Eroticon 2017 Ten Things I Took home

Post Event Write-Up

Three or so weeks ago I wrote a virtual meet and greet post prior to attending Eroticon 2017. The event has now occurred and I had such a great time. You may be thinking how great could it be if you’ve waited so long to write about it but this is due to a combination of being struck down with proper flu the day I got home. It hit me really hard and for the first 5 days I could barely even sit up, I am still recovering, having to take things a bit easier, and rest between jobs. Once I started feeling better my brain finally clicked on and I started processing the weekend I’d had.

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Eroticon 2017

It was such a busy weekend, and there were so many great sessions to choose from. I often found myself wishing I had a time turner so I could hit multiple talks at the same time.

The lovely Jenny from WrittenbyJenny, who I only managed to meet very briefly, started a Meme and I knew I wanted to join in.

Ten Things I Took Home From Eroticon

  1.  Lots of Swag – Including a new Hot Octopuss T-shirt, a Mug and notebook from Fuck.com, and a Godemiche butt plug fridge magnet. Eroticon 2017
  2. Friendships – quite a few new acquaintances who already feel like friends. It was really amazing to meet some of the American bloggers in person. It made them feel closer, and I think it was a good way of making connections. Also getting to see people I hadn’t seen in a year or more. It was lovely to be able to catch up with friends.
  3. Reminder – Being a writer, and working freelance can often feel like you’re alone. Eroticon 2017 was a great reminder that we’re not alone. We have people. It was lovely to be able to sit down and have a discussion about my work without worrying that people would be shocked or offended because I said cock or cunt.
  4. Sense of Community – In the past twelve months I have commented a few times on how much I’ve felt like the great sense of community that was always present had started disappearing; discussions seemed to be getting mean, and there felt like the community was divided. Eroticon brought us all together; it was very much a welcoming and supportive environment, that tried its best to be as inclusive as possible.
  5. Items to Review – I was lucky enough to receive three items from Eroticon 2017 sponsors for me to review; a HIV home-test kit from Freedoms Shop, The Pocket Rabbit clit vibe from The Rabbit Company, and a gorgeous twisty twirly ceramic dildo from Ceramic Pleasures. Reviews coming soon. I also took this opportunity to get some help from the lovely Pixie at Kinkcraft, to help me with the handles of the large flogger I have been attempting to make for months.
  6. Ideas and Inspiration – I saw so many great talks. They gave me ideas not just for things to write but for other things I can do. Lots of ideas for places to find inspiration. I got ideas for stories, articles, blog posts, and so much more. Eroticon 2017 gave me a real motivational boost.
  7. Fun – I spent Friday playing tour guide and introduced the lovely Kayla Lords, Coffee and Kink, and FDotLeonora to the wonder of the Sh!Women store. On Saturday I was allowed to borrow Elvis, the Sheets of San Francisco bear and I had a great time taking him around and photographing him with all the products from the sponsors. He also got coffee with me on Sunday morning. eroticon 2017
  8. Self-awareness – I proved to myself that even when I am anxious I can put other people first, and make people feel at ease. I always worry that I don’t manage to not so much hide my anxiety as keep a grip on it, and that it can affect how I connect with people. Other than a slight overshare due to anxious outpouring on Monday I think I did really well at connecting and not being too awkward…..well I hope I did.
  9. Realisation – I met and spoke to people I’d only known of online. People who I have looked up to almost since I started, people who I have had disagreements with online, people who I have been scared to confront online because I see them as somehow  higher up……but you know what they were people, they were really lovely people. It has made me realise that when I am interacting online and something upsets me I need to speak out but do it with the realisation that what was said probably wasn’t in any way intended to upset me, and was just a different way of looking at things. We don’t always have to agree, we just need to remember we are all people, and we do have a good community.
  10. Confidence – Two sessions I saw really boosted my confidence. GirlontheNet‘s session on pitching where she reminded us that we are all unique. You could give five bloggers the same topic and you would end up with five very different articles because we are all a special mixture of our experiences. The other was FormidableFemme‘s session on Sex Blogging as Feminism and Social Justice. I sometimes write posts that I consider more political feminist posts, and they do well when I do but Sarah made me realise that everything about my blog fits in with this.  These two mantras is now on the wall above my desk:

“No one does what you do quite like you” (GirlontheNet)
Sex Blogging is a feminist act; feminism is inclusive and it is active. (FormidableFemme)

I had a really fantastic time at Eroticon 2017, and I can’t wait to go back next year. Huge thanks to my sponsors who made it possible for me to attend. Please do visit their websites and show them some love.

