In Bondage On Gor: Slave Box

I’m not a huge fan of the Gorean mythos, because of various literary and philosophical objections. But I’d be a liar if I tried to deny that I didn’t read (and, er, enjoy) some of the Gor books as an impressionable young teenager. One of the scenes that made a big impression on me back then was when Elinor Brinton got herself branded, whipped, and thrown in the slave box in Captives of Gor:

The binding fiber was removed from her wrists but her hands, that she might not tear at her brands, were snapped behind her back in slave bracelets. Then, by the hair, she stumbling, scarcely able to stand, he dragged her to the small, square iron box which sat near the whipping pole, and thrust her within.

Crouching inside the box, I saw the door shut, and heard the two heavy, flat bolts sliding into place. I then heard the click of two padlocks, securing them in place.

I was locked inside. I could see a tiny slit of the outside through the aperture in the iron door, about a half an inch in height and seven inches in width. There was a somewhat larger opening at the foot of the door, about two inches in height and a foot wide. The box itself was square, with dimensions of perhaps one yard square. It was hot, and dark.

I remembered that a slave girl, on my first day in the camp of Rask of Treve, had warned me, that if I lied or stole, I would be beaten and put in the slave box.

I moaned and fell to my side, my knees drawn up under my chin, my hands braceleted behind me. My thigh burned terribly, from the branding, and my back and the back of my legs still screamed from the cruel flames of the leather lash. Elinor Brinton, of Park Avenue, had been branded as a liar, a thief and a traitress, and a bold tarnsman, from a distant world, her master, had put into her flesh, insolently, the mark of his own city. The girl in the slave box was under no delusion as to who it was who owned her. He had collared her, and, with a hot iron, had placed in her flesh his brand.

In the slave box, she fell unconscious. But that night, cold, she awakened, still in pain. Outside, she heard the sounds of pleasure and feasting, that celebration called in honor of the capturing of two young girls, who had fled from undesired companionships, which had been arranged by their parents.

I remained in the slave box. The door was opened, when I was braceleted, only to feed and water me. I was not allowed to stretch my body. On the fifth day the bracelets were removed, but I was kept in the box. My brands had now healed. But the box itself, its heat, its darkness, its tiny dimensions, worked their tortures in me.

In the first days, braceleted, I screamed and kicked, and begged to be released. After my bracelets were removed, and the food then, and water, would only be thrust through the hole under the tiny iron door, I pounded, and screamed, and scratched at the inside of the box. I thrust my fingers through the tiny aperture and cried out for mercy. I feared I would go insane. Ute would feed me, and fill my water pan, but she would not speak to me. Once, however, she did say to me, “You will be freed when your master wishes it, not before.” Once Inge came by, to taunt me. “Rask of Treve has forgotten you,” she said. Rena, too, accompanied Inge. “Yes,” she laughed, ” he has forgotten you. He had forgotten you!”

On the tenth day, instead of the pan of bread, with the water, Ute thrust a different pan under the door. I screamed. Tiny things, with tiny sounds, moved, crawling over and about one another in it. I screamed again, and thrust it back out. It had been filled with far, loathsome green insects which, in the Ka-la-na thicket, Ute had told me were edible. Indeed, she had eaten them. :They are nourishing,” she had said. I screamed hysterically, pounding at the sides of the slave box. The second day, too, I thrust the pan away, almost vomiting. I saw Ute, through the slit, take one of the insects and bite it in two, eating it. The third day, almost vomiting, I ate five of them. They, such insects, and water, were my food for the remainder of my time in the tiny slave box. I would spend hours at the slit in the door, hoping to see someone walk by. I would call to them, but they would not answer, for one does not converse with a girl in a slave box. Then I was happy, even, to see someone pass by, or birds alight on the grass and peck for seeds. I spent eighteen days in the slave box.

On the night of the eighteenth day, Ute, with Inge and Rena, crouched before the box.

“Does El-no-or, the slave, wish to leave the box?” asked Ute.

On my knees in the box, my eyes at the opening, frightened, my fingers on the slit, I whispered, “yes, El-in-or, the slave, wished to leave the box.”

