Gorean slave positions

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This is a list of some of the positions for Gorean slaves (kajirae) described in the Chronicles of Gor series of science fiction books written by John Norman.

Slight variant on basic nadu position (drawing by Ed Hicks).


Background and purpose

One reason for rituals such as kajira positions is that they express and reinforce social values and relationships. For example, as recently as the early 1960's, men in the U.S. tipped their hats to a woman they knew as she passed by on the street, and if a man stopped to talk with a woman, he would usually take his hat off (these customs reflected "chivalrous" values commonly held in the U.S. at the time). Also, from a psychological point of view, doing such activities can often help you feel the suitable emotions. So on the most basic level, people who smile can often feel a little happier just from smiling. Similarly, if one gets into the spirit of the thing at all (rather than participating with feelings of pure bitter ironic mockery), then performing rituals of respect can help one feel respectful. As John Norman says in another context, "She may begin by acting, but after some days or weeks, she will presumably shift into feeling." Thus doing kajira positions could help women feel sexually desirable as well as vulnerable, while reinforcing Gorean social status distinctions between kajirae and free men.

For the master, such positions allow him to feel pride of mastery (by exacting kajira obedience), to place a kajira in various appealing or provocative poses, and to position her suitably for what he wants to do with her next (whether applying restraints, lovemaking, etc.).

According to Gor book 30, Mariners of Gor (chapter 3), a woman just generally kneeling before a standing man, "to be at his feet", can be "symbolic of your utter otherness, of your softness before his hardness, your weakness before his strength, your slightness before his might, your beauty and helplessness before his virility and power, your readiness before his command", even before specific variations of kneeling are considered (or whether she is much less clothed than he is).


Note that there is no absolute standardization of such positions across the planet Gor, and some of the positions have several variants, due to regional differences, or due to the individual preferences of each master, or due to adjusting to the particular circumstances in which a position is performed. There are also variations in the names used for some positions, and many positions are actually relatively infrequently referred to by name in the Gor books. However, the basic essential features of the Nadu position, the common Obeisance position, and the Female Submission position seem to remain the same everywhere, and all three of these positions (however they are referred to) play a somewhat prominent role in Gorean culture. The Nadu position and the common Obeisance position epitomize (in different ways) the relationship between kajirae and free men, and either or both may be a constant accompaniment of being a kajira, while entering the Female Submission position can be legally equivalent to a formal admission of captive or slave status (and kajirae often use a slight variant of the position to serve drinks etc. to free persons).

Ordinary positions

Pleasure Slave or Nadu One of the most often used of all of the Gorean slave positions, and one of the first that a kajira typically learns. The word Nadu is a command meaning "kneel" in the Gorean language, and can give its name to the position. It is also known as the position "of the pleasure slave" or "of a woman who is of interest to men" or "that of the female slave who is used ... for the pleasure of men". In this position, the kajira kneels back, sitting on her upturned heels (the tops of her toes on the floor), with her back straight, shoulders thrown back, her chest out, belly in, and her head up. Her knees are open, widely spread. By default her hands rest upon her thighs, palms down, although there are variations. Sometimes a kajira places her hands palms upwards on her thighs in humble supplication. Usually her head is held up (with chin high) so that the kajira's beauty is fully exposed to view, but in some circumstances her head may be deferentially lowered (with her eyes averted to the floor); this last is called "a common position of slave submission". Also, in some cities on Gor, the kajira usually holds her hands crossed behind her, instead of on her thighs. (This also happens if a kajira is commanded to assume the pleasure slave position when her hands are bound behind her.) In yet another variation, the kajira clasps her hands together behind her head, elbows back, and throws her head back (this is the kneeling version of the "Display" position discussed below, and is called "a common position for slave assessment" in the Gor books).
Nadu hand sign

In the Gor books, the basic position can be invoked by the commands "Nadu!" or "Position!", or by the master extending and spreading apart the index and middle fingers of his hand, and pointing down to a spot where such kneeling is commanded to occur (such hand-gestures are not truly standardized across Gor, but this one seems to be widely understood in the zone of the main northern cities). Also, whenever a kajira first encounters a free man in various contexts (such as when her owner re-enters the house, or she is addressed by a man in the street, etc.) she is generally required to assume the Nadu position (or in some cases the common obeisance position, depending on circumstances). Kajirae tend to develop a quasi-reflex reaction of semi-automatically kneeling whenever they hear themselves being addressed by the voice of a man whom they have not been previously recently interacting with, so that kajirae sometimes have to be specifically instructed not to kneel, if the free man does not desire this. The pleasure-slave position is referred to as "that most elegant and helpless position in which men may place a woman", and as a "beautiful and significant position" which "well betokens the submission of the female to the free man, her master".