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Eroticon 2017 – Virtual Meet and Greet

Pre-Event Write Up

It’s less than two weeks until Eroticon 2017; my hotel is booked, I’ve planned the sessions I want to see, my case is packed, and I am getting excited. I’m really looking forward to Eroticon, seeing people I haven’t seen in a few years, and meeting lots of new people. It’s going to be great.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who very generously donated to my GoFundMe, to help cover my travel and accommodation costs. It is very much appreciated.

A special thank you to Mark at SheetsofSanFrancisco and Paulita at Lustery for their sponsorship. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to attend Eroticon 2017. Please do visit their websites and show them some love.

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There is an actual meet and greet planned for the Friday evening but in the meantime, the lovely Molly (of Molly’sDailyKiss) has prepared a virtual Meet and Greet that people can take part in.

Eroticon 2017

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)

Cheryl Kaye, also known as HornyGeekGirl.

What are you hoping to get out of Eroticon 2017?

To meet people, and learn some new things. I love learning so for me that’s what this is about. Learning new things.

This years schedule at Eroticon is pretty full on but which 4 sessions do you already have marked down as ones you want to attend?

  • Sex Blogging as Feminism and Social Justice: Sarah Brynn Holliday – exploring the numerous ways writing and blogging about sex is truly social justice in practice.
  • Pitching 101: learn to sell your ideas: Girl on the Net – will go through what makes a successful pitch.
  • How to use your blog to educate : Emmeline Peaches, Formidable Femme, Hot Octopuss – discuss the ways in which blogging can help spread the word about issues relating to sexual health.
  • Conflict Resolution in the “Call Out” Era – War Stories from the Internet Trenches : Ruby Goodnight – examining how successful companies handle their social media conflicts in a constructive manner.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know?

I’m pretty much an open book. I share most things. Not sure what there is I haven’t shared. I unironically love 80s classic rock; Bon Jovi, Warrant, Aerosmith, etc. I love them all.

If you made the papers, what would the headline be?

Purple-Haired Hippy found dead surrounded by Sex Toys.

If you could have one skill for free (I.e. without practice/time/effort) what would it be?

Languages. Boring I know but I would love to be able to just pick up new languages. 🙂

Complete the sentence: I love it when…

things feel like they are working out. I don’t expect life to be easy but it’s nice when I don’t feel like I am just treading water.

 

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Eroticon Fundraising – Get Me To EroticonUK

Get Me To Writers’ Conference

Below is a link to my Eroticon Fundraising campaign. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do it but needs must.

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Eroticon Fundraising

I already have my ticket and I am very excited about attending Eroticon 2017. It’s the first event with a new management team in place, at a new venue, and I think it is going to be a great event.

Events like this can be invaluable to writers as we spend so much time working alone. They can be a great way to spark ideas, and get tips on ways to do things that might help spark inspiration.

I got my ticket months ago (when they first went on sale), and assumed I would be able to book my hotel in January but after a very rough few months work wise I am now struggling to find the money to book a hotel…..and by struggling I mean I have nothing. It is getting very close to time and I need to be booking something very soon. I also have anxiety issues to contend with so finding a hotel where I have my own space, and can go and relax when needed is going to be vital.

I found a budget hotel that is on the same tube line as the event venue, and also has a good nightbus service. It isn’t the nicest hotel ever but it is adequate for what I need, and it is reasonable cheap. The current saver rate is really good but I don’t know how long those prices will last for so it may be that I end up paying the full rate, which is still pretty good for a London hotel.

I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to try and raise the money I need to cover my travel and accommodation costs. If you can help by donating anything at all it will be greatly appreciated. Anything I can raise to help towards the costs will help.

Click to Donate Now!

Please share this post with your friends, etc. I really do need this help to get me to Eroticon.

Sexhibition 2016 – Manchester’s Erotic Event of the Year

Event Write-Up

Sexhibition 2016 was the Erotic Event of the year, held in Manchester. This year’s event took place at the prestigious Victoria Warehouse venue, from the 19th to the 21st of August.

