sits down with Aubrey and Derek for an exclusive National Textile Day (May 3rd) interview.

Our two Dollsexposed denizens talk about being in the modeling industry, building a decades-long friendship, and how best friends should definitely sleep with each other. Plus, find out if these two besties truly know each other.

This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.

Dollsexposed: Thank you for doing this. I know the two of you are busy, so let’s just dive in.

Aubrey: Oh, honey, I’m not busy. I have all day today just for this. My boyfriend, Marcus, is in Switzerland for a business meeting. I’m taking a red-eye tonight to join him.

Derek: Same! I took a day off for this interview.

Aubrey: D, We’re still doing lunch after this, though, right?

Derek: Oh, absolutely!

Dollsexposed: The two of you have been friends for…

Aubrey: Twenty years? I think?

Derek: We met when we were babies. So, yeah, twenty-plus something.

Dollsexposed: Was it an instant bond?

Aubrey: Our parents said so. Obviously, we were too young to remember.

Derek: They’ve been friends for decades, but mine moved back to LA from Vegas just before kindergarten started. There’re pictures of us, Aub and me. So many pictures of us. There were other kids, for sure, but we just… hit it off.

Aubrey: Kindergarten, then boarding school after boarding school after boarding school. God, I hated them.

Derek: Your parents or boarding school?

Aubrey: (Pauses.) Both. Almost equally.

Derek: (Laughs.) Our parents traveled a lot and they left us behind because they felt we needed some kind of stability.

Aubrey: It just gave me abandonment issues. Seriously, D, if you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have survived.

Derek: Aubrey’s not very good at making friends.

Aubrey: (Laughs.) That’s an understatement.

Dollsexposed: How so?

Aubrey: The fewer people you know, the less disappointed you will be. People… leave you.

Derek: Not me.

Aubrey: No, not you. Which is why I’m grateful for all the things I’ve put you through. And they’re… a lot.

Derek: Oh, I know. (Laughs.)

Dollsexposed: It feels like the two of you share so many things in common. Same affluent parents, same boarding schools.

Aubrey: But different career paths.

Derek: I mean, I feel like we’re both biologists? You chose to work with plants. I chose to work with animals.

Aubrey: Not just any plants. And you not just any animals.

Derek: That’s fair. I work with farm animals, livestock and such.

Aubrey: And I specialize in cannabis.

Dollsexposed: Why cannabis?

Aubrey: Why not? It’s a booming market. It’s a very specialized study, but most of it applies to other plants. Plant genetics, seeding, growing, upkeeping. But there were also classes for marketing to prepare us for the “real world.”

Dollsexposed: I don’t partake, but that sounds exciting!

Aubrey: There’re lots of misconceptions regarding cannabis. It’s not just for stoners. I mean, I love stoners.

Derek: But you hate the smell.

Aubrey: I hated it. It took me a while to come to just accept it. Is that strange?

Derek: I don’t smoke weed but yeah, aren’t you supposed to smell it in order to, I don’t know, determine its quality?

Aubrey: Yeah, and unfortunately, the more pungent, the better. That’s why I prefer to work with CBD and edibles. I was supposed to have a line of products launched on this year’s 4/20 but well, some things happened and I kind of lost my lab.

Derek: It’s weird not seeing you at the ranch.

Dollsexposed: Wade’s ranch? (The response we received from Wade’s Life Sanctuary Ranch regarding Aubrey’s lab contract termination can be found at the bottom of the post.)

Aubrey: Yes. But let’s not talk about that. It’s just a minor setback. I’ve found a place and I’ve been working tirelessly for my brand. In fact, I’m too busy working on perfecting the strains and recipes that I’m still workshopping my brand name.

Derek: Aubrey can text me at 2 am with a list of names, asking me what I think of them.

Dollsexposed: Any good ones you can share?

Aubrey: (Laughs.) Nah. I’m keeping them a secret for now. Only a few people know. But, like I said, although the brand will have smokeable strains, the bulk of it will be CBD, gummies, and other edibles. I have sleeping and anxiety issues, so I try my products on myself.

Derek: You also told me about your grandpa?

Aubrey: Oh, Pops. One of the main reasons why I really wanted to study cannabis is because of him. He had chemo. Pancreatic cancer. Smoking pot helped him deal with the vomiting and the pain. And when the cancer came back, marijuana helped relax him a bit so he could eat. Well, until he finally couldn’t. Pops lived near one of the boarding schools Derek and I went to, and he’d visit us and take us to his ranch every weekend.

Derek: OK, I don’t know why I just… Your story unlocked a memory. I think part of why I wanted to be a livestock vet is because of our weekly visits to your grandpa’s ranch.

