Rite of Submission

If at any time, or for any reason, a Free Woman decides that it is in her best interest either to become a slave or to openly submit herself to a man for his protection and use, this is accomplished by the performance of a formal gesture of submission in which she invokes the ancient Gorean "rite of submission." Many Free Women would rather die than perform such a subserviant act. It is important that a Free Woman understand that when this rite is invoked, there is no going back.

Typically there are only two possible outcomes when a Free Woman submits so: either she is enslaved and becomes the personal chattel of the man, his to do with as he sees fit, or she is found lacking in desirability by the man in question and is driven from him in disgrace. In the case of a warrior, the consequences are even more dire, since a warrior is not permitted by his codes to abandon the woman while she is still alive.

Therefore, most warriors have no qualms whatsoever against putting the submitting woman to death on the spot. Indeed, to a warrior's mind, it is better by far to take the supplicant's life than to abandon her to be randomly enslaved by the first person who comes along. In such a situation the warrior is acting to preserve the honor of the former Free Woman and her caste and family.

The way the rite is invoked is:

  • The Free Woman typically face strips herself, publicly announcing that she willingly submits to the individual she has chosen.

  • She then assumes "the position of female submission." A mat is used upon which to kneel for this. The Free Woman kneels at the man's feet. She leans back on her heels and extends arms upward, crossed at the wrists as though for binding. She lowers her head in supplication.

  • If the man accepts her, she becomes his slave and forfeits all titles, rank and property immediately. If he does not, she accepts the consequences of her actions, even if it means her death.

  • It should be obvious that a Free Woman does not invoke the Rite of Submission hastily or without serious consideration, as the very act can cost her life.