Shows, performances, music, workshops & classes, cocktails & cuisine and a unique shopping experience. It’s a feast for all the senses in the opulent surroundings of the North’s most prestigious event and exhibition spaces. Sexhibition brings together elements of sex, erotica, burlesque and fetish, and combines it with live music, DJ sets, burlesque, cabaret, and performance art in an inclusive and sex positive environment. The ultimate in decadence and debauchery, Sexhibition is a fully immersive experience not to be missed.

Made up of a number of distinct yet complementary events allowing you to pick and choose a selection of activities, Sexhibition allows you to truly define your own bespoke experience.

Sexhibition 2016

sexhibition 2016

I honestly can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since I was at Sexhibition 2016 in Manchester. I have no idea where the time has gone.  This was the second year of Sexhibition, the first year had been a fun experience with a few minor teething troubles, mostly venue issues. Rather than addressing the issues from the previous year, the Sexhibition team decided to change the venue. Slightly annoying that they didn’t announce this until quite late (which meant I’d already booked a non-refundable hotel near the original location). Slightly frustrating but I hoped it would be for the best. If the new venue was better than event city, then it would be worth the travel time.

The Weekend

I arrived on the Friday, and went straight to check into my hotel and get my glad-rags on. I was attending the dinner and awards show, and due to the distance of my hotel I wouldn’t have time to go back and change, so I decided to spend the afternoon in my nice dress. After some slight issues with taxis, I arrived at the Victoria Warehouse. I stopped to collect my lanyard and Press Pass, and wandered off to find the entrance. I say wandered because it wasn’t obvious where I needed to be. They could have done with a few more signs to direct people. Not to mention a few more signs in general so people knew they were in the right place, from the outside it was hard to tell we were arriving at Sexhibition 2016.

I found my way inside, and headed to the bar, only to find they were operating a cashless system so I had to go back outside (in the rain) to buy some tokens. Drinks were expensive, more like London prices than Manchester, I was paying 2.5 tokens (£5) for a lager (bottle or pint). Needless to say I did not drink much at the venue.  I understand that one of the big problems the previous year had been people having to queue at the bar for up to an hour but that’s because that venue only had one or two bars, the new venue had four, six if you count the two in the hotel section. The tokens were not needed, and just made things more difficult.

Armed with my drink I went exploring. I meandered around the main floor, and headed upstairs. I wanted to say hi to a few companies I knew were attending but I got completely confused because I couldn’t find them. In the end I went back to the entrance and was given an A4 program (would it really have been so difficult to make it A5 so it fit in people’s bags or pockets more easily?) which contained vendor listings and a map. Looking at this map I realised I had missed out a big section because there was no signposting, or indication that there was anything in that section (apart from the toilets), even a big arrow painted on the floor would have caused me to walk in that direction.  Luckily I found everyone I wanted to speak to, and managed to chat more than once over the weekend.

The first show I saw was Alix Fox‘s Tip-A-De-DooDah, this was the introductory show held on the main stage on Friday evening.  This was a great and fun interactive information session. People joining in were having lots of fun, and really enjoying taking part. It was held on the main stage and seemed to get good foot traffic from people wandering the stands and deciding to stop to watch. After the show I had another good look around, making sure to check all the nooks and crannies to be certain I hadn’t missed any stands.

After this I headed over to the hotel so I could check out the dinner and awards show. I was supposed to have tickets for the dinner but due to a few security mix ups I ended up missing the dinner. After that I stayed for a short while, chatting to friends in the bar before deciding to head back to my hotel so I could have eat…..and got stuck in football traffic. At least next year I will be able to book the hotel close to the venue so even if it does fall on a match day I can easily walk back to my hotel with no worries about traffic.

The only downside to being so thorough in my Sexhibition 2016 walk-around on Friday (I had a few hours to kill before the awards) was I had no idea what I was going to do all day Saturday, there were a few talks I’d have liked to see but it was throwing it down and I really didn’t want to walk over to the hotel (and get wet through) to see them. So I went over to see Mark on the SheetsofSF stand, I figured at least he had somewhere comfy to sit. lol. Turned out he needed an extra hand due to one of his staff having a personal issue, so I happily stuck around. I had so much fun. It really made it a great weekend for me. I still got chance to go and talk to vendors, and in between I had a place to hang out. Also got to spend time with Jacqui and we were chatting up a storm, she is a fabulous lady who I am really glad I got to meet, and am looking forward to seeing again.

