I have wondered upon occasion why brands are used on Gorean slaves. Surely, Goreans have at their disposal means for indelibly but painlessly marking the human body. My conjecture, confirmed to some extent by the speculations of the Older Tarl, who had taught me the craft of arms in Ko-ro-ba years ago, is that the brand is used primarily, oddly enough, because of its reputed psychological effect. In theory, if not in practice, when the girl finds herself branded like an animal, finds her fair skin marked by the iron of a master, she cannot fail, somehow, in the deepest levels of her thought, to regard herself as something which is owned, as mere property, as something belonging to the brute who has put the burning iron into her thigh. Most simply, the brand is supposed to convince the girl that she is truly owned; it is supposed to make her feel owned. When the iron is pulled away and she knows the pain and degradation and smells the odor of her burned flesh, she is supposed to tell herself, understanding its full and terrible import, I AM HIS.
Outlaw of Gor