Mayes was born in Adrian, Michigan and she is of Costa Rican descent.
Mayes did her first scene in T & A Tryouts for The Score Group. As she has declared in the past, Mayes was introduced in the adult industry by porn actress Missy Mae. At the end of November 2009, Mayes started a collaboration with Whack! Magazine, for whom she wrote a series of articles under the tag Tanner Mayes’ aDICKtion Issues.