Eroticon 2017 – I Herd U Lieks It

Quite.
Quite.

Friday, noon

“I’m hungry.”

“Me too. Well, we’re out and about now. Nando’s?”

“Yeah, why not?”

Friday, evening

This is only the third time I’ve ever been to Camden. It’s the prevailing thought in my mind as we swerve through throngs of Friday night revelers. There’s a sweet scent coming from everywhere.

I’m on the look-out for people we know. We get to the hotel, and as I wait for him to get back from the bathroom, someone spots me. A tall, redheaded vision of stunning – it takes me a few seconds to realise that it’s Rose, who I haven’t seen in several years. She bolts towards me, and we hug exactly like that, like old friends meeting again.

The three of us kind of hang on to each other for most of the night. A bit of familiarity. A lot of new faces. But it’s okay, because it’s one hell of a nice venue to get to know new faces in.

I get the chance to properly connect with Marvy Darling. I bond with Sarah Brynn Holliday over our shared and very intense love of bread. I get to squeeze fellow film geek Cheryl again. I find a geek sister in Emmeline Peaches, stare in wonder at Gryph’s magnificent beard and get bought a drink by Mr. Doxy himself. All in a room with a jaw-droppingly stunning view of Camden Lock’s shimmering waters.

By the time we scatter out – some of us off to an after party, some of us (and by that I mean me and ILB) off to Subway because we accidentally forgot food was a thing, I feel kind of lightheaded.

Eroticon. Yeah, baby, yeah!

Saturday

It feels weird to be so aware of a clock ticking by. I know that at some point I need to leave because I have my day job to tend to. So Saturday isn’t a day where I can relax into it. But I learn so much. Oh god, do I ever.

The Sex and the Mainstream Media panel (chaired wonderfully by Girl on the Net) is a great way to kick things off – and I come away from it tickled by the flame of inspiration for the first time in weeks. Sarah Brynn Holliday’s Sex Blogging as Feminism & Social Justice session takes that tickle even further and proper ignites something, as does Malin James’s flash fiction session.

Although that one does start with me running up to Malin to tell her that I need to leave midway through her session and also please don’t think me rude but day job and also lovely to meet you, person whose writing I fucking love and have also been published alongside a few times.

So yeah. I have to leave halfway through – although I leave with Malin’s kind reassurance that she’s putting the presentation up on her blog later – and switch gears to “work mode”. Which, actually, works fine. And so does the switch back to “Eroticon mode” when ILB shows up at the end of my shift to take me to the gorgeous venue for the Saturday night entertainment.

I eat chips with curry sauce and chat to Ros Ballinger, who later brings the house down with her fantastic show Idiot’s Guide to Kink. I catch up with Rubyyy Jones after A FUCKING AGE, finally getting a chance to tell her in person that I’ve been following her work from afar and am so happy to know her. Chris Coltrane MC’s the night and makes me properly snort laugh several times.

I do my best to ignore the scratching in my throat.

not today satan

Sunday

This time, I don’t forget breakfast exists. And I still keep
meeting new people – finding myself at the table with fellow geek Val Prozorova is a delight – while discovering more about the other new people I’ve met. And the sessions… oh, the sessions.

At Dr. Kate Lister’s session, I feel seen somehow. I sit in the front row, feverishly taking notes and pictures. I feel like an academic even though I am most definitely not.

At Jasmine and King’s session, I am shocked time and time again as they lay bare not just the level of racism in porn, but the blasé attitude that many white performers and producers seem to take when confronted about it.

During lunch (thanks, Chaturbate!) I swerve around in the hall and take in chats with the Fuck.com guys, the Hot Octopuss gang (it is here that I get a sneak preview of their upcoming Queen Bee toy – HOLY SHIT the vibrations) and the lovely Victoria Blisse who I haven’t seen in however-long. Afterwards, I sit front row for the pitching session and once again become acutely aware of time ticking by.

The last session I attend (on using your blog to educate) sends me back to work with a full-on fire in the belly – and even though I don’t really get the chance to do the rounds and say goodbye (thankfully, I do get the chance to give himself a quick hug and a “see you at home”) I feel okay. Walking through Camden, the watery and hesitant sunshine casting everything in an awesome glow, I feel okay.

And right then, okay is fine by me because I’ve spent a long time not feeling okay. I’ll take okay as a starter.

The rest will come.

Eroticon. Fuck yeah.

