"They guy at table 12 is about to blow a fuse waiting for his Rancho Deluxe Burger ... wait a minute, he just hauled Suzy off to an alcove!"
So if you want to have paga sluts, you’re going to need a lot of them, enough to fuck all the men who order booze and then request sex, with others on hand to serve food and drink while their co-workers lie chained and naked with their legs spread, providing whatever sexual delights their customers order.
If you had the only such establishment in town on Earth, you’d have to figure on a 1/1 ratio of customers to girls, almost. But we’re not talking about an individual paga tavern, we’re talking about paga taverns as an institution. So let’s switch tracks and see how paga taverns work as an institution on Gor, to get a better idea how they might work on Earth … hell, they might not even work on Gor, as described.
Paga taverns that provide the use of a girl with the price of a drink or a meal would undoubtedly have a much higher number of girls working than a paga tavern that did not, if only because squirming in her bonds underneath various customers is both labor-intensive and time-consuming.
If you had to pay wages to these additional staffers, or paga sluts as Norman calls them, it would be MUCH more expensive to run a paga tavern with paga sluts than it would be to run regular paga tavern where the slaves just served liquor and food.
But on Gorean tavern masters did not have to pay wages to their paga sluts, because they were of course slaves. And slaves on Gor are not expensive to keep on hand. Let’s look at the economics of the deal.
Mmmmm, Purina Slave Chow, made from reprocessed tarsk scraps, keeps their skins so soft and silky!
Food for slaves is cheap for slaves because of course you are not concerned about taste or appearance, you just want to keep the slave able to perform their duties without passing out from hunger. So you buy a big bag of ta-sarna wheat, mix it with some water and table scraps and leftovers from the previous day’s meals that are too dodgy to throw in today’s soup but not in a poisonous state, and voila! You have a day’s worth of feed for up to 50 slaves.
And of course, patrons will sometimes feed the girls table scraps themselves, right at their tables, for the fun of it and perhaps to give them a positive incentive to perform well in the alcoves, always having the whip as a negative incentive, of course. As far as management is concerned, it's free feed for the slaves, since the customer has bought the food.
And that’s the ONLY regular expense a tavern master of Gor would have for his slaves. Slave wine is a perfect, long-lasting, side effect free contraceptive, so no worries there. The stabilization serums keep the girls healthy, prevent aging, and ensure they live hundreds of years, which means no medical expenses and very little in the way of turnover due to aging and death by aging.
Iron cages do not a prison make, but they make pretty good cages!
So we’ve got food covered, shelter is just an iron cage not much bigger than a cardboard box a large screen TV comes in here on Earth. And the iron cages are stackable so you don’t need much room to house them. Kinda tough on the slaves on the lower levels, but what the hell, slaves are washable.
A paga slut kneels in the scullery, waiting to be called to serve, dressed for her job.
As for clothing … why would a paga slut need clothing? It would just get in the way. So it gets cold in the winter or rainy in the summer … it’s indoor work! You might have a house winter coat or three on hand for when you want to send trusted slaves out on errands, but the majority of them can stay in the cozy confines of the paga tavern’s serving rooms, kitchens or in the furs of the alcoves.
So food, shelter, clothing are all covered as regular expenses. But there are some one-time expenses associated with keeping slaves: cages, cuffs, chains, shackles, whips, collars and such, so these can easily be amortized over the hundreds of years the slave will serve you in a state of complete beauty and youth on Gor. IN fact, there might even be a tax break associated with the depreciation of collars and cages and so forth because, let’s face it, if there is any place in the universe where you can get a tax break for the expenses involved in keeping slaves, it’s Gor.
Therefore, I propose that on Gor the cost of keeping 20 slaves is not all that much more expensive than keeping 10 slaves, and the difference between keeping 30 slaves and 20 slaves is even less pronounced, once the slaves are purchased.
Furthermore, there is ample precedence for slaves being cheap … really cheap … on Gor. In Outlaw of Gor its stated that ordinary untrained slaves might sell for as little as five copper tarn disks, and as much as 30 tarn disks. (The smallest unit of currency in Gor is the tarsk bit, it is literally one eighth of a tarsk disk (that is, a copper tarsk disk can be broken into eight pieces, each piece is a tarsk bit). Paga tavern owners who are buying girls as paga sluts would of course look for pretty ones, so I suspect they would be paying 20-30 copper tarns rather than 5 coppers tarns.
Still, that’s pretty cheap. For example a copper tarn at a paga tavern will buy food, drink and the use of a paga slut. So it wouldn’t take a hell of a lot of time for a paga slut to pay for her purchase price. Thirty customers in a week seems reasonable, even conservative, so one week after she's bought she's earned her purchase price.
I was going to go into a long dissertation on Gorean economics to support my point, but the more I learned about the subject the more I realized that it made little or no sense, so I chucked that plan. Norman was not an economist, and there’s no reason he should have been, remember, he was writing novels, not world-building. He had a lot of fundamentally contradictory stuff in his Gorean economics, the biggest howler being his claim that slaves were rare on Gor, amounting to just 2 or 3 percent of Gor’s population, even though in the novels the characters can hardly move without tripping over a slave, but most tellingly, even though slaves are consistently described as cheap.
I mean, you ever heard of a rare and desirable commodity that was also cheap?
Still, I’m comfy with my analysis of the expense of keeping slaves, so, yeah, paga taverns made sense on Gor … the paga tavern owner whose slaves were NOT sexually available to customers would be destined to a fast ticket to being an ex-paga tavern owner.
But … could it happen on Earth?
Would You Like A Blowjob With That, Sir?
Part 3: How Would Paga Taverns Work On Earth?
Paga Taverns of Earth … And Gor
Part 1: A Brief Introduction To Paga Taverns