Gorean subculture is a fandom based on the philosophy espoused in John Norman's long-running sword and planet novel series Chronicles of Counter-Earth .
Gorean subculture developed independently of Norman's involvement, particularly starting as a fan network after the publishing houses ceased printing new paperback editions of the novels, allegedly due to the controversy and pressure from feminist circles, and the Gor books went out of print in the late 1980s(trade paperback and e-book sequel novels were subsequently published from 2001 to 2016). It does not have a uniform following, but encompasses different groups of varying views and practices.
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Although Norman's philosophy is concerned with the "order of nature" in a universal context of power and subordination, the Gorean subculture particularly focuses on the master-and-slave dynamic in sexual relationships and associated forms of female submission as portrayed in the novels. Therefore, although they are estimated to compose less than 5% of the total female population on Gor,training and keeping a female slave (often known as a kajira ) is central to Gorean subculture. Formal slave training, slave positions and commands, as well as slave attire and beautification, are practices central in the Gorean subculture.
Literalists, otherwise known as lifestylers, incorporate elements from the Gorean culture and gender roles in their daily livesand some followers of an unofficial splinter group known as Kaotians who adhered this approach were prosecuted for leading coercive sex cults. As opposed to literalists, the role players, divided into real-life sexual roleplayers (engaged or not engaged in BDSM practices) and online role-playing gamers (present particularly in Second Life ) are not necessarily committed to Gorean philosophy and ideals.
Starting from the 1990s, Gorean subculture has become attractive to a number of male teenagers through role playing in chat rooms. The teenage role-playing Goreans who concealed many of their personal aspects such as age or lack of experience, thanks to anonymity, managed to appeal to a considerable number of married and middle-aged women as kajirae in role-playing contexts.Such notoriety caused by this profile and related practices in the virtual Gorean community succeeded in creating disdain among both feminists and the BDSM community. Nevertheless, scholars have discussed the way that Gorean subculture groups on media such as Second Life and Internet Relay Chat have influenced the development of online role-playing and even the MMORPG genre.
Norman's non-fictional sex manual Imaginative Sex presents a series of elaborate fantasy scenarios to be acted out in isolated scenes. He also recommends the use of symbolic substitutes, such as the sound of claps as a substitute for whippings and other physical punishments. Pat Califia asserts that Norman was critical of the psychological and physical harm that non-stop BDSM slavery and corporal punishment might inflict.However, such views of Norman are not part of the Gorean canon and debate on Gorean practices' relationship to BDSM, focusing on aspects such as Total Power Exchange and further complicated by the community's diverse nature, continue. BDSM writer Michael Makai nevertheless asserts that Gorean fiction may be found responsible for shaping or otherwise popularizing many of today's established BDSM protocols and tenets.
BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves to be practising BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture often is said to depend on self-identification and shared experience.
A dominatrix is a woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities. A dominatrix might be of any sexual orientation, but her orientation does not necessarily limit the genders of her submissive partners. The role of a dominatrix may not even involve physical pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks, or servitude. A dominatrix is typically a paid professional (pro-domme) as the term dominatrix is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.
Gor is the fictional setting for a series of sword and planet novels written by philosophy professor John Lange, writing as John Norman. The setting was first described in the 1966 novel Tarnsman of Gor. The series is inspired by science fantasy pulp fiction works by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It also includes erotica and philosophy content. The Gor series repeatedly depicts men abducting and physically and sexually brutalizing women, who grow to enjoy their submissive state. According to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Norman's "sexual philosophy" is "widely detested", but the books have inspired a Gorean subculture. In particular, virtual simulations of role-playing Gorean communities in the video game Second Life are considered one of the most visible phenomena related to the Gorean subculture.
Bondage, in the BDSM subculture, is the practice of consensually tying, binding, or restraining a partner for erotic, aesthetic, or somatosensory stimulation. A partner may be physically restrained in a variety of ways, including the use of rope, cuffs, bondage tape, or self-adhering bandage.
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items. Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture self-consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Many participants associate leather culture with BDSM practices and its many subcultures. For some, black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles, motorcycle clubs and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.
