, is regarded as a craftsman who makes strong sayings, much like a pot-maker makes a good pot or a saddle-maker makes a worthy saddle. He has his role to play in the social structure, celebrating battles and histories, singing of heroes and cities, but also he is expected to sing of living, and of love and joy, not merely of arms and glory; and, too, it is his function to remind the Goreans from time to time of loneliness and death, lest they should forget that they are men.
"Is love not a crime?" she asked.
"Only in Tharna," I said.
She laughed. "You are strange, too," she said, "like Andreas of Tor."
"What of Andreas?" I asked. "When you do not join him, will he not come searching for you, re-enter the city?"
"No," she said. "He will think I no longer love him." She lowered her head. "He will go away, and find himself another woman, one more lovely than a girl of Tharna."
Yet it was perhaps more, for as I stood by the bird, I felt almost as though I had come home to Ko-ro-ba, as though I stood here now with something in this gray, hostile city that knew me and mine, that had looked upon the Towers of the Morning, and had spread its wings above the glistening cylinders of Glorious Ar, that had carried me in battle and had borne Talena, my love, and me back from the siege of Ar to the Feast of our Free Companionship at Ko-ro-ba.
The mountains of the Sardar were not such a vast, magnificent range as the rugged scarlet crags of the Voltai, that almost impenetrable mountain vastness in which I had once been the prisoner of the outlaw Ubar, Marlenus of Ar, ambitious and warlike father of the fierce and beautiful Talena, she whom I loved, whom I had carried on tarnback to Ko-ro-ba years before to be my Free Companion.
Upon reflection it seemed clear to me that the chain must, in the end, be a lonely place for a girl, filled with life, knowing that her brand has destined her for love, that each of them must long for a man to care enough for them to buy them, that each must long to follow a man home to his compartments, wearing his collar and chains, where they will learn his strength and his heart and will be taught the delights of submission.
"My love is Talena," I said, "daughter of Marlenus who was once Ubar of Ar."
"In his arms I learned what Tharna could not teach. In his arms I learned to share the flaming splendor of his passion. In his arms I learned mountains and flowers and the cry of wild tarns and the touch of a larl's claw. For the first time in my life my senses were kindled - for the first I could feel the movements of clothing on my body, for the first time I noticed how an eye opens and what, truly, is the feel of a hand's touch - and I knew then that I was no more nor less than he or any other living creature and I loved him!"
Over a period of time this cruel practice fell into disuse and the women of Tharna came to be more reasonably and humanely regarded. Indeed, through their love and tenderness, they taught their captors that they, too, were worthy of respect and affection.
She pulled the talender from her hair.
I reached to her feet and replaced it.
"I love you," she said.
At the head of that splendid, ragged procession five marched; Kron, chief of the rebels; Andreas, a poet; his woman, Linna of Tharna, unveiled; I, a warrior of a city devastated and cursed of the Priest-Kings; and a girl with golden hair, a girl who wore no mask, who had known both the whip and love, fearless and magnificent Lara, she who was true Tatrix of Tharna.
I suddenly knew the answer, that Thorn somehow had loved this cruel woman, that his warrior's heart had been turned to her though he had never looked upon her face, though she had never given him a smile or the touch of her hand.
They have taken from me my father and the girl I love, and my friends, and have given me suffering and hardship, and peril, and yet I feel that in some strange way in spite of myself I have served them - that it was their will that I came to Tharna. They have destroyed a city, and in a sense they have restored a city.
Perhaps Lara understood, as I did not, that women such as silver masks must be taught love, and can learn it only from a master. It was not her intention to condemn her sisters of Tharna into interminable and miserable bondage but to force them to take this strange first step on the road she herself had traveled, one of the unusual roads that may lead to love. When I had questioned her, Lara had said to me that only when true love is learned is the Free Companionship possible, and that some women can learn love only in chains. I wondered at her words.
and I must learn the fate of my friends, my father and of Talena, my love.
One such read, "The mountains are empty. Rena I love you."
"Will you speak to me of my father, of my city, and of my love?" I asked.
The Older Tarl, who had been my mentor in arms years ago in Ko-ro-ba, had once told me the story of a free woman, desperately in love with a warrior, who, in the presence of her family was entertaining him, and whose wrists, unconsciously, had assumed the position of a slave.
This harsh treatment, incidentally, when she is thought to deserve it, may even be inflicted on a Free Companion, in spite of the fact that she is free and usually much loved.
She regarded me for a long time. "How can I conquer you?" she asked. "I love you, Tarl Cabot."
"You are only grateful," I said.
"No," she said, "I love you."
"You must not," I said."
I do," she said.
I wondered how I should speak to her, for I must disabuse her of the illusion that there could be love between us. In the house of Priest-Kings there could be no love, nor could she know her own mind in these matters, and there was always Talena, whose image would never be eradicated from my heart.
"But my father," said Vika, "whose slave she was, and who was of the Caste of Physicians of Treve, loved her very much and asked her to be his Free Companion." Vika laughed softly. "For three years she refused him," she said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because she loved him," said Vika, "and did not wish him to take for his Free Companion only a lowly Passion Slave."
"I love you, Tarl Cabot," she said.
"I think not," I said gently.
"I do!" she insisted.
"Someday," I said, "you will love - but I do not think it will be a warrior of Ko-ro-ba."
"Do you think I cannot love?" she challenged.
"I think someday you will love," I said, "and I think you will love greatly."
"Can you love?" she challenged.
"I don't know," I said. I smiled. "Once - long ago - I thought I loved."
"You don't understand," she said. "I love you!"
"Please," she said, looking up at me, lifting her hand to me. Her face was tear-stained, her voice a broken sob. "I love you," she said.
"Perhaps," said Misk. "There is dispute on the matter." He peered intently down at me. "On the whole," he said, "we Priest-Kings do not interfere in the affairs of men. We leave them free to love and slay one another, which seems to be what they most enjoy doing."
To my surprise I saw her lips gently kiss the cruel leather thong which so tightly bound her wrists.
She looked up. "It means, Tarl Cabot," she said, her eyes wet with tears, "that I love you."
"I love you," she said, touching my shoulder.
"I love you, Tarl Cabot," she said suddenly, and then, as though confused and perhaps a bit frightened, she suddenly dropped her head humbly. "I mean -" she said, "I love you - Master."
"No," she said, "no - Master - I love you!"
With a cry of joy she flung herself into my arms weeping. "I love you, Master," she cried. "I love you, Cabot my Master!"
I supposed many of the humans might even return to the Nest, where they could live and love and be happy.
"We speak not to man's heart," said Om, "but only to his fear. We do not speak of love and courage, and loyalty and nobility but of practice and observance and the punishment of the Priest-Kings for if we so spoke, it would be that much harder for man to grow beyond us. Thus, unknown to most members of my caste, we exist to be overcome, thus in our way pointing the way to man's greatness."
I took the small stone in my hands and kissed it, for it was the Home Stone of the city to which I had pledged my sword, where I had ridden my first tarn, where I had met my father after an interval of more than twenty years, where I had found new friends, and to which I had taken Talena, my love, the daughter of Marlenus once Companion.
She shook the tears from her eyes. "No," she said. "Seek the girl you love."
"There is nothing for me," said Vika. "Nothing."
"You may return to Ko-ro-ba," I said. "My father and Tarl, the Master-of-Arms, are two of the finest swords on Gor."
"No," she said, "for in your city I would think only of you and if you should return there with your love, then what should I do?" She shook with emotion. "How strong do you think I am, dear Cabot?" she asked.
"It is only, Cabot," she said, "because I love you so much that I do not fight to keep you."
"I know," I said, holding her head to my shoulder.
She laughed. "If I loved you only a little less," she said, "I would find Talena of Ar myself and thrust a dagger into her heart."
In the long years that had passed since first I had come to the Counter-Earth I had seen many things, and had known loves, and had found adventures and perils and wonders, but I asked myself if anything I had done was as unreasoning, as foolish as this, as strange.
Perhaps if I were successful I might save my race, by preserving the Priest-Kings that might shelter them from the annihilation that might otherwise be achieved if uncontrolled technological development were too soon permitted them; perhaps in time man would grow rational, and reason and love and tolerance would wax in him and he and Priest-Kings might together turn their senses to the stars.
She lifted her face, stained with tears, to mine. "I love you, Tarl Cabot," she said.
"You think," I said, "that I am saying that a woman is nothing - that is not it - I am saying she is marvelous, but that she becomes truly herself and magnificent only after the surrenders of love."
"I love you, Tarl Cabot," she whispered. "Do not leave me."
"Do not love me," I said. "You know little of my life and what I must do."
"I love you," she said, "Tarl Cabot."
"Array yourself in Pleasure Silk, Little Beast," I said, "and enter my arms."
The blaze of a challenge flared suddenly in her eyes. She seemed transfused with excitement. "Though I am of Earth," she said, "try to use me as slave."
I smiled. "If you wish," I said.
"I will prove to you," she said, "that your theories are false."
"I will prove to you," she said, "that a woman cannot be conquered."
"You tempt me," I said.
"I love you," she said, "but even so, you will not be able to conquer me, for I shall not permit myself to be conquered - not even though I love you!"
"If you love me," I said, "perhaps I would not wish to conquer you."
She kissed me again. "Vella of Gor," said she, "loves master."
"And what of Miss Elizabeth Cardwell?" I inquired.
"That pretty little slave!" said Elizabeth, scornfully.
"Yes," I said, "the secretary."
"She is not a secretary," said Elizabeth, "she is only a little Gorean slave."
"Well," said I, "what of her?"
"As you may have heard," whispered the girl, "Miss Elizabeth Cardwell, the nasty little wench, was forced to yield herself as a slave girl to a master."
"I had heard as much," I said.
"What a cruel beast he was," said the girl.
"What of her now?" I asked.
"The little slave girl," said the girl scornfully, "is now madly in love with the beast."
"We love you," said they," Master."
"I love him," said Tenchika, kissing Dina and hurrying away.
"I love you," she said suddenly, "I love you Tarl Cabot, Master." She put her arms about my neck and kissed me.
I mumbled something, but she would hear nothing of it, and suddenly feeling her in my arms I laughed and held her to me, and she laughed, and whispered, "I love you, Tarl Cabot," and I said to her, "Kuurus, Kuurus - of the Caste of Assassins," and she said, "Yes, Kuurus - and poor Vella of the House of Cernus - picked up on the street and brought to this place, given no choice but to serve the pleasure of a man who is not even her master - cruel Kuurus!"
"Game! Game!" I heard, and quickly shook my head, driving away the memories of Ar, and of the girl once known, always loved.
"He commonly has an inhibition against killing," said Misk, "and moreover he has, infrequently it may be, the capacities for loyalty and community and love."
I could not forget, that I had once brought on tarnback, not as a vanquished slave but as a proud, and beautiful, and free, joyous woman, Talena, daughter of that same Marlenus, Ubar of Ubars, had brought her to this place in love that we might here together drink, one with the other, the wine of the Free Companionship.
Often in these matters, conducted under supervision, both slaves are hooded, in order that they not know who it is with whom they are forced to mate, lest they might, in their moment of union, in their common degradation, care for one another, or fall in love.
When the lanterns on the bridges must be lit the people return home, singing, carrying small lamps, and give the night over to feasting and love.
"Ho-Tu," I said, "loves you."
"Do you love Ho-Tu?" I asked.
She looked at me, thoughtfully. "Yes," she said.
"I love you," cried Ho-Tu. "I love you!"
"I, too," said she, "love you, Ho-Tu."
He stood as though stunned. A strong man, he seemed shaken. His hands trembled on her. In his black eyes I saw tears. "Love," asked he, "for Ho-Tu, less than a man?"
"You are my love," said Sara, "and have been so for many years."
He looked at her, hardly daring to move.
"Yes," she said.
"I am not even a man," said he.
"In you, Ho-Tu," said she, "I have found the heart of a larl and the softness of flowers. You have been to me kindness, and gentleness and strength, and you have loved me." She looked up at him. "No man on Gor," said she, "is more a man than you."
Surely I would not have expected the powerful Ho-Tu to stand by while Sura, whom he loved, was so treated, even by the Master of the House of Cernus.
Yet I think there is one talent I have, though it is unimportant and unworthy, a gift toward which I have mixed feelings, a gift which is both boon and curse, one which has caused me feelings of horror and guilt, and yet to which I have owed my life and that of those I have loved.
"Tell Ho-Tu," she said, "that I love him."
"Sura," I said, "told me to tell you that she loved you."
"I loved Sura," said Flaminius.
"So, too, did Ho-Tu," I said. "And so, too, in my way, did I."
"It is the hope of Relius," said he, "that the free woman, Virginia, might care for a simple Warrior, one who much loves her, and accept him as her companion."
She could not speak. There were tears bright in her eyes. She began to cry, to laugh.
"Drink with me the cup of the Free Companionship," said Relius, rather sternly.
"Yes, Master," said Virginia, "yes!"
"Relius," said he.
"I love you!" she cried. "I love you, Relius!"
"I love you, Ho-Sorl," she said. "And I will accept you as my companion!"
"I love you, Tarl," she said.
"I love you," I cried. "I love you, my Elizabeth!"
I was no longer worthy of the love of two women I had known, Talena, who had once foolishly consented to be the Free Companion of one now proved to be ignoble and coward, and Vella, Elizabeth Cardwell, once of Earth, who had mistakenly granted her love to one worthy rather only of her contempt and scorn.
I surely could not permit her, though then loved her, as I could not now, being unworthy of love, to remain longer in the dangers of Gor.
"You will be returned to the planet Earth," I had informed her.
"But I love you," she said.
"I am sorry," I said. "It is not easy for me to do what I must do." There had been tears in my eyes. "You must forget me," I said. "And you must forget this world."
"You do not want me!" she cried.
"That is not true," I said. "I love you."
I had loved two women, and I had lost them both.
And then I wept, for I had loved two women, and had lost them both.
I had loved two women, and I had lost them both. I vowed I would never lose another.
He wore the robes of his caste, the singers, and it was not known what city was his own. Many of the singers wander from place to place, selling their songs for bread and love.
"I love him," she said, weeping. "I love him."
I laughed. "You cannot love," I told her. "You are Midice. You are small, and petty, and selfish, and vain! You cannot love!"
"I do love him," she whispered. "I do."
"Do you not love me?" I begged.
"No," she whispered, tears in her eyes. "No."
"But I have given you many things," I wept. "And have I not given you great pleasure?"
"Yes," she said, "you have given me many things."
"And have I not," I demanded, "given you great pleasure!"
"Yes," she said, "you have."
"Then why!" I cried out.
"I do not love you," she said.
"You love me!" I screamed at her.
"No," she said, "I do not love you. And I have never loved you."
I returned my blade to its sheath.
"Take her," I said to Tab. "She is yours."
"I love her," he said.
"She cannot help it if she did not love you," whispered Telima.
"It is hard," I said to Telima, "to love, and not to be loved."
"I love you," I cried.
And she cried, "And I love you, my Ubar. I have loved you for so long!"
I laughed again, and she laughed, and I permitted her to struggle until she had exhausted herself, and then, with lips and hands, and teeth and tongue, I touched her, until her body, caressed and loved, in all its loneliness and passion, yielded itself, moaning and crying out, to mine in our common ecstasy. And in the moments before she yielded, when I sensed her readiness, to her faint protest, then joy, I removed from her throat the slave collar that her yielding, our games ended, would be that of the free woman, glorious in the eager and willing, the joyous, bestowal of herself.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you, too," I said. "I love you, my Telima."
"But sometime," she said, teasingly, "you must love me as a slave girl."
"Women!" I cried, in exasperation.
"Every woman," said Telima, "sometimes wishes to be, loved as a Ubara, and sometimes as a slave girl."
"You are very beautiful, my love," I told her.
And he stood there, though branded, though collared, though in the miserable garment of a slave, as a young Ubar. He was no longer a boy. He had loved, and he had fought. He was a man.
"It is I," whispered Telima, "who lost myself, who was destroyed."
Samos looked on her, kindly. "You followed him even to Port Kar," said he.
"I love him," she said.
Yet I had little doubt that the strong, large-handed men of Laura, sturdy in their work tunics, who stopped to regard us, would not appreciate the body of a slave girl, provided she is vital, and loves, and leaps helplessly to their touch.
I had seen a master and his girl kissing in a doorway in Laura. I had seen her eyes. How I had envied her! She loved him.
Sometimes, at night, Ute would moan the name of Barus, whom she had once loved.
She had had many masters, but it was only the name of Barus, which she moaned in her sleep.
She had much fallen in love with him, but she had, as she had told me, once attempted to bend him to her will. To her horror, he had sold her.
"I love you," I whispered. "I love you, Master!"
"I despise you," he said.
I smiled at him, tears in my eyes.
"And yet," he said, "from the first time I saw you, in the pens of Ko-ro-ba, I could not forget you, but must have you as mine."
"I am yours," I whispered, "I am yours, Master. Utterly. Unconditionally yours. Your slave. Your helpless slave!"
"From the first time I saw you," said he, "I knew that to me you could not be simply as other slaves."
I clutched him.
He looked down at me, troubled. He touched my head gently, moving back hair from the right side of my face. "Can it be," he asked, "that I, Rask of Treve, care for a mere slave?"
"I love you, Master," I cried, "I love you, I love you!"
"Does she love?" he asked.
"Yes," I said, "she loves." I tried to lift myself, to touch his lips with mine, but he would not permit me. "She loves desperately and completely," I whispered.
"Whom?" he asked.
"It is well known to Rask of Treve," I smiled, "whom it is that the slave girl, El-in-or, loves."
"Speak it," he said.
"She loves her master," I said. "She loves Rask of Treve."
"I am he," he said.
"It is you whom she loves," I said.
For those moments, briefly mingled with the dancing of my pride, my insolence, my contempt and scorn, I had, not fully aware, yet sensing with fear what I did, in the dance of a slave girl, piteously begged for the love of my master.
"I love you!" I cried. I thrust my head to his feet. I suddenly began to weep. "Do not sell me!" I begged. "Do not sell me! Keep me for yourself! Keep me forever for yourself!" I could not bear the thought of being separated from him. It would have been the torture of the tearing of my heart from my body. The very thought caused in me excruciating suffering. I looked up agonized. I understood then as I had not before what could be the cruelty, the tragedy, of being a female slave. What if I had not pleased him sufficiently? "I will please you more!" I wept. "Morel I will give you everything! Everything! Keep me! Do not sell me! I love you! I love you!" I lifted my wrists to him, as though they wore slave bracelets. I smiled through my tears. "You see," I whispered, "I am chained at your feet."
"Does the proud El-in-or beg to be kept as my slave?" he smiled.
"Yes," I said, "she begs."
"To your work!" he laughed.
I leaped to my feet. He seized me in his arms, and, on the summit of the knoll, held me long, lovingly, in his arms. I looked up, into his eyes. "I love you, Master," I whispered. Then I laughed, and cried out. He, his body tightening, startlingly again mighty with strength, astonishing me, delighting me, lifted me from my feet and lowered me, gently, to the grass, covering me with his cloak. Again he forced me to weep with pleasure.
And I loved, too, my master.
I do not know where Raf and Pron may now be, but I know them well served by two wenches, the slave girl, Inge, and the slave girl, Rena, who were well trained in the pens of Ko-ro-ba, and who love them.
I hated then men, and their wars, and their cruelties, and their frivolous honors. It was we, their women, who suffered their madness. No Rask of Treve would not purchase his life for the price I had agreed to pay, but the decision was not his, but mine, mine, and I loved him, and could not let him die!
I sang at my work, for I knew that Rask of Treve lived. Further, those who had sought to employ me as a tool to their dark purposes had been destroyed. I knew that he did not want me for he had sold me, but I was content in the knowledge that he, whom I loved, lived.
"Hunt for her," has said Telima. "Perhaps you still love her."
"I love you," I told Telima.
"I am lonely, Thurnock," I said.
"All men are, from time to time, lonely," said Thurnock.
"I am alone," I said.
"Except when they are touched by love," said Thurnock, "all men are alone."
"Most alone," I said, "are those whom love has once touched, and left."
"That El-in-or," he asked, "who is now the property of Rask of Treve?"
"Yes," I said. I smiled. "I got one hundred pieces of gold for her," I said.
Samos smiled. "Doubtless, for such a price," he said, "Rask of Treve will see that she repays him a thousand times that price in pleasure."
I smiled. "I do not doubt it." I returned my attention to the board. "Yet," said I, "it is my suspicion that between them there is truly love."
Samos smiled. "Love," he asked, "for a female slave?"
"Paga, Masters?" asked the dark-haired girl, kneeling beside the table.
Samos, not looking at her, held forth his goblet. The girl filled the goblet.
I held forth my goblet, and she, too, filled mine. "Withdraw," said Samos. She withdrew. I shrugged.
"Love or not," said Samos, studying the board, "he will keep her in a collar for he is of Treve."
"Doubtless," I admitted. And, indeed, I had little doubt that what Samos had said was true. Rask of Treve, though in love with her and she with him, would keep her rightless, in the absolute bondage of a Gorean slave girl for he was of Treve.
I had never forgotten her, the beautiful, olive-skinned, green-eyed Talena, so stunningly figured, such fantastic lips, the proud blood of Marlenus of Ar, Ubar of Ar, Ubar of Ubars, in her veins. She had been my first love. It had been years since we had touched.
For years Talena, the magnificent Talena, had been in my heart's deepest dreams, my first love, my never forgotten love. She had burned in my memory, unforgettably. I recalled her from the fields near the Swamp Forest south of Ar, in the caravan of Mintar, at the great camp of Pa-Kur's horde, as she had been upon Ar's lofty cylinder of justice, as she had been in lamp-lit Ko-ro-ba, when, with interlocking arms, we had drunk the wines of the Free Companionship.
How could I not love Talena, the deep, and first love, the first beautiful love of my life?
"Do you love her?" asked Samos.
"Of course!" I shouted, angrily.
"It has been many years," said Samos.
"It matters not," I muttered.
"You are both, perhaps, other than you were."
"Do you care to dispute these matters with the sword?" I asked.
"I might," said Samos, "if you could establish the pertinence of the procedure to the issues involved."
I looked down, furious.
"It is possible," said Samos, "that it is an image you love, and not a woman, that it is not a person, but a memory."
"Those who have never loved," I told him bitterly, "must not speak of what they cannot know."
Samos did not seem angry. "Perhaps," he said.
"She is a proud, and noble woman," said Samos.
"I love her," I said.
The Goreans claim that in each woman there is a free companion, proud and beautiful, worthy and noble, and in each, too, a slave girl. The companion seeks for her companion; the slave girl for her master. It is further said, that on the couch, the Gorean girl, whether slave or free, who has had the experience, who has tried all loves, begs for a master. She wishes to belong completely to a man, withholding nothing, permitted to withhold nothing.
Her body, as though of its own will, obeyed the touch of Marlenus. Then she cried out, "Oh yes, Master, yes!" Her head was back. Her eyes were dosed. She twisted. "I love you, Master!" she wept. "I love you!"
"Tomorrow," said Marlenus, "you will put a talender in your hair."
"Yes, Master," she cried. "I will. I will!"
I slipped from the tent. I looked back once. I saw, to one side, a bowl of scarlet, five-petaled flaminiums.
As I walked into the darkness I heard Verna's helpless cries of joy. I heard, too, the sound of slave bells. They had been locked on her left ankle. They could not be removed, save by a key in the keeping of Marlenus.
"I love you, Master," I heard her cry. "I love you. I cannot help myself. I love you, Master! I love you, my Master!"
The Gorean slave girl, if nothing else, is commonly no stranger to love. She is not permitted to be. She is at man's beck and call and, accordingly, willingly or not, will be taught love. If necessary she will learn it under the whip, writhing in chains.
The Gorean slave girl, in my opinion, is the most desirable of women. What man, I wonder, fully aroused, does not wish to own his woman. What woman, I wonder, fully aroused, helpless, does not wish to be owned. What woman, I wonder, fully aroused, helpless, is not, in fact, in the arms of her lover, owned.
Cara slipped past me to plunge herself, in her sweetness, weeping, into the arms of Rim, who crushed her to him. "I love you, Rim!" she cried. "I, too, love you," he cried.
"I love Rim," she had cried to me. "Let me be free to carry the tools for him as a free woman!"
"Vella!" I cried. "Love me!"
"Drink this," said Am. I swallowed the liquid, and lay back.
"I love you," she said. "I loved you even before I knew you, but I will not wear your collar and I will not share your throne."
"I love you," she cried.
"I love you," said he. "I love you, sweet wench!"
They, new slaves, were shy. But they did not seem unhappy. I wondered if any, as her wrists were drawn together behind her back and fastened together, regretted her decision. If she did, it was too late. The binding fiber was upon her. But they did not seem unhappy. They had yielded to their womanhood. They had surrendered themselves to bondage, and love.
He had come to love Telima, and had freed her, but when he had learned the location of his former Free Companion, Talena, once daughter of Marlenus of Ar, and vowed to free her from slavery, Telima had left him, in the fury of a Gorean female, and returned to the rence marshes, her home in the Vosk's vast delta.
"Why did you tell her of the delta of the Vosk?" I asked Samos.
"So that if there might have been love between you, it would no longer exist," said Samos.
I thought then of Vella, once Elizabeth Cardwell, whom I had encountered in the city of Lydius, at the mouth of the Laurius River, below the borders of the forest. I had once loved her, and had wanted to return her safe to Earth.
Then he again thrust her back to the furs, with such force that she cried out, and then he, with rudeness and incredible force, used her for his pleasure. I saw her body struck again and again, she clinging to him, helplessly. He gave her no quarter. Bond-maids are treated without mercy. "I love you, my Jarl!" she screamed.
I saw another oarsman then crawl to her and, by the hair, pull her into his arms. In a moment I saw her collared body, desperately pressing and rubbing against him, he in her small, white arms, her belly thrust against the great buckle of the master belt. Then he, too, threw her to her back. "I love you, my Jarls," she wept. "I love you, my Jarls!"
He stood over it, a free man. "Wulfstan," cried Thyri. She sprang to her feet and ran to him, burying her head, weeping, in her hair against his chest. "I love you," she wept. "I love you!"
"The wench is yours," laughed Ivar Forkbeard.
"I love you," wept Thyri.
"To the pen with you, Wench," said the Forkbeard.
"Yes," she said, "my Jarl! Yes!" She leapt up. When she turned about, the Forkbeard dealt her a mighty blow, swift and stinging, with the flat of his sword. She was, after all, only a common bond-maid. She cried out, startled, sobbing, and stumbled more than a dozen steps before she regained her balance. Then she turned and, sobbing, laughing, cried out joyfully, "I love you, my Jarl! I love you!" He raised the weapon again, flat side threatening her, and she turned and, laughing, sobbing, only one of his girls, fled to the pen.
She set herself diligently to please him, in service and in pleasure, and, if he would permit it, in love.
My delirium this time, interestingly to me, had been much different than it had when, long ago, the poison had first raged in my body. At that time I had been miserable, and weak, even calling out to a woman, who was only a slave, to love me.
I recalled that in my first delirium, fighting the poison, long ago, I had wept, and, in my fevered ragings, had begged for her comfort, that she love me.
When she does yield to the master, her guts half torn out with the love of him, then, of course, she is a more satisfactory slave.
"Seleenya loves Master," she said.
I recalled, to my chagrin, that once, long ago, we had thought we had cared for one another. I recalled that once, in delirium, in weakness, when poison had burned in my body, I had cried out for her to love me.
"She loves you," I told Hassan.
"I have given her no choice," he said.
"I love you, Master," she whispered. "I love you!" I kissed her, thrust back the wadding, and regagged her.
"Tafa loves you," she whispered, kissing me. A guard's hand held my hair, keeping my head in place. I felt the ropes burn on my neck. I closed my eyes. I felt her lips beneath my left ear, biting and kissing. "Tafa loves you, Master," she whispered. "Let Tafa please you."
"Tafa loves you," she whispered. "Let Tafa give you pleasure."
"I love you, master," cried the girl. "I wanted to be with you! At you side!
"You are a runaway slave girl," he said.
She wept, but did not break the position of the slave dance. "Too," said he, "at the oasis you cried my name." These were serious offenses.
"Forgive me, Master," she cried. "I love you!" She had risked her life to return to Hassan. She loved him. Yet a slave girl owes her master absolute obedience. She had violated his will in two particulars. I did not think it would go easily with her. Love on Gor does not purchase a girl lenience; it does not mitigate her bondage, nor compromise her servitude, but rather renders it the more complete, the more helpless and abject.
Suddenly she cried out in joy "Tarl!" She turned, springing to her feet. "Tarl!" she cried. "Tarl!" She ran to me, with a clash of bangles. And took me in her arms, her head at my chest, weeping. "Tarl!" she wept. "Tarl! Tarl! I love you! I love you!"
