Nine Wells Free Men Rules

A Gorean Free Male should be:

1)     First and Foremost Be Gorean
2)     Protect the HomeStone and all Property of the home
3)     Will pull Guard duty, patrolling the city and the surrounding areas
4)     Work with Bow and Sword to become an excellent Warrior for the home
5)      Spend time outside their homes
             a)  in the Cafe
             b) Having girls serve them food and drinks
             c)  socializing with other citizens
             d)  and of course Furring their own or city slaves
            
6)     If Furring is all you wish to do, I am sure you can find that in another sim, we are trying to build a more realistic BtB Gorean Home in 9 wells, and Gorean Men did not spend all their time in the furs.
7)     Get involved in the training of your slave(s), Make sure they are going to be pleasing to you and the other free they serve.
8)     Its up to each Free to do with his/her property as they wish, but slaves are here to serve all free, try to allow your girl(s)/boy(s) to serve food and drinks and dance for the free, sexually you restrict them as you see fit.
9)     if you wish to purchase a slut of the city, dont just use her then buy, Please be respectful of the city's Property, find the slaver and purchase her, we are going to keep white silk girls white for the sale of her. then once sold its up the the new owner to do with as He/She pleases.

Slave conduct

SLAVES
Any collared caught conducting themselves in a disrespectful manner towards free may be detained, punished, or killed.

Uncollared slaves can be captured and collared within Nine Wells

Any slave collared within the city walls is considered city property unless she/he specifically begs the Master's  or Mistresses' personal collar.

Slaves are allowed to defend themselves and their owner from immediate danger (rape, kidnapping, etc) and may only use small objects such as sticks, rocks, or brooms. Only male slaves (thralls) can use bows. Slaves are also allowed to keep small cutting stones or very small knives tucked in a thigh strap. slaves would use such devices to tan hides of animals or cut loose binding ropes. If however they use these tools to injure or threaten a free they will be put to death.

Trained and owned slaves or city slaves may not be bought or sold for $Lindens. City slaves or private slaves must have the proper paperwork from the Nine Wells Slaver or another legal city or group document to prove ownership. Sales of City slaves will be handled in RP items or coins only or even rp quests. See the City slavers for clarification or RP ideas that will earn you that slave.

Nine Wells Free Women Rules

Free Women

Freewoman Of Gor On Gor a Free woman is prized. She is respected and valued. As Free Women on Gor we hold a precarious position. We are valued and respected and at the same time our freedom is only as long as the Free Men wish it. Though, a Man can collar a FW as he wishes there are laws to prohibit it (in most cases)

Your Behavior should be that of respect to those around you (that includes slaves), You are a Lady, and in that you should act as such. Though Gor is a Harsh wild place, manners are paramount. It is even more so for a Free Woman. Her behavior is what either keeps her free or earns her a collar. Always respect the Men of Gor. You can speak your mind, have differing opinions, ,but always remember that you are free because they {the men} allow it. In fact an intelligent woman is much appreciated. Though a Gorean Free Woman can be passionate, haughty, opinionated..those are not excuses to be vulgar, rude, ill mannered or act overly sexual in public.

A Free woman should never show her heat in public. It is "courting the collar" to do so. She should always be reserved in her attentions. Oft times a word to describe a Free Woman is frigid. My personal opinion is that they may not all be such but appear as such in public. It is said that a Free woman fights her passions, for her to give into them is to submit to a collar. It is thought that a Free Woman that gives into her passion looses some control over herself. There for a Free woman shows herself to be cold and controlled, as if with out passion at all.

Though a Free Woman, You may still be punished. It can range from being face stripped to a timed collar. You must remember that as a woman on Gor your wellbeing rests in the Men. They have the option at all times to either protect you or to collar you for unbecoming behavior. Free Woman should know the things to runs her house as well as how to serve exotic dished, drinks, how to walk with grace, stand and be attractive and how to care for the men's equipment. In fact Free woman on Gor are not unfamiliar with slavery and its ways. One, due to the fact that they have probably owned one or two. but also because they know that at anytime they themselves may become one.

She should also refrain from "slave like" behavior. This will include overtly sensual actions or practices. Being too submissive, showing pleasure in compliments, sensual dances, the wearing of certain items {i.e. slave beads-even in private, anything upon the left ankle, choker style jewelry as it mimics a collar and may be taken as a sign of wish for one,ear ring as slaves are the only ones with piercings {or those that were once slave} it is with care that a woman should wear bracelets, though oddly enough a woman of the green oft wears two bracelets to show she has not has two children, which in some cities is mandate before she can become a Physician.

She should be careful of her dress, though it is oft a general idea that Robes of Concealment and Veils are proper for a Gorean Free Woman they are not mandated in all cities. But in general, to show to much flesh is frowned on. To some Men even showing a bared ankle is courting collar. It is best that when in public, to dress with Lady like modesty and decorum. This meaning no cleavage, modest length on the sleeves and long skirting.

