I have been to loads of conferences in my life, all being in America. Naturally going to anything alone can be nerve racking, but nothing compared to the super emotion that formed from finding out a week before that I had won tickets and was flying out to London! Firstly, let me thank Sheets of San Francisco for giving me inspiration, an opportunity, and of course tickets to this thing. They are definitely worth checking out, because as a self proclaimed “messy” bitch their product offers you a dry bed to sleep in at night. Too many times am I the one left in the wet spot because it’s “my” doing, and these bad boys ensure I do not have to take responsibility for the actions that may or not be of my control.
Before you know it I’m landing in London and having some phenomenal luck, I met a woman on the airport bus who walked me to all my subway stops AND gives me an Oyster card, thank you Temi!!! I make it to the lovely Hostel One Camden, and immediately take a glass of wine, because I’ve been in Spain wayyyyy too long. I make my way down to the Holiday Inn and it kinda feels like I am an invader at some major family event. People are hugging and laughing while their drinks swirl in their hand and I cower in a corner. Then I get to chatting with someone (woo so proud of myself) that someone was the lovely Anna Frolic. Anna creates ethical and artistic erotic films that answer to everyone’s desire. Anna and I unite and manage to infiltrate a group, introducing me to Brazen, Marie-Smut Marthon, Master T, and Mayhew all who were beyond welcoming! I immediately was struck with that whole close knit feeling I mentioned earlier; by the end of the night I felt mentally accomplished and on some level that I belonged.
Day one, officially, with Friday successful I was ready to face the day, I arrive to many smiling and excited faces ready for the opening words. The very wise Girl on the Net left everyone inspired, she reminded everyone “your words can change the world”. What a whirlwind day one was, I attended many great workshops like Kayla Lords, “How to make money from your blog” or something to that affect. While listening I learned to “pimp yo self”. There was also a mega workshop of kink and fun, hehe. I and others were given the opportunity to get in a vacu-cube or these latex sheets, and what these sheets do is seal you up like fresh meat. So you can bet your fucking ass I was the second person to get in those sheets; it basically felt like an acid trip come up, like I was flying and being pushed through a small hole all at the same time. Ten out of ten recommend.
I was definitely caught off guard by how kind and open these sponsors were to speak! I am accustomed to the American way of doing business; introductions, business cards, handshake, small talks, goodbyes only to be reunited via cc’d email. At Eroticon I can put a face to EVERY SINGLE SPONSOR, that has never happened! Beyond the sponsors every person I met took the time to read my ID badge, and even go as far as to follow me on social media. This should not be as mind blowing as it was, but I have never, ever had a conference experience where I feel like I know damn near everyone there so well. Final thoughts after day one “this is absolutely the best thing I have ever done, this is the best food I have ever eaten (we don’t have catered lunches at conferences in America) and everyone is SO NICE!!”.
I was basically left feeling supported more so than I had in any other conference I had ever attended!
At 5pm we finish up at I skip back to the hostel to be greeted by some lovely people. All of which were mesmerized and over joyed watching me pull lubes, mugs, and other goodies for my swagg bag. I will never be unsurprised by how unaware people my age (early 20s) are of what’s out there for them to explore. So until the Eroticon pub party I am sitting amongst my peers talking oral sex, toys, pleasure inclusive education, and all the debauchery of the day. Now, I skip out to make my way to the pub to meet up with all my new found Eroticon friends, and through the snow I trudged. I finally make it inside and greet everyone, turns out Desire Games, who are based in Spain had a friend of a friend in my town. This is impressive because where I am is certified the least tourist town I all of Spain, but we are second in environment to population equilibrium so trees mean a lot more to me than bars.
Anyway, not only did Eropartner Distribution treat me to a drink but I got to finally meet Zumio, and of course the lovely Geraldine where we chatted the night away. Then like the matronly Cinderella I am 10:30 hit and I rushed back to my hostel to sleep. However, everyone else had an issue with that, and in two hours I was at a nudist bathhouse. Which was okay….the sauna was really the best part. I am a grump though and like to go to bed at 11pm the latest, so coming home at 3am makes anything less awesome in my world. I knock out and wake up for day two. I make my way there after a few hours of sleep and thankfully I’m not the only one tired as hell!
It was a very easy day, more workshops and dank (American slang for phenomenal) food at the lunch. I definitely have to give some street cred to Kendra Holiday for a truly entertaining, and enjoyable workshop. It was not only relatable on my part in terms of the American way to demonize someone’s mistake, but it was funny as hell. Bravo my good lady, you had everyone chatting and laughing by the end of your presentation! In addition to Kendra’s workshop I spent a good two hours at KinkCraft which has left me which a blister I still have. However, it was worth it to have such a gorgeous flogger and collar plus the skill to make them, because like an elephant I remember everything. What stuck out the most in KinkCraft was the conversation amongst everyone. We discussed what I keep mentioning the major cultural differences within our industry; I think one thing I side with America on is the vulgarity of it all. Typically we swear, or explain something in a blunt, true to nature way which tends to come off pretty vulgar. Which I find fun and relatable, like I’m talking about it with my friends but this conversation made light to the concept of a balance between vulgarity and creative illustration.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end so with that I speak to some sponsors again before making my way to the raffle where I won Lelo Silk Handcuffs. Not going to lie, I have been exceptionally lucky in the last two weeks. I won Kinklys SONA Cruise giveaway, three days later Eroticon tickets, and then the handcuffs, so that’s been super cool. Plus, at the end of the conference I mentioned my audience at the hostel and was given extra gift bags by Bijoux Indiscrets to bring home to the girls at the hostel, and one lucky bartender. All and all I’d call this whole show pretty successful.
It’s an understatement to say Eroticon made me feel safe and supported. This conference gave me the confidence to finally start my own blog which has been so cathartic. I can never send enough thank you emails to truly express the impact this has had on my life and journey. So one last time until next year, thank you to every single person who makes Eroticon happens and all attendees, thank you so much!