What's in a Name?

There are many words I would use to describe the wonderful kinksters I have photographed and grown to care for: clever, creative, compassionate being just a few of them. Many of these folks go by chosen names that describe their personality, their lifestyle, or their journey to become who they are today. This week, I talked to a handful of kinksters about what their name means and how it came to be. Here’s a small selection of the answers I received.

Ursus/BurrPup Ursus

Human Pup, Furry

“I came up with Ursus* initially as a name for my bear fursona,** having been around the gay bear community for a while. One of the tattoos I got before I found furry and pup had it written as part of the design. Naturally it fit my bear self: huggable, friendly, and intensely protective of my loved ones. When I entered the pup play scene, I didn’t want to have another name. This one fit perfectly enough, so I stuck with it. Hence BurrPup Ursus. Bear and pup.”


Human Pup, Furry, Bear

“Before I transitioned, my fursona** name was Snowie. I still love that name, but I wanted something to reflect such a big change. I decided that Dozer was perfect to describe how I interact with the world: as a bear (my human self), a malamute (my pup self) and a lion (my furry self). I’m big, slow, and a little derpy. But also strong, steady, and will demolish anyone who hurts the people I love.”


Human Pup

“Evo is short for ‘evolution.’ I owned a Mitsubishi when I got my name, and their most performance based car is the ‘Lancer Evolution’ or ‘Evo.’ I also chose it because I’m constantly evolving."

Tig Natious

Bootblack, Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest 2016

“I got my name over fifteen years ago. ‘Tiger’ was part of my username at the time, and my best friend on the forum I frequented decided one day that ‘Tiger’ was too many letters to keep typing, so he was shortening my name to ‘Tig.’ Next think you know, everyone on there was calling my Tig. Flash forward to when I was an adult, I always used Tig online, and naturally it became my ‘scene’ name. And I loved it so much that I just started introducing myself to everyone at conventions and non-work stuff as Tig. Now, 98 percent of the people in my life only know me as Tig, and I plan on legally changing it one day. Another friend came up with Tig Natious. Tig Natious is a play off of both Saint Ignatius and ‘tenacious.’”

Rex Shephard

Human Pup, International Puppy 2017

“I’m named after a K9 German Shepherd service dog to a disabled six-year-old boy two doors down from where I lived as a young child, named after his favorite toy, a plastic dinosaur. I had the honor and privilege of watching them be partners for a decade, and they are still one of the best models of loving each other I have ever seen.”

*‘ursus’ is ‘bear’ in Latin

**fursona – a portmanteau of “furry” and “persona,” referring to a furry character/persona/alter ego assumed by a person in the furry fandom