Hellos & Goodbyes

I’d slept for just a little over an hour in two days when I got home from my trip and Emma’s going away party was planned for just a few hours after my touchdown. I was in a haze as I spoke to the woman next to me on the plane, collecting my bags, as I climbed in a cab to go back to my apartment.

When I got home, I emptied my suitcase and started a load of laundry, counting the number of munutes before I’d have to leave again. I had just enough time to shut my eyes for half of an hour and laying across my bed in the afternoon sun, I fell asleep fast and hard. I hit snooze twice when my alarm went off and then forced myself out of bed and into the shower, where I found that my hot water heater was out again. The spray of cold water helped wake me up as I shivered and washed away the feeling of airports and travel.

Emma texted me that she was running late and that she’d meet me at my apartment on the way to Daniels so we could go together from there. We grabbed a cab and caught up on the way, not having seen each other in a week.

We’d been seeing each other non-monogamously for a few months and her going away party was being thrown by one of her partners; this was the first time we were to all spending time together, though I’d met Daniel on one other occasion and his partner Harper on another.

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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

Kayden Kross courtesy of TrenchcoatX.com

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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

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Some additional reading about non monogamy:

Seven Forms of Non Monogamy  Via Psychology Today

What is Ethical non Monogamy? By UncommonLove

The Roads We Travel

We drove east through the Smokies, the sun bleeding out over the top of the trees as it sank slowly on that August afternoon. Maeve sat next to me and I slipped my fingers under her dress and behind the rope that I’d tied between her legs, giving it a gentle pull. Her mouth fell open as the rope tightened and the knot that I’d made rubbed against her pussy over her pink panties. She sat back against the seat and spread her legs for me as she looked a little bashfully at the cars passing around us.

That morning before we’d left the motel, I’d tied the rope around her waist and between her legs while she smiled at me, happy about it and proud of it. We’d driven for miles that way and I knew that she wanted to be played with. When we stopped at a rest stop, she snapped a picture of herself, tucking that moment away for later. Back in the car we kissed and it made me want her so badly, just as it always does.

We rolled through the mountains and I kept one hand on the wheel using the other to tease and torment her, pulling at the rope between her legs and running my fingers over the outline of her sex as I felt her starting to soak through her panties. I reached into the bag behind my seat and pulled out the vibrating wand; her smile widening when she saw it. I turned it on and pressed it against the rope between her legs, watching her eyes fall shut.

Cars and trucks passed us as I ran the vibrator across the rope. She leaned against the window and gripped the seat, spreading her legs in want and raising herself up when I teased her by pulling the vibrator a little out of reach.

“Can I please come” she asked and I said nothing.

“Please” she asked again, with a growing urgency in her voice.

Maeve isn’t allowed to come without permission and I like to take her as close as possible to breaking the rule as I can before I give it to her. 

“Please may I come!” She said a third time.

“Come for me now” I  said to her and she moaned, letting go of the orgasm she’d been barely keeping at bay, sinking into the seat.

She leaned over and rested her head on my shoulder, wrapping both of her arms around one of mine. I could smell the wind in her hair when I kissed the top of her head and I could feel her smile grow as she pressed her lips to my skin.

I reveled in the feeling of that new relationship taking shape as we continued east through the mountains. Everything felt natural with Maeve, even the spur of the moment road trip that we were on. We’d only been on a handful of dates when I  brought up the potential of taking it myself.

“Do you want a road trip buddy?” she’d asked and I could feel myself falling fast, having already contemplated asking her to come with. We pulled the trip together in a very short amount of time and having her there with me on a road in the middle of nowhere felt like a lucid dream.

We rolled on through the mountains, listening to Holly Randall’s podcast about adult entertainment as the day faded away. Under a clear nights sky, we told stories and held hands, playing each other music and sometimes singing along to the radio.

It’d been a long time since anyone made me feel anything other than passing fascination and I wasn’t expecting how quickly and heavily I was falling for Maeve. There were plenty of times when my head told my heart to slow down, but my heart’s never been the reasonable type.

It’d also been a while since I’d seen anyone non-monogamously. It was taking some getting used to, to feel like I wasn’t asking too much too soon. In the moments when I pulled back a little because of that, Maeve was there to pull me forward again.

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After All These Years

 

October-All those Years Ago

The room was dark and the music was a little too loud, just like it always is in strip clubs. They pump as much excitement into the air as they can, hoping that it’ll make people open their wallets for expensive drinks and lap dances. I  saw Riley from across the room, our eyes meeting the second that I passed through the door; she was who I was there to see.

Riley hugged me and took my face in her hands for a moment before I took a seat in the chair and she took one on my lap. She has long dark hair, pale skin and smoky eyes; her typically warm smile seemed to be weighed down a little by something that night, but I didn’t quite understand just then what it was.

She ran her fingers through my hair and was affectionate, but something felt different; she touched me the way that you do when you have something hard to tell someone that you care about. I felt that something to say coming and I could feel my heart beat a little faster while I waited for her to be ready to say it. She leaned in close, whispering over the music and the noise, her face out of view.

“I got married today” she said and I closed my eyes, trying to let those words sink in.

