Though I've only been a pro domme for a year and a half, I've been involved on and off in the fetish and BDSM scene for over 8 years. When I go to a community event, I don't advertise that I'm with The Gates. Some may suspect or happen to know, but most are discrete enough not to inquire. And by not flashing my "credentials," I get a more true reaction from people -- based on genuine affection (or not!) rather than status recognition. And I know some great people this way :-) It also works the other way around for me. Meaning that I have to prove myself rather than rely on reputation. It helps push me to reach out and grow rather than rest on past achievements or the impetus of others.
People often say that they want to be recognized for an achievement based solely on merit rather than outside influences. For example, you hear celebrities who act and then want to try their hand at singing say this. Or relatives of celebrities trying to make it big say that they want to do it on their own talent rather than nepotism. Yet if this really were the case, wouldn't they change their name and never mention their other achievements or connections? Myself, I enjoy being able to start fresh and strike out in new worlds. There are so many wonderful little subcultures to explore.
And with regards to the nature of my work as a "paid player," I prefer being low key as to avoid the false perception by some that I can be bought. Being a woman who has always rejected the traditional male-female dynamic which involves the man paying for the woman (the most obvious sign being the rock on her finger -- the insinuation being the bigger the rock, the more she is worth), I am particularly sensitive to this. I've never really played the dating game. Although I know some like to think of it this way, I never look at a session as a romantic date. I see the fact that I'm paid as compensation for my time as any professional expert would expect. I'm just lucky enough to have a really fun gig, with caring friendships among those who submit and serve me.
At The Gates dinner we had the other night, I got into a discussion of marriage. My aversion to marriage has more to do with its vestiges of male dominance: the engagement ring, the giving away of the bride, the ever-present sense that this is more a favor to the woman than the man. And all the conventions that go with it without question: that it's the woman wears the engagement ring and is given away, that it's the woman who changes her last name, then becomes the primary child caretaker. So many gender fixations that I find limiting.
Anyways, so this is all very real for me. To live a twisted life. I couldn't live any other way. And after all, the basic code of life comes in an inversely matched, twisted pair (i.e. DNA), so who's to say that the perverts aren't the most aligned with the laws of nature?