The drawing at the top of the page (above) accurately depicts the basic configuration of the torso and lower body (though in strict position, her hands should be placed symmetrically, with her head facing forward). Also, in the photo at right a model is shown kneeling in a pose similar to the Gorean pleasure slave position, but with more relaxed posture in some respects (in strict nadu position, her torso would have to be more vertical, her shoulders back, her head looking forward and up, and her knees a little more widely spread; see here for a frontal photo of Emily Ratajkowski in a similar pose). In some on-line Gorean fan-art, a kajira is shown kneeling with her torso forward above her knees, instead of back on her heels. In the Gor books, this is known as "high kneeling", and is not the same as the pleasure slave position, and is done much less often than the basic pleasure slave position.

In book 29, Swordsmen of Gor, Norman explains the position as follows:

"In nadu, as the back is straight, the shoulders are back, and this accentuates the delights of the bosom. The widening of the knees suggests the vulnerability of the slave and displays the softness of the open, exposed thighs. The placement of the palms down on the thighs, apart and down, to the sides, suggests that they will be held as they are, and thus are not permitted to fend or thwart a caress. The kneeling position itself is symbolic of submission. The head's being up displays the beauty of the master's property, the beauty of the features, the slenderness of the neck, and such, and, too, of course, in this attitude, the badge of his ownership, her collar, is well exhibited. To be sure, this can differ from master to master. Some prefer the slave's head to be submissively lowered. The slave's eyes may or may not be permitted to meet the master's eyes without permission."

Tower Slave (Also called "the position of the house slave" or "of the serving slave".) This is another variant of the pleasure slave position, in which the kajira kneels the same way, but with her knees modestly together. If her hands are not occupied with some task, then typically they rest loosely in front, with wrists crossed (as if for binding). This position is associated with slaves whose duties do not prominently include sexual services; also, pleasure slaves might kneel in this position before free women. Gorean free women commonly use a similar position to simply sit on the floor or the ground (without expressing any submission), but in much less revealing garments than kajirae, and never with wrists crossed. The basic position of the torso, legs, and feet in the Tower slave or free women kneeling positions is similar to what is known as seiza in Japanese culture or Vajrasana in Yoga terminology.
Lesha, or Leash, or Bracelets The Gorean word Lesha translates as "leash". In this position, the kajira is usually standing (though in some contexts, if she was previously kneeling, she remains so). She holds her chin up, her back and shoulders straight, and her head turned to the left, so that a leash may be attached to her collar. She also holds her hands behind the small of her back, with her wrists about two inches apart, in a position to be locked into chained slave bracelets. The commands "Leash!" and "Bracelets!" are essentially equivalent (the difference being in what the master has immediately in mind, rather than in the position to be assumed by the kajira — though "Bracelets!" may imply that the kajira should stand with her back to the master and "Leash!" the opposite). The command "Collar!" also invokes a similar position, but the kajira approaches the master closely, facing him (and stands if he is standing), so that he may inspect her collar and/or read what is written on it without effort.

A leash is usually attached to the front of a slave collar, since Gorean masters are always very careful never to put excessive pressure on the fragile front of the throat (windpipe). Attaching the leash to the front of the kajira's collar also fits in with the common Gorean practice of "heeling" (i.e. the kajira following the master by walking along somewhat behind him and a little to the side).

Sula (i.e. supine) In this position, a kajira lays upon her back, her hands at her sides, palms upward, her legs widely spread, to await her Master's pleasure.

Another common supine position in the Gor books is similar to that commanded by "Sula!" as described above, but the kajira lifts and bends one knee (instead of parting her legs). Also, there is the command "On your back, split your legs, part your lips, lift your arms to me!" in Gor book 19 Kajira. And lying on her back with wrists somewhat above her head (on the floor) and far to the sides, and legs widely spread (i.e. spread-eagled), is described as a "common binding position" and kajira sexual use position.

A common master's gesture to order a kajira to lie on her back is to hold the hand horizontally with the palm up; if the fingers are spread apart, this signals that the limbs should be spread.

Bara (belly) In response to the command "Bara!", the kajira falls to her stomach, with her head down to the floor and turned to the left, crosses her wrists behind her back, and similarly crosses her ankles, her legs straight, in preparation for binding. (This is the "standard binding position" for a kajira lying prone.)

