The Many Names Of A Kinkster

What is in a name? It is a very cliche question, however when it comes to the BDSM scene it is a relevant one. Most people, when they first get involved in the BDSM community, choose how they want to be addressed. Sometimes it is wanting to have a dynamic about them known or they want to really stand out, or emphasize something about themselves. Others just want to blend in and not stand out from the crowd. While other people put up barriers between their normal life and their kink life.  When you get involved you can take the ‘hello my name is’ badge and write anything you want to on it, it is a blank sheet and one of the first things anyone will see about you. You are not tied to anything you have called yourself in the past and you can express yourself however you want.

That said here is a bit of advice:

  • Pick something you will remember, if you won’t respond to that name called across the room that will be a problem.
  • Pick something people can spell and pronounce, anyone who has a name that takes  5 tries to get someone on the phone to spell correctly can attest to how much of a headache just being called Tim would have saved.
  • Don’t be afraid from using your real first name, or even a normal first name that is not yours, no one will ask.
  • Don’t change names often, people get to associate you with your chosen name, if you change it people will still call you by your old one and it will just confuse people more.
  • If you want to have your chosen name have a title (Lady, Sir, Master, Mistress, etc), realize that not everyone will use that part of your name. Titles are very personal to some and must be earned before they will call someone one of those words.
  • While cute and funny names can be wonderful, keep in mind people will associate you with it, just like with a tattoo, will it still be appealing to have attached to you several years down the road.

So now you hopefully have decided what you want to be called, now you need to wade through the sea of names out there when you go to events.

In the western professional world you are taught to look someone in the eye, give them a firm handshake and say ‘Hi I am <name> nice to meet you”, with which they will return the same. After that it is considered rude to have to ask again. Many people have learned many tricks to deal with this, from getting and memorizing business cards, to introducing colleagues in hope of overhearing the new introduction. The key is to network, to be known and to know as much as you can about others.

In the kink world it is a bit different. You may not want to be connected to the people as much. Many people put up barriers between their kink life and their personal life, often with very good reason.  Also many people have different names, quite a few people who have relaxed over time with people knowing their real name may have their scene name, their fetlife name, their real name, and a nickname, all of which they answer to. Mix that with large parties that may have new people meeting 30-40 people in the span of a whirlwind evening and that is a serious stresser for those of us who don’t remember names well.

The thing to keep in mind is everyone else has that stress too, trying to keep track of our friends names are hard enough while adding in the new people we meet at parties too. The kink scene tends to be far far more laid back then the professional one about not knowing names or even faces. Going up to someone and going ‘I think we have met before but I can’t remember your name, I am Bob” will normally be greeted with “Oh hey, thanks I am Lady Wasp I think we met at that munch last month, I was trying to remember your name”. I personally subscribe to a policy of 5 introductions. In that I probably won’t remember someone elses name until we have met at least 5 times nor will I expect them to remember mine.  Don’t stress out too much, the old joke with new people in a group is “there will be a test on this later”. We all know someone coming in new won’t remember our names, and that is fine.

If you are still nervous, ask a staff member what someone’s name is, they tend to know most people and can give it to you quietly.

 

Lastly, if you play with someone or get intimate with them. Learn their name and remember that one. A casual discussion with someone is one thing, if you get close to someone, do work on remembering what their name is, that is just courtesy.

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About

Badger, the ever optimistic Firefly fan, has been a very active member of the DC area BDSM community for well over the last decade. Starting out in his early 20s he has topped, bottomed, photographed, volunteered, been voluntold, run events, run groups, and had the time of his life doing it.
As a shy geeky computer guy, this is not how he expected to spend his adult years but would not change them for the world. Over time he has found real passion in providing education and information to community members and those that are sincerely interested in learning more about kink and about themselves.

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