One of the strange things about being known to people you don't know, otherwise known as being famous or notorious or whatever you call it, is that facts about yourself occasionally drift back to you. These facts are seldom true and thus amusing or horrifying, depending on your point of view. Being the kind of dignified, reserved individual (i.e., a stuck-up intellectual bitch) who doesn't particularly care what anyone (except the people I loooooooooove, and you know who you are) think of me, I usually find these rumors-parading-as-inside-knowledge fairly hilarious.
My basic philosophy, since Different Loving first came out, was that the more twisted and inaccurate the better. The more false information, the less people will really know me. Instead of being compelled, like famous actors and certifiable paranoids, to jealously guard every fact, I rather enjoy having this vast fabric of misapprehensions, mysteries, and outright BS to mask the truly mundane reality of my daily life.
That's right - the Gloria Brame smiling at you in the upper right hand corner looks very different from the woman dusted in bone-meal, dripping rain, and smudged with mud who just walked in to get her own cup of coffee, refill some doggie water bowls, and then groan something in Yiddish at whatever dog toy I stepped on in the living room.
And because our lovely houseguest this weekend told me one of these common confusions about yours truly, I thought I'd finally clear up some common mistakes. Hopefully this will start people working on all-new rumors for me to correct in future blog posts.
- Our houseguest reports she told some folks she was visiting Gloria Brame and they quickly corrected her: "it's pronounced Bra-May." Well, no it isn't. Here's a mnemonic for you: the name Brame rhymes with flame. Which I hope you do not pronounce Flam-May.
Ironically, one reason I took Will's last name as my own because I thought Brame would be so much easier to pronounce than Glickstein, my father's name. The joke is on me.
- At least once a month, someone informs me that I live in New York or L.A. Occasionally, I am told I live in Atlanta. Once I was told I live in San Francisco. Wow I am busy! How do I keep up maintenance on so many residences? It gets really interesting when they also claim they recently saw me and even talked to me in one of those or, better still, some foreign cities. I like it that Faux-Gloria gets around! And she's so sociable too! You go, Faux!
In fact, the real dull Gloria lives in seclusion on a homestead in a farming community just outside of Athens, Georgia. Why I do this is another question. However, this image of my dream house should help to explain.
Meanwhile, for the most part, and unless I'm going home to NY to visit with family, the only people who see me have to come to Athens to do so.
- A related "fact" about me is how I jet-set all over the place. The less someone knows me, the more they think I fly around the world. Those who do know me also know I am paranoid, phobic and a few other p-words about phlying. I have yet to board a plane without making my peace with God (never let atheism get in the way of a good hard prayer at times of terror). Nor have I boarded a plane without praying over a certain toilet fixture. God, I hope my clients aren't reading. (Yeah, yeah, I know you all do! And you should be ashamed of yourselves for laughing at what I just wrote!) Anyway, yeah: in recent years, the only times I've flown was to attend funerals or fulfill other major family duties.
- Some years ago, I had lunch with a prospective submissive. It went well enough - if his being so excited he couldn't swallow a bite is a good indicator, and to a femdom, it is, it is! Anyway, he later panicked about meeting someone as real as he always claimed he wished he could find (bitter? me? nah!) and wrote me to say he didn't think he was ready to "live the Domina lifestyle."
Domina, of course, is my first but perhaps not last clumsy attempt at a hardcore SM novel. (It's okay, but I feel I could do a LOT better). The chief character is - DUH! - Domina, a beautiful, icy sadist who lives in a palatial home with intricately engineered dungeons and cells for her utopian community of 12 24/7 slaves. Naturally the slaves live in a near-constant state of lust, humiliation, degradation, suffering, and general sexual rutting. It's smut, right? When I wrote it, I just strung together a bunch of depraved imaginings, with very little attention to characters, relationships or, for that matter, reality. Which is why I myself do not, and never have, nor even aspired to, "live the Domina lifestyle."
Oddly, he isn't the only one who has believed I do. I kind of love it, frankly! Hey, if you're going to jerk off about me, you might as well do it in style, with an alternate world and everything. I get it. As a fantasy, it's hot. It was hot for me when I wrote it too.
But as a real world where everyone was sexually excited and/or ready for sex ALL THE TIME...well, can you imagine that? I can. I can imagine how fucking tiresome it would get! Jesus.
The only thing stranger than people thinking I live like a fictional character in one of my books has to be the person who wrote me to say he had met Domina and was hoping I would verify that I'd based my character on his acquaintance. I resent the allegation that one of my fictional characters just walked out of one of my books and set up her own SM household.
- Though funnier, the Domina myths are far fewer than the ones about Different Loving, and specifically the ones about our interviewees. By rough estimate, based on all the rumors I've heard, if all the people who claimed they'd been interviewed by us had been interviewed, their number would be roughly 1000. Then there is a subset of kinksters who falsely claim that they are actually IN the book. In fact, we interviewed around 300 people, and only 80-90 complete interviews appear in the book.
- I've been doing SM-related things on-line since the mid-1980s, before there was an Internet, and started up an SM support group in the late 1980s where I reigned as the magical mystical Mistress Angelique, a figure of some small notoriety on Compuserve. It was during that time that I first realized the power of fantasy on-line - meaning the way we fill in the blanks about people we only see on-screen. In the case of my alter, Mistress Angelique, people were even wackier about her than about Domina, making all kinds of bizarre assumptions about who I was and how I lived. No doubt the overall mystique of the dominatrix shed luster on that persona. And I was not entirely averse to basking in it.
Anyway, one of the more intriguing misapprehensions about me was how people expected me to look in person. In the old text-based days, people only had my pixels to go on. One cyber-swain confessed he imagined me as a tall, lanky, chilly blond in opera gloves. Others imagined a large, mothering matron. Some expected a husky-voiced, hard-skinned bleached blonde. Some wondered if I was really a man. Most expected me to walk, talk, and act like a diva or to dress in fetish wear all the time. Too hilarious.
Once I moved to the Web, and posted pix of myself, all illusions about blondeness vanished but many people are nonetheless surprised to see me in real life. Hint: the photos make me look taller. Fact: I'm a 5 foot tall middle-aged Jewish frizzy-headed brunette ex-hippie type. I never wore earth shoes or dirndls - but I can't stand corsets and garter belts either. I look like your mom - if your mom is still fuckable.
Okay, I think that's enough record-correcting for today. Maybe I'll do some more at some point as I haven't explored any of the more baroque rumors that have come back to me (for example, no, I am not having an affair with a famous Hollywood actor. And if I was, I'd say exactly the same thing). Rumors are fun! Start some about yourself and you'll see!