Aubrey: Didn’t you help deliver a calf or something?

Derek: I helped deliver numerous calves. And foals.

Aubrey: It’s a full circle now. Well, almost. Not until I get my brand launched.

Derek: And I get my DVM. Aub, I know you hate Wade’s ranch but I’m really glad I work there.

Aubrey: I mean, I don’t hate it. I understand that even though we’re super close, my relationship and experience with Wade and his ranch are so different from yours. And I’m truly happy and proud that you love what you do and you love the place.

Dollsexposed: What sets Wade’s ranch apart?

Derek: Besides being just an hour away from LA? It’s a sanctuary ranch. Meaning, I don’t have to look at an animal in the eye and take care of it just so it can be food.

Dollsexposed: Are you vegan?

Derek: Well, no, but I’m getting there. I’ve been limiting my meat intake. It’s just so difficult because I need protein to keep my physique. I also model.

Aubrey: Your friend, the one who posed with you with that white horse, isn’t he vegetarian? He’s more muscular than you are.

Derek: Oh, damn. You’re right. Chrissy’s vegetarian. Yeah, I’ll talk to him about this when we’re in Seattle together.

Dollsexposed: Speaking of being a model, you started out differently, right?

Aubrey: Oh, yes! Derek started as his brother’s assistant.

(Derek’s brother is the celebrity photographer Christian Byrne.)

Derek: Yeah. Then one day, a guy who was supposed to come in cancelled at the last minute. We had the same built, so the client asked if I’d be the substitute. I still assist Chris from time to time, especially when he’s photographing pro models. Some of the sessions are literally master classes.

Dollsexposed: Are there aspects of modeling that you don’t like?

(Both Derek and Aubrey look at each other.)

Aubrey: It’s… the ephemeral aspect of it. Mainstream models of all genders have a very limited window. Some are lucky enough to have longevity, but we need to diversify to survive.

Derek: I hate that I need to use social media. I run Wade’s Life Sanctuary Ranch social media better than my own. It’s a good thing Wade understood when I said I didn’t want to be the face of the ranch. I’m loving the amount of anonymity I have. I mean, I’m not that famous anyway and I don’t want to be. The money’s good but what I really want is to help animals.

Aubrey: Didn’t you turn your Insta private?

Derek: Oh, yeah. I don’t even have TikTok or Snapchat.

Aubrey: I’m on all. Well, except maybe YouTube and Pinterest. I don’t really get them. And yeah, like Derek said, modelling is really a side thing. You get a little bit famous, rack up followers with a healthy engagement rate, and then use it as a platform for other things. In my case, it’s my cannabis brand.

Dollsexposed: And what do you love about being models?

Aubrey: Being made up all pretty and wearing nice clothes and accessories, or some really creatively constructed clothes and accessories and interpreting them through poses and faces.

Derek: And hanging out with people you love and respect. Like Aubrey here. Aub, I’m really happy for you and Marcus, but man, now that you’re juggling between doing your CBD thing and flying around the world with him… I rarely get to see you, especially since you’ve moved out from Wade’s ranch.

Aubrey: I know, I know. Which is why today’s a good day to catch up, yes? And we’ll do more after we’re both back from our trips.

Dollsexposed: Final round! This is to test how well you know each other.

Aubrey: Oh, boo.

Dollsexposed: We’re gonna ask you several questions. We’ll give you time to think. We’re gonna count to three, and on three, both of you need to say your answer.

Aubrey: Am I… should I be scared? Because I am?

Derek: Scared you’ll disappoint me?

Aubrey: Isn’t there a SpongeBob episode that’s exactly like this?

Derek: (Laughs.) Yes, but it has a happy ending. We saw it together!

Aubrey: See? I’m gonna flunk this. I just knew it.

Dollsexposed: Ready?

Aubrey: No.

Derek: Yep.

Dollsexposed: OK. First question. Derek, what’s Aubrey’s favorite part of his body?

Aubrey: And I also have to say it at the same time he says it?

Dollsexposed: Yes. OK. Ready?

Derek: Yes.

Dollsexposed: One, two, three.

Derek: His hair.

Aubrey: My hair. (Aubrey screams.) You got it!

Derek: Easy one.

Dollsexposed: OK, let’s reverse it. So, Aubrey, what’s Derek’s favorite part of his body? Ready? One, two, three.

Aubrey: His dick.

Derek: My di… Oh, wow.

Dollsexposed: Are you joking?

(Both Aubrey and Derek laugh.)

Aubrey: If you’re one of the lucky ones who get to try it, then you’ll know he has a point.

