About being a Pani of Gor

Asian Culture of Gor – 愛佳



Dear readers,

I love the whole idea of Pani roleplay. This theme borrows heavily  from Asian culture. I do believe the popular movie “memoires of a geisha” opened up a whole fantasy world on Gor , revolving around exotic dances, silks, customs, traditions.  Anyways , I am biased since I have many Asian friends and just love the culture and values.  Sadly, many Pani sims like Nara have closed in recent years. I did however find a new Pani sim on my travels , named Okinotori. You can read the full review here.

Takeda says:

i just see me appear in your pic , i am the guy who wear the mask .Takeda . Already left there for a long time , miss the Okinotori and a lot of old friends .


Fancy roleplaying a Pani?  A short guide:

One of the earliest calling cards that I have in my inventory belongs to Leena Ying.   She lives in Beijing, China.  Leena is the owner of DrLife and is one of the most successful businesswomen in Second Life. And no wonder, she creates the most artistically advanced skins and avatars in this virtual world.

I glanced at the two women of the “strange men” on the lacquered platform.  They were looking at Cecily, but I saw no evidence of envy, hostility or jealousy.  This was quite different from the way in which the Gorean free woman would look upon a slave girl.  They see the slave as a vulnerable, but hated rival, with whom, with the interest of men, they could not compete.  These women, however, seemed to view Cecily more as one might view a lovely pet, doubtless of great interest to men but not really constituting a threat to themselves, and their position.  I would later learn that these were, indeed, “contract women,” who, as girls, were often sold to pleasure houses, most often by their parents.  Sometimes, too, they would sell themselves to such a house, to be trained in the arts of pleasure, for example, music, dancing, singing, conversation and such.  As their contracts could be bought and sold they were in effect, slaves, but they were not thought of such.  For example, they occupied an understood, accepted and generally respected niche in their society.  They were not tunicked, not branded, not collared, and so on.  They were not “collar-girls.”  Indeed they regarded themselves, without arrogance, and with much justification, as far superior to collar-girls.  They were in their view a different category all together. Swordsmen of Gor, page 195

Similar to the Japanese Geisha, the Contract Woman is somewhere between a Free Woman and a slave.  She is not collared nor owned but is described by Norman as a “trained, refined entertainer” whose services are paid for by their clients.  In other words, a geisha.  Controversial and provocative is the response thus far across the Gorums and blogs in regards to the “Contract Women” and the Pani people in general.  But with the love of Japanese culture amongst second life residents, I contend this is a role that will be popular and enriching for many a role player

Pani Book Quotes 1

ARMOR & CLOTHING “I was at Cabots side to protect his left. And as a man fell he was at the left of a Pani warrior with a large horned face concealing helmet the Pani warrior clutched a long curved sword with two hands. ” – Mariners of Gor ”I looked up. The figure was in battle gear, and it removed from its head a large, winged helmet.”  “Ah, said Lord Okimoto politely, “Lord Nishida”   –  Mariners of Gor “Some slaves, high slaves, may have sandals, even slippers, set with precious stones, but a free woman is likely to order them to remove such presumptuous footwear in their presence, and sometimes to bring them to them, dangling from their mouths, humbly, head down, on all fours, rather as a pet sleen or slave might bring footwear to her master.”   – Mariners of Gor “Both lords wore sandals.”    The hair of each was drawn behind the head and fastened in a ball or top knot.  This was the case with many of the Pani, not all.” – Mariners of Gor FOOD STUFFS & AGENTS “Tassa powder is a harmless, tasteless, swift-acting drug.  It is commonly used in the taking of women.  It might be introduced into the parties of maidens, into the private, candle-lit suppers of high-born beauties, into the beverages of inns or vendors. – Swordsmen of Gor “The staple in the Twelve Islands, which is actually far more than twelve, is not Sa-Tarna, but rice. – Mariners of Gor “Rice fields, or paddies, are associated with each village.  A daimyo or shogun will have suzerainty over various villages, which he protects, and from which he obtains the means to maintain his men.  He who controls the rice, it is said, controls the islands.” – Mariners of Gor “The effect of Tassa powder is not felt for a time, but when it takes effect, it does so swiftly.” – Swordsmen of Gor “One is not entitled to assume that a fair-skinned slave from abroad, one from a far different culture, is going to know what might be expected of her, the proper serving. for example, of sake, the appropriate temperature, and such.  – Mariners of Gor “I hoped that, too, as I was growing weary of rice and parsit.  The Pani do raise tarsk, verr, and of course, vulos.”  “Perhaps they will break out the Paga” – Mariners of Gor “Many were the savory odors which emerged from behind the screen, from sauces, stews, and soups, rich with shoots, herbs, nuts, spices, vegetables, and peppers, even tarsk and vulo, as well as parsit, crabs, and grunt, emanating from pots brought in from the central kitchens, which served the long tables, outside, the barracks messes, the larger halls, and the smaller halls, such as that of the Three Moons.”  – Mariners of Gor

