December 2019

Featuring Scarlett Sage

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Fighting to Save Porn

PORN SAVED ME. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT TO HEAR, BUT IT IS MY TRUTH. I’VE ENJOYED WORKING AS AN ACTRESS AND ADVOCATE IN THE ADULT INDUSTRY FOR NEARLY TWO DECADES. WHILE MOST PERFORMERS RETIRE AFTER JUST A FEW YEARS, I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF THE INDUSTRY AS MY FAMILY AND MY HOME. SO I WORK, WITH MY FAMILY, TO PROTECT THE INDUSTRY AND ENSURE ITS SURVIVAL. CONSIDERING EVERYTHING PORN HAS GIVEN ME, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO GIVE BACK.  


When I started as a porn starlet in 1998, I jumped in with both feet. Being a young mom and married to a police officer, I wasn’t the type of girl you would expect to see on a porn set. Fact is, I’ve always felt like I was the girl taking advantage of the industry, not the other way around. I used porn to help me escape an abusive relationship and to care for my young child and a growing family. Working just a few days a week was enough to support myself and build a new life with my child, future husband and stepchildren.

The porn world was so different in the ’90s. Prior to the internet boom, films were still filling the shelves at your local mom-and-pop store. You often had to sneak into the back room, behind the curtain, to visit the VHS selection on hand. I’ve enjoyed this moment more times than I care to count.

As both a mother and a porn star, I have served as an active voice for the positive sides of the adult industry, working to spread awareness that performers are people too. The stigma is that we are drug-addicted, disease-riddled criminals of sin. Instead, we are registered voters, we are PTA members, and many of us, including myself, have never been arrested. We are hardworking citizens with families and lives outside of the porn world. We are advocates for animals, for sex workers and for victims. I have marched with others to support victims’ rights during SlutWalk, pushing to end the stereotypes of sex workers.

For many performers, working in the industry is just a job, but it is a job we take very seriously. Choosing a career in porn can be a life-changing decision. Because of the internet, every scene a performer films is available at the touch of a finger and stored forever. Remaining an anonymous starlet is impossible.

Just over a year ago former porn star Phyllisha Anne took steps to create the International Entertainment Adult Union (IEAU), the first union for the adult industry recognized by the Department of Labor. As a mother union, the IEAU created union chapters, each one representing a different type of worker in the industry. The Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG) was one such chapter, and I was grateful to be elected by my peers to fill the role of vice president. Our board reads like a who’s who of porn, with Sean Michaels as president, Melissa Hill as second vice president, Amber Lynn as sergeant-at-arms, and Nicki Hunter as secretary/treasurer.

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