MILF of the year winner became adult film star to fund IVF treatment

Poppy Bilderbeck

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MILF of the year winner became adult film star to fund IVF treatment

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I never thought I'd go into an interview having seen my interviewee naked in an extremely compromising position, but there's a first time for everything.

Minutes before my call with Tanya Tate, I thought I'd click on one of the links she sent me. All I can say is thank goodness I was on my home not work wifi - imagine what IT would think - and that Zoom masked my bright British blush.

The image of Tanya I am met with contrasts greatly to the picture I saw just seconds earlier on the homepage of her adult film site. She is sat in a baggy grey Mickey Mouse top, her hair scraped back in a ponytail, no make-up on and looking fairly knackered - Tanya looks just like any other mum. Except not many mums can say that they've got men to 'smack their own c**k'.

Tanya, the penultimate of five adult film stars to chat to UNILAD, lays bare the true impact the adult film industry's had on her life in allowing her to have a child:

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The 43-year-old from Liverpool started working in the adult film industry in 2008, before moving to Los Angeles two years later. Tanya was - and still is - 'very career-minded' and her choice to start a family was left until later on in life.

A career in adult film - and 12 MILF of the Year awards - has not only afforded Tanya a house, 'life in America' and the opportunity to 'visit many countries', but it's also meant she's not just been cast as an on-screen mum because of her looks, but is now one in real life too.

"Once women get over a certain age their reproductive system isn’t as strong, so there become a lot of difficulties for women getting pregnant. Doctors never say anything until you’re there and then they’re like, 'Oh, you really do need to get a move on’," Tanya explains.

Tanya used to work at a pub in the evenings, on top of a 9:00am-5:00pm office job. If she hadn't moved to adult film, she doesn't think she would have been able to afford IVF.

"I can’t even tell you how expensive it is," Tanya says.

Tanya has won MILF of the Year 12 times. Credit: Tanya Tate/ YouTube
Tanya has won MILF of the Year 12 times. Credit: Tanya Tate/ YouTube

Tanya shot boy-girl scenes before switching to girl-girl, stopping shooting completely as soon as she fell pregnant.

After giving birth to Ozzie in 2017, she admits she 'wasn't sure where [her] career would go'.

"Once my son was born, being on OnlyFans is what's afforded me to be my own boss, to work from home and make a significant amount of money in my pjs," she explains.

Tanya's career also gives her a lot more time to spend with her son - time being something money can't buy.

Credit: Tanya Tate/ YouTube
Credit: Tanya Tate/ YouTube

Tanya's role as a real life mum is exhibited through her fierce motherly defensiveness of the industry and its performers.

I ask Tanya a lot of questions about violence towards women. After all, it's what many young people - including myself - have been engrained by society to believe, that women go into porn with no choice, trafficked, abused, their boundaries crossed and treated like objects.

Tanya shuts me down straight away.

"You keep talking about violence towards women. But consider this. Let’s talk about my fan base - I’m going put the shoe on the other foot," she pre-empts.

Tanya was quick to dismiss my questions about violence towards women in the industry. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter
Tanya was quick to dismiss my questions about violence towards women in the industry. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter

The adult film star reveals: "In my real life, I don’t believe in hitting people - it's not the type of person I am. I don’t want to cause pain to someone physically or mentally. But in my role plays, when my fans come to me, I’m their dominant, mummy and mistress."

While it's not the responsibility of adult film stars to educate young people about sex (but that of parents and educational bodies), Tanya does explain to me about 'JOIs'.

Queue some more of my burning British blush.

Tanya told me all about JOIs. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter
Tanya told me all about JOIs. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter

JOIs are 'Jerk Off Instructions'. What's a 'Jerk Off Instruction' you may ask? Or maybe you already know, and it's just innocent little me who was kept in the dark all this time.

Prepare yourself for a true insight into the life of an adult film star.

"When I'm having a one-on-one conversation, I'll see what they're up for - they might give you a little hint they want to be dominated or controlled.

"Then I will literally tell them how many times to w**k their c**k before taking their hand off. Then if I think, 'Oo he’s going to like this', I’ll tell him to like smack his c**k five times. I'll then say, ‘Did you do it gently? Was it medium? Or was it really f**king hard?’ If they say, 'Hard mistress’ and I’ll say, ‘Do it again five times and let me hear it’."

"You’re talking about violence, but this is a role play which shows a lot of men love the power of a woman. There are so many fetishes and role plays we could go into where I push the guy to their limits and talk about things that I will do to them to take that power away.