 


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Ten Things I Took Home From Eroticon 2017

One of the people I met at Eroticon 2017 (trust me – a proper write-up is coming as soon as I actually remember how to brain) was the lovely Jenny Guérin – who came up with the idea for a listicle meme giving a quick overview of what we’d taken away from the weekend. This could be anything, whether it was an item or an idea or even a mark on the skin in some cases.  

I am nothing if not a sucker for a listicle, so, here goes.

Appreciation for my own multi-tasking skills

Considering the fact that I was juggling this year’s conference with my day job, which was luckily rather close by. I figure, looking back on it, if I can make two rather important parts of my life sing in harmony like I did, I can take on lessons from that and apply them in my writing. I am one tough cookie…

STUFF

Holy shit, goodies for days, my friend, all thanks to the godlike fantastic sponsors who I want to thank from the bottom of my heart for supporting this conference. Seriously, between my Hot Octopuss t-shirt, my Fuck.com shirt/notebook/mug and the gorgeous printed cards from Luke & Jack (plus, a shit tonne of awesome other stuff including BOOKS from Victoria Blisse’s book stall) … I am giddy.

“Cheer for me, motherfuckers!”

It was a fucking joy to reconnect with Rubyyy Jones and watch her work the room at the Saturday night social like a Boss with a capital B. The social also gave me a chance to finally chat with comedian and awesome friend Ros Ballinger, and a chance to marvel at just how much of a filthy beast Chris Coltrane is (clue – very, very much).

Plans and connections

Both in a work sense and in a holistic sense. I met and learned from so many lovely folks this weekend – Sarah Brynn Holliday, Jet Setting Jasmine and King Noire, Emmeline Peaches, Dr. Kate Lister… the list is long and and filled with love.

A call to action

I’m going to echo Girl on the Net’s point here, basically. I attended Jasmine and King’s session and let out several very audible gasps of horror as they eloquently laid out the level of racism in porn and what we as writers could help with doing about it.

My people

God, but I found my people once more. The list is way too long to put here, so I’ll save that for the more general round-up, but GOD YES I LOVE PEOPLE GIMME.

ahem

“No-one does what you do quite like you”

When I see certain quotes, I often say “I want that on a t-shirt”, or “I want that embroidered on my wall”. Thanks to Girl on the Net, I have this heap of truth on a mug.

A renewed confidence

This is a biggun’ right there. One that, much like the first point, is something I can apply in both my work as Jillian Boyd and in my day job.

A shameless love for vintage erotic media

Dr. Kate Lister’s session on the Sunday not only inspired the bejesus out of me, it made me positively giddy.

Lube

Because of course. Of course.

And sooper sekrit number 11 except not really a secret – a whole lot of love for GOTN, Molly and Michael for taking Eroticon on and putting on something really quite special.


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Show Me Something Good – Eroticon Live Meet+Greet

So, two weeks until Eroticon Live and yeah…

I AM NOT READY

I cannot stress just how much I am not ready – as ILB mentioned in his post, flat problems, work and general health bumph have all combined to wreak mild havoc on our lives these past few weeks. I’ve only now gotten to actually writing my full presentation, and as much as I am glad that we have both tickets and a hotel to stay in, we will eventually need to book a way of actually getting to Bristol.

But first things first. Please allow me to re-introduce myself…

 

Quite.
Quite.

NAME (and Twitter name if you have one)

I am Jillian Boyd – @JillyBoyd on Twitter.

If you had the opportunity to rename yourself (or your blog) what would you pick?

I already went through the renaming of both blog and self and I’m quite attached to the way things are right now.

What are you most looking forward to at Eroticon Live and/or is there anything you are nervous about?

Well, I’m rather looking forward to giving my workshop on Sunday afternoon. There are… certain things I am nervous about, yes, but I’m sure I’ll manage. Other than that, I’m excited to meet some new people and just generally to be in Bristol again.

Have you planned which sessions you will be attending or are you more of a spur of the moment kind of person?

Apart from the one I kind of have to be at for it’s-my-own-session purposes, I’m probably going spur of the moment. I am however definitely FROW’ing it at Charlie Powell’s session about sex and disability.

What essential items to your life will be bringing with you to Eroticon Live? (you can have a maximum of 5)

– Phone

– Notebook (and pen)

– My bag

– Some paracetamol because the weather is fucking with my sinusses at the moment

– Gum

A new cocktail has been made on your honour, what would be the key ingredient and what would it be called?

