Ryan St. Germain

Monthly Archive: July 2016

Arianna

Arianna picked the place and I got there a little late, which is uncharacteristic of me. I’d come to meet her after work and the walk took me a little longer than expected (she’d picked the place we would meet, knowing the neighborhood better than I do). I arrived just before she did, poking my head inside to see if she was waiting before spotting her walking up the street.

Standing on the sidewalk I watched her approach,  taking note of her gait and her purposeful stride as she covered the distance between the two of us. Her blonde hair is short and cut in an angular way that frames her bright smile and eyes which were hidden behind her dark sunglasses. She gave the immediate impression of intelligence and self awareness and I liked that; everything about her had a bit of sparkle to it.

We’d been talking via a dating app and text messaging for a week and during that time I’d learned that she was here studying for her PhD. I also came to realize that strangely we’d lived in both New Orleans and New York at roughly the same time, even possibly sharing a postal code once. She loves to travel and is more than happy to explore the city alone, but like myself, she would rather do it with someone else.

She travels to remote places for work often and has a lot of great stories about the places she’s been. She recounted the terror of having been in a shark cage but her story only made me want to have that experience for myself. She’s been places and done amazing things that I haven’t and I really find that very appealing.

We’d spoken in passing about my work and how that often shuts down the conversation and while she seemed perhaps a little hesitant, it wasn’t enough reason to prevent her from accepting my invitation to go see a movie and have drinks. I hadn’t told her about this blog though, or about my time in front of the camera for that matter; only the work that I do now, which is mostly done inside a pretty average office.

There is a moment that my friend Clara refers to as ‘the reveal’ in dates like these, where the question comes up that makes keeping things vague difficult and I inevitably answer honestly about my work. It’s not something that’s often very fun and while sometimes it’s taken quite well, other times it can make the rest of a date awkward.

That ‘reveal’ moment happened with Arianna while we sat next to each other at the bar, drinking cocktails and waiting for the movie. We were talking about putting out fires at work and she laughed saying how that must mean very different things for each of us. She gave me an example of what it was like in medical research and I asked me what the last one that I’d had to put out was.

I answered her honestly about a situation that had come up with a director and I saw her counting the degrees of separation between myself and talent. She was polite and asked follow-up questions, laughing a little along the way, but I could see that it had all become a little more real in that moment and the tempo of the conversation fell a bit, as did the corners of her mouth.

After the conversation about my work, something in the tone of the conversation had changed. It wasn’t huge and it wasn’t glaring, but the rythm was different and the back and forth report we’d had before wasn’t coming as easily. It made me think about all the things that she didn’t know yet and I wondered at what point it would prove to be too much. Having performed? Seeing other people? This wasn’t the line, but I felt like I’d find it sooner or later.

(more…)

Take Care

Saturday night I had plans with Laila. We were to meet after she spent the day with her father and his girlfriend, who were in from out of town. Polyamory created a strange situation in that they would spend the night at Laila and Daniels apartment (sleeping together in his room), unaware that she’s seeing multiple people. She apologized for not introducing them while they were in town, but I understood her reasons why. Still though, it felt a little strange not to meet them and I was a tad bit jealous.

I spent the day instead talking Arianna, who is someone new that I met via a dating app.  It’s a new one that I decided to give a try, where women are the first to speak if there is a match. She was my first match and she messaged me almost immediately, starting a conversation that flowed easily over the previous few days.  We exchanged numbers and texted about bad movies so I asked her if she would go see one on Sunday and she agreed.

Arianna is ‘age appropriate’, which is one of Veronica’s more amusing judgements of suitability, because we’ve both dated people who were, perhaps, too young for us. When either of us is seeing someone who is close in age, we congratulate the other with that phrase.

Arianna and I have both lived in New York and New Orleans and spent extended time in Paris, so we had plenty to talk about and a lot in common. We also strangely lived in those places at the same time making this the third. ‘Our twice missed connection’ is how she put it.

