“I’d like to introduce you to Lady-Mistress Catwhiskers, Supreme Being of the Universe.”
“Hello there, I’m Frank.”
“Greetings, I am Lord Knockerlots and this is My property, slut zisc.”
These are examples of how people might introduce themselves in the Scene, examples of the wide variety of ways that kinksters identify. Names and titles have a significant place in the BDSM world, but for different reasons and motivations. It can be confusing, amusing and hard to pronounce.
“yeah, but what’s your real name?”
Identity is such a subjective thing, that this question always strikes me as ironic. Any of those names might be someone’s “real” name. It’s human nature to express one’s self differently in each sector of one’s life. We each have a ‘work mode’ and a ‘family mode’ and a ‘friends mode’, even if there’s only a shade of difference between each.
When it comes to playing with our taboo sexual selves, it can actually be incredibly helpful to have a “new” name to separate the erotic head space from the everyday drudgery. Choosing a name is empowering and is a way to consciously define one’s self.
I know a lot of people in the Scene that use their legal name (which is a much more accurate description than “real” name), but I also know a lot of people who use pseudonyms (either elaborate ones like above or more simple options.) Either way, each individual makes those decisions based on a number of reasons.
Choosing a pseudonym might be done for reasons such as: they want to have a ‘character’ name, it helps them get into the right mind-set, privacy & safety, to keep their lives compartmentalized, because their scene name was a gift to them, because they feel a special connection to that name, etc. Those who decide to go by their legal names also have different reasons for doing so, such as: they don’t want to get confused by keeping track of their names, they don’t have concerns about privacy issues, they have a belief that using their legal name is more “authentic”, or other reasons entirely.
Safety is an important factor when it comes to using someone’s scene name. It may seem frivolous to some, but there is probably a very good reason when someone uses a pseudonym in the public scene.
Which is why it’s a key part of our community, to respect each others chosen names, even when knowledge of a legal name is had.