Ryan St. Germain

personal

Things specifically about my personal life.

Crossroads

“I do miss shooting, but I don’t miss performing” I said when she asked me if I missed producing adult movies.

“But you didn’t know that about me though, did you? That I was a performer as well?” I asked.

She shook her head no briefly, her eyes locked to mine and then she shook her head yes.

“How did you know about that. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, have I?”

“I read about it.” she answered quietly, sitting on my couch with her legs folded under her.

“Where?”

“The Internet” she said being honest but tight lipped.

“You’ve read my blog too?” I asked gently and she nodded that she had.

It was Sunday morning and Pandora had spent the night with me the night before. She’d done the same thing the previous  and we’ve been seeing more and more of each other, finally making the time after not seeing each other for almost a month between our first date and our second. We took things slowly, but Veronica’s assumption that Pandora and I would be a good fit were well founded and I wasn’t ever worried that things weren’t moving fast enough because I felt like everything would happen when it was meant to. It was actually sort of nice to wait for that first kiss and that it didn’t lead instantly into sleeping together. Nothing ever happened just because it’s what you do on a date; everything happened in it’s own time and that was a welcomed departure from the zero to sixty pace of some of my past relationships.

Pandora knows that I work in adult entertainment, but she wasn’t aware of just how involved with it I’d been. I’d been waiting for the right moment for it to come up and I had some concerns that things might not be able to move forward once she knew. She’s a politicians daughter and she’s expressed before that she has to sometimes be conscientious of her actions because of the reflection that it might have on her mother. I knew before we could move forward we would have to have that talk, but the moment hadn’t presented itself until I made the awkward realization that she already knew.

“Do you have any questions?” I asked.

“Should I?”

“Most people do” I said,  having been down this road before.

I’d spent the better part of two weeks thinking that Emily had suddenly been reading my blog increasingly obsessively before putting together that visitor  was reading every night except those when Pandora and I were together. I went back through my analytic’s later that day and realized that while Emily had been back a handful of times, my assumption that it was her all those times was wrong. When I looked at them closer, it was very obviously two separate people reading every day and it was Pandora that was so thoroughly combing the pages and not Emily. I’d brought up something about the flowers that I’d written about here (Amidst The Flowers) and Pandora seemed to know what I was referring to even though we hadn’t discussed it. I decided then to ask, but I waited until the next day to see if the visitor I believed to be Emily would return and rule it out, but the next day a quick check confirmed what I suspected.

“Are you ok with everything?” I asked, wanting to make sure that she really was. She’d spent the night the night twice since she started reading, but it’s been my experience that sleeping with someone in adult entertainment isn’t the same as wanting to be a pornographers girlfriend.

She’d laid her head down in my lap and I ran my fingers gently through her soft black hair as she thought about it and searched for the right words.

“If things were to move forward I wouldn’t want you to resent me…” she said.

“Because you wouldn’t want me to perform any more?” I asked.

“Yes, I don’t want to stop you from doing something you want to do”

“It’s been years since the last time that I was in front of the camera and that’s not in my future.” I said.

This moment is always a conflict for me because I don’t regret my time in front of the camera. I won’t make excuses or ask for forgiveness and I’m not going to be ashamed of it. I know that it isn’t easy for people to swallow and I’ve had it ruin relationships in the past, but it is who I am and there isn’t any changing it. I have no intention of going back to performing, but I won’t sell myself out while trying to reassure someone either.

“Performing isn’t in my future, but are you ok with it being a part of my past?” I asked and she was quiet for what felt like ages before she nodded her head yes with less confidence than I would have liked.

I looked down at her studying her face. She has such a stunning smile, but it was nowhere to be seen as she stared out the window contemplating it all. Her long eyelashes fluttered and her eyes narrowed for a moment while she thought about it.

The morning took a turn that I hadn’t seen coming and it felt like some of the color had bled out of it between the time that we woke and when she headed home. It was early afternoon and I spent a few hours thinking everything over very carefully because I had an ache in my heart over the entire situation.