I don’t drink alcohol, so it would have to be a virgin something or other. Cold-brew coffee as the key ingredient, and name it the I Am So Awake I Can See Through Time, PLEASE HALP MEH I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO JITTERY. Long name, but you get the sentiment.

And finally… Complete the sentence; I have yet to…

finish writing my presentation.

 

Read all the other Meet and Greets at Molly’s blog – and don’t forget to write up one yourself if you’re coming.

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#Eroticon2015 – Moments of Wonder

Quite.
Quite.

It is safe to say that our long-anticipated Eroticon 2015 weekend got off to a rather duff start. Unless your idea of a good Friday afternoon is your toasting hot coach forced to make an ABSOLUTELY ENDLESS detour along narrow north-east Somerset countryside lanes. A detour which added two and a half hours to our journey, which left us with little time to rest when we finally arrived at our hotel. Showers for the both of us, a lot of swearing from me, and off to the hotel bar for the hotel drinks.

I joked to ILB that we’d probably start running into people from the moment the lift doors opened. Sure enough, they opened to reveal Marie Rebelle and Master T, who were greeted with enthusiastic hugs. I’d say that, right about then, I was reassured that our duff start hadn’t set the tone for the weekend. I’d say that, and I’d be right, because Eroticon 2015 rocked my socks off.

The past few months – and especially the past few weeks – have worn me down to a little nub. I had lost faith in not only publishers but also my own skills as a blogger, as a writer and as a human being. Eroticon 2015, from both a professional and a deeply personal place, was something I craved. NEEDED. Yes, I am putting that in all caps because that’s how much I needed it.

And indeed, from the moment I drifted into the bar, into the welcoming arms of Exhibit A, I knew I would get all that and more.

Here are just a few of the many things that stuck with me from this amazing Eroticon 2015 weekend.

  • Spotting a chap with an amazing Doctor Who t-shirt on my way to the nearby supermarket, regretting not telling him that his shirt was awesome, later meeting him at the drinks and discovering that he was Beau De Jour, there with the lovely EuclideanPoint (and getting to tell him his shirt was awesome).
  • Getting chips with gravy (and chips and cheese) from the chippie and eating them on the seats outside the hotel, both of us feeling well class.
  • Finally meeting Horny Geek Girl, as well as several other lovely people such as Abbie Rode, the aforementioned Beau and EP, Hermione from Vibease (check out that piece of awesome), The Boss of Doxy (which, get ready for a hell of a post about that toy) and The Head Mistress from Sextracurricular.
  • Getting to properly know people who have crossed my path all too briefly before, like Charlie Powell, Girl on the Net, Helen J Perry and the vibrant ball of elegant loveliness that is F. Leonora Solomon (check out her story, Harper, in my anthology Spy Games).
  • The opening panel on Saturday, a frank and open chat about the state of erotica publishing and what needs to happen.
  • Zak Jane Keir probably sorely regretting wearing a lace-front t-shirt during said panel. (“Sorry, I’ve got me tit stuck to the table.”)
  • Girl on the Net giving a barnstorming, honest, inspirational talk on ways to make money by writing about shagging.
  • Jane Gilbert’s informative session on cover art, introducing a room full of bloggers to the wonders of Kindle Cover Disasters
  • K D Grace and Lily Harlem sharing pearls of wisdom during their session (thank you for the book, Lily!)
  • M.K. Elliot’s insanely detailed self pubbing talk giving me the courage to actually try it
  • Charlie J Forrest and I indulging our inner rope-a-holics with DJ Fet at the kink booth demos
  • The first official Kinky Brits pow-wow, recording the podcast at a nearby pub over a very worrying dessert
  • The cocktail party, held on the balcony of a bar called Revolution – on the one hand, it was kind of fun getting a boogie on and shamelessly spying on the myriad of hen nights going on.
  • On the other hand, retreating to the Radisson Blu bar and actually being able to chat was more fun.
  • Reassuring Janine Ashbless that OMI has found himself a cheerleader and not a “hungnurrnurr”, as the hen party which lustily sang along to the song made it sound like.
  • The ace sessions on the second day, especially Janine Ashbless’s session on fantasy erotica, which may or may not have inspired a collaboration…
  • Violet Fenn’s Lick it and Stick it mood board drop-in, in which I managed to both make a mood board for my Anna Triplett story and have a bit of a chat with Cressida Downing, Violet herself and Ruby.
  • Girl on the Net, Exhibit A and I silently agreeing that none of us particularly fancied reading our piece straight after Ashley Lister, who brought the house down with his utterly fucking filthy poetry.
  • “My Inner God does a dad dance to the Foo Fighters’ Learn to Fly, tying with “Publishing is the rectal exam of writing.” for quote of the conference.
  • Girl on the Net reading a piece she wrote especially for the occasion, a piece soaked with love and longing which made me a bit weepy
  • Exhibit A reading a piece which, quite frankly, made me wish I had a cold shower at hand.
  • Me, reading Kicking the Habit, my voice cracking up on the last paragraph because (as Ian Jade reminded me later) at the first Eroticon I couldn’t even muster up the courage to talk to Hazel Cushion from XCite and now I was here, reading in front of an audience of amazing friends and awe-inspiring peers.
  • Yeah, I cried, because it’s not Eroticon until Jillian Boyd cries. But they were tears of joy, truly.

