This weekend I am at Eroticon, or as I refer to it, a sexy writers conference for sexy writers.
Sex bloggers, erotica authors, kinksters, journalists and educators have all gathered together in Camden Town, London, to hear talks, see demonstrations and participate in workshops around sex. More specifically, how we talk and write about sex, how we educate others about sex and how to get this lovely information to the best audience possible.
I woke bright and early this morning and got the tube up to trendy Camden – which is far too trendy to be awake at 8:30am on a Saturday. Molly, one of the organisers of this year’s event, greeted me at the door and gave me a lanyard with my name and online details on. She was super friendly and welcoming and we chatted a little bit about my online meet and greet. It put me at ease that she remembered what I had written a few days ago and it was a lovely way to be greeted when I was feeling slightly shy.
I had come to Eroticon not knowing anyone. I had maybe met Girl on the Net, another one of the organisers, once before (and I have corresponded often to set up guest blogs on her website) but other than that I was flying solo this weekend. Some names I recognised from Twitter and have admired their work from afar but that’s the extent of it.
I collected my goody bag and chose a seat near the front to hear the opening panel discussions. We began with a discussion about sex and the mainstream media featuring Morenike Adebayo, Paisley Gilmour and Rebecca Reid which set the tone for the morning. As non-fiction writer hoping to work with magazines it was interesting to hear attitudes around this industry and how to work effectively to share your intended sex-positive message.
First I went to session entitled Sex Blogging as Feminism and Social Justice by Sarah Brynn Holliday. Sarah began her work reviewing sex toys and now uses that passion to provoke change within sex toy retailers to ensure safe, ethical products. She offered some great examples and ideas of how we can keep our work actively feminist. I was encouraged by this as I’m striving to hold porn companies accountable for the way they produce films so I identified some helpful parallels.
After a green tea I sat in on Myles Jackman’s talk about obscenity laws and writing – I was particularly looking forward to this as I’m really interested in legislation and how that affects discussions around sex. I actually got to ask a particular question that concerned me which was great. I’m going to publish a blog going into more detail shortly because this is something that interests me.
Girl on the Net delivered a fantastic session on how to pitch written work to editors. She gave some really helpful practical advice on how to deliver the strongest pitch possible. I was inspired to put this method into practice, as I now feel more confident about approaching publications with my ideas.
I bought a couple of books which I’m looking forward to adding to my bookshelf at home. A self help by Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock called Enjoy Sex and a copy of the Eroticon Anthology. I contributed a short piece on the theme of identity for the book and it gave me a lovely thrill to see my name in print. I also got a copy of Girl on the Net’s second book How A Bad Girl Fell In Love which she very kindly signed for me!
After a delicious lunch (kindly sponsored by Chaturbate) I wandered through to a Kink Craft workshop. We used a knotting technique to create a lovely collar – which I got to keep. It was really soothing after a busy and mentally stimulating morning to sit and knot things for a while.
I decided to sit out of the final sessions as my head was reaching saturation point – so I sat in the break room and made some more notes for things to do and wrote up this blog.
There’s the social tonight and then even more to enjoy tomorrow. Its been really encouraging to meet and speak to other sex positive writers and understand their experiences and build community with them.
I’ll write some more tomorrow – I’ve got blogging talks, pitching workshops and a reading to look forward to so I should get some good rest.