‘What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.’
– Jane Goodall
This weekend was Eroticon 2018. It’s safe to say that this is one of the greatest and biggest weekends of the sex blogging year! GOTN, Molly Moore and Michael Knight have created a fascinating and fabulous weekend conference that I look forward to all year, and each year I leave with my mind and my heart completely full and buzzing with ideas. There is so much that I want to do and so much that I want to say. It is such an inspiring weekend!
Last year, Jenny Guérin encouraged us to share the 10 things we took home from Eroticon and I’ve decided to do the same this year. It was surprisingly difficult to limit my choices to ten but these are the most important for this year…
1) ‘I think you can write anything. And you should write anything! Now more than ever…We can’t have debates unless we trigger each other.’
– Remittance Girl
The first session I attended was definitely the one that sparked most conversation and most of that mind buzzing I mentioned above, and I could have chosen so many quotes from Remittance Girl’s session on Taboo. Erotic fiction is such a great place to explore fantasy but I had never thought of the power that this could have. Remittance Girl spoke so passionately of how fiction is the only place to explore transgressive fantasies and controversial ideas.
Traditional taboos such as murder, incest and cannibalism have progressed to include more modern transgressions such as non-consent and sexuality in children. They are dangerous topics to write about, and Remittance Girl correctly informed us that this kind of writing will never get published, but where else can we talk about limits? Where else can we find the edge or the trigger and find out why we respond so violently?
‘The minute you acknowledge that what you’re writing is problematic is the minute you actually start paying attention to and taking care with what you’re writing.’
2) ‘I embrace the oddity in you, and the oddity in me, and the oddity of many of you in this room’
– a Carmen Vasquez quote delivered by Dr Jamie Lawson
Similarly, I loved Dr Jamie Lawson’s session on being a queer anthropologist and how much it made me consider my place in the sex blogging community and wider society. He managed to make an intensely personal narrative on how he became a queer anthropologist relevant to everyone.
I know that I have changed since I started blogging and I am a completely different person from who I was five or ten years ago. But I loved the idea that I am becoming who I am now and that my identity will be constantly changing. Identity is something we have to work on, an active progress, and we shouldn’t be ashamed about who we used to be, particularly if we recognise that we had potentially problematic opinions in the past. The key is recognising and learning from that change. Considering how intimate and personal most of the writing that sex bloggers share can be, this really resonated with me, and meant that anthropology has skipped ahead of geology as the -ology I most want to go back to university to study!
‘One of the important things about sharing personal stories is being honest about how much you have changed/how little you used to know.’
3) ‘Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love. You need to reject both sides of the spectrum to leave a healthy middle.’
– advice from Bo Burnham via Hannah Witton
Hannah Witton’s session on vlogging was full of really useful tips on creating and sharing video blogs, but it was this quick response to a question on dealing with trolls that really stuck with me. It is just as easy and dangerous to become blinded by positive comments as it is to be drowned by the negative, so maintaining a healthy balance is the best way to avoid being overwhelmed!
4) ‘Good sex advice is like good sex education – you have to make it about them, not about you!’
–Meg-John and Justin
I am a huge fan of Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock so was very excited about their panel on how to give good sex advice, and I was not disappointed! Their inclusive and intersectional approach to everything related to sex and relationships is so easily applicable to almost every subject and also to interactions in my real life. It was really wonderful to have the opportunity to absorb some of their wisdom!
‘Everybody’s body is different, and everybody’s body is different every time…which is why sex is exciting!’
More helpful advice from professionals!! I am a terrible editor of my own writing and it takes me ages as I always read what I expect to see, rather than what I’ve actually typed! The tips that Anna Sky passed on will definitely improve my future writing and, hopefully, will make me much more publishable!
6) ‘I’m not in the business of convincing people of my worth, because many other people see it.’
– Sarah Jane
I went to two sessions on monetising our blogs, from Kayla Lords and The Sarahs ™️ (Sarah Brynn Holliday and Sarah Jane), which both provided very wise tips on how to make money from sex blogging. I’d never seriously thought about making money but I was interested in how I would do it if I wanted.
But I left both talks with a profound sense of my own value, which was a completely unexpected but wonderful side effect. I had never objectively considered my value before, never thought about my worth as a writer. I particularly left The Sarahs ™️ session feeling so good about myself and my writing and my value.
‘Your creative work has value. You deserve to be paid for it.’
I have value. I am worth it. And, wow, this is an intoxicating feeling!
Talking of intoxicating feelings, the Kink Lab was back this year and provided an opportunity to try out some of the more unusual or equipment heavy kinks. Of them all, I am so excited about playing with the Zumio that I won in the raffle as the sensation of the narrow tip against my arm was enough to make me want more! There will definitely be a review soon!! ElectraStim and Vac-play were more unusual… Both caused such an adrenaline rush that I can understand why they are such powerful kinks, but I don’t know that I actually enjoyed them. But YKINMKBYKIOK and I’m certainly glad to have tried them!
Through these experimentations, I also discovered that my husband knows exactly the right time for a Star Wars joke!
9) Wow, the people!
I always take away so many memories and so many friendships from this conference. You are all wonderful and I love you!
And, of course, I love that these people are often up for taking great and adventurous photos with me, as can be seen in my Sinful Sunday photo for this week…
10) Fashion tips
I don’t know that this needs more explanation!!
And that’s it for Eroticon 2018! See you next year!!