Dollsexposed: Is it not weird to bang your best friend?

Derek: Aubrey’s the chillest trick I know. It’s like Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue. I mean it started so innocently.

Aubrey: I think it was mostly boredom in our case, yeah?

Derek: Boredom that turned into sex. Great sex.

Aubrey: Excellent sex. I encourage best friends to fuck if there’s mutual attraction. Seriously. But you have to be mature about it.

Dollsexposed: Any pointers?

Derek: Ours was a spur of the moment, but thankfully Aub and I are chill about it and we enjoyed it. We knew it’d be an off-on sex in a platonic, brotherly relationship. If we wanted more, we’d have to talk to each other about it. But ideally, both, or well, all parties, if there are more than two people, should decide beforehand what’d happen after sex. Also, tamper your expectations and set up boundaries.

Aubrey: Just be open about it.

Derek: Yep.

Dollsexposed: But did it change your dynamics as best friends?

Aubrey: Oh, for sure.

Derek: We’d seen each other naked a lot of times before we finally fucked, but I mean, Aub’s just breathtaking. He’s gorgeous, right? And there’s the snooty mischievousness in his eyes that makes you really want to nail him.

Dollsexposed: Do you remember the conversation after the two of you had sex for the first time?

Aubrey: Did we cuddle?

Derek: I don’t think so. We just laid next to each other. It was less romantic and more… perfunctory? But I did remember feeling happy.

Aubrey: Like achievement unlocked kinda thing?

Derek: Yeah, could be. It was so long ago.

Dollsexposed: Was there a period when you wanted to date each other?

Derek: Umm… Was there?

Aubrey: OK, confession?

Derek: Yes?

Aubrey: I was really into you. Like, super madly in love with you and I was jealous when you started going out with that, who’s that brunette? That girl from that Catholic school?

Derek: Oh, shit. Is that why you were so cold to me that summer? Dude, that was… a long time ago.

Dollsexposed: And how did you two make up?

Aubrey: Derek broke up with the girl.

Derek: And you started seeing a guy, right?

Aubrey: Yeah, and then I broke up with him when I realized you’d broken up with her.

Derek: Aubrey’s a mess. Was a mess?

Aubrey: Still am, unfortunately. But I also realized I hated myself for putting both of us through so much, what’s the best word to use here…

Derek: Drama. So much drama.

Aubrey: Self-instigated drama.

Derek: You know, I’m proud of you for opening up to me like this. Therapy has really done wonders for you.

Aubrey: You’re welcome. But yeah, let’s not sugarcoat it. We did go through some shit after sleeping together but that was because I had a level of expectation that Derek didn’t fulfill and it wasn’t his fault.

Derek: Do you still love me?

Aubrey: Absolutely, yeah. But platonically. I can’t say as a sibling because siblings don’t fuck, well, shouldn’t be fucking anyway, but you get what I mean.

Derek: (Laughs.) Yeah, I get it. I love you too.

We’ve included the statement from Wade Cohen, the owner of Wade’s Life Sanctuary Ranch regarding Aubrey’s lab contract termination:

Thank you for reaching out to us.

In early November 2023 at a Halloween party, Mr. Aubrey Ashford behaved inappropriately toward my close friends. After verifying with multiple witnesses and also understanding that this incident was not the first time Mr. Ashford had engaged in a disrespectful manner toward my friends, Wade’s Life Sanctuary Ranch decided to discontinue Mr. Ashford’s monthly lease on the premises, effective immediately.

We wish Mr. Ashford all the best for his future endeavours.

Full set:

BTS Thoughts:

I’ve always wanted to do a fun fashion shoot with Aubrey and Derek. At first, I was going to use something else (and a different character) for National Textile Day, but I decided to go with them. However, I never really trusted my sewing skills to create couture that’s good enough for these two.

After searching for some inspiration, I settled on an androgynous, flowy top for Aubrey (paired with metallic leggings) and an athleisure look for Derek.

Aubrey: top, leggings, spike bracelet, rhinestone bracelet by Dollsexposed; gloves by VTS Toys; Dior sneakers from KicksMini.

Derek: hoodie and shorts by Dollsexposed; gloves by Hot Toys; Gucci sneakers from KicksMini.

Click here to see the complete episodes of Dollsexposed’s residents, or choose below:

Dollsexposed showcases queer erotica, kink, fetish, and activism through twelve-inch doll photography. Their adventures in the doll world began in 2011 before establishing a home on eleven years later.

Dollsexposed's works have been displayed at Seattle Erotic Art Festival and Los Angeles Leather Getaway.

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