It's taken me a while to even think about having the spoons to write a post of this magnitude. Unlike last year, when I wrote a huge post of gratitude, this time around I'm trying the 'ten things' listicle trope, for a number of reasons. One - it's easier; two - it's quicker; three - who doesn't love a good listicle?
It's also taken me a few tries to get this one right. My initial attempt resulted in paragraphs that were far too long and had no real point. I realised, after a while, that I was trying to mention too many people in every sentence. It didn't make for a particularly good read, and was becoming more of a link farm than anything else.
But I had a point.
It may be fair to say that the sex blogging community isn't what it used to be; there are faces missing and so many new ones it's difficult to keep up, and there's a vague, slightly élitist undercurrent that is a little too detectable for my liking. This year, for the first time, I could even say there was a presence at 'con that I actively disliked - although the event, as usual, was great - and I just had to choose the people I talked to with a little more care than I'd like to.
I usually talk to everyone...
In any case, whatever's happening, Eroticon is still all about the community for me. The event works because it brings everyone together, and as a result of missing a few sessions, I was even more grateful for the chance I did get to spend with people I love.
So, in no particular order, ten people I loved from Eroticon 2018 are:
01. Rose Monrou
In any event with numerous people attending, I've always felt that it helps to have at least one person that you know you'll be comfortable with. If this person is someone you have known for years - including going on trips, attending events, and even losing at Mario Kart: Double Dash!! to - who is always solidly, dependably present, then that is very much someone to be treasured.
So step forward, Rose - everyone's favourite tall crazy redhead, and from my experience, an excellent person to toast at drinks, have breakfast with... and swap tissues, as we were both very sick.
Yes, it's a community event, but Eroticon is - essentially - a series of talks and workshops, and there were some amazing ones this year (which I'll talk about later...). Having someone volunteer to stand at the door to provide security, advice and keep a general eye on the proceedings without attending any of the talks is positively Herculean.
Nick doesn't get anywhere near as much recognition for what he does, and I'm acknowledging him here for that very reason!
03. Emmeline Peaches
I have vivid memories of meeting Emmeline for the first time (in Camden, oddly enough!). I wasn't sure what to expect, but as it turned out, she was a geek, an animal lover and an excellent conversationalist. The words flowed freely, and I couldn't wait to see her again at Eroticon 2017 - which I did. I have missed her, and it was great fun to see her again during Eroticon 2018, whether exchanging pleasantries over drinks or whispered jokes in the back row of a session. I don't think I spent enough time with her this year, but I meant what I said - she is a good friend to have her around.
I'm a bit annoyed that I missed her session, though...!
04. Jadis (from Tits and Test Tubes)
Jadis' presence was, frankly, a surprise. I've been enjoying her content, but as a fairly nascent blogger - and a student, at that - I wouldn't be imagining her attendance in a million years. Yet here she was, bold as brass, incredibly open about who she was and what she was into, completely unapologetic, bombastic, and adorably excited by the MysteryVibe table (Jadis, if you're reading this, do try the Crescendo if you can - it's an experience!). She was a breath of fresh air, and that's the sort of thing I love.
05. Michael Knight
Livetweeting has been a part of the 'con experience since the very first one in 2012, and if there's one thing that makes it worthwhile, it's the quickfire jokes that ping back and forth as we convene and the trend-shifting #Eroticon hashtag that we can all use as a handy lynchpin.
It helped, then, that there were smooth, scrolling Wallrus screens, broadcasting our messages, pictures and groan-inducing puns for all attendees to see. It worked last year, but it was even better this year... and if the conversation with Michael is anything to go by, that was his idea - so more power to him!
Michael also gave the little speech at the end in thanks to GOTN that almost made me cry. I was, to be frank, expecting it... but I certainly wasn't from Michael. Just goes to show, really.
06. Alex and Aly (from Hot Octopuss)
I have a complicated relationship with Hot Octopuss. I was the first blogger to review the PULSE, and I didn't like it much, which Adam (does your name have to begin with an A to work for Hot Octopuss?) took exception to. But I have no such problem with the people behind the products. I adore Alex and Aly - everything from the way they look to their slightly caustic wordplay... and that fast that, as it turns out, Alex is a brony.
I won a Hot Octopuss product in the raffle this year, but because I'd already offered to review one, they very kindly offered me another toy to make up for that. So this morning the postman dropped off a Queen Bee... and I'm envisioning a very grateful girlfriend at some point very soon...
07. Cressida Downing
I wasn't actually going to attend Cressida's session until Emmeline talked me into it, so I was as surprised as anyone when I actually volunteered to talk about my blog with her to see if there is, in fact, a book in it.
Long story short: as it turns out, there isn't - but there are a couple of books to be made out of my OCD-like addiction to soft porn. So maybe there are a couple of books in the blogger, after all.
It was during this session that I came up with the ides of Jadis doing Naked Science, like Kaori used to do. Hi, Kaori. I miss you.
08. Amy (from Coffee & Kink) and Hannah (of the confessional kind)
While these two are both very talented and worthy in their own right, they are quite similar in my memory, because they both attended my session last year, they both had a new(ish) blog that they wanted to build, and I promised them both that I would follow their blog over the year. And I meant it - so I did.
I was very pleased to see both of them back, and more so when Hannah told me she remembered a compliment I gave her over a year ago! I also got to talk to them a bit on the second day, whereas on the first (and at the drinks on Friday), I barely got a chance to. I was a little afraid, actually, that I wouldn't be allowed to say much to either of them at all. I'm pleased that that wasn't the case. Keep blogging, girls!
09. Charlie Powell (a sex blogger, of sorts)
Because, through the tumultuous sea of snow and ice outside to the pleasing heat of the doors inside, and though my head was foggy with fever and my bladder full to bursting, and I had to leave the fetish.com session because I was choking so much, one thing still holds true: I am, have been, always will be, very appreciative of the existence, intelligence, and tenacity of Charlie Powell.
10. Aaron Burr, sir
Who's the damn fool that shot him.