The Secret World of Katie Mack

There are many reasons why someone in or around the adult/sex community would choose to work under a pseudonym. It’s pretty common practice. Without doing a bit of research, I think it’s more rare to find someone using the name on their birth certificate.

When I decided not to use the name that had been mine for my entire life, it wasn’t necessarily from a place of fear, but that was definitely part of it. Like many others, I had (and still have) a job that exists completely outside of the sexy realm we all live in together, that just isn’t compatible with the work I’m trying to do here.

Did I think I’d lose my job if I left it all out there? Maybe not. But I recognized early on the potential impact of trying to find a new job with the first search result of my name being a dildo review, or an introspection of my masturbation, or my journey of sexual identity.

I also wanted to be able to exhibit some control over how out I was to my family about everything. I hid (and I do consider this hiding) this whole aspect of my life so I could feel freedom within it. And it worked. I speak candidly about things I’d never be able to if I had to live with any of those fears. I co-host a fucking sex podcast. I can allow myself to be seen in my exploration, I can invite others to explore with me.

In hiding, I found myself not actually having to hide myself anymore. I learned who the real me is, it just took removing all the barriers of expectation and appropriateness first. I had never felt that kind of freedom before I divorced what I was doing from who I thought I was, or who I needed to be.

That freedom gave me life. And now it’s choking me.

I never expected the connections I made in this community to become this important to me. More important, really, than connections I’ve had for far longer. I’ve grown remarkably in the past year, and all of you have been there with me while I did that. While I continue to do it. You see me, because I see me now.

But what do you do when you realize the persona you created isn’t a persona at all? That the life you had been living before, the person you’ve been presenting yourself as, is the real fraud?

It makes it real fucking hard to plan the day, I can tell you that much.

The more actualized Katie Mack becomes, the more I realize that Katie Mack is more than a name or an idea, but the real person I have been all along… it makes the duality of this life and that one that much harder to take. I have two fully formed worlds, with work and people that are important to me and that I care deeply for. That lack of intersection, for me, means it’s hard to not feel like I’m living a lie on all fronts.

I can give myself the pep talk on this one on my own, I know all the things I would say to someone feeling something similar, but still.

It’s all the little everyday things that remind me that not only am I not in Oz anymore, I’m back in fucking Kansas. It’s my father making a joke about some Burger King perfume he read a story about, and having to stop myself from exclaiming that it’s just like Oink n Boink. It’s having to make up stories about where I’ve been and what I did when I was there. Dodging questions that I shouldn’t have to answer anyway. Being asked if I was a lesbian the first (and only) time I did try to be honest.

There’s a way to reconcile all of this, I’m sure of that. I can hold both these things, these worlds, these multiple me’s. For now at least. Maybe one day I’ll have to smash them together and hope for the best. Until then, though, it looks like I’ll be living in between.

6 thoughts on “The Secret World of Katie Mack

  1. When I have attended blogger events, I am called Lilly. People who know my real name, who are friends with “real name me” on Facebook but knew me as Lilly first, still call me Lilly. For the first two years I felt more of a divide but now, as you said, the connections I’ve made in this world are among the most important in my life. These people get me. I still hide this all from my family, for various and good reasons. I wish I didn’t have to. I’m good at this. I like this. My mom chides me on my current job, saying I should find one where I’m happier, challenged, using my talents. I am. Just not at the job she knows about. I know that part of the reason I do the research and home testing is bc of my parents. They were scientists. I’ve been playing with lab equipment since I was a kid. But my mom is skeptical if anything and anybody “on the Internet” and fairly conservative.

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  2. This is so on point…in the same situation, and I can relate. When co-workers mention Fifty Shades in passing, or someone makes a joke about using cucumbers as sex toys, or a million little things like that, I feel the division between my regular identity and my “blog self”. I don’t have any idea how to fix it either, but it’s nice knowing I’m not alone in my feelings.

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  3. TRUTH I have been RavenHarte for over 20yrrs and so more people call me RavenHarte or Raven than EVER call me by my legal name. So much so that sometimes I forget to ANSWER to my legal name, especially if I am an arena where most people use the pseudonym, LOL

    I have reconciled this by seeing RavenHarte as my Wonder Woman and “Legal Name” as my Diana Prince. She is my “nightside” or “shadow” fully integrated, totally freeing me to be my 100% authentic self outloud and proud with all the vim and vigor the name implies. My hubby and kids, my social circles, my coven and Pagan community, my LGBTQ and female activist community and my performance community ALL get the real me and that becomes my superpower.

    “Legal Name” gets to take on the roles which are just necessary for this body to live in this world, literally. The employee/co-worker, the mom the teachers and other kids parents see, the Minister, the board member, heck the patient even. I am not lying when I am “legal name”, I am just much much less ME. Society’s acceptable level of me.

    And that’s OK because not everyone can stand the full wingspan that can be RavenHarte, and truth be told I NEED that toned down dayside persona to keep MYSELF in balance. Funny thing about pseudonyms is, once established they generate expectations, and so when the persona is the reality, you have to be doubly aware of and firm with your limits or you burn out.

    I personally think you are doing an awesome job Ms Katie Mack, and look forward to seeing how you evolve through this :).

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  4. Oh, I now see this is several month old post…

    Anyhow, I just wanted to note that: although living your life in this way, of duality, you should find some relief in the knowledge that you are not alone in your experience here. There are millions of Americans living in this manner right now. It might be like, trying to describe the overall image of a tree, for the first time, by looking closely at a leaf, from nearby. The leaf is giving you a relevant, but also, very small piece of the overall image of how the whole tree looks. What your experiencing through this secretive-type of living, if you will, is only a very small part of the the overall reason/problem, that you just can’t see yet; but will see at some point in the future, looking back.

    We are living at a time where the intersection of cultural, sexual, technological, environmental & economic revolutionary changes appear to be coinciding at the same time in this particular decade of our lives.

    So, the scaffolding of your personality, that you do, via the requisite duality of your personality in different worlds, is a requirement, in order to traverse an uncertain & rapidly changing culture impacting our sexual beliefs, attitudes, & behaviors. None of these, are of your doing, or cause. I’m certain, history has plenty of examples of people having to do crazy-things in order to endure the time when the broader society needed to catch-up with what the progressives already knew.

    —Lowell

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  5. Pingback: It’s National Coming Out Day and I’m Hiding Out at Best |

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