Exhausted and happy – that’s pretty much how I’ve ended each Eroticon I’ve been to for the last three years. From the first, in 2014, when I mostly hid at the back of rooms and tried to pluck up the courage to talk to my favourite bloggers, to the second, where I trembled and rushed my way through a talk. To this one, in 2016, where I laughed with old friends, made amazing new ones, and felt like the luckiest person alive.
This round-up will probably only make sense to the people who were there. If you’re just here for the filth, look away now.
The great thing about Eroticon is also the suckiest thing: there are too many fabulous sessions. I didn’t get to go to everything I wanted, because I couldn’t be in two places at once. And of course, in writing it up I’ll end up missing things out and forgetting. So I’m going to do a huge, huge list of brilliant things, and when you have time and a cup of coffee please go and check out some of these incredible people. If I’ve missed you, I promise it’s not deliberate, it’s mainly because I’m exhausted and rubbish. Hit me up if you want a link to your site!
Sessions I went to
Ashley Lister, who gave us a filthy crash-course in poetry.
Charlie Powell, who inspired us to write disability in erotica without resorting to tired tropes.
Kinkcraft, who taught me to make a latex garter. And who, by the way, have a seriously cool business idea where they sell kits that you can make kinky equipment from. I have bought a flogger kit, and I’m going to be making one. I’ll let you know how I get on.
My talk – if you want some helpful links from my talk, particularly re the Defamation Act and Malicious Communications – there are a few helpful bits here. I’ll add to it when I’m less tired, and please do suggest more links if you find any good ones.
The Kink demos in the afternoon:
Dominated by the sound of expert spanking from Pandora Blake.
Not to be outdone, Molly + Domsigns were there to give demos of some of their kink equipment, and a group of us leapt 3 feet into the air at the sound of a cracking bullwhip. Top work.
On Sunday, I was on a panel discussion in the morning, then got a suitable kick up the arse from Domsigns about my website (who always does that, and it’s always welcome).
I missed the afternoon sessions, but was gutted I couldn’t go to Milena and Charlie’s consent workshop. Jilly Boyd‘s smut class, Hyacinth Jones‘ writing session, and Pandora’s update on the porn laws. For the latter, you should definitely follow Pandora’s blog for updates and developments.
I missed them because I was chatting to some of the Eroticon sponsors – a few developments mean that things will be changing on the blog, and I want to get some of the lovely companies on board to create and support cool things. *mysterious face*
But special mentions go to Mysteryvibe, who are fun and nerdy and everything sextech should be.
Godemiche, who are some of the loveliest people I have ever met, and who have what I can only describe as a rainbow forest of dildos. Check ’em out and keep an eye out because I have been plotting with them.
Hot Octopuss (who make the PULSE, sponsor my site, and who I also work with – doing blog updates and social media), who I’m giving an award for the ‘sponsor most likely to get stuck in’ – anyone who was at Saturday’s session will know why.
And – of COURSE – Doxy – not just because they make the best sex toy ever, but also because Doxy Boss Will is so supportive and kind and helpful. His only down side is that he wasn’t there long enough for me to buy him a beer.
Amazing people I spoke to
I want to write an entire essay on Hyacinth Jones (without giving too much away, of course, because she is super-anonymous), because she’s incredible. Hy was my roommate at Eroticon and she probably got bored shitless with me staring at her, open-mouthed, going ‘I WISH I could be more like you.’ She’s assertive, funny, kind, and brilliant. Gives a fuck about the things that are important, and no fucks about the things that aren’t. She’s also quick to spot bullshit and she opened my eyes about a lot of things. I love her. I recorded drunk audio of the two of us chatting at 3 in the morning. When we’ve both listened to it we’ll decide if there’s any we can share.
Celine – who has written her Eroticon account here already – is brilliant, and we had some incredibly fun chats about everything from radical feminism to vintage fashion to why having the line ‘just fucking SHAG me’ in erotica is perfect. The Other Livvy, who I met for the first time this weekend, and who was lovely and very tolerant of me asking her weird questions. Exposing40, who is EXACTLY as brilliant as I had hoped she would be after our Sound of Music fangirling online. LukeandJack who were telling me all about the fun of running a sex shop (and oh God yes it does sound fun). Tabitha Rayne, who ran a life drawing class that I’m gutted I didn’t get to go to. Lily Harlem who gave me some advice and encouragement in fiction, and other Brit Babes who are a lovely posse.
And, of course, old friends who it was great to catch up with – Zak Jane Keir, Charlie J Forrest, Jilly Boyd, Innocent Loverboy (who absolutely smashed it in the poetry workshop, by the way), Jonathan Keith, Rebels Notes and MasterT, Anna Sky who helped me make a seriously cool thing happen (more on this soon, btw), F Leonora Solomon who I am so totally going to go and call on when I’m in New York (and who had me in tears with a story about a dude at a bus stop). Charlie Powell (who is now BACK on Twitter so please show her some love. I hear she’s also writing a novel and holy shit I can’t wait). Pandora Blake who is such a good friend and who I need to see more often. Aly and Alex of HotOctopuss who are both such lovely people. Molly and DomSigns one of whom gave me a massage and the other of whom joined me in a plural marriage. I’m not telling you which. Remittance Girl who always has incredible smoking chat, and who called cats ‘vengeful little cunts.’ Beautiful. Masterseye who wrote me a lovely haiku. And I’ll have missed some people off because holy shit there’s a long list of amazing, brilliant people at Eroticon.
Is this the last Eroticon?
Every year Ruby – @eroticnotebook – says that this will be the final ever Eroticon. Understandably, she’s exhausted – having created and built something that has brought so many sex bloggers, erotica writers, and fun people of all descriptions, together. This year it really is the last Eroticon that Ruby is doing.
But is it the last Eroticon? I hope not. It is, however, the last Eroticon that Ruby will be running so I hope that anyone who’s attended before can join me in saying a massive thank you to her for tirelessly organising, championing, herding, supporting, and promoting us as writers. Ruby you’re astonishing.