“Does El-in-or, the slave, beg to leave the box?” asked Ute.

“Yes, yes!” I wept. “El-in-or, the slave, begs to leave the box!”

“Release the slave,” said Ute, to Inge and Rena.

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7 comments on “In Bondage On Gor: Slave Box”:

Freya commented on July 4th, 2005 at 10:45 am:

Ugh. I could go on and on about Gor and Goreanism but I won’t. But appealing to a teenaged boy is a great way of putting it. Of course, you moved on, others don’t.

Rope Guy commented on July 4th, 2005 at 11:25 am:

LOL — Thanks, Freya, for your restraint.

Nomads of Gor was my first-ever literary exposure to explicit male-dominant sexual memes, and I can admit it made an indelible mark on my psyche. (I still want a leather slave sack, although you can keep the dried bosk dung, thank-you-very-much.) But even at age thirteen or so, I was pretty clear that (a) these books weren’t very good fiction and (b) they were chock full of really astoundingly lame justifications for the kinky stuff that was going on. The books provided for me a sort of raw fantasy fuel (ideas for fun stuff a dominant man could do) but I almost instantly realized the need to find a more workable fantasy framework (and of course, many years later, real framework) within which to “get away with it” morally and ethically and, at bottom, aesthetically.

So I wouldn’t say I “moved on” — because I never really lingered there, despite reading the books with great interest.

None of which changes the fact that my town would be improved by a really good paga tavern. {grin}

CollectorX commented on July 11th, 2005 at 4:10 am:

A while back, I tracked down some of the Gor books I had as a teen via Amazon.com (they come and go out of print apparently). I didn’t find them very readable, except for “the good parts”. :) But now that I think about it, when I was a teen I probably just skipped to the good parts too. ;)

I’m still a big fan of bondage in the mainstream, and I’m a big fan of adult bondage material. The Gor series is one of those attempts to straddle the fence, and I’m not sure those things ever really work for me. Not enough bondage to be good bondage material, and not convincing enough to make for good mainstream.

But I still tip my metaphorical hat to the series for what it meant to me as a young teen, wired for bondage and still thinking I was the only one on the planet who felt that way.

Woody commented on July 17th, 2005 at 6:22 pm:

Yeah I was amazed at the first Gor book I read, I’d never read any type of bondage story at all, but always wanted to. At first John Norman seemed to be trying to keep things short but sweet, then must have started charging by the word. He ran it into the ground.
My favorite, Hunter of Gor. I can remember really getting into the story, word for word. Sure can’t do it now.
Nice site you have here.

slutev commented on August 23rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm:

gyrl also was hooked when reading Gor. There was a time she found a free site where every Gor story was found, but she lost the location. Maybe you know of it?

red silk kajira commented on February 24th, 2010 at 5:17 am:

i LOVE the books. Yes, the writing is lame. Yes, the back story is the silliest sci-fi ever written. But all of that was created to build a beautiful world where sexual slavery is a normal part of everyday life. slavegirls live in constant bondage under strict discipline. i highly recommend John Norman’s books. Oh! i’m a 47 year old woman, not a teenage boy.

Sablesword commented on September 6th, 2010 at 10:54 am:

I have this love-hate reaction to Gor. On one hand, they have a number of elements that hit my hot-buttons, and on the other hand they include a number of things that provoke a strong ick & squick response from me. They’re like moonshine whiskey: They’re of uneven quality, have a nasty taste, and are at least faintly toxic. But they do pack a real 100 proof emotional punch.

The reactions of others also support the “moonshine” analogy: People tend to either really like it, or really hate it, out of proportion to the flaws and virtues of the writing & world-building. Some wallow in it, some take a hatchet to it Carrie-Nation style, and many have a liking for it that they don’t want to admit.

What surprises me, though, is the high proportion of female Gor fans: I would have thought it to be an overwhelmingly male fantasy, with maybe a 2% female audience. Instead, I’ve heard that the audience is roughly half female, or even a little bit more.

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