As we retreated once more to the Radisson Blu bar, none of us particularly wanting to actually go home, I felt lots of things. Inspiration. Happiness. Sadness, because it was over, but happiness again because the end is where we begin again. Eroticon 2015 might be over, but now it’s our turn to put into work what we learned. Our turn to pay it forward, as Exhibit A said in his amazing post.

Should you come to Eroticon 2016? Yes. A thousand times yes. Be you sex blogger, erotica writer, sex educator, sex toy company, sex positive hanger-on, publisher – you are welcome and you are wanted. Start saving now. Get in touch with Ruby to see how you can help sponsor the conference. Come and meet your peers, make new friends, learn new things, experience those moments that’ll make you feel alive with inspiration.

Come next year and join in with an experience that will make you want to keep coming back for more. Because you’re going to want to, and that’s what makes Eroticon so brilliant.

A thousand thank you’s to The Boss of Eroticon, Ruby Kiddell. I owe you and the conference a heck of a lot, and I am so, so grateful you brought it into existence. You are a Star, capital S. And yes, I will come over and visit you and Imp at some point later in the year, promise.

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Eroticon 2015 ahoy-hoys

Quite.
Quite.

About eight months ago, I was standing in Primark, looking at a really nice leather-look dress. The first thought that crossed my mind was: “Ooh, that would be nice for Eroticon 2015… ah, but that’s eons away though.”

Eight months go by quite fast though – eons away has now turned into next fucking week, OH MY GOD. And this is me doing the now traditional Eroticon meet and greet questionnaire, put together this year by Molly “Molly’s Daily Kiss” Moore.

If you’re new to Eroticon, this is just a little way of introducing yourself to the other delegates and speakers before meeting each other in real life. That way, putting a face to the name will be easy peasy.

NAME (and Twitter name if you have one)

Jillian Boyd, found at @JillyBoyd on the Twitters. I answer to Jillian, Jilly and OI, BOYD!

Is this your first time at Eroticon? If yes, what is your favourite memory from a previous Eroticon and if no, what are you most looking forward to at Eroticon 2015?

This will be my fourth time at Eroticon, actually. Like Molly mentioned in her answers, I have a few favourite memories: meeting Lady Pandorah for the first time at the first edition,  dinner with her, Blacksilk, ILB and Emma Whispers at the 2013 edition, getting to meet Rachel Kramer Bussel at Eroticon 2013 (and, for that matter, still being in touch with her to this day), Judith and Mirren’s session at last year’s Eroticon, meeting Exhibit A and Girl on the Net last year… the list is quite long.

Having said that, one memory that stands out is the hen party staying at our hotel last year – when asked by them why we were here, ILB told them point blank that we were sex writers here for a conference and they didn’t believe him. It was kind of hilarious. I am kind of hoping something simliar happens at Eroticon 2015, just for the lolz.

Which 3 sessions have you already earmarked as definitely going to?

Girl on the Net’s session, Zak Jane Keir’s session and Janine Ashbless’s session.

What drink will you be ordering at the bar on the Saturday night?

That’s a good question, considering I don’t drink alcohol. Diet Pepsi or a lemonade, probably.

If you wrote an autobiography what would it be called?

The Life and Loves of an Accidental, Accented, Accident-Prone Londoner.

Where are you writing this post and what 5 things can you see around you (not including the device you are writing on)?

I’m writing this post from our bedroom, and five things I can see around me are a bag of roast beef Monster Munch, several balls of yarn, a guitar in a case, my bath robe and my mobile phone

And the last one… If you could go out to dinner with any 5 sex bloggers or erotic writers, regardless of whether they are coming to Eroticon or not who would they be?

