#SoSS – Eroticon Special

I'm covered in layers of vet wrap, My head is the only part uncovered. The colours (green, yellow, red, pink and blue) have been altered using a editing app.

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.

Saturday highlights

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.

Sunday highlights

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!

Con drop

Twitter is alive today with the voices of the sufferers of this rarely known condition, con drop. But it’s one that strikes every year, without fail. The weekend was full of fun, education and information. It was also very busy. Now, as people return to pick up their normal lives the after effects are being felt. For me, it’s mainly an overall feeling of weariness. So to try to fight the urge to curl up on the sofa with a book or to snooze the day away I am trying to be productive. Already I have done a bit of dusting, tidying and vacuuming. I have stripped the bed, washed the sheets and been into town for food and a birthday present for my niece who turns 21 on Thursday.

I’m getting ready for a longer and more carefully thought out post, using the notes I made over the weekend. But first I wanted to recap over all on Eroticon as an event. I have attended many conferences over the years, mostly work related. Some had huge budgets, others national politicians or field experts. I’ve sat through an after dinner speech by the father of sextuplets and visited a brewery as part of the conference. But rarely have I been to anything as well organised, friendly, inspiring and informative as Eroticon.

Maybe it’s the subject matter or the fact that most people are not there as part of their day job. Or perhaps it is because of the feeling of community, supported and encouraged by those who lead and support it.

The best things

This year, we immersed ourselves into the conference in a way we haven’t before. We were there for the whole of both days and attended both socials. I definitely spoke to more people than I ever have, and still managed to miss a few. But there’s always next time for that.

For me the people make the event and within that I include the sponsors since they are so good at joining in and being part of everything. It is easy to chat to people you already know, but this year I tried to mix in much more with those I didn’t. I only dipped out of one session and that was to chat to Kayla Lords. I was wrapped up in colourful veterinary bandages by Master and vacced by Mactire. This meant I missed the rest of the kink lab, but there will hopefully be a next time.

Molly and Michael ran a wonderfully tight ship organisation wise. Even though she wasn’t there to organise, Girl on the Net provided ‘a spare brain’ and was also a fabulous speaker. But more of that in my proper round up.

The worst thing

The realisation that we have to wait another year for Eroticon has to be the worst thing. Visiting each others blogs and chatting through twitter is fine, but getting to meet each other is on another level. To be able to hug each other, to see the smiles on each others faces is just wonderful. No wonder everyone is now suffering from con drop!

But the best thing we can do, other than try to get back to some sense of normality is to write. After all the purpose of the event is to support us and give us the tools to improve our writing and blogging skills.

So, I have started to plan and will now try to motivate my weary self into action and write.

Vacced

I don’t even know if vacced is a proper word! But yesterday I put myself in the hands of Mactire once again, this time in the vac bed. For me it wasn’t the most fantastic thing I’ve ever done, but it was an experience. I loved that I was immobilised but didn’t really enjoy having my face encased in latex. I wouldn’t have missed this or any other Eroticon experiences though.

Sinful Sunday

Eroticon diaries 2019 edition

In the next couple of hours we will make our way to the station for the short trip into London and the event of the year – Eroticon. What with holiday, post holiday and what not, I haven’t quite been on top of preparations this year. As I write this at 12.30pm I still have a couple of items in the tumble dryer that I am planning to take.

This is our third year and I guess that makes us old hands. But of course we will be meeting new people and learning new things, so I don’t think there will be anything old about the occasion.

Each year so far I have written my eroticon diaries and this will be no exception. I just hope I can keep up. I am a little nervous (as usual) about the meet and greet. While I am an extravert I do struggle with people I don’t know, or don’t know well. I really prefer to stick with friends etc. However last year I made a real effort and so will go into the bar tonight knowing more people. I have also engaged more fully with people online including twitter, which I hope will help.

Tomorrow will be the conference proper and I am going without really studying the programme. Instead we are going to just go with what takes our fancy in the moment. Also, experience tells me that some of the sessions will be more crowded than others and sometimes that helps decision making. Over the past year I have written much more fiction and I want to continue to develop those skills. So I will be looking for sessions that might support that objective.

As I mentioned in our virtual meet and greet we won’t be staying at the hotel where the socials are taking place, but instead at our favourite London hotel near to Kings Cross and Euston stations. This suits us as we like our ‘alone’ time and also we love it there. But we are just a short tube or longer walk away. I’m hoping this year I get to spend a bit more time with some of my favourite bloggers and that might mean hanging around the bar of the hotels where the socials are. Maybe we might even entice one or two people over to our place. Who knows.

I’ll try to keep up with these posts over the weekend, as it is great to look back at them afterwards.

Let the fun begin. Well once I’ve done the packing……….

Eroticon 2019 Attending