I took her wrists, and forced them, slowly, from my body. I held them. She struggled to reach me, to press her lips to my body. I did not permit this. She threw her head, in frustration, from side to side. Her face was stained with tears. She wept. "Let me touch you," she cried. "Let me hold you! I love you! I love you!"
"I love you," she said.
"You love me!" she cried.
She cried out with misery when she saw my eyes.
"Then why?" she begged, piteously.
"I want you," I told her.
"You love me," she whispered.
"No," I said.
"I love you!" she cried.
"You are a consummate actress," I told her.
"No!" she cried. "It is true!"
"It is of no interest to me whether it is true or not," I told her.
She looked at me, tears in her eyes, sitting, bound, the loosely looped bondage knot at the side of her face, at the right cheek.
"Does it not matter to you?" she cried.
"No," I said.
"Do you not love me!" she wept.
"No," I said.
She had been dragged away, weeping. "I am the slave of Hassan," she had wept. "I love only him!" That night, sent to his quarters, she had knelt before her veiled master.
"Do you love another, Girl?" he had asked, sternly.
"Yes," she said, "Master. Forgive me. Slay me, if you must."
"And who is he?" asked her veiled master.
"Hassan," she wept. "Hassan, the bandit."
"Whip me, Master," she said, lying in his arms. "I love you."
"I love you, Tarl," she said.
She spread her hair back on the straw. "I am only a slut of a slave," she laughed. "Treat me as such. I love you, Master!"
We heard soldiers in the hall outside.
"Will you give me to others?" she asked.
"If it pleases me," I said.
"Yes," she said, "you will if it pleases you." She turned her head to the side. "How vulnerable I am!" She looked up at me. Her head was back in the straw. "For the first time in my life," she said, "I know that I am a slave girl, only a slave girl. It is such a strange, helpless feeling. No longer am I a woman of Earth. I am now only a Gorean slave girl."
I lifted her by the arms. "I do not know if I love or hate," she said. "I know only I am a slave girl, and that I am helpless, and that I am in the arms of my master."
I lifted her toward my lips, to claim her. "Have you forgotten Earth?" she asked.
"I have never heard of that place," I told her.
She lifted her lips, timidly, delicately, to mine. "Nor have I," she said. She whispered, very softly. "I love you, Master." I did not let her kiss me. Rather, I, suddenly, with a larl's ferocity, thrust my lips to hers, cruelly, in the raping kiss of the master, and pressed her savagely back into the straw, against the very stones of the dungeon cell in which she lay slave, chained, beneath me. She squirmed and then, held, cried out, a scream that must have carried to every cell, through every corridor, of that grim level, startling the enslaved beauties chained there, amusing the soldiers in whose arms they lay, a scream at once of wild love and of a helpless slave girl's total submission.
I belonged to him. I was his. I loved him!
"I love you," I whispered, helpless in his arms," Master."
I remembered the night. Well had he taught me the meaning of my brand! I so loved him!
How attractive I found men! How I loved, and feared, my master. I wanted to give myself to him constantly.
He had a goblet of paga, which Eta had served to him. Did my master not love me, as I loved him? He, narrow-lidded, looked at me over the rim of the goblet of paga. "Do not do this to me!" I cried to him, helplessly, in English. "I love you!" Surely, though he spoke no English, he could not have mistaken the anguish, the feelings, the deep intent of the helpless girl so shamefully belied and bound before him. "I love you!" I cried. I saw in his eyes that he, as a Gorean master, had no concern for my anguish, my intent and feelings. I shuddered. I was a bond girl. He gave a sign. One of the men nearby readied a large opaque cloth, soft, black, folding it in four pieces, so that, folded, it would be about a yard square. He looked back at me. "I love you," I said. The cloth was thrown over my head and, with some loops of leather cord, four times encircling my neck, tied under my chin. I could not see. I was hooded. I threw back my head in anguish within the hood. "But I love you!" I cried. I stood there, belled and bound, forlorn and hooded. I loved him. But I had seen in his eyes, in the instant that the cloth had been thrown over my head, that to him, my master, I was nothing, only a meaningless slave.
"Please, Master," I cried, bound, closed in the hood, belled, "protect me! I love you! I love you! Keep me for yourself, Master!"
Did he not love me? I remembered his eyes on me, before the hood had been thrown over my head in preparation for my service in the cruel game. I recalled his eyes. In his eyes I had seen that I was nothing, only a meaningless slave to him.
He had made me love him! I loved him! And yet he cared nothing for me! "Don't you understand," I cried, "I love you! I love you! And yet you treat me as nothing! I hate you!" I shook with rage. "I hate you! I hate you!" I cried. After making me love him, he had permitted his men to amuse themselves with me! He had given me to them for their sport! "You gave me to others!" I wept. "I hate you!"
perhaps now I had stirred pity and compassion in his harsh breast; perhaps, too, he was moved now by my love for him and, overwhelmed with gratitude, and tenderness, at the value and immensity of this gift, might be moved to regard me, too, with affection, with love, in turn.
I looked at him with loving eyes. Then he placed the blanket over my head, and, with a length of cord, looping it several times about my throat, tied it tightly under my chin, so that again, as in the cruel game, I was hooded. Then he threw me to his men.
I had not dreamed such an emotion could exist. It was not merely that I was eager to piteously and submissively display my beauty to them, that they might be moved to take it in their arms and vanquish it, but, beyond this, I was overwhelmed by an entire dimension of emotion which might be spoken of, though inadequately, as the desire to yield service and love.
I wanted to give all of myself, wholeheartedly, to deliver and bestow myself unto them as their girl, who loved them and would do all for them, asking nothing. I wished to be nothing, and to give all.
Did my master not love me? Did he not care for me? Did he not reciprocate the feelings which I had for him? I wept, an insignificant slave.
"I am ready to love you, Master!" "Do you not enjoy being owned by a woman?" he asked. "I want to love a man," she wept. "Shameless slave," cried the last girl in the line, she who had lamented the fate of her mistress, and who had called me "Dina," and kicked me. "I am a woman and a slave!" cried the first. "I want a man! I need a man!"
I did not wish to leave my master, whom I loved.
Perhaps, for a woman, the thrill of being owned and commanded, of being at the absolute mercy of a powerful man, knowing that she must obey him, and experiencing, if she be fortunate, incredible, helpless, incomparable love, of the sort which can be felt only by a completely rightless woman, fully and absolutely owned by a man, in his total bondage.
He was Clitus Vitellius. He would have slave girls instead. He would always keep his girls in collars. I loved him!
I loved him. Was I his slave because I loved him or did I love him because I was his slave? I smiled. I was his slave, totally and completely, whether I loved him or not. That was legal, institutional, on this world. I was his to do with as he pleased, completely. I was without rights; his will determined all. He was everything; I was nothing; he was master; I was slave. I decided that I was both his slave and that I loved him. But I did not think I could have loved him so much had he not been so powerful, and had I not been his slave, so helplessly.
"Did they love you?" I asked.
"I do not know," he said. "Perhaps. Perhaps, not."
"Did they protest their love to you?" I asked.
"Of course," he said. "That sort of thing is common among slave girls."
"You are Dina," he said, laughing, his voice like a lion. "You are the slave Dina, whom I own." He laughed and cried out with pleasure in his triumph over the slave girl. "Yes, Master!" I cried. "I am Dina! I am Dina!" I clutched him, joyously, his. "Dina loves Master!" I wept. "Dina loves Master!"
Later I lay in his arms, an owned slave girl, content beside the mightiness of her master.
How I loved him!
"Permit me to follow at the heels of the least of your soldiers," I said. I truly did not fear that he would rid himself of me. I loved him. I was confident that he, too, in spite of himself, cared for me.
It is said, in a Gorean proverb, that a man, in his heart, desires freedom, and that a woman, in her belly, yearns for love. The collar, in its way, answers both needs. The man is most free, owning the slave. He may do what he wishes with her. The woman, on the other hand, being owned, is institutionally and helplessly subject, in her status as slave, to the submissions of love.
It is said, in a Gorean proverb, that a man, in his heart, desires freedom, and that a woman, in her belly, yearns for love. The collar, in its way, answers both needs. The man is most free, owning the slave. He may do what he wishes with her. The woman, on the other hand, being owned, is institutionally and helplessly subject, in her status as slave, to the submissions of love.
"Does Dina love her master?" he asked.
"Yes, yes, Master!" I whispered. I so loved him!
"Have I given you choice in this?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said. "You have made me love you, helplessly and wholly."
"Your feelings, then," he asked, "have been fully engaged, and you are now mine, at my complete mercy, fully and vulnerably, with no shred of pride or dignity left?"
"Yes, Master," I whispered.
"You acknowledge yourself then hopelessly in love with me, and as a slave girl?"
I looked up at him, tears in my eyes. "I love you, Master," I wept.
"She does not want to be a peasant's girl," laughed one of the men.
"I love you, Master," I said.
"It amused him," I said. "He is Clitus Vitellius, a captain. He can have many girls, more beautiful than I. He made me love him, hopelessly and desperately, and then, for his amusement, discarded me. He toyed with me. He used me for the object of his sport. Then, when he had won, fully and completely, he cast me aside, ridding himself of me, giving me away."
"Did you truly love him?" asked Radish.
"Yes," I said.
"What a slave you are!" laughed Sandal Thong.
"He made me love him!" I cried defensively. Yet I knew I would have loved him, even had he not made me love him. Had I had the choice as a free woman I would have chosen to love him; but the choice had not been mine, for I had been a slave; he had overwhelmed me, forcing me to love him, consulting not my will, before I could have chosen to do so; I who had desired to kneel before him of my own free will had been commanded to his sandals as a slave girl.
"You are a fool to have loved your master," said Sandal Thong.
"I love my master," said Radish.
Sandal Thong turned about and struck Radish to the side of the cage. "Slave!" she cried.
"I cannot help it that I love my master!" said Radish.
Sometimes in the fields I hated Clitus Vitellius. It was he who had left me in a peasant village! He had made me love him, conquering me to the last cell of my body, and had then, laughing, given me to a peasant.
He had toyed with me, making me love him helplessly, and had then, for his amusement, given me away! How I hated him! How I loved him! Always I would remember his hands upon me! Always in my heart I would be his slave girl. I wondered if he ever called to mind the girl he had so casually, contemptuously, discarded. Of course not! She was only a slave. And he had his pick of women, even free women, who would wear a collar for his touch. He would not remember me, a slave he once briefly owned and sported with. But I would remember him, always. I loved him. I hated him! Always in my heart I would think of him as my master. I so loved him, and hated him!
She lifted the cup to him. "Drink, noble Thurnus, my love," said she to him. "I bring you the brew of victory."
"Drink, my love," said Melina, lifting the cup to Thurnus.
"Drink to your victory, and mine."
Thurnus took the cup.
I tried to cry out, but could not. I struggled in the stock.
My eyes were wild over the heavy gagging that had been inflicted upon me.
None looked upon me. I struggled in the stock. I tried to scream. I could utter no sound. I wore a Gorean gag.
Do not drink it, Master!" I wanted to scream, "It is poisoned! Do not drink! It is poison!"
"Drink, my love," said Melina.
I could utter no sound. I wore a Gorean gag.
Thurnus lifted the cup to his lips. He paused. "Drink," urged Melina.
"It is our common victory," said Thurnus.
"Yes, my love," said Melina.
"Drink first, Companion," said Thurnus.
Melina seemed startled. Then she said, "It is first your victory, then mine, my love."
"Drink you first, my love," she urged.
"My love," smiled Thurnus, "drink you first."
"The love I bear you, Thurnus," she said, "is not the love of a free companion, but a hopeless slave girl's love, a love so deep and rich that she who bears it can be only her man's slave."
"I love you," she said.
"You know the penalties for lying?" he asked.
"I do not lie, Master," she said. "I do love you."
One of the penalties which may in a peasant village be inflicted upon a lying slave girl is to throw her alive to hungry sleen. I had little doubt but what Thurnus might do this if he caught one of his girls in a lie.
"How can that be?" asked Thurnus.
"I do not know," she whispered. "It is a strange, helpless feeling. I have lain here in the stocks. I have thought much."
"Tomorrow," said Thurnus, "you will have less time to think, and more time to work."
"Long ago I loved you," she said, "but as a free woman. Then, for years I did not love you, but despised you. Now again, after long years, I feel love for you, only now it is the shameful, helpless love of a bond girl for her master."
"In the morning you will be whipped," said Thurnus.
"Yes, Master," she said. She looked up at him. "You are strong," she said, "and masterful. You are a great man, whether you are a district leader or not. My freedom blinded me to your manhood and your worth. I saw you not for the things you were but for the things you might, enhancing my own person, become. I saw you not as a man but as an instrument of my own perceptions and ambitions. I regret that I did not, in my companionship, relish and celebrate what you were, rather than an image of what you might become. I never truly knew you. I knew only the image of my own invention. I never truly looked at you. Had I done so, I might have seen you."
"You were always a shrewd, clever woman," said Thurnus.
There were tears in her eyes. "I love you," she said.
Years ago, doubtless, she had been loved with the gentle tenderness accorded to free women. This was the first time in her life, I suspected, that she had felt the uncompromising, unbridled lust that may be vented on the helpless body of a female slave.
"Yes, Master," said Sandal Thong. In her love for Thurnus she was determined that he would have the best from all his girls. Too, I had little doubt but that when it was the turn of the village slave, Melina, to serve the house of Thurnus that she, too, would fall under the same strict discipline.
"Do you not, too, hate men?" I demanded.
"I love them," said Sucha.
"I love you, Master!" I wept, clutching him. Gone now was the thought of the Lady Elicia. I, a slave girl, was in the arms of a Gorean male. I covered him with kisses and caresses, weeping. "Please touch your slave more, Master," I begged.
"I love you, Master," I whispered to Tellius.
Slave girls are often hopelessly in love with their masters.
Rendering love and service to a master had not seemed obviously inferior to her to the reduced sexuality and the squabbling competitiveness which had been expected of her as a free woman. Freedom and love are both estimable values. Some women choose freedom; others choose love. Let each make what choice seems best to her.
I did not know what to do. At first I felt, unrestrainable, overwhelming me, an incredible flood of love and elation. I felt the incredible love and joy, the elation, possible only to a slave girl.
He was approaching from down the wharf, carrying a sea bag, in the guise of a sailor.
I wanted to run toward him, crying out, the length of the wharf, and throw myself to his feet, weeping, covering them with kisses.
Then I was frightened that I had made a mistake. It could not be true.
But I watched. I grew more and more sure, and then I was certain. He stopped to buy a cake from a vendor on the wharf. It was he!
It was my master, Clitus Vitellius of Ar!
"Oh, Master," I wanted to cry out, "I love you! I love you, Master!"
It had been Clitus Vitellius of Ar who had first enslaved me. He had marked me with the hot iron, marking my very flesh, branding me a slave girl. He had made me serve him! He had made me love him, and had then, when it pleased him, his sport done, thrown me aside, giving me to peasants!
At his feet I felt suddenly a wave of love for him, the helpless weakness of a slave girl overcome at her master's feet, but then I caught myself, and every bit of me became cold, and calculating and sensuous. I held the calves of his legs in my hands, and looked up at him.
"I am pleased if Master is pleased," I said. I held his legs, my cheek against his thigh. I wanted to cry out that I loved him, but then I checked myself, remembering my project. I knelt at his feet only to bring him low. I did not think it would be difficult if I could get him to the Chatka and Curla.
I knew now that I truly loved Clitus Vitellius of Ar. Yet to my misery I had betrayed him. How I would if I could have undone that deed. How I would if I could have tried to pit my small strength against the heavy oar which he would now draw. I would if I could have changed places with him. Better that I, if I could, be chained to a bench, an oarsman slave, than he. I, a worthless slave girl, in her vanity and pettiness, had laid low not a warrior, but my own beloved. What mattered it that he cared naught for me, that I was but rude collar meat in his mighty hands? It mattered nothing. I loved him more deeply than I realized one could love. He had stirred such emotion, such rage, such hatred, in me that I would not have believed it possible. I had lived for my vengeance, dreaming of it, and, when I had attained it, I found it only misery and ashes, and unspeakable anguish, for it had cost me my very self, he whom I loved, Clitus Vitellius of the city of Ar.
The men in the tavern, and the girls, too, had been pleased that I had designated Clitus Vitellius. How excited and pleased all had been. "You did well," they assured me. I had been thrown a pastry. But, alone with myself, I wept with misery.
I had not known I could so love. I would have given all to undo that deed.
He had not treated me well, but it did not matter. All that mattered was that I loved him.
Yet I had betrayed him.
How small a thing it was that he had sported with me and then, in his simple cruelty, given me to a peasant. Did I not know I was a slave girl? What did I expect? To be treated as a free woman? How vast a thing, how vicious and disproportionate it was that I, a mere slave girl, for so small a fault, if fault it was, had sentenced him to the tortures of the galleys.
I had done well! I cried out in anguish. I loved him. I loved him!
I should have served him in the tavern, and then kissed him farewell, surrendering him to his glory and freedom, I remaining behind, forgotten, a girl whom once he had owned and discarded. I could then have known him free.
Would it not have been enough?
But I had betrayed him, he whom I loved.
I had betrayed Clitus Vitellius of Ar. I could not have hated him so much had I not loved him so deeply.
I had betrayed him, he whom I loved!
a free person can be respected, and even loved, but cannot stand to another in that unique relationship which is that of prize and treasure; to stand in that relationship a woman must be owned;
"Master!" I cried. I struggled to my knees before him, my heart flooded with elation. "I love you!" I cried. I put my head to his feet, covering them with kisses and tears. I shook with emotion. "Master! Master!" I wept. "I love you! I love you!"
He pulled me to my feet. "She-sleen," he said, quietly, and with menace.
He released me. I shrank back from him. "Master?" I said. Then, suddenly, I was terrified. "Oh, no, Master!" I said. "I love you."
He looked to the sharks which moved about the body of the inert, buoyant saurian. Others, too, smaller, restless, white-finned, moved about the raft.
"No, Master," I cried, "I love you! I love you, Master!"
He strode toward me and seized me by the back of my neck and an ankle. He lifted me high over his head.
"No, Master!" I wept.
He strode to the side of the raft.
I could do nothing. He could throw me to the sharks in an instant.
"No," he said angrily. "This is too easy for a warrior's vengeance." He threw me to his feet on the boards.
He looked about. There was a ring on the wreckage, where it sloped higher out of the water. He dragged me to this ring and tore open my rep-cloth tunic. He knelt across my body and, with strips from the rep-cloth, tied my hands over my head and fastened them to the ring. I lay on my back before him, my head higher than my feet, my body at an angle of some five or ten degrees. With his foot he kicked aside the rep-cloth which he had torn open. In his belt there was a bloodied knife, that with which he had slain the marine saurian.
He drew forth the knife and looked at me.
"I love you, Master," I whispered.
"I shall cut you to bits," he said, "and throw you, little by little, to the sharks."
He could do with me what he chose. I was his.
He drew back the knife, the blade in his hand, behind his head. I closed my eyes.
It struck in the wood, sinking four inches deep, beside me. I opened my eyes. I shuddered.
He was looking down at me. "I have you now," he said.
"Yes, Master," I said.
He dropped to one knee, crouching beside me. He jerked the tag on my collar. He read it aloud, "Send me to the Lady Elicia of Ar, of Six Towers." He laughed.
"You, a lady's serving slave," he grinned.
Then he lifted my flanks from the wood, and then thrust me back, holding me to the wood. I closed my eyes, almost fainting from his touch.
He released me. He stood up, looking down at me.
"I love you, Master," I said.
"I love you, Clitus Vitellius!" I cried.
"I have always feared you, Master," I said, "your temper, your strength, your will. But I love you, too."
"I have always feared you, Master," I said, "your temper, your strength, your will. But I love you, too."
He seized me by the arms and flung me to my back on the wood. He looked down upon me, holding me. He was very rough.
"Lying slave!" he said.
I looked up at him. "It is true," I said, "Master."
"You love any man," he said.
"I wear a collar," I said.
"I am a girl of Earth," I said. "I cannot help myself in the arms of a Gorean male. But it is you, Master, whom I most love, whom I truly love."
"I betrayed you, Master," I said, "because I so much loved you. Had I not loved you so much I could not have so much hated you. I had lived for the moment when I might avenge myself upon you, and when it presented itself, I performed delicious but unspeakable treachery. When they took you away I felt anguish, and a grief I cannot describe to you. I cried out and wept with misery. I had betrayed he whom I loved. Life then to me was but stones and ashes. Better that it had been I who had been betrayed. When I learned of your escape elation and joy flooded me. It was enough to know you lived and were free."
I wanted so much to find some way to convince him of my love for him. I wanted him to know, truly, how I loved him. After that he could do what he wanted with me.
Clitus Vitellius stepped into the threshold. He looked at me, troubled. I wanted to cry out my love for him, the helpless, vulnerable love of a female slave.
He looked down at me, angrily. I did not understand his anger.
He untied my ankles and I lay before him on the tiles. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. I could not do so. I was gagged. Angrily he crouched down and, by an ankle, drew me to him, half under him. With his hands he thrust up the brief skirting I had been permitted as a female slave, and, ruthlessly, used me. I threw back my head, reveling in his touch. Swiftly he finished with me and, cutting a length from the loose end of the strap which bound my wrists, rebound my ankles. My wrists and ankles were no longer bound to one another. I looked at him. There were tears in my eyes. I loved him. I wanted to tell him of my love. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. He did not remove the gag. He did not permit me to speak. He threw me to his shoulder and carried me from the compartments.
"I love you, Master," she said.
Swiftly she knelt. The whip would not be necessary. Sabina, the slave, looked up at Thandar of Ti, astonishment in her eyes, and wonder and love. She knew then the nature of the man, and his strength, who owned her.
"He is keeping me as a slave," said Sabina to me, elatedly. "How strong and marvelous he is! I fear only I will not be able to love him enough!"
I kissed her. It is difficult for a girl not to esteem a man who does as he pleases, even though it is to her that it be done. A woman admires strength, especially if it is used to dominate and control her. It is, it seems, for men to command and women to obey, for men to dominate and women to submit, for men to claim and for women to yield. It is, it seems, the way of primate nature. Its test is enactment; its proof is joy; its evidence is love. If we have lost this, we have lost part of ourselves.
"I love you," I said.
"I love you, Clitus Vitellius!" I cried, tears in my eyes.
"Forgive me, Master," I said. I trembled. I recalled I had cried out, "I love you, Clitus Vitellius!" How foolish I had been. It was a girl's mistake. It would not go unnoticed.
"I love you, Master," I said to him.
His hands were upon my shoulders. He dragged me upward to his pressing mouth, pulling me against the wrist straps which held my wrists at the shield's edges. I thought he might tear me from the shield. Then he flung me back, arched across its surface. I felt his lips at my belly and thighs. I could not protect myself from the fierce ardor to which I must submit. Then again I cried out, lost in my slave's love of him, my master.
He unbound my wrists from the shield. He thrust me from its surface. I rolled to my side, on the bridge. I lay quietly on the bridge, in his collar.
"It is getting late," he said. "I must get you to the love furs."
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Get up," he said. He moved his foot against my body.
I tried to get up, but could scarcely stand. I sank to my hands and knees.
He laughed at me.
I sank to my side. I lifted my hand to him. "Get up, Earth girl," he said. "I will try, Master," I said. But again I fell to my knees.
"Do not beat me, Master," I begged. "You have made me so weak."
"I can smell your weakness," he said.
"Yes, Master," I said. I was so overcome by my love for him that I could not stand. I had never known such weakness. I felt I had the strength only to lie vulnerably before him, perhaps holding and kissing him, awaiting him. It is, I suppose, one of nature's utilities, reducing the female's effectiveness in self-defense or flight, putting her all the more at the mercy of the stronger beast.
"Do you not understand, Master?" I asked. "If I had the choice, I would choose not to be free but to be your slave." A woman, I had learned, must choose between freedom and love. Both are estimable virtues. Let each choose which is best for her.
"I ask only to love and serve you, Master," I said.
"How could I love you so much," he asked, "if I did not truly own you, if you were not fully mine?"
"I do not know, Master," I said. Clitus Vitellius had confessed his love for a slave. I hoped he would not now beat me.
He took me by the hair and thrust my head down to the furs. "A man can truly love only that woman," he said, "who is truly his, who belongs to him. Otherwise he is only a party to a contract."
"A woman," I said, "can love only that man to whom she truly belongs."
"To whom do you truly belong, Slave?" he asked.
"To you, Master," I said.
"I love you, Master," I said.
"Be silent, Slave," he said, irritably.
"Yes, Master," I said.
He then touched me with sweetness, and tenderness, and I held him closely, but did not speak, lost in his touch, for I, a slave, had been forbidden to speak. He made gentle love to me then, which, I knew, might become abrupt or brutal as he chose. There were a thousand ways to have a slave girl and I did not doubt but what Clitus Vitellius was master of them all. How joyful I was. He was dominant over me. I was subject to him. I was his, completely without qualification. It is impossible for me to express my feelings. Perhaps this is why he had warned me to silence, that I might not try to speak, but would be content to feel what could not, in any language, be spoken. So I did not then try to speak, but, rather, contented myself with turning to the tasks of love.
She stirred, and reached again for the furs, chilled. I took her by the arm and drew her beside me, roughly, and threw her on her back. She opened her eyes suddenly, startled, half crying out. "Master!" she gasped. Then I had her swiftly. "Master! Master!" she whispered, clutching me. Then I was finished with her. "Master," she whispered. "I love you. I love you." One has a slave girl when and as one wishes.
She held me closely, pressing her cheek against my chest.
Sex is an implement which may be used in controlling a slave girl. It is as useful as chains and the whip.
"I love you," she whispered.
"May I speak your name, Master?" she begged.
"Yes," I said.
"Tarl," she whispered. "I love you."
"Be silent, Slave Girl," I said.
"Yes, Master," she whispered.
In a quarter of an Ahn her beauty squirmed helplessly; my arms bled from her fingernails; her eyes were wild and piteous. "You may speak," I informed her. She threw back her head and screamed, jolting with spasms, "I yield me your slave! I yield me your slave!" she cried. How beautiful a woman is in such a moment! I waited until she drew tremblingly quiescent, looking at me. Then I cried out with the pleasure of owning her, and claimed her. She clutched me, kissing me. "I love you, Master," she wept. "I love you."
I held her to me closely, though she was a slave. She looked up at me. Her eyes were moist. "I love you, Master," she said. I brushed back hair from her forehead. I supposed one could be fond of a slave.
Sometimes, as this night, I let her sleep chained at my feet.
"I love you, Master," she said.
Women, in their heart, long to submit; this is necessary for the slave girl; she must submit or die; submitted, she is thrilled to the core; she lives then for love and service, bound to the will of her master.
Gorean girls, however, who are aware of the cultural implications of their collar, and its meaning, usually spend little time, once it is helplessly locked on their throats, in fighting their womanhood. They must bend, or die. In bending, in submission, in total, willless submission to a master, they find themselves free for the first time from the chains of egoism, liberated from the grasping pursuits of the self, readied for the surrenders of love.
"I love her," said Imnak.
"That is unfortunate," I said.
"Do you love her, too?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I thought that it was unfortunate for you."
"Oh," he said. Then he said, "That is not unlikely, but it is difficult to help matters of that sort."
"True," I said.
"And Poalu loves me, too," he said.
"Are you sure she expects to be carried off?" I asked Imnak.
"Of course," said Imnak. "Can you not see she loves me?"
"Yes," I said, "it is certainly clear."
Then Poalu looked at me. She whipped a knife out from her furs. "Do not think you are going to carry me off," she said. "I will cut you to ribbons!"
I stepped back, in order not to be slashed with the knife. Imnak, too, leaped backward.
Poalu then turned about and walked away.
"She is moody sometimes," said Imnak.
"Yes," I admitted.
"But she loves me," he said, happily.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes," said Imnak. "She cannot hide her true feelings." He nudged me. "Did you not notice that she did not stick the knife into us?" he asked, secretively.
"Yes," I said, "she missed."
"Did Poalu not love me," he said, smiling, "she would not have missed."
"I hope that you are right," I said.
"She did not miss Naartok," he said.
"Oh," I said.
"He was in his tent for six weeks," he said.
"Who is Naartok?" I asked.
"He is my rival," said Imnak. "He still loves her. He may try to kill you."
"We need not make haste in this matter," I observed. "Are you sure you really want to have Poalu in your tent? Perhaps you should subject the matter to further consideration."
"But we love one another," said Imnak.
"I have loved you since we were children, Imnak," she whispered. "I have thought for years that I would someday be your woman. But I did not think, ever, that I would be your beast." She looked at him. "Will you truly make me obey you, Imnak?" she asked.
