What is “Kajira”?
A Kajira is a name for female slaves in John Norman’s fantasy novel series, Gor. The Kajira serve the same role as a female slave or submissive would in a traditional BDSM dynamic. The role of Kajira in the Gorean series has been criticized for its role as a subject to their male masters.
Kajira and Their Roles in the Gor Series
In the novel, the term kajira is derived from Gorean language or phrase, la kajira, which meant “I am a slave-girl.” Its plural form is kajirae, while its masculine variation is kajirus or kajiri.
The story of Gor is a collection of science fantasy taking place in a Counter-Earth setting. The series portrays slave girls owned by men. Aside from performing household tasks, dressing their master in a certain manner, and possessing artistic skills, kajiras are also sex slaves.
The slave-owner/master setting in the Gor series has been well adapted into the BDSM community. It usually involves a sub playing the role of a kajira and the Dom taking on the role of the kajira’s owner.
The Gor series details a list of training methods. Kajiras are branded or marked with hot iron rods marking specific symbols/signs on their skin. Slaves are also made to wear collars bearing their owner’s name.
Different classifications of kajirae are based on the status of their virginity, their origin, and employment. A White Silk Girl is a virgin kajira (or, in Gorean terms, ‘not yet opened to men’). Owners of a White Silk Girl take their kajira’s virginity shortly after branding or taking them as their slaves.
Gorean-born kajiras are often bred based on a set of desired psychological and physical traits. They are born free and are referred to as Passion Slave. Barbarians, on the other hand, are kajiras taken from Earth through a Journey of Acquisition. Barbarian kajiras are ranked the lowest in social status and are said to be natural slaves with high sex drive.
Other classifications of kajirae include:
- Pleasure slaves perform duties that mainly involve sexual services.
- There are also prostitutes, paga slaves/sluts who are in-charge of serving alcoholic beverages at taverns.
- Flute girls who are skilled in playing the flute.
- Kettle girls tasked to fulfill domestic duties.
- Message girls who deliver secret messages.
In real world practice, the role of Kajira or Kajirae is practiced by fans of the books and world. Males traditionally take the role of Tarnsmen (Doms/Masters) and women or femmes take the mantle of Kajira (subs/slaves). There is a small but devoted following of the Gor series who gather for the purpose of BDSM style play, parties, and to celebrate the books. Recently Windycon, Chicago’s comic convention hosted a party celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Gor series.
Kajira in BDSM: Dos and Don’ts
- As with all other S/M and Master-Slave relationships in BDSM, consent, and trust are vital factors needed.
- If players desire to role-play a Kajira/Gorean setting, boundaries should be set first.
- Being a Dom or a Master is not just about inflicting or imposing one’s personal fantasies and desires on a sub.
- All acts done by the Dom/Top to their sub/bottom must be mutually pleasurable and agreeable by both parties.
- More importantly, the sub must feel comfortable with the scene as well as with the treatment by their Doms.
Related Practices & Fetishes
The term Gorean is a type of kink lifestyle based on the Gor series. This particular lifestyle usually adapts the dynamics and structure of a master-slave relationship. The dynamics of Kajira with their masters are generally seen as abusive, much like the 50 Shades of Gray Series. RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) should be practiced to avoid these kinds of negative or abusive dynamics.