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This page tells, in detail, about the process of my branding. It isn't for the squeamish or faint of heart. The photos include shots of the actual branding process, so if you really don't want to see that, you should probably go back now.

The Gor books describe the branding process as sinking a white hot iron with a 1 1/2 inch tall design into a girl's flesh for some 8 seconds. Supposedly, this creates a beautiful, precise and delicate mark.

Ummmm.... No.

That will create a horribly deformed slave, most likely an amputee if you're lucky. If you aren't as lucky it will create a corpse. Probably not what most have in mind for their lovely properties!

In reality, for starters, the lines generally heal at least 2-3 times wider than than the initial mark so getting anything "tiny and delicate" just isn't going to happen with a brand, especially when we're talking a pretty and flowing cursive design like what the kef for girls is supposed to be.
Master had me design the brand because he likes my drawing better than his.

This is the initial design I drew for the brand. I had figured on it being about 2" tall total.
Of course, I soon learned that there was no way that this design would work as it was and especially not that small. The lines would just fuse together and look bad. So the brander enlarged the design and adjusted some of the lines so that nothing would be too close together.
                What he ended up with is this.

As you can see, in addition to the design being bigger overall, the two straight lines are a bit farther apart and the curly lines are widened a little and end just a hare earlier.
Here, the brander uses a magic marker to explain and demonstrate how the lines will most likely spread on the finished product.
Once the design was all ready to go and the transfers made (the same kind of transfer they use for tattoos), it was time to clean the branding site and determine the exact placement of the brand

It took a few tries to get the transfer placed *exactly* perfectly because there was a big difference between when I was sitting on the table and standing up cause of how much my leg muscles flex.

Then he had to fill in the lines a little to make sure they were perfect.

After that, it was time for the brander to set up the actual branding tools while the transfer dried and I tried not to be too scared, and then a smoke break before we got started on the burning me part.

Most strike brands (meaning the kind that involves heating up metal in a fire and putting it to the flesh) done on humans involves multiple strikes with small pieces of metal, as opposed to single strike with an iron comprised of the full design as described in the books. Otherwise, you're a lot more likely to end up with an uneven brand at best, or, worse yet, a blob of scarring that isn't anything resembling a design.

These are the pieces that were used to brand me. I forget the exact gauges and type of steel, but as soon as I get that information, I'll be putting that here instead of the "I forget" part.

Next in the "John Norman doesn't know squat about branding humans" lesson, we come to the heat level.

For each strike, the metal was heated to a very pale yellow, so that it was about 1,900 degrees F at the point that it actually touched the skin.

If the strike is too hot, it will burn too deeply and cause severe damage and if it isn't hot enough, it will hurt like the dickens (MORE than if it's the right temp!) and not scar properly, so you're left with horrible pain and nothing to even show for it!


Besides being aware of the right color, the brander has to be sure that the entire striking edge is a uniform color to ensure an even scar.

If you look closely at the following photographs, you can see the color stages as the metal heats up.


The second the torch was fired up, I went from being nervous and aprehensive to downright scared, but by FAR the most terrifying part of the experience was watching the metal being heated in the fire to that brilliant straw color.

Even looking at the pictures of the metal heating up in the torch gives me this kinda light headed, queasy feeling, and I'm not one who blanches at much!

Anyway, as soon as the metal is heated to the proper temperature, the brander must move quickly to make the strike before it cools off too much.


Then came time for the moment of truth.
The first strike...

It hurt!

I flinched on the first strike, so there is a bit of an extra line. Fortunately, the brander was quick enough to move so it isn't too bad. Though I'll tell you, having him go over the same spot that had already gotten branded really sucked!!!

Which brings us to the next fallacy in the branding descriptions of Gor... Each strike (meaning each time the hot metal was placed against the skin) lasted about 1 to 1 and a half seconds. Nowhere NEAR the approximately 8 seconds mentioned repeatedly in the books. I cant even imagine what 8 seconds would do!

Well, actually, I can... Besides causing a horrible, very deep burn, I think the metal might end up fusing itself to the skin .. kinda like what happens when you wait too long to turn a piece of meat on the grill and it sticks. And then, like the meat on the grill when you finally do turn it, I suppose the stuck on skin would rip off the body when you pulled away the metal. All in all, it's really something I don't want to think too vividly about! Ugh!!
I suppose it could explain why the slaves in the books screamed so much when they were branded.

Definitely good to remember that there is a reason those books are found in the *fiction* section!!

So, back to the actual brand...
In truth, it didn't hurt as much as I was afraid it would, even though it was quite painful.

Besides the pain part, it was really interesting, because each strike hurt, but only during the strike itself. As soon as the metal was removed each time, there was no pain at all.. just a very curious "tightening" sensation after several seconds.

This is the first strike that we were able to get a good photo of. I think it was the 9th strike.
Here it is with only 6 (I think) strikes to go. More than half done.
You can see the spot where I flinched a lot more clearly in this picture. I stayed pretty still for all but that first strike.
Believe it or not, once we got going, it went pretty quickly. I remember at one point I asked how many strikes were left to go and he said, "about 8" and I was dismayed until he followed it up with, "about half". I couldn't believe that we'd already done 8! It was at around that point that I realized I was pretty high. (endorphins are WAY better than drugs!!)

For the last 2 strikes, I actually had to hold back a case of the giggles from the major endorphin rush so I wouldn't be moving.

After the last strike (there wound up being 18 total), he cleaned it off again and looked it over carefully to make sure there weren't any spots that needed to be gone over.

Thankfully, no re-strikes were needed.

You might notice that the brander isn't wearing gloves during the branding itself. He took off the gloves right before firing up the torch. There is a very good reason for this.. If you're working with fire and you happen to get a hand a little close to the flame or slip or something, you REALLY don't want to be wearing latex!

The brand is instantly cauterized anyway, so there really isn't much risk of infection or transfering anything


This picture below was my first look at the completed brand and then in the one beside it I am "displaying" it for the first time.

Standing proudly as a branded slavegirl with my master.

And here, the brander takes one more look at his excellent work.

After everything was cleaned up and put away, we hung out and talked for a while, then Master, my daughter and I went to a nearby coffeeshop for coffee/hot chocolate and pasteries cause I was in no condition at ALL to drive!
Truth be told, I really wasn't fit to drive a couple hours later when I drove us home, but Master doesn't have a license and neither does my 12 year old. Thank goodness there was hardly anyone on the road because it really was like trying to drive drunk!

To the left is a picture of the brand after we got home, about 4 hours after it was done.

Below are the photos of the brand as it heals. It's intersting to note that the brand actually starts looking pretty ugly and scabby after a few days, as usual, unlike the books, where there was just this instantaneuos perfect brand that was tender for a few days and then all healed. Uh huh... Riiight!

1 Day          

2 Days          

3 Days 4 Days

5 Days 6 Days

7 Days 8 Days

11 Days 12 Days

2 Weeks

3 Weeks

4 Weeks

And finally, some pictures of me kneeling as a branded slave in silks... Click on the images for full size photos.

For more frequent updates and to read a lot more of my thoughts and feelings regarding the brand and other things, visit my kajira blog and to be notified when this page is updated, click here.

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