In this episode I have the great honor to speak with Chanel Preston the chair person of the non-profit Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. I saw her presentation at the XBiz show and was moved to become a member and to get involved. APAC is leading the revolutionary efforts to enlighten pornophobes to the artistic and liberatory value of adult entertainment and helping to end the dark ages of sex negativity.
She shares a bit of her personal history and provides a wealth of insight into the major challenges and opportunities for adult performers. We discuss our visions for an ever more ethical, independent, and sustainable future for the industry.
Please visit her website and APAC:
Every destination is accessible via countless paths. There is no checklist or guidebook on how to become a progressive feminist or advocate for change – as a result, Chanel Preston (born Rachel Taylor) took an unusual, more challenging route, when in 2010, she filmed her first of more than 400 sex scenes for the adult entertainment industry.
Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, the state is in Chanel’s blood. Its nonconformist mentality and fearlessness have always been evident in every decision she’s made, and her choice to become a porn star at 24-years-old was no different. However, porn was not the end goal for Chanel – rather it was a way to further explore her sexuality, how it defined her as a woman, and her role in patriarchal America.
Chanel Preston was instantly a superstar – a Penthouse Pet, multiple award-winner, and host of the AVN Awards (the “Oscars of porn”). Despite the accolades, it was her work behind the camera to change public perception on the adult industry and better it from within that Chanel is most proud.
In 2013, Chanel co-founded the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), the adult industry’s first performer organization working together to maintain and improve safety and working conditions through organized representation. As APAC’s Chairperson, Chanel has been on the front lines of the industry’s fight against government legislation affecting performers’ health. Her work educating the general public on the dangers of Measure B, AB 1576, and Proposition 60 contributed to the Free Speech Coalition naming her its 2015 Performer of the Year, an award for one “who has gone out of their way to dispel the myths and misconceptions of the adult entertainment industry.”
Fans were not the only ones who gravitated towards Chanel. Her intelligence and eloquence quickly made her a media darling, as popular news outlets CNBC, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, and more turned to Chanel for everything from political commentary to sex advice and op-ed articles. Television station RTTV continually brought Chanel on-air as a spokeswoman for the adult industry. Desiring to control her own narrative and create a healthier discussion on sexuality in America, Chanel launched the online platform NakedWithChanel.com.
Chanel further refined her voice and communication skills through hosting jobs for Showtime documentaries, Canada’s Rogers TV specials, and the cable series “Inside Adult,” known as the “Entertainment Tonight” of the adult industry. Her ability to convey her conviction and passion while maintaining professionalism led to multiple speaking opportunities at universities and on event panels.
People are quick to label porn as misogynistic, just as they are to dismiss porn stars as stupid girls or victims. Anyone who hears Chanel Preston speak or reads her words knows how far from the truth this is. Chanel works to destroy all of these misconceptions by pulling back the curtains on the taboo adult industry and introducing the world to the very real people who make their living by having sex on camera. She hopes public familiarity will breed understanding and ultimately respect.