John Norman is the pen name of John Frederick Lange Jr., who is the author of the Gor series of science fantasy novels, and a professor of philosophy.
Female submission or femsub is an activity or relationship in which a woman consents to submit to the direction of a sexual partner or allows her body to be used sexually by or for the sexual pleasure of her partner. The expression is often associated with BDSM, when the woman voluntarily and consensually submits to such activity. Submission usually involves a degree of trust by the woman in her partner. The dominant partner is usually a man, but can also be another woman, or there can be multiple dominant partners simultaneously. The submissive woman may derive sexual pleasure or emotional gratification from relinquishing control to a trusted dominant partner.
An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle perceived to be outside the cultural norm. The phrase may be used by someone to describe their own lifestyle or someone else's. Description of a related set of activities as an alternative lifestyle is a defining aspect of certain subcultures. It is often associated with living quite the opposite of the norm, or unconventional.
Sex-positive feminism began as a movement in the early 1980s centering on the idea that sexual freedom is an essential component of women's freedom. Some feminists became involved in the sex-positive feminist movement in response to efforts by anti-pornography feminists to put pornography at the center of a feminist explanation of women's oppression.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to BDSM:
Patrick Califia is an American writer of non-fiction essays about sexuality and of erotic fiction and poetry. Califia is a bisexual trans man. Prior to transitioning, he identified as a lesbian and as such wrote for many years a sex advice column for the gay men's leather magazine Drummer. His writings explore sexuality and gender identity, and have included lesbian erotica and works about BDSM subculture. Califia is a member of the third-wave feminism movement.
This glossary of BDSM terms defines terms commonly used in the BDSM community.
Dominance and submission is a set of behaviours, customs, and rituals involving the submission of one person to another in an erotic episode or lifestyle. It is a subset of BDSM. This form of sexual contact and pleasure has been shown to please a minority of people.
In BDSM, Master/slave, M/s or sexual slavery is a relationship in which one individual serves another in a consensual authority-exchange structured relationship. Unlike Dominant/submissive structures found in BDSM in which love is often the core value, service and obedience are often the core values in Master/slave structures. The participants may be of any gender or sexual orientation. The relationship uses the term "slave" because of the association of the term with ownership rights of a master to their slave's body, as property or chattel. While male "masters" will usually be referred to as "Master", whether or not female Masters are referred to as "Master" or "Mistress" may depend upon whether they identify as following the leather subculture or BDSM path, or simply preference.
Imaginative Sex is a non-fiction book by John Norman which includes a list of male-dominant/female-submissive heterosexual BDSM-type sexual fantasy scenarios, and suggested guidelines as to how a couple can act them out in order to improve their sex life.
BDSM is a frequent theme in culture and media, including in books, films, television, music, magazines, public performances and online media.
Gor is a 1987 science fiction and fantasy film based loosely on the 1966 novel Tarnsman of Gor, written by philosophy professor and author John Frederick Lange Jr. under his pen name John Norman. There was a sequel, Outlaw of Gor (1989).
Feminist views on BDSM vary widely from acceptance to rejection. BDSM refers to bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and Sado-Masochism. In order to evaluate its perception, two polarizing frameworks are compared. Some feminists, such as Gayle Rubin and Patrick Califia, perceive BDSM as a valid form of expression of female sexuality, while other feminists, such as Andrea Dworkin and Susan Griffin, have stated that they regard BDSM as a form of woman-hating violence. Some lesbian feminists practice BDSM and regard it as part of their sexual identity.
This is an index of BDSM articles. BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves as practicing BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.
Feminist views on sexuality widely vary. Many feminists, particularly radical feminists, are highly critical of what they see as sexual objectification and sexual exploitation in the media and society. Radical feminists are often opposed to the sex industry, including opposition to prostitution and pornography. Other feminists define themselves as sex-positive feminists and believe that a wide variety of expressions of female sexuality can be empowering to women when they are freely chosen. Some feminists support efforts to reform the sex industry to become less sexist, such as the feminist pornography movement.