Here are relevant references from the Books where a lash is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Shackled in a kneeling position, my back open and bleeding from the lash, I was thrown before the Ubar.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 153
Amidst the burning of the lash wounds I felt the cold air of the dungeon on my back. The whip had opened my tunic, I would be bleeding. I turned to look at the man who had spoken. It was he who held the whip. I noted grimly that its leather was wet with my blood.
I stood there, ankle deep in the sand, covered with sweat and sand, my back open from the lash of the race, my side torn from the driving horn of Kron's yoke. I stood unmoving.
My first knowledge of this came one morning when suddenly I awakened in my chains to the fierce bite of a leather lash.
"Awake, Slave!" cried a voice.
With a cry of rage I struggled in my chains to my knees, pulling against the metal collar that held me to my place. Again and again the lash struck me, wielded by the gloved hand of a girl.
"Few of them have even a smattering of Gorean," he said. "And they act strangely. They beg and weep and whine. One would think they had never seen a slave collar or slave chains before. They are beautiful, but they are stupid. The only thing they understand is the whip." Portus looked down, disgusted. "Men even go to see them sold, out of curiosity, for they either stand there, numb, not moving, or scream and fight, or cry out in their barbarian tongues." Portus looked up. "But the lash teaches them what is expected of them on the block, and they then present themselves well and some bring fair prices in spite of being barbarian."
When Ho-Tu held his torch to the third cell from the end, above that of the girl below, the Italian, the girl inside cried out and scrambled to the back of the cage, weeping, pressing herself against the cement, scratching at it. I could see the marks of a lash on her back. She was a short girl, dark-haired. I would have guessed French or Belgian.
Then she screamed with pain, throwing back her head, as the lash of the five-strap Gorean slave whip cut into her back.
I was suddenly afraid that I would be beaten. I had been beaten only once, when first enslaved, by Lana, with straps, at the side of the slave wagon. Never had a man beaten me. I was terrified of having the full five-strap Gorean slave lash, wielded with the full strength of a man, used on me. I was too sensitive to pain. The other girls, common girls, might be beaten, but not I. It would hurt me too much. They could not understand how it would feel to me, how much it would hurt!
I crossed my wrists beneath me and touched my head to the floor, exposing the bow of my back. It is the submissive posture of a slave girl who is to be punished. It is called Kneeling to the Whip. I shook, visibly, at his feet. I whimpered. I waited for him to call a guard, to bring a lash.
"Count," pressed Rena. "Count! The lash will not lower your value," she said. "The straps are too broad. They only punish."
She beat me. My body, in the thongs, twisted and leaped under the lash.
"It is enough," said Verna.
I closed my eyes. I did not question Verna further. I did not wish to be again beaten.
Mira laughed, and folded the lash.
It was she who was struck first with the switch by the red-haired girl, who leaped among them, striking and slashing with the supple lash.
She shuddered. I had little doubt but what this slave knew well, and much feared, the disciplining kiss of the Gorean slave lash.
"The lash," said the Forkbeard, "will be the snake."
The lash was placed by Gunnhild in the hand of Ivar Forkbeard.
Ottar threw the girl's hair forward, so that it fell before her shoulders.
"No!" cried Hilda.
The Forkbeard touched her back with the whip; his fist held the handle and, too, beneath his fist, folded back, were the five straps. He tapped her twice.
She turned and pulled up her blouse, showing me her back. "No," she said. There were few marks on her back, though I saw the traces of a beating or two. There was no scarring. The soft, pliant, broad-bladed five-strap lash had been used. It is the common instrument, if not the switch, used on girls. It is a valuable tool. It punishes with a terrible efficiency, and does not leave the girl permanently marked.
It was not unusual that men died under the lash of the snake, that heavy coil laced with wire and flecks of iron.
The girl in the black slacks drew back her hand again, again to strike with a five-bladed lash, but he who had been called Kunguni motioned for her not to strike. He spoke, in Gorean, to the girl in the black slacks.
Then the lash, as I wept from the pain, struck me again and again.
"Please, stop!" I begged. "Please, stop!"