I fell asleep on the couch Saturday night waiting for Laila and woke up not feeling all that great. The fact that I napped should have been a warning sign that something was amiss, especially when coupled with the possibility of Laila being exposed to a hit-and-miss strain of strep throat. Even though I was under the weather (and not much fun) She decided to stay the night.  We laid on the couch watching a movie together as she ran her fingers back and forth over the freshly shaved side of my head. I laid my head in her lap and faded in and out as she played with my hair, the movie becoming white noise in my hazy stare of mind.

She came to bed with me and stayed close, fretting over me as I tossed and turned my way through a fever and chills. The next morning she went out and got croissant and fresh fruit for breakfast and got all the things to make a lemon tea that she knows is good for the throat. It was very sweet of her and I appreciated the lengths that she was going to in order to take care of me. It’s rare that I’ve had that in my life and honestly I’m not always comfortable with it. I’m a particularly willful creature and it certainly says something about my feelings for a person if I’m willing to let them do things for me.

Laila stayed with me most of Sunday, curled up next to me on the couch offering to do things for me as I let the day slip away. I was a little sad to have to text Arianna and tell her I couldn’t make it to the movies with her, but luckily she was understanding and was willing to reschedule. Laila put another movie on and I slept on and off, one hand holding her foot. I opened my eyes once or twice and saw the sun glowing in the reflection of the building across the street, marking in my mind the hours that had passed and how many remained in the day.

When it was time for her to go, I walked her to the door and hugged her goodbye.

“I can tell you aren’t feeling well, because that was the gentlest hug you ever gave me!” she said, referring to the fact that I typically hug like I mean it.

She waved as she rounded the corner and I poked my head out of the door to catch the last glimpse of her as she slipped out of sight. Stepping back inside I closed the door gently, turning the lock as I thought about everything that she’d done for me.  Back on the couch, I wrapped my arms around one of the pillows and I drifted feverishly off to sleep again.

Poly Dating

It was my first venture into dating while openly seeing someone and I was a little reluctant to go, if I’m being honest. I’d half talked myself out of it because I wasn’t sure that Riley and I were looking for the right thing or in the right places in our respective lives. I also wasn’t sure about how my history in adult entertainment would really be received even though I’d disclosed it before we met. Madison and I discussed the pro’s and con’s as she gave me a lift home. Riley had plans later in the evening to go to a dance class giving me an easy out if it didn’t go well and when Madison put that into perspective, I made up my mind to go. I’m grateful to her for that talk, because as it turns out, it was a really great night.

I stood out in front of the restaurant waiting for her to arrive, having taken less time there than I anticipated to walk there from my apartment. I watched people walking by as I looked for her, scanning faces for the one that looked like the photo’s that I’d seen of her online. She was wearing the blue and white dress that she told me to look for and that’s what I noticed first; the floral print that made me think of a cool breeze on a warm summer day.  I noticed her bare, sun tanned shoulders as she spun on the spot to face me and when she did I noticed that her eyes were kind and her smile was really lovely as they both lit up in a hello.

We exchanged two kisses (one on each cheek) and a small hug before going inside. She was warm and smiled a lot and I really liked the eye contact that she made. She turned to go into the restaurant and I followed her down the set of steps into the small, brightly lit room. We were a little early and had the place almost to ourselves when we sat down. We leafed through the menu together speaking but we weren’t really paying much attention to it, too distracted by conversation to make choices. The waitress circled us for half an hour and when we finally did decide, she ordered desert for dinner.  It made me smile and trust her more somehow (maybe because she’s a nutritionist but not a masochist).

We spoke candidly about life, love and relationships (both open and not) as we ate, often echoing the same sentiment and finishing each others sentences. I was sort of in awe of her as she reached across the table and unabashedly set to work on what I hadn’t finished when the waitress asked if I could take my plate away.

“I was a little worried before we met that we might not get along. You seem so strong-willed in your profile but you are much more…gentle.. in person” she said.

I had to admit that my desire to make my line of work perfectly clear probably came off a little ‘take it or leave it’, but I also didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, including my own.