All About the People

It was great to say hi to people; some of whom I hadn’t seen since ETO, some I’d only talked to online before, and some completely new. For me it is the people I meet and talk to who make weekends like Sexhibition 2016 worth attending.  I spoke to a number of vendors over the weekend:

  • Kinkcraft – Always lovely to see (and chat to) Pixie, Andrew, and Kate. Unusually their stand was fairly quiet but this was great for me as it meant we could have a nice long chat.
  • The Bondage Man – I see these lovely people at the BBB every month. But I had been saving to make a purchase and I bought one of their fabulous wax play kits and a gorgeous wooden wax scraping knife. It was nice to get to chat to them, and find out their thoughts on the event.
  • SmutUK – I don’t often get to see Victoria and Kevin, the team behind Smut UK so it was nice to catch up and say hi. They had various authors doing readings over the weekend.
  • Kinky Monkey – Despite seeing this fabulous lady at the BBB every month I rarely get the chance to chat. Had a fabulous talk with her about different types of harnesses, and dildos, and how they differ in use. It was really great to be able discuss it with someone who is so knowledgeable.
  • Sheets of San Francisco – I spent most of Saturday hanging out with Mark and Jacqui, working on the SheetsofSF stand. I had so much fun chatting to people about easy messy sex clean up, and bouncing on the bed, while asking people to come and stroke our sheets.
  • KnickerRockerGlory – I’ve been talking to the lovely Ruby online for a while now, after a very brief meeting at ETO (think I managed to say hi) this was finally my chance to have a proper chat. It was lovely to be able to talk, and to meet Paul. I have to say they both looked fabulous in their matching KRG ‘bowling’ shirts.
  • The Kinksters – I missed their stand at ETO, so it was great to have the opportunity to play with their bath tub of Slube. I chatted to both Danny and Dave over the weekend, and they were lovely.
  • Yummy Gummy – I love Becky from Yummy Gummy, she is really lovely, very sweet, and just so enthusiastic. I chat to her at BBB every month, so it was really good to see her exhibiting here.
  • JedPhoenix – It was lovely to meet Jed and Polly while I was chatting on the Kinkcraft stand. I hadn’t seen them before but I LOVE their style and range. I will be watching them with interest.

I also chatted to lots of bloggers, writers, and members of the public. It was fantastic to see some people again, and to meet online friends in person for the first time, was also lovely to meet lots of new friends.

Overall

Despite there still being issues to work on for next year, and  my having concerns about the footfall (there really didn’t seem to be many people in attendance) I think Sexhibition 2016 was a great event. I’m looking forward to next year, and seeing how they can develop things.  I think it was more difficult for some vendors because of placement, and I think this would need to be addressed (maybe in terms of pricing for stands) before next year if Sexhibition are hoping to get people to come back. I spoke to more than a few vendors who were feeling a bit disillusioned with how things had been run. There was also a communication problem between organisers and venue staff which caused a few issues.  I really do think that many of these issues are just continued teething troubles, and as long as the organisers work to address them next year’s event will be bigger and better than ever.

*I was given a Press Pass for the event by the Sexhibition team in return for an honest and unbiased write-up.

 

ETO 2016 – Erotic Trade Only Show

Post Event Round-Up

In May I wrote a post about the upcoming ETO 2016. It happened a few weeks ago, and I am finally recovered. I arrived on the Saturday, and with Mel (of Voluptasse) got started getting the Blogspot stand set up for Sunday. Finishing off the blogger goody bags, putting up a few posters, and setting out the leaflet table. We also laid out everything for the grand prize draw so we could get some photos for social media before packing it safely away until Sunday.

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Once we were all set up, we went off to check into our hotel, and prepare ourselves for an evening of watching Football with some of the lovely ETO 2016 team, and Miles from Amazing O. Afterwards, we ended up in the hotel bar chatting to the lovely teams from Kink Craft and Sheets of San Francisco. It was great to finally meet some people in person properly, and to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen since last year.

ETO 2016

On Sunday we went over early to finish getting the blogspot stand ready to welcome people.

