Updated 7/8/2020 HELLO! Thank you for your interest in my discussions on survival sex, sex work and sex trafficking. This post contains strong content not appropriate for all environments.
In 1993 San Francisco’s Fashion Art Design (FAD) International’s BAD magazine featured my writing on progressive intimate relations.
Back then? We view(ed) sex work as a unique opportunity not available to us in the mainstream, and also as a sacred experience defining itself as an intentional lifestyle, not a sin to be saved from.
We strived to improve bad working conditions through decriminalization and labor rights.
In the here and now? We still strive to see DECRIM! Listen to a May 2019 radio interview with The Pennsylvania Project, a libertarian platform offering an introduction to a very difficult discussion.
Torturing Sex Workers: Melanie Dante
Untold Stories of Violence Against Sex Workers in Philadelphia | M Dante On Sex with Timaree Podcast
Backstory: In 2013 my reentry into the industry as an erotic consultant (ec) started out as fun, with a column of social commentary and pop cultural coverage of events on SLIXA. By the end of 2014, however, topics turned more towards legal and legislative inquiry as new laws challenged personal and professional privacy for sex workers, and also prior sex trafficking victims. 2015 was busier than imaginable due to task force raids across the country, CEASE / Demand Abolition inspired media perspectives, and a definite push towards rescue-based punitive and social services. This has led to increasing violence against sex workers by both predators and police.
How did 2018-2019 define sexual lifestyle and privacy? With: FOSTA & SESTA! The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) are the U.S. Senate and House bills that as the FOSTA-SESTA package became law on April 11, 2018. They clarify the country’s sex trafficking law to make it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking, and amend the Section 230 safe harbors of the Communications Decency Act (which make online services immune from civil liability for the actions of their users) to exclude enforcement of federal or state sex trafficking laws from its immunity. Senate sponsor Rob Portman had previously led an investigation into the online classifieds service Backpage (which had been accused of facilitating child sex trafficking), and argued that Section 230 was protecting its “unscrupulous business practices” and was not designed to provide immunity to websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Wikipedia
Why Sex Workers are Fighting the Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill – Broke-Ass Stuart’s Website
Unlike 2016 When consensual adult sex workers believed we had a chance for decriminalization via the 9th circuit w/E v G:
ESPLERP v Gascon was the one legal challenge taking that on in the United States. The March motion to dismiss opened the door to the 9th Circuit where we will see if Lawrence v Texas and Reliable offer enough similarities for ESPLERP v Gascon to have impact on our right to commercial sexual freedom.
And on the East Coast where we were petitioning for anti violence campaigns:
Trans ally urges anti-violence resolution by state lawmakers
Fighting in court against violence:
D.A. may request a protective order in Morris case
Talking “Harm Reduction” on TV: Queen City Chronicles (9/5/17) w/Elizabeth Ropp, Senator Elizabeth Edwards
All across the country – and the globe – sex workers are being researched and/or re-educated by academic institutions, faith based organizations, NGOs and newly forming agencies all aiming to save the exploited. Has this helped; or has all this aggressive rescue actually added additional exploitation of those who are already socio-economically or culturally disadvantaged? As someone who has lived this story, I continue my observations and queries. Sadly, over the last few years I have found that many groups who want to “save the slaves”, will not listen to the perspectives of those who know it first hand, nor do they offer long term, realistic exit strategies or financing of new opportunities for sex workers or former sex trafficking victims who came before the trend became so “IN Demand” before End Demand.
My 2003 Goddard College BA Senior Study is a discussion on feminism, commercial sexuality, forced prostitution, and trafficking.
Part One is available for public view: https://goddard.academia.edu/MelanieGoodmanDante.
Part Two is not available to public view.
I am federally defined as former victim of U.S. domestic minor sex trafficking because I was a homeless teenager, and evolved into a consensual adult sex worker. A predator installed himself into my home when I was 10. Youth do not often choose to live on the streets unless their home is less than loving.
December 2014 – January 2015 I “Came Out Under the Red Umbrella”.
Since then I am Invited to sit on advisory boards for nonprofits, law firms, and political candidates, I record informative podcast discussions, along with being interviewed for blog and media articles, assisting with content for posts, speeches, discussions and panels, educational surveys and classes, and also for workshops. All this alongside with my day to day life as a caregiver, and as a critical and creative writer.
Recently under FOSTA/SESTA and other new anti trafficking legislation it is harder and harder to advocate for survivors and workers.
Because sex work and sex trafficking discussions are new and in need amidst increased violence, and because I/we work in alliances involving acute grassroots outreach efforts, most of the work I’ve done has been for nominal – or no – compensation. Private donors and allies make it all possible. Though I hope to see increased compensation I – and my peers – do this because we have been there and we desperately do care!
In 2015 – and again in 2016 – I was at Woodhulll Sexual Freedom Summit. In 2018 we at SWOP Behind Bars Support our administration as they engage in Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) suit with Woodhull against FOSTA/SESTA. 2019 welcomes SWOP-USA hosting Justice and Change: A Sex Worker Institute At Woodhull #SFS19 where I will be in attendance to learn how to be a better community advocate against violence for the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers (IDTEVASW).
Blog That! 2016 – 2019
M. DANTE for ESPU Union Lip Service
Legal and legislative issues, plus creative efforts re: raising awareness: https://www.espu-usa.com/
A place for OUR VOICES: ESPLERP – ESPU
NH HB 1614 Tabled tho Telling – Erotic Service Providers Union-USA https://www.espu-usa.com/1614-tabeled-tho-telling/
Hawaii HB 1902: Police Can Touch My What? – Erotic Service Providers Union-USAhttps://www.espu-usa.com/hawaii-hb-1902-police-can-touch-my-what/
What is: ESPLERP v Gascon? – Erotic Service Providers Union-USA http://www.espu-usa.com/meet-the-board-bella-on-eslperp-v-gascon/
M. DANTE writing as Lady Dahlia Ent for The Erotic Literary Salon (ELS) 2012-2014
The Erotic Literary Salon Interview with Slixa (Pt. 1):
The Erotic Literary Salon Interview with Slixa (Pt. 2):
The Erotic Literary Salon on Slixa:
There is also video content of my poetry readings on the site.
M. DANTE writing as Lady Dahlia Ent for SLIXA Undercover 2013-2014
Lady Dahlia on Slixa Undercover – Blood Ban
Lady Dahlia on Slixa Undercover – Condoms Keep the Kitty Clean
Lady Dahlia on Slixa Undercover – Couples are the New Client
M. DANTE writing as Lady Dahlia Ent for SLIXA Late Night 2013-2014
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa: The Erotic Literary Salon
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa: Interview with Rachel Fogletto
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa: Male Orgasm Control
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa: Interview with Nina Love
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa: Touching Me – Touching You
Lady Dahlia Entertainment on Slixa – Foot Fetish (article and photography by LDE)
Lady Dahlia on Slixa – Tease & Denial (photo of LDE by Marcos Adrian Villas)
Lady Dahlia on Slixa – Creep Huffing (photo by LDE)
Lady Dahlia on Slixa – Meeting Someone New (Photo by LDE & William Jones Design)
ENJOY YOUR CYBER SAMPLES
Photograph of M. Dante by Marco Adrian Villas Manhattan 2004.
Thanks to Les Barany and H.R. Giger.
Biblical quote courtesy of FAD International SF HQ 1994.