Some have speculated that the word Bara is the Gorean-language word for "belly"; but when Belly is used as a noun in commands in the Gor books, this indicates that the kajira should lie prone (on her belly) without signifying any one exact position across all its uses; and when Belly is used as a verb in commands in the Gor books, it means that the kajira should crawl forward without lifting her belly from the ground (see alternative obeisance below).

One common belly position is for the kajira to lie on her stomach with her hands at her sides and the palms of her hands facing upwards; her head is often turned to the left and/or legs spread. The alternative obeisance position described below can also be invoked by a "To your belly!" command. Also, in some contexts if the master holds his hand horizontally with fingers spread and palm down, he is commanding the kajira to lie on her belly with both legs and arms spread widely (prone spread-eagle).

Obeisance The "common position of obeisance" (also called "first obeisance position" in recently-published Gor novels after book 25) is basically the position which results from starting on all fours (supported by her hands and knees), and then bending her elbows so that her elbows and forearms are on the floor, and with head lowered.
Basic silhouette of the "common position of obeisance" or "first obeisance position".

An alternative position is for the kajira to lie on her stomach (i.e. fully prone on the floor), called "second obeisance position" in recently-published books. In either case, her hands are beside her head, palms on the floor, and her hair often falls on the floor. The purpose of the position can be completed by the kajira crawling forward (or if prone, "bellying" forward) to the master, and turning her head and placing her cheek against his feet, then kissing them lightly in a symbolic gesture of love and submission (or often she simply licks and kisses the master's feet). Sometimes the kajira is ordered to take the master's right foot and place it gently upon her neck or head.

In other contexts, the initial common obeisance position can transition directly into either the tower slave position or the pleasure slave position (depending on what kind of slave a kajira is, and whether she is kneeling before free women or before free men). For the use of the common obeisance position when a kajira first encounters a free man (sometimes called "tile position" if performed on a tiled floor), see the discussion under Nadu above. Often a kajira greets her master in the morning in the common obeisance position, saying a formula such as "I hope to be pleasing to you today".

The common obeisance position can also be a sex position, with the man kneeling behind (and his legs outside her legs, if her position remains unaltered). Usual kajira attire with "no nether closure" need not be removed. (Some masters prefer a variant of this position for sex — see "usage" below.)

Some masters on Gor consider the version of the pleasure-slave position with head down and eyes lowered to be functionally equivalent to the obeisance position.

The "posture of Female Submission" (and its variant the serving position)
Basic silhouette

Also called "the submission of the captive female" or "the submission of the girl to her new master" (and often invoked by the simple command "Submit!"). In this position the woman kneels back sitting on her upturned heels, with her torso vertical and her arms extended forward and slightly raised, crossed at the wrists (which are thus ready to be bound together), and her head down between her arms, lowered in submission. In Gorean culture, this is the classic position by which a woman who has been captured in war etc. submits herself as a captive to her captor, or a kajira submits herself as a slave to a new owner (there is not much practical difference between the two situations, since the rights of a Gorean captor over his captive are much the same as the rights of a master over his owned slave). According to the traditional codes of the Gorean warrior caste, if a woman submits herself to a warrior, he must then and there on the spot either take her as his personal captive / owned slave or kill her. The posture is often accompanied by a verbal formula of self-enslavement, which can be rather complex (such as "I, once XX of YY, herewith submit myself, completely and totally in all things, to AA of BB, as his girl, his abject slave, an article of his property. At his hands I accept my life and my name, declaring myself his to do with as he pleases. I am yours, Master."), or relatively simple (such as "I declare myself a slave, and I submit myself to you as my master"), or merely "I submit". In some circumstances, if a woman performs the position before a free man, this in itself is regarded as legally equivalent to a declaration of self-enslavement, even if she doesn't speak any words. In certain cases, if a woman is uncertain whether she is to be killed or enslaved, then if she wishes to plead for her life, formulas begging or enticing a man to enslave her become appropriate (e.g. "I surrender to you, naked. Spare me. I beg bondage." or "I have endeavored to conceal my true nature from men, that I am a slave. Visit justice upon me." or "I have stripped myself before you. Let me live, that I may serve you as the most abject and loving of slaves." or "I have been a secret slave, masquerading for years as a free woman; I now confess my deception." etc.).

In the Gor books, there is no one position generally used for collaring, but sometimes it is convenient for the master to command a woman kneeling in the posture of female submission to raise her head or "Look up", and then place a collar around her neck.

