Ryan St. Germain

Tag Archive: relationships

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.

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.

Abundant Love

The five off us sat in the dimly lit bar, the walls  of which were lined with rows and rows of books. Mila carefully folded the sweater that Madison gave her to wear so that she didn’t get it dirty, exposing her tanned, tattooed shoulders. The shirt she wore underneath it was bright yellow and more fit for the California sun than it was for autumn in eastern Europe. She wore knee high socks and tiny black shorts, showing off tattoos which all seemed to have a story behind them. She speaks slowly and carefully at times and I found myself hanging on her words because her insights and comments were clever.

Mila is a beautiful girl and I get the feeling that she’s looked at constantly but listened to less intently, so she fucks with people a little bit just to see who is paying attention and thus who is worth paying attention to. She made strange statements and weird references about puppets in shop windows and dystopian movie-esque strategies for finding the friend we were looking for. There was a darkness to her humor that borders on sardonic and every comment she quietly made drew me in a little more.

We’d met her in the hotel lobby to get a cab and when Mila joined our group I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I’d seen her around for the past few days, but I wasn’t exactly sure who she was or what she did. We all climbed into a van together with seats facing each other and I sat opposite Mila, watching the streets from my backward facing position and listening to the comments she made as the old city slipped away. The driver dropped us in a spot where we were supposed to meet a friend, but in finding ourselves under a bridge rather than on top of it, we had to find him before we could cross it. Standing on the cobblestone near the bridge is where I really saw Mila for the first time.

The four of us found our way on to the bridge and found Sam under one of the arches that soared above it. Together we walked the length of it, crossing over the river looking at the old city as we weaved through tourists, getting to know each other with questions along the way. We stopped for a picture beneath one of the bridges arches and the sun fell slowly from the sky, burning the clouds a bright pink as the day slipped away. I looked up at the arches that towered over head and when I brought my eyes back down to the bridge, she was looking at me, turning away when my eyes met hers.

 We stumbled across the book-lined bar while looking for a place to eat and stopped inside. Sliding into a booth, I ordered a Makers Mark Manhattan on the rocks and Mila ordered Becherovka, letting me have a taste of it after describing it to me. It had a hint of anise to it, which is a flavor I very much enjoy but rarely share in common with others so it was another reason to appreciate Mila.

 Mila is polyamorous and has a partner that she is very much in love with on the west coast. She’d spent the day with an industry friend and I’d spotted them holding hands on more than one occasion as we walked through the old city, but it felt less like there were boundaries in conversation and flirtation and more like we were all having interconnected moments.

I was getting to see Madison outside of work in a way that I really enjoyed: I appreciated her friendship already and in a lot of ways she reminds me of my little sister. Brian and I talked about the people that we both knew in common in the industry and I talkedto Mila about movies, rattling off ones we thought each other should see. I listened as Sam talked about being excited to go home to his wife and kids after so many days away from them and liked the bashful smile that crept onto his face when he said that he couldn’t wait to be home with them.

We said goodbye to Sam and the four of us that remained hiked up the hill looking for the old castle, getting lost along the way because we were more interested in the conversations we were in than in sightseeing. Madison and Brian talked ahead of us, Mila and I  trailed behind just a bit.

We talked about polyamory and how it worked for her. She hadn’t asked yet what my situation was, but she openly shared that she and her partner were very much in love and that one day she wanted to have kids with him. She told me that it wasn’t always easy to navigate the complications of seeing other people and she admitted that she sometimes tested his patience a bit.

“He puts up with a lot from me” she said, sounding grateful that he did.

“You don’t want to have kids, I take it?” she asked, turning the question toward me.

“I do, with the right person who also” I said, admitting it out loud a little shyly. “Do you?”.

“I don’t want kids just for the sake of having them, I want them because I’m with a partner that is so special/great that I want another of them in the world” she answered. She spoke about life, love and relationships with such candor and related to one another so instantly that I found myself wanting to take her hand in mine as we walked and talked.

“So there isn’t anyone that you are seeing?” she asked, sounding a little surprised and maybe a little sad at the thought of it as we stopped on the side of the hill, looking out at the lights and an abandoned Starbucks that looked out of place and out of time.

“There are two people actually” I answered and I thought then of both Aurora and Laila. Mila’s lips turned up at the corners in a smile and we were quiet for a moment.

We talked about the cold north where I live and she smiled when I told her what February was like here.

“I want to come to visit in the dead of winter” she said, and I could picture the snow swirling around her when she did. I could imagine the winter wind catching her long dark hair, making it dance as it collected flakes of snow. I could imagine the cold all around us and the color it would bring to her cheeks. The look in her eyes made me feel like she was imagining those things too.