On one hand it saved me the conversation where I’d have to explain my history in adult and in that it brought some relief because she already knew. On the other hand, I hadn’t given her the access to my life or the links to this blog; she’d done a lot of deep research on her own and found it that way. I suppose I understand the precariousness of having a family in politics and perhaps I should have seen the research coming, but I value my privacy. Having been outed on more than one occasion in the past, having someone dissect my life was unsettling to me.

I also wasn’t sure if she was really going to be ok with it. The last person that I really seriously dated who’d never done any sort of sex work at all was Mina and it wasn’t until we were breaking up that she finally admitted she’d never been ok with it.

I sent her a text message after the sun went down and told her that was I was a bit shaken by the digging she’d done. I told her why and she admitted that she would have been mortified had it been the other way around. Pandora accessed my life, my past relationships and all sorts of details that I would have shared with over time and in the natural course of things, but the way that it came about was very one-sided and I told her how I felt.

“I’m just going to be forward and ask because I have a hard time reading between the lines at times. I hope it’s not the case, but if it is, I can understand: do you wish to no longer to speak to me?” she messaged.  I told her that it wasn’t and she promised not to read again, letting me share what I want when I want.

I still felt disappointed though, because even as foolish as it sounds, I really liked the notion of things just unfolding naturally. We met through a mutual friend, took things slowly, had ‘regular’ dates and lives that didn’t really touch outside of Veronica and the time we spend with one another. There was attraction and chemistry and from the moment that I met her I felt like things made sense with her. There were no other people standing between us and no complications because we lived a million miles apart. She’s adventurous and beautiful and responsible and kind.  We hang out on the couch watching television, laughing, kissing, holding hands, cuddling up together and we are very sexually compatible too. It felt like, for perhaps the first time in my adult life, I was making a good relationship choice for myself. I should take some comfort in the fact that she knows and is (for now) still seeing me, but knowing that she had read the better part of this blog still doesn’t sit well with me.

Pandora knows more about me from my blog than what I’ve told her in person, which is something that those of us in adult entertainment deal with often. She saw me naked on film before she saw me that way in the flesh. She knew that I’d enjoy putting my hand on her throat before I ever did it. She knows that I enjoy bondage and not because I told her so, but thanks to google. This isn’t the typical ‘boy meets girl’ story that I thought I had this time and I have to decide what to do with that.

I realized something else too: I was both relieved and disappointed to know that it wasn’t Emily reading all those times. I was hoping that maybe she was finally close to being able to talk to me and if nothing else I could have some closure with her, but I’ve also been unhappy with the fact that she reads this blog but won’t speak to me. She has one way access to what I’m doing seven months after we split up and I don’t like the feeling of that one bit; it’s tormented me and kept me up some nights, knowing she’d been here, knowing she was lingering like a ghost. She knows that I know too, which makes it even more haunting. It made it harder for me to move on and held me back in my writing. I need to cut that tie if she won’t.

I know that in writing a blog, you are putting yourself our there for people to find. However, like most people in adult entertainment or sex work, I separate my personal life and professional life. I use another name, one that I pulled out of the ether for the purpose of keeping this blog and I changed the names of others along the way as well. I often write in non-linear format and tell stories out-of-order, just to keep some semblance of privacy for myself and those mentioned. There are a handful of people who know me as both Ryan and by my given name, but those are rare exceptions that I like to think that I have some control over or say in. I like to think that I can choose who I let into what parts of my life, but in a digital forum, that’s a misguided notion. I know the few things that connect both sides of my life, the places you can find both names side by side and there is nothing I can do about that. Well, almost nothing…

I am at a crossroads.

Histoire d’Amour

I spent the summer loving openly and honestly, trying for the first time to love and be loved by more than one person at a time. I realized that my relationship with Emily left me jaded about the notion of monogamy and I turned to something else entirely in hopes of not repeating the same mistakes. Polyamory was something I’d toyed with the notion of in the past, but I learned a lot about myself in the process and confirmed a thing or two about myself in pursuit of it this summer.