 

Dresscode

Contrary to what most of us, especially those new Gor, tend to see or believe, Free Women on Gor, in the Books, did not always wear the cumbersome, ornate, Robes of Concealment, accompanied by up to eight layers of veils.  Actually, the dress of Free Women on Gor, by the Books was surprisingly varied, as we shall see, depending on Who They were, Their area of origin, even Their profession.

Why Should We Care?

Slaves - A slave ko-lared to a Free Woman, should care because in order to properly attend her Mistress, she needs to be thoroughly familiar with Her clothing and possession, and be able to determine what her Mistress might need for any occasion. For slaves not owned by Free Women, they would need to know what the Woman might be wearing in order to know how to serve Her properly. A reed straw would not be necessary in serving a Northern Free Woman Who does not wear veils. Nor would a slave kiss the dainty slippers of a Tuchuk Woman in Leathers and Boots! S

Free - The Free need to know what dress is appropriate for a Free Woman They may be dealing with for the place and occasion when the interaction occurs.

Common Dress for Free Women of the South

Robes of Concealment 

Undergown - a white under dress, sleeveless, diaphanous, floor length, resembling a Greek chiton, and split to the waist at the sides.

Overdress - the overdress is normally of heavy brocade, high collared, box pleated from the shoulders, stiff with jewels and pearls, shimmering with ornate embroidery and often closed down the front with Frog-type fasteners.

Hood - the head is covered normally by a hood, which may be fur-lined or trimmed, and to which the veils are normally pinned with ornate, jeweled pins.

Gloves - the hands are gloved, usually in white

Veils - there are normally five veils worn. For Free Companionship Ceremonies and other formal occasions, the number may be increased to up to eight. The five common veils are known as:

The first, or outermost veil is waist length, and normally of brocade to match the outer gown. It is called the Street Veil.
The second veil, beneath the Street Veil is called the House Veil. It is also waist length, and of a lightweight brocade, and may be of a contrasting color to the Street Veil.
Next is the opaque white Pride Veil, which hangs to just below the breasts.
Fourth is the Freedom Veil, sheer and hanging to just below the collar bone.
Lastly is the chin length, wispy modesty veil.

QUOTES:

"Free women, in most of the high cities on Gor, particularly those of higher caste, go veiled in public. Also they commonly wear the robes of concealment, which cover them from head to toe. Even gloves are often worn. There are many reasons for this, having to do with modesty, security, and such." ~Magicians of Gor, page 12~

"Eta, from behind me, pinned the first of five veils about my face. It was light, and shimmering, of white silk, almost transparent. Then, one after the other, she added the freedom veil, or veil of the citizeness, the pride veil, the house veil, and the street veil. Each of these is heavier and more opaque than the one which lies within. The street veil, worm publicly, is extremely bulky, quite heavy and completely opaque; not even the lineaments of the nose and cheeks are discernible when it is worn; the house veil is worn indoors when there are those present who are not of the household, as in conversing with or entertaining associates of one?s companion. Veils are worn in various numbers and combinations by Gorean free women, this tending to vary by preference and caste. Many low class Gorean women own only a single veil which must do for all purposes. Not all high-caste women wear a large number of veils. A free woman, publicly, will commonly wear, one or two veils; a frequent combination is the light veil, or last veil, and the house or street veil. Rich, vain women of high caste may wear ostentatiously as many as nine or ten veils. In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony." ~Slave Girl of Gor, page 106~

"I regarded the daughter of the Ubar, now a sorry sight. Her Robes of Concealment were splattered with mud and marsh water, and in several places the heavy brocade had stiffened and cracked. The dominant colors of her Robes of concealment were subtle reds, yellows and purples, arrayed in intricate, overlapping folds. I guessed it would have taken her slave girls hours to array her in such garments. Many of the free women of Gor and almost always those of High Caste wear the Robes of Concealment, though, of course, their garments are seldom as complex or splendidly wrought as those of a Ubar's daughter. The Robes of Concealment, in function, resemble the garments of Muslim women on my own planet, though they are undoubtedly more intricate and cumbersome. Normally, of men, only a father and a husband may look upon the woman unveiled

In the barbaric world of Gor, the Robes of Concealment are deemed necessary to protect the women from the binding fibers of roving tarnsmen. Few warriors will risk their lives to capture a woman, who may be as ugly as a tharlarion. Better to steal slaves, where the guilt is less and the charms of the captive are more readily ascertainable in advance." ~Tarnsman of Gor, page 87~

Reactions To and Punishment For Variations to this style of Dress

"It must be understood, of course, to fully appreciate what was going on, that the public exposure of the features of a freewoman, particularly one of high caste, or with some pretense to position or status, is a socially serious matter in many Gorean localities. Indeed, in some cities an unveiled free woman is susceptible to being taken into custody by guardsmen, then to be veiled, by force if necessary, and publicly conducted back to her home. Indeed, in some cities she is marched back to her home stripped, except for the face veil which has been put on her. In these cases a crowd usually follows, to see to what home it is that she is to be returned. Repeated offenses in such a city usually result in the enslavement of the female. Such serious measures, of course, are seldom required to protect such familiar Gorean proprieties. Custom, by itself, normally suffices." ~Players of Gor, page 124 & 125~

Note that according to this quote, ONLY REPEATED offenses resulted in enslavement of the Woman, not a single occurrence!