(more…)

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

Expectation

“Inside I still feel like the 23 year old that wanted to be your fuck toy” she said, her eyes a little wild and a little lost.

We have a long often tumultuous history, Aurora and I. We’ve spent as much time being enemies as we have being friends and only in the last few years have we been able to stand to be in each others presence.

Six or seven years ago, we had a very strong attraction and Aurora first presented the idea to her boyfriend at the time that she wanted their relationship to be open and more specifically, that she had an interest in me. Admittedly at the time I wasn’t sure how I felt about polyamory and the situation imploded spectacularly when (I learned much later on) her boyfriend gave his permission to her and then told me something entirely different. I felt betrayed and misled by Aurora, particularly because her boyfriend was a friend. He gave me the impression that she’d been dishonest and I was furious with her about it. She got the impression that I’d just played a game to see if I could get her to do it and she hated me too.

New Orleans is a small place and when you have the same circle of friends, it can feel even smaller. There was a palpable tension in the air after that and we couldn’t stand to be around each other. We were all in a band together and I stopped going to performances when I knew she’d be there. When we were forced to be in the same room, the animosity was undeniable and one or the other of us would find a reason to leave as soon as possible.

A few years ago while I was visiting New Orleans, we ran into each other and agreed to meet and talk. It was then that we discovered that we might both have been mislead by the same person and that we’d wasted years loathing each other. Even then, we were both a little reluctant to believe it and we harbored some distrust that would take us until recently to let go of. There was a sense of danger in talking to her that meant we kept a respectable distance while we decided if we really could trust one another again. I didn’t always mention to her that I was coming to town on some of my previous trips to New Orleans and I only told her last-minute that I’d be there this trip, feeling that maybe it was time to really put the past behind us.

She messaged me on Facebook days before my trip and we added each other as friends there, eventually trading phone numbers so we could text instead. She offered me a lift from the airport, but I declined, not sure I was be ready to see her and wanting to get acclimated to being back in New Orleans for at least a few days before I did. It wasn’t until the day before I supposed to leave that we finally made plans to see one another and even then I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect.

We agreed to meet for lunch at a Mediterranean place on Frenchman street and I took something of a farewell walk through the French Quarter on my way to see her. It was hot outside, even with the overcast skies, and I could smell the rain looming somewhere in the distance. I hadn’t seen her in almost two years when I spotted her through the window, standing close to the door. Her hair was shorter than when I’d seen her last and it has vibrant pink streaks in it now. Being face to face to her the familiar feeling of danger crept up on me but it was accompanied by fascination, which I hadn’t let myself feel for her in years.

She was wearing a shirt that hung long enough to nearly eclipse her tiny shorts and cowboy boots that seemed a colourful contrast to her pink hair.  Aurora is a curious mixture of brash and vulnerable; she rarely holds back when speaking to me, even if she makes herself blush with the things that come out of her mouth. She often looks at me with equal parts want and contempt and I enjoy it. The look on her face when she saw me seemed determined, though I was unsure what of just then.

We took a seat at a far table and quickly found the playful tone of conversation that we’d shared in the past. There was a hint of trepidation behind it all, but also a feeling like things had changed, become unstuck and could move forward. We were deciding to trust each other as we sat there, even if it hadn’t yet proven wise to do so. Looking across the table at one another, the tension between us felt like it’d switched from push to pull. We flirted a bit and then she rolled her eyes at me as if she didn’t yet believe that I meant it.

“This is going to be like all those other times when you get me turned on and then don’t do anything, isn’t it?”  she said, and I laughed, because we do have a long history of tension without payoff. All the buildup we had years ago was destroyed by a misunderstanding and though that was a long time ago, I didn’t feel her question was unfair.

“Want a lift to the airport?” she offered and I accepted. We agreed to meet at the friend’s apartment that I was staying at, because I needed to pack up and say goodbye to them before leaving. The we parted, we hugged goodbye and I had a feeling that she had something planned for the ride there.

She picked me up in her SUV and announced that we had a bit of time to kill, asking me where to go. I knew she already had a plan so I put the decision on her and we headed to her apartment. There really wasn’t much extra time before my flight, but I agreed to it, wanting to see how things would play out.

We pulled up in front of her apartment and sat inside the car for a moment when she told me we didn’t have time for games today and invited me inside. She was forward and also uncertain and I hadn’t decided myself just then how far I was willing to let things go.

She seemed nervous and a bit out of sorts as she led me inside, apologizing for the mess. She kicked off her boots and walked across the floor in mismatched socks, her shirt nearly hiding her tiny shorts and giving the impression that she’d already started to undress. She stopped in the middle of the room and faced me; I put my arms around her and all those times we almost kissed but didn’t were behind us.

(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.