Oh, see, that’s hard. That’s really hard. I’m going to start by saying ILB would of course be a given at any time, and that if I could, I would definitely be up for a repeat of our bloggers dinner at Eroticon 2013 (me, ILB, Lady Pandorah, Blacksilk and Emma).

Right. If we’re talking about bloggers – Horny Geek Girl, Charlie Powell (who is also a pretty fucking talented erotica writer), Exhibit A (same goes for him), Anna Sky (and same again, here) and Girl on the Net.

If we’re talking about erotica writers: Malin James, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Tamsin Flowers, Oleander Plume and Jade A. Waters.

You can check out who else is coming through Molly’s handy link page. The countdown has firmly begun, I should think. See you all at Eroticon 2015!

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8 tips for making the most out of Eroticon 2015

You may have heard of Eroticon, the sex blogging and erotica writing conference organized yearly by the amazing Ruby Kiddell. Well, I’m saying *may*… there’s a pretty good chance you’ve not only heard of it, you’ve also been.

Eroticon was first held in 2012, after being a glint in Ruby’s eye for quite some time. This August sees its fourth UK edition (fifth overall, counting Eroticon USA) and, as well as people who have now become regular delegates (and even regular speakers) there are also, as always, some people who haven’t been yet.

If this is you, then, hi there! Hopefully, you’re not too nervous – and there’s not a lot to be nervous about, really. But just in case, I’ve got some tips for you, to make the best out of your Eroticon 2015 experience.

1) Come to the pre-conference meet and greet on Friday evening

If you’re in Bristol from Friday evening, the meet and greet at the Radisson Blu is a good, informal way of relaxing into the atmosphere of the conference. Come and mingle with newbies and veterans alike, have a chat, get to know new people and know that you’re welcome here.

2) Bring a notebook and a pen (or two)

Speaks for itself, because you’ll want to take notes during the sessions. Some speakers might have notes to hand out afterwards, so if this is the case and you didn’t catch everthing, don’t be afraid to ask if they have.

Bonus tip: when you’re making notes, don’t try and write out full sentences. Instead, bullet points and short sentences are your friend.

3) Having a cup of coffee/tea/bottle of Pepsi to hand takes the edge off networking

This is a personal preference of mine, so it might not work for you. Nevertheless, if you feel a bit nervous about this whole networking thing, try getting a cup of coffee/tea or a drink and doing the rounds with it in your hand. It will keep you from fidgeting too much, and you can always put it down to give someone your business card/email address/anything.

4) Use your conference programme

And by that, I mean that the conference programme will have a summary of not only the sessions going on, but where they are taking place. Tick the ones you want to attend so you know where you need to be for those particular sessions. The conference venue is pretty straightforward, so you won’t have a hard time finding the rooms.

5) Find someone who has done this before

As I mentioned, there will be plenty of people in attendance who have been to Eroticon before. If you’re not sure about what to do, where to go or who to talk to, try finding someone who has been before to help you along. Always with their consent, of course.

6) Wear what you’re comfortable in

Keep in mind that we’re in shared venues, but overall, wear what you feel comfortable in. Sneakers, jeans, t-shirt? Go for it (I will!)

My personal tip is to wear comfortable shoes during the conference (and maybe even during the meet and greet) and, if you’re coming to the cocktails on Saturday, go all out and put your gladrags on.

7) Follow up on the contacts you’ve made

Whether they be fellow bloggers/writers you like, people who would like to help you with anything/collaborate with you or just people you want to hear more of. Give them a Twitter follow. Read their blog. Find a couple of their books. Email them and remind them of who you are and why you’d like to work with them.

8) Remember to have some decompression time if needed

Go for a smoke if you smoke, get some air if you don’t, go for a short walk, go for a post-day-1 lie-down, go for a nose around Bristol after the last session of the day. Options are endless. Self-care is important, so if you feel like you need a bit of you time, take it.

And most of all, know that none of us bite (unless asked to, of course). Eroticon is a safe and non-judgemental conference, and the things you learn about writing (both erotic fiction and non-fiction sex writing) are things that will genuinely help you on the way. The friendships, the community spirit, the creative kick-up-the-arse, the sharing of knowledge, the atmosphere… there’s a lot of potential awesomeness just waiting to happen.

 

If any of my lovely readers who have attended Eroticon in the past want to add some tips, feel free to leave them in the comments. And, yeah… see you on the 1st of August (or the 31st of July, really).