Kajirae commonly use a similar position to serve beverages or hand over small items, except that the wrists are not crossed, and the cup, goblet, bowl or item to be delivered is held in both hands; also, her knees will be widely spread if the kajira is serving free men (referred to as "the position of serving paga or wine to a Gorean male" or "the common wine service"), which is less often the case when a woman submits to a captor or new owner. The kajira is often required to press the rim of the cup or goblet into her belly (lower abdomen) and/or against her breasts and/or to kiss it lingeringly before offering it to the master (especially if serving an alcoholic beverage). The head is lowered between her raised arms at the moment when the cup is presented. If she is serving at a banquet or in a paga tavern, and the kajirae there are to be sexually available to the guests or customers (as is often the case), then she is usually required to remind the men she serves of this, using phrases such as "Here is your drink, Master; I beg to serve you further in any way I may" or "Your girl brings you drink, Master; use me as you will" or "For your pleasure, I bring you paga and a slave" or "Your girl tenders drink humbly to Master; she hopes Master will later find her suitable to give him pleasure" or (if appropriate) "I serve you, naked and collared; I beg to be taught my slavery", etc. (The kajira's name can be substituted for "your girl" in such phrases.) However, in some contexts, even a simple phrase such as "Wine, Master?" can mean that kajira offers the master "not only...the wine in the cup, but also implicitly the wine of her love, body and beauty".

Also, if a kajira is handing over a whip or other long narrow object, it is held so that the backs of her hands and wrists are upward; this recalls the submission position (with wrists crossed), even when her wrists are not crossed. (Note that in most situations a kajira is prohibited from holding a whip near the base of its handle, as if she had the right to use it on others, unless she is a "first girl" allowed to discipline other kajirae.)

If the kajira stays in place after having served the beverage or handed over the small item, then the serving position naturally transitions into either the pleasure-slave position or the tower-slave position (depending on whether her knees are spread), since the position of her torso and lower body remains the same.

The posture of female submission is the one slave position which free women on Gor are often formally taught as part of their upbringing or education, since it is considered that knowing how to assume the position may contribute to saving the woman's life in a dire situation... Sometimes among on-line Gorean fandom, it is said that the arms are held vertically above her head, but this is not correct to the descriptions in Norman's books.

Leading position The kajira stands a little behind and usually to the left of the master, bending deeply at the waist, and with knees slightly bent, with her hair (if free flowing) falling forward. She places her hands behind her (if they are not already bound or braceleted), wrists crossed, and puts the side of her head to the master's hip, so that he might lead her and control her movements easily, with his left hand gripping her hair, while they walk a relatively short distance. This leaves the master's right hand free.

The master can silently command the kajira to assume leading position by holding his left hand at his hip somewhat opened (i.e. ready to grasp), or opening and closing it there.

Stylized silhouette of one variant
Many positions and movements can be used to display a kajira's beauty (extending to elaborately choreographed "slave paces" or "floor movements"). In the commonly-known "display" standing position mainly intended for this purpose (called "examination" position in some recently-published Gor novels), the kajira's body is posed in a vulnerably open position (her back and upper torso often arched backwards) to allow a master or masters to inspect or touch her in any way that he or they choose, while her hands are clasped together at the back of her head (or neck) to remind her that she is not allowed to interfere. Often her head is tilted back (looking upwards), so that she can't anticipate where she will be touched next (not shown in the image). If she is required to turn in place on command to display herself on all sides (as when on the top of an auction block), then her upper body is not arched backwards, her feet are not too far apart, and her knees are slightly bent and (presumably) her toes turned out, to help in holding the position. If it is not intended that she move while in position, then she is often posed with her legs spread rather widely. For the kneeling variant of the display position, see "Nadu" above.
Stand A strict standing position isn't described precisely, but the kajira stands very straight (presumably more or less "at attention"). In a slightly more relaxed standing position, the feet are often turned out at an angle approaching 90° (together at the heels but apart at the toes), so that her body is subtly opened to her master. The weight of the body is often placed more on one foot, with the hip of the other leg turned out.
Bracelet check In response to this command, the kajira turns to face away from the master, and lifts her hands and arms behind her, so that the master may easily check that slave bracelets connected by a short length of chain are securely locked on her wrists.
"Kneeling to the whip" There are a number of whipping positions on Gor, but most involve the use of bindings or restraints, or the kajira holding on tightly to a fixed object. If no such external aids are to be used, the kajira is ordered to "Kneel to the whip". She then goes down on elbows and knees with her head down, her wrists crossed beneath her upper torso, and her knees and hips presumably fully bent, so that her back is relatively level and convex (i.e. fully exposed). Generally she is stripped to at least the waist, and her hair (if free flowing) must be thrown forward or to the side, so that her back might be utterly exposed to the whip. This is also known as "the position of the slave girl who is to be punished".
(usage) The kajira kneels with her head to the floor and her hands clasped firmly behind her neck, so that her rear is lifted in preparation for convenient sexual use by the Master. This position is commanded on some occasions when the master is not concerned with the degree of pleasure felt by the kajira (something which Gorean masters are actually often quite interested in). In the Gor books, this is not given a name, or invoked by any brief one- or two-word command (though it is referred to as a "common slave position"). If the kajira knows the intention of the position when she starts to go down on all fours, then she should orient her body with her head away from the master (as opposed to the obeisance positions, where the head is towards the master).
(sitting) In the Gor books, kajirae kneel more often than they sit. Low benches are found in some vehicles and special-purpose areas, but are not common inside ordinary private dwellings in the Gorean cities, while in Gorean culture true chairs (with backs and somewhat elevated seats) are rare except as thrones of office reserved for high-ranking free persons. However, one approved sitting position specific to kajirae is for a kajira to sit on the floor or ground with her legs also on the floor, extended in front of her, and her upper body leaning back and propped up by her arms. In this position, her hands (palms on the floor) are held in place behind her body by her own weight, while the front of her body is open and vulnerable. Another sitting position is for the kajira to have her back against a wall, her palms flat on the floor at her sides, and her legs extended before her, with ankles crossed as though bound.

