Facebook recently decided that everyone should have to use their “real name” on their web site. I can’t tell you how mad this made me.
When I first entered the kink scene nearly two decades ago, I was named “Lady Violet” for my Dominant nature and my purple eye shadow. I have continued using the name Violet in most instances in the kink scene.
This is due to the nature of jobs I have held where being kinky would be considered a scandal, as well as the job my husband holds which has strict rules about conduct in and outside the workplace.
Obviously, there are a great many people who have jobs that would be difficult to do under their real name. Fear of stalkers, being fired from jobs, and other concerns make adopting a “scene name” a no-brainier for a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life.
I have been asked how one chooses a “scene name,” and that is something I have precious little advice on. I legally changed my real name when I was old enough to do so (for a myriad of personal reasons) and I think that naming yourself is the hardest thing a person can do. Perhaps without realizing it, I think we are all influenced by the names that we were given. Choosing a new name is like trying to re-invent yourself. It’s not easy for everyone.
The only guidance I can offer is to pick a name that you are sure you like, because it’s very hard to change your name more than once. You have to learn to respond to something completely new, and to become accustomed to people knowing you by that name.
I know it can seem silly if you have a job that wouldn’t be damaged by knowledge of your bedroom preferences getting out. I know some people are comfortable using their real names and do not feel threatened by anyone knowing their “real identity.” They “come out” as kinky to friends, family, and co-workers. And that is totally okay too! If you prefer to use your real name, then I am proud of you for not being afraid of the consequences.
However I do highly recommend that in particular anyone who performs in the community give consideration to using a name other than the one on their birth certificates.
For me, I was happy to adopt the name Violet, and I am glad that it is passable as a real name so that it can be used on Facebook and other social media sites. I even feel like it helps me switch from “real life” to the kink mentality when I go from one name to the other. I think it helps me to get into character.
So if you are new to the scene and you are still telling people your real name, I guess I hope you’ll consider this food for thought. Obviously it is up to every person to consider what their own comfort level is, but I know that I have been happier using a scene name and writing under a pen name, and I think that there are good reasons to think about doing it when you get involved with kink.