As you may have guessed, Ally Austins is not my real name. My real name is rather plain, but it works for me. Along with the double name comes a double life, and I wanted to share with you some of the considerations that go into living in such a way.
Perhaps the trickiest thing to hide is that I have two phones. One belongs to Ally, and one belongs to (let’s call her) Kelly. I used to live with housemates that were not privy to my life as Ally, and this meant keeping her phone out of sight and often on silent in order to hide its existence. This meant regularly going into my bedroom to “blow my nose” or some other ridiculous pretense so I could check Ally’s phone for messages, to tweet, or to post on Instagram. It also meant I was constantly alert for the sound of footsteps coming towards my bedroom so I could quickly stuff Ally’s phone under a pillow and pretend to be doing something else.
For this same reason if I was ever doing something on my computer for Ally, I always had to be sure to sit with my back to a wall, which meant sitting at the dining table where I would usually work on my laptop was out of the question. The fact that I was sitting in a different spot altogether is enough to potentially raise questions about what I was doing, so now that I have moved out of that home I am grateful to not have this added stressor.
The two phones aren’t just a problem at home though; when I am out in public I don’t tend to care too much if strangers see me with them. I doubt any stranger would pay that much attention to notice this, however if I am with friends or at my regular job I do have to remember to have the volume turned off in case a message comes through. As the phones are different models I also am not able to simply have one in my bag and the other in my hand and interchange them. Is your brain exhausted just thinking about this yet?
In addition to the two phones issue, I often have to lie about where I am. If I am going to a booking, I sometimes need to have an excuse ready as to where I am, or why I can’t make it to a social event with my friend circle. I am lucky enough to have a friend in the industry that is happy for me to use her name as an excuse, and I do the same for her. The down side to this is that quite a few of our friends (separate social groups) have expressed to each of us their concerns that we ‘have an obsession with each other’. While it’s hilarious to the two of us, I can appreciate how it must look to our friends, and as a result I have found myself slowly isolating myself in order to avoid questions.
So what is the upside to this double life I am sure you are wondering? Well personally I find it exciting having a secret life. I love knowing that when I’m sitting in the office at my regular job, no one knows that I am wearing beautiful lingerie under my work clothes in preparation for an evening of fine dining, chemistry, and intimacy with a man whom I am yet to meet. I enjoy the exhilaration that I feel when I’m in public with someone and the potential to run into someone I know is so real. The idea of having to come up with a convincing explanation on the spot is exhilarating! And then there is the sex. I have to admit that it is not always the greatest, but I am a sexual person and most of the time I enjoy every moment of it. I love to kiss and be kissed, I love the sensations one feels when being touched in such an intimate way, and I love to give pleasure to others. This is the payoff for all the work that goes into keeping Ally and Kelly separate.
I think every person has some small aspect of their life that is secret, so in a way we all have double lives, just to varying degrees. There are both benefits and drawbacks to living such a lifestyle, but for now the former certainly outweighs the latter in my case. I’d love to hear some of your ‘double life’ experiences, or near-misses. Get in touch with me on Twitter to share your thoughts.