"Yes," he said.
She smiled. "Your beast is not discontent," she said.
He touched her softly with his nose about the cheek and throat. It is a thing red hunters do. It is a very gentle thing, like smelling and nuzzling.
Then his hands were hard on her waist.
She looked up at him. "The lamp must be lit," she said, "and the water heated, that I may boil meat for supper."
"Supper may wait," he said.
He began to caress her, with tender, powerful caresses, gentle yet strong, possessive, commanding, as one may touch something which one owns and loves.
"Does Audrey like serving her master?" I asked.
"Audrey loves serving her master," she whispered.
Sometimes a girl, winning love, is freed, perhaps to bear the children of a former master.
A true liberation of women might be desirable, one which would permit them to be themselves, whatever they might be, a liberation that would free a woman to be feminine rather than constrict her to the imitation of manhood, a liberation without preset images and goals, which would permit her to find herself, wherever and however she might be, honestly, a liberation that would not be a gibberish of political prescriptions, a facsimile of the most sordid side of alien, malelike egoisms, a liberation that would free women in all their latent richness, their diversities and glories, that would be open enough to accept gratefully and, yes, celebrate such currently denigrated properties as softness, tenderness and love.
"Because I am a slave," she said. "It is strange," she said, "we have talked of freedom, of liberation. And yet I feel that somehow, though I am slave, I am the most liberated, the most free of women, For the first time in my life I am free to obey, to love and be pleasing."
"I jest," I said, "but, too, I am serious. You will grow in slavery and beauty. Who knows what a woman's potential is for love?"
"But I do not speak here merely of the simplicities and negativities of a cure," I said. "I speak rather of the beginning of a career, a helpless, flowering biography of service, love and passion."
"You speak of a woman being made a slave girl," she said.
"Yes," I said.
"I wonder if I will be pleasing to a master," she said.
"Any slave girl," I said, "with the proper management, and master, can become a wonder of sexuality and love."
It is rather commendable, I think, that the red hunters make up songs. They are not as critical as many other people. To them it is often more important that one whom they love sings than it is that his song is a good song.
"A woman desires love," she whispered.
"Love is found more often among slave girls than free women," I said. "If you would learn love, learn slavery."
When a girl is a slave all of her is a slave. It is what she is. Oh, I could speak to you of a woman's need for emotional fulfillment, security, excitement, romance, discipline; her need to relate, to be happy, to a strong male figure, one before whom she knows herself, truly, in the intimacy of herself to be a female, and his; the bankruptcy of egoism, ambition and greed for many women; their need to love, their desire to please and be of service; their intrinsic yearning to submit to an uncompromising, dominant organism; their deep-seated desire to be found so beautiful and attractive that men will want them, and want them so much that they will own them and make them give them everything, but are not all these things only futile words peripheral to the speechless emotional reality felt by the girl when she kneels before the master, and he then touches her as his own?
To be sure, the master who is harder to please gets more from his girl than the master who is easy to please, but, nonetheless, I think kindness is not out of place upon occasion toward a bond girl. Indeed, in a certain context a kind word can almost cause such a wench, collared and at your mercy, to faint with love.
It may seem hard to understand but the man who truly cares for his slave is often rather strict with her; he cares for her enough to be strong; sometimes she may resent or hate him but, too, she is inordinately proud of him, for what he makes her do, and be, and she loves him for his strength and his will; in her heart she knows she is the slave of such a man; how can she not love the man who proves himself to be her master?
"What do you want?" he asked.
"To kneel at your feet, and to serve you and love you," she wept.
"No," she said, "I would not like to be returned to Earth. I have never been so sensuously alive as here, at the mercy of men. I pity even the free women of this world, who cannot know the joys and loves of the female slave. I do not wish to return to Earth, to adopt again the role of pretending to be a man. What has Earth to offer that is worth more than joy and happiness?"
"Do you want to be respected?" I asked.
"No," she said. She smiled up at me. "I want to be loved, and treasured. I want to be mastered."
"I had no real choice," she said. "In the snow you made me a slave."
"Of course," I said.
"I love you for it," she said, "- Master." I kissed her, gently, on the lips. She looked up at me, her eyes moist. "Will you keep me?" she asked.
"For a time, perhaps," I said.
The owned girl is a valuable; she is precious; this makes her much different from a business partner. For what it is worth, the most intimate and deepest loves I have known have been between masters and their slaves, that between the love master and their love slave."
"But the woman is still a slave," she said.
"Yes," I said, "totally and categorically. She may even be sold, if he wills."
"The attention and love such a girl obtains," she said, "need not be accorded to her."
"No," I said. "It is a gift of the master."
"He could, at any point," she said, "simply order her to silence and put her to his feet."
"Of course," I said, "and sometimes he will, if only to remind her that she is a slave."
"She is, then, for all her freedoms, yet absolutely under his will."
"Yes," I said. "She is his slave."
"I love you, Master," she whispered.
I love you, Master," she whispered.
Later I stood over her, and looked down upon her. She looked up at me. "I love you, Master," she said.
"You will doubtless be bought and sold many times, Slave," I said, "and will have many masters."
"I will try to love my masters," she said.
"That would be wise on your part," I told her.
"I know why most slave girls do not desire to escape their masters," she said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because we love them, and desire to please them," she said.
"I love you," she said.
"Perhaps," he said.
"Can you not trust me, just a little?" she asked.
"I do not choose to do so," he said.
"It is strange," she said. "The other girls sleep free beside their master and I, who am so helplessly yours, surely as much a slave as they, am kept in severe constraints."
He did not speak.
"Why, my master?" she asked.
"It pleases me," he said.
"How can I convince you of my love?" she asked. "How can I earn your trust?"
"Master," she said, "I love you." "Be silent, Slave Girl," I said, not looking at her. "Yes, Master," she said, sobbing.
Once a cold and arrogant taluna the girl knelt now, happily at his heels. She had been taught submission, and love.
It was, of course, a useful instrumentality to certain types of women in the pursuit of their political ambitions. In a sense I thought this wise on their part. They had the good sense to recognize that the sexuality of human beings, and love, was the major obstacle to the success of their programs.
Lola then took the first male slave in her arms. She looked up at him. "I am your slave, Master," she said. She then kissed him. "I love you, Master," she said. Then she kissed him again.
Then the hot, sensual, naked, collared she of her pressed to me. I felt her lips on mine, and, she kissed me, with the liquid, melting, indescribable kiss of the slave girl, the owned woman. "I love you, Master," she whispered.
"Why did you spill the wine and accuse me of it?" I asked.
"It was a joke," she whispered.
"Do not lie to me," I said.
"I hated you," she said.
"Do you hate me now?" I asked.
"Oh, no, Master," she said, hastily. "I love you now. I want to please you. Please be kind to me."
I smiled. I did not think that Lola, in her cruelties, or when she had played the cruel trick with the wine, and had prescribed the twenty blows of the snake, had anticipated that she would, one day, be braceleted in my cell, at my mercy as a naked slave girl.
"Why twenty blows of the snake?" I asked. "Did you wish to kill me?"
"You are strong," she said, her head inclined a bit downward, but looking up at me. "Twenty blows would not kill you. It would only have punished you, terribly."
"You would have had this done," I asked, "because you hated me?"
"Yes, Master," she said. Then she added, hastily, "But I do not hate you now. I love you now. Please be kind to me, Master."
Most girls are extremely responsive to their masters, and love them deeply, with that incredible love which can be known only by an enslaved woman, that love which a woman can accord only to a man who is her total master.
"But what if you should meet your Master?" asked the second.
The first one was silent then for a moment. Then she spoke. "I would love him and serve him, helplessly," she said.
To be sure, the sight of such a woman, so clad and collared, tended to provoke not emotions of respect but deeper and more primitive emotions, emotions such as love, desire and lust, and dominance and uncompromising ownership. Such a woman was, under the enhancements of a civilization, the primitive woman, who must hope to please the brute who owns her.
"No one is concerned to make them happy," she said. "It is they who must make others happy. It is they who must yield, and obey, and serve, and love and be pleasing."
The same girl who in her first sale was frigid is likely to be, by the time of her second sale, even should it be within the year, a wonder of lascivious appetition, needful of love and the touch of an uncompromising owner.
"Woman is born to the collar, and love," said Tenalion. "You have put her in a collar. And she must now, helplessly, seek the other."
"On Gor," she said, "I have experienced feelings and sensations I never knew could exist. Inhibitions have been shattered, some of them commanded from me by strong men and the blows of the whip. I have learned to live and to feel. My emotions have been freed. My deepest sexuality and nature have on this world at last been fully liberated. I have found myself. I love and I serve. I now know at last what and who I am, a love slave for uncompromising masters."
"We are small, and weak, and soft and beautiful," she said, "and we have dispositions to yield, and to love and serve, selflessly. We long for masters. We cannot be fulfilled until we find them." She smiled. "And then, on Gor," she said, "we look up and, startled, find them standing over us. The whip is in their hand. They will take no nonsense from us. Is it any wonder we love them so?"
He who denies a woman her right to serve man, and particularly in such small ways, denies to her a portion of herself; that man is not only a fool, for he is the natural recipient of such attentions, but he is cruel; such a denial, too, can make a woman ashamed to seek sexual gratification for such small services, usually unbeknownst to the boorish male, are intimately connected with such gratification; this is one reason, incidentally, that those who secretly fear sexuality, and would repudiate it, will be among the first to denounce such homely services of love. In the case of the slave girl, of course, such services are commanded of her. She must perform them. This tells her then, on some deep level, that it is all right, truly, to be a woman. Indeed, she is given no choice but to be a woman. Thusly is her love unqualifiedly liberated.
For months, through assiduous application, through attentiveness and study, through a selfless love and service, such a woman may labor to convince the brute who owns her that she is worthy to wear his collar.
"I have never been in the arms of a man such as you," she said. "I love you! I want to be your slave!"
"I love you, Master," she said. "It is to such a man as you that I wish to belong."
I observed Peggy, the long-haired, long-legged, blond Earth-girl slave, kneeling, head down, by the far wall. Her shoulders shook with a sob. She was so near to him whom she so vulnerably and desperately loved and yet, as a slave, must remain helplessly silent.
She reddened, kneeling as a naked slave before the man she loved.
"I love him," she said. "I love Miles of Vonda!"
"With the love of a free companion?" I asked.
"No," she said, "with the helpless and total love of an owned slave girl for her master."
"Please do not make me speak, Master," she begged. She was in the presence of Callimachus, whom she loved.
The heart to Goreans, as to certain of those of Earth, is understood as a symbol of love. The life of a slave girl, of course, is understood, too, as a life of love.
"Do you love him?" asked the red-haired girl.
"Yes," she said. I was pleased that she had said this. To be sure, I had made her yield, as the slave she was.
Translated to Gor, encountering true men in large numbers, in overwhelming numbers, so different from the crippled males of Earth, finding themselves in an exotic environment, and participating in a culture markedly different from their own, and in many respects both fearful and beautiful, and founded on the order of nature, they find themselves, in effect, restored to love.
"I was once a girl of Port Cos," she said, "one born free, but one who knew herself in her heart to be a slave. I fled Port Cos to avoid an unwanted companionship. He who desired me too much respected me, and though I muchly loved him, I knew that he could not satisfy my slave needs. He wanted me as his companion and I wanted only to be his slave. He wanted me in veils and silk, and wished to serve me. I wanted only to be naked, and collared, and at his feet, kissing his whip.
At a given moment of tenderness, sooner or later, she yields herself to him, fully, and as his slave. This moment is usually accompanied with tears of joy, and love.
"Do you love him?" I asked.
"Yes, Master," she sobbed, "but I am the most miserable of slaves!"
"Why is that?" I asked.
"For I love two men!" she wept.
The slave girl, subject to male domination, surrendered to service and love, branded and collared, serving and kneeling, is, under the institutional enhancements of a civilization, fixing her condition upon her with uncompromising clarity, in effect, the primitive woman, the biological woman, the selected-for woman, the woman in her place in nature, the fulfilled woman.
I had learned later in the holding, when I had been captured, that she was owned in her heart by that brutal, anonymous master who had so abused her, that her love, the helpless love of a tormented, yielding slave, was his. How she had contrasted the audacity and glory of that unknown Gorean master with the timidity and weakness of the males of Earth, such as, at that time, she took me to be.
Then, last night, on the rude stones of the Street of the Writhing Slave, she helpless in my arms, locked in the chain collar of a Coin Girl, with the flattish bell and coin box, I had instructed her, and thoroughly, in the respect due, did he but assume his mastery, to one who was once of Earth. By morning she had learned this lesson well. We did not relate to one another in the perverted modality of unisexual identicals but in the order of nature, she as woman, and slave, I as man, and master. When I, finished with her for the time, had sent her fleeing from me, she had been riven with conflict. Two men, it seemed, she loved, he whom she had served in the holding of Policrates, he who had treated her with the insolence commonly accorded an Earth-girl slave by Gorean masters, and he whom she had served on the stones of the Street of the Writhing Slave, he who had treated her as a full and lowly slave, who once, perchance, had been an Earth girl.
"You see, my Master," she said, "your Earth-girl slave loves you." She put her head down. "She has loved you ever since that night in the holding of Policrates. She is thus, my Master, more your slave than you could ever know." She lifted her head. "Did you make me love you that night, or were you only such that I could not help loving you. It does not matter, for I loved you then, and love you now, with the total helplessness of a slave's love for her master. You are my Master, and I am your slave, and I love you." She brushed a tear from her eye. It smeared the mascara-type compound which had been put on her lashes, making a dark smear on her cheek. "I love you, nay Master," she said.
I looked down upon her. It pleased me to hear the former Miss Henderson confess her love for me, in my guise as her Gorean master.
"I do not ask that you love me, even a little, my Master," she said, "for I am nothing, and a slave. I know well, and need not be taught, that I am owned. I know that I am only an article of your property." She put her head down. "Just as you own some piece of clothing, or the thongs to your sandals, so, too, do you own me. To you, too, I am doubtless of far less value than a pet sleen. I do not ask, accordingly, nor would I be so presumptuous or bold as to ask, or beg, that you care even a little for me. No, my Master. I am only your slave." She then lifted her head again. Tears were in her eyes. "But know, my Master," she said, "that my own love, undesired though it might be, worthless as it doubtless is, that of a slave, is yours."
"I kiss your whip, my Master," she said, gratefully, continuing to kiss the brutal, uncompromising blades and staff. "I submit to you a thousand times! Thank you for not whipping me! I am your slave, and I love you!" She then looked up at me, joyfully. "I love you, my Master," she said. "I love you!" Then, joyfully, kneeling before me, she put her left cheek down upon my right thigh. "I love you," she said. "I love you, my Master. Command me," she begged. "I am eager to serve you I will do anything."
"I am happy that it is you who owns me," she said. "I cannot tell you how happy it makes me, I, a slave, to belong to one such as you. In my deepest heart of hearts I desire to obey, to serve and love.
How different are the relationships of the men of Earth with women. On Gor I see, on the whole, contentment and love; on the Earth I see, on the whole, discontentment and misery. Who shall say which is best? Perhaps discontentment and misery are superior to contentment and love. Who knows? Goreans, however, we might note, whatever be the truth in these matters, have chosen contentment, and love. Let each choose, perhaps, that which is best for him.
"I shall, therefore, unless warned to silence, continue to speak," she said. She smiled wryly, and lifted her belled wrists from her thighs. "But I did not think, in the room of cosmetics, that I would be summoned before you, merely that you might hear me speak." She returned her hands, palms down, to her thighs. She lowered her head. "I thought that you might have other interests in me." She lifted her head, "I am ready for love, and with the abject helplessness of a slave," she said. "Will you not touch me, or caress me?"
I said nothing. But it pleased me mightily to know that the slave, the former Miss Henderson, was aroused before me. I remembered her from the restaurant, so long ago, in the candlelight, in the svelte, off-the-shoulder, white-sheath dress, so chic and lovely, carrying the tiny, silver-beaded purse. She now knelt before me, a slave girl on Gor.
"Alas!" said the girl. "What a poor slave I must be! I have been made-up for love, and I have been scented and belled, and my master does not deign to so much as touch me. I trust that I am not fully displeasing to him."
"You see, my Master," she said, "I had loved him, even on Earth, but, too, I had despised him, for he was too weak to satisfy my needs. On Gor, too, he had never had me, even though we had shared a domicile. I had never permitted it."
It was there that I met he whom I had loved and despised, Jason of Victoria. Consider my feelings, Master. He had never had me, and now he must have me! Too, I was completely at his mercy as an exposed slave. I loved him. I was prepared to yield to him, as a woman of Earth. I was certain of his tenderness, his gentleness, his solicitude. But what did I discover! What was done to me! Conceive of my feelings! He handled and treated me as a slave girl, one who might be any slave!" She put down her head, her face in her hands, weeping.
"I love you, Master," she said. "I love you. I love you!"
Things had preceded precisely as I had planned. Given sufficient time, and the obligation to speak, through natural associations and continuities she had confessed her love for Jason of Victoria to me. Let her now be terrified of the wrath of her Gorean master.
"I am your slave, my Master," she said, "and I love you. I love you." Slowly she drew herself to her knees, still keeping her head down, kissing at my feet and ankles. "I love you, my Master," she said. "I love you." Then, slowly, kissing at my feet and legs, and holding them, she straightened her body before me. She lifted her head, in the hood. I saw her lips tremble. "I am totally yours, my Gorean master," she said. "I submit myself to you, fully, in all things, as your total and abject slave. Do with me as you will. I am yours."
It must be understood, of course, that the slave's sexuality is imbedded in an entire matrix of obedience, love and service. In her heart and mind these things are inextricably, and delicately land beautifully, intertwined. Her sexuality, commanded of her by her master, by the whip, if necessary, is, in one sense, but one aspect and expression of her total bondage; she serves fully, and in all things; yet, in another sense, her entire condition is, in its way, an expression of the depth, complexity and beauty of her sexuality. She ties her master's sandals; she looks up at him; she loves; she serves; she is the female.
"I will let you kiss me," she said. "I will even let you make love to me!"
I looked down upon her. I was furious. She had been an insolent slave.
"Let me be your employee," she said. "I am willing, even, to be your love employee! You do not need to pay me much. You do not need to pay me anything at all! I will work for nothing for you! Let me be your love servant! Sometimes I will even serve you as might a slave girl!"
She looked up at me. "I love you. I love you, my Master," she said.
"You are my master," she said, "and I am your slave, and I love you!"
"Strip," said Tasdron.
Swiftly, unquestioningly, knowing herself a Gorean slave girl, Peggy unbelted the tunic, parted it, and slipped it from her shoulders. She then blushed crimson. She had been forced to make herself nude, in the presence of others, before the man she loved.
In the first case, where no true distinction exists, which is the authentic case, the girl, in effect, says, "I am for sale. Buy me, and love me!"
Then, suddenly, laughing, Miles of Vonda jerked open the tunic and tore it down about her lovely, flaring hips. He then thrust it open and back on her hips. Its upper portions hung back, depending from the belt, still in place, about her braceleted wrists. "Yes, Master!" she said. "March me naked through the streets as your slave. I love you!" Miles of Vonda then picked up the lyre, which she had used earlier in entertaining us. With its strap he slung the small, lovely, curved, stringed instrument about her body, the strap over her right shoulder, the instrument behind her left hip. The delicacy of the instrument, with its suggestion of refinement, gentility and civilization, contrasted nicely with the barbarity of her luscious, enslaved nudity, the shreds of her tunic and her helpless, steel-clasped wrists.
"I love you, Master!" she cried. She pressed her body to him and he, clasping her to him, with force and possessiveness, kissed her as his desired and owned slave. I had little doubt that when he arrived home he would play well upon her body, making it the instrument of his attentions. He would draw forth from her by his skills rhapsodies of movements, cries, moans, utterances and admissions, a music to the ears of both the conquering master and the delicious, yielding slave, she who finds, and can find, her most glorious victory only in her most complete and devastating defeat. "I love you, Master!" she was weeping. "I love you!"
She walked before him, her shoulders back, her head high; she walked before him, happily, beautifully, a loved, paraded slave.
"Do you think that you can do the work, and supply the love and service of several, Nameless Slave?" I asked.
"Yes, Master," she said, fervently, "yes, a thousand times yes!"
"I am a girl, and a slave, and I love you," she said.
I kissed her.
"I can tell you my measurements," she said, "and my collar size, and the sizes of the wrist and ankle rings that will fit me. I was forced to memorize these things before my first sale."
"I am tempted to grow fond of you," I said.
"Of a slave?" she asked.
"To be sure," I said, "the thought is surely foolish."
She suddenly lifted her lips to mine and kissed me, deeply and softly, rather helplessly, almost in desperation. "I am almost melting with love for you, my Master," she said. "I know my will means nothing, but I beg to be had."
"Last night," she said. "Did it mean nothing? Surely you love me!"
Then, tenderly, she rose to her knees, still kissing my feet, and then began to kiss my ankles, and calves. "I love you, Master," she whispered.
"I love you, my Master," she said, "and I am yours."
I stepped back from her. "Go to the foot of the couch," I told her, "and curl there."
"Yes, Master," she said. She then, on her hands and knees, crawled to the foot of the couch and, drawing up her legs, curled there on the cold tiles.
When I went to the door, I stopped and looked back, once, at her. She, curled there on the cold, damp tiles, at the foot of the couch, the chain on her neck, regarded me.
The only light in the room was from the tiny tharlarion-oil lamp which, earlier, Thurnock had placed on the shelf near the door.
"I love you, my Master," she said, "and I am yours."
At such times, perhaps, if you dared, you might have longed for the hands of a master on you, a magnificent, ruthless male who could fulfill you, who would put you to his feet and own you, who would answer your deepest needs, who would command you, who would dominate you, absolutely, and ravish you for his merest pleasure, and at his least whim, who would force from you, to your joy, the totality of love and service you were born to bestow."
"Even the girl who does not have a female trainer," I said, "will often seek out more experienced girls, to beg them for their intimate counsels and their secrets of love and beauty. Sometimes she purchases these by such tiny gifts, of food and such, as may be within her province, or by performing portions of the other's labors, and so on. Indeed, much of the chitchat of slave girls, in their gatherings, has to do, in one way or another, with the pleasing of masters."
"I loved my master," she said, "and I think that he, too, cared for me."
"Do you love him?" I asked. I laid the brush aside.
"I do not know," she said. "It was long ago. He sold me."
Indeed, in the deep and profound relationships of love and bondage, such eye contact is usually welcomed and encouraged.
In the dance, as I chose to understand it, Winyela danced the glory of life and the natural order; in it she danced her submission to the might of men and the fulfillment of her own femaleness; in it she danced her desire to be owned, to feel passion, to give of herself, unstintingly, to surrender herself, rejoicing, to service and love.
"I love you, Master," she said. "Do you care for me, perhaps, just a little?"
"Perhaps," said Canka.
"I love him," she said, "dearly, more than anything."
"Bold slave," I said.
"A slave may be bold," she said.
"That is true," I said.
"Do you know that you are a slave?" I asked.
"I know it," she said, "of course."
"But do you know it in the heart, and in the heat and humility of you?" I asked.
She looked at me, puzzled.
"Do you know it in the deepest love of you?" I asked.
"I do not understand," she said.
"That is where you want to know it," I told her.
"I do not understand," she said, angrily.
"Beware," I said, "lest your secret dream come true."
"Often," I said, "the girl merely fears the leather, or is wary of it, and, hoping to give it a wide berth, behaves herself accordingly. For most practical purposes she knows that if she behaves in certain ways she will not feel it, and if she behaves in other ways, she will feel it. It is almost like a law of nature. It is always there, of course, in the background, and she knows that she is subject to it. Similarly, of course, even in her deepest love, she knows that, ultimately, her very life is dependent on the whim of her master. She can be thrown to sleen, at a word from him, if he wishes."
"As you hate him," I said, "what does it matter?"
"Hate him?" she asked. "I love him. I love him, more than anything!"
"Do you not want me?" she asked.
"To see you is to want you," I said.
"You may have me," she said.
"You love Canka," I said, "and you are his."
"Do you truly think he wanted me to have her?" I asked.
"Certainly," said Cuwignaka.
"But she loves him," I said.
"What difference could that possibly make?" asked Cuwignaka.
"And does he not love her?" I asked.
"Yes," said Cuwignaka. "But he will want her sent back to his lodge as a better slave."
"Do masters ever love their slaves?" she asked.
"Often," I said. Indeed, a female slave is the easiest of all women to love; too, of course, she is the most natural of all women to love; these things have to do with the equations of nature, in particular with those of dominance and submission. To a man a female slave is a dream come true. A free woman, understandably, cannot even begin to compete with a female slave for a man's love. That is perhaps another reason why free women so hate their vulnerable, imbonded sisters. If a free woman would assure herself of her man's love she could not do better than, in effect, become his slave. She can beg of him, if she senses in herself the true bondage of love, an enslavement ceremony, in which she proclaims herself, and becomes, his slave. In their most secret and intimate relations thereafter she lives and loves as his slave. If a woman fears to do this she may, on an experimental basis, resort to limited self-contracting, in which her documents will contain stated termination dates. Thus, by her own free will, she becomes a slave for a specific period, ranging usually from an evening to a year. The woman enters into this arrangement freely; she cannot, of course, withdraw from it in the same way. The reason for this is clear. As soon as the words are spoken, or her signature is placed on the pertinent document, or document, she is no longer a free person. She is then only a slave, an animal, no longer with any legal powers whatsoever. She is, then, until the completion of the contractual period, until the expiration date of the arrangement, totally subject to the will of her master.
"And still keep them as slaves?" asked the girl.
"Of course," I said.
"Then I could be loved," she said, "and still kept as a slave, totally."
"Of course," I said.
"I love Canka," she said. "I love him, more than anything." I nodded.
"And I want him to love me," she said, "even though I am only a slave, if just a little."
"I understand," I said. It was natural for a slave helplessly in love with her master to hope that he might see fit to cast her at least a particle or crumb of his affection.
"I love my master, Canka," she said.
"I know," I said.
"I want to be fully pleasing to him."
"You had better be," I said.
"That is true," she laughed. "It is strange," she said.
"What?" I asked.
"I am Canka's slave," she said. "Yet, I love him so much that even if I were not his slave, I would want to be his slave."
"Do you want to know something?" she said.
Surely," I said.
"Love," she said, "puts any woman in bondage, and the more deeply she is in love, the more deeply she is plunged into bondage."
"Perhaps," I said.
"I think it is true," she said.
"Perhaps you are right," I said. "I do not know."
"But if this is true," she said, "it would seem to follow that no woman could be truly in love who is not a female slave."
"What follows, I think," I said, "is that any woman deeply and truly in love is, in effect, a female slave."
"Imagine, then," she breathed, "the love that might be felt by an actual female slave, a woman actually owned, for her master. How helplessly she would be his!"
"Bondage," I said, "with its ownership and domination of the woman, is a soil in which it is natural for love to blossom."
"I know that that is true," she said.
"And the bondage of chains is then, not unoften, succeeded by the bondage of love."
"And think how deep is the bondage of the female slave," said the girl, "whose bondage is the bondage of both chains and love."
"Yes," I said. Her bondage was indeed the deepest bondage in which a human female could conceive of herself being placed, being only, strictly, the property of her beloved master.
"Do you know something else?" she asked.
"What?" I asked.
"You are my friend," she said.
"Beware that you are not quirted, a hundred strokes," I said.
"You are my friend," she said. "I know that it is true."
I did not bother responding to her. How preposterous was the girl's conjecture. Did she not know she was naught but a female slave?
"Can masters and slaves be friends?" she asked.
"Yes," I said. "But the girl, of course, is always to be kept in the perfection of her slavery."
"Of course," she said. "Master," she said.
"Yes," I said.
"I love Canka," she said. "But I displeased him. What if he doesn't want me any longer? What if he sells me or gives me away?"
"I do not think he will do that," I said.
"How am I to act when I return to his lodge?" she asked. "What am I to do?"
"You are a slave," I said. "Be loving, obedient and pleasing, fully."
"I shall try," she said.
"I am yours, and I love you, my master," said the girl. Then she lowered her head.
"He must indeed be pleased with Winyela," I smiled.
"He is," said Cuwignaka. "And, too, I might mention, though I do not know if it is appropriate to do so or not, that they are much in love with each other."
"She must, nonetheless, be kept as a complete slave," I said.
"Have no fear," said Cuwignaka. "She will be."
I was pleased to hear this. The Earth redhead, under an iron discipline, would blossom most beautifully in her love.
