We sat down with Kayden Kross, who built her career in an industry that is so widespread yet so hushed up. Kayden produces and stars in adult movies, and has gained immense recognition throughout her years in the industry. Curious about how one becomes a pornstar, and how one deals with the stigma that is set around it, we asked Kayden about her story. It is not one of those numerously publicised horror stories, where a girl lands in human trafficking, is forced to please men and gets stuck in porn, no, it is like any other story about how a girl gets into a job she is essentially good at.
She took matters in her own hand and started working at a strip club, simply because she wanted some extra money to buy a horse. With that first step she discovered a certain power she never had before, she felt free. Up until then Kayden’s bosses were predominantly male, who all secretly and not so secretly wanted to have a piece of her. At the strip club things were so refreshingly different, she did not have to prove anything to the manager. She could choose the times she would like to work, wear outfits she felt sexy in, instead of being forced into an unflattering uniform. It wasn’t then though, when she decided to switch into porn, it was on a six week road trip whilst overhearing an utterly boring yet bizarre conversation about the dislike of chicken in chicken soup in the rural areas of Kansas. There and then she thought to herself if people can talk about something so insignificant why the heck can’t she do porn. Kayden hopped into her car and drove straight to LA, where she soon knew, this was exactly where she was meant to be. She didn’t know how and when, but she knew she will be a success. A feeling that proved itself right in the months and years to come.
Kayden was never scared of performing but recalled her first time in front of the camera as a flop, she tried acting and when she should have just been herself. It brought to light how much worry goes into appearance, mind, and character, even when some think it would just go into the performance. She was so conscious about how she’d come across, but was never scared or anxious about the sexual encounter she was about to have. Her opinions and beliefs about sex and the adult industry are not as one would say “open”, but normal, she states everything as it is, things are handled and arranged like in any other job. Using the term open minded towards something that should have long been normalised is the reason why there is still such a stigma attached to porn. She explains that it really is like any other career, where one has his or her work personality and by the time one leaves the office the normal self comes out. Kayden could always differentiate from her performing persona and her private character. For her, it was obvious that she won’t run around with tons of make up and revealing outfits, yet for many outsiders of the industry, this is the opinion they have unless proven wrong. In her leisure time she absolutely adores books and told us that she used to be the nerdy kid back in high school. Kayden also has a passion for writing, which came in handy when her creativity as a director was required.
Her career took a slight shift when Kayden met her husband Manuel Ferrara. Manuel, also in the industry, offered her an opportunity to direct a movie rather than star in it. Kayden loved it and describes directing as from of writing a story without words, something that has become her passion. After directing several movies together with specific studios, she sought more creative liberty and established her very own platform called Trenchcoat.
Spoken by & Starring Kadyen Kross
Words by Constanze Pilger
Photographer Simon Emmett at CLM AGENCY
VIEW our shoot with Kayden