The adult industry is home to plenty of accomplished multi-hyphenates, from the typical performer-director-writer combos to the currently popular performer-OnlyFans clip maker-marketing wizard-Master of Clout variation. When you interview Kenzie Taylor, though, the hyphens just keep on coming.
For starters, Taylor is a versatile performer who does it all — and them all. Few top performers still evoke the “classic” porn star, but Taylor’s looks and style would have had mass appeal had she entered the industry in 1985, 1999 or 2006, when she could have held her own among the Ginger Lynns, Jenna Jamesons or Kayden Krosses of those eras.
Knowledge is super important to me. And I constantly want to be evolving, learning and growing. That’s all I want to do in my life.
She has been nominated for multiple XBIZ Awards for both her gonzo and acting work, including nods for her 2019 star-making turn in Axel Braun’s “Captain Marvel XXX,” her VR work, her work with trans performers and, most recently, for Best Acting — Lead (for “Deranged”), Best Acting — Supporting (for Braun’s “Spideypool XXX”) and Best Gonzo Sex Scene (for Jules Jordan’s “Oil Overload 17”).
That’s without even mentioning that Taylor is half of one of porn’s “power couples,” an equal partner in ambition and self-assurance to husband Seth Gamble.
But wait, there’s more. In late 2022, Taylor soft-launched her sexual health product line, Feelz by Kenzie Taylor, which includes a debut line of lubes, elixirs and candles and will have its official coming-out in February, with distribution by Doc Johnson. So add entrepreneur to those hyphens.
Also add feature dancer and podcaster, since she hosts the newest industry go-to show, “The Sauce With Kenzie Taylor.” Add sobriety and self-care advocate, and mentor to newer performers. Add production manager in complex major studio features.
Then, just when the hyphenation appears to be over, she tells you with a down-home “Who, little old me?” nonchalance, “Oh, I direct gay porn for Next Door Studios.”
“Yeah, I love doing that,” she adds, pointing to last year’s popular “Secret Affairs” costarring 2022 XBIZ Gay Performer of the Year winner Michael Boston and Joseph Castlian, for which Taylor received co-billing as “special guest director.”
Are we done? Not really.
“I also direct on the straight side,” she continues, smiling over the massive breakfast plate she ordered at Simi Valley’s Black Bear Diner, a perfectly homey setting she suggested for the interview.
“I just had my Wicked directorial debut with ‘Kenzie Loves Girls,’” she shares. “The scenes started coming out in January. It’s four G/G gonzo scenes, one of them anal, and I was the creative on everything. I was hands-on with that entire movie. Axel was basically like, ‘Who do you want?’ So I picked all the girls and then he told me, ‘Let me know what you’re thinking’ and off I went.”
Hands-on is a running motif among all of Taylor’s hyphens. She really gets into all aspects, from promo graphics for her podcast to tasting endless variations of flavors to nail the perfect one for her Feelz lubes.
“Kenzie Loves Girls,” she reveals, pairs Jane Wilde and Charlotte Sartre, Nicole Doshi and Alyx Star, Maddy May and Kylie Rocket, and Coco Lovelock and Haley Spades.
Wait, no Kenzie? She makes one of her signature expressions: an irresistible face somewhere between smile, smirk and smize.
“So, this is the fun part,” she reveals. “I am in it, but I’m… interactive. I’m talking to the girls through the whole scene. I decided to do kind of like a ‘Buttman’ twist, but in my own way. I just feel, as someone who actually loves G/G stuff and gay porn, I want to be excited about what I’m watching. And I definitely used John Stagliano as someone I look up to — the stuff that he shot was some of the greatest. There’s a reason why he is the Buttman!”
The Kenzie in the title is a playful major character in all the different scenarios, lending feature-like unity to all the scenes.
“I’m behind the whole thing,” she says. “When I come in, they’re looking at the camera the whole time, because the camera is me, essentially. And you can see my hands and I’m touching them and fingering them, grabbing dildos. I just hope everyone loves it as much as I do. Me and all the girls are super excited about it.”
Kenzie loves girls, and the girls love her back.
“To me, that’s my personality,” she says. “My business partner just told me the other day, ‘Kenzie, you have a personality that you just want to be around.’ I’m always myself, 24/7. I never changed — this is me. And I love to make people laugh. I’m just very outgoing. And… I’m really funny,” she deadpans over the maple-fragrant slab of French toast she’s making a dent on.