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We were laying out snacks and drinks, putting all the Prize Draw goodies back on display, and pulling up the advertising banners. We had ten minutes before the doors opened, so I had a quick wander round, to snap some photos and say hi to a few company reps. Managed to have a few words with Lulu from Rocks-Off, Randy from Swiss Navy (who kindly donated some of their new Arousal Lubricant for the blogger bags), William from Doxy, and said a quick hello to the lovely people from The Bondage Man.

For the next two days I barely left the Blogspot stand. I talked to so many people over the two days I actually lost my voice by Monday evening. It was great to see and chat to so many bloggers, writers, and industry friends:

Also managed to speak to a few company reps who stopped by to chat to us:

  • First was Miles from AmazingO who I had met the previous evening.
  • Adam and Monika from Godemiche they make the most amazing crazy-coloured silicone dildos
  • Emma from The Alternative Choice Boutique who I met when she was a manager at another sex toy store.
  • Lizzi from HypnOgasm who I’d met the previous evening.
  • Alison from Fornicari, a soon to be opened luxury sex shopping experience
  • Eva from Persian Palm, who make stunning ceramic glazed dildos
  • Max from The Raunchier Side who writes sensual love poems for greeting cards, bookmarks, etc

By the end of the day all I wanted to do was collapse into a warm bath and bed but I was lucky enough to have been invited to the awards show, so after a shower to wake me up I put on my finest dress, and off I went to enjoy the show.

The Awards Show

AmazingO had sponsored a bloggers table, and the evening promised to be lots of fun. With Miles on the table were myself, Mel, and her husband Kris, Dom StrapOn, Girl on the Net, Justin DeCerous, Dave from The Big Gay Review, Lola Sparkles, and Rebecca Dakin. We were quite a lively table especially when Girl on the Net won the award for Best Erotic Journalist. We were all so pleased for her. After the awards a band came on, and there was dancing, drinking, and mingling. Someone at our table decided Sambuca shots were needed and proceeded to buy multiple rounds. Conscious of the fact that I needed to be back on the Blogspot the next day I declined my share, passing them on to whoever would drink them.

ETO 2016

It was a fantastic night, and lots of fun.

Monday

I thought Monday might end up being a quieter day but I was wrong. It was another day where every time I decided to sit down for two minutes, someone came to chat. I must have looked like a demented jack-in-the-box, I was constantly up and down. It felt like both myself and Mel were talking to people non-stop.  I did manage to grab ten minutes towards the end of the day to have a quick wander round, I wanted to see a few people, and chat to some reps I was hoping to work with.

Monday also saw the drawing of the Blogspot Grand Prize, this selection of sex toys and treats was donated by retailers and distributors within the adult industry. The total value of the prize was over £2,200. The name was drawn from a jar on Monday afternoon, and the winner had to be present to collect the prize.

The lucky winner was new blogger, ScrewTaboo wasn’t planning to attend on Monday but because she’d enjoyed Sunday so much she changed her mind. She was thrilled with her prize which included a few items that she said she had been coveting for a while. She even had to visit the shopping outlet over the road to buy a suitcase that was big enough to get it all home.

Products

I realised when I came to write this that I didn’t get as much chance to wander around the ETO 2016 show as I would have liked, so I missed seeing lots of things. I was really hoping to speak to Andy and the team at the ElectraStim stand but just didn’t get chance. I was also hoping to see the bath tub of Slube that I heard so much about, this sounded fascinating and I really wish I’d managed to stop by. However, I did stop by the Doxy stand to take a look at their new range of Bullet vibes; mains powered and a rechargeable. They look so beautiful, and as you would expect from a Doxy they have a lot of power. I also came away with a Satisfyer Pro 2 thanks to Bradley at Creative Conceptions (review coming very soon), and Mark at SheetsofSanFrancisco very kindly gave me one of their printed sheets to review, I’m really looking forward to doing some wax play on it.

ETO 2016

 

Special Mentions

I want to take a moment to thank Cara. Despite not being in attendance she was a vital part of the Blogspot ETO 2016 stand, and did much of the background work; arranging sponsorship and advertising, getting prizes for the draw and items for the goody bags, marketing the blogspot, and designing the banners that were up on the stand. Without her the Blogspot would not have been the success it was, and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to participate.

I’d also like to (again) say a big thank you to Miles at AmazingO for sponsoring the Blogger table for the Awards. It really made my weekend, and I had a brilliant time.

And a HUGE thank you to everyone who visited and joined in with the Blogspot this year. You helped make it memorable.