‘Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.’
– Ruth Reichl
What a weekend that was! Eroticon 2017 may be over but I feel that, even a week later, I am still riding high on the wave of excitement that always seems to follow this fabulous conference. I’m shattered and definitely felt the much lauded con-drop as I try to squeeze back into my real life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This conference is genuinely life-changing!
But how do you gush coherently about such a fabulously extraordinary event? Well, you write a 10 Things listicle of the best things that we all took home from the conference, of course!
This was the brilliant idea of Jenny Guérin, who is also collating everyone’s Eroticon 10 Things round-up listicles into one place. Whether physical loot or new experiences, I have gained so much from Eroticon and continue to do so in the aftermath so here are the 10 best things I took home…
The build up to Eroticon is almost better than the weekend itself. The announcement of the speakers throughout the months before, planning which sessions to attend, hearing which Twitter friends will be there and which new people I might finally get to meet. It is the highlight of my blogging year for a reason, and I am already excited about next year!!
9. So. Much. Free. Stuff!
I have come home loaded with loot! T-shirts, mugs, condoms, lube samples, pens…all from the generous sponsors who not only made the conference possible at a reasonable price but also meant that I have constant reminders of this weekend littered around my house. I love it! There were t-shirts and pads of paper from fuck.com, stunning handmade cards from Luke and Jack and ridiculously motivational mugs from GOTN. Outstanding!!
Michael Knight and I both wrote last year that one of the best parts of Eroticon is that we can be our whole selves, even if we are anonymous. Although I don’t go into details of my real life, I don’t hide that I’m a doctor or lie about who I am in the real world. The Other Livvy isn’t just the sex part of me anymore, she’s all of me. I have wondered if that’s why I’ve made such good friends at Eroticon – nothing is hidden, nothing is guarded; it feels safe.
7. Best of the sex toy industry
It’s official; Eroticon have the best sponsors and I loved meeting them, particularly those from the sex toy industry. Adam from Godemiche spent the weekend constructing a new toy shape, while showing off his gorgeous technicolor dildos. I got to play with the baby Doxy (Doxette? Doxino?) and now I reeeeeally want one! Ceramic Pleasures had a beautiful selection of dildos on show, and I remain in awe of the Hot Octopuss team and their extraordinarily innovative sex toys. The lovely Tabitha Rayne also presented the Ruby Glow seated vibrator, with other toys from Rocks Off – as the Ruby Glow was inspired by a desire to get off when seated and writing erotica, it was the perfect toy for a conference like this!
6. Tips and lessons
The scope of the Eroticon schedule was extraordinary and I really struggled to pick which sessions to attend. Rarely have I more yearned for a Harry Potter Time Turner so that I could see everything and learn from everyone! Malin James’s session on flash fiction was inspiring, GOTN made me feel bold enough to pitch my writing to actual publications, Kate Lister from Whores of Yore delighted my history loving sex geek heart with the history of obscenity, and Val showed that fanfiction is a much underestimated genre and celebrated it in style! And those are just the sessions I attended – I missed Myles Jackman talking through the new obscenity laws and Alix Fox on podcasting, among others. There was so much talent and so much opportunity to learn.
Writing erotica and being part of the sex blogging community has given me more confidence in myself than I could possibly explain, and this weekend I got to show it off! Having listened in wonder last year, I read one of my stories in Zak’s reading on Sunday. It was a particular favourite story but it was still pretty overwhelming to be called up and included in the roster of other writers who I really respect and admire. Because that’s what this conference does – it gives me the confidence to stand up and say ‘Yes, I’m a writer!’ and believe it.
4. Identity: the Eroticon anthology
The Eroticon anthology plays a huge part in point five. I am a writer because I can hold in published book in my hands that contains a story that I have written. I am a published author. It’s fucking incredible! I apologise to the other authors there on Sunday who I harassed for your autograph and even more apologies to those I missed or who left before Exhibit A won the last copy of the anthology in the tombola, in what I can only describe as a miracle, and I ripped it from his hands to run around like a fangirl! But so many of the authors I found had never signed their pen name before. So many had never been published before, and it is the best feeling to be included!
Btw, have you bought your copy yet? Why not??
3. Pretty damn fine sex…
Chris Coltrane, the compère for Saturday evening’s entertainment, asked if we were all worked up and horny after spending the day talking about sex. Noooo, I thought, it’s not like that! I’m here to learn and be inspired; to improve how my writing can arouse others!
But to my delight, that’s not quite how it worked out. It turns out that ‘another delegate’ (and not the one I live with!) should be on the list of things that I took home from Eroticon! I may write about this more soon…
2. Lovely, lovely people
And the weekend would be nothing without the people to share it with! Old friends who I’ve not seen since last year, new friends who I hope will continue to inspire me in the future, and others who I didn’t talk to enough and who I hope will be there again next year. Eroticon is such a friendly, happy, inclusive and wonderful place; I wish I could live there all year!
1. Inspiration, motivation, excitement!
I came to Eroticon wanting to be inspired, and if did not let me down! In fact, I have had so many ideas and first paragraphs of posts that I have spent most of this week cursing the fact that I don’t have more time to write. Thanks to Malin’s fabulous session I have the barebones of a flash fiction idea, I have products and sex toys to review, I have re-launched my favourite ridiculous writing meme (fancy writing flamboyant and over-the-top erotica? Check out the #EuphOff!!) – I am bubbling over with creativity, and it is entirely thanks to Eroticon and the people I met there. I am in awe of you all, thank you!
Bring on Eroticon 2018!
And don’t forget…