An unveiled woman, for example, may find other women turning away from her in a market, perhaps with expressions of disgust. Indeed, she may not even be waited upon, or dealt with, in a market by a free woman unless she first kneels. It would not be unusual for her, in a crowded place, to overhear remarks, perhaps whispers or sneers, of which she is the obvious object, such as "Shameless slut," "brazen baggage," "As immodest as a slave," "I wonder who her master is," and "Put a collar on her!" And if she should attempt to confront or challenge her assailants, she will merely find such remarks repeated articulately and clearly to her face." ~Players of Gor, page 125~
"She has fallen far from the favor of Belnar," he said. (Flaminius) "in Brundisium I am confident she will be permitted other a brevity of skirting, one suitable for slaves. Similarly I am confident she will be denied footwear and face veiling."
Players of Gor Pg 261

Earthen Medieval Laws, particularly sumptuary laws, which govern acceptable dress, when a law such as this shows up on the books, it indicated that such violations occurred often enough to make such a law necessary. Therefore we can conclude that the appearance of a Free Woman without a veil occurred perhaps more often than we like to think. It is also interesting to note here that a Free Woman could be DENIED her veils and robes of concealment as a punishment.

Major Exception in the South to the Requirement for Veils and Robes of Concealment - The City of Ar

"In Ar's Station," he said, "as in Ar, robes of concealment, precisely, are not legally obligatory for free women, no more than the veil. Such things are more a matter of custom. On the other hand, as you know, there are statutes prescribing certain standards of decorum for free women. For example, they may not appear naked in the streets, as may slaves. Indeed, a free woman who appears in public in violation of these standards of decorum, for example, with her arms or legs too much bared, may be made a slave." ~Renegades of Gor, page 367~

Alternative Work Dress for Southern Free Women

"She wore a full, beige skirt, the hem of which fell to within some six inches of the ground, and slim, high, black-leather boots, a beige blouse, and a beige jacket, belted, which fell to her thighs; too, she wore a loose hood, attached to the jacket by hooks, of matching beige material, and an opaque veil, also of beige material. Such garments, far less formal than the common attire of the Gorean free woman, are sometimes worn by rich women in the supervision and inspection of certain sorts of holdings, such as orchards, fields, ranches and vineyards. They constitute, for such women, so to speak, a habit for work." ~Fighting Slave of Gor, page 232~ Another Exception to the Requirement for Veils

"Free women, drinking, commonly lift their veil, or veils, with the left hand. Low-caste free women, if veiled, usually do the same. Sometimes, however, particularly if they are in public, they will drink through their veil, or veils. Sometimes, of course, free women will drink unveiled, even with guests. Much depends upon how well the individuals are known, and who is present. In their homes, of course, with only the members of their families present, or servants and slaves, most free women do not veil themselves, even those of high caste." ~Fighting Slave, page 276~

COMMON DRESS FOR WOMEN OF THE TAHARI

"The haik, black, covers the woman from head to toe. At the eyes, there is a tiny bit of black lace, through which she may see. On her feet were soft, black, nonheeled slippers, with curled toes; they were decorated with a line of silver thread.? ~Tribesmen of Gor, page 44~

COMMON DRESS FOR WOMEN OF THE NORTH

"In the northern villages, and in the forest towns, and northward on the coast the woman do not veil themselves, as is common in the cities to the south." ~Marauders of Gor, page 25~

"Her hair was hung in a snood of scarlet yarn, bound with filaments of golden wire. She wore, over her shoulder, a cape of white fur of the northern sea sleen. She had a scarlet vest, embroidered in gold, worn over a long-sleeved blouse of white wool, from distant Ar. She wore, too, a long woolen skirt, dyed red, which was belted with black, with a buckle of gold, wrought in Cos. She wore shoes of black, polished leather, which folded about her ankles, laced twice, once across the instep, once about the ankle." ~Marauders of Gor, page 25~

"She was very lovely and attractive in her hunting costume, brief tunic and long hose, brown, a scarlet cape and cap, the cap with a feather. She carried a short, yellow bow, of Ka-la-na wood, which could clear the saddle of the tharlarion, its missile being easily released to either side. Her black boots, slick and shining were spurred. A quiver of arrows, yellow, was at the left of her saddle." ~Beasts of Gor, page 111~