"Violence towards women? If you’d heard the role play I’d done, you might describe me as being violent towards men. People forget it's a role play, a fantasy, a scenario," Tanya resolves.

Tanya's reminder porn is 'fantasy' plays into her reasons for disagreeing with the a type of adult film called 'ethical porn' which can see performers recorded prior to the porn scene, not in character, going through forms and giving their consent.

It's argued 'ethical porn' helps raise awareness of such content being fantasy not reality, educate viewers about the importance of consent and prove the porn they're watching has been filmed legally and the performers respected.

As a mother herself, you may think Tanya would thoroughly support the rise in ethical porn - particularly given her son will likely be a consumer of such content in the future, but she has 'drawn a line'.

"I should be allowed to feel comfortable. I don’t always want to be recorded talking about my concerns, what I will and won’t do and why I may or may not want to do something - that’s not really the business of the fans," Tanya argues.

Tanya argues ethical porn can put 'pressure' on performers. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter
Tanya argues ethical porn can put 'pressure' on performers. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter

If a performer wants to video and share their consent, Tanya supports them, but she doesn't believe all stars should have the 'pressure' placed on them to do so.

"It's too invasive. You don’t want the whole world to know how you feel about that camera going up your backside. I could sit here now and say, 'What if it's going to stretch me too much? What if I’m going to bleed?' - all those personal reservations you’re going to have.

"I don’t want people going, ‘Ooo she said she doesn’t want to bleed’. Like, stick a coke can up your backside mate and you see. It’s so personal - too personal.

"I become a character if I know the camera's on. I might choose my words carefully because it’s going to be reposted or re-quoted, but if I’m just sat there chatting with a friend, I can really say how I feel," she says.

Tanya sees the recording and public sharing of performers giving consent as 'too invasive'. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter
Tanya sees the recording and public sharing of performers giving consent as 'too invasive'. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter

As well as being a mum to Ozzie, Tanya also runs PR company, Star Factory PR, offering expertise and guidance to other stars.

"Really, being a successful performer is a hard job. Suddenly you’re thrust into this world where people are telling you you're amazing and you’re given a lot of money. You’re your own boss," Tanya says. "You can't do everything yourself though, so having a support team really helps me."

But where can performers go for advice? Tanya recommends going to other girls in the industry, as well as a group called Pineapple Support that helps care for performers' mental wellbeing.

Or The CupCake Girls, who got started visiting the AVN fan convention every January, their all-female makeup artist team offering 'emotional and financial advice'.

"There are organisations that can help, you just need to figure out where they are," Tanya urges.

Pineapple Support offers mental health help to performers. Credit: @PineappleYSW/ Twitter
Pineapple Support offers mental health help to performers. Credit: @PineappleYSW/ Twitter

Tanya doesn't lie to me when she tells me she's 'tried to be truthful and honest' - I can feel her powerful maternal instinct towards the industry and its performers radiating through my computer screen.

"A lot of the media publications publish writer’s opinions on porn and some people have deeply engrained religious beliefs. What you don’t realise is some are even being funded by religious or political organisations that are very anti-porn.

"They’re not in the adult film industry, they’re just sitting in a virtual universe saying, 'This is how it is'. But how do you know what it's like if you’re not there? It’s so draining when they know f**k all about it."

Tanya exemplifies the trafficking accusations the industry sometimes faces. "I don’t agree with trafficking at all - but it doesn’t just happen in the sex industry it happens in different jobs too," she argues.

Tanya says being in the industry has made her a 'stronger person'. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter
Tanya says being in the industry has made her a 'stronger person'. Credit: @TanyaTate/ Twitter

Tanya resolves: "All people I work with are over the age of 18, consenting adults and here of our own free will. Most of us are here because we love sexual expression, sex and have a lot of fun playing online. Let us get on with doing that, let the people who enjoy it embrace it with us - go and find something else to do.

"We’re very strong women. Being in the adult film industry has made me a much stronger person. I’ve become more confident in myself, sexually and mentally. I’m a businesswoman, I have a podcast I’ve started to help other content creators, I’m a leader."

For all the sex education you need, and that you may not be receiving elsewhere, you can find more information via Fumble’s website, Twitter or Instagram.

Topics: Features, Money, Parenting, Pornhub, Health, Mental Health, Film and TV, Entertainment, Sex and Relationships

Poppy Bilderbeck
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