Early life and career
Tan was born in Hawaii   to a Japanese – Samoan father and an Okinawan – Taiwanese mother. She was raised by her grandmother, who was an established folk dancer and singer and was also the owner of several massage parlors .   While her mother's family was musical, her father's was mainly military,  including her sister  - who serves in the United States Marine Corps and has helped Tan with her official website.  As a " Navy brat ", Tan traveled around the United States , Europe , Southeast Asia , the Middle East , and North Africa all before she started high school .  She had a childhood background in the performing arts and has worked in the commercial fisheries industry in the past. 
Tan earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry  from San Diego State University  and an associate's degree in psychology . It took her five years to graduate,  and she did nude art modeling and was a stripper  to support her last year as a student.  Tan has studied classical voice and also graduated from the John Robert Powers Modeling/ Finishing School .  She has also appeared on Playboy TV and in a music video for Too $hort called "Get in Where you Fit In". 
Despite her aptitude for science, Tan did not enjoy it and worked in sales and marketing in the timeshare industry  for Dennis Hof . She tried her hand at mainstream acting in California but quit after discovering that the casting couch was not a myth. 
Adult film career
Tan was discovered at an ampm by porn  director Jack Pearl. Tan also had a third trimester miscarriage during this period, which she has described as the worst time of her life.  She was married once to Alec Knight , another performer in the adult industry.   
Dominatrix and BDSM career
Tan primarily does fetish-oriented work, including work as a dominatrix and sub  for the Kink.com group of companies, mostly the "Men in Pain" and "Divine Bitches" websites. She also stars in non-fetish oriented work. She considers herself mainly a fetish model rather than a porn star though. The official biography on her website states: "For the record, I do not consider myself a porn star and any girl who has done less than 250 films shouldn't either."  Tan moved into film production and direction with her own production company (GenerAsianxxx Productions) with her debut film featuring heterosexual Asian-American men in hardcore scenes.