For those of you who aren’t aware, Eroticon is “an annual conference for erotic creatives, writers, bloggers, photographers, and artists.” The conference is usually held in March and last weekend, we were lucky enough to attend for the second time. It is tradition to write about the experience afterwards, and if you want to know more about what others are saying, please click the Eroticon link at the bottom of this page. Last year, in my post Inside Eroticon, I wrote more of an outline about what the conference involved. This year I thought I would cut to the chase and just give some very good reasons why, if there is any way at all that you can, you should go.
1. Being part of an amazing community
The People. I blogged for a couple of years before finding this community. And it really is a community. It is welcoming, inclusive and supportive, as well as being pretty altruistic. These are not things that you usually find, so to stumble across such a group of like-minded people, who are actually doing the thing that I love, is pretty amazing. Not only that, I am able to do it in the open. At eroticon, I feel accepted and encouraged in doing this thing which I usually have to keep quiet about it.
Attending for the second time was even better in this regard than the first time. Not only have I got to know more of the other people who attend, time has allowed me to feel more established and more confident than I did previously. I can remember wondering last year – am I a sex blogger? This year I know that I am and it sits well and comfortably with me, among this group of sex positive people who I have come to know and to love.
2. Learning about new things
The things. Although the social part of the weekend allows you time to chat, laugh and further friendships with people, the main part of the event is the two days of workshops and talks on a variety of related subjects. There really is something for everyone here, in fact usually there is more than one thing that I would like to attend and there are always new things to learn. From tips on photography, to driving traffic to your blog, to learning more about elements of erotic writing and sex blogging, I would challenge anyone to attend without feeling that they have come away with something new.
Again this year, I attended seminars which made me think about things in a new way, encouraged me to explore new ideas and generally to feel that I was benefitting from the sharing of ideas, experience and expertise. I know that there will be loads of great write ups on the various talks so I won’t focus on the details in this post, but rather point you in the direction of the Eroticon site where you will be able to find a wealth of further information on content shared.
3. A weekend away
The kink. Obviously for us, London is a bit of a trip, but it gives us that much-needed time away. I always enjoy being away with HL and to do something like this feels really special. Although many people attend on their own, for us, the shared experience is important. The writing we do on our blogs and the site that we host has become a big part of who we are together, as well as individuals. Often our hotel breaks will be play-focussed so it is nice to be able to combine that part with the social side and the learning that I have mentioned above.
We don’t have that many friends who know about this part of our lives, so it feels great to be able to be somewhere that we can be who we are for such an extended period. It makes it seem real in a way that it doesn’t always when it is just the two of us. I suppose it is a public declaration of who we are and this is not something that we get a lot of opportunity to do. Apart from anything, being able to spend time in each other’s company without the usual distractions is something we both really value.
4. Reflecting on where you are and setting goals
The future. There is something about Eroticon that finds you reflecting on where you are, and setting goals in order to move forwards. Both years we have felt this keenly, and have left with our heads full of ideas and suggestions about what to do, and where to go next. I know from speaking to others that this is a common thread and the whole focus of the conference really is about ways to develop and improve. Whether you are looking to monetise your blog or just to get better at what you are doing, this process is so important.
I think that generally as individuals, reflection and goal setting are things that we do without always thinking about it, but Eroticon always allows me to see things with new eyes. Talking and listening to others provides me with a new perspective, as well as allowing me to view things more creatively. The benefits of this are plenty and I always leave feeling that I am better for having attended.
The inspiration. Being around other people, particularly some who you admire, is inspirational. I heard the phrase, “When I grow up I want to be …” uttered more than once over the weekend, and I think that a lot of those attending feel motivated and inspired by those they see around them. Everyone, despite their experience or success, seems happy just to chat, share and help each other. This is a lovely thing and something I rarely experience in a world which feels so hierarchical.
It is easy to view others as being experts when actually we are all learning, and it is valuable to have something, or someone to aspire to. The general feeling is that you can do it, and that nothing is insurmountable. Everyone is willing to help you out and this goes back to the feeling of community and the sense of belonging. It is a place where you can meet and swap notes with someone you have long admired and not feel small or insignificant, and I think this is what helps me to feel inspired.
I would love to mention all of those who made my weekend special here, but it would take such a long time and I am scared that I would miss someone out. I know that I will take these relationships forward over the coming year and I really do look forward to doing it all again next time. If you are a blogger who has never been along then I hope that this post will encourage you to give it a go and will mean that I can look forward to seeing you there too. So a massive thanks to Molly and Michael for all their hard work and planning and to the following sponsors who made it all possible. Please do check out these links as you will find some fantastic products and services there.
Sheets of SanFrancisco