 

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Eroticon 2014 – Thank You Notes

“If censorship is the answer, it was a bloody stupid question”

– Zak Jane Keir

I have to admit that, as I boarded the Bristol-bound train on Friday afternoon, I was a bit trepidatious about the weekend ahead. If only because after the rather duff year I’d just put behind me, I didn’t think I’d be up for socializing that much.

Gosh, how bloody wrong was I? Turns out, I needed it.

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Eroticon Mark III – My Quick and Dirty Meet and Greet

Good grief, how time flies. In just five weeks, Eroticon 2014 is a thing that is happening. Clearly, it’s time for the annual delegates/speakers Meet And Greet post, which follows NOW.

What’s your name?
Jillian “Jilly” Boyd. Hi there.

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2014?
Seeing my awesome gang again (because it’s been too bloody long) , hobnobbing with my lovely author friends, learning new things and being out of London for the weekend.
What are you most nervous of about Eroticon 2014?

I’d like to pretend that I’m a seasoned vet by now (as it’s my third time), and have no nerves considering any of it, but I’m just really fucking nervous about the logistics – getting there on time, checking in, and that. Oh, and I’m nervous about getting a cold in the run up to the weekend, as that’s exactly what happened last year!

What do you hope to get from Eroticon 2014?

On a professional level, I hope to come away with lots of new writing inspiration and a little bit of a boost for my work. On a personal level, I just want a lot of hugs from friends.

What is your bad erotica writer’s pen name?

Orangezina Zoneout, which sounds like the most awesome type of cough medicine side effect.

Whats-your-bad-erotica-writers-name-1024x682

Have a little peruse through the other introductions on the Write Sex Right website. And maybe I’ll see you there?

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Open. Shit. Up. – The Eroticon Diaries – Trois

So put another record on
Play it on repeat
Nothing really matters when we’re dancing
All you ever have to know, is what you do to me
And everytime we come this close, my heart skips, skips a beat