WARRIOR & DAIMYO “I now saw one of the Pani emerging from the hut, carrying a head.  These heads were clearly trophies of a sort.  For example, a warrior might win favor from his daimyo or shogun by gathering heads, this understood as a proof of prowess in war.  In such a way one might earn promotion, land, gifts, preferment, and such.  I would also later learn that these heads, particularly if one of a celebrated foe, might be treasured, and kept indefinitely, the hair being carefully combed and dressed, the head being perfumed, the teeth painted black, and so on. “  — Swordsmen of Gor “Lord Nishida bowed first. There is apparently a certain order to such things, who bows first, how deeply one bows, and such.” – Mariners of Gor “Hands, too, amongst the higher Pani, are often concealed in the broad sleeves of their robes.  This makes possible the concealment, and the ready availability, of a sleeve dagger. ” – Mariners of Gor “We do not require prisoners but seldom did so.  Sometimes prisoners were tortured, and crucified, presumably primarily as examples to terrify enemies, reduce the temptation to sedition, and such.  A common form of Gorean execution is impalement.  The Pani regarded this as barbarous, but looked lightly on crucifixion. –Swordsmen of Gor “An interesting exception to this sort of thing is that a prisoner, or one on the verge of capture, may be accorded the right to accept a new daimyo or shogun.  Once he does this he is then honor bound to serve the new leader, as he did his old, and, it seems, he may be depended on to do so.  He is not a mercenary, but he is a loyal follower, whomsoever he follows. –Swordsmen of Gor “In his belt, blades uppermost, were the two swords, the companion sword and the longer blade.”  — Swordsmen of Gor “The movements of contract women are closely supervised.  Collar-girls have much more freedom, as would domestic sleen or scavenging tarsks.”  — Swordsmen of Gor

MISCELLANEOUS & INTERESTING “Tajima had now joined us.  You saw? asked Tajima.  “Sumomo belongs in a collar, ” I said.  “She is Pani,” said Tajima.  “Doubtless some women of the Pani are in collars,” I said.  “Yes,” he said, “Primarily women of enemy houses.  Taken, they may be reduced to collar girls.”  – Mariners of Gor “It was my understanding that a dialect of Gorean was spoken at the World’s End, that the Priest-Kings had seen to this. By there mysterious power, and secret sky ships, it seems they had long ago placed the Initiates amongst the Pani, perhaps centuries ago, who had taught them Gorean. – Swordsmen of Gor “Though I had never been in that room, it’s window high , unshuttered, open to the sky, it obviously housed a number of the swift-flighted, messenger vulos, by means of which Pani might convey messages.” – Mariners of Gor “I had no idea of how effective lower Pani, mostly peasants, impressed or enlisted as ashigaru, might be, as it was not their way of life, so to speak, as it seemed to be for higher Pani, such as the warriors of Lord Temmu, and Lords Nishida and Okimoto, but I was sure they could be trained, might be terrified not to fight, and,  in any event, might be present in large numbers.” — Mariners of Gor “The Pani, discovering that the initiates were not marketing their golden pans but expected to receive something for nothing, as it were, or nothing tangible, asked them to step aside, as they were impeding the way of honest tradesmen. ” – Mariners of Gor “On Continental Gor, green is the caste color of the Physicians. I did not know its meaning here.” – Mariners of Gor “The green column,” said Lord Nishida, “might indicate that an area is safe to approach, even though it might lie in the the territory of Lord Yamada, no enemy being about, or that a passage has been cleared, or a castle may be approached, or such, and thus one might have green without red, but it would be unusual to have both green and red.”   – Mariners of Gor “Yellow,” said Lord Nishida to Cabot, “indicates that the holding of Lord Temmu stands.” – Mariners of Gor “At the edge of the lacquered platform, one on each side, crouched two larls.  Behind Lord Nishida, at the back of the platform, stood six of the “strange men” each armed with a glaive, the blade of which, socketed in its stout pole, was some two- and- a- half feet in length, and curved. “ — Swordsmen of Gor “We are a formal, traditional people,” said Tajima.  “The old ways are important to us.  But we are also an intelligent, adaptive people, and always ready and eager to adopt useful devices, pleasant customs, and such” – Swordsmen of Gor (Kindle location 3910)

