In an increasingly conservative political climate, Jessie Sage, Moriah Ella Mason and PJ Sage are offering support and safe harbor for sex workers. They recently launched a Pittsburgh chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), a national network that works to protect the human rights of those involved in the sex industry and focuses on replacing the stigma and violence with education and advocacy.
Jessie Sage was an academic getting her Ph.D. in feminist philosophy and teaching women and gender studies when, four years in, she became frustrated with academia and left to work as a doula. Her husband, PJ Sage is studying web camming and sex camming — a legal form of sex work where clients pay for live webcam time and interactions with a model — as part of his Ph.D. work in sociology. Out of curiosity, Jessie Sage decided to make a profile to see what the work was like.
“That was maybe a year ago and that really took off, surprisingly,” she says laughing. “It’s not where I expected to land,” she says of her career as a phone sex operator and webcam model, also known as a “cam girl.”
“Google is heavily censoring and flagging anything that seems like adult content. Sex workers [like cammers] are having their pre-recorded content disappearing from Google Drive. When they go to send it to clients who have paid, it’s gone,” says Sage. “There’s no way to really recover it.”