I have a new appreciation for some aspects of polyamory, but the biggest thing that I learned this summer is that it isn’t for me. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned in this regard, but I would rather hold out for that one person that I’ll be able to spend the rest of my life with and share everything with than to share pieces of myself with different people. I’m grateful for the time I spent with Laila and Aurora and I see the ways in which polyamory suits them, but I could see the outlying boundaries of our relationships and I wanted more than what was possible with them non-monogamously and from a distance. The moment of confirmation of this for me, was the day my grandmother had a heart attack and I had to leave for the weekend unexpectedly to go see her I couldn’t get ahold of either of them; they were both on dates with new people, which there was nothing wrong with, but I could never get the notion out of my head after that either of them was more than a friend that I happened to sleep with when we are in the same city at the same time.

The conversation in the car made me realize I’m not looking for friends with benefits either. I want something real, something lasting, something in the here and now that I can look forward to growing as it unfolds. I don’t know how to love part-time. I don’t know how to love in pockets or corners or between the lines. I almost envy those that can, but it isn’t me and it won’t ever be. I know myself, perhaps now better than ever, having tried something that I’d always wondered about and confirming what I knew to be true about myself. I can say with confidence that an open relationship isn’t what I want. I want one love; big and bold and occasionally messy, but above all, true.

Friends…

She pulled over to let me out in front of my apartment and the conversation came to a head. We’d been talking about the notion of ‘friends with benefits’ abstractly at first, discussing how it’d been a while since she’d slept with anyone.

“I’ve done it two, three times in the past” she told me as we crawled along the highway in traffic.

“Would you now?” I asked.

“I don’t know. My ex keeps telling me that he would be more than happy to take care of me and I’m not going to lie, it was the best sex I ever had. The problem is, there are too many complications and too much history for it to be just that. We’ve been down that road and it takes so much to just keep the friendship when we do.”

“But if you have a friend with no romantic history, could you do it then?” I asked, feeling like I was inching close to something dangerous.

“I don’t know if I could….I think I’d want something more”

She stopped the car in front of my building on the opposite side of the street and I opened my door into traffic just as the light turned, forced an abrupt goodbye. I cut through the cars before they had a chance to move and when I turned around, she was gone.

Amidst the Flowers

 That night the flowers bloomed.

The landlord told me they were called ‘night blooming ceres’ (Queen of the Night) and he’d been waiting patiently for the night to come in which they would open. They grew in the courtyard behind my apartment on Esplanade and opened in the early days of October; true to their name, they were there one brief moment and gone the next day. I can vividly recall the way that they smell and the way the petals felt when I held one flower delicately in my hand.

I was out that evening with friends and I’d gravitated toward Vee, who I always had a bit of a crush on (and felt she was out of my league). She was in the same band I was in and one of the reasons I stayed with it so long, looking forward to the month of October when I would see her often. She made me feel like the mistakes I’d made in life were the most interesting thing about me and I sort of loved her for it. Our friendship was strange, mixed with brutal honesty and warmth: she devastated me with her smile which she was just as likely to be wearing when she gave me a compliment as when she told me to go to hell. She could speak the truth and convince me that it wouldn’t kill me to hear it, giving me advice that was hard to swallow with just enough sugar in it to help it go down. To this day there are things that happen in my life that make me want to know what Vee would have said about them. Truth be told, I could use some of her advice right now.

My landlord called that evening and told me the flowers had opened and I wish I would have asked her to come see them with me. I came so close, telling her where I was going and why when I left the bar. I hesitated though, because I thought it might be silly or cliché to ask her to leave our friends and walk the fifteen or so blocks with me to my place at midnight just to look at the flowers, no matter how remarkable they might be.

I missed out on something that night and I could feel it when we talked later. We both started seeing people shortly afterwards, but that sheepish tinge of bittersweet that you can see on peoples faces was on both of ours when we crossed paths and that seemed to me that what we missed that night in the garden might have been more than just the flowers.

She passed away a few short years later, taken swiftly and quietly by cancer. To this day, I can’t think of ‘night blooming ceres’ without picturing her. Like this rare and beautiful flower she owned the night that she lived in and was gone all too soon. Fittingly, on her shoulder Vee had a tattoo of a fleur of her own and the word ‘tojour’, which is just how long I’ll miss her for.