Commands which do not result in static body postures

"Slave Lips" When this command is given, the kajira turns her head up to the Master, her lips pursed in a sensual kissing position. Her lips must remain puckered in this way until she is granted the kiss of a Master.
"She-quadruped" When ordered to serve in the "discipline of the she-quadruped" (occasionally also known as the "discipline of the she-tarsk"), the kajira performs her duties mainly upon hands and knees, without the benefit of the use of her hands. In this mode she may not rise to her feet, may not ordinarily speak (other than to whimper once for "yes" and twice for "no" in response to questions), and may use only her mouth and teeth to grasp and manipulate objects. She must move herself from place to place on all fours. This "modality" (as Norman calls it) would generally involve multiple postures, but the position most characteristically associated with it seems to be the kajira down on her hands and knees, but with her elbows off the floor (as opposed to the Obeisance and Kneeling to the Whip positions) — "the attitude of the she-quadruped". (Note that in the Gor books, "she-sleen" is an insulting epithet, not the name of a position.)
Walk well It is not really a separate position as such, but through training and/or subconscious attitudes formed by the experience of being a kajira, many kajirae walk in a distinctive uninhibited manner, with head held high, shoulders back, back straight, and hips swaying — "walking freely... attractively gracefully... showing your joy in your bondage and womanhood". If she suspects that free men are watching her, her eyes are often downcast. If she is commanded to "Walk well!", she knows that her movements are on display and being closely scrutinized. (The command "Posture!" can also be used to order a kajira to pay special attention to maintaining a beautiful posture in standing or walking.) It is said that a kajira walks with pride — not the pride of a woman who thinks she is the equal of a man, but rather the pride of a woman who knows that no other woman is equal to herself. (She knows that "strong men" have found her "beautiful enough, and exciting enough" to choose to "put her to their service and pleasure".) Many of the movements of kajirae display a kind of all-pervading sensuous femininity, often in somewhat subtle form (such as a hip being turned out, or a foot being pointed).

Specialized positions

"the basic position of the slave dance" There are a number of "initial postures of... slave dances", which serve as the starting point of solo kajira dancing in various contexts. The most common and widely-known such beginning position is for the kajira to stand with her knees flexed, her ribcage lifted, and her arms raised so that her hands are above her head with the backs of the wrists touching (i.e. the palms facing outward).
(wall) This is another position which, though it occurs in the Gor books, is not given a name there, or invoked by any brief command. A woman stands facing a wall, more than an arm's-length distance away from it, so that to place the palms of her hands on the wall, she has to lean forward, and her hands are thus held against the wall by her own weight. Also, her feet are very widely separated (even uncomfortably so). This position is occasionally used with newly captive women, or kajirae encountered under suspicious circumstances (if there is a convenient wall), in order to allow a quick determination of whether she is a threat, and to make it easier to handle the situation if anything problematic is found. A variant of this position — where the feet are not widely parted — does not leave the woman quite as helpless, but makes it more practical to lift her feet one at a time and check whether anything is concealed there (taped to her instep, etc.).
(running) In Gor book 5 (Assassins), some kajirae (probably a distinct minority of those on Gor) are specially trained to run in a stylized manner considered particularly appropriate to slaves ("more of a dancer's motion than a true run"). The kajira runs by taking short rapid steps, with her legs almost straight, her feet hardly leaving the floor. As she moves, her back is straight, her head is turned to the left, and her arms are at her sides, her palms facing outward at a 45 degree angle to her body. Not a basic common Gorean slave position.

