I suspect it’s a standard problem for people in porn. If you look at the work histories of porn performers they often include appearances under numerous different names, including slight variations on spelling (although this could be partly due to illiteracy among people who create credit rolls on porn films). And now, it seems, I’ve joined in. I’ve got several names that I go by… and it’s getting confusing.
When I started making porn in 2000 I actually went by my real first name and last initial, at least for a while. Perhaps I was naive and didn’t think that being myself could possibly cause problems down the line… but I thought I was reasonably well hidden. This was back in the day of message boards so you were able to control your online image reasonably well. When I mentioned myself in press releases I used a pseudonym that was incredibly similar to my real name but I thankfully never received any negative flak from it.
But then the pseudonyms started to mulitply. For a while I became Grandma Scrotum, a crotchety alter ego who dispenses sex tips and knitting advice. And when I started a blog I became Ms Naughty, because Naughty is a nickname I’ve long had and Ms is the ultimate feminist title, indicating my right-on credentials as a feminist pornographer. Plus I really really liked that domain name in 2004.
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And Ms Naughty is who I still am, to most people.
Except that in 2008 I decided I should have a PROPER pseudonym, now that I was getting into directing porn movies. Because that’s the real deal, right? And also because I thought Ms Naughty may be too similar to a certain existing trademark and I didn’t want to get sued. So I decided on Louise Lush. A real name. The kind of name that is easy to add to Facebook and Google Plus and makes me sound important when journalists interview me. And Louise Lush has a certain old-fashioned sass to it and it felt like it might be a good fit.
So now I have a bunch of films and some short stories credited to Louise Lush. But when I introduce myself to people who know me from online I’m Ms Naughty. And this pseudonym thing is starting to get in the way, especially when people yell “Louise!” at me across the room and I have no idea they are talking to me.
That’s the thing with pseudonyms. You’re supposed to become that person. It’s supposed to be the true you, the ultimate incarnation of your artistic self. Think Elton John. Iggy Pop. Marilyn Monroe. Lady Gaga.
I’m starting to think that Louise Lush isn’t me and Ms Naughty is. I feel more comfortable with the original moniker. Maybe it’s simply that Ms Naughty has been around longer or perhaps it’s just more memorable but I’m now thinking that it’s time to retire Louise and go back to being Ms Naughty, completely and fully. Because it doesn’t make sense to have one personality for filmmaking and one for blogging. I need to just be a single entity. A single brand. Because yes, this is about branding and marketing in the end.
Today I changed my Facebook page name to MsNaughty Louise Lush. I can’t change it to Ms Naughty because FB is dumb like that. But I think from now on I’ll go by my naughty title. I still have Louise Lush on films and that’s OK. But from now on Louise Lush is being retired as a pseudonym.
The cool thing about pseudonyms is that you don’t have to sign anything or alert the government that you’re changing your name. You just do it and pretend it’s been that way forever.
Rest assured, I’m not going to be using my real name anytime soon. The fundamentalist Christians still live across the road from me and I’m sure they would just LOVE to send the police around on behalf of Jesus if they ever found out what I do.
So Ms Naughty it is.
– Ms Naughty (nee Louise Lush)