A Free Woman of Torvaldsland......"The free woman was a tall woman, large. She wore a great cape of fur, of white sea-sleen, thrown back to reveal the whiteness of her arms. Her kirtle was of the finest wool of Ar, dyed scarlet, with black trimmings. She wore two broaches, both carved of the horn of a kailiauk, mounted in gold. At her waist she wore a jeweled scabbard, protruding from which I saw the ornamented, twisted blade of a Turian dagger; free women of Torvaldsland commonly carry a knife; at her belt too, hung her scissors, and a ring of many keys, indicating that her hall contained many chests or doors; her hair was worn high, wrapped about a comb, matching the broaches, of the horn of kailiauk ; the fact that her hair was worn dressed indicated that she stood in companionship; the number of her keys, together with the scissors, indicated that she was mistress of a great house. She had gray eyes; her hair was dark; her face was cold and harsh.." ~Marauders of Gor, page 156~

COMMON DRESS OF TUCHUK WOMEN

"Tuchuk women, unveiled, in their long leather dresses, long hair bound in braids, tended cooking pots hung on tem-wood tripods over dung fires. These women were unscarred, but like the bosk themselves, each wore a nose ring." ~Nomads of Gor, page 27~

There was the sudden thud of a kaiila's paws on the grass between the wagons and a wild snorting squeal. I jumped back avoiding the paws of the enraged, rearing animal.
"Stand aside, you fool!" cried a girl's voice, and to my astonishment, astride the saddle of the monster I espied a girl, young, astonishingly beautiful, vital, angry, pulling at the control straps of the animal.
She was not as the other women of the Wagon Peoples I had seen, the dour, thin women with braided hair, bending over the cooking pots.
She wore a brief leather skirt, slit on the right side to allow her the saddle of the kaiila; her leather blouse was sleeveless; attached to her shoulders was a crimson cape; and her wild black hair was bound back by a band of scarlet cloth. Like the other women of the Wagons she wore no veil and, like them, fixed in her nose was the tiny, fine ring that proclaimed her people.
Her skin was a light brown and her eyes a charged, sparkling black.
"What fool is this?" she demanded of Kamchak.
"No fool," said Kamchak, "but Tarl Cabot, a warrior, one who has held in his hands with me grass and earth."
"He is a stranger," she said. "He should be slain!"
Kamchak grinned up at her. "He has held with me grass and earth," he said.
The girl gave a snort of contempt and kicked her small, spurred heels into the flanks of the kaiila and bounded away.

Nomads of Gor


COMMON DRESS FOR ALAR WOMEN

Alars
: a nomadic wandering herdspeople well known for their skill with the axe and the Alar sword, they travel in wagons in the northern plains, but tend to camp near settlements, unlike the southern wagon people. Their Free women do not wear veils, rather simple, corded, belted, woolen, plain, widely sleeved, ankle-length dresses, tied snugly. There are few slaves in the Alar camps because they are killed by Free women. The Alars tend to be fair in complexion, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Book 21: Mercenaries of Gor, pages 43, 45, 47, 48, 50 and 72

 
CONCLUSION

From all of the above, we can see that the dress of Free Women varies greatly on Gor, and that we cannot be too adamant about what was, and was not, worn or done.

Veil

A Free Woman will, depending upon the customs of her household and city, wear up to five separate veils simultaneously, each with a different purpose of concealment. These veils range in function from thin, gauzy ones worn close to the skin, all the way up to the heavily brocaded street veils worn by Free Women upon the streets and in the public gathering places of her city. The five basic veils worn by Free Women are, in the order they are donned: the last veil, the veil of the citizeness, the pride veil, the house veil, and the street veil.

THE LAST VEIL: The innermost of the five veils worn by free women; it is worn under the veil of the citizeness, and is often very sheer. Also known as the "privacy veil" or "modesty veil," it is worn in all places except within the private chambers of the Free Woman.

THE VEIL OF THE CITIZENESS:The second of the veils worn by free women; worn under the pride veil and over the last veil; it is worn by a Free Woman when she leaves her chambers for any reason. The right to wear this veil at all times is guaranteed to all Free Women upon attaining their majority and pledging citizenship. To strip this veil from a citizen of your own Home Stone is considered a violation of basic Gorean law.

THE PRIDE VEIL:The third veil worn by free women; worn under the house veil and over the veil of the citizeness, it is worn when a Free Woman is in her house. Unlike the last veil and veil of the citizeness, this veil is completely opaque, and provides true concealment of her features.

THE HOUSE VEIL:The next-to-last veil worn by free women, especially when in the company of men not of her own family; worn over the pride veil, and under the street veil upon leaving the house; when guests are within the walls of her house or when the Free Woman is in the company of anyone who is not of her household, she wears this veil at all times.

THE STREET VEIL:The outermost veil worn by free women. Worn over the house veil when leaving the house. Typically a heavy, fitted face-covering of thick brocaded or quilted cloth, equipped with numerous pins and fastening devices.

Behind the veil

Behind the Veil


The Beauty of the Gorean Freewoman

Part 1:  Self-Honesty

The danger when extracting ideas from a text is that we may, in our enthusiasm for either the idea or the text take either or both out of context.  One sees this done on Earth with religious texts constantly:  a statement is removed from its context and is used to prove, or disprove, all kinds of ideas, some of which the very opposite of the originally intended meaning.  For this reason, you will find no accompanying bits of proof-text this week in our column.  This week, we mean merely to present, and explore, an idea.