I told her about Laila and he told me about her many years of an open marriage which were coming to an amicable end. I was surprised to hear about it, given something that she’d said on OKC about not wanting an open relationship right now. She explained that it wasn’t something she was necessarily interested in pursuing anew because eventually she would be looking for the person to spend her life with. For the moment though, she was seeing other people too. We talked about the relationships she’d had along the way and the ones that I’d had that led me to this point.

I described the moving situation from a few weekends before, including the joke Laila made in referring to us as her ‘harem of movers‘, because almost everyone helping was connected to her in one way or another.  I’d told Riley that I’d met a number of the other people Laila was seeing that day and that I’d really liked them all. Her eyes narrowed just a little bit and she smiled at me over the glass of water she held in her hands.

“She must be very pretty” she said.

When she brought up my work in adult, she asked me rather bluntly about the details of my time performing. Her questions revolved mostly around monogamy and how that was negotiated if I was in front of the camera; I gave her every detail without thinking twice and I really liked that she wasn’t afraid to ask or of the answers.

The restaurant grew louder and the girls that they seated next to us were determined to speak over every noise in the place, so we sat quietly for a moment and looked at one another. I noticed again how great her eye contact was and was just about to say it aloud when she complimented me on the same.

We sat in that tiny space for the better part of two hours, talking about life’s adventures and misadventures. We decided to use the time left to go for a walk for a change of scenery and because it was a really beautiful night out. The last light of the sun was still just barely visible in the sky as we headed out into the street to walk and talk some more. There were lights in the trees and people around us all seemed to be happy to be out on such a perfect night.

“So given your line of work…you’ve probably seen and maybe done some interesting things” she said as we walked.

“How do you mean?” I asked, having an idea but wanting to know for certain what she was asking rather than assume and divulge.

She asked me the questions she’d been reluctant to while elbow-to-elbow in a room of strangers and I answered her honestly and without hesitation. I’m not sure when the last time someone asked me so many questions about work with such a genuine interest rather than morbid curiosity.

The very nature of my work on film led to subjects of kink and fetishes and she started to inquire about those that I had personally. I felt that she’d been waiting to ask me these things after seeing some things in my profile and she hesitated when asking certain questions, struggling to inquire without giving too much away. She blushed a bit as my explanations went from abstract to using her as the example but she urged me to continue, feigning a lack of imagination capable of being able to picture what it would be like to be invited to my apartment to be tied up. The way she blushed made me happy to fill in the details and it seemed obvious to us both that we weren’t talking about ‘if’, but rather ‘when’.

I told her about the things I’d say to her before she every even got to my apartment, including how I’d want her to dress and why. When she arrived, I’d have her open the unlocked door and let herself in,  turning around to face the wall with her wrists behind her back. She wouldn’t see me coming but she would hear my footsteps and feel the rope around her wrists…

“And then?” she asked, but I wouldn’t answer, telling her that she would have to find out for herself if she really wanted to know.

Even in the fading light I could see her blushing and I told her that I liked it. When we started off the evening she’d been leading the conversation and I’d let her. Things were very different just then though and she was firmly outside of her normal comfort zone, which was clearly thrilling to her.

“What are you thinking right now?” I asked, turning the questions she’d asked me repeatedly over the course of the night back on her.

“I’m wondering what day I could be at your apartment” she said, hesitating before adding “but not tonight”.  I was sort of glad that she had because it meant that we were both looking forward to something and it wasn’t just an impulse.

(more…)

Open

Since Laila mentioned her surprise with how I’ve taken to poly dating, I’ve given it a good deal of thought. As being more monogamy minded, this is definitely a change of pace for me and my embracing of it has even caught me off guard a little bit.

There are parts of being in an open relationship that I am appreciative of most immediately, such as the honesty and the genuine happiness for one another when one of us finds something or someone who makes us happy. It’s new to me to be happy when considering the person that I’m with another person, but seeing the way that Laila appreciates Thomas and the growth in her life that she’s experienced because of him, I can’t help but feel anything but. I’m a little sad for her actually, that he’s moved away.

