Eroticon is the conference for sex bloggers, erotic writers and other creative types, and Eroticon 2023 will be held on June 10/11 (Saturday and Sunday) in Camden. It is, hands down, the most useful and fun event I ever go to, and I’m shamelessly evangelical about it. If you’ve ever looked at what I do here and thought ‘that GOTN is a lucky fuck, to be able to bang on about shagging for a living’, you’re correct. I am lucky. And although obviously a lot of the credit should go to the incredible guest writers and readers I work with, and the sponsors who support what I do here, a huge chunk should also go to Eroticon: the launchpad to my career (if you wanna call it that, which I absolutely DO). Whether you’re a new blogger hoping to establish yourself or an old hand wanting to expand your skills and learn more cool stuff, or just a curious person with a desire to get stuck in to some sex-related creativity, come join us in June for Eroticon 2023!
Note: although this piece is aimed at bloggers primarily (because I am one), you don’t have to be a blogger to come to Eroticon. Anyone who is interested in erotic creativity can join in, and everyone’s welcome. If you want to get a feel for the kind of talks and workshops there are, check out the schedules from previous years and have a look at the list of this year’s speakers (which will keep expanding in the run-up to the event). Buy Eroticon tickets here for the full weekend (£170) or just for a day (£105)
I first went to Eroticon back in 2014 around the time I was giving up my day job. I’d done a few freelance articles ‘as’ Girl on the Net and I wondered if it might be possible to make some money from sex writing once I’d given up the security of a regular paycheque. I had three months’ worth of money in my savings account, and I figured I’d try to earn a week’s worth of living costs every week (or ideally more than that), then just keep doing that for as long as I could. Earn two weeks’ money? I’d bought myself two more weeks of working as a sex blogger, sweet! Earn a month? That’s another month doing this fun fucky stuff for a living – woo! And so on. And so on…
Eight years later, I’m still going.
In fact, this winter marked a really kickass milestone in my professional career: I have now been sex blogging for longer than all my ‘real’ jobs combined!
I would never have been able to do it without Eroticon.
What to expect at Eroticon
Eroticon sits somewhere between ‘professional conference’ and ‘community get-together’ for me. There are socials on the Friday and Saturday evenings (and usually an unofficial wind-down in the pub on Sunday evening too) where you get the chance to mingle with other bloggers, writers, kinksters, poets, photographers, illustrators, sponsors, speakers, and anyone else who has a ticket. I love it for the fact that it means I get to put faces to names, and meet some of the awesome people whose work I usually enjoy from afar.
It can be nervewracking to meet people in person who you’ve previously only known online, but Eroticon has a great anonymity policy (check out the behaviour policy here) and attracts a very welcoming and friendly crowd. If you’re brave, introduce yourself to people. If you’re not brave, find someone who is and ask them to introduce you instead. Many old hands will usually be happy to do this (myself included, come say hi! I have resting bitch face but I’m really lovely, I promise!): Innocent Loverboy was the first sex blogger I met and he gave me a fabulously warm welcome in 2014, introducing me to a bunch of people, some of whom I am ridiculously excited to see again this year.
On the Saturday and Sunday you can expect so many kickass talks and workshops that you’ll almost certainly be annoyed you can’t make them all: the schedule is published online before the event, so you can pick which ones you want to attend. I’ll be doing a couple of sessions (a workshop on how to perform your work, and a talk on how to use Patreon) and I’m ridiculously excited to hear some of the other speakers, covering everything from technical questions that are so vital for erotic creators (online censorship, the Online Safety Bill) to practical tips on how to build your platform and engage your audience, and talks/workshops which will give you inspiration for the future. This is the part that I think is most useful, but I would say that cos I’m a big nerd. The first Eroticon I went to helped me understand how to make money from blogging, what to charge when freelancing, how to pitch and find contacts, and a tonne more stuff on building and engaging my audience. On top of that, there are always topics that give me inspiration for articles I could pitch elsewhere, or things that inspire stories/posts for my blog. I’m not going to run through all the speakers here cos there are loads of us: check out the speaker list!
There are also practical demos during the Saturday afternoon Kinklab – it’s always fun to get to fuck about with new kit and take part in demonstrations. Once I even got to go in a vac cube and get spanked. Score! And Kinkcraft are coming again this year – they run lovely chill sessions where you get to make things like mini floggers and (my fave from a past Eroticon) a bracelet which spells out ‘pervert’ in morse code.
You also get to hang out with some of the sponsors of the event. Sponsors so far include: WhippleTickle (NEW! I’m excited to meet them!), Godemiche and ElectraStim (who have excellent taste cos they sponsor me here too – and I met them at previous Eroticons!), LoveGivr, Ruby Glow, Sheets of San Francisco (again: all amazing people with cool products/ideas who I was first introduced to at previous events) and decoded:legal (a fucking amazing law firm run by Neil Brown, who helps me so much with legal stuff behind the scenes on this site – he’s giving a talk too which will be well worth going to because he fully Knows His Shit). This isn’t like other events where sponsors just slap a label on your lanyard: many of them attend the conference itself, getting involved in talks and workshops and the Kinklab demos on Saturday. Meeting amazing companies at past Eroticon events has massively helped me to expand my own roster of nice, ethical adult industry types – many of whom have given me contract work or sponsored my blog, so it’s a great opportunity to ‘network’ if you’re the sort of person who likes to use that word as a verb.
