One of the reasons I wanted to go to Eroticon was to explore the possibility of writing erotic fiction. In the main, my blog has always been about me and my relationships. For much of the past 5 years, there has been plenty of experiences to recount. I am sure that this will continue, but since my relationship with Master is for the longterm real life there is unlikely to be kinky excitement all of the time. Last weekend I struggled to complete the exercises set us by Ashley Lister. I couldn’t think of a 6 word story, kinky or otherwise. Generally my creative brain felt somewhat numb. But it wasn’t always like this.
The teenage years
There was a time when I wrote stories, in longhand in a notebook. My friend and I wrote about the boys from school, the ones we had a crush on. These were tales of innocent romance, about being noticed and kissed. In our dreamworld we were attractive, we became their girlfriends. There was, as far as I can remember, no actual sex involved. We were 15 or 16 and pretty naive.
Real life overtook us, real boyfriends were found, Wendy left school and started work, she went out with a number of boys including a very odd distant cousin of mine. Her next boyfriend was older and much more mature. She grew bored with our stories, indeed we grew apart. Her life was more interesting than the fiction we had created.
I also had a boy friend, but for me the exploration of my sexuality and his body meant I wanted to write more. I began to fantasise about what sex could and should be about, without even knowing why. Without even recognising that I wasn’t fulfilled in the way I could have been.
I started my nurse training and my writings became essays about nursing care, anatomy and psychology. Hell, there was no time to think about erotic stories, much less write them. Anyway I was having proper, actual sex. In a single bed, in a nurses home, in London. Boys weren’t allowed in our room after midnight, so I was living on the edge here.
At some point soon after I became a married woman I picked up my pen and paper again. Marriage wasn’t quite as I had imagined it to be. I worked shifts at a local hospital, often we saw little of each other. At some point in those first years my hubby strayed with someone at work. He pretended to work late, go out with mates and left me on my own for long periods of time.
Looking back, the stories I created in my A4 notepads were pretty raunchy. There was a lot of sex, often involving more than two people. I explored the idea of lesbian sex, even though I knew that I wasn’t turned on by other women in real life. I brought back the men (previously boys) that I had a crush on as a teenager. These were now hot-blooded men rather than boys. I had no knowledge of BDSM but did explore being controlled by a man. I guess this was a direct result of needing to exert quite so much control over my own life, back then.
Then I became pregnant, for a while I continued the fantasies. But then I was a mother. Juggling work, family, marriage with an unfaithful man (not that I knew) who was incredibly needy, I had neither the time or the imagination. I threw the books away and got on with life.
From time to time I tried to recreate the stories. In those early days I had been able to almost lose myself in the fantasy of the fiction I had created. But responsibility to work, motherhood and paying the mortgage mean that you need to centre yourself. Once I found the blogosphere I was more interested in describing the world I inhabited (mainly work related) that I forgot about any kind of fiction.
Until this week, I had blocked from my mind that I ever wrote fiction, let alone that it might have involved erotica. But I did. Thinking back, there is no reason that I couldn’t get my brain around a kinky story right now. I have the time, the space and dammit the ability to make this happen. I just need to give myself the permission to do so.
When I left home on Friday to travel to Eroticon I had every intention of writing about it during the weekend. In fact, I ended up having very little time or energy for writing anything. I managed to complete something about our meet and greet experience and then to post a Sinful Sunday.
It has been a full on weekend, even taking account of the fact we took some time out to be on our own. I have been to so many work conferences where I go to everything, all of the time. This time, even though I could quite happily have attended every session, we chose not to. We both needed down time and since work is really so full on right now,that was the right thing to do.
We met lots of new people, and were able to put faces to blog or twitter names. In some ways I wonder if we took everything we could have from the experience. But this being our first experience of Eroticon there is nothing to compare to.
@writtenbyjenny has started a meme, inviting us to write about the ten things I took home from Eroticon. So here goes.
Ten Things I Took Home From Eroticon
- The chance to mix with other kink friendly folk – It is not often, you meet quite so many people with so much in common in one place. Munches can be great, but I often come away disappointed because I feel I have little in common with those present. At Eroticon our united desire to write for others seemed to cut through individual differences.
- The ability to meet new people – A diverse range of people, all out to have a great time. Many people knew each other, but many more did not. Often people were known to me through blogs and twitter. Meeting those people in person is always interesting, and most often in a good way. Everyone was really friendly, but I do struggle to make the first approach.
- A recognition that I need to push myself to actually speak to new people – It’s funny, but Master and I are as bad as each other at this. I suspect that this is for different reasons too. He is an introvert who could probably sit all day in a crowded room without speaking to anyone. While I am an extrovert who finds it difficult to overcome my anxiety about opening my mouth until I know someone. We need to do better, I came away without actually speaking to too many people.
- I picked up new ideas and inspiration – I found the session by Ashley Lister on the process of plotting a story really interesting. I love process and a ‘how to’ list. Whether I will need to follow in its entirety remains to be seen, but I sense it will help. The blogging 102 session with Innocent Loverboy was great for the tips on topics. Also for the energy in the room.
- I Learnt about myself – Meg John Barker’s session on learning about ourselves through erotic fantasy was probably my favourite over all. I will continue to mull over her ‘zine’ and write more in the coming days.