I knew she was engaged; she told me when her boyfriend came back to town that they had. It was an effort to save their on again, off again relationship and it was what she felt she was supposed to do. We’d spent a lot of time together while he was away and even though we kept respectable boundaries, there were so many times when it had been a challenge for both of us. There was always something unspoken between us and if I’d ever doubted that before, it was plain as day in the face of that news.

She sat back and looked at me; I studied her face and I  saw all sorts of things, but happiness wasn’t one of them. She smoothed my hair down from where her fingers had been in it as we both tried to figure out what to do and what to say. I offered my congratulations and wished her well, which I’m not sure was what she really wanted from me but it’s what you are supposed to say when you hear what should be good news. There wasn’t much else either of us could say; we both knew that we’d missed our moment and saying it out loud wasn’t going to make anything easier for either of us. We looked at each other and did our best to smile like we meant it.

**

Four Months Ago

Riley texted me on a Saturday evening, when it just so happened that we were both back in town on the same day. She sent me a message saying that she was going back to the club to work for the night and that I should come out and see her if I was up for it.

I’d given her my number via social media and I wasn’t sure that she would use it. It’d been a long time since I’d seen her and I wasn’t sure if she was just being polite when she told me that I should tell her if I came back to that town where neither of us really lived in anymore. When she texted me that she was here, I was surprised and I  knew that I had to see her. I walked the dozen or so blocks from where I was staying and I  found myself back in a room that on the surface hadn’t really changed since that night eight years ago when she told me that she was married.

She led me out on to the courtyard and we sat beneath the nights sky while we caught up. There were lights strung between the buildings and a slow night meant that there were a handful of others dancers sitting out there smoking, waiting for customers to come in.

A lot’s happened since then, for both of us. I’ve been in and out of relationships; she’s gotten divorced and had a baby. We’ve both done a lot of living since then and lot’s of things have changed, but there was an instant comfort in being near her that proved to me that some things never do.

We talked for a while before she had to go back inside and work and it often felt like old times. When the subject of what happened all those years ago came up, we both shied away from it a little and found ourselves in a silent moment.

“I think I’ll always love you in some way” , she said and I knew just how she felt; she’d just been the braver of us for having said it out loud.

I left that night feeling like it might be the last time I saw her, but I hoped that wouldn’t be the case. In the days to come I texted her, telling her when I extended my stay once, twice more but slowly I started to believe that was the end of our story.

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This Friday Past

 I was surprised when I heard from her again early on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago. We met up briefly that day and again this past Friday, before she went in to work. I sat at the bar with her while she put on her makeup and we caught up on each others lives. I told her about Maeve and the struggles I was having navigating non monogamy with her and she told me about the last person she’d dated.

“Oh! Listen to this: my ex texted me today and reminded me that eight years ago today, we got married.” she said.

The timing was uncanny, as I’d just been working on this post before I left the house to meet her and that day eight years ago was heavily on my mind.

“I didn’t want to tell you” she said of that long ago night.

“There was unhappiness all over your face and that’s what made me sad. If we couldn’t be together, I at least wanted you to be happy” I admitted for the first time.

“That’s the thing though, I wasn’t sure that we couldn’t be together.” she said, which was both wonderful and heartbreaking to hear.

We fell into a little silence then, one that broke when the bartender came by and asked us if we needed anything. It wasn’t long after that she told me she had to go; she paid for my drink when she settled her own tab and we left the bar together.

“I’ve got to go get lashes, do you want to walk with me?” she asked.

“I’ll take any excuse I can get to spend a little more time with you” I  said. She smiled, glancing at me out of the corner of her eye.

Inside the costume shop she talked about her daughter and their plans for Halloween. We walked through the isles together before she asked the man behind the counter for the lashes that she needed. I watched her; the way she moved, the way she spoke to others, the way that she looked at me. It made me happy and also a little sad at the same time; just like it always had.

She paid for the things that she bought and as we walked toward the door, she reached out and ran her fingers through the back of my long hair. I  closed my eyes for an instant and felt like time had folded, bringing those eight years together into one moment.

She apologized for doing it and I didn’t have the right words just then to tell her how much that little tenderness meant to me. Out in the streets we talked as I walked her toward the place where I knew that we had to part company;  she was headed to the strip club and I  was headed to the movies with a friend. She put her arm on my shoulder playfully as we walked; I liked that closeness and even the ache that it made me feel.

“It’s funny how full circle these last eight years have brought us” I  said.

“I can’t think of anyone that I’d rather be with today” she said as we both smiled at the ground.

We got to the corner where we were going to part ways and she put her hand up for an awkward  high five as I  said goodbye. Our fingers intertwined for a split second as we started to pull away and she looked down bashfully as she walked away. I  continued on down the street and looked back, catching one last glimpse of her before she was swallowed up by the crowd.

In my heart a forgotten ache turned over and wrapped itself up into a feeling of new want, twisting again and again, making it hard to tell one from the other. I  also couldn’t quite tell if we were picking up the thread or finding a more fitting end to what happened in the past. I  don’t know what she feels, but I  know how I do when I’m with her or when I feel her fingers in my hair.