Non-Monogamy Q&A with Kayden Kross

As a long time adult entertainment professional, I’ve gone through different phases of monogamous and non-monogamous relationships, sometimes dictated by my work and other times as a matter of personal choice. Each of those relationships have looked a bit different and ultimately the boundaries and rules have been specific to each partner. I  decided to interview a handful of fellow adult entertainment professionals, beginning with superstar Kayden Kross, to get their take on how they balance commitment in their personal relationships and their work in adult entertainment.

Before we dive into Kayden’s answers, I wanted to take a moment to give a loose definition of non-monogamy and polyamory for those that may not be familiar. I’d also like to note that there are MANY different versions, variations, sub categories and definitions of non monogamous relationships and while I’m not going to dive into them all in this post, I have addressed some of them personally and will continue to do so in future posts and interviews.

Non-Monogamy: Sometimes referred to as ‘ethical non-monogamy’ (when everyone is honest and/or open about it), this can cover a wide number of situations, including cheating, polyamory, swinging, open relationships…pretty much anything that isn’t a traditionally monogamous relationship.

Polyamory: Like non-monogamy, this gives partners the freedom to sleep with others, but the key difference is that polyamory is a term more specific to love and long term relationships than it is sexual freedom.

I  found a post from Quora user Claire J. Vannette which it’s a pretty simple way of looking at polyamory:

If your relationship is polyamorous and open, then it’s kosher for you to take new relationships, and you may fall in love with your partners. My relationships work this way.

If your relationship is polyamorous and closed, then you have more than one partner but have agreed not to take any new ones. For example, you could have a closed triad, a group of three people who are only involved with each other and don’t get involved with anyone else.

If your relationship is open and not polyamorous, then you may take new partners, but these connections are not supposed to be romantic. Swingers often have sex outside their main relationship, but keep it casual.

If your relationship is neither open nor polyamorous, you’re probably monogamous.

I reached out to Kayden Kross, creator of Trenchcoat X first, who along with partner Manuel Ferrara are in a non-monogamous relationship. Both are long time celebrated adult entertainment performers, directors and producers (and two of my favorite people in the industry). I asked Kayden for her perspective because I’ve always appreciated the fact that she and Manuel are able to balance their personal and professional lives in a way that works for them. #relationshipgoals

Kayden Kross

1.Were you monogamous or non monogamous prior to working in adult?
I was supposed to be monogamous. I remember that much. But I tended to stray.

2. What impact has working in adult had on your relationships one way or another?
It’s forced me to focus on something beyond the sex in the relationship. I didn’t do that before adult.

3. Do you experience jealousy with partners? If so, how do you deal with it?
I do. Not sexual jealousy, per se. Attention jealousy, time jealousy. That’s been a mainstay in my relationships for a long time.

4. How do you deal with jealousy from your partners about people you work with or are otherwise involved with?
It’s a mixture of rationalizing it and trying to find the root of the problem. There’s usually something more going on by the time I begin to clearly recognize that I feel jealousy.

5. What appeals to you the most about non monogamy?
The non monotony

6. What does your ideal relationship look like?
Supportive, equally yoked, and passionate

7. How do you personally define commitment?
I think commitment is something you have when your first instinct is to fight for the relationship rather than let it wither when things get tough

8. Do you have specific boundaries in your relationship or things that you won’t do with anyone other than your primary partner?
Many

9. Do you have and/or believe in partner/relationship privilege?
Absolutely. I think it’s necessary. How that looks differs from couple to couple but if you’re not number one in some capacity then why bother?

Where can people find/follow you?
twitter @kayden_kross insta @clubkayden

**

Further Reading and Resources about Non-Monogamy

A fun map of Non-monogamy by Franklin Veaux

A fun flow chart about different types of non monogamy
Non monogamy diagram courtesy of Franklin Veaux

***

Some additional reading about non monogamy:

Seven Forms of Non Monogamy  Via Psychology Today

What is Ethical non Monogamy? By UncommonLove

In Those Moments

In my experience when you read about poly relationships, people tend to cast it all in one light; it’s always either the greatest or the hardest thing that they’ve ever done. The truth is it’s a bit of  both and often at the same time. There is a lot of struggle but there is also a lot of reward if you can be patient even when it isn’t easy to be (and it often isn’t). Anyone that tells you that it’s easier than (or less of) a commitment than monogamy is misleading you; the struggles are different but they aren’t less and they are quite often more complicated.

We are all full of moving parts and the number of them that have to work together to keep everyone feeling fulfilled grows with each new addition to a polycule. It’s easy to think of only your own part of a relationship by default, but in order to maintain healthy boundaries and balance, you have to be aware of your needs, your partners needs and often their partners needs.

My time with Maeve has been filled with so many wonderful moments and some really difficult ones as well. Learning to balance needs and expectations in a new non-monogamous relationship has been a challenge for everyone involved and at times we’ve all alternately shined or failed. I’ve illustrated some of those moments below in hopes of giving a more balanced and realistic view of what struggles and triumphs poly life can bring.

Sitting on the floor of the hotel suite at the sex party the day we met; I wanted to kiss her on the forehead as she laid curled up in the chair falling asleep. Everyone else around us was still circling looking for sex and I just wanted to pull her up on to my lap and hold her as she dozed off. I  hadn’t slept with anyone that night and whenever she walked into the room, I  couldn’t help but look her way. This is the first moment in a long time I’d felt a real want for someone and it caught me off guard.

On our first date when she invited herself in and we fell asleep having fooled around but not fucked. The next morning we woke early and did sleep together and it was even better for having waited the night. Before she went home to Quinn I told her that I hoped that I could see her again. This is the first moment that I realized that I didn’t just want something casual with her, I wanted to date her non-monogamously.

Driving through the smokey mountains together, I told her things about myself that were deeply intimate and that some other girlfriends/partners had taken issue with in the past, particularly things about my work in adult entertainment. We talked about scenes I’d performed in and the people that I performed with and it was the first time in a long time a partner asked me questions with a sincere interest and not just morbid curiosity. This is the moment that I realized that I didn’t have to compartmentalize who I am with Maeve.

We walked through the isles of the leather shop that I’d frequented in my impressionable youth and we found a red leather posture collar with black piping on it. I told Maeve to lift her hair and turn around and when she did, I buckled the collar, making sure that it was a good fit. She turned around and I grabbed the ring, watching the flicker of  excitement crawl across her face as she looked deep into my eyes. This is the first moment that I felt like we were really committing to something long term. We’d been living in the moment up until then and spoke of future plans, but that moment felt like the promise of a tomorrow together. 

We sat there in the August warmth on a wooden bench, listening to the Celtic band playing music in the makeshift outdoor tavern. She had one foot up on the bench in front of us and when her leg poked out from beneath her dress, I ran my fingers along her soft skin. “I want to go to Edinburgh with you!” she said excitedly and I  realized that I wanted to go everywhere with her. She looked at me with those bright eyes and I thought ‘oh fuck’. This is the moment that I knew beyond a doubt that I was in love with her.

On the plane on the way home from our road trip she curled up on me and slept. I  ran my fingers through her hair and breathed her in as I  planted little kisses on the top of her head. She’d asked earlier in the day “”How are we going to make this work when we get home? We both have such busy lives!”. I’d reassured her in the moment, but holding her on the plane, I  was worried that seeing each other would be hard. She had another partner that she lived with (Quinn) and we both had a lot of travel coming up; I knew I  wanted to see her as much as I could but I wasn’t sure how much would be possible or how to reconcile that with what I    wanted from this very new relationship with her.  This is the first moment that I saw and felt the edges and limits of our relationship.

Continue reading