"I think you feared your womanhood," I said. "That seems clear, even from your behavior in Ar. This is not unusual, incidentally, in a free woman, because deep womanhood, they sense, involves love, and love, for a woman, seems always to involve a bondage, if not of ropes and chains, of one sort or another."
"Accordingly," I said, "you are no longer to think of yourself as, or permit yourself to act like, a free woman. You are now, henceforth, to think and act like a slave. You are to feel as a slave, and live and love as a slave."
"Have you read the Prition of Clearchus of Cos?" she said.
"What is a former free woman of Ar doing reading that?" I asked. It was a treatise on bondage.
"'The slave,'" she quoted, "'makes no bargains; she does not desire small demands to be placed upon her; she does not ask for ease; she asks nothing; she gives all; she seeks to love and selflessly serve.'."
"You quote it well," I said.
"You have read it?" she asked.
"Yes," I said. I remembered the passage clearly. The girl had perhaps, at one time, memorized it.
"I have always been fascinated with bondage," she said, "but I never expected, then, to find myself a slave."
"Kiss me, Slave," I said.
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Do you fear now," I asked, "as a slave, that you will be rejected?"
"I see now," she said, "as a slave, that it does not matter. It is not mine to fear such things, but rather to see to it that I am completely pleasing. If I am rejected, it matters not, for I am only a slave. As a slave I am nothing. I am meaningless and worthless. Thus what does it matter if I should be despised and spurned? I must then, only, try again, seeking anew, helplessly, to serve and love."
Restrictive, stereotypical conceptions of female beauty, it might be added, are generally alien to the Gorean consciousness. That female beauty should be regarded as being restricted, for example, to a certain type of woman, say, perhaps, to women who are unusually tall for women, thin and small-breasted, would be regarded as preposterous, if not even incomprehensible, to the Gorean. That conception would be just too limited for him. Too, of course, he is interested in a woman for such things as service and love, not for being photographed in barbaric garments. Most Gorean women, like most human females, in general, tend to be short, curvaceous and dark-haired.
How beautiful was Winyela, lost in her helplessness, her pleasure and love. How marvelous and beautiful are women! How glorious it is to own them, to be able to do what one wishes with them and to love them! But then I thought soberly of she who had once been the Lady Mira, of Venna, who had once, as the agent of Kurii, been my enemy. No such fulfillments and joys, it seemed, were for her. She had been condemned instead to the compounds of the Waniyanpi. She had been sentenced to honor and dignity, and equality with the pathetic, males of the compound. She would not know, it seemed, the joys of being run, naked, a rope on her neck, a slave, at the flanks of a master's kaiila, the pleasures of, tremblingly, loving and serving, knowing that he whom one loves and serves owns one, fully, the fulfillments of finding oneself, uncompromisingly and irrevocably, in one's place in the order of nature, lovingly, at one's master's feet.
"We shall come back later," said Cuwignaka to Canka, getting up. But, Canka, too, I fear, lost in the sweetnesses and beauties, in the love and pleasure, of his woman, did not hear us.
"Please, Master," wept Winyela, piteously throwing herself to her knees at the feet of Canka, "do not let me go! Do not give me to him! I love you! I love you!"
"I will never let you go," he said. "I love you."
She looked at him, startled, and then, trembling and sobbing, pressed herself into his arms. "I love you, too, my Master," she wept.
"Yes," she said. "I love him!"
"You might have been whipped instead," I said.
"I know," she said, "for I am only a slave. I love him! I love him!"
Women are so inordinately precious. They are so sensitive, so beautiful, so intelligent and needful. No man has yet counted the dimensions of a woman's love. Who can measure the horizons of her heart? Few things, I suspect, are more real than those which seem most intangible.
"Things are going well for the Kaiila," I said. "Your master has acquired a beautiful white slave. My Master, and friend, Canka, of the Isbu, has retained his own slave and love, a girl named Winyela, also a luscious white slave, and my friend, Cuwignaka, after years of waiting is, at last, going to enter the lodge of the great dance." I smiled to myself. How naturally I had thought of the former Miss Millicent Aubrey-Welles, of high family, and once a debutante in Pennsylvania, as only another luscious white slave in the Barrens. This was appropriate, of course, for that was now all she was, that and her master's love.
I think that the young master and his slave had been much in love. His affection for the girl, for she was only a slave, had brought much ridicule on him from his peers. To this sort of thing he, a red savage, had been extremely sensitive. In the end, perhaps to refute or mitigate charges of affection for the girl, or perhaps because he suspected they might be true, and interpreted his feelings in such a matter as unseemly weaknesses in a young warrior, he had sold her.
"Do you still love him?" I asked.
"I do not know," she said. "It has been a long time, years. He sold me!"
"You are a slave," I said. "Surely you do not object to being sold."
"I thought he loved me!" she said.
"Perhaps he did," I said.
"He sold me! I loved him! I do not want to open these old wounds! I do not want to go through all that heartache again! I have suffered enough!"
"Our deepest fulfillments," she said, "are found in obedience, service and love."
"But are these not the primary duties required of the female slave?" I asked.
"Too," she said, "it is hard not to fall in love, eventually, with one who is one's master."
"That makes it easier, of course, to control the girl," I said.
"Yes, Master," she said, tears in her eyes. I understood now why she had hidden from him in the camp. She feared her feelings. There was no doubt now in my mind, nor, I think, in hers, that she indeed did love him. In her eyes, and in her voice, and in the way in which she had said 'Master' to him, I saw that she still, in her heart, regarded herself as his slave.
"We will not resist," said Carrot.
"Resistance is violence, and violence is wrong," said Cabbage.
"Aggression must be met with love," said Carrot.
No longer am I an inconvenience and a bother, something to be concerned about and watched out for. Now I am only a property that begs to love and serve you."
"I have so much love in me," said the girl, "I, too, would be a slave."
"I love you," he cried, crushing her to him.
"And I love you, my Master," she cried. "I love you, my Master!"
"I love you," cried Vella, suddenly beside me, kneeling at the side of my curule chair, her hands on my arm. "I love you! I will please you more. I will please you a thousand times more!"
I did not see any reason to tell her that slaves are the most treasured, despised and loved of all women. Being Gorean she knew this.
"And even if a master, some master, sometime, should be moved to feel some tenderness, or a bit of affection, doubtlessly foolishly, toward you, remember that it changes nothing, that you remain only what you are, a slave."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Even the most loved slave," I said, "should a master be so foolish as to love a slave, remains, in the end, and do not forget it, radically, and only, a slave."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Every woman, in her heart," she said, "longs to kneel before a strong man, to be subject to his whip, to be owned, to be mastered, to know that she has no choice but to give him total love and service."
"And I think it is obviously true," she said, "that men desire us, treasure us, and love us, as well as command us, in ways that a free woman can never understand or know."
"That is a secret between masters and slaves," I smiled.
"I love you," she said.
"Liar!" he cried.
"Alas," she said, "how can I convince you?"
"You cannot!" he cried.
"Of course not," she said, "if you will not permit it."
"Put your hands on her body," I said.
Seibar put his hands on her body.
"I love you," she said.
I touched her. "She speaks the truth," I said.
"I love you," she said. "Kiss me. Then put me out, if you wish. I will then go gladly, if it be your will."
The girl struggled to her knees. She looked up at him. There was love in her eyes.
Men and women, crying out with pleasure, with tears, in floods of emotion, kissed, and touched one another, and loved.
"Kneel," said Seibar. The girl struggled to her knees. She looked up at him. There was love in her eyes. He looked down at her, an incredible tenderness in his countenance. I saw that he must guard against weakness. But I felt sure that he would do so. Only too well would he be aware of the penalties and consequences attached to weakness, consequences ultimately tragic for the welfare of both sexes.
"I am a woman," she said, "and I wish to be touched and loved."
"Declare your love," said Hci, sneeringly.
"I love you," said Iwoso, frightened, not even seeming to understand the words she spoke.
"Again," said Hci.
"I love you," said Iwoso, numbly. "I love you."
"Speak the words with more meaning," commanded Hci.
"I love you," said Iwoso, desperately. Then she looked deeply into Hci's eyes. Then, frightened, she looked away. Then, half choking and shuddering, she burst into tears.
"Well?" said Hci.
She trembled at the post.
"Well?" asked Hci.
Iwoso looked again at Hci. Tears were running down her cheeks. It seemed she was terribly frightened. Then it seemed that something within her broke or gave way. "I love you!" she wept suddenly. "I love you!"
"Better," said Hci.
"Hci," she wept, plaintively," I do love you!"
"Of course you do!" laughed Hci.
"I love you!" she said.
"Yellow-Knife slut!" cried Hci.
"I do love you!" she cried. "I do love you, truly!"
He then, with the flat of his hand, struck her a savage blow across the face, turning her head in the neck bonds, bringing blood to her lips and mouth.
"Lying slut!" he cried.
Iwoso, shuddering, turned her head away, weeping.
"Cuwignaka!" called Hci. Cuwignaka came over to the post.
"Kiss him," ordered Hci, "fully upon the lips, as a slave, and declare your love for him."
Iwoso kissed Cuwignaka. "I love you," she said.
"Now kiss him!" said Hci, indicating me, "similarly, and declare your love for him."
"I am a free woman!" she cried. "He is a slave!"
"Do so!" said Hci.
Iwoso pressed her lips to mine. "I love you," she said.
"More fervently," said Hci, angrily, "with more meaning!"
"No!" said Iwoso.
Hci's knife whipped from its sheath. I feared he was going to disembowel her at the post. There was a spot of blood on her lower abdomen. Indeed, I think he might have done so had her compliance not been instantaneous and perfect.
"I obey!" she cried.
She pressed her lips deeply, desperately, frightened, to mine. "I love you!" she said, frightened. "I love you!"
"Behold the fickle slut," sneered Hci, "kissing and declaring her love upon command, like a slave!"
"You are hideous!" Iwoso called to Hci. "No woman could love you! I hate you! I hate you!"
"You are hideous," she said. "No woman could love you."
"Would you like to be my slave?" he asked.
"No!" she said.
"You are free, Sweet Friend," I said. I caressed that savage beak. It put it down, against my side. Ubar of the Skies was not a woman, something to be owned and dominated, something, even with the whip, if necessary, to be forced to love and serve, something which could not be fulfilled until it found itself helplessly, with no recourse whatsoever, willlessly, at the feet of a master.
"I had thought," Grunt had told me yesterday, "that I was dead, but I discovered that I was not dead. I had a son, among the Dust Legs."
been largely through Grunt's influence that Dust Legs had made the long journey to Council Rock, to aid the Kaiila. The lad's mother, long ago, had loved Grunt.
The hunters and the slave were met at the entrance to Wayuhahaka's lodge by another slave, a blond, barefoot girl in a brief, tightly-belted tunic of Waniyanpi cloth. She greeted her master radiantly. She lowered her head and knelt, crossing her arms over her breast. This, in effect, was a mixture of sign and Gorean convention. Crossing the arms over the breast indicates love in sign. That she had done this kneeling and lowering her head, then, signified submission, love and that she was a slave.
"Why do free women object?" I asked.
"They feel that a slave, who must love whomever she is commanded to love, can know nothing of love."
"Oh," I said.
"But I have been both free and slave," she said, "and, forgive me, Mistress, but I think that it is only a slave, in her vulnerability and helplessness, who can know what love truly is.
"You must love upon command?" I asked, horrified.
"We must do as we are told," she said. "We are slaves."
"Some free women do not approve of slaves being permitted to wear talenders," she said, "or being permitted to have representations of them, like these, on their frocks. Yet slaves do often wear them, the masters permitting it, and they are not an uncommon motif, the masters seeing to it, on their garments."
"Why do free women object?" I asked.
"They feel that a slave, who must love whomever she is commanded to love, can know nothing of love."
Too, I thought, surely it would be more fitting for women, in their softness and beauty, with their dispositions to submit and love, irreservedly and wholly, asking nothing, giving all, holding nothing back from the dominant male, their master, to be chained to a slave ring. This, in its way, is a beautiful symbol of her nature and needs. On the other hand, symbolic considerations aside, it must be noted that the chain is quite real. She is truly chained there.
I fought the wild needs within me, seeming to well up from my very depths, needs which seemed to be to surrender, to submit and love, totally, irreservedly, giving all, asking nothing.
"You!" said the trainer, gesturing to another girl with his whip. "To his feet! Beg for love!"
This girl hurried forward and knelt before Drusus Rencius.
"I beg for love, Master," she whispered.
"You!" said the trainer, indicating another girl. She, too, hurried forward. She knelt before Drusus Rencius, her palms on the floor, her head to the very tiles. "I beg for love," she whispered. "I beg for love, Master."
I was startled. I realized, suddenly, that these two women, indeed, were begging for love. "Beg elsewhere, sluts!" I thought. "Leave Drusus Rencius alone!" And how offensive that a woman should beg for love! Surely her intimate, desperate needs for attention, for affection and love were better concealed even from herself, if possible, and certainly, at least, from others!
She began to writhe about the pole. "Kiss it, caress it, love it!" commanded the trainer, snapping the whip. "Now more slowly, now scarcely moving, now use your thighs, and breasts more, moving all about it, holding it. Touch it with your tongue, lick it! Use the inside of your thighs more, your breasts, turn about it, slowly, sensuously. Lift your hands above your head, palms to the pole, caressing it. Turn about the pole! Twist about it! Now to your knees, holding it!" He then cracked the whip again. "Enough!" he said.
I looked back. I saw in the girl's eyes that she now knew she was a slave, and helplessly so, and that she loved him.
Yet I longed for it. I wished a man would throw me to my belly and lock a collar on my throat. I wished to lie trembling at his feet, in the shadow of his whip, knowing that thenceforth, whether I wished it or not, I existed for love, passion and service.
I found that I, and this frightened me, wanted to submit to men and yield to them as a slave. This was not a simple matter of sentience, incidentally, but involved an entire matrix of feeling, thought and emotion. I wanted to love and serve, to be fully pleasing not merely in a sexual manner but in all ways, to ask nothing and give all.
"What is your name?" he asked.
"Tiffany," I said.
"In what mill do you work?"
"What is your girl number?"
"4073," I said.
"Whose collar do you wear?"
"The collar of Mintar of Ar."
"Who owns you?"
"Mintar of Ar."
"Who do you love?"
"Mintar of Ar."
"Welcome to Mill 7, Tiffany," he said.
"Thank you, Master," I said.
"Who do you love?" he asked.
"Borkon," she said.
In a moment or two I felt the whip pressed, too, against my lips. I kissed it "I have kissed the whip of Borkon," I said
"Who do you love?" he asked.
"Borkon," I said
In another moment or two, after Emily, he stood before Luta. She, too, kissed the whip.
"Who do you love?" he asked.
"Borkon," she said, "I love Borkon!"
I did not think she was all that bad, really. Too, he was not Gor's most handsome fellow. Too, I would think it should count for something with a man if the woman desires to serve him deeply and fully in all ways, and is in love with him.
"I want him to whip me," she said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I love him," she said.
Some women desire occasionally, or at least once, to be whipped by the man they love. This has to do, it seems, with deep psychological feelings, feelings probably connected with the woman's desire to submit and fulfill her biological destiny, this perhaps being a manifestation, within the human species, of the dominance/submission ratios endemic in nature. This involves, of course, an intense sentient interaction with the lover. Intense emotions, sensations and feelings are involved. In this situation the woman, who desires to surrender and yield, understands that she is now at the mercy of the lover, and is helpless under his will. It gives her an opportunity, too, of course, to show the lover that she, in her love, and in the intensity of her feelings, offers herself up to him.
I knelt before him, my head down, the palms of my hands on the tiles, in the fashion which Ligurious had required of his girls. "I beg for love, Master," I whimpered. "I beg for love!" I licked at his feet. "I beg for love, Master!" I said.
"You do it very well," he said.
I lifted my head, tears in my eyes. "But I do beg for love!" I said. "I have not been contented in weeks!"
"How many of you other girls," asked the whip master, regarding the class, "beg for love?"
"I, Master!" cried a girl. "I, Master!" cried others.
"How many?" he asked.
And there was not one girl, naked and in her collar, in the entire class who did not raise her hand.
"But, remember," said the whip master, "you have, really, learned only a little. You have been familiarized with only a small selection of basic skills, apprised of only a handful of fundamentals. Your education, when you leave here, is not complete, but only begun. You may learn more in your first few days out of school, in the practical contexts of bondage, under the control and whips of masters, than you have here in five weeks. But even then, remember that you, in your collars, are still amateurs at slavery. You could not begin to compete with an experienced girl. Continue to apply yourself, to learn, to work, to love and serve. Some years from now you may begin to grasp an inkling of what can be the skills, the sensitivities and talents, the emotions, the depths of feeling, of the slave. The other side of the coin of freedom is bondage. One cannot exist without the other. The master is free and you are slave."
"I love him," she said, "but he has sent me away."
I nodded. Such may be done with a slave. She is completely at the master's will.
"He is young," I said. "Perhaps he feared your love."
I wanted to be owned by them, as I was on Gor. I wanted to love them, and obey them, as I had to, without choice, on Gor.
She then, tenderly, kissed his feet, extending obeisance and love to the man who had made her a slave.
I looked at Sheila. She was weeping with joy at his feet, kissing them, and his ankles and legs. "I love you, Master," she wept.
"I love you, my master," whispered the slave, her head at his feet.
My heart leapt with joy. "You love me!" I whispered. "You love me!"
I feared for a moment he might strike me. But he did not do so. I was another man's slave.
"I love you, Master!" I wept. "I have loved you from the beginning, when I first met you!"
He regarded me, wildly. Then be sneered, "Lying slave!"
"No, Master!" I protested. "I love you! I do love you! I love you with my whole heart!"
"She loves him," he said.
"With the profundity of the slave," I acknowledged.
"He loves her, too, I think," he said.
"I think so, too, Master," I said. "Do you love her?"
"No," he said. "That infatuation was an illness. I am cured now. I retain, however, of course, a fondness for her as might anyone for a pleasing slave."
I lay there for a time. Sheila was owned by Hassan, whom she loved. I, like many women, was owned by Miles of Argentum, whom I admired and respected, and feared, and to whom I could not help but yield helplessly and promptly, but whom I did not love. Tears sprang into my eyes. Then, after a time, I, too, fell asleep.
Before the man I loved I had been stripped to the core. The one thing I had desired most fervently to conceal from him, above all men, had been made clear to him. My secret was revealed. My deepest and most secret self had been casually disrobed and displayed for his consideration. I had been publicly proven, before the man I loved, to be utterly worthless. I had been publicly proven to be a natural slave.
Much did it seem they loved one another. She went with him happily, helpless in his bracelets.
In that city, near the Tahari, on the Lower Fayeen, I had little doubt she would learn her collar well, and love.
"Whip me!" I begged. "I love you! Teach me that you own me!"
He took a step, further back.
"I beg the lash, Master," I said. My heart was filled with joy and love.
His face was expressionless. He did not speak.
"Let me kneel before you," I said, "and beg to be beaten with a slave whip."
He did not speak.
"Whip me!" I begged. "I love you! I love you!"
"Slave," he sneered.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Natural slave," he said, angrily.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"I did not know you were a natural slave," he said.
"You knew it before you bought me," I said. "You knew it from last night."
"Yes," he said.
"But still you bought me!" I said.
"Yes," he said.
"I love you!" I said.
"You are a natural slave," he said. "Your love is worthless."
"It is, at any rate, real," I assured him.
"I wonder," he said.
"You paid for it," I said. "You must have wanted it."
"Perhaps," he said
"Master?" I asked.
"Perhaps I have purchased you not for your love, but for your hate," he said.
"I do not understand," I said.
"You have caused me much grief and pain," he said, "particularly when you were a free woman, in Corcyrus."
"I am sorry, Master," I said.
"And well you might be," he said, "as you are now my slave."
"I am sorry anyway," I said.
"Perhaps it is my intention to humiliate you, to debase and degrade you, to abuse you, to teach you, at my hands, fear, misery and pain!"
"You may do with me as you please," I smiled. "I am your slave."
"I wonder how you will like it," he mused, "in your collar, hating me, but utterly helpless, knowing that you must obey me, absolutely, and serve me, in all things, with total perfection."
"I do not hate you," I laughed. "And you need not concern yourself with obedience and service. As I am a slave, you may depend upon them. Too, I shall render them to you eagerly, not only from the meaning of my collar but from the bottom of my heart."
"Perhaps I should debase and degrade you," he said.
"The more you debase and degrade me, Master," I said, "the more I shall love you."
Yes, Master," I said, smiling. I loved Drusus Rencius.
"I love you!" I said.
"Sly, clever slave!" he sneered.
"I do love you!" I cried.
"Cunning, insidious slut," he said. "You fear for your own hide! You know that you are now, at least, within my power. You fear that it will be done to you as you deserve, that you will be thrown to sleen!"
"No!" I wept.
"Sweat and squirm now, luscious slut," he said. "Cry out your love for me. Perhaps I will be moved to be merciful, and keep you as the lowest and most worthless slave on Gor!"
"I do love you!" I wept.
"Lying slave!" he cried. He leapt across the room, and, with the flat of his hand, savagely, struck me from my knees. My right shoulder struck the tiles. I tasted blood in my mouth. I lay there, bound, frightened. It had been only a slap, but I felt as though my head might have been almost taken from me. I was awe-stricken. I had not realized how strong he was. What if he had truly struck me? I knew I must obey him with perfection.
"On your back," he said, "knees raised, heels on the floor."
I then lay before him, in a standard, supine capture position.
"You look well at my feet, Slut," he said.
"Thank you, Master," I said.
"Have you reconsidered the telling of truth?" he asked.
"I love you," I whispered.
"Perhaps I will keep you," he said.
"Do, please," I said. I loved him.
How marvelous it must be for a man, I thought, to have such absolute power over a woman, to have her so subjected to him, even to having her in the perfection of his bonds. And how marvelous it was for me, too, to know myself so much his, to know myself, willlessly, eagerly, at his pleasure. And what woman does not want a man a thousand times more than she, one to whom she must submit, one whom she must fear, one whom she must love?
It was clear, I think, he cared for me deeply. In all this, of course, he regarded me as little more than a curvaceous, scheming slave, one who did not care for him, but one who, to protect herself, would do anything, even pretend falsely to love. He did not know I truly loved him.
I resolved upon a bold plan. I would attempt to get him to cure himself of the false Sheila, that the way might then be open for a poor, nameless slave who so much loved him.
I resolved upon a bold plan. I would attempt to get him to cure himself of the false Sheila, that the way might then be open for a poor, nameless slave who so much loved him.
"Free me," I said, angrily, pulling at the ropes.
He looked at me.
"Free yourself," he said.
"I cannot!" I said.
"Why do you wish to be freed?" he asked.
"I do not love you!" I said.
"Now, at last, you speak the truth," he said.
"Not only do I not love you," I cried, "but I hate you! I despise you! I hold you in contempt as a piteous weakling! I always have!"
I knelt back in the ropes. I looked at Drusus Rencius. He was quite capable, I realized, suddenly, of sending me to the mines. I did not want that to happen. Too, looking at him then, I saw him suddenly not only as a man I loved but, also, independently, as a strong and powerful master. I found, then, that I had squirmed in the ropes, inadvertently, reflexively, my thighs moving. I hoped that he had not noticed.
"You may or may not believe I love you," I said, "but about my arousal, my need, there is no disputing."
"That is true," he said. "You are obviously, now, a needful slave."
"Please," I begged.
He left the chair and, crouching beside me, not hurrying, freed me of the ropes.
"Touch neither me nor yourself," he said.
"Yes, Master," I moaned. My body was flaming with desire.
He regarded me for a few moments. I moaned.
Then, for a brief moment, he took me in his arms. His hand was upon me, intimately. "I love you! I love you! I love you!" I cried, jerking in his hands, pressing against him, trying to cover him with kisses.
"Please do not make me yield like this, please! I love you!"
"Yield or not, as it pleases you," he said, unconcernedly.
"Yes, Master," I said. I was now no longer "Tatrix." I was "Lita." I would respond well to this name. It had many memories for me. It almost turned me inside out with love for Drusus Rencius.
"I know that you may not believe this," I said, "and I do not wish to be struck for saying it, but I love you."
"Now that you are my slave, and are in my collar," he said, "it doesn't matter, one way or the other, does it?"
"I suppose not," I smiled. "But I do love you."
"I thought you might," he said.
Then I felt myself drawn to his lips, and I was drawn half into the chair, and then he, holding my head, not releasing it, turned, and I felt myself moved backwards and to the side, to my knees, before the chair, and then he was crouching before me, and then I felt myself being lowered backwards to the floor. "I love you," I whispered. "I love you, my master!"
"I love you. I love you. I love you!" I moaned. "I love you so much I could die with the love of you."
Then his lips were again upon me.
It was now in the early light of morning. In a few hours he would leave for Ar. I would accompany him, perhaps even in his chains, his.
"You are doing it to me again!" I moaned.
"Be quiet," he whispered.
Then I melted to him again, soft and lost, held, in his arms, and then he swept me up again, will-less, his collared slave, like a swirling leaf high into the clouds of ecstasy, and love.
"Her body is richly curved," I said. "That suggests an abundance of female hormones, and that, in turn, suggests the potentialities, the capacities for love, the sensibilities, the dispositions of the pleasure slave."
She looked up at me, flakes of the pastry and glazing about her mouth, and kissed me. "I want to love you," she said. I tasted the sugar on her lips.
In a small space, with Henrius and some men about, to the music of some nearby musicians, the men clapping and keeping time, she was dancing. She did well. She might have been a nude, leashed, harnessed street dancer, one of the lowest forms of dancer on Gor. Soon, I suspected, Henrius would take her to a rack, or perhaps back to his holding. She was an incredibly lovely young slave, and loved him from the depths of her heart.
"It must be a difficult choice for a woman," I said, "the choice between freedom and love."
"Certainly you did not think to be able to compete with a slave," I said. "You would not have her experience, her skills, her training. You have not been forced to live with and endure slave heat. You have not been forced to learn submission, obedience, service, passion and love. You have not yet been sensitized to her collar."
The Lady Yanina now lay seductively on her side. She was quite beautiful in the slave silk, and the chain, in the light of the tiny lamp. She gathered together her powers of concentration. Then she extended one hand. "I love you, Bosk of Port Kar," she called, softly. "I have loved you from the first moment I saw you. At the very thought of you I am helpless and weak. Do not be dismayed that someone whom you do not know and whom you have perhaps never even seen is madly in love with you! I have fought my passion for you! But it has conquered me! I am yours!"
She looked at me.
"Very good," I said, nodding.
"Permit me to confess my love for you," she called. "Permit me, too, the dignity, as I am a free woman, of using your name in my doing so, before perhaps, if it pleases you, you impose upon me the discipline of a slave."
"I love you, Bosk of Port Kar," she cried. "I love you!"
Many of the things which she had said, incidentally, were not different from the genuine, heartfelt declarations of women in love, particularly those so much in love that they find themselves, in effect, the slaves of masters.
No longer do they aspire to the prerogatives of the free woman. Their exposure, their human legibility, so to speak, like their obedience, service, love and discipline, is part of their condition.
"Does it not seem strange that you would have fallen madly in love with me at just this moment?"
"Why, no, of course not," she said.
He looked down at the board. "Perhaps it is stupid, or absurd, or foolish, that men should concern themselves with such things."
"Kaissa?" I asked.
"Yes," he said·
"Now," I said, "you are truly being foolish."
"Perhaps that is all it is, after all," he said, "the meaningless movement of bits of wood on a checkered surface."
"And love," I said, "is only a disturbance in the glands and music only a stirring in the air."
"And yet it is all I know," he said.
"Kaissa, like love and music, is its own justification," I said. "It requires no other."
He looked down at her, not speaking.
"I love you," she said.
He did not respond to the slave.
"I love your strength, and your manhood," she said. "And that you have taught me my slavery."
"Kiss my feet," he said.
"Yes, Master," she said.
"So, player," said Temenides, "you now own her. You are a fool to have paid a golden tarn disk for such a woman. But it changes nothing. Send her to my table."
Bina lifted her head from the player's feet. She knelt before him, tears in her eyes, looking up at him. "I love you," she said.
"How can you love a monster," he asked.
"I have secretly loved you for months," she said. "I loved you even when I despised you and hated you, and thought you weak. Now I love you a thousand times more, that you are strong."
"But I am a 'monster,'" he said.
"I do not care what you are, or think you are," she said.
"But what of my hideousness?" he asked.
"Your appearance does not matter to me," she said. "I do not care what you look like. It is you, the man, the master, I love."
"I have never been loved," he said.
"I can give you only a slave's love," she said, "but there is no greater, deeper love."
Her intelligence, which was considerable, tended to find its most natural expression in a different domain, in the modalities of the sensuous. Indeed, she had proved herself extremely gifted in matters of sexuality and love.