*Olly Murs ft. Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat*
Day two started with Ruby opening. She had prepared a talk titled “I’m In Love With Henry DeTamble”, referring to the lead character from The Time Traveller’s Wife. With her usual hesitant passion, she told us about how this book was completely impossible in real life, but worked because the characters were so strong. Story and characters need to be believable because otherwise the readers won’t be interested in what you’ve written. No-one is taking risks, pushing boundaries, because traditional presses seem quite conservative with erotica and don’t like to be challenged. It’s about carving out a niche and developing a voice. We as bloggers should be proud and push boundaries. Be different.
All I have to say about that is FUCK YES. That seemed to be the theme of the day, things that made me say FUCK YES.
And thus, the sessions.
Anthologies Panel – With Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Lucy Felthouse, Victoria Blisse
The first panel was the one at the top of my list, because it included four of the people I admire in the business. It was an excellent panel, proving a good insight into the different things editors tend to go for. I was especially amused by Maxim’s insistence on having his manuscripts sent to him by post, but I can absolutely understand that reading over a thousand submissions on a computer is not the most pleasant way to spend a month.
Anyway, I learned a lot from this panel. And if you want to try your hand at submitting fiction, check out the ERWA (Erotica Readers And Writers Association) website. Nearly all calls for submissions are up there. Otherwise, hunt on Facebook, Twitter and even Fetlife for something that might suit you. I’d add keeping an eye on several editors’ Twitter feeds, because they usually post their calls on there too.
Finessing Sex – KD Grace
Again, one of those people I am enormously biased about. I met KD at last year’s inaugural edition of Eroticon and since then, we’ve kept running into each other. Last October, I attended a reading at Sh!, where she was reading from her Lakeland Heatwave series. I had brushed up on my KD a bit, having read her insanely and weirdly hot story Vegging in BWE 2010 (seriously, the things you can do with a carrot) but that night, the woman herself got me on the edge of my seat, trying to control my libido as she read from Riding the Ether.
Yeah, I’m a fangirl.
So naturally, I attended KD’s session and, again, I learned an awful lot that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else. She challenged us to write a ten minute ficlet, the results of which I posted earlier in the day. It made me do the one thing I didn’t even dream about doing in my writing (other than resurrect Red) and that was to resurrect Elin and Jase from the Little Stories series. I gave them a quick make-over and let them “create chaos” (as KD said) and the result made me very very proud. I see KD as a sort of mentor (although we rarely meet). Through her books, I learn a lot about my own writing, and to learn from her own words was a joy.
Porn Challenge – Justin Hancock
If you’ve never met Justin before, he is instantaneously noticeable by the size of his beard. He’s also a pretty damn cool dude who knows a thing or two about sex education. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s the brains behind BishUK, a sex ed site for the under 25’s. I’m obliged (not really) to say that he’s got a book out soon, so go and get it when it’s out or he will eat yoooooo. (also not really).
It was a change in format of sessions, because this one had us sit in groups, brainstorming on how to make porn more inclusive. Our group ended up drawing out the story of a paraplegic man, sitting in bed, having his friends have sex in front of him. It also involved a male nurse giving out meds and a pizza guy who delivers pizza.
Yeah.
Storytelling And Sex – Alison Robert (Brook), Justin Hancock (Bish), Emily Dubberley (Cliterati)
Another brainstorming session, this time about how to include a positive, pleasure-focussed message in our writing. I must admit that I keep forgetting to do that, so I will keep it in mind in the future. This session was also notable for two things. One was the creation of the “Imagine There’s No Penetration” meme and two was me finally getting to meet Emily Dubberley, who I’ve been working with for a while.
The main message in this session was to keep sex real. Write the good, the bad and the ugly bits and don’t gloss over things. Do research, challenge oppression. Yeah, I like that.
Sex And The Media Panel – Zoe Margolis, Nichi Hodgson
Sex and The Media was without a doubt one of the best sessions at last year’s edition, so I was keen to see what this year would bring. I love Zoe and Nichi, so I wanted to know from them what was going on in British media. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most positive of sessions. Last year’s edition benefited from having more people on the panel, and although Zoe and Nichi are wonderful women in their own right, I wish they could have presented us with a more optimistic and less biased view of what we can do to challenge the perspective of the media. Having said that, lots of things were learned.
On a sidenote, I would love for this panel to keep coming back every edition. But I would like a more varied selection of speakers next year. Maybe someone working in the media, so we can get a lively discussion going?
Closing Plenary – Cindy Gallop
Cindy Gallop joined us live from her Black Apartment (which, do invite us all for a sleepover, plz) via Google Hangouts. She was a wonderful, natural speaker and ideal to lead us out. Also, I had no fucking clue she was British.
She talked about the power of the written word, how we should challenge the norm in business today and write our own business plan because there is no one way to do it. Shared values plus shared action is shared profits (or did I get this wrong?)
Open Shit Up (which appeared to be the message of the day) was her advice. And I am going to. I am going to blow shit up.
But please to let me recover from this weekend first?
All in all, Eroticon 2013 was a mind-blowing experience. Between this and last year’s edition, I feel like I’ve seen the light. I feel like bits of the old me are getting chipped off and I’m turning into a new person.
Thank you Ruby. Thank you thank you thank you. For everything.
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Bassline Junkie – The Eroticon Diaries – Deux

I don’t need no speed, no
I don’t need no heroin, no thanks
I don’t want no coke
You can keep your ketamine
I’m a bassline junkie, what?

*Dizzee Rascal – Bassline Junkie*

Welcome to day one of Eroticon 2013, or day two for the people who attended the little shindig at the Novotel the previous night. This included ILB and I, of course.

We arrived at Waterloo early, and therefore arrived at the venue way too early. As we stood outside, while the preparations inside blazed on, more people joined us. Rebel, wearing possibly the shortest skirt and highest heels known to man, tottered into view along with her husband. We were soon joined by Rose, Ian and a bunch of other people. At one point, the sight of about seven or eight erotica writing mavens (lead expertly by Lucy Felthouse and Victoria Blisse) arriving at the same time had me in internal giggles. The fact that all of them promptly left again to go get food at the nearest Costa was equally funny.

Eventually, we were allowed in and were fitted with our shag bags (gift bags for the smuttily inclined) and badges. Immediately there was a reason for a small panic in regards to ILB’s badge, but he found a very clever way to solve the mistake made. Still…

As we mass-attacked the coffee and tea, people started to flood in. Hugs were handed out, business cards were at the ready.

Eventually, it was time for the opening plenary, for which we filed into the Max Nasatyr (or as Kristina Lloyd dubbed it, the “Max Nasty”) room.

Opening plenary – Brook/FPA- XES- We Can’t Go Backwards

After Ruby’s housekeeping announcements, it was time for the opening to our conference. We were introduced to the XES – We Can’t Go Backwards campaign, which you can read about on the Brook website.