Night Blooming Ceres

Vingettes

“My favorite spot as a teenager was the video store. I would spend hours in there,” she said. “I took home the cardboard cutout from ‘Mobsters’ because I had a huge crush on Christian Slater”.

“Who didn’t” I answered.

“When I was a teenager I spent pretty much every cent of the minimum wage I earned washing dishes and as a prep cook at the dollar cinema across the street from where I lived. I was there all the time and they would give me the old movie posters when the movies weren’t playing any more.” I told her.

I thought of the shiny movie posters peeling away from the tape on the walls of my room at my dad’s place when I was a teenager. I remember looking up at the curling edges of ‘Cinema Paradiso’ at night, having missed it when it played and wondering what it was about. Years later I would see it and the montage of movie kisses cut that were cut by the priest all strung together at the end would land on me like a heavy stone in shallow water.

Receiving the laminated movie rental card that I used to rent horror films and foreign movies was a right of passage and the three-for-one rentals during the week ensured that I was exposed to as much of the world as was humanly possible during the summer months in the tiny Michigan town that I was living in.

In my head I pictured her in that tiny video store wandering in the next aisle as I distractedly tried to pick out a movie and I felt like we would have gravitated toward each then too.

“I guess it’s pretty safe to say that had I crossed paths with you as a teenager I would have been as into you then as I am now” I said and she blushed.

Seasons

The days are getting shorter now and the nights longer. It’s dark when I get up for work in the morning and there’s hardly a trace of the sun left in the sky when I get home. It’s getting too cold for the jacket that I wear, but I’m not ready to give it up because I love it and it fits me like a glove. The wind comes along and I turn in on myself and I like the struggle against the cold.

I said goodbye this week to Laila, who is on adventures of her own on the west coast. I said goodbye to Aurora too. The seasons have changed and summer is gone and with it the days of loving from a distance. It felt heavy to let them go, but it was the right thing to do for them and for myself. I know who I am and it’s not someone who can love part time from afar. I know who they are too and I’ve no expectation of flowers blooming out of season.

Veronica and I went on a little road trip today, leaving work early together. We drove far outside of the city talking about sex and love and how removed the golden fields that we passed felt from the part of the city we live in. I snapped pictures of pink leaves against grey skies and I had no doubt that summer was over. I hugged her goodbye before I slid out of her car and into the rain. Cars were lined up, stopped in traffic at the corner near my apartment and I looked at our her though my own reflection in the glass for half a moment after the door closed between us. I crossed the street behind her and her car hadn’t moved when I looked back over my shoulder.

I took the elevator up the handful of floors and glanced out of the window just outside of it when the doors opened. The sky was dark, the sun having gone, but stretched out below me lights flickered and glowed for as far as I could see. Autumn isn’t a day on a calendar to me, it’s a feeling like the one that I had today. It’s rain against the windows, leaves falling from the trees and the appreciation for the light of day when you realize it doesn’t linger for nearly as long any more. Seasons change and summer is over, but I always knew that it wouldn’t last forever.

Des Amours d’Été

Summer seemed to resurface in September and then vanish again overnight. The unseasonably warm weather broke last weekend when fall finally arrived and I’ve been enjoying cooler evenings this week. I sat in front of the open window last night, thinking about how I’d spent the past few months and I realized that it was nothing like I might have imagined for myself. I lived my life very differently this summer than I have in the past and with the turning of the seasons I’m looking back and looking forward, gauging where I’ve been and where I’m headed next.

Aurora reappeared and is now a part of my life quite unlike anything I expected. We’ve gone from hating each other to being wary of each other to suddenly being fixtures in each others lives. I’m not sure what the future holds for us and we are both reluctant to define anything, but we are happy to be a part of each others lives again. She called on me the other day after having a mishap with another lover and I was happy to be there for her as she is for me when I’m feeling troubled. I think we’ve both surprised each other with an unexpected tenderness between us after so many years of tension.

Hannah and Harper where both gone as abruptly as they appeared in my life. Hannah I knew wouldn’t be able to live with what I do for a living, so that came as no surprise. Nor was it that the thin thread holding Daniel, Harper and I together would snap once Laila was gone. The damage was done the night of Laila’s going away and despite one last-ditch effort to fix the tension that bloomed out of it, there wasn’t enough reason for us to do anything other than say goodbye.