Positions not in the books by Norman

Sula-Ki, or alternative Sula This position is almost identical to the Sula position, except that once the kajira has assumed the Sula position she slowly lifts her hips up off the floor, as if beckoning the master with her body, encouraging her sexual use by him. This was invented by Gorean fandom (from the words Sula "supine" and Ki "not" or negative), and is not found in the Gor books, but it does have some similarity to the occasions in the books when a kajira lifts her body up towards her master (though this is usually done spontaneously by the kajira, not on command) and/or to the "Gorean love bow" or arched back positions (though in the books the kajira is placed into such positions by the master).


Note that positions which depend on the use of external bindings and restraints, or which the kajira is usually placed into by the master, were omitted from the above list.

In Gorean culture, kajirae who have received more than a modicum of training are expected to know the common forms of most of the positions listed above (excluding those in the last two categories), and this provides a convenient basic repertoire for the master to draw on in order to further his goals of controlling a kajira, making her slave status clear to her, and obtaining the highest degree of service and pleasure from her. However, this listing does not represent any limit on the creativity or absolute authority of the Gorean master, and he can order her to assume any position (whether customary or not).

One exercise which can be included as a part of kajira training or evaluation is to issue a sequence of position commands (in random order), and judge the kajira's speed and accuracy in assuming the positions, and her gracefulness in transitioning between them. This is seen in a passage in Gor book 13 Explorers, where the commands "Nadu!" (referring to the standard head-held-high palms-on-thighs version of the position), "Lesha!" (referring to the standing position facing away from the master), "Bara!", and "Sula!" are alternated with increasing quickness.

Some of the above positions (including nadu and the beverage-serving position) are also used by kajiri (male slaves), as described in book 14 of the Gor series (Fighting Slave, which contains the most detail on male slavery). However, there are far fewer kajiri than kajirae (female slaves) on Gor, and the majority of kajiri are used for hard labor on work-gangs out of sight of most free people (while by contrast kajirae are a common sight in Gorean cities), so that slave positions are stereotypically associated with kajirae.

A non-slave Gorean position is sitting on the floor or ground cross-legged, which is reserved for free men, and sometimes called "the position of the warrior" (although "panther girls" of the northern forests sometimes mimic it, as did Boabissia near the beginning of Gor book 21 Mercenaries when she was pretending to be a warrior). Also, if a man has occasion to carry a kajira (because she is bound or unconscious, etc.), he generally does so with her deeply-bent waist resting on one of his shoulders and her head dangling down at his rear (while a free woman should theoretically be carried in a more respectful way).

In addition to the several master's gestures listed above, a non-specific gesture of this type is snapping one's fingers; this can be used to command a previously-explained action or change of position (or an action or change of position which is clear from context). A verbal command whose meaning depends on context is "Kneel up!" If a woman is in the Obeisance position, this can be a command to assume the Nadu position, while if she is in the Nadu position, it can be a command to move her torso forward and above her knees.

Labanotation diagrams

These are attempted representations of selected Gorean positions in the "Labanotation" dance writing system. The diagrams as written here are constructed around a central box divided into halves by a vertical line separating the left and right sides of the body, where symbols inside the box indicate how the weight is supported and leg positioning, while other information is placed outside the box. The extra horizontal line over the box (with no double horizontal line anywhere below) means that a diagram shows a static position (no movement).

