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What’s in a Name?

by Beth Divine 27 Jun 2018

Porn stars usually don’t use their real names. This should not be a massive surprise to anyone, but the reasons for using a different name might not be what you think they are.

Most people might think that porn stars use pseudonyms because they are embarrassed about their line of work, and want to hide it from their friends and family. However, while some might be sensitive to their family’s needs: a bishop, for example, might be frowned upon for having a family member working in the porn industry, most porn stars love having sex, are not ashamed or embarrassed about it (and why should they be? It’s a massive growth industry and most people have watched some porn in their time) and would feel it to be hypocritical to deny or cover up their career choice…

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It is more likely that any secrecy has been made necessary by the Internet – which, paradoxically, also helps porn stars in their work! Porn films can be distributed across the world in the blink of an eye, and people on almost every continent watch porn every day. However, this global fame can be a negative when the porn star retires or if they have a ‘day job’ simultaneously with their sex work. Some companies are very touchy about their image, and actively use social media and search engines to check out prospective and current employees to make sure that there is nothing that might bring any scandal down upon the business. It is easier for porn stars to use a completely different name for their porn work, as it means their real name remains ‘clean’ and employer safe in the event of any searches.

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Another very important reason that porn stars (and some mainstream actors too) use fake names, is to stop obsessive fans from finding out where they live. Many porn stars have partners and children, and even extended family members living with them. All these relatives could easily become ‘fair game’ in the mind of someone who would stop at nothing to get to know their favourite porn star. People can feel very intimately connected to someone about whom they regularly have sexual fantasies and this can lead them to believe that a relationship exists where there isn’t one… Even porn stars who work using sex chat sites on the internet are vulnerable, especially as they seem to be communicating with, and coming on to, each individual viewer, undressing or touching on command as they sometimes do. However, there is no relationship, the star does not want one, and choosing a different name is a useful way of ensuring a layer of protection between her (usually her) job and her private home life.

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Fake names can also be sexier than real names. Jane Smith doesn’t sound sexy, while Desiree Hottie does. Choosing a sexy fake name is also a way that people can shed the inhibitions incurred by their upbringing. Being someone else, inhabiting a fake persona, can be very liberating and this is important for porn stars who need to forget all their real world responsibilities and duties and lose themselves in the moment,  becoming the hot, sexy person that they’ve always wanted to be!