Ask A Porn Star: Kayden Kross

By Vera Papisova /

When I told my friends I was going to start this column, Kayden Kross was the girl all the boys wanted me to interview. She is one of porn’s most coveted treasures, and a few years ago she landed one of the highest-paying performing contracts in the industry. She’s kind of a big deal. 

Did I mention she’s been published in the New York Times? (It’s a great personal essay that was part of the Modern Love column.) Yup – and she’s also written columns for Complex magazine and XBIZ Magazine (her take on LA’s Skid Row and the New Era of Celebrity Porn Stars are gold.) My favorite find, though, has to be this lovely ode to cum for (The site is NSFW, but Google it sometime.)

Like other porn stars, Kross uses her popularity as a platform for business ventures. She most recently launched a site for curated smut called with fellow adult star Stoya, and it’s blowing up. So, without further ado, here’s what Kayden Kross has to say about the perfect date (ice cream is involved), sex workers finding love, and *Hallelujah emoji* why the girl you’re with can’t orgasm.


1.) Your best cunnilingus/blowjob tip:

Treat them as one and the same—techniques scaled to size, of course.

2.) Your favorite sex toy:

My Fleshlight!

3.) What’s your ideal date?

I think an accidental date would be ideal. You go out, start going through the motions of other plans, meet someone off chance, find yourself eating ice cream and telling stories at the end of a pier off the coast of Mexico around midnight. Something like that. Maybe not Mexico. Piers are everywhere, though.

4.) “Why can’t she orgasm?” 

There’s a handful of options: You’re putting too much pressure on her. She doesn’t like you. You’re blowing out her senses by going too hard/fast. She’s addicted to Hitachis—and you are not one. She’s near her period. She’s on her period. She just finished with her period. She is nowhere near her period. You just don’t know what you’re doing. You suddenly know what you’re doing, and it’s making her suspicious. You’re doing the same thing you always do and she’s over it. She’s feeling self-conscious. You need to shower. Her head is somewhere else. Her head is too much in it. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. Her body just won’t get there today. She took Tylenol. She drank too much coffee. She drank too much alcohol. It’s just not time yet.

Pick any one of those. It’s probably one of those.

5.) Please fill in the blank:

Something more people should try when fucking is to not try so hard.

6.) You and Stoya just launched a new site featuring curated smut called TRENCHCOATx. Can you tell me about the pay-per-scene business model you’re using and what incentives there are for viewers to pay per scene when they can find porn for free somewhere else? 

Well, they (hopefully) can’t find this porn somewhere else. It’s a nominal fee, and surely they understand economics enough to comprehend how it costs money to make content, which must be somehow repaid for the cycle to continue. We’re being as honest as we can about how we’re bringing the entertainment. We are bringing the best we can. We believe that a consumer can respect that enough to respect us and purchase what he/she can if he/she desires to consume the product.

7.) Now if you wouldn’t mind answering a reader question, here’s what you’re working with:

Hi Kayden! I turn into a total freak when I meet a guy I like. I go from being a totally hot, awesome, fun babe and spiral into a anxious mess pretty quickly. I don’t really have boyfriends because I am a full time escort. Complicated! My most recent squeeze is an epically hot sexy freak. After a month I decided to come “out of the closet” about the sex work to him and he was really excellent and open minded to it. We still continue to see each other, but I’m secretly liking him in a “I want you to be my boyfriend” way, and I’m terrified. I’m cool as a cucumber fucking influential, famous and wealthy men at work. I’m great at one-night stands and casual affairs. But when it comes to meeting someone I generally like in the real world, I crumble. Last night I got so drunk, got kicked out of a bar and then cried in a gutter. Do I just tell him how I feel? I don’t want to come across like a needy psycho hooker.”

Sex workers deserve to find love as much as the next person. Is it possible you become anxious because the world has been telling you otherwise, and you’ve bought into that mindset? I think so.

Main image credit:

Vera Papisova is a freelance writer and sometimes standup comedian who’s written for publications like Yahoo Style, Complex and Teen VogueTo submit questions for her future “Ask a Porn Star” columns, leave a comment below or tweet them to @VeraPapisova or @Slutever.

My Weekend at a Porn Festival

Words and photos by Vera Papisova /

This isn’t a Vegas convention center filled with fake tits and Mr. Clean lookalikes handing out complimentary butt plugs. Contrary to what you might expect from a porn fest, the NYC Porn Film Festival takes place in an experimental art gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The vibe is somewhere between your favorite dive bar and a Fassbinder film. The event staff looks like a group of Bard graduates. Miley, you would’ve thrived.