Pani Book Quotes 2

FREE WOMEN “The Pani free women, incidently, seem, except for the companions of high officers, and such, to have much lower status than the typical Gorean free woman, certainly one of upper caste.  For example, an older sister, even a mother, mus defer to a male child, bowing first, and such.  – Mariners “Their outburst earned them a cry of rage from the Pani woman in charge of the slave hut, who tore away their sheets, and gave them several stinging strokes of a bamboo switch.” –Mariners “Inquiries suggested, though, that the two new slaves were not unpopular with the hut’s clientele.” –Mariners CONTRACT WOMEN “Lord Nishida had two contract women, as the expression is, at his disposal, sumomo and Hana.  These women, I gathered, were not slaves.  Certainly they were not collared.  On the other hand their contracts could be bought and sold, and the women would accompany the contracts, which did not, to me, seem all that different from being slaves.” – Mariners of Gor “To be sure, they had a higher status, and were presumably respected and treated with courtesy.  The Pani, did of course, keep slaves, as the gifting of Saru would make clear, as well as the likely disposition, sale or such, if land were ever reached, of the lovely beats normally housed in the Kasra and Venna keeping areas.”  – Mariners of Gor “These women, demure in their kimonos, their tiny hands in their sleeves, would sometime, in their short, careful steps, visit the kenneled slaves. They looked upon them much as one would look on caged verr. Sometimes they spoke softly amongst themselves, laughed, and turned away.”  – Mariners of Gor “The blackness of teeth was apparently regarded as cosmetically appealing.  Indeed certain beauties of the Pani. I would learn, blackened their teeth to enhance their charms.” –  Swordsmen of Gor “To one side I saw two women in the kimonos, with their small steps, being ushered forward by one of the Ashigaru.” (these are peasants serving as warriors in time of battle) “I supposed they had been concealed somewhere.  I took them to be Sumomo and Hana.  They were being brought into the open, I supposed, for their security.  We controlled this area.  Buildings might be especially dangerous.”    Fugitives might take shelter within them, turning them into small fortresses. One would not wish them to be seized as hostages, though I did not think the Pani would be excessively concerned with them, as they might be replaced, I supposed, with others.  On the other hand, I was sure they would be taken as of greater value than, say, a common collar girl. “ — Swordsman of Gor “I caught sight of Tajima, now, again, in the clearing.  He approached Sumomo.  She turned away.  Though she was a female, and he a male, and though she was a contract woman, and he a free, she had not bowed to him.   I understood this to be an insult of some sort, and I noted that Tajima’s body, briefly, stiffened with rage.” — Swordsman of Gor “She has nothing to fear, said Pertinax.  She may have more to fear than she understands, I said. I do not understand, said Pertinax. Contracts may change hands, be purchased, and such, I said. ” –Swordsman of Gor “I suppose Tajima had been interested in whether or not Sumomo might serve at such a feast. She would not. She was a contract woman, and above such vulgar applications.”  –Swordsmen of Gor “I glanced to the two women of the “strange men” on the lacquered platform. The were looking upon Cecil, but I saw no sign of envy, hostility, or jealousy.  This was quite different from the way in which a Gorean free woman would look upon a slave girl.   They see the slave girl as a vulnerable, but hated rival, with whom, for the interest of men, they could not begin to compete.  These women, however, seemed to view Cecily more as one might have a lovely pet, doubtless of great interest to men but not really constituting a threat to themselves, and their position.  – Swordsmen of Gor “I would later learn that these were, indeed, “contract women,” who, as girls, were often sold to pleasure houses, most often by their parents.  Sometimes, too, they would sell themselves to such a house, to be trained in arts of pleasure, for example, music, dancing, singing, conversation, and such.  As their contracts could be bought and sold they were, in effect, slaves, but they were not thought of as such.  for example, they occupied an understood, accepted, and generally respected niche in their society.  They were not tunicked, not branded, not collared, and so on. They were not “collar-girls.”   Indeed, they regarded themselves, without arrogance, and with much justification, as far superior to collar girls.  they were in their view, in a different category altogether.  – Swordsmen of Gor

Slaves “When a client enters the hut, if he thinks he might find one of the slaves of interest, he has her stand before him, her head down.  He then lifts away the sheet and considers her.  If he is pleased, he instructs her as to how he wishes to be pleased.” – Mariners of Gor “Their outburst earned them a cry of rage from the Pani woman in charge of the slave hut, who tore away their sheets, and gave them several stinging strokes of a bamboo switch.” – Mariners of Gor “Cecily had heeled me into the pavilion.  After entering with me, she had gone, as was proper, to first obeisance position, beside me, a bit back and to my left.  In first obeisance position, often assumed by a slave in the presence of a free man, she kneels with her head to the ground, and the palms of her hands down on the ground on either side of her head.  The usual second obeisance position has the slave go to her belly, her hands on either side of her head. “Please allow her to kneel up,” said Lord Nishida, “Kneel up,” I told Cecily.”  “She then knelt up,her back straight, her head up, her hands on her thighs.  As was appropriate the circumstances, she kept her knees modestly together.  — Swordsmen of Gor Not every girl is publicly sold at auction. Indeed, some high slaves are exhibited privately to rich clients, in the purple booths. Even on the shelves, of course, as well as in the purple booths, a girl may be expected to perform to some extent, that some sense might be conveyed to the client of the possible value of the merchandise. It is only in the purple booths, of that a girl may be tried out by a prospective buyer, and woe to the girl, should she not prove satisfactory. –  Mariners of Gor “The collar-girl was an animal who might be put to the straw in a stable, and would not even be permitted within the refined precincts of the pleasure house.  The collar-girl was ignorant of the simplest things, even the proper serving of tea, the careful, delicate, symbolic arrangements of flowers, and such.  She would be of little interest to a gentleman, save for her performance of lengthy, servile labors, and her squirmings, gaspings, moanings, thrashings, and beggings, perhaps back-braceleted, in his arms. – Swordsmen of Gor

