Twenty-First Post: Vice Magazine

My first article for Vice Magazine was published today. I am thrilled to write for Vice and to take some of the amazing advice I received at Eroticon and apply it to making this happen. 

This article was a response to the fascinating session I attended with Myles Jackman at Eroticon. I’ve now become even more obsessed with the Obscene Publications Act than I was before. All the fun stuff is listed on that legal document so what does that mean for sexual expression? And now it also affects text messages? How are we not talking about this more?

To find out more check out my article, Your Sexts Could Be Criminal, here.

Twentieth Post: Saturday at Eroticon

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. 
Jenn x

Eroticon 2017 – Virtual Meet and Greet

I’m so excited about attending Eroticon this weekend. While completely fangirling about the event and browsing the website I came across this meet and greet page. So I’ve filled in the answers – quite earnestly I must say – and am going to link this post to the website. I’m looking forward to meeting people in person but until Saturday here’s a little bit about me:

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)
Jenny Guérin – Jenn is also an option. My Twitter handle is @writtenbyjenny

What are you hoping to get out of Eroticon 2017?

This will be my very first Eroticon. Its important to me to be with people who get the need to discuss sex openly, to write about sex and celebrate erotic writing.

I’m excited to spend a weekend completely focussed on writing, pitching and understanding how my work might fit into a wider context. I want it to light a fire under my arse to keep writing and pushing myself.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know?

Despite my surname, I’m not French. This becomes apparent when people meet me expecting a French girl and a chick from Yorkshire (with no Yorkshire accent) answers to the name Jenny Guérin.

If you made the papers, what would the headline be?

“Thousands Clutch Pearls As Porn Reviewer Publishes Her Top Ten Websites To View Fisting”

If you could have one skill for free (I.e. without practice/time/effort) what would it be?

I speak fluent French but I also want to master Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese…

Complete the sentence: I love it when…

I print off an almost-done article and go through it with a pen to do final edits. It means I’m nearly ready to publish and I can break away from the screen to actually put pen to paper. There’s something deeply satisfying about scribbling all over my own words.

Nineteenth Post – How To Get The Job Done

Procrastination comes to us all at one point or another. When faced with a daunting task it is easy to avoid the work ahead, or rush through with less than your best. 

If, like me, you have been guilty of making the masturbatory mistakes highlighted in Bustle magazine, you might find the following tips helpful to getting back on track to becoming a master masturbator. 

Make A List

There is nothing more satisfying than making, and completing, a to-do list. If you are struggling to find the momentum to begin add a cheeky, already completed task at the top of your list which you can tick off with confidence. The rest will come. 

Stay Accountable

Whether going to the gym, filling in your tax return or having a wank, it is best if you stay accountable to your peers. Try calling or texting a trusted friend telling them about what you’re about to embark upon and ask them to check in with you after half an hour. Knowing that someone is aware of what you’re trying to achieve helps you focus on the task at hand. 

Reward Your Hard Work

When you’ve finally completed your task, reward yourself! You deserve it. Knowing there’s something pleasurable waiting for you after you’ve worked so hard can get you through the hardest tasks. 

When Girl on the Net drew my attention to this piece my initial reactions were anger, frustration and even the slightest feeling of guilt – am I doing it right? But then I remembered I’ve been living in my body for my whole life and I know when I take (however much) time to enjoy myself I will not be assessing how well I’m doing it. I wouldn’t do that to a partner who’s trying to make me feel good – why would I not give myself the same respect?

It doesn’t matter how or how quick or how elaborate or if there’s a playlist or a bubble bath or toys or DH Fucking Lawrence. 

I won’t be told how to touch myself – unless they’re a very lucky individual who has earned the right to boss me around. 

Now if you’ll excuse me there is an important matter I must attend to.

Jenn x 

Eighteenth Post – Written in 2016

We are almost at the end of the year. I’ve collected together some pieces that I’ve written or contributed to that have defined my 2016.

Girls on Top: The Women Who Enjoy Working in Porn 

The International Business Times – 20th January

 
This article was published by The International Business Times in the wake of an interview with former porn star Sunny Leone on CNN-IBN. 

Leone deftly shot down interviewer Bhunpendra Chaubey’s sex shaming questions and received praise for her responses online. 