"Master!" cried Bina. "Master! I love you, Master!"
"For speaking without my permission," said Scormus of Ar to the slave, "you will in the morning beg for ten lashes, if this matter should slip your mind, you will receive fifty."
"I love you!" she wept.
"That, too, is known to me," said Scormus.
"I began, Master, this morning," she whispered to me, "pretending, but somewhere, I am not sure where, surely by this afternoon, I realized that I was no longer pretending. I realized then that somehow I truly desired, from the bottom of my heart, more than anything, to love and serve men, and to please them wholly and selflessly, as a slave her masters."
"I now want my collar," she said. "I love it. I want to serve, and love. It is what I am."
"My heart cries out," she wept, "with the need to be accepted, to be acquired, to be owned, to be mastered, to be forced to submit, to be forced to willlessly and selflessly serve and love!"
Quite near to him, as he worked, knelt Tula. She tried to put her cheek against his left thigh. He brushed her away. Properly handled, women become as subservient and affectionate as dogs. They all desire to be totally prisoners of love, and they will never be fully content until they become so.
To be sure, it was difficult, and probably fruitless, to argue with a free woman about such matters. Too, I might have misread what seemed to be numerous and obvious signs of need in her. Perhaps free women neither needed nor wanted sexual experience. That, I supposed, was their business. On the other hand, if they did not want or need sex, the transformation between the free woman and the slave becomes difficult to understand. To be sure, perhaps it is merely the collar, and the uncompromising male domination, which so unlocks, and calls forth, the passion, service and love of a female.
"Surely you understand what this means," she said. "Soon, my lovely daughter, you will learn the delicate, lascivious draping of slave garments and the tying of slave girdles, in such a way as to accentuate your beauty for the pleasure of a master. You will be taught to kneel, and caress, and do things you have not now dreamed of. You will learn to wear chains attractively and to move in them in such a way as to drive men wild with passion. You will be taught to cook and sew, and to polish boots and scrub floors. You will learn to bring a whip to a man in your teeth, on your hands and knees, head down. You will learn to love, and to serve. You will learn to be a slave."
"Yes," I said. "But she has something of your coloring and characteristics, and is quite beautiful, and I think it likely, in time, with more experience in life and love, she might aspire to equal your beauty."
I did not take my eyes from the city, so splendid before us. Yes, I thought, it is all there, the habitats of culture, the intricate poetries of stone, the incredible places where, their heads among clouds, common bricks have been taught to speak and sing, the meanings uttered scarcely understood by those who walk among them; yes, it is all there, in them, in the cities, I thought; in them were dirt and crime, iron and silver, gold and steel; in them were perfume and silk, and whips and chains; in them were love and lust; in them were mastery and submission, the owning and the helplessly being owned; in them were intrigue and greed, nobility and honor, deceit and treachery, the exalted and the base, the strong and the weak. In such places, filthy, and crowded and frail, are found the fortresses of man. They are castles and prisons, arenas and troves; they are cities; they are the citadels of civilization.
"But I have learned things here," she said, "that I never dreamed of as a free woman. I have been able to sense here the ecstasies of bondage, the ecstasies of a life obligatorily sensual, a life under strict discipline, a life where I must obey, a life where I will, and must, surrender myself totally and, subject to penalties, and even death, if I am displeasing, live thenceforth solely for service and love."
The most fundamental property prized by Goreans in women, I suppose, though little is said about it, is her need for love, and her capacity for love. How much does she need love? And how deep and loving is she? That is the kind of woman a man wants, ultimately, one who is helplessly and totally love's captive, in his collar.
I motioned that she might return to the line, and, sobbing, dancing, she did so. The collar looked well on her neck. Clearly it belonged there. In time she would come to understand that and would then, fearfully, live in love, rejoicing.
She was as yet alienated from the depth and richness of the extensive sexual tissues in her body; she did not yet understand how her entire skin, from her scalp to her toes, could awaken into life, startled and rejoicing, stimulated by the hot, surgent, wavelike irradiations emanating not only from her helpless, lovely, exploited centralities, but as well from all the other sensitive curvatures and beauties of her, curvatures and beauties so much at a master's mercy; too, she could not even now begin to suspect the momentous emotional dimensions of bondage for the female, its entire, totalistic matrix, of what it was to be a slave, the nature of the slave's feelings, how she is affected by what she is, and what can be done to her, of what it is to be owned, absolutely, to be under uncompromising discipline, of what it is to know that you must, and will, under strict and uncompromising enforcements, give yourself up wholly to service and love, no alternatives permitted.
She looked down. "I think the real reason," she said, "under everything, as you may have suspected, is that I was driven here, almost helplessly, a woman in desperate need of love, daring to enter this terrible place, but one where I knew men were, by my desire to meet a kindly man, by my loneliness."
"Yes?" I said.
"But I should never have come."
"But then we would never have met," I said.
"Yes," she whispered, again touching my hand. "That is true."
"You spoke of a real reason," I said, "that having to do with your need of love, and such. That suggests, then, I take it, that there was some other reason, or pretended reason, for coming."
She smiled, ruefully. "Yes," she said. "I am a proud free woman. I could not permit myself to recognize such things as my loneliness, or need for love. I must tell myself there was another reason for coming."
"I hate you!" she hissed.
"Do not forget your loneliness, and your need for love," I said.
"Sleen! Sleen!" she hissed. She again tried to free her hands, and again, of course, could not. How could she expect to do so, with her strength, only that of a female? But this time, even so, it seemed to me she had pulled less strongly than before. Even her small woman's strength seemed now less than it had been. Apparently there had indeed been something in the wine. It was beginning, it seemed, to take effect. She seemed suddenly unsteady.
"What are you going to do with me?" she asked.
"When you awaken," I said, "you will discover what has been done with you."
"I love you," she said, suddenly. "Take me to your room. It was not necessary to drug me. I would have gone happily."
"It is nice to hear that," I said.
"I love you," she said. "You are going to take me to your room, aren't you?"
In another alcove a girl was chained on her back, her arms and legs widely apart, spread-eagled. She was lifting her body piteously to a man who now, apparently having aroused her to a point where she was in an agony of need, was merely toying with her. I supposed he might later concede to her pleas, if only because she was quite beautiful. In another alcove there was a girl on her stomach, her wrists tied to a slave ring. I did not know if she had put in that position for love, or for punishment, or for both.
Most of the alcoves, however, like the major lengths of the tunnel, were quite dark. Some were doubtless empty. I hoped so, for I might have need of them. On the other hand many of the alcoves which were in total darkness were not empty. From within many I could hear, as I moved past, the small sounds of chains, sometimes pathetic sounds, responding doubtless to the restricted, helpless movements of small, fair limbs on which they were locked, and the soft love moans of used slaves. Many of these women were doubtless forbidden to speak. They found themselves responding in the darkness to unseen masters merely as helpless, anonymous love objects.
"More! More! I beg more! I beg more!" I heard a girl's voice coming from one of the alcoves to my right. "Please, Master, do not stop! No! Do not stop! Please! I beg more! I beg more!" I heard the movement of chains, jerking helplessly against rings; "Please, Master!" she wept. "Please! Please! I am helpless! I am at your mercy! Please, Master, I beg it of you! Oh, yes, Master! Yes, Master! Yes! Yes! Yes! Aiiiii! Oh, thank you, Master, kind master! Ohhhh. Ohhhh. Oh. I am yours! You have made me yours! Buy me, I beg you. I want to love and serve you! Buy me, take me home with you! Own me! You have made me yours!"
"Let him treat me as he pleases," she said. "I do not care. It is his prerogative. He is the master. Let him neglect me or be cruel to me. Let him whip me or chain me. Let him do with me as he wills. I do not care. I want to belong to him. I will kiss his whip with joy! I want to love him, with all that I have to give as a woman, I want to serve and love him, selflessly, only his mastered slave!"
"Your entire life," he said, "will now be pervaded with sexuality, with your femaleness. Your life will now be a sexual one, a life in which your femaleness, for the first time, will be of undeniable and paramount importance, a life in which it will be overwhelmingly central. Everything else will take its coloration and meaning from that."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"It will be a life of total femaleness, and dedication, and service and love."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"The smallest tasks in your life, how you clean your master's leather, how you set out his clothes, how you cook, and sew, how you shop, how you clean and launder, even the tiniest and most servile tasks, all such things, will become sexual, all will become expressions of your femaleness, fitting and joyful manifestations of your worthless but helplessly proffered, gladly tendered love and service, that of only an insignificant slave."
"I understand," she said.
"The life of a female slave," he said, "is a life wholly given over to love. It is not a compromised life. It is not one of those lives which is part this, and part that. It is a total way of life, a total life. The female slave seeks to give all, selflessly, knowing that she, as she is a mere slave, a rightless animal owned by her master, one who can be bought and sold at his least whim, can make no claims, that she deserves nothing, and is entitled to not the least attention or consideration. There are no bargains made with her, no arrangements."
They were rather, I suspected, though I could not know, a simple heritage of my sex, but there was this to be said, had I lived in another place or time I might perhaps have found female fulfillments which, categorically, it seemed, were to be denied to me in my present world, the neuteristic, anonymous world, so inimical to individuality and love, in which I found myself a prisoner of time and circumstance.
"Why do you think I am a modern woman, in some sense you despise," I asked, "because I can speak clearly, because I can think, because I have read a book? Do you not think that true women, loving, needful women, can do these things? Do you not think that what you can love, they, too, can love?"
I suddenly almost fainted. Teibar! He had not abandoned me, I thought wildly. I gasped. I looked about, wildly. Some of the other girls looked at me, strangely, unable to understand my sudden agitation. My heart palpitated madly. Surely everyone must hear it. My breast heaved. I fought for breath. The other girls perhaps thought me mad. I did not care! It made no difference! Teibar owned me! I was his! Teibar! He was here! He had not forgotten me! He wanted me! He had come for me! It was I he had picked out, even on Earth! I would love and serve him forever, forever and forever, no more than a dog at his feet, but living in the light of his presence, a loving, panting bitch, loving him forever, loving him forever with a love beyond love!
Too, it seemed, undeniably, that he had found me desirable. I thought, and hoped, that perhaps I might be special to him, somehow, in some way, more so than others, as he was to me, he who was the loved, dreaded master of my heart.
At any rate there seemed no objective justification for her trying to make us like her. What was so marvelous or desirable, really, about her unhappiness and hardness, her cruelty and frustration, that we, lesser women, should find it preferable to love?
I would love and serve him forever, forever and forever, no more than a dog at his feet, but living in the light of his presence, a loving, panting bitch, loving him forever, loving him forever with a love beyond love!
I thought, and hoped, that perhaps I might be special to him, somehow, in some way, more so than others, as he was to me, he who was the loved, dreaded master of my heart.
I was sure that given the possibilities of slave service I was still very naive and backward, still muchly uninformed. Indeed, I suspected that there would always be more to learn about service and love, that such things were fathomless and limitless, and, thus, in a sense, the notion of being "fully trained," or knowing all there was to know, was in actuality less of a practical goal than a lovely ideal, one which might perhaps be approached ever more closely, but would never be, and perhaps should never be, fully attained. Let the girl revel in her growth, and not fear that one day there will be no more to learn, nowhere else to go. There are no summits on the heights of love.
I wanted to serve men, and give them pleasure, to be precious to them, to be loved and appreciated, to make them happy.
When the girl is taken to the breeding cell or breeding stall, she is normally hooded. Her selected mate is also hooded. In this fashion personal attachments are precluded. She is not there to know in whose arms she lies, or piteously, and in misery, to fall in love, but to be impregnated.
I was ready, even at that time, as I now realize, to have the relentless torches of men set to the tinder in my belly, that slave fires might be lit there, thence by service, submission and love, my condition as slave, and the commands and touches of men, to be fanned, whether I willed it or not, to my dismay and joy, into open conflagrations.
In a way I was pleased to be hooded. Otherwise I might have fallen in love with him. As it was, and this was according to the will of masters, I could not relate to him as a woman to a man, but only as a woman to any man, or men.
I had nothing to conceal, nothing to keep secret. I belonged to my master, all of me, my thoughts, my love, my body, everything I was and could be!
"Yes, Master," I said. How I loved his arms about me!
"You are a splendid natural slave," he said.
You thought to take Mirus from me, too, but soon I could have won him back! It is I whom he loves, not you!
"You are naked," he observed.
"My master punishes me," I said, "for he grew weary of my bellyings and my importunings for love."
"You love Mirus," I said.
"I would beg to lick his whip," she said.
"Does he love you?" I asked.
"I do not think he knows I exist - in that way," she said.
"I loved him in Brundisium," she said, "but I did not know how much I moved him until we were separated."
"We are slaves," I said. "We can be bought and sold, and taken, and done with, as masters please. Our dispositions need not be in accord with our own wills. Our desire, s, our feelings, matter not."
"Then I found he was on the black chain," she said. "How pained I was to discover his fate! Yet, too, how my heart leapt to know him near! He was so close, and yet so far! I love him so. Yet I can do little but bring him water. I cannot so much as kiss his feet without the permission of a guard. If I were to put myself within his grasp, he might be whipped, or slain. Too, I now find him to my sorrow other than he was. He is now a bitter man, one so driven with the desire for vengeance, his thirst for the blood of the girl who betrayed him, that he has little time to consider another, one who would gladly die for him."
"He made no attempt to negotiate for me, or secure me," she said.
"I am sorry," I said.
"Apparently your blood is of more interest to him than my love," she said.
"You think he still desires to kill me?" I asked.
"I know he does," she said.
"I am a female slave," I said. "I exist for the pleasure, service and love of men. I may not hurt them. Too, I do not wish to do so. Kill me if you must."
"Hendow, your friend, loved her!" she cried. "He cared for her. He sought her! He saved your life! Will you now kill her with the very blade from which he saved you?"
"She betrayed me!" he snarled.
I was startled to hear her asseveration of Hendow's affection for me. He was so terrible, so fierce. Yet it seemed he had not in truth followed me to recapture me and punish me, visiting upon me the terrible severities to be suitably visited upon a runaway slave. I remembered how gently he had touched me on the side of the head. I wept, confused, startled, astonished, in wonder, considering his love. Had I been so blind to it? Yet I do not doubt that he would have kept me always, even in his love, as a helpless slave. He was that sort of man. Indeed, how could I, a woman, truly, fully, love any other sort?
I saw he did not want to strike Tupita. Her beauty, so wild and pathetic, bare-breasted, in its collar and shreds of skirt, was between us.
"I tried to warn you, Master," I wept. "I tried to withdraw! You would not let me. You would not listen! Masters were watching!"
"What would you have had her do?" cried Tupita. "Do you not understand? We are slaves, slaves! What do you think her life would have been worth if she had not been successful in her work? If she had even been suspected in her work would this, too, not have been dangerous for her masters?"
"Get out of the way!" he cried.
"You are not yourself," she cried. "Do not kill her!"
"Get out of the way," he cried, "or you will die first!"
"Go, Tupita!" I wept. "Go, run!"
"Move!" cried Mirus.
"No," said Tupita, firmly. "If it is your will, so be it. I will die first."
I saw the blade waver.
"It is my desire to be pleasing to my master," she said.
I saw the blade lower. Mirus stepped back.
"By the love I bear you, if not the love you bear me," she said, "spare her."
I saw Mirus look at me, with hatred. But he crouched down then, the point of the blade in the dirt, his hands on the guard, steadying himself with the weapon, almost as with a staff.
"She may live," he said.
Then he sobbed.
"Oh, my master, I love you!" wept Tupita, rushing to him. "I love you! I love you!"
"Oh," cried Tupita, "I love you so! I love you so, my master!"
How much I thought must she love Aulus, to be willing to return to the black chain of Ionicus, if only to carry water in the work pits, her limbs chained, where from time to time she might look up to the hill, to the overseer's tent atop it, or perhaps even to serve in the tent itself, in a rectangle of silk, as before.
His hand had been stayed not by the merits of my case, if it had them, or even by a master's decision to spare a contrite, errant slave, but by his love for a woman, and, indeed, one who was only a slave.
It is a well-known fact, too, that it is not easy for a man to remain angry with a beautiful, contrite female who strips herself before him, kneels, kisses his feet, begs his forgiveness, and pleads to be ordered to the furs, that she may there await him in trepidation, and, when he chooses, attempt to assuage the harshness of his wrath with the softness of her beauty and love.
But if he gave me a chance I would try, and desperately, through sedulous service and unstinting love, to make myself well worth remembering to him!
But if he gave me a chance I would try, and desperately, through sedulous service and unstinting love, to make myself well worth remembering to him! Perhaps he had known many women, and really did not remember me!
"I love you, Master!" she exclaimed, being unbound. "Perhaps you care for me, a little?" "Yes," he smiled, "a little." "A slave is pleased," she said. She was now unbound. She knelt on the backs of her heels, her hands on her thighs, looking up, happily, at Mirus. "Kneel higher," he said, "off your heels." "Master?" she asked. This had brought her into suitable cuffing position. "Did you not speak at various times during the evening," he asked, "without having requested permission?" "Yes, Master," she said. "Forgive me, Master." She then was flung to the side, cuffed, and lay on the dirt, to the side. "Return to your former position," he said.
She returned, apprehensively, to the high kneeling position, before him. The left side of her face was a flaming red. He then took up the slave whip which was there, where I had dropped it before him, earlier, and looped it about her neck. He then, by this means, pulled her up straighter, and holding her head up, looked down into her eyes. "Did you think that in my love for you," he asked, "I would cease to be your master?"
"No, Master," she said, happily, looking up at him.
Even in the greatness of his love for her he would not cease to be her master. Indeed, had he done so, how could she have loved him so much?
I must then put aside all thoughts of love or affection. I was unworthy of such, from such a man. I was inutterably beneath him, worth less than the dust beneath his sandals. How absurd was my question! How shamed I was at my pride! How bold I had been! How could I even think of such a thing? Did I not know I was from Earth, and only a slave! But I loved him, and with the whole, heart and body of me! I tendered to him the wholeness of my helpless slave's love, worthless though it might have been. I had love enough in my small, marvelous body for a thousand of us, a thousand times over! So I was not loved! What did it matter! I was desired, and this would be enough. Too, I myself felt desire, and profound, raging slave desire, as he on his part must have felt the passions of the master. I was inflamed with need and heat before him, my master. Unworthy though I might be he had clearly wanted me! He had picked me out on Earth, he had fought with himself on Gor, then he had pursued me like a sleen, threading patiently through the harrows of time, disregarding the perils of both men and beasts. Loved or not, I had been for months, unknown to myself, an indisputable object of Gorean passion.
"There is nothing of that hateful tragedy, of that bareness and lovelessness left in me, Master," I said, "if ever there was anything of it in me to begin with. And I love you. I love you! I love you!"
"Interesting," he said.
"Do not whip me, Master," I said, "I beg you, but I do love you, and from the depths of my heart! I loved you and wanted to please you, and be yours, from the first moment I saw you!"
"You are a woman made for bonds," he said.
But he made no move to secure a neck chain, or physical bonds of any sort, nor did he order me to fetch such, hurrying to him, say, with chains, responsive to his command, that would be placed on my own body.
"And love, Master," I said, boldly. "And love!"
"Forgive me, Master," I said.
To be sure I already wore the most marvelous and joyous bonds of all, those of my womanhood, identical with myself, those of my slavery, natural and legal, and those of my love.
Perhaps he even loves me, I thought, absurd though that might seem. Was that really so impossible? He must love me, I thought. He must!
"What is wrong with you?" he asked.
"Nothing, Master," I said.
I looked at him. I was sure he loved me!
He then put me gently to my back and I looked up at him, in awe and love.
"Are there many women like you on Earth?" he asked.
"I suppose so, Master," I said. "I do not know."
"It is incredible that there should be any," he said, "given the depth and extensiveness of the masculinist conditioning programs to which they are subjected, the values they are trained to accept, the seeking of which is reinforced, the models they are encouraged to emulate, the images which are held forth for them to fulfill, the manifold enticements and rewards offered for male subrogation, the contempt in which love and service, and biological womanhood, are held. It is as though all the forces of communication, education and law had gone insane, with no better objective than to bring the sexes to ruin, destroy the human gene pool and doom the species."
Indeed, he must care for me. I suspected that perhaps he even loved me.
He was my master. I loved him! I loved him more than anything! But I had failed my first test with him! I had only wanted to know, foolishly, the nature of my power with him, if any, and the nature of the discipline to which I might be subject. I had only wanted to know if, truly, I was his slave or not. Then he had made me serve him, uncompromisingly. Then he had whipped me and put me chained, at his feet. The library was indeed far away, and I was indeed his slave! I had asked earlier if I was not to be slept at his feet, as might be a sleen, and he had said, "Perhaps later." Why had I not understood then that my behavior was under scrutiny, that he was even then inquiring into the qualities and nature of me? I was in misery, and overcome with contrition. How badly I had behaved! I had failed my first test with my master, whom I loved!
"I love you," I said. "I love you!"
He put the silk away.
"I love you!" I said.
"I love you, Master!" I said. "I love you, my Master!"
"You do not want to be respected," I said. "You want to be cherished, treasured, handled, abused, mastered, owned, subdued, forced to serve and love."
Too, I recalled she had been contemptuous of me, and haughty and cruel to me, in Port Kar, scorning even the memory of my love, when I had been paralyzed, helpless to move from a chair, the victim of the poison of Sullius Maximus, once one of the five Ubars of Port Kar, before the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains.
Own us, dominate us! Enslave us, properly, so that we may love you as women are meant to love, wholly and irreservedly, totally, without a thought for ourselves!
Perhaps, however, they are associated, in their way, with something even deeper, something clearly selected for, the biological need of a woman to belong, to be approved of and to love.
Treated as a woman, and finding herself in male power, she would look up at me, with love, awe and gratitude in her eyes.
"In your weakness and need, and love," I said, "in your honesty, and truth, you are a thousand times stronger, and greater, than such caricatures of women, than such travesties of women, than such pseudomales and facsimile men, denying themselves and their feelings, holding themselves rigid, not daring to feel or be themselves."
"You know, truly," she said, "she is no more, if as much, a slave as I. Surely in the cell, often enough, I gave you ample evidence that my fitting destiny was to give my entire being to the selfless love and service of a man!"
Slaves, as is well known, are on the whole far more loving and compassionate than free women. That is probably because they are so much more female than the free woman.
"To be sure," I said, "the condition of the natural slave, like that of the legal slave, can be difficult to conceal, particularly under certain stimulus conditions. It need not remain, however, simply a guilty secret locked in the heart of a frustrated, unfulfilled free woman, not yet in the keeping of her master. It can be shown by such things as her profound psychological dispositions to selflessly serve and love, her desire for, and response to, male domination, her understanding of chains and the whip, the quickening, deepening and intensification of her sexuality under conditions of bondage, her happiness and fulfillment when she finds herself placed in her proper relationship to the male, her joy in fulfilling her biological role, her joy in obedience, submission and love, her elation in knowing herself owned and mastered, subdued and conquered, a condition manifested in acts as disparate, and yet strangely akin, as the tying of her master's sandals and slave writhings in the furs, being forced to thrash helplessly in the orgasmic ecstasies he chooses to impose upon her."
Though the girl loves the master with all her heart and would never dream of fleeing from him, absurd though such a dream might be on Gor, given the branding, the collaring, the closeness of the society, and such, she knows that she is upon occasion to be put in chains. . In this act is symbolized his desire of her, that she is worth chaining and keeping. And in this act is symbolized his power over her. Despite their love, she is still his, and a slave.
And for her part, she rejoices that she is helpless to escape him, that she truly belongs to him, that she is truly his, legally and otherwise, and that she must, as she intensely desires to do, continue to live for service and love. I sought power when I, rightfully, should have been subject to it, reveling in helplessness, submission and love.
"I have learned," she said, "in the cell, and in the arms of a man, what I am, truly. I forsook the softness and the reality of my being for ambition and cruelty. I had not understood earlier what it was to be a woman, or the joys, and meaning, of service and love.
Sometimes, indeed, a girl would single out a desirable male in the crowd and signal to him in no uncertain manner that she begs to wear his collar, and that she wants only the opportunity to become for him a dream of love and pleasure.
"I think only of such things as her capacity for love, and her bondage," she said.
Seeing how beautiful a woman could be, and how desirable, they, too, wanted so to writhe and move, and, in doing so, to bring themselves, too, to the attention of masters, that they might beg some assuagement for their needs of submission and love.
Yet, too, uncompromisingly, she was one with the music, and, particularly in the beginning, with the story, seeming to examine her own charms, timidly, as if, like the "Tina" of the song, she might be considering her possible merits, whether or not she might qualify for bondage, whether or not she might somehow prove worthy of it, if only, perhaps, by inward compensations of zeal and love, whether or not she might, with some justification, aspire to the collar.
Slavery to the woman is more than a sexual matter, though sexuality is intimately and profoundly involved in it, essentially, crucially and ultimately. It is an entire mode of being, an entire way of life, one intimately associated with love and service.
"You love him," I said.
"That is absurd!" she said.
"You have loved him since the first moment you saw him, at the Crooked Tarn."
Too, as you learned service, obedience and love, and the categoricality of your condition, and your inalterable helplessness within it, many changes would take place in you, in your body, your face, your psychology, your dispositions, and such. Your entire self would become more loving, more sexual, more sensitive, more delicate and feminine.
Slaves sometimes, when prepared for love, when ordered to the furs, perhaps from an instruction issued in the morning, or such, greet their masters rather in this fashion, kneeling, with some such formula.
"I want to stand before men, beautiful and exciting, collared, an object of desire, a commodity, to hear their bids, to be subject to their claims, to be such that I may be led away in their chains. I want to love, and serve, wholly, selflessly, helplessly, irreservedly!"
"Chains, flowers, fire, helplessness, love!" she wept. "Love! Love!"
"There is also a thing called "love"," I said.
Too, interestingly, sometimes a woman wants to feel a man's whip because she loves him.
The female slave, for example, in her excitement and beauty, is an embodiment of sensuality, love and service.
In the case of the female slave, for example, her entire life is one of sexuality, vulnerability and love.
"But I have these terrible and frightening thoughts," she said. "Now I want to love and serve men!"
"I love you, Master," she said. "I love you!"
"I love him," she said. "I want to serve him. Why does he hate me?"
She loved him profoundly, helplessly, and from the first time she had seen him. He, too, had been smitten.
"Thank you, Master," said Phoebe. "I am yours. I love you. I love you."
Phoebe, of course, was muchly in love with Marcus, and he, in spite of himself, with her.
He regarded her, torn with his love for her, and his hatred of the island of Cos.
She lifted her crossed wrists to him, for binding.
But he did not move to pinion them. The cord, of course, was not for such a purpose, though that was a purpose which it could surely serve.
She separated her wrists timidly, and looked at him, puzzled, with love in her eyes.
"I am eager to be pleasing to you," she whispered.
"That is fitting," he said.
"Yes, Master," she whispered.
"For you are a slave," he said.
"And yours," she said, suddenly, breathlessly, "yours, your slave!"
He looked at her, angrily.
"I exist for you," she said, "and it is what I want, to please and. serve you." She was much in love. She wanted to give all of herself to Marcus, irreservedly, to hold nothing back, to live for him, if need be, to die for him. It is the way of the female in love, for whom no service is too small, no sacrifice too great, offering herself selflessly as an oblation to the master.
He regarded her, in fury.
She extended her arms a little, toward him, timidly, hoping to be permitted to embrace him. "Accept the devotion of your slave," she begged.
I saw his fists clench.
"I love you. I love you, my Master!" she said.
"Sly, lying slut!" he said.
"No!" she wept.
"Mendacious slut of Cos!" he cried.
"I love you! I love you, my Master!" she cried.
Already, it seemed, Phoebe had returned to her normal mode of relating to him, as a mere, docile slave, not daring to confess her love openly. Yet I think there was now something subtly different in their relationship. Phoebe now, given his recent intensity, his denunciation of her mendacity, his fury, his excessive response to her protestations of love, the violence of his reaction to them, had more than ample evidence of the depth of his feelings toward her.
"Do you protest your love?" he inquired. His hand was open, where she could see it. It was poised. She saw it. He was ready, if necessary, again to cuff her.
"No, Master," she said, hastily.
"Not even the love of a slave girl?" he asked.
"No, Master," she said.
"And in any event," he said, "the love a slave girl is worthless, is it not?"
"Yes, Master," she whispered, tears in her eyes. This was absurd, of course, as the love of a slave girl is the deepest and most profound love that any woman can give a man. Love makes a woman a man's slave, and the wholeness of that love requires that she be, in truth, his slave. With nothing less can she be fully, and institutionally, content.
"You do not then protest your love," he said, "not even the love of a slave girl?"
