If you were not already aware the weekend just gone was Eroticon 2015. Held in Bristol, it is ‘The’ erotic writers and sex blogging conference and attracts people from all over the globe. In total there have been 5 Eroticon’s, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and EroticonUSA and I have been very lucky to have attended and spoken at all of them. Every single one of them has been wonderful in its own unique way but this year things just seemed to fall in place perfectly and so right now I feel that Eroticon 2015 may well have been the best one yet and here are seven reasons why.
The sessions (given)
This year I ran a photography session. Most of the sessions at Eroticon are 45 minutes long which I think it pretty much the ideal length but I soon realised that photography is a subject that even if you had 2 hours you could still only scratch the surface of but scratch we did and from the feedback I got from those who attended it seems that I managed to deliver something useful and informative. I also did a joint session with @domsigns about Online privacy and ways you can safe guard your identity. This was a last-minute thing for us as we stepped in to cover a gap in the schedule after someone else sadly could not make it. Again, it seemed to go well and I hope that we gave people plenty of helpful information and didn’t just terrify them into running screaming from the internet. Finally there was the Kinklab demo which I coordinated. There were 3 different demo’s that ran concurrently. Delegates got to move around the room and dip in and out of them as they wished. I wanted it to be a more fluid environment where people felt more engaged with the demos rather than just watching a performance. I have no idea if I succeeded but the feedback I did get was very positive so hopefully people found it a more engaging way to present the demos.
This year’s schedule presented the same problem it always does, how to pick between the sessions on offer and yet again left me wishing I could be in two places at once. In particular on the Sunday when our privacy session clashed with Janine Ashbless session on fantasy writing and the Kink Craft workshop both of which I was very sad to miss. However the sessions I did get to where all fantastic;
Girl on the Net – Making a living writing about shagging was probably my highlight session of the weekend. She totally nailed it, she was an engaging and hilarious presenter and her gang bang/money streams analogy was quite frankly genius and she has written a fabulous, and much funnier than mine, round-up of the weekend
Jane Gilbert – Cover Me: A guide to cover art. I am going to admit to being instrumental in getting Jane to do this sessions and I am so glad I did as she has a wealth of knowledge in this department and there is no way anyone in the room would have known she was suffering from some serious jetlag having only arrived from New Zealand a few days beforehand
Stella Ottewill – Exploring Dark Erotica. Yeah, this one had my name all over it and it did not disappoint. it is one of those sessions that my brain needs time to absorb but it did make me want to find a quiet corner and get writing.
Remittance Girl – Writing Jouissance. This one made my brain ache (in a good way) and I am glad she has podcasted it as now I have time to think and ponder I can now go back and listen again… and probably again!
What a truly lovely bunch of people this lot where. We had Hot Octopuss who came bearing goody bags for all, Mystery Vibe who are slightly less of a mystery now and who I am looking forward to working with more on the future, Love Sex Love Toys who personalise your sex toys for you….
One of the highlights of Eroticon is actually getting together in person with all the people who I spend so much time interacting with online. This weekend I realised just how many people I know and get to hang out with in real life but having lots of those people come to together (excuse the pun) really is a wonderful thing. I am not going to name you all, you know who are but a special mention goes to those folks who I rarely get to spend time in person with because they live so far away; Rebels Notes, F dot Leonora, Jane Gilbert and Remittance Girl. Oh and this weekend also gifted me a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with someone very special and that is Stella Ottewill. If for nothing else Eroticon 2015 will always be epic for that one reason.
Then there are the new folks. Those people who have so far only been names on the internet but this weekend became real life people and wonderful new friends: Vivienne Kaye, who travelled a very long way and I didn’t get to talk to enough, @sexafterschool who is most definitely the sexiest headmistress I have ever seen, Horny Geek Girl who won her ticket to Eroticon and I am so glad she did because it was wonderful to finally to get to meet her in person, Jonathan Keith who is the man you should be talking to if you are interested in turning your erotic stories into audio format, Andrew and Pixie of Kink Craft who I have discovered lived fairly close to me and I shall definitely be meeting up with again because I completely failed to handle their wares, @EuclideanPoint and her hubby @beaudujour who sadly had to leave on the Saturday night but I am fairly sure they enjoyed handling some of our kink toys we bought along with us, Abbi Cranky who has the most beautiful Irish accent and @Preston_Avery who travelled all the way from Texas for the conference and was clearly determined to get the most out of the whole experience. There were others but my brain has gone a bit blank now. Please accept my apologies if I met you and have not mentioned your name, it is for no other reason than my brain is a bit broken this week.
This is one of the best things about Eroticon, the opportunity to socialise and talk with people who just get it. It those moments chatting to people in between sessions, over coffee and teeny tiny little lemon tartlets, or the meet and greet on the Friday night when you finally get to met someone you have followed online for ages. It is the shared breakfasts, the funny stories told over glasses of wine, the fact that when we left the Radisson bar on the Sunday night they had run out of Gin. The actual conference itself is wonderful but it these little extras, the sprinkles on the mighty fine cake if you like, that for me are what makes Eroticon way more than just a conference.
At the end of Eroticon this year I decided to say a few words about Ms Kiddell because the truth is Eroticon is a weekend for most of us but for Ruby it is her every day. At the end of the conference this year Ruby commented that it ‘felt so long’ to her which is actually the opposite of what most of the delegates feel and I am not surprised because her Eroticon is months in the making. Without her energy, her hard work, her dedication, her amazing organisational skills and her absolutely unwavering belief that we all deserve the best conference she can give us, there would be no Eroticon and what a horrible thought that is!
If you are interested in coming to Eroticon 2016, and quite frankly if you write erotica (or want to) or a sex blog then you absolutely should be there, check out Write Sex Right