It’s a very noble cause, and I urge you to contribute in any way you can (I’ve asked Alison from Brook if I could possibly become a volunteer, and I was told they are needed). But it was a very heavy way to open a conference about writing sex. Still, very good cause and we need to help make the change Brook and FPA are striving for, lest we indeed go totally backwards.

Creative Writing 1 – Kristina Lloyd

Now this lady, I like.

I am embarrassed to admit that, although I know of Kristina and have the infamous Asking For Trouble in my book collection, I have never read a spat of what she has written. That didn’t stop me from admiring her hugely and therefore, I was keen to hear what she would bring to the table in her session.

I am pleased to say I did not have a disappoint.

In the run up to Eroticon, I noticed a tweet from her saying that “her sex machine” was ready to go. And indeed it was, her sex machine being an Excel spreadsheet, with blocks in many different colours. We were asked to fill in each block with various things that made no sense at first. Example.

Name four things that sparkle –

  • Glitter
  • Musical theatre
  • Diamanté
  • Ballroom dresses

Yes, this is where my head went.

But it was incredibly helpful and inspiring, weirdly enough. Kristina covered a lot in her 45 minutes and I left with a renewed zest for the written word. And, by my side, an ILB who has promised to write more erotic fiction. I think that’s a big tick, non?

Editing/Let’s Eat, Pussy – Cressida Downing

Upon arriving in the room, we were presented with THIS THING THAT CAN NOT BE UNSEEN.

eatingkitty

It set the tone for one of the most hilarious sessions I attended, as Cressida explained the what’s and what-nots of editing your work. Interspersed with some choice… ehm… yeah, snippets of godawful erotica, she elaborated on the mistakes, the forms of editing and what you need to think about when you’re writing. Cressida was amazing, full of natural dry wit (my favourite, don’t cha know) and love for her profession. When I ran into her later on, she seemed absolutely lovely, despite being stricken by a lurgy (as were most of the delegates, it seems). Very awesome session, this.

Creative Writing – Eroticism and Romanticism- Remittance Girl

Holy hellfire was this ever a session to make you think. RG had A LOT to say and it was hard to take it all in at first, but having had a few days to let it simmer (and the advantage of having her own notes to look over) I have to say that it all made sense in that way that RG makes things make sense. The first time I met her, she took me out to Pizza Express, down the road from my hostel. I came away from that night with a wisdom that isn’t much bestowed on someone who was that green behind the ears at the time.

Same here. Although I don’t always agree with what she says, her presentation made me want to insert slivers of transgression into my work. I’d like to be a bit more edgy in my writing, although not as edgy as RG and her peers are. This helped. A lot.

Pitching To Publishers – Hazel Cushion

I have to say that I kinda wish they had invited more representatives from different publishers to be present at this session. Not that Hazel isn’t a capable speaker (she totally is), but I would have liked to have gotten more points of view. My own editor was in the audience, sitting right behind me, and I would have loved to have heard her points of view.

Having said that, I loved this session. Hazel is incredibly funny and knows what her company wants. She explained the absolute no-no’s of sending in a manuscript, what Xcite is looking for and how fast the story needs to take the editor in if you want it to be chosen.

Erotic Podcasting – Sam Sparrow and Lea Rice (The High Tea Cast)

Okay.

I am absolutely biased to the tits about these girls (I LOVE THEM), so I will keep it short. It was a very lively and colourful session, and made me want to get experimenting with audio. Also, it made me never want to go to The Hummingbird Bakery again. Also, lollipops!

After the last session, Ruby closed us off by talking about how sex bloggers should grow up with our blogs. And I can’t agree more.

Later in the evening, the readings we missed out on last year would take place at a bar in Kennington. But between this and that, there was my personal highlight of the whole shebang.

Dinner with the gang.

Lady Pandorah, ILB, Blacksilk, me and Emma Whispers, sat at a table in a hotel, eating and shooting the shit, realizing full well that we don’t get to see each other often and that the next time we see each other as the full group could be months away. It made me wistful, and later in the night, during the readings (titled Aural Sex, which is ace) I had a very funny turn, which caused me oodles of horror in my head. Nevertheless, the readings were ace. KD Grace taught us that sex on a Harley is perfectly do-able, Ashley Lister Sr. (because there were two) regaled us with anecdotes about swinging and blow up dolls, Janine Ashbless made troll sex less icky and Kristina Lloyd made anal the new black.

Thus ended day one.

Part three tomorrow.

 

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