Friday is the first day of screenings, and tickets for the public are sold out by the time I pick up my press pass. There were 12 cops outside in anticipation of protestors that didn’t show up until the next day (more on that later). The first screening features MySpace star Tila Tequila in a performance that won an AVN award for Best Celebrity Sex Tape. “My dick sees the light,” Tila Tequila’s faceless paramour muses, “it wants to go in your butt.” The crowd roars with laughter. This was my first taste of something bigger—yes, my wide-eyed children, something bigger than Tila Tequila. 


Watching porn in a room full of people is empowering. It reminds you that sex and porn are nothing to be ashamed of, that we’re here to celebrate sexuality in all of its forms. I realized very quickly that the crowd at the NYCPFF is the best you can ask for: incredibly friendly, supportive and genuine. There is a palpable kinship, which is arguably the direct result of socializing porn. This is something festival organizer Simon Leahy should be proud of, especially considering the main goal of the weekend is to facilitate a comfortable environment that encourages a greater discourse around pornography. But enough about Tila Tequila.

The next hour features a serious discussion about the future of porn led by MakeLoveNotPorn.TV’s founder and total badass, Cindy Gallop. She talks about how the porn industry functions on broken business models, after which we’re prepped to watch a compilation of Make Love Not Porn #realworldsex videos—something they claim is a completely separate category from porn and amateur content. This is something entirely new to the internet – real people, having real sex. (E.g. no screaming, fake orgasms here.)

The video compilation begins. There’s a 70-year-old couple using a sex swing (#GOALS), a cheeky lesbian couple explaining “how to f- butts without hurting people,” and a hipster couple so natural and in love that you’d never guess they were porn stars IRL. The compilation received some of the best, if not the best, audience reception at the festival. After the presentation, I overhear Gallop saying MakeLoveNotPorn is the only place on the Internet where current or former porn stars submit videos of themselves having #realworldsex with their partners. (I’m in!)


I spend some time talking to festival goers, most of whom are Brooklyn transplants in their 20s who are very excited to watch porn with their friends. “I didn’t know porn had a sense of humor,” said an NYU student to her friend. This is a popular reaction all weekend.

I miss the majority of the Yaoi screening. Yaoi is Japanese manga porn featuring men banging, and—plot twist!—the authors and viewers are mostly women. I entertain the idea of cartoon sex, but only because I long to be Sailor Moon.  Next, the opening night party starts up with a screening from CockyBoys that, among other things, features artist Colby Keller. Keller’s work is a standout, and not just because it’s a big gay acid trip. I try to stick around for the clothing optional party, but it takes too long to get started.


The following day, anti-patriarchy protestors show up right before James Franco’s screening. I ask them if they’re protesting Pornhub as a sponsor, which would make sense given the countless degrading and misogynistic titles in their database. But nay, they’re protesting porn in general. Sigh, anti-porn feminists. When I ask one protestor how feminists feel comfortable telling women what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies, she gets flustered and hands me a pamphlet as wildly misinformed as she is. I decide against asking how protesting gay porn is fighting patriarchy, or if they bothered reading the content in the festival program, which is consciously feminist. I politely tell them that the point of the festival is to get people talking about porn, so their protest is actually helping the cause.

But back to James Franco: Interior. Leather Bar is not porn as much as it is straight actors having emotional breakdowns about filming gay scenes. My boredom is on a level that can only be compared to the time I had to read Watership Down in 7th grade.

At this point, I get hungry and go buy a cupcake with a vagina on it. It’s delicious.

Sunday is filled with more art porn, BDSM, and horrorporn. Yup, horrorporn is a thing. Paralyzed by content overload, I spend the majority of the day getting drunk with drag queens at a porn festival. In Bushwick.

When people experience adult content as a group rather than in secret, it influences a public reaction – a discourse. Without a doubt, the NYC Porn Film Festival achieved what it set out to do: I found beauty in all different kinds of sex. I felt a connection to other gender identities and sexual orientations on a deeper level than I had before. In porn we trust.


Vera Papisova is a freelance writer and sometimes standup comedian who’s written for publications like Yahoo Style, Complex and Teen Vogue.

Ask a Porn Star: STOYA

Words by Vera Papisova / Photos by Tim Barber /

It’s only fitting that the first installment of “Ask a Porn Star” features one of the most badass players in the adult industry. She’s won multiple awards for her niche performances (super vague way of saying hardcore lesbian shit), is living proof that natural beauty exists in the porn world, and was crowned “America’s sweetheart of smut” by The Village Voice. Continue reading “Ask a Porn Star: STOYA”