She was madly, helplessly, hopelessly in love with her master. And he, no less, rebellious, moody, angry, chastising himself for his weakness, was infatuated with his lovely slave.
"I love you, Master," was saying Phoebe, looking up at him, "totally and helplessly."
"And I," he was saying, brushing back hair from her forehead, "fear that I might find myself growing fond of you."
Too, though he loved her muchly, I did not doubt but what he would use it on her. She was, after all, his slave, and he, after all, was her master.
"Do you scorn me for my youth?" she asked. "Do you think we do not have feelings? Do you think we are not yet capable of love, that we are not yet women? You are wrong! How little you understand us! We are young and desirable, and ready to serve!"
You are not such a woman, a full, mature, knowledgeable, cognizant woman, a woman profoundly in touch with her passions and deepest self, one who has come to understand that her only hope for true happiness and fulfillment lies in obedience, love and service, one craving the collar, one yearning for a master."
"Beauty and intelligence are all well and good," I said, "but the best slave is she who loves most deeply."
Or perhaps the weak masters, whether unable to satisfy them, or merely unwilling to do so, will simply yield to their entreaties to be given away or sold, that they may receive an opportunity for their love, service and beauty to be put at the mercy of someone who can appreciate it and knows what to do with it."
"Yes, Master," she said. "I now wish to live for the chain, the whip, and love."
I myself, too, thought that that was true. It is a beautiful moment when a woman comes to learn, and love, what she is, when she comes to understand herself, and has the courage to accept this understanding, when in joy the ice breaks in the rivers, when the glaciers melt, when spring comes, when she loves and kneels.
"Do you love your master?" I asked.
"Yes, Master!" she said.
As the female by nature has feminine dispositions, needs, instincts and aptitudes, such things being genetically coded within her, functions of her behavioral genetics, as opposed to her property genetics, controlling such matters as eye and hair color, there is a template, or readiness, for self-surrender, service, sensuousness and love within her.
"Surely it is understandable that a girl such as myself, one so helpless, one in bondage, would seek to avert the wrath of men, that she would seek by her curves, her service and love to soften the hearts of masters." Yes, I thought, that is understandable. Slave girls are, when all is said and done, in spite of their beauty, so vulnerable, so owned, so ultimately helpless.
The depths of a slave's sexuality, and love, I think, have never been sounded.
"It is only that she loves you so much," she said.
"I do not understand," said Marcus.
Phoebe sobbed, looking away.
"She is telling you that Phoebe is jealous of her," I said.
Marcus crouched down beside Phoebe.
"Is that true?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," sobbed Phoebe, her eyes closed.
"But you are my love slave," he said to her.
Whereas this graffiti is mostly of a predictable sort, as one might expect, names, proclamations of love, denunciations of enemies, obscenities, and such, some of it is, in my opinion, at least, of quite high quality.
"It is a well-written note," I said.
"Thank you, Master," she said. She herself, as it had turned out, had written the note, it compliant, of course, with my directives and objectives. Marcus and I had struggled with the note for a time and then, for all practical purposes, had given it up. Lavinia had then composed it. It was sensitive, lyrical, tender, poignant and touching, the desperate, pleading letter of a highly intelligent, profoundly feminine, extremely vulnerable, extremely needful woman hopelessly in love, one eager to abandon herself and to surrender all to the lover.
I trusted that Lavinia would have time to throw off her cloak and get at the disrobing loop on her tunic before the door could be opened. She could then fling her arms about the slave, protesting her love, and such.
Lavinia's body was a mass of contradictory colorations. Apparently but moments before it had been red with excitement, love and yielding,
Women then wish to kneel before you and serve you, to please you and love you.
"It is only," she said, "that I think the great and beautiful Milo is a wondrous actor. It is not that he acts a thousand roles and we cannot identify him from one role to the next. It is rather that he is himself, in a thousand roles, and it is himself, his wondrous self, that we love!"
"There," I said to Marcus. "See?"
"'Love'?" said Milo, looking at the kneeling slave.
"Of course my opinion is only that of a slave," she said, looking down.
"That is true," I admitted.
"'Love'?" asked Milo, again, looking at the slave.
"Yes, Master," she said, not raising her head.
He reached down, awkwardly, to lift her up, but it seemed she fought him, struggling, and could not be raised higher than to her knees, and then, he desisting in amazement, she had her head down again, to his feet, in obeisance, and was kissing them. She was laughing, and crying. "I love you, Master!" she wept. "I love you! I will be hot, devoted and dutiful! I am yours! I will live to please you! I will live to love and serve you! I love you, my master!" She kissed him again, and again, about the feet, the ankles, the sides of the calves. Then she looked up at him, timidly, love bright in her eyes. "I will try to be a good slave to you, Master!" she said.
"Surely I must free you!" he cried.
"No!" she suddenly cried, in terror.
"No?" he said.
"No!" she said. "Please, no, my Master!"
"I do not understand," he stammered.
"I have waited too long for my slavery! It is what I have desired and craved all my life! Do not take it from me!"
"I do not understand," he said, haltingly.
"I am not a man!" she said. "I am a woman! I want to love and serve, wholly, helplessly, unquestioningly, irreservedly, unstintingly! I want to ask nothing and to give all! I want to be possessed by you, to be yours literally, to be owned by you!"
"I love you, Master!" she wept, putting her head against his thigh.
"Do not yield to the temptation of being weak with her," I cautioned him. "She loves you, but she must also fear you. She must know that you are not to be trifled with. She must know herself to be always within your discipline."
"Too, Master," said Lavinia, "I love you, so I want you, sometime, or sometimes, to whip me."
"I love you, Master!" she said.
She then kissed those of Milo, her master. "I love you, Master," she said to him.
I was prepared to give myself to him, to love him!
Sometimes an item such as I, struck with love, or careless, may move cumulatively, so to speak, and most meaningfully, before one who is not first in such a group.
The men of this world are terribly strict with us, but few of them are cruel. Their pleasure is found in the manifold perfections of our service, intimate and otherwise, and in our devotion and love, not in our distress or pain.
I asked only, choicelessly, to love and serve such men.
The men of this world, with all their barbaric animal heat, with all their ardor, and power and mastery, loved and desired women, and relished them, and prized them.
This is perhaps not so different from my old world, except that here women do not vend themselves, and take the profit on them. How many women, I wonder, marry truly for love, and only love?
How astonishingly paradoxical seemed my situation! Here on this world, where men seemed so proud, so untamed, so unbroken, so free, so mighty, so hot-blooded, on this world seemingly so primitive, so splendid and barbaric, on this world of leather, and silk and iron, not of plastics and synthetic fibers, of heat and love, not tepidity and hypocrisy, of ardor and skill, not of boredom and gadgetry, on this world where men had mastered monsters and seemed ready, at a word, to adjudicate disputes with edged weapons, I knelt before a dais, naked and collared, as a barbarian slave girl.
Something in me, from the time of puberty onward, had wanted to serve men, and love them, helplessly, and fully.
I wanted to be a treasure to a man, and to love and serve him, with all my heart.
It seemed clear to me that she did not really believe, whatever might be her protestations, that the Merchants was a high caste. She would be only too eager, it seemed, to "raise caste." What had love to do with such things, I wondered. Why should she wish to raise caste? Surely that was not truly important. Caste considerations seemed to me artificial, and rather meaningless, except as they tended to reflect sets of related occupation. Suppose there was something to caste. Why should she feel herself entitled to raise caste? What was special about her? Why should a Merchant's daughter aspire to a higher caste? With what justification? Why should she be permitted to raise caste? Why should she not look for love in her own caste, or in a lower caste? Why should she not look for love wherever she found it, regardless of caste? But then, I was not Gorean. She was a free woman, of course, she could bargain, plan and plot to improve her position in society. How different from a slave. The slave's position in society is fixed, as fixed as the collar on her neck. She cannot sell herself, but is sold. She must serve the humblest master with the same heat, devotion and perfection as the administrator of a city. In fact, I have sometimes wondered if the existence of kajirae on this world does not contribute to its stability. The man who has everything from a woman is not likely to be dissatisfied, cruel and viciously ambitious. He tends to be happy, and happy men are not likely, on the whole, and absent serious provocations, to disrupt society. And the slave, of course, hopes to find her love master, whom she desires in the fullness of her femininity to serve submissively, diligently, gratefully, and joyously, he who will care for her, and love her, and treasure her as a slave of slaves. It is to his whip she wishes to be subject. In all their tenderness he will never let her forget whose collar she wears, and she loves him for it, his strength, and his gift to her, fully and uncompromisingly mastering her.
I did, of course, hope to have a kind master, or, at least, one as kindly as was compatible with the clear, strict relationship in which we stood to one another. I wanted to win the love of my master, whoever he might be. I asked only the opportunity to serve and love. I was waiting to serve and love.
"Do you think you are the only one whose belly has screamed in the darkness for a man's touch?" she asked. "The only one that has desired to kneel? The only one that has desired to serve, and love, and with her whole being, holding back nothing? The only one that has cried out, and squirmed gratefully under the haughty, audacious touch of one who owns you?"
"Slavery has many effects on a woman," he said, "It softens her, it enhances her beauty, it gives her a profound sense of herself, it fulfills her, it increases, considerably, her sexual responsiveness, it increases a thousandfold her capacities to love, but one effect it does not have, it does not reduce her intelligence."
"Yes, Master," I said. But did he not understand how much more there was to it than this? Did he not understand the need for the master, the longing for him, the yearning for him? Did he not understand the need to serve, and love, selflessly?
Even had it not been for such things as the desire to serve the love wholly, with no thought of self, only with thought for the happiness of the master, I would have belonged in chains.
"I have had freedom," she said. "I know what it is like. Now I want love."
"I am a slave," I said. "And I have not found love." A poignant memory gripped me, but I turned away from it.
We want only to be owned, and to serve and love our masters.
And how much better, too, I thought, might it be to be merely the slave of a quiet, simple man, not even a rich one, and serve him, and keep his compartments, and love him.
The slave is a lovely animal - can those of Earth even understand this? - tender, vulnerable, graceful, needful - and she can think, and feel, and speak, and serve, and love!
She then, so to speak, courts the collar, eager to reassure herself of her beauty, her desirability, her fittingness to be owned, she wants to prove to herself now that she does have some value, after all, as she had hitherto thought; had she been mistaken; had her arrogant surmise been no more than a little she-tarsk's vanity; too, now, after her experience, her abduction, her subjection to male domination, and such, she has some inkling of what it might be to be a slave; and she longs now, on some level, to belong to a man, she wants now, though she may not be fully aware of this, that she wants, and needs, a master; she wants now to be helplessly owned, and to serve and love.
We do not want our bondage, our joy in servitude, our submission, our love, demeaned by attributing it to something alien, something other than ourselves, something outside of ourselves, such as the will of the Priest-Kings, if such should exist.
We do not wish to be punished. This is not to deny, of course, the expected and appropriate meetings of eyes in thousands of contexts and times, as in attempting to read one's fate in the eyes of the master, in examining them to learn if one is in favor or disfavor, in meeting them when commanded to do so, as when he examines us to see if we are lying, or when he wishes us to see the sternness in his eyes, that he is displeased, as in trying to read his will, that we may serve him better, as in looking up at him in rapture, squirming in his power, as in gazing into his eyes, on lonely beaches and in sheltered glades, with love.
"I have been free," she said. "Now I want love."
"Put such thoughts from your mind," I said.
"But I am afraid of love," she wept.
"I love him!" she said. "I love him!"
"You do not even know him," I said.
Given his misshapen bulk, its gross disproportions, and his monstrous visage he did not believe any woman could love him.
Could he resist the love in her eyes, I wondered, the trembling of her body, so ready for the collar?
But an even stronger chain held her, I thought, the growth of her softness, of her femininity, of her desire to serve, of her need for love, the dawning of her very self-consciousness, the coming to understand what she truly was, should be, and wanted. Wherever she was, she would now understand what she was.
But I saw her now, before me, as a slave girl in the arms of her master. "I love you, my master!" she whispered.
It was little wonder, then, that he, torn by desire and love, in bitter rage, cursed the strictures of honor.
"Do you not understand?" she asked. "I want, with all that I am, with everything that I am, to love and serve, holding back nothing, ever! I want to give all!"
"What injury you have done to me!" he cried. "It is because of you that I have lost the most exquisite, beautiful, and desirable slave in all the world, the woman I love! Yes, here in the retreat of tarns, I found my love slave. But I must conduct my business! I must ransom the slut, Constanzia of Besnit! I must sign the letters of credit to the state of Treve to redeem her, rather than use them to negotiate for she who is to me beyond compare, who is to me above all others. Curse honor! Were it not for honor I would forget you. I would let you be dragged to any kennel, on any man's chain. Were it not for honor I would remain secretly, at the risk of my very life, in this city, to seek her, to somehow come into possession of her! Were it not for honor I would find my love, and fly with her! Kneel, head down!"
"Ah, yes," he said, "I have heard rumors to the effect that the Lady Constanzia of Besnit might have slave curves concealed beneath her robes. Would one not have guessed? And how appropriate! And how fortunate for her! Perhaps if she grovels well she may be lashed less frequently! Perhaps she desires to now exhibit them, that they might win for her some lenience? Do you think I am so easily put off, so easily swayed, dear little thing, that I might be seduced from my resolution by the luscious contours of a begging slave? But do not fear, for I have every intention of putting them frequently and well to my pleasure. But they will never compare with those for my love! To her gold, no matter how luscious and exciting might prove to be the curves of your perfidious, despicable body, you can never be more than a meaningless tarsk-bit of shaved copper!"
"In bondage it is your heart, your love, that blossoms," I said.
Her head then was down to his feet, she weeping, covering them with kisses. The leash, fixed on her, fell to the floor. "I love you, my master!" she wept. "I love you!"
"I heel my master with love," she said.
"I love you," he said.
"And I love you, too, my master," she said.
"I love you," he said.
"And I love you, my master," she said.
"Can you not understand?" she said. "I love you, truly love you, helplessly! With slave helplessness! As a slave her master! And I am a slave, and you are my master! I want reassurance. I want proof, in my deepest heart, that you can do with me what you want, and that you will, that I am your slave, that you own me!"
In Gorean there is an expression which would rather literally translate as "display slave," and it seems that that is much the same idea, namely, that the woman's value is seen to lie more in the ranges of a decoration, an appointment, an appurtenance, or such things, than in herself, than in the heats, services, devotions, and loves of a whole woman, a living, breathing, loving, passionate, needful female.
In a typical bondage, one is cared for, nourished, sheltered, nurtured, protected, and often loved.
"I love you!" she cried. "I will not live without you."
"You cannot love me," he wept. "I am a beast, a monster, hated and shunned, so born, and so condemned to live."
"She is only a slave," I whispered. "She wants to love and serve."
"We are both slaves, Masters," I said. "That is all we are. That is our destiny and nature. We beg to love and serve. That is what we wish, to be pleasing, and to be loved. Please be kind to us. Please show us mercy. We beg it."
"I love you, I love you, my master!" I cried.
"I love you!" I said.
"Love me," I said.
"Love you?" he asked.
"Please," I said.
"I do not understand," he said.
"Have you not come from far away, perhaps from halfway across a world, to find me?"
He looked at me.
"You have now found me," I said. "I am yours."
"I know that you are mine," he said.
"To do with as you please."
"I know that," he said.
"I beg to be done with then as master pleases," I said.
"Oh?" he said.
"Yes, Master," I said.
He smiled, bitterly.
"I love you," I said.
"Liar!" he cried.
I looked down. I felt helpless. I did not know how to make him believe me. How could I convince him of the authenticity of my feelings? How could I prove to him that I was his, wholly, and in the most complete and perfect way a woman can give herself to a man and his love slave?
Unbidden then I lay before him, on my back, my bound wrists under me, nested in the small of my back, my left knee lifted. It was one of the ways in which I had been taught to lie before a man.
"You are a bold slave," he said.
"Beat me," I said, "if you are not pleased." This, too, this saying, I had learned in the pens.
"I have dreamed," said he, "of you before me, so."
"Oh, Master," I said, "I do love you!"
He regarded me, skeptically.
"If you do not believe me, Master," I said, "do not concern yourself with the matter. I am before you, as a slave. Simply put me to your purposes, that I may serve the imperious will of my master.
I felt overwhelming desire for him. My entire body seemed aflame. I was hot. I lifted my body to him. I was juicing, as a slave.
"I am not a man of your world," he said to me.
I lay before him, eager and ready for my subjugation. I wanted to be overwhelmed, to be carried away, to be loved with need and desire onto ecstatic madness. "Do you think I want the trepid caresses of tamed men?" I asked. "Do you not know, truly, what I want and need, that I want, and need a master!"
"You are my master," I said. "I love you."
"You lie to the end," he said.
"I do not lie to my master," I said.
I felt his hand tighten in my hair. My head was pulled back, farther. I heard the blade touch the collar, beneath it. Then I felt its edge, like a fine, hard line, at my throat. I closed my eyes.
He suddenly cried out in rage and drew the knife away.
He leaped to his feet and, in fury, fled to the other side of the room. He threw down the knife. He struck the wall with his fists.
I collapsed to the stones, scarcely believing myself alive.
"How absurd," he cried, in anger, "to love a slave!"
"Master?" I said.
He spun about. "Yes!" he cried. "I love you, you worthless slut, you meaningless thing! I have loved you, madly, insanely, uncontrollably, recklessly, violently, from the first moment I saw you!"
"Master," I breathed, unable to believe my ears.
Let others of us who long to love and serve, and obey, and be desired, dream of masters! - yes, masters! - our masters!"
He looked down upon me, and I realized that these things to him, a man of Gor, were not that strange.
He was not a stranger to the nature of females.
"I am a slave," I whispered.
"It is well known to me that you are a slave - legally," he said. "I can see your collar, the brand."
"It is more than that," I wept. "I am a slave inwardly, in my need, and in my love, and in my nature! It is what I am!
"Yes," he cried. "I love you!"
I fought to remain conscious. Then, again, I was fully conscious. I regarded him, he in such misery, such torment, across the room.
"I must not love you!" he cried. "I must not permit myself to do so!"
I struggled to my knees.
I was in the presence of a free man, indeed, of my master.
He looked at me, wildly.
"But I cannot help myself," he said. "I love you!"
"You gave no sign of this, Master," I said.
"I do not know whether I hate myself or you," he said, "or both, I for my weakness, you for having done this to me, and for being the most exciting and desirable female in all the world!"
"Master finds me of interest?" I asked.
"To see you is to want you!" he said, in fury.
He turned about, again, and again struck the wall. "I must not love you," he cried.
"Surely some men, Master," I said, "love their slaves!"
"You are a mere collared barbarian!" he said.
"Yes Master," I said.
He spun about, in fury. "And in hating you, and loving you," he said, "I sensed the role you had to play, and the dangers which might attend upon it. I knew that those in the house, of those of Cos, might be among the very few who could recognize you again. I therefore guarded my feelings, confessing to no one the torment in my heart, occasioned by a mere branded slip of a slave. Thus it was that in recruiting one to seek you out and cut your throat it was I who came first, and naturally, to the attention of my superiors, they aware of my hatred for you, my loathing for you, but not of my lust for you, my unquenchable desire for you. Indeed, other guards declined the office, unwilling to hunt you down and cut your throat, which says much for your popularity, you rampant, exquisite, arrant little charmer."
I screamed out, in the dark basement, my love for him, and again, and again, my submission.
Later he thrust me to his feet, and I lay there, in my collar, like a dog.
I was enraptured, that he permitted me to remain near him, he finished with me, I, only a slave.
"How is it that I could care for a slave?" he asked, lying on his back, staring at the ceiling.
I did not respond.
"I love you," he said.
I later lay at his side, at his thigh, docile and grateful. "I love you, I love you, my master," I murmured.
"I love you, truly," I said.
"You are a barbarian," he said. "I am a Gorean."
"You are a man," I said, "I am a woman."
"I love you," I said.
"You are prepared to die, for having been disobedient?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Why did you not kill me?" he asked.
"Because I love you," I said.
"Even though you knew your failure to obey could cost you your own life?"
"Yes," I said.
"I confess myself master's love slave," I whispered.
"My love slave?" he said.
"Yes, my master," I said. "I know that you may not care for me. I know that you may despise me, that you may hate me. But it does not matter. I do not care. As worthless as my love my may be, that of a meaningless slave, know that it is yours, unstintingly, unreservedly, all of it. It is yours, entirely. I am your love slave."
"I am unworthy to be loved," he said. "I have betrayed my honor. I have not obeyed my orders."
How frightened I was, and how miserable, whipped. I realized now that no matter how much he might love me that I was still his slave, and that he would not be lenient with me. . How quickly I would kneel, how quickly I would leap to serve, how desperately, how fervently, I would try to please! I loved him, but, too, I knew him now as my genuine master, one who would not hesitate an instant to correct my behavior, to subject me to discipline, if I should fail to be pleasing.
"It begins," he said. "Are you ready, my love?"
"Yes, my love, my master," I said.
Has he plans to keep me for himself?
I love him, she thought.
I am his, I love him, she thought.
Men truly loved only that which they owned, that which was fully theirs.
And the women, she thought, how many there must be, as she, who longed to be owned, who longed to obey and serve, who would give all, all their beauty and devotion, all their helpless, surrendering love, to the man they longed to meet, who would put them at his feet, and make them his, their master.
She needed no one to tell her that bondage was sexually arousing to a woman. Frigidity she knew was not acceptable in a female slave. Inertness was forbidden to them. Passivity was not tolerated. Inhibitions were not permitted. If necessary, such culturally inculcated impediments to the flames of love could be lashed from their bodies. They would be given no choice but to become their natural, hot, animal, yielding female selves. They would have absolutely no choice. They must become what they were, the female to the male, the slave to the master.
"I think, Master," she said, "that you cared for me, that you remembered me, that you had never forgotten me, that you came for me, that you carried me away by force, that you made me your slave because you wanted me, because you desired me, and loved me.
He has nothing to fear from me. I am only a slave, his, and I love him with all my heart.
I love him, she thought. I love him so.
And her fear, and fascination, had gradually turned to love and the desire to submit herself selflessly to his will. He had proved to her that he was her master. She loved him. She suspected she had always loved him. And now she was his slave, truly, on an alien world! It must be clearly understood, of course, that the relationship of master and slave, in its legal aspects, is totally indifferent to, and completely independent of, matters such as affection, caring, or love. Many masters, for example, never see the slaves they own, who may be employed in distant shops or fields, and, of course, the slaves may never see the masters who own them. So emotional relationships, of any sort, are inessential to, and immaterial to, the institution in question. What concern had the law, in all its power and majesty, with such matters? Whether he loved her or he did not, whether she loved him or she did not, did not matter.
"The war is over, for you," he said.
"War?" she asked.
"Do not those of your ideology dare to use that sacred, holy, terrible word, that word for nature's last and fiercest arbiter, that maker and unmaker of states, that creator and destroyer of cultures, singing songs of armies, and blood and steel, that ultimate and terrifying tribunal, with all the marches, the charges and rides, and the sacrifices, all the horror, all the triumph, all the glory and the shame, the tenderness and cruelty, the best and the worst, the highest and the lowest, the grandest and the most despicable, the most loved and most hated, that moment when beasts and gods look into mirrors and each sees the other, do not those of your ideology dare to use that word, that name for the most fearsome and terrible of all institutions, for its trivial, pretentious, absolutely safe, risk-free, puerile machinations, for your petty political threats, your jockeyings and maneuverings, for your sneakings about, and trickery, and burrowings from within to deprive an entire sex of its birthright?
But I would rather have him hate me than ignore me, she thought. I love him. I love him!
She loved him. He was her master. She was his slave.
She suspected that he must somehow love her, though perhaps in his own hard, severe, uncompromising, possessive way. Surely she loved him, and, doubtless, even from the first, though such things had not been so clear to her then, as a vulnerable, submissive slave. I think he loves me, she thought, though this may now be unbeknownst to himself. And even if he did not love her, she had little doubt that he "found her flanks of interest."
Dignity, respect, and such, were not for slaves. Did she not know that? One did not respect slaves; one commanded them, worked them, ravished them, perhaps loved them.
I love him, she thought.
He brought me here. He must want me. Perhaps he loves me. No, that could not be. But he must like me a little. Oh, I hope that he likes me, if only just a little! Please, Master, like me, if only a little!
She determined to convince him of her worthiness, that he would respect her, that she was worthy of attention, of consideration, perhaps even of love, that there was a great deal more to her than he might be aware of, that she was not merely a small, well-curved, owned, despised little animal which must squirm helplessly in rapture, writhing within the chains of a master.
I love him so! He is my master!
Something within her had begged to belong, actually, to be overwhelmed and owned, something within her had cried out to love and serve, totally and helplessly, to give herself unreservedly, totally and helplessly to another.
She could not have given up her freedom even if she had wished to do so. Freedom was doubtless precious. But, so, too, she thought, was love.
Ellen wondered if she were a terrible woman, because she wanted love, because she wanted to serve, wholly and helplessly, because she was eager to be devoted and dutiful, because she wanted to make a man happy, to please a master, because she wanted to literally be his, to be owned by him, to be his complete property, to belong to him, in every way. She wondered if it were such a terrible thing, to desire to surrender herself inextricably, wholly to love. In her heart, it seemed, there had begun to burn, even then, in a small way, small at first, like a tiny glowing flame, not fully understood, the longing to know the deepest and most profound of loves, the most complete of loves, the most helpless and self-surrendering of all loves, a slave's love.
He must like me. Perhaps he loves me! Once I beg to serve a man, any man, he will be satisfied, and then, of course, keep me for himself, for himself alone. I love him so!
I am sure he loves me, thought Ellen. Or, at least, that he wants me. Surely he thought that my "flanks were of interest." I love him!
He must love me.
I love my master. I want to serve him, and please him, with my whole being, with my whole body, with my whole heart and soul.
She wanted to tell him that she loved him, that she had longed to be his slave even from the first time she had seen him, so many years ago.
Perhaps you love me. Certainly you desire me. You have given me a lovely name, 'Ellen'. You had me put in the iron belt, doubtless to save me for yourself.
"Do you not love me?" she asked.
"'Do you not love me' what?" he asked.
"Do you not love me - Master?" she whispered.
"Love, for a slave?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," she said.
He threw back his head and laughed. She shrank back, disconcerted, dismayed.
"Can we not speak further, Master?" she begged. She wanted to cry out that she loved him, with all the helpless, vulnerable love of a female slave, that she wanted to serve him, to love him, to live for him.
But of course she dared not do so. How he would then hate her, despise her, understand the lowly, groveling, needful thing she was!
He had laughed at her. And how preposterous it was, indeed, that any man might love such as she, might love a mere, worthless, abject slave!
But I love him, she thought. I love him!
But of what interest or importance might that be, the foolish love of a helpless slave, to one such as he, a master?
"I love you," she said, "my Master."
"I love you, Master," she said. "And I want to be your slave."
Surely, then, you must have feelings for me. If you do not love me, Master, do you not like me, if only a little?
He is kind to me, she thought. He gives me wine. He is gentle. He is tender. He loves me. My Master loves me! I want to be a wonderful slave to him! I want to be the most wonderful and loving slave on all Gor!
"Do you not love me, Master?" she gasped.
"No," he said.
"Do you hate me?" she wept.
It seemed to be growing dark, about the edges of her vision.
"No," he said. "You are not worth hating."
"I love you!" she wept.
The slave loves and yields all. She is hot, devoted and dutiful. She is at his feet, heated and moist, begging to serve and please.
Surely she knew that her society had insisted that she must want to be free, so what was it, deep within her, deeper than her society, more profound than convention, that wanted rather to love and serve, to be owned will-lessly, to be mastered and dominated?
She certainly did not love Barzak. Could any man, the brutal, massive, callous monsters, have done that to her? What had become of her, and her pride and dignity? Surely she could not become one of those worthless women who could not help themselves, who were sexually needful. It was one thing to kneel at the feet of one whom one loved, and quite another to kneel before any man, moaning in need and begging his caresses.
You must not be a woman, you must not be so alive, you must not be so needful! You must not desire to love and serve! Castigate such temptations! Ridicule yourself for such tender, animal realities! Think yourself because of them small and disgusting! Seek redemptive frigidity! Praise inertness! Sing the glories of the dull, dismal body! Put aside feeling! Deny the deepest heart of hearts! Dare not desire to love, dare not desire to serve! How improper, how terrible, how wicked to be alive, and needful and loving!
Many Goreans, incidentally, fear falling in love with their slaves. Many regard this as a form of weakness. But, in many cases, of course, it is difficult for the master not to fall in love with a slave, as the master/slave relationship is a civilized, codified, institutionalized analogue to the essentials of a natural biological relationship.