The ideals of the Gorean world-view as I have learned them seem to include several high goals, three of them very demanding of the individual.  The three demanding ideals I see are self-honesty, loyalty, and honor.  I believe that any Gorean, male or female, has some kind of relationship with, and understanding of, these three ideals.  We know how these ideals are expressed in the behavior of the Warrior, and we can see that the behavior of slaves is also to some extent influenced by these ideals.  Where the mystery lies, however, is how these ideals influence the thinking of the inscrutable Gorean freewoman.

The Gorean freewoman, is most popularly described in terms of what she lacks and this kind of exercise is clearly a case of selective proof-texting.  The Gorean freewoman is described, by proof-texters, as proud, jealous of slaves, respected, but basically used as a brood-mare; a woman who, all things being equal, is basically biding her time until the right Warrior comes along before whom she will kneel and face-strip herself, thus revealing her secret, but compelling, inner drive towards sexual slavery.  This view of the Gorean freewoman quietly implies that her self-honesty is shaky.  The compulsion towards impulsive submission quietly suggests that the woman in question has not engaged in those moments of reflection and contemplation that self-honesty requires.  This view also ignores one other reality about the condition of all females in Gor, and that is this:  all females in Gor, whether slaves, or free, are, to one extent or another, living as submissives, the difference being only the degree of submission required of the individual, by the Master in question. The Gorean freewoman is a long-leash  submissive, the slave, a short-leash submissive.

Within the restrictions of her life, the Gorean freewoman exercises self-honesty first of all by acknowledging the reality of her submissive condition: she veils herself, she wears her robes, she does not travel unaccompanied.  She accepts this, and a hundred other restrictions, and she ignores, as do slaves, whatever it is that the Master does that distresses her; she plays the role that she was born to play.


Part 2

One planned, and wrote, originally, a different set of words for this space.  There is, however, a thing called coincidence, and another called conversation.  One is grateful for the conversation that led to these words.

We ladies go around enjoying our lovely City, and we often see small groups of men, accompanied by kneeling girls, generally, and we may at times perhaps wonder what it is They do, since we have no wars at present.  We go at other times, in complete safety and peace, on our way to the shops, or perhaps even the gardens.  We pass the tavern, we hear the noise and laughter, and again we may wonder what these men do when They are not in the tavern.  We are ladies, after all, and it would not do for us to inquire too closely into what goes on in such places. 

We are also women, and we must be truthful: these men are wonderful to look at.  Their strong bodies in some cases beautifully marked, They are strong, and Their unspoken message of vitality and virility is not easily ignored.  We do not invite collars by observing what is true.   These men are, in many cases, utterly awe-inspiring to behold and in many cases Their behavior towards us is nothing if not the model of masculine grace and courtesy.  Only the strongest man will treat a woman gently, and these men are the strongest men of all: I speak of the Warriors of Tyros.

The Warriors of Tyros provide our safety and our comfort.  We go about our business in complete peace, utterly untroubled, due to the protection that They provide for us.  We owe Them deference, respect, and most importantly, appreciation and gratitude.

Much is written about the pride of Gorean freewomen, of their independence, and their haughtiness.  I am thinking now especially - even though I am not fond of proof-texting - of a passage in the book CAPTIVE OF GOR where a freewoman named Lady Rena of Lydius is enslaved.  I note that in this passage hardly anyone is sympathetic to the woman's troubles probably because she apparently had previously behaved with complete disrespect and inconsideration for the plight of everyone and anyone other than herself. 

There is a book on Earth that contains many wise sayings, and one of them came to my mind as I read over the troubles of the Lady Rena of Lydius.  The saying is this:

"He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind."

The default position for freewomen, from what I have studied, is this independence and haughtiness.  The extreme of this approach to the freewoman is one that I saw myself, in a person who felt obliged, apparently from a complete misunderstanding of the role, to issue the following warning:  "approach if you dare."  One can only imagine how a Warrior would respond to such a challenge.  I can only suppose it would be, for one of our Warriors, rather like being challenged by a very self-important insect.  I can only wonder what a person issuing statements like that plans to accomplish, as a woman in Gor, other than to end her days scrubbing pots in the back of a paga tavern.

At minimum, pride and coldness do not convey gratitude to the Warrior for the protection He provides, nor does it convey appreciation for the many sacrifices He makes or the hardships He willingly undertakes for our safety and peace -- sacrifices that His nobility and His honor require that He never mention or even notice.  We are women, and it is our duty to notice His sacrifices, even if we never speak of Them, which of course we cannot do, since we would not presume to offend His humility.  We can, however, show appreciation, warmth, tenderness, kindness, and perhaps most importantly, respect, in our language and manner towards Him.  These things will not invite the collar.

