The first time I heard of an "Erotica" show I must have been about 13 or 14, a short segment having been played on L!VE TV's The Sex Show. Interestingly enough, the main thing I remembered about it was the name of the founder of the corporation - Savva Christodolou. The reason for this being, of course, that I had a Savva and a Christodolou in my school at the time, and would have bet ten to one that one of them would be claiming to their friends that he was their dad (although, to my knowledge, neither of them did, but then who would?). I didn't particularly imagine exactly what would have been at an Erotica, and indeed I forgot they were happening until about three years ago when I noticed the posters first appearing on the Tube. One of the things I could do when I started writing ILB, I reasoned, was to go to Erotica, and I then managed to miss Erotica 2008 and 2009 completely.
Wow, failure. No change there.
But, thanks to some gentle persuasion from the lovely Lady Pandorah and a need for something to do to drive away the incredible mundanity of my life, I dutifully booked tickets and, after an "interesting" journey across London during which I almost began to think we'd be stuck in a timeloop for ever, I finally walked across the threshold... into a sandwich bar. Oh, and then I went to Erotica.
Maxine told me at the last CCK social that Erotica was more like a market than anything else, and naturally I envisaged the one from Sex And The City 2, although thankfully it was nothing like that. Indeed, the majority of the hall was like a market, with stalls every-which-way advertising supposedly erotic goods (although most of them were clothing-based; I guess every market carries a common theme). There wasn't particularly anything for me there, as none of the stalls were selling softcore DVDs and I already have a bag of sex toys and lube ready for perusal and possible use, but it was really interesting to have a look around the goods available. I did buy a bag of fudge, a mixed juice and a decadent strawberries-in-the-chocolate-fondue mixture, so it wasn't a total loss for me. Oh, and I also got a kingfisher badge from the RSPB (yes, the real one), although they probably missed a trick not making a bigger deal of the fact that there's a bird called a swallow. Nevertheless, they managed to do the great tits joke, so credit to them for that.
TD was more fortunate, managing to get her hands (and all else) on a beautiful underbust corset (we split the cost; I was more than willing to see her wearing it), which was beautifully embroidered, but above all, made her tits look about three times bigger. Couldn't keep my eyes off her, of course, but then again, we were at Erotica. That's allowed, right? We also engaged in coupley activities such as, er, getting our shoes polished (both her leather boots and my vegan-friendly smart shoes got a good polishing, although I suspect the salesman may have been lying about the "you'll never need to polish them again" malarkey) and, uhm, pretending we had enough money to buy a £4999 adjustable bed with massage function (although, to be honest, that was an incredible experience, and it would most certainy help with the troubles I have with my back!). And people-watching. What better place to people-watch?
Undoubtedly the main person to watch, however, was the mind-meltingly sultry Dita Von Teese (find out where I've mentioned her before in any context and get a prize!), who brought to Erotica what was allegedly her new show, although I'm not convinced; I think it was a portion of the same. It was a feast for the senses, though - the whole thing was faux-East Asian (and I've got a certain affinity for that sort of thing), her dress was sparkly enough to compensate for a thousand camera flashes, her moves were fluid and certainly sexy, and the music was very fitting. She carried herself with an enormous amount of confidence, her (uncredited) assistant was also stunningly pretty, and the performance was worth the admission price alone, in my humble vanilla opinion.
I would complain, though: I wasn't around for any of the other shows on the day. I would have liked to see the contortionist, the woman with hoops of fire, the one dressed as a cat and all the others. And Dusty Limits, who is always worth watching (although I bumped into him in the toilets, so I got to say hello in any case). Surely it would make a lot more sense to have Dita headlining a fuller show avec the other performers, rather than just giving her 15 minutes in the middle of the day?
Still, that's my fault for not sticking around for any of the other shows. I'm sure YouTube will provide.
In conclusion, it was a fun day. It wasn't spectacular (Dita notwithstanding), but we got an amazing corset, a ride on a special bed, and some fudge which I'm chewing at the moment, so who can complain at that, really?
And who knows, I may go again next year... if only to procure another kingfisher badge.