"Oh, yes, I am appropriately in my collar," said the girl. "I am a natural slave. How fortunate I am to have been brought here!"
"No!" protested Ellen.
"But yes," laughed the girl. "Here I have found love, and the domination I need and crave."
She stood there, looking at Selius Arconious, she within the basket, he standing on the floor beside it, the small, folded tunic between her teeth. Tears burst into her eyes. She wanted to cry out that she loved him and she wanted to be his slave, but she could not speak.
Surely he was not in love with her, as though a man could be in love with a slave!
In such small things, and others far more profound, but connected with ownership, capture, work, servitude, love and breeding, she thought, were women evolved, evolved to serve and please men. It is not so strange then, she thought, that women desire masters, that they long to love and serve, to give themselves to the master, that in their hearts they want and seek masters. Those who did not were perhaps discarded, or left unmated. On the other hand, those females who knelt, even with a braided leather rope on their neck, and found their fulfillment in submission, servitude and love, in belonging to the stronger, to victors, to masters, would be those treasured, those sought, those bought and sold, those mated, those replicating their genes.
It suddenly occurred to her that this might well be the point of the war of the sexes, that it might well be entered into and encouraged by women merely that they might be reassured, much as a naughty child might test limits, that they might have manhood affirmed, and find themselves once more, in the light of fact and truth, seized and returned to their rightful place in the order of nature, dutifully subdued, conquered, treasured, prized, mastered, loved, owned.
She wondered if the irresistible might of male desire did not have its perfect corollary and complement in the natural woman, the slave, eager to yield all unreservedly and unquestioningly to her master, begging to love and serve, to please, to be owned wholly.
She had now learned that men were her masters. She now wanted to love and serve them, and perhaps beg for a caress.
Certainly such a disposition, as with many others, such as the desire to belong, to be found pleasing, to love and serve, would contribute to success in matters of gene replication.
"Please, Master, I love you!" Ellen heard. "Permit me to yield! I cannot stand it! I fear I will die! Oh, oh. Please do not bring me again and again to this point, so, cruelly, without permitting me to yield! Just one more touch, Master! Please, another touch, just the tiniest touch! It is all I need! I am your slave! Do not be so cruel! Show me mercy! You have conquered me a thousand times! I am hopelessly and abjectly yours! I love you, Master! I beg to be permitted to yield!"
There was then a soft, rapturous, prolonged, grateful, inarticulate cry from within the tent, partly muffled, for the master had perhaps placed his hand firmly over the mouth of the slave, that she might not disturb the camp. In a moment his hand must have been removed from her lips, for Ellen heard, "Thank you, thank you, beloved Master! I love you, Master! I love you, Master!"
You are furious that I have found myself on this world, that I am young, beautiful, healthy, eager, ready, passionate, that I desire to love and serve men, that I want to be owned, that I want to live for a master!
But Ellen now, apart from her natural dispositions and deepest reality, fitting her for love and the collar, had come to understand herself on all levels, factually and honestly, as something which was owned, as something which could pass from master to master, as might any piece of property.
What have we to offer, to bargain with, to petition with, but our beauty, our desirability, our intelligence, our passion, our desire to serve and love helplessly and wholly, asking nothing, giving all?
"I hope you get a strong and kindly master," thought Ellen, "one who will see to your needs, one who will care for you, and love you, and cherish you, but one at whose feet you will never be permitted to forget that you are a female and a slave."
I have always wanted to belong to a man who will require of me, casually and without a second thought, the fullness of my womanhood. I have always wanted to serve and love - fully, will-lessly, selflessly. And now I belong to a man whom I shall so serve and love, one who will have everything from me, which is what I long to give. I am happy, happy!"
They make us the victims of our own needs, and use them to bring us choicelessly to their feet.
How cruel they are!
How I need, want and love them!
Neglected, she weeps and fears. Has he tired of her? Is he thinking of selling her? But she loves him! She dares not speak her love to him, of course. She is a mere slave. She does not wish to be lashed. She redoubles her efforts to please.
And, too, is the slave not often ambushed by love?
She may be loved, or hated. She may be noticed or ignored. She may be silked or kept stripped.
"I think," she said, "that a slave loves her master."
"Master's slave loves him," she whispered.
"Master's slave," he said, "is a liar."
"No, Master," she whispered.
"Do you contradict me?" he asked.
"A slave must speak the truth to her master," she said.
"You cannot love," he said. "You are an Earth woman."
"I want to be whipped. I want to be whipped. I love him. I love him. I want him to whip me. I love him. I want him to whip me."
It is little wonder that slaves come so often to love their masters, and with that passion and devotion which one can find only in a slave.
What slave does not seek her love master? What man does not seek his love slave?
But commonly the slave must strive to conceal the flames of her love, as she is only a slave. Let the master not suspect her presumption and insolence, that she, so unworthy, should dare to love a free man. It is enough that she should be no more than his needful, helplessly submitted, ecstatic toy. And what a fool he would be, on his part, a free man, to love a mere slave! She does not wish to be bound, taken to the market, and sold.
And yet, in all, how many masters, to the chagrin of free women, come to care for their lovely chattels!
This is very different, of course, from being cared for, or admired, or appreciated, or loved, or such.
It is an interesting experience, doubtless, for a proud, cold woman who has loathed men to find herself now become a heated, dependent slave hopelessly in love with her master, so different from the men she had known, and in desperate need of his touch.
She hoped they did not bring Gorean women to Earth, particularly slave girls, for that would be much like bringing lovely, warm-blooded, delicate creatures, vulnerable, natural and loving, to a wasteland, an arctic locale inimical to passion, a desert hostile to love.
There was a terrible pause. Mirus lowered the weapon, it then at his thigh. "Then it seems," said he, "that your love is greater than mine."
Ellen knelt in the grass, shaken, startled, disbelievingly, bewildered. Had these men, such men, spoken of love? Love? Did they not know she was a slave? Love, for a slave?
"There are many markets," said a soldier. "You can buy a girl in any of them. The shelves and cages are filled with shackled, unsold beauties, beauties begging for a collar, beauties needing a master, beauties needing to love and serve, to give all, and more."
Ellen regarded the standing, bound Selius Arconious. He seemed angry.
"Do you love me, Master?" she asked.
"Do not be stupid," he said. "You are a slave."
"Yes, Master," she said. "Forgive me, Master."
Ellen wondered if she were a beauty. She certainly knew at least, now that she had come to understand bondage and her nature, that she was such that she would unhesitantly beg for a collar. On Gor she had learned explicitly what she had only suspected on Earth, that she needed a master, that she needed to love and serve, to give all and more.
She then knelt beside him and grasped his leg with her arms, and put her head against his thigh, and kissed it humbly. "I love you, Master!" she said. "I love you, I love you, my master!"
"It is suitable," he said, "that a slave should love her master."
"Yes, Master!" she wept, kissing him again, and yet again.
It is doubtless pleasant for the masters to own us. I wonder sometimes, on the other hand, if they understand us, or fully, our feelings, the feelings of the slave, the thrill for a woman of having a master, the rapture of being possessed, literally, how we desire to give ourselves up to them, the bliss we experience in our collars, our love. Is it so strange that we make excellent slaves? Do they really think that our desire to please, and be found pleasing, is motivated by nothing but the fear of blows or worse? We wish to love and serve. It is our nature. We are women. We are slaves. We long for our masters. We are incomplete without them.
Yes, she thought. He is my master, and he does with me as he pleases. Oh, would that he would take pity on his slave! Please caress her, Master. Please caress her, Master. She loves you.
I am a slave, and that is what I want to be. I would not be otherwise. I love being a slave, she whispered to herself. I love being a slave. And I love my master.
"I love you, Master," she whispered.
"As a slave loves?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," she said. "But even if I were a free woman the love I feel for you would make me your helpless slave! But I am not free, but am a true slave, and belong in the totality of my being to my master! There can be no greater love than the love of a loving slave!"
"I love you, Master!" cried the slave, from her knees.
My love is Selius Arconious, she said to herself, but surely one could do worse than belong to one such as Mirus, he who once owned me.
I should hate him I suppose, she thought, as I am a woman of Earth, and he put a collar on me, a collar, but I do not. I love him and love him dearly. And I want to love him in the deepest way possible, as a slave.
"I love you, Master!" cried the slave.
"But I want love, as well!" she cried.
He laughed, sardonically, skeptically.
"It is true!" she cried. "And I love you! Yes, I do! I love you, Master! I love you, Master! Surely you love me, too, if only a little?"
She was now hot, devoted and dutiful. She feared her master, but she loved him.
My master will permit me no latitude. I love him for it! He has mastered me. I have been mastered!
"I love you, Master," she said.
"Are you so presumptuous, so arrogant, that you dare to speak such words to your master?"
Slaves are often helplessly, hopelessly, in love with their masters, often pathetically so.
Thus the slave may kneel before the master, tears in her eyes, her heart offered up to him as can only be the heart of a slave, and this obvious to him, but she knows his love is to be reserved, if it be given, at all, to a free woman, not to a slave, an animal he might obtain in any market. Thus she repines and dares not hope for his love.
"How dare you love a free man?"
"May not even a she-sleen love her master?"
"Yet you spoke earlier - as I recall - of love."
"Forgive me, Master."
"You love me?"
"You, only a slave, dare to love a free man?"
"Forgive me, Master."
"A slave," he mused. "The love of a slave."
"We cannot help ourselves, Master," she said. "You own us. We are in your collars. We are with you so much, so intimately. We serve you so abjectly. We bring you your sandals. We bathe you. We kneel before you. It is on our limbs that your chains are fastened. It is you by whom we are mastered."
"I see," he said.
"The first time I saw you," she wept, "I wanted to be your slave."
"The first time I saw you," he said, "I wanted you as my slave."
"Master!" she breathed.
"Not to love you, of course," he said, "just to have you as my slave, a simple collar slut, you understand."
"Of course, Master," she said.
"But you did seem, somehow, as I recall, of particular interest."
"A slave is pleased," she said.
"I fought my feelings for you," he said.
"As I for you, Master."
"But not well! Not successfully!"
"Good," he said.
"Scorn me, if you wish," she said, "for I am only a slave, and that I well know, but I do love you."
"With the love of a slave," he smiled.
"Yes, Master," she said, "with the love of a slave, with the helpless, vulnerable love that only a slave can give."
"I see," said he, "my pretty, nicely curved Earth slut."
The love of a free woman, should they be capable of love, is very different from the love of a slave. The free woman must have her respect, her self-esteem, her dignity. She must consider how her friends will view her, and the match, and what they will think of her, and say of her. She must consider her assets, her properties, and their protection. All details of contracts must be arranged, usually with the attention of scribes of the law. She must have a clear understanding of what will be permitted to her companion and what will not be permitted to him. Certainly, as she is free, her modesty is not to be compromised. All things are to be regulated with care, how and where he may touch her, and such. She has her position in society to consider, her station and status. She is hedged in with a thousand trammels and compromises, militating against her selfless surrender. The love of a free woman, then, to the extent that she can love, is beset with a great number and variety of considerations, with a thousand subtle and noxious calculations, plannings and governances.
First, some free women, disconsolate and lonely, unhappy, miserable, deprived of sex, starved for love, distressed with the numerous circumscriptions and constraints which confine them, realizing the boredom, the emptiness, of their lives, "court the collar."
Second, it is not unusual, a point suggested earlier, for a slave to fall in love with her master. It is quite common, in fact. I do not think this is hard to understand, her being owned, and such. The love of a slave, of course, is supposedly worthless, and so she often conceals it, as best she can. Might the master not be annoyed or embarrassed by something as unwelcome and absurd as, say, the explicit expression of a slave's love? She lies then at the foot of her master's couch. She kisses her chains. She kisses her fingertips and presses them to her collar. Tears well in her eyes. She fears to speak, for she is only a slave. She does not wish to be whipped, or sold. In any event, in the fertile meadow of bondage the flower of love finds a fertile soil. Even if it should be forbidden, or feared, or dreaded, it will have its way, as the spring and the tides, and bloom. What terror can this bring to the heart of the slave girl!
"It is acceptable," he said, "that a slave should love her master."
"Perhaps Master likes his slave, a little," she said.
"Perhaps," he said, "a little."
"Your slave begs to serve your pleasure, Master," she whispered.
He then knelt to the side but continued to hold her wrists.
She sensed that it was only with great difficulty that he resisted seizing her. Surely in a moment she would be put to slave use.
But then, too, suddenly, it seemed, her entire body began to be suffused, more so than ever before, this startling her, almost frightening her, with an incandescence of surrender, of helpless heat, of overwhelming love, of total, unmitigated submission, of a woman's desperate, frenzied need to put herself lovingly, helplessly, at the mercy of a master.
"My love for you is a bond a thousand times stronger than a chain on my neck, than a shackle on my ankle!" she cried. "But I want the chain! I beg the chain! I crave the shackle!"
So, dear reader, remember that the master is all, and you are nothing. You may love him. And perhaps he may love you. As a female slave you will live the most degraded and the most beautiful of lives. You will know pleasures forever beyond the ken of the free woman.
It is not strange that a woman loves best in a collar. In a collar she is most a woman.
Love and serve your masters.
It is what you are for, sweet slut.
Do not forget to wear your tunic well, and keep the collar lock at the back of your neck.
After all, you do not wish to be whipped.
I wish you well.
I now close this narrative.
I kiss my finger tips and touch my collar. It has been put on me by my master, whom I love. I am his slave. I desire to serve him. I would die for him.
She is zealous to be such a slave to him that he will not desire another. She lives to love and serve.
It is her hope, now, to find a kind, strong master, who will be strict with her, and well command her, and well fulfill her womanhood, one whom she may then, in gratitude, selflessly love and serve.
Perhaps such things explain the common contentment of the slave, so incomprehensible to many free women, her devotion to the master, her instant obedience, her zealous service, her happiness, her love, and so on, and, doubtless, too, her helpless, spasmodic yieldings to his peremptory possession of his property.
Doubtless, too, she had often knelt before masters, or kissed their feet, in gratitude and love, in reverence or supplication.
She is then spoiled for freedom, is beyond it, and lives instead for the attention, love, and touch of her master.
"Grendel," he said, "loves you, but you probably do not even understand that. He risked his life in the arena, for you, against great odds."
"He loves you," said Cabot.
"That is his foolishness," she said.
"Yes," said Cabot, "that is his foolishness."
"I despise him," she said. "I defied his will. I belittled him, in public. I made him suffer, each day and night."
"And yet," said Cabot, "he loves you."
"You do not love him?" asked Grendel.
"Kill him!" she screamed.
"Do you not love her?" asked Grendel.
"No," said Cabot.
"- I love her," said Grendel.
"That is known to me," said Cabot.
"Kill him," called the blonde. "Prove you love me! If you love me, kill him! Kill him, for me!"
"Because he does not love you?" said Grendel.
She was silent, furious.
"Thousands do not love you," said Grendel. "Shall I kill them all?"
"I hate you!" she screamed.
"I would that I could hate you," said Grendel, "but I cannot. It would be easy to tear your nasty, hateful, lying head from your shoulders, but I cannot, nor do I wish to do so."
"You are bringing us all to death!" she said.
"I could not let him have you," he said.
"You will never have me!" she screamed.
"If you could stop me from loving you," said Grendel, "you would have succeeded, long ago."
"Do not love her," said Cabot.
"I do," said Grendel. "I must."
"She is not worth your love," said Cabot.
"Not worth the love of a beast!" she scoffed.
"No," said Cabot. "Not worth the love even of a beast."
"Yes, Master! Yes, Master!" she wept. "I will love and serve, wholly, unstintingly, selflessly!"
And the love of a slave for her master!
Who can understand that love, who has not had a slave at his feet?
"If you loved me, as you have claimed," she said, "you would keep me free, and trust me."
Grendel seemed torn, agonized.
"And, too, how dare one such as you, a monster, aspire to the love of a free woman!"
"Forgive me," said Grendel, his head down.
"Do you think yourself worthy of such a thing?" she asked.
"No," said Grendel.
"And so much the more so of a free woman such as I?"
"No," said Grendel. "No."
"If you like," said Cabot, "I will take her into custody, binding her, leashing her, and such."
"No," said Grendel.
"I am a free woman!" said the Lady Bina.
"Even a free woman," said Cabot, "may be subjected to controls of various sorts, a limitation to specified locales, imprisonment, leashings, the restrictions of light chains, and such, if the interests of states are at stake. There is much precedent for that sort of thing."
"True," said Grendel.
"You do not truly love me," said the Lady Bina.
"I do love you," protested Grendel.
"If you truly loved me," she said, "you would trust me, and leave me to be as I wish, to do as I wish, and go where I wish."
"Please!" he begged.
She turned away from him, coldly. "Thus," she said to Cabot, "you see he does not truly love me."
"I think he loves you muchly," said Cabot, "and foolishly."
"I am beautiful," she said. "No man can love a beautiful woman foolishly."
"Those are perhaps the easiest to love foolishly," said Cabot, "and that is an excellent reason why one should not trouble oneself with them, but rather put them in collars, and own them."
"Beast!" she said.
The Lady Bina laughed, softly. "I told the beast that I would not leave my bower, and if he truly loved me, he must trust me."
"He believed you," said Cabot.
"You want him dead," said Cabot.
"Certainly," she said. "He is ugly, presumptuous, repulsive, and dangerous."
"He loves you," said Cabot.
"I loathe and despise him," she said. "He is a beast, a monster, neither Kur nor human."
"Do you not love me?"
"If I did not use you for bait on the beach," said Cabot, "I might sell you, or give you to Lita, as a serving slave."
"How can you not love me?" she asked.
"You are an extremely beautiful and desirable woman," he said, "and you would doubtless, stripped, bring a good price on the auction block, but, even so, it is less difficult than you surmise."
"What is love," asked Grendel, "if there is no trust?"
"Do you think she loves you?" asked Cabot.
"No," said Grendel.
"She is a treacherous little she-urt," said Cabot, "and should have been kept on a tether, bound hand and foot, naked."
"I love her," said Grendel.
"I fear you are unwise, my friend," said Cabot.
"I am part human," said Grendel.
"Lord Grendel rescued you," said Cabot. "He saved your life. He loves you."
"Good," she said. "You are strong, and beautiful, and may yet win my love!"
"Take this one," said Lord Grendel, tossing the loose end of the rope leash to the other Kur.
The she-Kur looked at Lord Grendel, wildly, but was helpless.
She strained in her bonds.
"I love another," said Lord Grendel, to her. Then to the other Kur he said, "She is yours."
And what woman would not be proud to be found to be "as beautiful as a slave"?
And at the feet of a master, wholly dominated, uncompromisingly owned, they learn their womanhood, and love.
"Do you love her?" asked Statius.
"No," said Cabot. "But in my way I am fond of her. Another may love her."
Is it so strange? That a slave might love her master, that a master might care for his slave? Might she not, to some extent, have brought this about, perhaps lamentably, by her beauty, her helplessness, her heat, her love, her devotion, her selfless service? Too, is she not, after all, a perfection of a female for a man, a slave, what he most desires and wants, something far beyond what he might obtain from a free woman? In a collar she is, after all, a creature of love. Is the collar itself not a symbol of this? That she exists for love? So, kneeling, needful, submitted, her own love opened like a flower, she begins to hope that something of her own feelings, so deep, so profound, so overwhelming, might be reciprocated, if only to a tiny extent, by her master.
"Perhaps you should not be impatient with her," said Flavion. "Perhaps she did not fully understand what she was. It seems she was angry, and proud, and terribly upset, and not thinking clearly. Doubtless she felt abandoned. Desolated. In anguish. Doubtless she was swept away by her emotions. Indeed, it may have been from the very love of you that she fled."
"I want to be loved," said the brunette slave.
"Oh, be silent, foolish slave," cautioned Corinna. "What if a master should hear? Do you wish to be whipped? Do you wish to be marketed? Concern yourself rather with being an abject slave, wholly submitted. It is yours to serve, and be pleasing."
"Do you not want to be loved?"
"With my whole heart, but one dares not speak of such things to the master. One is only a slave."
"He loves you!" said the brunette.
"Surely not!" said Corinna. "I am a mere slave, no more than an object he uses for his pleasure!"
"He does love you," said the brunette.
Many free women are slave beautiful, of course, but they have not yet been brought to the feet of men, and put in their collars.
Only then, mere slaves, reduced and exalted, in love and fulfillment, might they become truly beautiful.
The purpose of her life will be to please her master. She may fall in love with him, but she should be wary of letting him suspect this, and surely should not speak of it, lest she be peremptorily sold.
The preciousness of the collar to the slave, and the fulfillments of her bondage, are not to be minimized. Commonly she lives to love and serve the master, to the best of her ability.
She will always remember what it was, to kneel, to be bound, and to love.
As many companionships are arranged between families, with considerations not of love, or even of attraction, paramount, but of wealth, prestige, status, and such, and the young people often being scarcely considered in the matter, this is, I suppose, understandable. The female companion's complacency in this matter, or her understanding, or her tolerance, is, one gathers, quite different from what would be expected in the case of, say, a Gorean free companion, who, commonly, would find these arrangements outrageous and insufferable. For example, she would not be likely, resignedly, without question, to pay a bill arriving at her domicile from a pleasure house, pertaining to a pleasant evening spent there by her companion. In the light of these considerations, to the extent they might apply, then, it should be clear why the "contract women" would not be likely to concern themselves overly much with collar-girls. First, they regard the collar-girls as far inferior to themselves, and thus scarcely in the category of rivals, and, secondly, they share the general view, as I understand it, of the women of the "strange men," namely that they have little or no hold over a male, and he may be expected to pick flowers, so to speak, where he pleases. If, however, a contract woman might find herself in love with a client, she, being quite human, and utterly helpless in her contractual status, might, understandably, resent his interest in, say, another contract woman, or, even, as absurd as it might seem, a collar-girl.
Bondage, in which the woman learns her womanhood, effects in a woman not only a sexual but a moral and personal redemption. In the collar, and in submission, she learns service, fulfillment, wholeness, and love.
"You may both kiss, and lick, lovingly, deferentially," I said. "It is a great honor for a slave girl to do this, for he is a free man, and she is a mere slave."
This was true, for some masters will not permit a slave to perform this simple act, even when she begs for the privilege. From the point of view of a free woman this act may seem humiliating, and perhaps it is, for a free woman, but, for the slave, it is a beautiful act of submission, even of love, in which she testifies to her joy in bondage, and expresses, humbly, and symbolically, her gratitude to her master, that he has consented to have her, one such as she, only a slave, in his collar.
Many free women cannot even begin to understand the love of a slave for her master, but it may be the deepest and most profound love possible between a human female and a human male. Indeed, in the view of many, it is exactly that, the deepest and most profound love possible between the human female and the human male, that of slave for master, and of master for slave.
The rightfulness and naturalness of the relationship, so sanctioned by nature, and a thousand generations of selection, often leads to love. It is not unknown, accordingly, for a master and slave to discover, one day, and often sooner than later, that they are in love, that they are now love master and love slave.
Let the slave be what she is, in all her beauty, radiance, warmth, devotion, love, and service.
The collar well liberates a woman's deepest and most feminine nature, the desire to wholly and helplessly serve and love, to be fully pleasing, in all ways, to her master.
Too, she now has what she has always desired, a master, and she hopes to please him, to warrant a caress, and to one day win his love.
Is it so strange that they find their joy and fulfillment at a man's feet, or is it merely to be expected, given a genetic heritage of the surrenders of love, without which a woman cannot be whole?
Who is the man who truly loves a woman, he who denies reality or he who recognizes it, and embraces it, he who betrays her and panders to propagandas, or he who consents to answer the cries of her heart?
Some masters do not permit their girls to look into their eyes, but that is rare. Most wish to relish the beauty of the eyes of their slaves, and enjoy reading in them the most delicate nuances of expression, apprehension, fear, hope, desire, expectation, questioning, readiness, eagerness, supplication, love, and such things.
It is not unknown, of course, that a slave might strive desperately to be returned to her master. A love unknown to a free woman, in its helplessness, its need, its depth, profundity, beauty, and passion, is often felt by a woman for the man whose collar she wears. Owned, she is his, wholly.
"But many women," I said, "long for their masters, beseech the world for the man before whom they might kneel, naked and collared, whose feet they might gratefully kiss. Many women, longing to be subdued, longing to submit, longing to be unqualifiedly possessed, longing to be owned, wholly and absolutely, find their social, biological, and cultural fulfillment in this, in thusly daring to reveal their deepest needs and desires to men. In such things we find not only a loving confession of femininity, but its unapologetic petition and expression. It is not wrong for a woman to reveal her deepest heart and needs. Who but an unhappy, ill-constituted madman or tyrant could find gratification in attempting to legislate the values, loves, lives, and hearts of others?"
He is now my master. I love him.
Better, surely, for a woman to belong to a man than a woman. They see us in terms of desire and pleasure, in terms of love, service, and passion, not in terms of contempt, jealously, and reproach.
One might also note the gratitude of the slave. She loves and serves, and is grateful to have been granted this privilege. It is not unknown for even free women to kneel before a man, press their lips to his boots, and beg him for his collar, that they may belong to him, as his slave. The depth of this need, of this desire, and the profundity of this love, the wholeness of it, the desire to give oneself, to surrender oneself, wholly, to another, is one of the mysterious recurrent songs of nature, its origins perhaps lost or obscure, but its strains familiar amongst her survivors.
The total and irrevocable bond, of course, is that they are slave, only slave. This is clear in a hundred ways, from their brand, their collar, their clothing, if permitted clothing, their behaviors, their demeanors, their diction, their deference, their expressions, their place in society, and, once they are broken to the collar, their softness, their radical femininity, their insistent and irresistible feminine needs, their piteous and helpless need to surrender to a master, their desire to serve and love, and so on, but, still, all in all, there is a role for the bracelet, the shackle, the chain, the thong, the lace, the rope, and such, which not only impresses upon them their bondage, but arouses them, bringing them to slave heat. It is a rare slave who does not sometimes kneel before her master, and whimper, "Your slave, my Master, would be chained. Please, my Master, chain your slave."
It is a common belief amongst Goreans, though seldom voiced in the presence of free women, that men are masters and women slaves. As it is said, all women are slaves, only some are in collars, and some are not. Thus, it is thought that women are the properties of men, that women are property, even free women. They have yet, of course, to be claimed, and meet their master. It is a rare Gorean who does not speculate what even a free woman, bundled in her stiff, ornate robes, concealed within her layers of veils, would look like, stripped, collared, and at his feet, perhaps on all fours, looking up at him, frightened, the whip or switch between her teeth, hoping it will not be used upon her. It is only in the mastery that the male achieves his full manhood, and it is only at his feet that the female finds the fulfillment of her womanhood, in surrender, in submission, in service, in love. The answer to an unhappy, dissatisfied woman is a master, whom she must hope to please, lest she be lashed.
They, too, suitably mastered, as women may be, soon learned themselves, and love.
"Even from Ar I have loved you!" she said.
"Ela!" she wept. "I am unworthy to be a free woman. I desire to be naked, and lusted for. I desire to be collared, and lavish kisses upon the feet of a master! I desire to love and serve, wholly, unstintingly, selflessly, as a slave!"
"I love you, Master," she whispered. "Do you not love me, a little?"
I laughed at the absurdity of the question. "Love," I asked, "love - for a slave?"
I recalled that she had proclaimed her love for me, the helpless love of a worthless slave.
Could the slave, I wondered, be truly enwrapped in the toils of love?
How absurd that would be!
But I knew that no love could compare with the love of a slave for her master, the love of a vulnerable, helpless slave, who may be beaten or sold on a whim, for her master.
Is it not the most profound, the most helpless, the deepest, of all loves?
But the love of a slave, I knew, was to be scorned.
For she is a slave.
"One buys a slave for work and pleasure," I said.
"The slave seeks love," she said.
"What the slave seeks is unimportant," I said.
"What the slave seeks is unimportant," I said.
"How can a slave work for her master, know his domination, obey him, wear his collar, kneel before him, be put to his pleasure, squirm and kick, begging, in his chains, and not succumb to him, not fall in love with him?"
"Such things can take place without love," I said.
"We want our love master!" she wept. "Do not masters search for their love slave?"
"Speak of love," I said, "and you may be lashed."
"Yes, Master," she said. "Forgive me, Master."
I grew muchly uneasy, and angry. The slave is a work object and a pleasure object, nothing more. That must be kept in mind. She is a meaningless, purchased beast. See that you treat her as one. She is an animal. See that you train her as one. Dress her, if you do, for her exposure and exhibition, publicly and privately, and for your pleasure. She is to wear her hair, and such, as you please. Belittle and mock her, if you wish. Scorn and detest her, if you wish. Do not be easy to please. Never let her forget that she is a slave, only that. Command her. Master her. Yours is the whip. Hers is the collar. Do not let her forget this. Work her well, and derive much pleasure from her, inordinate pleasure. She is your slave.