Behind the drive and the grit, there’s a palpable down-home quality to Kenzie Taylor. That head-turning small-town Michigan looker, who started stripping on a fake ID and ditched small-minded prejudices for a shot at porn fame, pops up often during our chat.
“My mom told me one time,” she says, with audible Midwestern cadences, “she said, ‘If you ain’t got haters, you ain’t poppin’. So, you’re popping — you got haters.’” The mom impression is deadeye good.
As a wild, bisexual, smart teen poppin’ in a repressive environment, Taylor juggled her stripping gig with a practical education. “I actually graduated from college,” she says, quickly adding before a hearty laugh, “I don’t use my degree, clearly.”
Taylor studied biology, aiming to be a nurse. “I actually worked in nursing before getting into the industry,” she elaborates. “For the longest time I had wanted to be an RN, but I changed my mind after I worked as a licensed practical nurse, which is underneath an RN in Michigan. I just really noticed how terribly patients were being treated and it was making me really depressed. I wasn’t sleeping a lot, I was falling asleep driving my car. I was just very unhappy. And I get the question all the time: ‘Why did you choose porn?’ Porn was the next step for me. I was already used to dancing and dancing nude, and all that stuff. And it never bothered me — I loved it. It was fun. I’ve always been a very sexual being, but where I’m from, it’s such a small town.”
Taylor says her northeastern Michigan hometown was always putting her into a box.
“It’s like, ‘No, you can’t like girls. You can’t do this. You can’t do that,’” she recalls. “And finally, when I got old enough, I’m like, ‘No, I do like girls. And I do like guys, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with me.’ So I thought in my mind, ‘I want to work in a place where I can express my sexuality and myself freely, but safely, because we get tested and all these sets are professional.’”
Her wish-making led Taylor to Googling, “How do I get into porn? Who do I contact?” from her home in Tampa, Florida, where she had relocated from Michigan. The search led in turn to a less-than-optimal encounter with a stereo-typically questionable first agent.
“I started March of 2016, almost seven years ago. Feels like so long ago, I was 25 or 26. I’m 32 now. I try not to have regrets in my life, because I feel like even all the bad things that have happened to me in life have led me to the journey that I’m on now. So they’re kind of like steppingstones. But I will say, if I look back, I definitely wish I had researched even more about my representation.”
Three weeks after contacting the agency, Taylor flew out to LA and did her first scene, a B/G for Zero Tolerance, directed by Mike Quasar and co-starring Mark Wood.
“I got really lucky, because Mark is a veteran. And Mike — well Mike is hilarious,” she laughs.
That first joy of being on set and among the sexually like-minded got diluted somewhat by her first agent taking her around to dreaded “go-sees.”
“I don’t even think they do them anymore,” Taylor adds, highlighting the big difference seven years makes in porn experiences. “I did go-sees all around. I really did not like them. They’re really awkward because it was just like a room of people, and it’s like, ‘Take your clothes off.’ Okay. And then they’re like, ‘Turn around.’ Okay…? ‘You can put your clothes back on.’”
Taylor soldiered on and focused on the positives. “That’s the way that I tried to have an outlook on my life,” she says. “I always try to look for a solution, or try to look for something good about everything. I don’t like to focus on problems or negativity.”
That good thing was simply being on set. “I love, love going to set,” she enthuses. “I love what I do, meeting new people, trying new things. And it’s just fun. We’re artists in a way. Or, as my chiropractor says, professional athletes. I’ve had people on my podcast who say, ‘Oh, it’s so easy doing porn and being a performer — you just go and you get fucked.’ I tell them that no, that’s not it. I’ve been on set for 22 hours, starving because of anal. And I still love doing it. I grew up very poor. I come from nothing. So to be where I am today, I’m extremely grateful for every single opportunity I ever get.”
Looking back, Taylor realizes she was serious from the get-go, even if at the time she was struggling with substance abuse.
“When I was in my addiction,” she says, “I never had consistency in my life. I didn’t know what that meant. And then I got sober and my entire life changed.”
Taylor celebrated five years of sobriety on Dec. 10 and has become an advocate for addiction and mental health issues.