Laila moved away just as we were really growing close and though we’ve spoken every day since, I can feel the miles between us. We text or Skype as often as we can, but she’s off living a different life in a different place and it isn’t always easy to find the time for each other three times zones apart.

Arianna and I settled into friendship, supporting each other via text as we both have our own adventures. Neither of us was really all that ready to start seeing someone seriously when we met; she is unsure about continuing with polyamory and I’ve been seeing other people. We aren’t in the same place in our lives, but we can understand and relate to each others situations which makes for some fantastic conversations that are incredibly open and honest. We have plans to see each other this weekend and I’m looking forward to it.

There is someone else that I’ve been sort of seeing too. Someone that I’m cautiously optimistic about, but haven’t yet written a word about yet. Someone that makes sense in my life and who is beautiful and adventurous and strange in just the right way.

“I’ve got a girl for you” Veronica texted me from Greece while they were on vacation together. I was a little reluctant, but Veronica knows me so well and I trust her implicitly.  I might not have given the time of day to someone else wanting to fix me up, but I listened to her and I’m glad that I did because It’s her friend that I’ve sort of been seeing.

Veronica’s friend and I have gone on a few dates and messaged each other to share stories and pictures of our travels while we were both away. She curled up next to me and fell asleep on my couch while we watched a movie the day before she left and it felt comfortable and right.

The one cause for concern that I have with her is that while she knows what my role is presently in adult entertainment, we’ve yet to have the talk about my time performing. I’m not certain how well that will be received and I’ve gotten the impression that she might have made relationship choices before based on the connections to politics her family.  Veronica has told me to worry about it later, but I’ll be happier when it’s out in the open because I’ve been down roads like this one before.

I didn’t lose sight of myself during the course of this summer, but I’ve made an effort to be more aware of the way that I perceive and deal with many things. I needed a little distance from the recent past in order to have better perspective on myself and what I needed and wanted of others. In the year before I found myself guarding a wounded heart in a way that wasn’t good for me or those around me. I became the rock that waves break against, when all that I really wanted was the ocean.

Here I find myself in late September, thinking about the blur of summer days that are now gone. I’m waiting for the leaves to fall, watching them as they turn red and gold before the branches that they grow from let them go. I can feel a change of season coming in me too.

Fall

Aurora

Aurora came to visit over the long holiday weekend. It’d only been a few weeks before that we’d reconnected in New Orleans and she took the first opportunity that she could to come and see me.

She arrived late on a Thursday night and I took Friday off, making my three-day weekend into four so that we could spend time together. Storms were delaying flights the night she arrived and she landed late in the evening after a long day of travel. She sent me a message from the cab line to tell me that she’d be seeing me soon.

September always brings the notion that summer is over, but standing outside waiting for her cab to arrive, it felt like it hadn’t gone anywhere. Clouds hung low in the night sky, illuminated by the lights of the city and the few minutes that I waited stretched on because of the anticipation. My street was all but empty and I spotted the cab from a few blocks away when it turned the corner and headed slowly towards me. I caught a glimpse of her in the backseat through the front windshield as the car pulled over to the curb and let her out.

I took her bags for her and hugged her tightly before we headed upstairs to my apartment. She told me about her day and I told her about mine. She showered when we were upstairs and climbed into bed with me, falling asleep on my chest even though she was fighting to stay awake just a little bit longer.

Her visit was full of interesting, vibrant moments but there was one in particular that we were both waiting for, both wanted, both needed…

(more…)

Rêver

I dreamt of you last night. We were in my old apartment, years before I ever actually knew you. I was sitting on the couch and your were laying across it, your head in my lap, looking up at me. I kissed you on the forehead and brushed your hair out of your face, pushing it back behind your ear which I ran my fingertips along the edge of before squeezing the lobe gentle between my forefinger and my thumb. The light outside seemed like autumn and the small lamp in the corner of the room made your eyes sparkle in its dim light. You looked at me and you were happy and I was happy too.