The Curious Case of Racism in Second Life

When you explore SL Gor you will notice it immediately , most panther girl avatar’s are white skinned , blond, thin and caucasian looking. I have experimented with asian skins in SL Gor , the first thing I noticed is that men (and women) had less interest in capturing and role playing me (not always a bad thing , but still).  Some how as a asian skinned and black haired woman I was less popular. The exception being the crowd that explores interracial roleplay , but they are less prevalant on SL Gor. The standard techno-optimist argument in favor of expanding the Metaverse goes something like this: Virtual worlds hold the promise of commuication without regard for distance, physical ability, gender, or race. Every aspect of the avatar is flexible, rendering prejudice obsolete. It appears such wishful thinking might be snagged on the heated issue of race. Pixels and Policy reports on a little-noticed study that says our racial biases are carrying over into the Metaverse. A research team from Northwestern University conducted a very interesting study on the biases and prejudices we carry into the virtual world, and the findings are startling. Researchers used what is called a “Door in the face” technique. The research team asked avatars for a ridiculous favor (a two-hour photo shoot), followed by a more modest request (one photo), to judge how willing avatars were to help. Then comes the spin: Researchers asked these favors as both black and white avatars. The results were shocking: The effect of the DITF technique was significantly reduced when the requesting avatar was dark-toned. The white avatars in the DITF experiment received about a 20 percent increase in compliance with the moderate request; the increase for the dark-toned avatars was 8 percent. What’s interesting is that avatars were willing to help a dark-toned player in need, but in greatly reduced percentages. Players appeared more willing to do things for a white avatar than they were for a black avatar. On its own, this study could fall victim to any number of operational flaws: Talking to busy avatars, changes in how the question was asked, or variations the estimated time constraint of a photo shoot. But as another series of interviews shows, the issue of racial preference in Second Life may be much more accepted and understood in-world than we think. Wagner James Au devoted some time to the question of virtual race in his great book, “The Making of Second Life” (a must-read for any serious Second Life enthusiast). Au interviewed several dark-skinned avatars in-world, including a white woman who experimented with a dark-skinned avatar only to find her social circle much reduced and friends asking when she was “going back to normal.

A Variety of Skins in Second Life? The issue of race can be so uncomfortable in the virtual world that black players will play as white avatars to avoid the awkward coldness experienced by the white player mentioned above. The idea that a black woman would need to play as a member of another race merely to avoid the social awkwardness of being black in the Metaverse is disturbing. Instead of building a virtual world where race is irrelevant, social conditioning is producing a space where those in “unfavorable” races can easily assimilate into a “favorable” skin tone. What’s worst about virtual race bias isn’t that it’s done with the conscious approval of players – in most cases, players harbor no outwardly prejudiced views – but that social conditioning makes the move towards one “favorable” skin tone so automatic. It isn’t that the caucasian (or tanned, as the case may be) skin tone is “better” than a darker tone, it’s merely that the white skin tone appears to be a “cultural norm” for Second Life players. White, then, is the default. This is why the friends of the race-shifter interviewed by Au asked, perhaps unaware of the real meaning, when she was “going back to normal.” How many black or asian or Middle Eastern players put on white skins because they feel it’s simply easier than dealing with the potential awkwardness of playing as their real race? What can be done about a racial prejudice so ingrained in our thoughts as players and avatars that it continues without our conscious approval?

Feedback from the grid:

Hi I hope you don’t mind me Iming you i was reading your blog and a bit about The Pani, I am European and really enjoy learning about Japanese and chinese culture. There are many forms of discrimination in SL not only racism, there is age, gender and disability to list just a few. If I may I will send you a couple of NC’s if that is okay, I have no issue you using any of it, but I would prefer you use my rp name Chiyoko. In fact I will wait to hear from you if you are interested. About the difficulty in playing a different gender to your RL in Gor the effects it can have and problems for a genuine rp player and not a male bimbo.

© Lunacaleengpanthers/Wiki/various


One comment

  1. i just see me appear in your pic , i am the guy who wear the mask .Takeda . Already left there for a long time , miss the Okinotori and a lot of old friends .

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