And so here's the rest of Eroticon. Or a compressed version of the best bits.
Like quite a lot of people, I stayed in the room for the Identity, Ethics & Sex Blogging session to start off my day. To be honest, I would have chosen a session with the words "sex blogging" in the title, wouldn't I? But I loved the session - the panel were all very good, and the topics discussed raised some interesting questions: is it worth having a writing name? How do you respect each other's privacy? Are extra, more non-sexy, blogs a good idea? It was a good way to start off, actually, as even for those of us in a sleep-deprived coma could kick their brain into gear through all the ideas that were bouncing around.
I stayed on for the writing workshop in the same room. The guy who ran this was an established writer and it wad good to hear him talk about writing in an honest way. From looking at my notes I can see that I likened some of what he was saying to soft porn - maybe a nervous sign of obsession, who knows? But he talked so vividly about settings and context that I couldn't help it! I liked the way he spoke, as well - his tangents were funny, his enthusiasm great, and even though I don't plan to write much erotica, I enjoyed this session.
After the first coffee break, Blacksilk and I went on to this geeky workshop about doing techie stuff to your blog, particularly as regards self-hosting and blog preservation, run by DomSigns (and Dom, if you are reading this, kindly take note - I have saved an XML of my blog up to this point, just in case something does happen!). He knew his shit, to use the vernacular, and I almost felt like a qualified geek sitting in this session and more-or-less understanding what he said! Almost.
Lunch was a fun chance to mingle and distribute the limited number of Erotic Meet cards I'd brought along, while indecently taking advantage of the buffet, which thankfully had some absolutely delicious vegetarian options (also rather messy, but there were always napkins).
Feeling full, I tottered to the next session, which made me think of Catharine, as photographer John Tisbury gave us tips on taking pictures using even the most basic of cameras. This was a really useful session, and I think now, glancing through my notes, that I'll be able to put some of these tips into practice. Which also makes me think of Catharine. This could be interesting.
However, what will stick in my mind the most is the last session, Sex and the Media. A different (but similar) panel to the one at the beginning of the day sat in the same place in the same room. As with the previous session, ideas whizzed around like loose fireworks of sex, except by this point everyone was enthused. Points were being made left, right and centre. There was a discussion about pitching, sex writers and the need to be an active voice. We mentioned how sex columnists often suck on account of the narrow focus they need to take to be in their magazines. Sex and the City was mentioned and I made everyone laugh by talking about someone at the Erotic Meet suggesting I was like a male SJP. The commercial spirit was mentioned, as was consumer power. A couple of quotes that I scribbled down resonated the most:
"There's no hope. There's nothing we can do... apart from TAKE OVER THE INTERNET!" (Zoe Margolis)
"I shall work on changing one person at a time." (Lori Smith)
More refreshments followed (oh, sweet, sweet coffee!) before we breached the final wave and headed back to the main room. I sat on a table with Blacksilk, LadyP, Jilly, Elenya Lewis and Lady Grinning Soul and watched London Faerie demonstrating how to use spanking to induce a state of euphoria. I've done something different with a similar effect recently, but I was wondering how physical pain would achieve that goal, despite Faerie explaining the mechanics to us. I certainly winced a fair few times (along with many other people!), but it seemed to work. I did find it a bit difficult to divine when this entry into subspace actually happened - to be honest, I was expecting more of a physical reaction - but I am assured that it did.
Ruby came on to give out prizes to randomly selected members of the audience... sorry, 'delegates'... which, if you were absent, was invariably a book! I was very much amused by the multitude of people going up to get their varied prizes, and quite envious of some of them! Jilly got a Rabbit and seemed to take great pleasure in unwrapping it and seeing what it actually looked like (although we all got mini-vibrators in our shag bags, this was a beast!), and I joined in the increasing laughter as the whole convention descended into a something more fun that a vat of love.
Christ, I actually wrote that.
Anyway, so a few people (in fact, realistically a lot of people) left while drinks were being served, and we wandered about talking to those we had yet to meet. LadyP was brave enough to find a couple none of us knew to strike up a conversation with. I cuddled Jilly for a bit and joined in a few conversations while topping up on orange juice. Eventually, it was time to go... and on our way out, I noticed only four people had failed to turn up. That's not bad going. Although I didn't steal Hungry Joe's nametag. I was tempted to, so that I could flip over my own tag and change personalities. But that was beyond me for that time of day. We clattered out into the street, and headed away to the final stage of our adventure...