There's a good chance you have seen adult film star Taylor Stevens before and didn't even realize it. Whether she's on your favorite XXX websites or pumping up her cleavage behind the New Jersey Devils' bench, Stevens doesn't have much trouble garnering attention. But that's life for a model who's most popular for her live webcam show, Play with Tay. It's all about turning on the camera and doing things that make people want to tune in. Not only do they tune in for Taylor, but they keep coming back for more.
But as we found out, her journey to the upper echelon of her industry hasn't been without its obstacles. Complex talked to Stevens about being independent since the age of 15, making the decision to leave a corporate career and fighting an uphill battle with lymphoma.
Interview by Julian Patterson (@JulianPatterson)
You received quite a bit of attention during the Stanley Cup Playoffs for your distraction tactics. Did you think you would cause such a ruckus?
Tactics is a word I wouldn't use. That is funny. Nothing was premeditated. I'm a huge hockey and sports fan and because of the rough year I've had, these tickets were a gift from a longtime fan. I had no idea it was gonna blow up and become such a viral and crazy ride. I enjoy and smile through every minute of it. If I was a distraction, maybe the Kings would have won game four. They did win game six though, so maybe slow and steady distraction wins the race.
Drake would have my heart in a split second. He's from Toronto and we have had our moments at concerts. He calls me his 'wifey.'
The attention is great. I was able to turn it into something positive, bringing notice to issues such as pre-judging people, cancer, which I'm currently battling, and obesity, which I have battled by auctioning off my shirts to charity.
Have any of the players on the L.A. Kings reached out to thank you personally for being a fan?
I can't tell you all my secrets! I will say that they have made mention of it, and I appreciate it. They are an amazing team. I was there to watch them win the Cup. They deserved it. They were the underdogs as a number eight seed and came back to kick some ass. It was a long time coming and I'm proud of them. A couple of them mentioned me on Jimmy Kimmel. There are a lot of players on the team from Ontario, which is where I'm from. I was born and raised in Toronto, so it's nice to see great talent be recognized.
Given your line of work, do you get attention from A-listers in Hollywood?
Even before this line of work, I did, but it's way more now. For me, I don't get all crazy if you're an A-lister. I mean, to me, I look at you as an individual and a human being. For me, it's about what's inside your heart. Sure more A-listers are like, "I want that girl" and to me, it doesn't phase me. It's definitely a compliment, but you could be anyone. It's about who you are inside, not if you're in a movie or if you have a lot of money. I have my own career which I'm very happy with, and I have my own bank accounts, which I am also very happy with. I worked very hard for everything I have in my life. I've been on my own since I was 15, from McDonald's to modeling, so maybe I'm the A-lister.
Have any rappers tried to wine and dine you?
Ohh, you're trying to dig up the dirt, aren't you? Yes they have. Drake would have my heart in a split second. He's from Toronto and we have had our moments at concerts. He calls me his "wifey." I never would divulge information unless that person was OK with it. I'm very private and very respectful. We are all human.
Do you have any plans to explore the industry beyond solo webcam shows?
Right now, I'm super content where I am at. My fans love me here. Anything is possible though. I do more than solo webcam shows now though. I have my own website, which is gonna be huge this year. I also pose for many sites and magazines and I create and produce my own DVDs. There's a lot of big things coming to my website and Play with Tay this year. Strap on your seat belts. But solo webcam shows are where my heart is. It's in my blood. I've been the number one webcam girl the last ten years for a reason. These boobies will make you smile.
How did you get into the world of webcams?
A friend of mine suggested I try it. She was too shy to try it. I was reluctant because I had an amazing corporate job and was very happy there. So I did the smart thing and took a leave of absence and tried it. I was an instant success. I had someone tell me, "You'll never make it because you're fat," because I originally started the industry at 220lbs. And anyone who knows me knows you say that to me and I say "Oh fucking really?" The very first week, I was the number one webcam girl on the site. It's not about looks only. It's about being genuine and having an amazing personality. You have to be able to reach your fans by being true to them. I love my fans. They are the best in the world.
How would you describe your first webcam experience?