- Lots of fun freebies – As other’s have said, the sponsors did us proud. Great mugs, a lovely book to write in, a chocolate and much more. I didn’t pick up my tee shirts though!
- New blogs and websites to track down and read – so many new places to explore and read. Hours of fun and reading.
- Learning about the law on erotica past and present – Kate Lister on the history of erotic writing and obscenity and Myles Jackman on current legal issues. Again I plan to write about both in the coming days.
- Conversation topics for the whole weekend – We missed a couple of sessions to just be on our own. To have a drink, to walk about Camden. We missed the Saturday social too and had dinner and an evening to ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t talk about what we had seen, heard and discussed in the conference.
- A feeling of satisfaction and a desire to return next year – I really hope we can make it. For us any excuse for a weekend away, but we prefer to have something fun and interesting to do. Eroticon was definitely that.
One thing we might do differently
We didn’t realise the first session was a panel. So when we walked in at the beginning, we sat near the back. This was a mistake as the panel’s voices, even with a microphones didn’t carry well. Master has hearing problems and could only hear every 4th or 5th word. This led to us leaving early on Sunday as I was pretty sure that he would get frustrated at not being able to hear. I am a little sad, as I think it would have been great to hear people read out their work. But, I do plan to pick up a copy of the Anthology from Amazon as I didn’t manage to pick on up while there.
The weekend is our time to be together, usually without outside intervention and involvement. Occasionally we visit friends or family, or maybe have people over. But usually it is just us. Sometimes we go away for the weekend, often travelling no further than the centre of London. Only half an hour away by train. During those weekends we stay in a nice hotel, visit galleries, see films, attend concerts. We usually eat and drink a little too much.
This weekend we are in London, but this time for Eroticon. A first for us, spending time with other kink friendly people. We have still managed our alone time, but are equally enjoying meeting new people.
I will post more about Eroticon later, but for now and for Sinful Sunday. A photo from the shower this morning.
Click the lips to see who else is playing
A full day of normal Friday stuff was followed by a dash to the station, a short train and tube journey then a short walk to the hotel. Master and I miraculously arrived at the same time.
A short while later we were in the bar enjoying a complimentary drink in the bar. The weekend had begun! A couple of drinks later and we made our way to Camden Town. This is a particularly busy and cosmopolitan part of London. This is where young people go to party, where many of the established singers bands we know today first played. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, and for this weekend, it is the home of Eroticon.
Just around the corner from Camden Market we found the hotel where the Meet and Greet was taking place. We were a little early, so had a drink in the bar first and watched the first arrivals stroll past.
Into the venue, we collected our passes, grabbed a drink and then mingled a little. We really aren’t good at walking up to people and chatting. I find it especially challenging, despite my extrovert personality. However we did manage to get chatting with a few people before the wonderful Exposing 40 came up and asked if I was MPB. A bit of chat followed, then knowing that we needed dinner and had already drunk a little too much we departed. I would have loved to have stayed to get to know more people, but food was definitely in order.
One of our favourite restaurants in London is a tapas bar near to Waterloo. Since Camden Town station is on the Northern line and that also passes through Waterloo, this was ideal. The meal was great as usual, we ate a mix of meat, vegetable dishes and salad washed down with some fantastic red wine. The man on the shelf played his guitar and the place buzzed with the usual mix of Friday night revellers.
Back to the hotel and we found ourselves in the bar ordering cocktails. This was
probably a bad move, though it felt great at the time. Finally we headed to bed, setting the alarm for an early start.
Part 3 to follow.
Eroticon weekend is upon us at last. The countdown clock on the Eroticon website currently stands at almost exactly 1 day to go. Tomorrow we will be up early ready to get started, grabbing a quick coffee and breakfast at our hotel before we head off to the tube. But actually the excitement starts today, at the Meet and Greet event. This is a writing and blogging event for people who write about sex and kink, a journal seems a must. Welcome then to Eroticon Diaries Day 1 (part 1).
Things to do before I leave
My usual Friday consists of slimming club then time with my mum before meeting up with Master. That bit then will be much the same as usual. This week has been a mixture when it comes to my eating plan. Well, the eating has mostly been good, but too much alcohol has been consumed. I am having a constant debate with myself about what I eat and drink. Membership at the slimming club is fun, I am on the social committee and enjoy helping out. But I am a rubbish slimmer, having lost no weight in a year. Having said that I haven’t put any on either, so onwards and hopefully downwards.
Next will be time to pack my case. I still haven’t decided what to take with me. Decisions will be a spur of the moment thing.
Then off to mum’s. She is having some financial anxieties, mainly caused by my brother. I need to spend time looking into all of that and then there will be shopping. Once she is happy, I will set off for the station and take the Train into London to meet Master at our hotel.
I am both nervous and excited about meeting conference delegates tonight at the Meet and Greet. It takes place in a hotel around the corner from where the conference will be tomorrow. Luckily I have met Molly and Michael, plus one other couple. I am thankful though that Master will be with me as I won’t know anyone else. While I am an outgoing person, I do find it difficult to interact with people I have never met. Small talk is not something I find particularly easy. What is more, I feel a little in awe of some of the people who will be there. People who are accomplished bloggers and authors and me, just an ordinary person who dabbles. Of course, there will be lots of other people in the same position, I know that.
But, for all the anxiety, I am very excited. About tonight and the whole weekend. More later.