"The slave is nothing," I said. "You must clearly understand that."
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Do not speak of love," I said.
"Forgive me, Master," she said.
"I love you," she said, "I love you, I love you, my master!"
"Beware," I said.
"Do not have me sold!" she said. "Do not put me on the block! I am so helpless!"
"I do not own you," I said.
"It is your collar I would beg to wear!"
"Surely you wish to be free," I said.
"No, no, no!" she wept. "I want to be a slave!"
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I am a slave," she said. "It is in my heart to love and serve! I want to give all. I want a master! I want to be owned! Chain me, tie me, master me! I want to be so desired, so wanted, so lusted for, that it would not occur to a man to keep me other than as what I am, as a slave, even to the whip! That is how I want to be kept! Oh, I would strive to be found pleasing!"
I disengaged her hands and held them apart, looking down on her, she on her knees at my feet. Then, holding her hands, I put my right foot against her left shoulder, and then spurned her to the floor, as the slave she was, and she turned, tears on her cheeks, and looked up at me. "I love you," she said. "I love you! Care for me, care for me, just a little, Master!"
"You are a slave," I said, turning away.
I saw two Initiates in their snowy white, with their golden pans held out, to receive offerings. Commonly they do nothing for coin received, but, occasionally, they agree to bless the giver, and commend him to Priest-Kings. Among their many services, for a sufficient fee, they assure success in business, politics, and love, which successes are unfailing, it is said, unless they not be in accord with the will of the Priest-Kings.
Unmastered she is an angry leaf in the wind, without direction, no better than a free woman, flung about, tormented and unfulfilled. She longs to obey, to love and serve.
But the simple words of Captain Nakamura, I thought, even more than a darkening cloud, had engloomed the chamber. It was as though they had enkindled a mysterious lamp, a lamp of memory, which, when lit, emitted not light, but darkness, fear, and cold. Where there had been warmth, light, joy, touching, and love, there was now a dampness, as of the dungeon, a darkness as of caverns, a polar chill, the coldness of fearful order, of propriety, of a vision of justice, as unwelcome as the touch of a snake at night.
"Do not hate me, Master!" she wept. "I love you! I love you!"
"I love my master," she said. "It was intended for him, and it was my charge to see that he received it.
I was brought here as most from my world, as animals for your markets, selected for qualities and attributes of interest to strong men, qualities and attributes for which strong men, historically, even on my old world, will bid and pay, those qualities and attributes so despised in us, and yet coveted, I think, by your free women, beauty, desirability, weakness, vulnerability, femininity, a readiness and longing for submission, an inevitability to become, in a man's hands, the helpless, begging prisoner of our own passion, a desire to love and serve, to give all, to belong unstintingly and wholly, to be a sort of woman, meaningless and worthless, a man's subdued, yielding, grateful, loving slave!
"Some slaves, many slaves," said another of the instructresses, wistfully, "fall in love with their masters."
"It is hard to be at the feet of a man, and be mastered, and not do so," said another of the instructresses, "particularly if he should show you some kindness."
"To be sure," said another of the instructresses, "the slave is not to be loved, as she is worthless, no more than an animal."
"Love is for free persons, companions," said another, "not for animals and their masters."
"Men fear to care for a slave," said another. "Consider how their friends will laugh and make sport of them."
"The girl will soon again be on the block," said another.
"If you should love your master, Allison," said another, "it would be wise for you to conceal your feelings."
"I will never love a master," I said. I was derived from a class of women who did not think in terms of love, but in terms of advancement, in terms of practicality, in terms of position, station, prospects, power, and wealth.
How horrifying to want to be owned, to want to belong to a man, wholly, and desire to love and serve him, forever, abjectly, and unquestioningly, to the best of one's ability!
Is not our speech our delight, our pleasure, our joy, our recreation, our weapon, our instrument, our gift? Is it not that whereby we can make known our feelings, our hopes, and fears; that whereby we can express ourselves, plead our causes, make known our wants, needs, and desires, that by means of which we can petition, influence, and wheedle? Is it not that by means of which we may beg for mercy, hope to be heard and understood, hope to placate the large, dangerous beasts who own us? Without it we are muchly helpless; without it how even can we best surrender and submit without it how can we best acknowledge and serve our masters? Without it how can we well profess our love?
"I love you, Master," I said.
"A slave's love is worthless," he said.
"But I do love you!" I said.
"Beware that you are not lashed," he said.
"Yes, Master," I said.
Allison, a slave, had confessed her love for Desmond of Harfax, a free man. What presumption, what insolence! Did she think she was a free woman, whose love was of inestimable value, a priceless gift a love worth having? She was a slave. A slave is less than the dirt beneath the sandals of a free person. What could her love be but a foolishness, a joke, a source of merriment, an absurdity, an insult, an embarrassment? How fortunate she was that she had not been beaten. Had he been her master, as he was not, she might have been sold the next morning. Is the slave not to keep her thoughts to herself? Is she not to conceal her love for her master? And yet I knew, from a hundred slaves, in the house of Tenalion, and in Ar, from the streets and markets, and from the camps, and elsewhere, that it was common, almost universal, for a girl to love the man at whose feet she knelt, he in whose collar she was fastened.
How tragic then that so frequently she dares not confess her love for her master, but must conceal it, to her misery, in the depths of her heart.
A tear coursed down my cheek. Surely I should not have let those fateful words slip out. "I love you, Master." But it seemed that I had not said them, so much as that they had said themselves. I knew, of course, that a slave's love was worthless.
Who did not know that? It had been fortunate that my boldness, my lapse, had not been rewarded with a whipping!
I rubbed the oil, in small, firm circular motions, into the broad harness.
It is not as though I myself, upon reflection, had said those words, I thought. I am not really responsible for them. They had spoken themselves. They were meaningless, in that sense. It is as though they had not been spoken, though, it was true, they had been uttered. Thus, I thought, I do not really love him. It could not be! It is a misunderstanding. How could I love him, truly?
How unfortunate had been those foolish words, "I love you, Master." They could not be mine. They had slipped out. Surely I could not have meant them! Still, I often dreamed of myself at the foot of his couch, naked, fastened to a slave ring.
What an inexplicable dream!
I wondered if I were capable of loving.
Could I love?
I recalled myself from Earth. It seemed to me unlikely that that Allison Ashton-Baker could have loved. She had been too selfish, too egotistical, too self-centered. She had been too ambitious, too opportunistic, too calculating, too rational. Her relationships with men and boys, when not addressed to her amusement, had been invariably shrewd, prudential, and exploitative.
Much had changed since then.
Now she was on Gor a marked, collared slave girl.
She was softer now, more helpless, more vulnerable, more dependent, now without status, now scarcely clothed.
Much had changed.
I sensed that the former Allison Ashton-Baker, now in a collar, might now love. I had the sense that when one is locked in a collar, it is easy to love. One hopes for love, one wants love, one needs love.
But how frightful that one might not dare to express this, lest one be beaten or sold!
Desmond of Harfax, I was sure, thought me incapable of love.
Were he not a beast and thus incapable of such emotions one might have supposed he was in love with her.
"I do not hate you, Master," I said. "I love you!"
"Your hair is growing out," he said.
"I love you," I said. "I love you!"
"Of what worth is the love of a worthless slave?" he asked.
"Of no worth, Master," I said.
I rose to all fours. I dared not meet his eyes.
"Garmenture," said he. "And fetch your pack. We must join the others."
Shortly thereafter I stood on the trail. I was now tunicked. I stood very still. Our party must be a pasang, or so, ahead. He adjusted the pack. That is sometimes done.
"I do love you, Master," I whispered to him. "I think I have loved you since the Sul Market, in Ar, when I was half-stripped, with my wrists bound behind me, and you, a stranger, ordered me to my knees before you!'
I supposed many women of my old world would not have understood something this meaningful, and simple, the love and gratitude the pleasure of a slave in the presence of a master.
This solicitude was hard to understand, as he was a mere beast, and she was clearly human. If he had been human, or fully human, which he was not, the dilemma might at least in principle have been comprehensible. As it was, it made no sense. If it were not absurd, so out of the question, biologically, and such, one might have thought some sort of infatuation, even love, was involved.
"And how is it then," he asked, "that you love him?"
"I, love?" I said.
"Yes," he said.
"On Earth," I said, "I did not love. I did not know what love was. But here, with a collar fastened on my neck, I know."
"You love Desmond of Harfax," he said.
"Yes," I said.
"With the love of a free woman?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I love him with the most profound and deepest love a woman can know. I love him with the love of a helpless, yielding slave for her master."
"Please, Master!" I said. "Forgive me! I did not mean what I said! I love you, my Master! In my heart, though muchly resisting, I knew myself your slave, even from the Sul Market, long ago! And did you not look down upon me, kneeling at your feet, and know that I was your slave?"
"A slave," I said, "wants to be owned, to belong, to love, to serve, to be helpless, to be mastered, to be subject to discipline, to be dominated without qualification, concession, or compromise, to be treated as the female she is, to be overwhelmed, taught controlled, and commanded. What woman wants to relate to a man by whom she is not so wanted, wanted with such force and power, with such demand and uncompromising will, with such desire, with such lust, that nothing less than her absolute possession will satisfy him? The master will be satisfied with nothing less than his slave, and the slave with nothing less than her master."
Sometimes my master, when it pleases him, loosens the disrobing loop on my tunic, allowing it to fall to my ankles, ties my hands behind my back, and kneels me before him, while he reclines in a curule chair, allowing me to speak. Whereas I have a general permission to speak, I love such times, for it reminds me that I am a slave before her master, and that I require permission to speak.
I do not presume to speak for a sex, but I trust I may speak for an individual, myself. Doubtless women are quite different. One may wish for something which another does not. One may envy men, and another may find this emotion incomprehensible. One may hope to be served, and another to serve. One may hate, and another love. There are many things I have never understood, and how ignorant and stupid seem the ideologues, the tyrants, and fools, who see complexity in terms of conditioned, programmed simplicities.
I wanted to live for him, to love him and serve him, wholly, and selflessly. But I was unworthy even to fetch his sandals in my teeth.
For example, we are taught the licking and kissing of a man's whip in such a way that he may be driven mad with passion. Too, of course it has its effect on the slave, as well. The kissing of the feet is also, obviously, symbolic of submission, and is rich in significance. For example, it indicates that the slave is her owner's animal. It is often a placatory behavior. It may also express contrition, gratitude, and a slave's love.
I belong at a master's feet. I want to love and serve, choicelessly, in sweet abasement.
Some women wish to serve and love, to submit themselves selflessly, wholly, and helplessly.
What is she good for then, but love, service, and submission?
I looked up at him. Tears were in my eyes. My lips were parted. I was at his feet, where I belonged. Surely he must know I loved him, that I was his, his even from another world, his by all the fierce, uncompromising rights of nature.
No longer did I think of escape. All such thoughts fled from me. I loved him! I wanted only to be his! I wanted to love and serve him! I wanted to be only his helpless, loving slave!
Surely he could see the hope the surrender, the love, in my eyes. I forced myself to hold my hands down on my thighs, that I not lift them piteously to him. I did not wish to be cuffed. But I found them turned, inadvertently, so that their palms were uppermost, their small, soft, sensitive, vulnerable expanses of tissue exposed to him.
"You do not want freedom," said a girl. "You want a master. You want to kneel naked before a man, and bend down and kiss his feet. You want to lift your head, and lick and kiss his whip. You want to be owned, to belong wholly, to submit, to obey, to be dominated, to be mastered, to be possessed as only a slave can be possessed, to grovel, to selflessly love and serve."
And when I learned of collars, stunned, startled, and almost fainting, almost losing consciousness, in my junior year in high school, that there should even be such things, I knew that I belonged in one, and wanted one. I wanted to love and serve, selflessly and choicelessly, to belong, to be owned, to be possessed, to be subject to the rope and chain, to be subject to the whip to be mastered.
Were we the less women for our needs, our passion, our attractiveness, our beauty, our desire to love, and serve?
"Laura loves Master," she said.
"Laura is a liar," I said.
"Slaves are not permitted to lie," she said.
"I love Master!" she suddenly wept.
"With what love?" I asked.
"With the deepest and most profound of loves," she said, "the helpless, abject love of a slave!"
"I thought you hated me," he said.
"I love you!" I sobbed.
My left cheek, my head struck to the side, stung with the sudden, fierce, angry, open-handed slap of his smiting right hand, and I might have reeled and fallen, save that his left hand, its grip close to the leash collar, held me upright, in place. Tears streamed from my eyes, and my cheek burned with pain. He relaxed his grip enough that I could get to my knees, and I knelt before him. I must look up at him, for the leash was pulled up taut, and tight, gripped in his fist. "Forgive me, Master," I said.
He looked down upon me, with a savage, angry, ferocious light in his eyes, with all the contempt with which the free may regard a slave.
"Even a beast may love her master," I said.
"Do not dare speak of love, you blasphemous she-tarsk," he said. "You are not a free woman but what you should be a meaningless slave. You are an article to be used, an object purchased for work and pleasure, for inordinate raptures of unspeakable pleasure, to be derived from your body whenever and however a master might please."
"I must hate you!" he cried.
"No!" I cried. "Love me!"
"Love?" he said. "For a slave!"
"Forgive me, Master," I said.
He seemed beside himself with fury. He strode to his pack, tore it open, and drew forth the whip shaking its blades free.
"I love you, Master!" I said. "Please do not beat me!"
He held the whip two hands on the staff.
"May not even a she-sleen love her master?" I said.
How fulfilled I felt at his feet. What a joy it was to acknowledge myself a slave, at the feet of her master. What free woman can understand this, I wondered. What free woman can understand what it is to surrender themselves wholly, to abandon themselves unqualifiedly to love and service, asking nothing but hoping to give all? But perhaps, I thought, many free women can understand this, some surely, for what is a free woman but a slave, lacking her collar?
Certainly it is pleasant to have a loving slave at one's feet. Is not love the strongest of her chains? To be sure, one must guard against caring for a mere slave. Occasionally she might be whipped, if it seems appropriate, to remind her that she is a slave, and only a slave. This, too, as she loves her bondage, and would not exchange its freedom for the narrowness and imprisonment of the free woman, can be rewarding and reassuring to her, even in its tears.
"He loved me, he wanted me, he would have done anything for me!" she cried.
"He loves me!" she said. "A woman can tell! He loves me! He is mine, helplessly and hopelessly mine!"
"Perhaps no longer," I said.
"I want only to kneel, to kiss the feet of a master, to love and serve him as the slave I am, to please him, and wholly, as the slave I am!"
"You love me, Gregory," she said. "You know you do! You have loved me from the first moment you saw me! I will let you hold me! I will let you kiss me! Choose me, free me!"
Do they object to the slave's openness and freedom, to the liberation of her femininity, to her desire to selflessly love and serve, to her happiness, to her passion, to her sexual fulfillments, to her categorical ownership by a master whom she must serve, who will have, and without qualification, whatever he wishes from her?
"You cannot leave me behind! I am Margaret, Margaret Wentworth. We are both of Earth! Remember New York! Remember the office! We came to Gor together! You want me! You love me! You will do whatever I want! Free me! I am chained! Free me! Take me with you!"
"He loves me!" she said.
"You are not a free woman," I said. "You are a slave, a beast. Perhaps you might hope at best, if you are fortunate, that he might find your flanks of interest."
"I love you," she said, "Master."
"Lying slave," he sneered.
"I dare not lie, Master," she said. "I am a slave!"
"Speak," he said, coldly.
"I always loved you, even on Earth," she said, "even when I despised you for your weakness. Do you not understand? I wanted to be taken in hand, and put to your feet. I longed for, and needed a master, not an associate, a pet."
He then held the whip to her, and, weeping, she held it in both hands, and, head down, licking and kissing, lavished upon it the ecstasy of the submitted slave.
"I love you, I love you, Master!" she said.
Pertinax put his hand to the side of her face, and she twisted her head, pressing her lips, quickly, almost furtively, on his wrist. "I am yours," she whispered. "I love you, my Master!"
On her knees, submitted, is where she is and wants to be. She wants to love and serve, wholly and selflessly.
Gorean masters are seldom lenient with their slaves. They may love their slaves, but they treat them as slaves.
She is now helplessly, gladly, in her place in nature, owned by a male. Her identity is now on her. She knows how to be, how to act, how to speak, how to love.
"I have studied men much," said Lord Nishida "and I do not understand them."
"Nor I," I said. "There is always love and honor, and greed and gold. Some ascend the steps of blood and paint the black dagger. Others grasp at sparkling pebbles and tiny disks of yellow metal. Others will die for a Home Stone."
"Where is Nezumi?" I asked, standing on the wharf, in the bustle, men moving about me, Pani and barbarians.
"I left her at the camp," he said, "chained by the neck to a post."
"You know she loves you," I said.
"What is the vulnerable, helpless love of a slave?" he asked.
"The deepest and most profound love that a woman can bear a man," I said.
"They cannot help themselves," he said. "They need masters. They have been bred for masters."
"I know a world where many never find their masters," I said.
"I recall such a world," said Tajima.
"I think you love Nezumi," I said.
"Do not joke," said Tajima. "She is a slave."
"Much is obscure," I said, "but you were abducted that those of Lord Temmu might have some means to force me to their will."
"Because of your helpless love of me!" she laughed.
"You love me," she said.
"Love," I said, "for a slave?"
"For Talena, daughter of Marlenus!" she said.
"You are Adraste," I said, "a slave."
"Then for Adraste," she said, "a slave!"
"What fool could love a slave?" I asked.
"What man cannot?" she said.
"There are many slaves," I said.
"But only one such as I!" she said, triumphantly.
"Each slave is unique," I said, "and different and special in her collar."
"But they are all slaves!" she said.
"Yes," I said, "wholly, and completely."
"You love me!" she said.
"So I must do whatever Lord Temmu asks?" I said.
"Yes!" she said.
"But I will not," I said.
"I do not understand," she said, shaken.
"Do not fear," I said. "No dire fate will be imposed upon you by Lord Temmu as a consequence of my decision, lest the cavalry retaliate."
"You do love me!" she said.
"You are of little interest," I said. "But you are a vulnerable, helpless, owned beast. I would do as much for a tarsk, a verr, or kaiila."
"I hate you!" she screamed.
I then left the chamber.
"I always loved you," she said, "even on Earth, when I despised you, for your weakness. I dreamed of being your slave! Even in my contempt of you, I would take no other with me to this perilous, beautiful world! Now I kneel before you, braceleted, leashed, in your collar, your slave!"
"You will not leave me here!"
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because I own you," she said. "You are mine. You are caught in the coils of my net!"
"I do not understand," I said.
"Love!" she said. "You love me! You are mine! You are helplessly in love with me!"
"No, I said.
"'No'?" she said.
"No," I said. "Once, perhaps, but no more. I know you now."
"Beast!" she hissed.
"As you wish," I said.
"Love me!" she cried.
"Do not speak foolishly," I said. "You are a slave. One does not love slaves; one owns them, one lusts for them, one masters them, and teaches them their sex."
"I long for a man to put me in his collar!" she said. "I want to be marked. I long to wear the chains of my master. I want to submit to men, to kneel before them, and serve, and love, and please them!"
"I have long hoped," she said, "to be noticed, to be acquired, to be picked, to be harvested, as slave fruit, to love and serve, to belong lovingly, selflessly, wholly to another. That was my dream. But I thought myself too plain, of too little interest."
I turned to him, rising on my elbow. "I love you," I whispered, "- Master."
Toward morning I had turned to him, rising on my elbow, and had addressed him. "I love you," I had whispered, "- Master."
We, kitchen slaves, were all at his disposal. We all responded to him. Certainly I had writhed in his arms, on my chain, pleading, as I succumbed, helpless under his Gorean touch.
But Fina had golden hair, and loved him.
"No, Master," I said. I recalled being in his arms, and crying out my love for him.
I recalled I had, in Victoria, cried out my love for him, a slave's love for her master. Then he had rid himself of me.
"Apparently Master thinks me stupid," I said.
"Naive, ignorant, unreflective, not thinking, perhaps," he said, "but not stupid. We do not bring stupid women to Gor. What would they be good for? Who would buy them? They do not sell well. We want something worthwhile, stripped on the block. We look for women who are highly intelligent, and highly sexed, women who are healthy and vital, women with profound physical and emotional needs, women who desire to be women, desire to submit and surrender, who long for the collar who desire to love and serve, who find themselves and their fulfillment in their subjugation, who understand and become themselves only in a man's chains."
I fear that I many times cried out my love for Kurik of Victoria. I wept in his arms, his. At last he cuffed me to silence. "The love of a slave is worthless," he said. "She is merely to be dominated, owned, ravished, mastered, and put to one's pleasure as the worthless, meaningless beast she is. She is bought, and collared, an article of property. Do not dare speak of love!" "Yes, my Master!" I cried. "Own me, as the worthless, meaningless beast I am!" He then struck me, again. "Do not use the words 'my Master' to me," he said, angrily. "Forgive me, Master," I begged. The slave addresses all free men as 'Master', and all free women as 'Mistress', but she uses the words 'my Master' only to her actual master, her owner. "Perhaps," I thought, "the love of a slave is worthless, but what love can begin to compare with the love of a slave for her master? What greater, deeper, more profound love can a woman have than that of a humble, abased, collared slave for her master?"
I recalled how, long ago, in Victoria, when I was new to my collar, I had cried out my love for him, and had been soon, I thought abruptly, inexplicably, sold. One is not to care for a slave. Did not all know that? Might one not be mocked for such a weakness? Would that not call forth laughter in the taverns and exercise yards? How that would lessen a man in his own eyes! How then could he respect himself? Did he fear some concession or compromise that might diminish or tarnish his cherished, mighty self-esteem? But could a master not care a little for a slave? Why not? Might he not feel as much for a kaiila or pet sleen? I was afraid, for I wanted to belong to him. I must try to conceal my love for him, but it is not easy for a slave to conceal her love. She is the most open and helpless of all women. How is she to control her expressions, her lips, her tiny movements, her eyes? It is as difficult for her to conceal her feelings as it is her body. Her emotions are as public to view as her lineaments.
What had I with which to please him but my body, my needs, and, I fear, the love of a helpless slave?
"Surely," he said. "What games can compare to those of blood and steel?"
"Those of flowers, and love," I said.
"They are often intertwined," he said.
What terror there is in the collar, what joy there is in the collar! I loved him, but dared not tell him. He was my master.
"Frequently," she said. "It is what I am for, I am a slave. And what ecstasy can compare to that of the mastered, ravished slave? I love it! I love it!"
So I knelt beside him, and put my cheek down, on his knee. I wanted to cry out my love for him, for my master, but I dared not do so, lest I be whipped, and sold.
Could I not, if I wished, despite his estimation of her, despite her love for him, take him away from her? What she did, could I not do better, more deliciously?
"I love him, Drusus Andronicus," she said.
"Have you told him?" I asked.
"No!" she said. "I do not wish to be whipped, and sold."
"You are daring, indeed," I said, "to love one not your master. Consider the risks attendant upon so grievous an indiscretion."
"I am well aware of the dangers," she said.
"Put thoughts of Drusus Andronicus from your mind," I said.
"I cannot," she said.
"You are the slave of Decius Albus," I said.
"Decius Albus knows few of his slaves, and has little interest in them," she said. "Drusus Andronicus is powerful in the house. It is his whip that is muchly feared in the pens. And, to my dismay, he can have his pick of most of the slaves, many of whom are far more beautiful than I, and some of whom, I fear, dear Phyllis, are even as beautiful as you. On a whim, should I prove in the least displeasing, or even if I were not displeasing, he could have me hooded and taken to a market. No, I am a slave, and dare not confess my love for him, even were he my master. It must be enough that I am beside myself, helpless, and uncontrollable, a slave, in his arms."
"I love you," I said.
I cried out with misery, as he seized my hair, and yanked me to my feet, and cuffed me, twice, and I tasted blood in my mouth, and he threw me angrily to his feet, and I put my head down over his feet, my hair over them, my forehead pressed against them. "Forgive me, Master," I said.
"It is acceptable for a slave to love her master," said Kurik. "What does it matter, one way or another? She is only a beast, an animal, a slave."
"But not to tell him so?" I said.
"It can bring the lash," he said.
"Then," I said, "the slave is so helpless, that her love burns so in her heart, but she dare not cry out her love for her master?"
"Because I am your slave," I said. "I want to be your slave. I want to please you, so much! I want desperately to be found pleasing by you! I am in your collar! You are my master!" I dared not cry out my love for him. I did not want to be cuffed, or kicked, or put again under the lash! How unworthy I was, a woman of Earth, a barbarian, even to be the despised slave of such a male!
"You were not pleasing," he said.
"Forgive me, Master," I said.
As I lay at his feet, lashed, sobbing, my skin aflame, my greatest pain, by far, was my remorse, my bitter shame and grief, that he had seen fit to beat me. I had not been found pleasing. The depth, the globality, the poignancy of this misery is perhaps comprehensible only to a woman who has been a man's slave.
"Do you know why you were beaten?" he asked.
"I attempted to interest another master," I said.
"What a fool you are," he said. "Do you think I do not know the nature of slave girls, how they relish being looked upon, how conscious they are of their attractions, how they love it that a scarcely garbed flank is viewed with interest, that one observes the sensitivity and delicacy of their features, speculates on what would be the touch of their lips, or hair, marvels at the provocativeness of a shoulder, a forearm, the delicious curve where hip meets waist, the madness of their ankles and calves, the joys of their bosoms, the loveliness of a waist, the sweet width of their love cradles, the excitements of their throats, locked in their collars. Why do you think we buy and own them! And do you not think they do not well know why they are bought and owned? They love being the fullest, the most complete, and most perfect of women."
"I love you!" I cried.
"A slave's love is worthless," he said.
"No!" I said. "The love of a slave is the fullest, the deepest, the most helpless of all loves! No love can compare with the love of a slave!"
"Do you wish to be cuffed?" he asked.
"I am yours to whip," I said, "I am your slave, yours to serve, yours to ravish as you wish, yours to love!"
"Beware," said he, "mere pleasure beast."
"Forgive me, Master," I said.
Why is prescription superior to need and desire? If one desires to submit, to kneel, to serve, and love, why should one not do so?
"Here on this world," I said, "I have found myself. Do not, I beg you, take me away from myself! I wish to be a man's belonging. I want to love and serve, selflessly. I want to be owned, and mastered!"
My master was often thoughtful. I muchly loved him, and I suspected he might care for me, at least a little, but it was not wise, of course, to enter into such matters. I would not have cared to be hooded and led to a market.
So much I loved him; so much I was his!
"I am not only a slave, but I want to be a slave," I said. "I want to be in a collar and chains. I want to have no choice but to submit and obey, to love and serve my master."
"Doubtless," I said. But how could freedom compare with the collar, with being owned, with being a belonging, with the helpless love of a slave for her master?
Did I long to love and serve, surrendered and vulnerable, helpless, owned, and choiceless, to serve rightlessly, helplessly, selflessly?
On Gor I had hoped to find a master who would love me and whom I might love.
How helpless a slave is in the arms of a man of Gor. How easy it is to understand how one could beg for their caresses. How easy it would be to belong to such a man. How easy it would be, as a helpless slave, subdued and owned, to fall in love with such a man, one of a thousand masters.
I did not want freedom but a strong, fine master whom I might submissively and helplessly love and serve, with my whole being and heart, forever, a master in whose keeping, he so strong and powerful, I could never forget I was a slave, only a slave, the slave I was and wished to be.
"I am indispensable to Pa-Kur!" she said.
"Are you?" asked Florian.
"He loves me!" said Dorna.
"He loves blood, steel, and power," said Florian, "and you, while beautiful, are only a slave."
I did not want freedom. I wanted a master, a master whom I might love and serve, wholly and devotedly, who would subject me to the authority, warmth, passion, strength, and domination which I, a slave, wanted so much, for which I so much longed.
I wanted more than anything to love and serve a master, helplessly and rightlessly, one who would own me and treat me as the slave I was.
How I had tried to hate him, and despise him! But I loved him, wholly, helplessly, hopelessly.
I wanted to love him a thousand times more than could a free woman. I wanted to love him with the selfless, marvelous, abject, wonderous love of a slave. Ela, I was not even a high slave, only a cheap, common girl, easily affordable, purchasable even by men of modest means. I knew I was nothing to him. But I loved him with every particle of my owned, marked, and collared body, with every particle of my heart and belly.
Did he not know that I helplessly and hopelessly loved him, that I longed for his chains?
"I love you," I said.
"Beware," he said, "lest you be beaten."
"Forgive me, Master," I said. I did not wish to be beaten.