Eroticon is a yearly conference in the form of a weekend of workshops, talks and demonstrations for sex bloggers, authors, photographers and creatives, as well as other representatives from all over the adult industry. It offers a change to learn from a diverse and wonderful mix of speakers and experts, as well as reflect on our own place in society, as a community and as individuals within this community. 2018 was my second Eroticon, with many more to come (I hope!).
Two weeks have now passed since we all said our goodbyes after Eroticon 2018. Sometimes I struggle to process that it takes place over two days, as so much as crammed in and the delegates, speakers, ambassadors and (more so than anyone) organisers are constantly on the go. Yet it is over in whirlwind. As quick as my train arrived on the Friday night, before the Meet & Greet pre-Eroticon social, I was already on my way back to Scotland. Last year I wrote a round up for the meme 10 Things I Took Home from Eroticon– and just reading it back today brings back some wonderful memories. But also makes me realise how much I’ve grown as a blogger, and I’d like this year to be the year I really start to integrate more with this wonderful community. I’d like to feel more confident in starting conversations and making more friendships, rather than being a nervous kitten on the sidelines worrying about imposing!
So what did I take away from Eroticon this year?
1. The Wonderful Eroticon Anthology
This year I opted for a physical copy of this year’s anthology Truth, and I am so glad I did. I feel so excited and amazed that I get to read a physical book full of incredible, thoughtful, raw and hot pieces of writing from so many people I look up to- including a handful I can call my friends. Whenever I look at it I burst with pure admiration, and gratitude for Resonance Press and editor Zac Jane Keir for making it all possible. You can buy your own copy in paperback or for kindle online, and it is worth every penny. One year I might submit…
2. A Reminder that Our Identity is Always Changing
A talk by Dr. Jamie Lawson on his journey as a queen anthropologist (both studying queer anthropology and claiming his identity as a queer anthropologist) left a lot of food for thought. Most interestingly of all being the idea that we are always changing. Identity is dynamic, not static, and what we say in the past may be reflective of what we knew at the time but may not necessarily be what we believe now. As a blogger still coming to terms with my identity, especially my sexuality, this resonated with me hugely. My sexual identity is fluid, and it fluctuates. Am I bisexual? Yes. Am I queer? Yes. I have been through stages where I thought I was a lesbian, and stages where I tried to convince myself I was mostly straight with very occasional exceptions. In a world of bisexual erasure, I tried to erase my own bisexuality. What I may have thought a few years ago, may not be what I feel now, and maybe this fluctuation in light of experience will always be the case. I do hope so.
Dr. Jamie Lawson is also running a project on the experience of pup play, with Prof Darren Langdridge. I will be following it with interest!
3. Raunchy Readings
I thoroughly enjoyed the Eroticon readings this year. They were so diverse in subject, sentiment and style yet were all expertly crafted and read from the heart. Hannah Lockhardt’s beautiful and graceful reading of Geography brought me to tears, and I applaud Cara Thereon’s ability to transport you into a situation through her masterful performance of dialogue in Better– both incredible, and not at all clear it was their first time!
4. An Excuse to be a Subbie Little Slutty-Dancing Pixie
— Hannah (@confess_Hannah) March 17, 2018
One of my favourite things about Eroticon, is the chance to wear whatever you want to wear, without worrying about norms and judgement. I know this is how we should always be, in an ideal world, yet it is not always as simple as that. On Saturday night I had another opportunity to bring out my green velvet dress, this time paired with my first pair of fishnet stockings, my Lovehoney Moonlight Wine Crotchless Plunge Body and my new purple collar from L’Amour-Propre.
I got the chance to dance with old and new friends, maybe drinking a little too much wine in the process. However, this was justified to one of my party by stating ‘I’m a kitten, and kittens can’t get drunk’. Which I think is fair.
5. A Newfound Self Confidence
Last year I was incredibly nervous to introduce myself to people. I didn’t know what to say, or what I do, and thought it best to avoid those exchanges by remaining quiet and hoping no one would introduce themselves to me either! This year I decided to try and say hello to people that I had met, and introduce myself to people I had yet to meet. I think I did an alright job at this, and in doing so meet some lovely new people. If I didn’t say hi to you it was likely I missed you or was feeling particularly nervous at that point. I really hope I can see some of you again before the next Eroticon. Delegates, please do feel free to drop me a line if we appear to be in a similar geographical location (or just to say hi). I’ve loved being able to have wonderful conversations with people!
