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.