I also have a massive soft spot for the Sunday readings: at the end of lunch on Sunday we gather in the main room with tea and cake, and some people give readings of their own erotica/sex blogs. It’s an incredible way to fall in love with other writers’ work. There is also usually a book stall where you can pick up copies of books from speakers/attendees too so you can take some smut home with you.
It’s fucking brilliant.
How to get the most out of Eroticon 2023
Here are my top tips for making the most of Eroticon 2023:
1. Make it clear that you’re going! Follow @EroticonUK on Twitter (or on Mastodon if you’re on there) and tag them in to your excitement. They’ll probably retweet you, then others who are going will start to follow you and know who you are. Share your thoughts in the run-up to the event! Blog about it if you have a blog! This is a great way to get a feel for who else in your network is going, and/or encourage friends if they’re shy.
2. Check out the speaker list beforehand, and get a idea of what you’d like to go to. Check out the sponsor list too and consider which products/services might be a good fit for your own blog, so you know who to make a beeline for when you’re checking out the sponsor stands. Leave at least one session on each day (if you’re anything like me) to have a chill out and wander round sponsor stands/get some fresh air/just flop in a chair for a bit if you’re getting information overload.
3. Plan your travel/accommodation and widen your search if Camden’s too expensive for you. The venue (Arlington House) is well-connected so if you can take a tube, search further north on the Northern Line (night tube runs all night Friday/Saturday so you won’t need to leave the socials early): up in Colindale and Edgware you can find AirBnB rooms for less than £50 per night. Or search further east/west on the Overground (nearest station to the venue is Kentish Town West). I’ve found Air BnB rooms for as little as £40 within a 20 minute overground ride of the venue (try Stratford in the east or out towards Wembley in the west).
4. Remember that Eroticon is a community event. Anything you do to welcome new members of the community, show your love to the speakers who are sharing their expertise and the sponsors who are showing off their wares, or cheering on those who work their arses off organising it – that’s all really valuable, and it makes a huge difference.
Molly Moore runs this mostly on her own, though with sterling help from her partner Michael Knight. I used to help run it but – to be honest – it completely broke me. I have some behind the scenes experience in just how hard it is to juggle everything that’s required to get a bunch of people in a room together and create something genuinely welcoming and fun within a tight budget. It’s hard to find amazing accessible venues that will host a sex event for a reasonable price, and nigh-on impossible to find nearby social spaces that fit the bill. Couple that with scheduling, admin, getting press coverage/sponsors (both of which help keep ticket costs down) writing programmes, administering the ticket pool, arranging refreshments and printing lanyards and keeping the website updated and making sure the A/V works at the venue and speakers have all the specs… then add the fact that Covid meant the 2020 conference had to be cancelled when so much was already bought and paid for… fuck. Just thinking about it all makes me dizzy and so grateful it’s no longer on my shoulders.
Molly has a ridiculously long track record for supporting sex bloggers and erotic creatives: running memes like Sinful Sunday and Kink of the Week; projects like the Top 100 Sex Blogs; photography challenges and blogging inspiration and generally running round like a blue-arsed fly because she (incorrectly, but admirably) believes that if she just works hard enough then everyone will feel welcome and find their home in this community.
Sadly for Molly, this isn’t something one person can achieve alone. A kickass community event is built by everyone. Whether that’s shouting about Eroticon to help with promotion, bigging up the sponsors so they come again next year and thus help to keep ticket prices down, pitching articles about Eroticon to press (earning back the cost of your ticket AND promoting the event at the same time – win!), supporting new attendees who have questions or want advice or intros, or sharing posts about it when they appear in the timeline. These are all things that other people did for me in my first couple of years, and I am so grateful because without them – and Eroticon – I wouldn’t have been able to make this my full-time job.
So! If you have any questions about the event that you reckon I can answer, feel free to chuck them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help. If you want advice on pitching articles to mainstream press – either before the event if you want to get commissioned to cover it, or after the event if you have an idea for an interview/opinion piece/article that’s inspired by one of the talks, hit me up. If you’re nervous and/or shy on the Friday night and you’d like introductions, find me and tug on my sleeve and I’ll welcome you and introduce you to some of the people I know.
And above all, if you’re curious about Eroticon, consider this your invitation: it’s better when you come.
Buy tickets for Eroticon 2023 here, get 10/11 June in your calendar, and
buy me a pint come say hello in the pub!
Full disclosure: I am biased because Molly Moore is a very good friend and I love her with all of my heart. I met her in 2014 – at Eroticon, of course.