6. A Sore Bottom
During the realisation that I was without a Sinful Sunday photograph for the weekend, it seemed only appropriate that I continued the theme from last year’s photograph of a stinging arse. Let’s just say two of my friends made good use of a paddle and a hairbrush, and if it was a competition (which it wasn’t necessarily framed as at the time) the hairbrush crept infront, as it was still ever so slightly tender when it was topped up the following Thursday. Just, you know, FYI.
— Hannah (@confess_Hannah) March 19, 2018
7. Some Amazing Freebies from the Amazing Sponsors
We are blessed to have companies willing to sponsor Eroticon to ensure it can run each year. Doxy, ElectraStim, MysteryVibe, Hot Octopus, Sheets of San Francisco, Fetish.com, LoveGivr, Eropartner Distribution, Bijoux Indiscrets, Sextoys.co.uk and Ruby Glow were all in attendance and showering us with product information, deals and amazing complimentary gifts. I thank each and every one of you! You can find out about each of these on the Eroticon Sponsor Page.
However, I’d like to extend one thankyou in particular to Bijoux Indiscrets, firstly for their wonderful gifts in our goodie bags and also for being the most accommodating when I was being a princess and bashfully asked for a certain colour of one of the items. Your friendliness, helpfulness and enthusiasm for your products shone through.
I was thrilled when I finally got to try out my new skin jewellery, it is so comfortable and not at all irritating to my skin- which is usually very sensitive. I wore it all day on my birthday because that is one day where bejewelled nipples should be the norm. You can buy these, and other similar products on their website.
Kitten Princess Birthday aesthetic. pic.twitter.com/NbHtyO6QfW
— Hannah (@confess_Hannah) March 27, 2018
Eroticon made me reflect on the value of what I do, and this value comes in two forms. Firstly, the value of my blog in the wider sex-positive blogging community, which is something I’ve admittedly felt uncomfortable with for a while. I love what I do and I sometimes forget that other people read, engage with and enjoy what I produce. I realised I need to remember this value when plagued with self doubt and Imposter Sydrome. Secondly, it reinforced the value of this to myself. As I’m going through a period of transition from my own space and independence in a city of possibilities, towards a rather conservative small minded town I often think what my life would be like without this output, and I’m forever thankful I have it. Although back with my loving family for a few months I won’t be able to use my Doxy (too loud) and definitely won’t be able to invite anyone around to share my space (so nights of spanking, anal fucks and anything remotely kinky are out of the picture- note: willing to travel!). It made me realise how important this outlet is for me too, and I therefore must maintain it in a way which works best for me.
9. Fabulous Nudes
Molly’s photography workshop motivated me to up my photography game. Part of my blogging journey has been accepting and celebrating my body, which unlocked my exhibitionist side. I (perhaps rather too) enthusiastically share many photos on my Twitter timeline, as well as incorporating some into Sinful Sunday weekly posts. I have decided to begin a gallery feature on my blog, to highlight some of the photos I’m particularly proud of. Do watch this space!
Okay, as much as I wish I could, I didn’t literally take people and stuff them in my bags to bring home with me. However, this weekend gave me the chance to meet, chat, get to know and reconnect with people. Everything I read before attending my first Eroticon, and everything since, has enthused about the people who attend Eroticon. Some come from far and wide, others live down the road, but we are all together in a space where we can all just be this person we may only show online or always have to hide within certain spheres of our lives. There’s something incredibly life affirming about meeting like-minded people, especially on something that may be so central to your own identity. Thankyou to everyone who said hello to me, and thankyou to everyone who listened to my nonsense. I am getting braver, and although I didn’t manage to say hi to everyone I was wishing to this year, I hope there will be occasion in the future.
Eroticon is a yearly sex-blogger and writer conference, organised by three wonderful individuals: Molly Moore, Michael Knight and Girl on the Net. Without their collective brilliance, Eroticon would not be it is today. Also thanks to all of the wonderful speakers, for providing a programme I was often left puzzling over regarding where I should go next. Thanks also go to the wonderful sponsors as listed on the Eroticon Sponsor Page, as well as wonderful delegate sponsors who help to provide pool tickets to enable those who may not be able to otherwise access the conference.