My last relationship was filled with so many secrets, so many walls, so many things that we weren’t supposed to talk about and this is completely the opposite of that. Perhaps that’s the biggest reason I’ve embraced this; because I want something different.

I still catch flashes of my ex in my life now and again; sometimes it makes me angry, but most of the time it just makes me sad. It just reminds me of all the strange boundaries that we had and continue to have between us. I honestly don’t know what to make of it most days, but I shouldn’t be surprised given the intense boundaries that existed when we were together. I still care about her deeply and I wish we could be supportive of each other while we find what comes next for each of us; instead we have games and more limits and more boundaries.

I waited a year and a half while living in wait for her to divorce her husband and it took a toll on me because we weren’t supposed to talk about it but she still wanted to have him in her life. It wore me down and I felt like my life with her wasn’t really fully under way because she was still attached and I wasn’t supposed to talk about how or when that would change. Decisions in my life were affected by it, but the only time it ever came up was during arguments and while I share some blame in that too, I don’t ever want to live that way again.

I’m seeing someone now that really wants to share their life with me and genuinely wants me to be happy above all else, no matter what that means: I want the same for her too. Jealousy doesn’t get in the way or snowball into resentment and we aren’t keeping score. For the first time in ages I really feel like I can talk to the person I’m seeing openly about whatever feelings we are having and we can stop most problems before they even get off the ground.  We don’t really have secrets; just things we haven’t gotten around to sharing yet.

This is still new to me and I know that I am studying this under a very optimistic light. I fully expect to hit bumps in the road, but at least I feel like I can see what direction the road heads in and I’m excited for the things that I’ll discover along the way.

 

Virage

We sat in the park early this afternoon and it felt like fall, even though summer has really only just begun. The sky was a little grey and the wind carried the smell of something sweet being fried not far away.  It reminded me of a day in Amsterdam and I closed my eyes thinking about the ferris wheel in Dam Square and the booth next to it that sold churro and stroopwafel. When I opened them Laila was looking at me from the wooden bench, smiling the little knowing smile that’s my favorite of hers. She told me about her adventures from the night before, tracing her steps from the time we parted ways in the early evening to when she came back this afternoon. My night had been quiet after she left so I let her do the talking and I listened.

I had a moment of perfect contentedness yesterday evening while spending time with Laila and Harper. We’d gone to the pool, staying until it started to rain and then went back to mine to have another drink and order something to eat.  We talked about work in the adult industry and I told them both a little about the time I’ve spent in it. We put on a bit of mindless television and Laila and I laid on the couch, cuddling while watching. Harper curled up like a cat next to us and fell asleep, hard and fast.

I looked at them both and thought about how strange and perfectly comfortable the situation was all at the same time. I liked having them in my apartment and I took notice of how different the space felt with them in it. I lowered the volume on the television and so that I could hear the light fall of rain outside as the two of them dozed. Pressing my lips to the top of Laila’s head, I could smell the day’s sun in her hair. There was a calm in the room in that moment and I appreciated everything about it.

Earlier in the day, Laila and I had a talk about the how and when she might leave the city. She’s planning on taking courses in another city and she’ll be staying with another person that she’s in a relationship with while she’s there.

“I keep thinking about just leaving” she said, expressing how untethered and impatient she feels being between stages of her life. I’ve been there before myself and know the feeling and it’s frustrations well. She had a fire in her eyes when she spoke about it and I know she’ll be going sooner or later, but truth be told I hope I have a little more time before she goes.

We left the park and walked for a little while, sipping coffee and talking about the night to come. She has plans to see Thomas tonight, who’s leaving town soon and I was happy that she was getting to spend real time with him before he goes. She asked me what I had planned and when I told her that I might ask Harper if she’d meet me someplace for a drink if that was ok with her; she smiled, telling me she thought it was a great idea, so maybe I will.

I kissed her goodbye on the corner of the street and wrapped my arms around her. She smiled at me as she crossed the street and headed for the train. I walked backwards for half a block, watching her go, before turning to face the rest of my day.