Let us cast off the ridiculous pretense of false pride, haughtiness, and the illusion of independence and acknowledge our Protectors for what They are.  We are women, we rely on Them, and we are not independent of Them: we live in Their homes, we wear our veils, we travel almost everywhere escorted.  They protect, we defer.  We are here to support and to respect Them.  Let us honor the order that Nature established and admit that we are the women we have chosen to be: we are women of Gor.

-Deidre Burleigh

Free companionship

Free Companion (noun): spouse; consort Book 1: Tarnsman of Gor, page 213

Free Companionship (noun): the closest equivalent to marriage on Gor. A woman is bought from her parents and is considered a Free Companion, even though she may not have been consulted in the arrangement. A woman, may agree of her own free will to be a Free Companion, and a Master may free his slave for Free Companionship. A man may have only one Free Companion at a time, but the relationship is considered binding, sundered usually, only by death as long as it is annually renewed.. A Gorean free woman does not change her name in the ceremony of the Free Companionship. From the Gorean point of view, the wife of Earth occupies a status which is higher than that of the slave, but lower than that of the Free Companion. Book 1: Tarnsman of Gor, page 216 Book 2: Outlaw of Gor, page 54 Book 8: Hunters of Gor, page 9 Book 9: Marauders of Gor, page 14 Book 13: Explorers of Gor, pages 365-366

On Gor, marriage, as we think of it, does not exist in the high cities. Its place is taken by the "Free Companionship," which is distinguished, of course, from the master/slave relationship. The Free Companionship must be annually renewed, annually repledged, which it commonly is. If it is not renewed, that, in effect, constitutes a divorce.
---John Norman, Sept 2000

The joining of a free man and a free woman, particularly in high city civilizations, is subject to a number of rules, laws, customs and rituals which although likely vary from city to city, essentially carry similar meaning and share many fairly hard set standards. If Free Companionship is often compared to marriage on Earth, it is perhaps closer to the types of marriages which existed in earlier times than today's modern concept of it. The meaning though, remains the same: it consists of a partnership of sorts, between a free man and a free woman, for the purpose of becoming a legal couple.

And perhaps not too unlike Earth marriages, the higher the station of the man and woman involved, the higher the likelihood of the woman being selected on the basis of family, political and/or economic alliance. The Gorean woman, even free, is usually subject to the decisions of the men of her family and who she will be paired off with is no exception to this.

There is no marriage, as we know it, on Gor, but there is the institution of the Free Companionship, which is its nearest correspondent. Surprisingly enough, a woman who is bought from her parents, for tarns or gold, is regarded as a Free Companion, even though she may not have been consulted in the transaction. More commendably, a free woman may herself, of her own free will, agree to be such a companion. And it is not unusual for a master to free one of his slave girls in order that she may share the full privileges of a Free Companionship. One may have, at a given time, an indefinite number of slaves, but only one Free Companion. Such relationships are not entered into lightly, and they are normally sundered only by death. Occasionally the Gorean, like his brothers in our world, perhaps even more frequently, learns the meaning of love.
---Outlaw of Gor, 6:54

Though we encounter women of independent wealth and station and told of their turning down suitors, it is more often than not explained that their future companion is chosen by their father, brother or guardian. Indeed it is said a woman often meets her companion for the first time once companionship has been arranged and bride price been paid.

Though on Gor the free maiden is by custom expected to see her future companion only after her parents have selected him, it is common knowledge that he is often a youth she has met in the marketplace. He who speaks for her hand, especially if she is of low caste, is seldom unknown to her, although the parents and the young people as well solemnly act as though this were the case. The same maiden whom her father must harshly order into the presence of her suitor, the same shy girl who, her parents approvingly note, finds herself delicately unable to raise her eyes in his presence, is probably the same girl who slapped him with a fish yesterday and hurled such a stream of invective at him that his ears still smart, and all because he had accidentally happened to be looking in her direction when an unpredictable wind had, in spite of her best efforts, temporarily disarranged the folds of her veil.
---Outlaw of Gor, 8:68

The more commonly mentioned conditions to the continuity of a companionship are those which speak of annual renewal and the instant dissolution of the bond should one or the other companion be enslaved. There is mention of the companionship being dissolved by an authority figure but more commonly, death is said to be the usual end to companionship as these things are not entered lightly.

The next to appear before Bila Huruma were two members of the nobility, a man and his companion. He complained of her that she had been unwilling to please him. By one word and a stroke of his hand between them Bila Huruma dissolved their companionship....
---Explorers of Gor, 18:231

"It is long since you have been the Free Companion of Talena, daughter of Marlenus," said Samos. "The Companionship, not renewed annually, is at an end. And you were once enslaved."

I looked at the board, angrily. It was true that the Companionship, not renewed, had been dissolved in the eyes of Gorean law. It was further true that, had it not been so, the Companionship would have been terminated abruptly when one or the other of the pledged companions fell slave.
---Hunters of Gor, 1:9

The above passages would also seem to indicate that free companionship is a monogamous institution and for the most part at least, this is certainly how we find it throughout Gor. The one exception to this rule appears in the book which speaks of subequatorial jungle cultures where one Ubar is said to have literally hundreds of free companions, this collection quite readily compared to the usual garden of slaves one would find in this type of home. Political alliances play heavily into this particular situation and there is, here at least, absolutely no mention of love or even the faintest sense that indeed a companionship exists beyond the legalities of trading the woman for land or economic aid.

