Have you heard of the Gor books written by John Norman? If so, what do you think of them – sexy or sexist? Many people find the Master/slave descriptions in the books very exciting; others see them as too extreme and unrealistic.
The concept of the thirty four books in the series is that men are born to dominate, women are born to serve, and it is only in these roles that each gender can be truly fulfilled. There are Free Women in the books, but it is made clear that each one secretly longs to be enslaved by a strong man (or at least, if she doesn’t long for it, when it does happen it makes her the happiest she has ever been in her life). There are slave men too but it is understood that they will fight to the death trying to regain their rightful freedom.
Could the ideals that John Norman describes really work or are they simply an erotic fantasy? Some people try and recreate the D/s lifestyle that is depicted in the books either online or in real life but what would happen if, for some inexplicable reason, we were all plunged into the Gorean world and lifestyle? Would everyone be joyously happy and lead wonderfully stress-free, fulfilled lives, as the author seems to suggest would be the case?
It would be fascinating to set up a real life experiment to find out. Take a few hundred willing volunteers, put them all together in one closed-off area, and then see what happens! Would the men slowly become more and more dominant and would the women naturally, happily and gracefully submit? I have my doubts…
I admit that I love the philosophy in the books, but I don’t agree that the lifestyle or ideals would work for everyone. A woman who enjoys giving up control and who loves to be dominated by a strong, powerful man, wouldn’t necessarily want to be owned by just any man, no matter how strong and powerful. And what if the woman is really intelligent and loves studying, reading and learning but her master keeps her as a sex slave purely for his sexual release. Or, what if the slave has a very high sex drive, finds the master incredibly good-looking, and wants nothing more than to be used by him ten times a day… and he uses her only as his cook? How could such a life be happy and fulfilling?
For me, the key is to find where you feel you belong and live there. I think that people are such varied and fascinating creatures and while it may well be that many women yearn to be owned by a strong man, not all do. And certainly, even those who do, probably wish to first choose the man to whom they submit and hand over complete control. In the same way, not all men wish to be dominant all the time and those who are naturally submissive, who are turned on by strong, powerful, forceful women would not be happy or satisfied if surrounded by sweet, submissive slave girls.
As much as I sometimes think that feminism can go too far, I am so grateful to have the option of choosing the type of relationship I can have. The lifestyle that John Norman writes about appeals to me in many ways but it would not, I believe, suit everyone. What does suit everyone is having the choice.