Labanotation-Gorean-nadu.png A representation of the Gorean nadu position in Labanotation. This includes essential features of the position which are simple to represent in Labanotation: the central columns inside the "box" indicate low kneeling with the knees very widely separated (which means the torso is above the feet by default), while columns immediately to the left and right of the box indicate that the shoulders are pulled back. The symbols above the ends of the angled connecting lines at the bottom of the diagram add the information that the palms of the hands are resting on the thighs on the same side of the body, and the rightmost column indicates that the head is looking forward and tilted up (chin raised), thus representing the most typical or canonical form of the nadu position.
Labanotation-Gorean-nadu-detailed.png A more fully-specified representation of the most typical form of the Gorean nadu position, with further Labanotation details. The additional symbols in the middle of the outer columns inside the box indicate that the ankles are extended (i.e. the tops of the feet are on the ground), which is often the default for high kneeling, and seems to be the Gorean default for all kneeling positions. The additional symbols at the top of the outer columns inside the box explicitly specify that the lower legs are angling inwards (so that the feet are together beneath the torso). The additional symbols in the column to the right of the box indicate that the chest area of the torso is raised (this right placement is an arbitrary notational convention). In descriptions of the nadu or pleasure-slave position in the Gor books, it is sometimes said that the back is very straight while at the same time the breasts are pushed forwards: this means that the shoulders are held back and the rib-cage is lifted. (Lifting the ribcage is not the same thing as sucking in the stomach, but the two are highly compatible.)
Labanotation-Gorean-nadu-alt.png A slightly different diagram representing an alternative version of nadu. Here the solid circle in the outermost non-head symbols has been changed to a hollow circle to indicate that the backs of the hands are resting on the thighs (i.e. palms upward), giving the begging or placatory variant of nadu, while the head is now shown as humbly looking down (tilted forward). In the Gor books, these adjustments to the position are more likely to be done spontaneously by a kajira than explicitly ordered by a master.
Removing the two bottommost angled lines of this diagram (or the first diagram above), and the four symbols connected by them, as well as the rightmost head column, would result in a minimally-specified abstract general diagram compatible with (and neutral between) most variants of nadu — but the lack of information on the arms, hands, and head could also be interpreted as the arms hanging down by the sides by default and the head looking levelly forward by default (which is not a specific Gorean position).
Labanotation-Gorean-femsub.png A representation of the submission posture in Labanotation. The central columns indicate low kneeling (torso above feet by default), with knees together (in some circumstances the position would be performed with knees apart, but in the basic position often taught to Gorean free women, the knees are more likely together). The columns next to the box indicate that the arms are held extended in directions which are mainly horizontally forwards, but also towards the centre-line of the body (i.e. the left arm somewhat right and the right arm somewhat left), and in addition are slightly raised (but are not vertically over the head!). The columns connected by the arc at the bottom of the diagram indicate that the wrists are touching, with the palms of the hands facing downwards, or in other words wrists crossed (the back of one wrist touching the front of the other wrist). (If the palms are facing exactly vertically down, the wrists would be slightly bent, but Norman may have intended for the wrists to be unbent so that each hand continues the line of its arm; I haven't attempted to resolve this minor discrepancy in the diagram.) Finally, the rightmost column indicates that the head is lowered (as in the preceding diagram).
Labanotation-Gorean-serving.png A representation of the serving position in Labanotation. This resembles the position in the preceding diagram, but the knees are shown as widely apart. (Only in certain cases when serving a free woman, or when free women are present, would the knees be together.) In this position, the extended arms slant towards the centre-line of the body only enough to grasp the cup or goblet in both hands (the cup is drawn at the far right of the diagram, though held in front of the centre of the body, and the angled lines at the bottom and the symbols above the other ends of the lines show that the cup is grasped and supported by the hands). Note that in the diagram the arms are shown as raised only enough so that the head (looking down in the moment of serving) can be said to be "down between her arms", though in some contexts (depending on the relative location of the master) the arms would be raised higher.
Labanotation-Gorean-pre-serving-kiss-cup.png A version of the preceding diagram showing the most common preliminary gesture to the Gorean serving position. As previously, she kneels in basic nadu (with her knees separated and torso vertical over her upturned heels) while grasping the cup or goblet with both hands in front of her body, but here it is held to her lips to be kissed. For a dynamic diagram of three preliminary stages to presenting the cup to her master (first pressing the cup against her abdomen, then touching it to her breasts, then kissing it), see this image.
Labanotation-Gorean-obeisance.png A representation of basic features of the Gorean "common position of obeisance" or "first obeisance position" in Labanotation. The central columns indicate that the weight is supported on the elbows and lower arms (with each elbow bent so that the angle between the upper and lower arm is less than 90 degrees), and on the knees (technically high kneeling, since the hips are above the knees). The column to the left of the box shows that the torso is forward, and sloping down from hips to shoulders (this left placement is an arbitrary notational convention). The outer columns indicate that the palms of the hands are on the floor.
