My Adulterous Pen Name Protects My Job Too

And because of that, we will never meet.

A redheaded woman, with her back to photographer, looks out over a calm sea nearing sunset.
Photo by Edgar Hernández on Unsplash

A question comes up in twitter’s writing community every so often.

Do you use a pen name, and why?

I usually respond by sending them to my profile’s pinned post, which links to my book — How to Cheat: Field Notes from an Adulteress.

The usual reply is –

Ah, ok.

Because it’s no surprise anyone who writes about adulterous sexcapades© would use a pen name.

Mine wasn’t picked to use the way I’m using it now or on platforms like this. I used it when started writing a few sexy short stories on Amazon.

In 2018, when I decided to take control of my sex life, I channel my overflowing hormones into erotica.

My Pen Name

I picked TJ Conway and added Teresa a little after that.

My name is Teresa, but Conway is not my last name. It belonged to Mary Mariah (Conway) Reid, a Potato Famine orphan who survived the crossing that took her mother’s life. Mary is one of my 5th great grannies. She was a survivor.

Why Won’t I Speak To You On the Phone?

Besides being an actual cheater, who has a real family to lose if I get caught, I also have a workplace situation I haven’t entirely navigated. And it’s an almost bigger deal than my marriage.

I’m a senior HR specialist who writes sensitive correspondence for a government official with national name recognition. I love my job, despite the fact my name never appears on what I write.

Because of this, I cannot be caught cheating.

I Cannot Get Caught Cheating

Not because I might embarrass my boss, though. There’d be no scandal outside my own life. His name is always on my work, so no one knows what I’ve written.

My job isn’t a secret. Others generally know what we do because my portfolio, a necessary evil, is a common bureaucratic function across the government.

So, if I were caught, I would lose my security clearance for a while. Which would mean I would lose my position. Simultaneously, a horribly invasive “who are the men you’ve slept with and what are their names,”security investigation would be conducted. That investigation could ultimately end in job loss.

Why? Because I’m required to disclose all sources of income irrespective of the source and any potentially compromising situations or changes to my family status. Adultery isn’t on the list, but at the end of every security interview, they ask,

“Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like to disclose?”

Failure To Disclose Things Can Be A Bit Of A Deal

Undisclosed income is usually associated with people in debt, who sometimes sell information to make ends meet. It happens often enough to be a concern.

People who can be sexually compromised are considered vulnerable targets like debtors. Debt’s not my problem, but I could be compromised by someone interested in my boss.

My assessment is I present a low risk. That’s because the work I do is sensitive but of no material value.

This is just my educated guess, which doesn’t matter to the people who ask the embarrassing questions. It takes next to no adverse information to start an investigation or be removed from my position because of my proximity to the boss.

I’ve made about $200 writing in the last two years, so I can say what I do under this pen name is a labor of love.

A labor of love that could cost me everything.

End Game

So, if I happen to completely disappear off all my platforms one day and never come back, it’s because the risk of detection became too great. At that point, I will delete everything in an attempt to leave as little in plain view as possible — I know it will always be there, but I need to make a first glance as clean as I can get it. And then I’ll make a very sharp turn away from this online life.

Who Am I?

Nobody. Unimportant. I’m a bureaucrat, not a spy or even an executive. I don’t work for a security agency. But I work in a position of trust close enough to a principal that my career would be over, even if I weren’t fired, after getting caught.

We Will Never Do Anything

Other than through, we cannot communicate. You cannot hear my voice. We cannot meet. We cannot text. We cannot do anything.

I have met some lovely women on this adventure. People that I would love to know better. But this barrier will never come down.

There are only two people who know both me’s. One is my lover, and the other is my oldest friend. My lover is controlled because he has more to lose than I do. Even my wingman doesn’t know I have an online footprint.

The result? My life is so compartmentalized that one compartment doesn’t know how the other compartments takes their coffee.

Teresa J. Conway isn’t just a Nom de Plume, it’s a Nom de Guerre.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had to turn down two opportunities for things I really wanted to, but I couldn’t justify the risk of making arrangements over the phone.

I hate it, but this is how it has to be.

This was my last erotic short story. I loved it! It was so much fun to write, I should have kept at it. It’s available on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited for $0.99. It got one five star rating!! Check it out — HERE!

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© Teresa J. Conway, 2020

By Teresa J Conway on .

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Exported from Medium on March 4, 2021.

Author of How to Cheat: Field Notes from an Adulteress, several short stories, I'm active on Medium @teresajconway where I sometimes share my blog posts.

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