“I’m always willing to help another female performer, because I didn’t really have a lot of that when I was new,” she says. “I really want to make it known to any female performer, especially all the new girls, they can ask me anything they would like, whether it be hygiene stuff, or even prepping for anal, or how to pack a set bag, really anything”
Back in 2016, after those first go-sees, Taylor went back to Florida, sold her belongings and moved to California without knowing anyone there.
“I told myself, ‘I’m gonna do this,’” she says. “And all my on-set experiences since then have been incredible. I thought, ‘This is what I love.’ And it’s just gotten better with time.”
A few months after her entrance into the industry, Taylor’s life became intertwined with that of her future husband, Seth Gamble.
“We’ll be together for seven years in June. I actually wasn’t planning to date a guy in the industry,” she laughs, rolling her eyes. “When we first met, he kind of ignored me. So I kept DMing him. And then eventually he asked me on a date — and I blew him off a few times. And then after the third time, he was like, ‘Look, I’m going to be at Joey’s in Woodland Hills at seven o’clock. If you don’t show up, stop messaging me. I’m not going to talk to you anymore.’ So I showed up. And we’ve been together ever since.”
The twosome hit it off and sat at Joey’s from seven to midnight, “talking, talking, talking,” Taylor reminisces.
Gamble may be one of the most notable, camera-ready industry leading men, but his wife says the appeal was not just his looks.
“Seth just gives off this really good vibe,” she explains. “Like, you just want to be around him. And it’s special because I still feel that way today. We’ve been married for a year, and I still feel that way.”
During her first three years in adult, while the couple was also working on their sobriety, Taylor became a dependable gonzo performer in all genres, with an extra-serious appetite for G/G experiences. Then in 2019, Axel Braun tapped her for the title role in his “Captain Marvel XXX.”
“If it weren’t for Axel, and him taking a chance on me, and taking a shot in the dark and hiring me, my career would not have catapulted to where it is now,” Taylor notes, defining the role as “the blasting-off point for my rocket ship.”
“Captain Marvel XXX” is still one of Wicked’s most popular, highest-selling features.
“And I killed it,” she proudly reports. “I was on every single page of dialogue, in every single sex scene. For me, it was the jumping-off point, opening doors.”
The doors have kept opening, in an upward trajectory driven by Taylor’s quest for learning.
“The more I know, the better,” she declares. “By knowing how to do all of these different things, I’m able to assist more people and give suggestions or advice. I’m never going to ask someone to do a job I haven’t done.”
Having stated her philosophy — and with the enormous French toast and fixings having miraculously vanished into her impossibly well-toned frame — Taylor switches seamlessly into pitching mode for her new pleasure products enterprise.
“I picked the name “Feelz” because it’s short, very catchy, easy to remember. And it’s just cute,” she says. “I just think it’s really cool to be able to create a product that’s not catering to just women, it’s catering to anyone. What we are starting off with is water-based lubricant, which is vegan, cruelty-free, silky smooth, it doesn’t clump up, it doesn’t get sticky. There’s absolutely no taste, which is probably my favorite thing about it.”
Her lube expertise stems from her work as a performer.
“I was constantly running into the issue of something was always off with the lube,” she explains. “Either it tasted horrible, or it was clumping up and looked gross, or it was really dry and you’d have to constantly reapply it, or it was just really sticky. So I thought, ‘What better than to just go ahead and do it myself?’”
Taylor also raves about her line of “sexy elixirs,” which are flavored, edible — coming in mango, strawberry and watermelon flavors — and can be used for oral play or massage play.
“All the tastes and all the ingredients for everything, I hands-on worked with everyone throughout — and I can’t tell you how many things I had to taste!” she chuckles. “The third thing we’re doing is a candle that can be used for wax play, or just for the aroma. For Feelz, I was trying to target the umbrella of all of the senses.”
“FeelzByKenzie.com,” she winks wrapping up the interview, ever the ideal spokesperson for her own brand.
“Look, I’m more than just a performer,” Taylor concludes. “I have built such a strong brand for ‘Kenzie Taylor,’ launching my own company, directing, producing, doing the podcast, starting Feelz. The reason I do all of these things is because I constantly want to be evolving, learning and growing. That’s all I want to do in my life.”