(Please note that the following passage describes what seems to be an exception rather than the norm as far as monogamous vs polygamous free companionships)

.... Too, to seal the bonds of these political bargains, he, on behalf of Aibu, offered to Bila Huruma the very daughter of the high chief, Aibu, himself, a girl named Tende, as one of his companions.
"Is she beautiful?" asked Bila Huruma.
"Yes," responded Mwoga.
Bila Huruma shrugged. "It does not matter," he said. I supposed it did not matter. There were doubtless many womens' courts in his house. He had, I had heard, already more than two hundred companions, not to mention perhaps twice the number of slave girls, captures, purchases and gifts. If the body of Tende appealed to him he could get heirs upon it If it did not, he could forget her, leaving her neglected, a sequestered souvenir of state, another girl lost in one of the womens' courts in the palace.
---Explorers of Gor, 18:232

The rituals which surround companionship are scarcely described and it would make sense to think that status and circumstances have much to do with whether or not the joining will be a feast or a simple private ceremony of sorts. There is mention of more intricate ceremonies which involve 'unveiling' the 'bride' to one degree or another, though these do not seem universally practiced.

...In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony. This sort of thing, however, varies considerably from city to city. In some cities the girl is unveiled, though not disrobed, of course, during the public ceremony. The friends of the male may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty, and their celebration of the good fortune of their friend....
---Slave Girl of Gor, 5:107

Ka-la-na, the wine made of the fruit of trees by the same name and said to be the symbol of romantic love, is shared by the couple and indeed, the free companionship ritual is often referred to as 'the sharing of the wine of companionship'. In the few cases where the reader witnesses such rituals, the drinking of ka-la-na is always present. Similarly, talenders are often worn in garlands by the 'bride', this bright yellow flower is also known to Goreans as a symbol of love.

...In their own quarters, unveiled Gorean women, with their family or lovers, might fix talenders in their hair. A crown of talender was often worn by the girl at the feast celebrating her Free Companionship.
---Outlaw of Gor, 15:131-132

"Would you consent," asked Relius, "to be the companion of a Warrior?"
"Companion?" she asked.
Relius nodded his head. He held her very gently. She looked at him, unable to comprehend his words.
"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!"
"Bring the wine of Free Companionship!" decreed Marlenus.
The wine was brought and Relius and Virginia, lost in one another's eyes, arms interlocked, drank together.
He carried her from the court of the Ubar, she lying against him, weeping with happiness.
There were cheers in the court of the Ubar.
---Assassin of Gor, 24:401-402

The two above elements are truly about as much detail as we get with regards to the actual joining ritual and they may seem unusually love-focused considering the numerous mentions of arranged companionship and bride prices. We do need, however to look at this not from the angle of the more modern earth marriage. Promises to love, throughout history, have been part of joining rituals which similarly involved a couple of strangers brought together by their families, politics and or economic purposes. It did not seem odd to our ancestors to promise to love a stranger and indeed this was the expected outcome of arranged marriages, despite their businesslike appearance, and it was not unusual for the pair to develop strong feelings for each other.

The Gorean woman understands that choices which are made for her are made for her own well being, or the benefit of a higher purpose, and in this she accepts and welcomes her role and would apply herself to be successful at fulfilling it.

...The pledged companions, the Lady Sabina of Fortress of Saphronicus and Thandar of Ti, of the Four Cities of Saleria, of the Salerian Confederation, had, as yet, according to Eta, never laid eyes on one another, the matter of their match having been arranged between their respective fathers, as is not uncommon in Gorean custom. The match had been initiated at the behest of Kleomenes, who was interested in negotiating a commercial and political alliance with the Salarian Confederation.
---Slave Girl of Gor, 5:111

At the same time, companionships born of love are clearly a common thing and we are given multiple examples throughout the stories. Men and women alike aware of the various social and political expectations placed upon them, are not unlikely to find love within the circle of what is permissible and of course, the likelihood of a peasant for example, meeting and spending any significant amount of time in becoming acquainted with a woman of high caste enough to fall in love with her, is not a very common scenario. It would seem normal that not too unlike Earth, family and social circles are the more common source of friendships and love. It is perhaps with less resistance, that the Gorean woman understands her role and accepts it.

The education of the Gorean woman prepares her for this role as well as the many functions of free companionship. If the law clearly draws a line between the way men interact with female slaves as opposed to their treatment of free woman, it remains no less obvious that the status of women on Gor is not based on an equality principle. The numerous references to the 'purchasing' of a companionship by which a woman's family offers goods and moneys to attract suitors for their daughters, makes clear that a free woman's value may well be limited to that which she may bring into a relationship in terms of tangible assets.