Labanotation-Gorean-obeisance-dynamic.png An alternative representation of the Gorean common obeisance position as derived by a dynamic process. The starting position is on all fours (supported by hands and knees, with arms and upper legs vertical), as written in the part of the diagram below the double horizontal line. The arms are then bent until the elbows/forearms hit the floor, as written in the top part of the diagram.
Labanotation-Gorean-sula.png A representation of the Gorean sula position in Labanotation. The rectangle with circles in the centre-right column indicates that the weight is supported on the back of the torso (this right placement is an arbitrary notational convention). The non-central columns inside the box indicate that the legs are widely apart, while the columns outside the box indicate that the palms of the hands are facing upward. The arms are in a more or less default position (lying extended near the torso and upper legs), so their placement is not explicitly shown.
Labanotation-Gorean-lesha-bracelets.png A representation in Labanotation of the basic Gorean standing lesha / bracelets position. The central columns indicate simple standing, while the columns immediately outside the box indicate that the shoulders are pulled back (part of the adjustments of stomach, chest, and shoulders usual in Gorean positions in which the torso is vertical and the arms are not raised). The next columns outside the box indicate that the hands are held pointing vertically downwards. The connecting arcs at the bottom, and symbols directly above them, show that the back of the left wrist is touching the left back of the pelvis area, and the back of the right wrist is touching the right back of the pelvis area. Finally, the rightmost column indicates that the head is turned left with chin raised (the Labanotation symbol used technically shows the head turned left a full 90°, but this should be interpreted as the maximum practical angle).
Labanotation-Gorean-display.png A representation in Labanotation of one version of the Gorean Display position. The columns inside the box indicate standing with feet widely apart (i.e. legs diverging to the sides), while the column immediately to the right of the box shows that the upper half of the torso is pushed slightly upward and bent backwards a little (this right placement is an arbitrary notational convention). The connecting arcs at the bottom, and symbols directly above them, show that the hands are clasped together at the back of the head with fingers interlocked, while the rest of the rightmost column indicates that the head and neck are not just carried along with the upper torso, but the head is also tilted a little backwards (i.e. looking slightly upwards) in relation to it.
Labanotation-Gorean-dance.png A representation in Labanotation of the "basic position of the slave dance". The columns inside the box indicate low standing (i.e. with knees flexed), while the column immediately to the right of the box shows that the ribcage is lifted. The next outer columns show that the upper arms are raised to the sides, while the connecting arc at the bottom, and the symbols directly above it, show that the backs of the wrists are touching each other (above the head).
Labanotation-motif-grasp-ankles.png An abstract dance-notation diagram representing the action of grasping the left ankle with the left hand while grasping the right ankle with the right hand (but without specifying the position of the body in any other way). This is mentioned relatively less often in the Gor books, but is included here since it can result in several interesting positions, depending on the starting point (prone, supine, standing etc.).
Labanotation-female-male.png The Labanotation female sign (left) and male sign (right). Either of these can be placed below the centre of a diagram (underneath the middle vertical line of the "box") to indicate that a position or movement is performed by a woman, or by a man. When underlined and placed to the right of a diagram, they mean that a woman or a man is in front of the person doing the position or movement, while if overlined at the right of a diagram, they mean that a woman or a man is behind the person doing the position or movement.
Labanotation-kneeling-standing-embrace.png A diagram which includes such male and female signs to indicate an asymmetrical embrace involving both master and kajira. Here a woman kneeling with knees apart and her torso vertical over her upturned heels (i.e. in basic nadu) is positioned next to a standing man, so that one of his vertical legs (the left leg in the diagram) is between her two folded horizontal legs. She embraces both his legs at the level of the lower thigh, and presses her (ideally naked) torso against his nearer leg, while kissing and/or licking the outside of his upper thigh. This is not a formal Gorean position (and so is described only somewhat disconnectedly in John Norman's "Gor" novels), but a method for a kajira to express feelings of submission, trust, respect, obedience, affection, and especially dependence toward her master in a way which allows direct skin-to-skin contact while accepting status disparities. (The robes and tunics often worn by Gorean free men mean that his legs can be accessible even if he's dressed.) The man doesn't have to do anything other than receive her adoration, though one of his hands can conveniently ruffle her hair. (If she embraced him on her own initiative while she was also standing, then she might be considered presumptuous for placing herself on the same level as him, while he would likely immediately take control.)
Gorean-sex-position-dance-notation.png This represents a position suitable for master-kajira sex which is probably the sex position most specifically described in the Gor books (but not the most common one) — see "usage" above (though in the diagram the woman's hands are shown clasped together behind her head instead of behind her neck). This gives full control to the man, but is probably not entirely realistic unless done on a surface which is soft, but not so yielding that there is any possibility that the woman may have difficulty breathing. Note that this is a static snapshot of a dynamic process...
For a position which probably does most of what Norman intended to do with this position, but isn't as limited, see "81. Creep up behind me" in Sex 365: A Position for Every Day (ISBN 978-0-7566-3353-0).

See also

External links

This page uses content from SM-201; the original article can be viewed here.
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