 
I had met and interviewed Erika Lust at Raindance Film Festival in September. To meet someone whose work I adore was a huge thrill. I was so excited to write up the interviews with Lust and UK porn producer and performer Vex Ashley for publication at the start of the year. Female produced porn is still a novelty so its incredibly important for us to see it spoken about in mainstream publications. 
   

 
Threesome Advice I Picked Up On 3nder

Girl On The Net – 11th June

 
3nder is now called Feeld, but thankfully it still exists. I loved writing this piece which offers advice on navigating the sexy waters of being a guest star in a threeway. Girl on the Net has published several of my guest blogs over the years and I’m so thankful for her support each time. I was pleasantly surprised to see this blog feature on her top ten blogs of the year. My ranking was, appropriately, number three. 

Purple Prose: A Guide to Bisexuality in Britain

Thorntree Press – 1st September

 
I offered a small contribution to this book back in 2015, attended the funding launch and read out my contribution on kinky sex, which categorically stated I was not a bisexual – oops. It was amazing to meet editor Kate Harrad, who had co-ordinated the submissions and drove the project, with support from Franklin and Eve at Thorntree Press.

The published book came out in September and sits proudly on my bookshelf. Thank you for letting my words exist on the same pages as some truly inspirational pieces. 

Porn Reviews 

Crash Pad Series – throughout 2016

 I’ve been writing these since early 2016 for Crash Pad. I absolutely love the range of performers and scenes featured in this work, but what really stands out is the Behind The Scenes videos which accompany every film. I would love for this to become a standard in the industry to shed more light on the performers, their attitudes to filming and how porn is created. The attention paid to safe sex practices is particularly important.

 
It has been a pleasure to write this year about people and subjects I’m extremely passionate about. I hope that 2017 bring seven more opportunities to share this passion.

 
One thing I’m definitely excited about for 2017 is my first visit to Eroticon! I’ve just submitted my writing to the Eroticon Anthology, a brand new publication to be released at the conference so hopefully next year’s recap will feature that little piece of smut. 

 
Happy new year to you all.

 
Jenny x

Thirteenth Post – Coincidences

I’ve just finished The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love by Franklin Veaux. 

The Game Changer

I will be writing another post once I’ve processed how much this book has influenced me to take stock of my experiences of polyamory in the future – but I wanted to express my amazement at a coincidence I did not realise until the penultimate page. 

Franklin mentions publishing a book with one of his partners Eve Rickert in the epilogue of The Game Changer – this rang a bell. 

I had previously met Eve at the launch event for Purple Prose, a book on bisexuality I have contributed to. Eve’s company, Thorntree Press, is publishing Purple Prose next year. 

After recognising Eve’s name I then flicked to the back pages to investigate further. It turns out Thorntree published this book and there is an announcement about Purple Prose in the final pages. 

A mention for Purple Prose

I didn’t realise I had met the author Franklin, briefly, at the Purple Prose launch. I didn’t make the connection until the end of this fantastic book. He and Eve run Thorntree together and I have therefore indirectly worked with them. The world is small, in the nicest way.

This is such a lovely coincidence. I received this book from a friend as a Christmas present. She works in a second hand book shop and often sends me care packages of erotica and kinky/poly writing as she is unable to sell “naughty things” in the shop. 

She was even present at the Purple Prose book launch and didn’t realise the significance of gifting me this book either. 

I really enjoyed reading Franklin’s story; it was like being confronted by some neuroses and struggles I’ve had about polyamory in the past, which was unsettling, but it gave me the inspiration to start thinking constructively about my self worth and how I can negotiate my needs in open relationships. 

Eleventh Post: Queer Experiments at Wotever World

  Last night was the best Monday night I’ve had in a long time. 

I did my reading for Purple Prose at Wotever’s queer literature night at The Hackney Attic.

I realised when I got there, I’d been before about a year ago to see a collection of queer films. It’s a really intimate, welcoming space. I met the other speakers, who were lovely, friendly and fascinating people.

My reading gave me another opportunity to plug our book, so I’m getting pretty good at it now:

Check out our Indiegogo campaign to offer support and receive some exciting rewards, follow our editor Katy Harrad on Twitter, log onto purpleprose.co.uk for updates on the project and check out our publishers Thorntree Press.

Phew, that’s enough self-promotion for a Tuesday morning. I’m going for a coffee.