Inside Kayden Kross
Local porn star-turned-poet gets naked at Luna’s
Kayden Kross is holding out. She’ll only do facials with men she feels comfortable with. She won’t do guys covered with multiple tattoos and piercings. No boy-boy-girl stuff. Not yet, anyway.
She will read poetry, though. The sweaty crowd packed into Luna’s Café & Juice Bar last Thursday night can attest to that. Kross, 23, held her own in front of an audience that included headliner Beth Lisick, more than a few accomplished local poets and last but not least, her mom.
It was Kross’ poetic debut (see photo, left), and the previous afternoon, at a Cameron Park coffee shop, she confessed she was at least as nervous before the reading as she was the first time she took her clothes off onstage four years ago at the Risky Business strip club. Her cause was noble. A pony she had worked with as a trail guide had been injured, and she needed to raise money to save it from being put down. It proved to be the transformative event of her young life.
Kross grew up here in the foothills between Sacramento and Placerville, first scion in a family immersed in the local evangelical horsy set. Her first memory is building a bed for her Barbie doll in a kitchen drawer when she was 3. She rode her first pony at 5 and attended classes at Capital Christian Center through grade school. Today, she’s an A-list porn star with a six-figure contract and the hot ticket to take rookie of the year honors at the next Adult Video News Awards.
Oh, yeah, she’s also a college psychology major.
And now a poet.
Kross looked cozy sans makeup, loosely clad in blue Victoria’s Secret “Think Pink” sweats and a gray V-neck sweater, an elegant black leather Prada purse plumped on the chair beside her. She might be just another fresh-faced college student cramming for final exams, long blond tresses spilling down her shoulders, an economics textbook spread out on the table in front of her. Minus the trappings of porn, you’d never recognize her as the hot-blooded harlot who’s appeared in the pages of Penthouse, Hustler, Club and Swank magazines.
Kross calmly answered the questions every female porn star must be asked. The good news is she claims size only matters on film. A long penis permits the camera to get up close and personal for those wide-open, full-penetration shots. In her personal relationships, emotional attachment matters most, not organ size. The bad news is, she insists every woman in the world is capable of faking a convincing orgasm. Every last one of them. Every time.
Intellectually, her first love is philosophy. There’s a mischievous intelligence working behind her glittering blue eyes, and when asked if working in the industry has done any damage to her soul, she waxes metaphysical, insisting she’s no dualist and therefore has no element beyond her own mind and body that can properly be called a soul.
She hastens to add that so far as she can tell, there’s been no damage of any sort, physical, mental or otherwise, during her two-year stint in the industry. She’s growing as a person. She’s not hurting anyone, including herself. She’s in control. The whitest, most perfect smile you’ve ever come across says believe me. Nevertheless, she wouldn’t want her little sister to follow in her footsteps.
Kross has taken acting lessons, so it’s impossible to determine with absolute certainty whether she’s sincere or playing a role in a Faustian melodrama starring Ayn Rand as the devil. The former Bible student and member of the Future Farmers of America has morphed into a laissez-faire atheist with a master plan for world porn domination, or at least extending her nascent career another 10 years or so.
That’s why Kayden Kross is holding out. It’s all about supply and demand. Keep the former low and the latter remains high. The strategy has paid off, so far.
She doesn’t do gonzo, where female stars have been known to make two to three videos per day, expending all their natural resources in an orgiastic frenzy, burning out after the second or third strip-club promotional tour. Kross only stars in features, a genre dedicated to more discriminating connoisseurs who prefer some semblance of plot and don’t necessarily want to see their dream girl get gangbanged by the Hell’s Angels.
She’s only done anal three times on film, just enough to keep her fans reaching for the Kleenex. The risks are weighed heavily. She doesn’t smoke or take drugs or have sex with anyone who does. She trusts the industry’s STD testing system implicitly, but refuses to work with men who do gay porn, which happens more often than you’d think. For the most part, she performs with the same five guys, handsome straight studs with whom she feels comfortable having sex with on film. One at a time, of course. For now.
