I’ve had a week to reflect on the events of last weekend and it feels like time to write about our Eroticon experience. It’s a while since I wrote a SoSS post, so why not combine the two. A Share our Shit Saturday, Eroticon Special.
For me, the experience of attending this marvellous sex writing and blogging conference gets better each year. The first year was great, but I was nervous and somewhat anxious about speaking to people. Last year I knew a few people, but still struggled to immerse myself into the experience. This year though, I was at maximum socialising. I have also come to terms with the fact that while I will take some new ideas away, I won’t necessarily learn tons of stuff. For me now, this is about getting better at what I do rather than trying to become something I am not. This makes it easier to chose which sessions to attend. For this review I’m going to cover the conference proper and then write about the social aspects.
For once we were up bright, early and on time for the start of the conference. We sat at the front for the opening session, because being in previous years Master had struggled to hear. Fortunately though, Molly was ‘miked up’ for the first session, so there was no need to worry.
Our first session proper was Eleanor Janega’s talk about women and desire in medieval Europe. I am a sucker for anything historical and in the main found the session fascinating. Unfortunately there were problems with her slides – too much text and am problem with being able to see what was written. I later realised this was more of an AV equipment problem than the slides. I was fascinated to learn that sodomy actually refers to any sex that isn’t for the purpose of producing children. This is something I will research a little more myself.
Next up was Zebra Rose’s session on human rights which was extremely thought provoking. It’s a topic Master and I have subsequently discussed at length. The key issue seems to be about how we maintain our own anonymity while preserving that of visitors to the blog. I was reassured to know that public sector workers can’t be sacked for sex blogging. Although I am not currently working, I will in the future.
Emily Jacob’s session on consent in fiction, particularly in relation to rape scenes was equally thought provoking. Rape isn’t something I write about, but consent especially in the context of Master / slave relationships is.
After lunch was Jaime Mortimer’s excellent talk on the history of BDSM. If I’m honest, I enjoyed this more than Eleanors. Mainly because his slides were clear and his passion about the topic shone though. What’s more, I think it was Master’s favourite of the day.
Wrapped and Vacced
After last year’s mattress bed experience, I was keen to try some more of Mactire’s wares. In the room, others were in the process of being wrapped in vet tape and Master felt it would be fun to wrap me. The fact that he started at the bottom rather than the top caused much hilarity. For me it meant I had to be helped to lie down before I fell.
As my Sinful Sunday post shows, I also went into the Vac bed. Take a look if you haven’t seen how stunning I looked.
Despite putting away rather too much wine on Saturday evening (see below), we were feeling remarkably lively on Sunday morning. Thankfully a later start plus much needed coffee (Cafe Nero) helped. I had been very much looking forward to Exposing 40’s session on photography, and it didn’t disappoint. I am so impressed that she manages to take such wonderful photos without the aid of a tripod. Also that most of her shots are taken on her phone. I came away will lots of great tips. She showed us some examples of erotic photographers that have been an influence. Again, there is more to explore here.
Next was the Anxious Writers club. A session led by Cara Theron who was joined for a panel discussion by Girl on the Net and Kayla Lords. It is reassuring that these talented writers experience times of doubt and anxiety, just like the rest of us. Mental ill health can play a part, but equally so can imposter syndrome, or just having too many draft posts that never make it to publish. I don’t suffer from the latter, but Cara ended with a Draft Folder Challenge to those who do.
I heard Miles Jackman speak at Eroticon 2 years ago. While the government still seem hell bent on restricting the freedom of sex writing and photography, they clearly don’t have their act together. Age Verification still seems confusing, but there was good news about some of the topics we write about. BDSM, so long as it involves consenting adults is ok. He advised us to wait and do nothing while age verification is brought in.
The final two sessions involved 3 of my very favourite people. Molly and Michael held a session about looking at your blog with a critical eye. Then Sarah (GOTN) presented one on how to build traffic. Both were extremely good, partly because all 3 were so enthusiastic and know their stuff. But also because I came away with a list of practical things I can do to make my blog better. On balance, Sunday was the best day for me and confirmed in my mind that we’ll be back next year.
The best bit!
Finally this year I was able to enjoy the social side of Eroticon to its full potential. I was overwhelmed at the Friday Meet and Greet when so many people came up to me, to hug and ask how I was. At last I managed to sit down with Marie Rebelle and Bridget Delaney on Saturday night and Kayla Lords on Sunday afternoon. We spent time with Little Switch Bitch and her partner, and had quite a laugh with them. I also met and chatted to Floss and Bakji and was so pleased to have been mentioned in their podcast which I listened to yesterday. It was great to meet the Barefoot Sub, if a little scary that she was so pleased to meet me.
Friday was Eye’s birthday and it felt as if we were all part of a huge birthday party. Saturday was great fun too. While I was chatting to my wonderful people, Master was sharing Shelley quotes with Jaime Mortimer (I kid you not).
The weekend was wonderful but it was full on, busy and tiring. Con drop for me was more that I was absolutely exhausted. Now though I am sad it’s over but also looking forward to next year. Yep, I’ll be back a fourth time and I really need to spend more time chatting to the sponsors. There’s always a reason to return!