The Silk & Steel is a Gorean community dedicated to the furtherance of Gorean study and interaction. Our citizens all espouse a shared ethos which we call the Gorean Philosophy. It is based upon certain truisms and concepts described by John Norman in the Gor books, his fictional Chronicles of the Counter-Earth. There are 26 Gor books as of this writing, with another being written by the author at this moment.

        We do not believe that Gor is a real place, or that there is a counter-earth hidden behind the sun. Nor do we espouse any activity that violates the laws of the municipalities where we live. We do not practice or support the practice of actual economic chattel slavery, which is (correctly) illegal throughout most of the civilized world of the 21st century.

        Our Gorean lifestyle is a serious, consensual, adults-only endeavor. Citizenship in the Silk & Steel is a very important part of our lives. We share an actual Home Stone, kept under constant guard by a citizen appointed to the task of its defense. Our oath of citizenship is sworn over this stone.

        At the present time, our citizenry exists in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. We periodically engage in formal community gatherings, which we call "GorDoggles," as well as smaller, less formal meetings at various times and places. One of the primary requirements for citizenship in the Silk & Steel is that all citizens must have physically met at least one of his fellow citizens in person. The Silk & Steel is NOT just an online organization. We demand unwavering honesty and a keen sense of personal responsibility from our citizenry.  

        Not all of our citizens are engaged in Gorean Master/slave relationships (though most have been). Some are presently involved in Free Companionships of the Gorean variety. Many of our citizens are involved in legal marriages patterned after either the Gorean M/s or FC model. We do not consider involvement in a Gorean M/s relationship to be a requirement for one to qualify as Gorean, nor do we require such involvement by our citizens.

        Our citizens are all Free Goreans, be they male or female. Gorean slaves are by definition barred from citizenry to a Gorean Home Stone. Individuals who identify themselves as Gorean slaves may be "owned" or otherwise attached to our citizens, but they do not gain citizenship in our ranks from such a union. Nor do the spouses or Free Companions of our citizens.

        Citizenship in the Silk & Steel is neither heritable nor can it be gained through familial association.

        Our citizens are carefully selected Goreans, each individually chosen by us based upon his own special merit.

The Silk & Steel Tavern

        Founded in 1996 as an Internet chat-based forum where serious Gorean aficionados could come to interact and discuss Gorean matters in a suitably Gor-themed atmosphere, the original tavern utilized Internet Relay Chat (IRC) text-based software and has existed as channel #silk&steel on the IRC server DALnet from the time of its founding until the present day.

        The Silk & Steel Tavern was envisioned to be a virtual Gorean place. It was therefore equipped with detailed descriptions of the tavern interior, a map of the supposed "floorplan," a colorful (and humorous) virtual "menu" describing assorted Gorean foods and drinks which were supposedly served in the tavern, etc. All of these details contributed to the environment of the chatters, and were intended as a tongue-in-cheek pastiche of a typical Gorean paga tavern as described by John Norman in his Gor books.

        The purpose of the Silk & Steel Tavern was always to provide an enjoyable imaginary atmosphere in which real people could interact with one another as themselves, by accurately and cleverly translating their offline identities into Goreanized versions of the people they really were. In such a way we could all experience a bit of Gor in our daily lives, while interacting in a scrupulously honest manner.

        In the Silk & Steel Tavern, there was no such thing as "OOC" (out-of-character) behavior. It was assumed that visitors weren't portraying a "character" at all-- that they were just being themselves, as they would actually function upon the surface of Gor were it to exist in reality.

        This fine distinction was lost upon a large number of our visitors who presumed, incorrectly, that the Silk & Steel Tavern was just another online roleplaying venue in which they could adopt an invented persona and engage in virtual dice-rolling and pretend swordfights.

        As time passed, more and more of our guests failed to understand the difference between our Gorean tavern experiment and a shallow game of pretend. Real people put their trust in the fellowship they shared in the tavern, only to discover they had been interacting, in many cases, with frauds and callous griefers who manipulated the tavern environment, twisting it into a meaningless game of deception. Hoaxes were perpetrated; unscrupulous individuals staged phony "death scenes," created multiple identities, extorted money from hapless visitors, and conned everyone with whom they came into contact.

        Because of this, the Silk & Steel was forced to adopt a rather hardline approach and denounce many forms of interaction that fall under the umbrella of Gorean-themed roleplaying, a position which we still maintain to this day.

Why Silk & Steel?

        Those two items, each a product of human craftsmanship, perfectly represent the two kinds of strength exhibited in our species-- male (steel) strength and female (silk) strength.

        Steel is melted, shaped and forged under high heat to become strong and flexible, but its flexibility is measured in its ability to bend and spring back to true-- which makes it ideal to pierce lesser materials, to cut and shape. Polished and kept clean, it is absolutely beautiful. To gaze upon it is to see yourself reflected in its cool surface.

        Silk is even stronger. An inch-thick woven garment of pure silk will stop a bullet. Except silk is almost liquid in its flexibility-- and it, too, is beautiful. Woven from millions of tiny fibers, it can do things no steel could ever do. It can be spun into a rope to bear enormous weights. Yet it can be woven into a garment which is almost transparent. Its usefulness, and fluid strength, are almost limitless.

        Two symbols of strength-- each complementary to one another. Both beautiful, but only when worked into their ultimate, and most useful, forms.

How perfectly Gorean!

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