The world and his wife will have heard me shouting from the roof of all my social media recently about my weekend at Eroticon. This was the first industry based event I’d attended and I wasn’t sure what to expect. For those not paying attention to my thousands of tweets in the run up and over the weekend what exactly is Eroticon?
Eroticon is an erotic writing conference, held this year in beautiful Camden, London. It’s a great opportunity for like-minded creatives to come together and learn and share. Eroticon plays host to a wide range of interested parties from across the erotic writing industry. From bloggers to publishers, from creative writers to journalists. It’s a meeting of minds.
I’ve been reading all the “10 things I Took Away from Eroticon” posts avidly, enjoying seeing how other people’s experiences differed from my own. So here in a nutshell are the ten things I took away from Eroticon 2017.
I’m very much not alone. During my adult life, I’ve been unfortunate enough to have a few relationships where I was made to feel weird for my kinks and sexual urges. It’s hard enough learning to negotiate your own sexual psychology without someone constantly damning you for it. Over the course of the Eroticon weekend I realised this is, as I suspected utter toss. I’m not “broken or damaged” because of my sexual proclivities. There is nothing wrong with me. This is just part of being me. It felt very emotional to feel that level of acceptance after years of self-doubt.
No One Does What You Do Quite Like You!
I wonder if Girl on the Net had any idea how catchy that phrase would become when she had her super inspirational mugs printed? I’ve always felt a bit of a fraud when it comes to writing. Despite doing well at English in school and initially pursuing a career in journalism ultimately, I went into Food Science.
I can put words on page but I’m never sure how good they are? Reading my own work is like pulling teeth. I’m my own harshest critic. How was I ever going to pitch my work? Sitting in Girl on the Net’s pitching talk felt like an injection of self-belief.
Listening to GOTN enthusiasm for us to go out there and sell ourselves it was almost impossible not to believe we could. I heard all over the Eroticon venue people repeating it “No One Does What You Do Quite Like You” and of course she’s absolutely right. So, if you’re reading this and didn’t get to go to Eroticon, go and look up the GOTN Pitching 101 talk notes and repeat to yourself that mantra.
I have just found my way back to creative writing. Writing for fun as a kid, life got in the way. I felt rusty and out of practice. Attending the many creative writing workshops have helped in ways I couldn’t have imagined. From Malin James teaching me to make every word or phrase earn its place in flash fiction to Ashley Lister showing me how to structure a story correctly.
I found a new-found love of a word I already hold dear. Thanks to the stunning Dr Kate Lister teaching me the etymology of the word Whore (woman who desires, in case you were wondering). I soaked up the historical significance of erotica during her first workshop. And being an absolute fiend on Twitter I gained so much from her second class on Twitter and sex workers.
Thanks to the awesome Djfet I learnt more tricks with rope and gained a few “Ooooh moment” memories of my own to take home. (I like rope a lot more than I even realised)
My journey home on Sunday was spent frantically writing down everything I’d been inspired to write and do as a direct result of the weekend. It felt like someone threw a switch in my brain and I wanted to capture my mood.
One of my abiding inspirations of the weekend, aside from GOTN, will always be Rachel Kincaid. I went into her alternative endings class unsure what to expect. I came out feeling creatively freed. Like someone had given me permission to explore the darker, less conventional stories that hovered in the periphery of my mind.
Not everything has a happy ending. Not all reactions to your work will be gasps of delight. But isn’t it just as rewarding to illicit a prickle on the skin of discomfort or a shiver of horror or even a snort of laughter! Erotica doesn’t have to be formulaic. And you aren’t responsible for your readers happy ending. As a direct result of Rachel’s input I came home and wrote one of the most emotional pieces I’ve written (Denial). I intend to continue to tap into this, fortune favours the bold.
Aside from the writing I found myself incredibly inspired after an unintentional rant with the fabulous Pixie from Kink Craft about the issues of being a plus size woman. It was great to meet someone with as much fire about this subject close to my heart. I felt we fully bonded over this, generally putting the world to rights. I was bowled over by the gorgeous new latex designs Kink Craft are launching with Plus Sized figures in mind during design.
Oh yes! Thanks to all the brilliant inspiring people around me and the general enthusiasm in the air I managed to talk my way into my first article commissioned by someone else. I can’t tell you how utterly brilliant that feeling was. I was stunned. And wanted to cartwheel. But my heels were not cartwheel friendly really. Which is a shame as I feel it would have been pretty epic. So watch this space *excited face*
I did not pack light, a decision I regretted the entire time I had to carry my bag. However, I came back even more laden down than I went. I couldn’t resist buying two beautiful ceramic dildos from Ceramic Pleasures especially when one came personally recommended by Emmeline Peaches. After making my stunning pink cane in a Kink Craft workshop I simply had to buy a wax play candle, it was a must. Add that to the awesome bag full of goodies given to every delegate chock full of stuff from the Eroticon sponsors and a copy of GOTN’s second book. I came home with so much swag!
A Longer Wish List…
Oh, damn you Eroticon sponsors with your sexy wares. I now absolutely can’t live without a Doxy baby, the Hot Octopuss Queen Bee, a Godemiche Ball Gag, A Come-Hither Rabbit from The Rabbit Company oh and I really need to have a Ruby Glow for when I’m writing erotica, that’s right, writing not reading. Lol.
New Friends and Faces To Go With The Old Ones
It’s so weird meeting people you’ve chatted with for ages online that are anon. Putting a face to a name is great fun and much of Friday evening was spent wandering around staring at people badges and going “Omg it’s you!!!” There were so many fantastic people I met and many I didn’t get a chance to who I intended to. Including Bob the Monkey, Aurora Glory, Sub Bee, FdotLeonora, Lapsed Catholic, Exposing40, Tabitha Erotica, Masters Eye, Pixie and Andrew from Kink Craft, Adam and Monika from Godemiche, Screw Taboo, Subsmissives, TickleTrunk, MisterGryphon and so many others.
Of course, I had my partner in crime the lovely Miss Ella Scandal with me the whole time. Ella struggled to cope with London at first. But after some serious soul searching she managed to pull it out of the bag on Sunday. I believe she left London a different Ella. I was beaming for her.
Oh boy. Yes, I did. I’m afraid during the weekend I found myself fan girling horribly. Especially over the likes of GOTN, Dr Kate Lister and Rachel Kincaid. Such confidence and enthusiasm is wildly attractive. Add that to a bit of professional hero worship and it’s a heady cocktail.
Returning home from Eroticon with a sense of direction and acceptance that I didn’t have before. I felt like what I’m doing is worthwhile and important. I want to grow and expand both my site and my horizons. And hopefully I’ll be able to return next year to improve upon the skills I learnt this year. If you can get to Eroticon 2018 you certainly won’t regret it.