When Jenny Guerin looked at me and said, "They can follow our trail of sass," I knew I'd found one of my people at Eroticon. Why I didn't find her until Sunday, I'll never know. From that moment to the conversation about squirting we had over lunch (yes, this is what people who write about sex talk about), we were pretty well bonded. So when she told us all about her idea to share the things we got (and brought home) from Eroticon, I was in.
People who write about sex in any form aren't a monolithic group. We come from different backgrounds and perspectives. We tackle different topics - and share our unique take on them. So don't think for one second this was all there was to bring back. But until the podcast episode where I talk about it in more detail, here are ten things I took home from Eroticon.
A New Tribe
I've long considered the kinksters who listen to the podcast and comment on the blog a tribe of mine. But writing is an exercise in isolation. From the moment I arrived in rainy London, I discovered a new tribe. These were people who have the same fears and anxieties I have, who often hide their identities from the world, and who have no problem using words like "cunt" or "cock" or "squirting" in a conversation. In short, going to Eroticon was like going home.
Would I write or podcast even if people said I sucked at it? I think so. Part of the reason I do it is from the pure joy of sharing the thoughts in my head - smutty or otherwise. But I want to get better at what I do - and so do more than 130 other bloggers/writers/creators, too. Being at Eroticon reminded me that we're all grinding away at this in our own way. We're all legitimate writers - no matter the size of our audience.
We all do this differently. There is no one right way to be a blogger or writer. There is no one right style. There is no one right topic. Girl on the Net said it best (and most of us quoted her throughout the weekend): No one does what you do quite like you. I wasn't the best writer in the room, but I didn't have to be. What I do works for me and for the people who continue to show up and read, that's all that matters.
A New Outlook
Eroticon proved that I can do the hard things. The scary things. I stood up in front of people and read my own work out loud (knees trembling the entire time). I traveled to a different country for the first time by myself. I talked to people I didn't know. I shared experiences. And I was an absolute mess inside. Most of us were. But the difficult things can be done. In fact, they usually should be done.
My Own Weapon of Ass Destruction
In a wonderful workshop by KinkCraft, I made my own cane. I cannot adequately describe how John Brownstone's eyes lit up when he saw it. It's sitting next to the bed so he can reach over and whack me on the ass with it whenever he pleases. And, by the way, Andrew and Pixie from KinkCraft are woooooonderful!
English Chocolate (!!!)
Horny Geek Girl - a lovely person and blogger - generously divvies out English chocolate to her American friends knowing we can't get the same things at home. Upon meeting me, she immediately included me in that honored group. (It helps that we've long bonded over our love of purple, I think.) So. Much. Chocolate. And from such a sweet woman.
From the Tenga Egg for handjob fun from Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium (because what trip isn't complete without a visit to a sex toy store?) to the beautiful ceramic dildo from Ceramic Pleasures (a vendor/sponsor of Eroticon), I came home with so many sex toys. Did I mention the cane?! Ouch! But he loves it.
So Many Ideas
I feel a little guilty that I didn't come home with more blog topic ideas like many of my friends did. At a kink event, I probably would. Instead, especially after great conversations with Molly and Michael (people who went from being great online friends to amazing real life friends in less than a second), I've got ideas for improving my website, taking the next step with the podcast, and how to give back to the writing/blogging community.
A Plan for Next Year
By the time I hit the Boston airport (the last layover before heading home), I knew I wanted John Brownstone with me next year. Not just because my anxiety would be minimized or that I'd be MUCH more relaxed (my new friends should worry/anticipate with glee about what that might mean). But also because I wanted him to experience what I'd felt, seen, and heard. A few text messages to my mom, and childcare has been taken care of for Eroticon 2018. Now I just have to earn/save enough to afford it.
F. Leonora got me lost in the rain and we just laughed because we're soul sisters. Mister Gryphon let me stroke his beard. Coffee and Kink giggled with me on the tube until we scared the Londoners. Exhibit A and his wonderful Livvy give the beeeeeest hugs. Anna Sky made me feel like a real writer (and coming from an editor and publisher, that's pretty good). And that only covers maybe 10 minutes of the entire trip. Did I mention Jenny, Horny Geek Girl, Molly, Michael, and...SO many others?!
So what did I bring back from Eroticon? A burning need to go back. A longing to contribute to this community in a more meaningful way. And above all, a sense of urgency to help other writers and bloggers realize they really can make this trip (even with all the mean thoughts in their head telling them they can't) and they will get something out of it if they attend.
Want to know what other people got from it? Check out Jenny's post-Eroticon blogging meme.
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday where, in honor of Eroticon, the prompt is "Meetings." This trip has been life changing for me - I've been back a short time, and I can already tell. Hell, I could tell I was different when I arrived simply because I chose to make the journey.