This morning I sat at the gingham covered table of my best friend, K, and tried to explain what I loved about Eroticon. We’re friends through church and she is one of the very few who know of my alternative identity and she is cautiously interested by it and how it intersects with the me with whom she attends choir and autism coffee mornings. So, I told her all about my weekend.
|Attended... for now. Looking forward to next year ;-)|
As experienced first-hand last year and written about in blogs from Girl on the Net to Mrs Dutch Veronique, the company is wonderful and relaxed and friendly. Positive, not just sex positive. Trying to explain to K beforehand that my virtue was not in danger (unless I really wanted it to be) from a conference full of sex bloggers seemed tricky, because she walks most frequently in a world where if you talk about sex you are “other”…pick your least favourite derogatory word… but again Eroticon proved to be a wonderful blend of people being themselves, being comfortable in themselves, and extending this to those around them. All within the well supported framework provided by Molly, Michael and GOTN, which meant you could feel safe in your chosen persona, even if that was anonymous and needed to stay that way. I met up immediately with Rose, a friend met last year, and Marie (with GrandMaster T), a new friend from her generous words when I'd written to her Wicked Wednesday theme this year, to share a meal, and then off to the evening meet and greet. Which leads me neatly to my next joy…
|"You don't have to post pictures of your boobs" said Victoria Blisse in her "Shy Creatures" talk...|
Increased body confidence:
I am neither youthful nor slender… euphemisms aside I missed the gang-bang on my 40th (Kendra's fault that now reads "missed" and not "never considered") and require enough M&S undies to feel like I am already in a Vac bed most of the time. Actually, I quite like feeling the constraint, but anyhow… I come to London and leave aside my normal school-run life and strut in unfamiliar heels into the life of a blogger. This year I left my darker clothes behind and boldly stepped out in scarlet. On the Saturday, in case I was brave enough to join in with the final afternoon free-play, I came in comfortable dressed down clothes. Zoe caught my shoes that day for her #footwearoferoticon! Didn’t matter. None of it mattered. I love that age and size feel irrelevant in this company, not just because someone has said it doesn’t matter, but because it shows through every last bit of action. Bruises and marks are admired no matter the flesh on which they're drawn. Rope wound around a person is sexy because it is: because of how it feels to be bound, because of how it feels to bind. Watching Rose and Charlie and sex blog (of sorts) be spattered in wax from the safe hands of Volcanic Sparks (“Now, there is an interesting use of the word ‘safe’”, said K, given she’d read the bio's in the programme) was fascinating not just because of the sensuality of the wax, but the freedom of those receiving it.
(and if you missed them... try the anthology)
The generosity of skill-sharing:
Working out how to blog well is a marketable skill set, editors and legal advice even more so and yet here are professionals and amateurs (only in that it is not their main source of income) sharing their knowledge and experience in lectures yes, but also in the corridors, over lunch and in the pub. Handing out their emails and saying come and talk to me. The sharing of everything from your most successful moment to the bad advice you wished you’d never given. And then you come to…
|Just a little something I made at our crafting circle... thank you Kinkcraft, I will never see paracord the same way again|
Lovely, lovely sponsors. Personal favourite toys included Electrastim Wartenburg wheels and the Zumio, (last year’s demos meant I already had a Doxy and Ruby Glow for my birthday) but everything on the stalls was beautiful and inviting. The knowledge and practicality of the demonstrators was a massive selling point. Loved the variety of couples’ toys this year which, as I explained to K, was totally compatible with married life. She looked surprised, so I left her info to peruse when she didn’t have to hide looking more intrigued than embarrassed. Kinkcraft is an enigma. Making inventive and beautiful things in the calm circle of your favourite knitting group! Beyond what I felt was suitable to share with K, the idea of playtime is not unknown territory for me, but never in public. So, from the purposes of informing my writing, I loved watching people experiment with the Vacbed and Cube (see MPB's post Eroticon posts for photos) and spread out on the beautiful Sheets of San Francisco bed. And then… back to generosity, Michael and Molly and their toy bag. The way the room dropped to silence at the thwack of toy against willing victim. Not being afraid to say “I want to try…” was liberating. And the medical stapler that arrived courtesy of my quickest online retailer is also not something for sharing with my best friend… but I am hoping it might make a good Sinful Sunday shot soon (not such a shy creature after all!).
So, it’s not 10 things. Individually, it is hundreds of sights, sounds, ideas and friendships made… and there were still talks I didn’t make, people I missed connecting with and a nagging regret I didn’t try the wax play, since it’s something I like and would have been an interesting thing to do in public…