How “real” is your online persona?
I don’t really feel I have an online ‘persona’ as such, as I try as openly as possible to express my thoughts and feelings authentically online, without pretending or putting on another ‘face’. I’d hope, and only those who’ve met me and know me could confirm, that how I am online is pretty much how I am in person.
Do you use a pseudonym, your real identity or both?
I use a pseudonym as I am in a position professionally where I have to conceal and protect my identity. It would be career limiting to me to be known as a submissive in a D/s relationship, as someone who enjoys all aspects of BDSM and who blogs about sex and relationships. It is very frustrating to me to have to do this but I also understand, to some extent, why.
I do envy those in the local and online community who do not have to carry an element of fear over exposure and can freely express themselves in all areas of their lives. I know I can often feel duplicitous regarding friends, family and colleagues when we have to conceal places or events we’ve attended, or that aspect of my marriage in general.
Where you use a pseudonym how open about your actual identity are you?
I think it can be somewhat inevitable to let some aspects of my actual identity leak out in posts, discussion and other correspondence with people as, to me, the real life details help shape a person and foster relationships. I think I would find it difficult to gain a picture (albeit not a fully fleshed out one) of a person online if there was nothing personal at all coming through about them, the devil is in the detail as they say, even if the details have to be limited for whatever reason.
I’m aware of revealing some things about my immediate and wider family, my marriage, my career and even my appearance. I think, and sometimes worry, that if you knew me in ‘real’ life and came across this blog it wouldn’t take too many leaps to realise it was me.
Is your anonymous/pseudonymous online self a secret or more a form of protective “camouflage”?
I would say it is a bit of both. No-one in my day to day life knows anything about our D/s or my blog, except my best friend, who knows some about our dynamic and we will freely discuss sex and toys and such like. I have a number of online friends from various platforms who I’ve been lucky to meet and got to know who are also in the ‘lifestyle’ and are invaluable as a source of friendship, support and understanding. The protective camouflage comes in regarding my career, as previously mentioned, and I need to remain very mindful regarding that.
I’d say that trust is a huge factor, however, and taking small steps to trust, support and encourage others in the blogging and wider BDSM community goes a long way to creating a safe place to be able to express ourselves as openly as we can, and to look out for each other. I hope, at some point, there is wider acceptance and less stigma and ignorance regarding D/s, and BDSM in general.