Easy. Natural. I thought, "OMG, am I really gonna do this?" I had a bit of nerves, but as soon as that green light went on the cam, I was like, "Wow." It was like I knew it was what I was meant to do. I loved it. The fans were great and I just kept building and building.
How would you compare your webcam show now to when you first started?
Well, like fine wine. In time, things get better. But I would have to say it's the same. I rocked it then and I'll rock it now. I will always give my fans one-hundred percent of me. I only give the best. I keep them smiling and they keep me smiling. I mean, my shows have gotten super crazy and fun, but they were always like that. I just had to get comfortable being silly and knowing they loved it. They know I'm a big nerd and we have so much fun.
Do you do anything in particular to engage your webcam followers?
I smile, I laugh, I be silly, I be myself. I have fun with them. I pay attention to them. I love them. I'm genuine, I never fake it. I engage them with my bouncy boobies and silly Taylor dance. I just do what I can to ensure they have the best time possible. They make me want to keep going. It's all about the experience. It's intimate. I care about them. I listen to them. Fans, they are the best in the world.
What reactions do you get from people? Does criticism ever bother you?
I get all kinds of mixed reactions. Some good, some bad. I'm human. I used to let things bother me, but my dad always said, "Not everyone's gonna like you," and he was right. I'm totally OK with that. I have thick skin. Literally. [Laughs.] People are always gonna have something to say. When I was bigger, they called me fat. When I was skinny, they called me too skinny. I've been called ugly and big-nosed. That's my dad's nose. He passed when I was six so I won't ever change it. It's a part of me and I love it. It adds character. I just learned that people need to make themselves feel better by bringing other people down so I kinda just say, "Fuck it. If you're talking about me, I'm doing something right."
You made the conscious decision to drop a lot of weight over the years, how has that affected your career?
I made the decision for my health for sure. I was very close to being diabetic. I was actually afraid I would lose fans because I was such an icon in the BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) community. Losing weight opened doors for me in terms of variety of sites, but I was posing for magazines when I was bigger. I was always confident at either weight. I am honored to have been part of the BBW community. I only hope they get more recognition. My main concern was my health.
Who are some of your favorite porn stars, past or present?
Oh, I love all the stars in the industry, but I mainly love the ones that I know know are passionate about their work and love what they do. I love Sophie Dee so much. She works so hard and it shows she loves it. I also love Teagan Preistly, Brianna Jordan, Shyla Stylez and absolutely Sara Jay. Not only are they extremely sexy, they work so hard and it shows.
Have they influenced how you perform on camera?
I think we all influence each other and we all have the same desire to please our fans and ourselves. I think that we all make each other better. I'm surrounded by a great group of girls. I am so thankful for them every day.
I worked very hard for everything I have in my life. I've been on my own since I was 15, from McDonald's to modeling, so maybe I'm the A-lister.
Are there any aspects of the porn industry you would like to see change?
Yes, I'd like to see more recognition for girls in this industry. I think that they don't get the credit they deserve sometimes. I'd also like to see AVN have an award for "Best Webcam Model" because webcam-ing is where it's at for every girl in this industry. I just think there needs to be more respect for the performers. They give their all every day. I know I do.
Who do you think is doing the most to push the porn industry forward?
The performers, of course. Without us, there is no industry. We need to never settle but also give our best to the fans to the directors. I think that webcam-ing and letting fans get to interact more with you and know more about you will keep it going. To push forward, we just have to push forward, work hard, put on a great show and be respectful of ourselves and each other.
Is it difficult to ditch the whole porn star persona when you are not performing?
Sometimes it's hard, especially when your recognized everywhere you go. But I'm the same person on cam as I am off cam, so for me I'm just always me. It's not difficult, though there are days I turn my phone, TV and everything off and say to myself, "Taylor is not available today for anyone but herself." I need those days. I'm very genuine with my fans. They know I'm battling cancer right now. They are my support, so I don't really try to ditch my persona 'cause I like who I am. My performances are all one-hundred percent fun, enjoyable and true to myself. Play With Tay and my website are all me the real me. All Tay, all the time.