So my first Eroticon is over. I’m at home, eating plenty of buttered toast with Sub Bee’s homemade honey to fend off Con drop, and surrounded by swag. And I do mean surrounded- my bedside table is crowded with mugs, packets of lube, badges, tote bags, T- shirts and sex toys. (I am a womble by nature, and while I did try very hard not to take stuff that I didn’t need just because it was there, in the case of the Fetish.com tote bag with the sex toys on I snaffled a second one when it was offered because it SPARKED JOY).
I’m not sure the honeyed toast has worked; I’m feeling pretty flat and empty now it’s all over. In my Meet and Greet post I said I was going into #eroticon knowing that it could potentially be really difficult due to my current state of emotional health- and I wasn’t entirely incorrect on that, although not for the reasons I imagined.
New medication and having had enough time off work for my sleep patterns to be royally screwed meant I was knackered when I arrived in London, before the conference even started. Add to that sleeping in a strange bed and the unsettling effect of my roommate’s run- in with some hackers and the result was that I was running on near- empty for much of the weekend.
Predicting that Eroticon might be tough made it easier to deal with when it did in fact get tough. I didn’t need to beat myself up for not having the astonishingly awesome time I’d imagined I was going to have-the element of surprise wasn’t there. I’m really proud of myself for how I dealt with it: I just did what I needed to do in the moment, whether that was having a sleep and missing sessions or going to the Kinkcraft room to start weaving a set of Paracord cuffs that I had no chance of finishing, just so I could calm my brain via repetitive motor movement. Thank the pantheon of Fibre Gods for crafting!
But I think Eroticon might be the closest I ever get to the experience of childbirth: having waited a really long time for it, with an ever- growing degree of excitement, I packed a suitcase to brimming with all sorts of stuff to take with me, almost none of which I ended up using. Then in the end the whole affair was really quite exhausting and painful, there was some crying and shouting towards the end… but immediately after it was finished I was gushing about how amaaaazing was and wanting to do it all again as soon as humanly possible. And I went home with an exciting new bundle- even if in my case the bundle was a stash of promotional Tshirts, tote bags and vibrators, rather than a human baby.
So why then do I want to repeat the experience, even though it was at points tough as hell? Well, because for the first time I really felt what it’s like to be part of this supportive, consent-focused, completely sex- positive community, and that feeling was intoxicating. I saw people engaging with the sessions on Twitter with such enthusiasm, saw them boosting each other’s work and witnessed the strength of the connections that have been made between members of the community- an abundance of affection, acceptance and respect.
It is annoying that I was running at so much less than full power because it meant I was more reserved about introducing myself to people than I might be ordinarily. I am an introvert, but in social situations I’m usually quite a gregarious one, and I regret that I didn’t have the energy to start a lot of the conversations I wanted to. I really wanted to! But I would have been an absolute puddle by Saturday evening if I had done.
If I was a puddle having been there for two days as a delegate, I can’t imagine how the organisers Molly and Michael felt when it was done. They worked so hard to organise an event which felt like it went swimmingly, and whenever I saw them they were smiling. So many props to them for bringing together such a brilliant range of people in such lovely surroundings.
And the sponsors! I know I wouldn’t be able to afford a ticket without them. Big shouts out to Doxy, Lovegivr, Hot Octopuss, Ruby Glow, Temptation Holidays, Electrastim, Sheets of San Francisco, Chaturbate and Fetish.com. One of my favourite things about the weekend was going to all of the tables, having lovely chats with people about what they do, and occasionally being asked ‘so are you a sex blogger?’ To which of course my answer was yes, yes I am.
These are my general thoughts- having talked about the hard bits, I’ll be more specific about the things that made my Eroticon brilliant in part 2.