Then I no longer felt the disciplinary tearing of the leather at my flesh.
The Lady Gina nodded to the two girls and they, suddenly, viciously, began to lash at me with the leather quirts.
From beside the curule chair I picked up a five-stranded Gorean slave lash. I threw it to the carpet, in front of the girl.
I went from her to the side of the room, where was the wheel which controlled the chain and, nearby, on its hook, the disciplinary Gorean slave lash.
I grinned up at her. Yes, she would look well, properly attired, or properly unattired, cringing at my feet in a collar, knowing that her least discrepancy from the absolute perfections of slave service would instantly bring upon down her the stroke of the five-stranded slave lash, or worse.
"Disgusting! Disguisting!" cried the free woman, Boabissia, in her leather and furs, having returned to the fire, and she rushed forward, a stout, thick, short, supple, single-bladed quirtlike whip in her hand. She began to lash Feiqa, who fell to her knees, howling with misery, a whipped slave. "We do not allow such as you in an Alar camp!" cried the free woman. Feiqa put her head down. Again the lash fell on her.
The third man went to the table, that on which rested the attaché case. He removed an object from the case. I gasped in terror. He handed it to the man in front of me. It was a whip. It had a single, stout, coiled lash.
"Please, no, Master!" I wept. Then I felt the lash. I stumbled back in agony, turned about, and fell to the carpet. There the leather once more informed me of the displeasure of my master, I screamed, miserable. Then another blow like lightning was on my back and I sobbed at his feet, on my belly off the rug.
When he did return she could see that he carried a five-stranded Gorean slave lash, with broad blades. She had seen such a thing in the pleasure cylinder. It is designed for the disciplining of female slaves. It punishes nicely, but does not mark, for that might lower the slave's sales value.
"Were you more of a slave," I said, "you would understand." The obedience of a slave is to be unquestioning and instantaneous. It does not take an intelligent woman long to learn this, usually no more than a first hesitation, following which they are apprised of their lapse by the switch or lash.
The five-stranded slave lash, of course, is designed to punish, and keenly. It is also designed not to mark, for one would not wish to lower the value of a slave.
Then I was put under the slave whip of Gor.
I am sure the beating was light, and intended to be more informative than anything else, but, still, I had, for the first time in my life, felt the flexible broad-bladed, five-stranded Gorean slave lash, designed specifically for the discipline of female slaves, a lash designed to punish but not to mark.
She obeyed well, but they all do, almost all. The lash is not pleasant.
I had been lashed once, in my training, to inform me of the experience. I did not care to again feel the caress, however briefly, of that implement, the five-stranded Gorean slave lash, designed for the improvement of slaves without leaving a permanent marking, which might lower their value. Having felt it I feared it, and would do anything to avoid it. Yet, too, I felt an indescribable excitement and thrill, a sense of reassurance and security, and even identity, and reality, knowing myself subject to its attention, knowing it would be used upon me if I failed to be pleasing. I was thereby well reassured I was a slave.
"No, no!" I cried.
I was then lashed.
Afterward, freed of the ropes, I lay, sobbing, shaking, below the whipping ring. My body was afire. I had been switched, now and then, occasionally, but I had never before, even in my training, been subjected to the attentions of the slave lash.
"Do not fear, worthless slut," he said. "It will not mark you. It will not reduce your value. You will be marketed the same as before, only now there will be a difference. You will know what it is to have felt the slave lash."
How I had twisted in the ropes, dangling, crying out, scarcely comprehending the pain. Let those who have never felt the lash scoff at it, or speculate how they would brave it. What fools they are! They have never felt it!
"Forgive me, Master," I wept.
I think he had returned the whip, the blades clipped, to his belt.
"Please do not sell me," I begged.
"Why should I not sell you?" he asked.
"Because I am your slave," I said. "I want to be your slave. I want to please you, so much! I want desperately to be found pleasing by you! I am in your collar! You are my master!" I dared not cry out my love for him. I did not want to be cuffed, or kicked, or put again under the Lash! How unworthy I was, a woman of Earth, a barbarian, even to be the despised slave of such a male!
"You were not pleasing," he said.