If Kross had her druthers, she would have postponed her boob job, not because she regrets the implants—she doesn’t—but because she missed out on the high premium she might have fetched as a natural girl before going large. She abhors facials mostly because they’re inconvenient. Scraping all that goo off your face and out of your hair and false eyelashes is a drag after you’ve just spent hours dolling yourself up for the harsh studio lighting.
The lights were more subdued at Luna’s last week, but a certain sexual tension hung in the sticky air, stimulated no doubt by the poetry-reading porn star’s appearance on the double bill. Kross, resplendent in a peach gown, sat at a table at the foot of the stage next to a well-dressed handsome man who could have been a bodyguard, her agent or a co-star in one of her features. They stuck out in the crowd of Midtown bohos like the Beverly Hillbillies in a Prius.
During the open-mic session, the couple appeared to be playing the occasional game of footsie as a succession of local spoken-word artists threw down before a warm, receptive and far too generous audience. Genitalia was on everyone’s lips, none more so than the young man in casual business attire with close-cropped dark hair who courageously attempted to defuse a loaded slang term for vagina:
Things get boring
Even pussies get boring
A thousand pussies might not get
Neither would a million
I’d like a million pussies
I would eat and drink from them
Use them as bait
The adult-video star took it all in stride, although she did visibly wince when one of the poets recalled her mournful acceptance, at age 22, that fairy tales don’t come true. Ever. By the time her turn at the mic came, Kross had recovered her composure. She ascended the stage like a princess and took a seat on a simple wooden stool, her throne for the evening. Her slender legs anxiously gripped the stool as she read head down in a soft, breathy monotone that sounded not unlike the reverb-drenched musings of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandovol.
Her words were tentative, uncertain, betraying a young poet not yet fully in control of her craft. Still, at times, Kross revealed more of herself than she’s ever bared on film, perhaps more than even she knows. In “Colt,” an early poem written when she was 18, she expresses reverence for the natural order of things, of dominance and submission:
In the winter
To bulging veins and the rise of
Your influence. Barefoot you struck
Purple smiles, reared up in this
I am male.
In a more recent effort, “Trust,” we discover Kross has branched out into girl-girl-boy videos, where she explores the power relationships between men and women. The dominant and submissive roles are reversed, gender blurred:
From behind hard eyes and wayward looks
I feign disinterest
When you wave your cock
And freshly pulled
From the body of a whore
I make it unimportant I
Wipe away the wetness with my tongue
I know her taste
Her flesh floods my mouth
It is hushed and shaded, a fruit
I would find
Rotting beneath the branch
Kross, at the tender age of 23, already senses her own youth slipping away. Working in an industry that values youth above all other attributes, she’s certainly more cognizant of it than most people her age. The sweet, ripe stench of decay permeates her work. Sometime in the next 10 years, she will do all the things she hasn’t done so far, her genes will play out and demand for Kayden Kross will wither on the vine. That’s life in the industry.
She accepts this and is planning for the inevitable. With the earnings she’s saved, she hopes to own and operate her own horse rescue shelter. Not out of any altruistic sense, mind you. She’s merely maximizing happiness by following her own rational self-interest. It’s not difficult to imagine such virtues being instilled in her by her father, the subject of “Plastic,” perhaps her most revealing poem:
My father thrives
On the scent of his own flesh,
The scent of
Bills pressed crisp against
Reaching out to remind him
Who he is.
It soothes him to say
He is the fruit of a solid breed,
The blood of a god.
My father thrives
On the scent of
On the chase and the kill
And the handshake made
With a glittering eye.
He thrives on flesh,
On the shape he shadows
At the close of the business day.
And the stitches that trace
And her breasts,
And fade into the firm,
That hold her in plastic
She has become the shape he shadows to bed, the living embodiment of the plastic doll she once played with as a child. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, and it’s rotting as she speaks.