Some Goreans think of the Free Companionship as being a form of contract slavery...
---Blood Brothers of Gor, 28:246

The station and privileges of companionship as well as how much space a woman will occupy in the couple's affairs will vary of course according to culture, rank and social status. Unlike Earth customs, the name of a free woman is not subject to change with the joining and she will retain her name although she cannot pass it down to her children. On the other hand, she may change caste and be received into her companion's caste if this is desired but it is said to be a matter of personal choice. The children born to cross-caste companionships will of course carry the caste of the father.

In taking companionship with one of the Warriors she would raise caste, for the Warriors on Gor are among the high castes, of which there are five, the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. ... It was my hope that the Lady Sabina would be happy. It was said she was much pleased to raise caste and would become, by this match, one of the high ladies of the Salerian Confederation, which was becoming powerful in the north. ...
---Slave Girl of Gor, 5:113-114

...Whereas caste membership is commonly connected with the practice of an occupation, such as agriculture, or commerce, or war, there can be, of course, caste members who are not engaged in caste work and individuals who do certain forms of work who are not members of that caste commonly associated with such work. Caste, commonly, though not invariably, is a matter of birth. One may, too, be received into a caste by investment. Normally mating takes place among caste members, but if the mating is of mixed caste, the woman may elect to retain caste, which is commonly done, or be received into the caste of the male companion. Caste membership of the children born of such a union is a function of the caste of the father. Similar considerations, in certain cities, hold of citizenship. ...
---Slave Girl of Gor, 9:212-213

...A free woman's name, of course, tends to remain constant. A Gorean free woman does not change her name in the ceremony of the Free Companionship. She remains who she was. In such a ceremony two free individuals have elected to become companions. ...
---Explorers of Gor, 34:365

Though clearly the collar defines the place of certain woman in the general scheme of things, the freedom of women does not define equality. The female sex is, for all intents and purposes, viewed by Goreans as having a subservient quality which is not solely related to the presence of a brand or the legalities of slavery. The belief that this order is a natural, biological, and right one would make reserving its application to female slaves rather illogical. The service to men albeit clearly on terms which differ from that of the enslaved woman, remains something which Goreans believe is not only natural, but welcomed by women and fulfilling to both men and women.

There is no marriage, as we know it, on Gor, but there is the institute of the Free Companionship, which is its nearest correspondent. Surprisingly enough, a woman who is bought from her parents, for tarns or gold, is regarded as a Free Companion, even though she may not have been consulted in the transaction. More commendably, a free woman may herself, of her own free will, agree to be such a companion. And it is not unusual for a master to free one of his slave girls in order that she may share the full privileges of a Free Companionship. One may have, at a given time, an indefinite number of slaves, but only one Free Companion. Such relationships are not entered into lightly, and they are normally sundered only by death. Occasionally the Gorean, like his brothers in our world, perhaps even more frequently, learns the meaning of love.
Outlaw of Gor, page 54

 "Yes, Master," she said. A free woman's name, of course, tends to remain constant. A Gorean free woman does not change her name in the ceremony of the Free Companionship. She remains who she was. In such a ceremony two free individuals have elected to become companions. The Earth woman, as a consequence of certain mating ceremonials, may change her last name. The first and other names, however, tend to remain constant. From the Gorean point of view the wife of Earth occupies, a status which is higher than that of the slave but lower than that of the Free Companion. Explorers of Gor, pages 355-356

"In every woman," said Ute, "there is a Free Companion and a slave girl. The Free Companion seeks for her companion and the slave girl seeks her master."
Captive of Gor, page 83

"Yes," she said, "we also wish to be free." She smiled. "In every woman," she said, "there is something of the Free Companion and something of the Slave Girl."
Outlaw of Gor, page 204

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.
Outlaw of Gor, pages 250-251

If she has not pleased her master of late, she may be, of course, as a disciplinary measure, simply chained nude to the slave ring at in the bottom of the couch, sans both blanket and mat. The stones of the floor are hard and the Gorean nights are cold and it is a rare girl who, when unchained in the morning, does not seek more dutifully to serve her master. 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.
Outlaw of Gor, page 67

"It is long since you have been the Free Companion of Talena, daughter of Marlenus," said Samos. "The Companionship, not renewed annually, is at an end. And you were once enslaved."

I looked at the board, angrily. It was true that the Companionship, not renewed, had been dissolved in the eyes of Gorean law. It was further true that, had it not been so, the Companionship would have been terminated abruptly when one or the other of the pledged companions fell slave.
Hunters of Gor, page 9

A crown of talender was often worn by the girl at the feast celebrating her Free Companionship.
Outlaw of Gor, pages 131-132

In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony. This sort of thing, however, varies considerably from city to city. In some cities the girl is unveiled, though not disrobed, of course, during the public ceremony. The friends of the male may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty, and their celebration of the good fortune of their friend.
Slave Girl of Gor, page 107

Port Kar does not recognize the Free Companionship, but there are free women in the city, who are known simply as the women of their men.
Raiders of Gor, page 295