For anyone who is stumbling upon my blog for the first time, this is a post about the Eroticon 2019 conference for Erotic creative content producers, held annually at Arlington House in Camden, London.
Meet and Greet
At Friday night’s meet and greet, I donned my purple cord skirt and went to gather with other folks who’d travelled to the Holiday Inn at Camden Lock. In the hotel lobby I got to see Little Switch Bitch and her hubby, which was awesome, as she’s a blogger who I didn’t meet last year. Hugs were exchanged and I also got chatting to Bianca from Helen’s Toybox.
During the evening, I acquired some rosé wine. Cara Thereon had asked us to write on some pieces of card any nuggets of wisdom we would like to share with fellow bloggers, or those who are interested in becoming bloggers / other creative content producers. The reason for this was so that these epithets could be read out during the opening Key Note talk given by Molly.
More about this below. I also chatted with @EveRay1, Innocent Loverboy, Jo, Marie, sub-Bee, Girl on The Net, Tabitha Rayne, Posy Churchgate (my roommate at the Holiday Inn), Petra Pan, Candy Snatch, Sparrow, and Valery North, to name a few of the cool folks I encountered.
Unfortunately, Alix Foxx (the scheduled Key Note speaker) had been called away from attending Eroticon due to extenuating circumstances. 🙁 Our thoughts are with Alix. Molly used the cards we’d written our top blogger tips on, to fill the interlude; a few gems that were passed to us from these cards included:
1. DM other bloggers and followers like you are pen pals.
2. Write for yourself and explore your taboos.
3. Bums are great for photography!
4. Memes provide an excellent opportunity to engage with other members of the community.
5. Pitch ideas and punch above your weight.
6. Just start writing and carry on!
7. Take a chance on opportunities that present themselves. Unexpected ones are often some of the best!
8. Use filters (if you want to) in your photography. When you find one you really like, make it your signature.
9. Write what you know. ‘Stories’ matter, and if it matters to you, then write it!
10. Use adverts sparingly.
11. Strip your personal data from photos. Beware if you use a camera phone, it may put your name in the data!
Okay, there were a load of other fantastic pieces of advice. I cannot remember who said each one. But that gives you some idea of how we started proceedings on Saturday.
The first talk I went to was Eleanor Janega’s Insatiable: A History of Women and Desire. In this enthusiastic presentation, I was enlightened and simultaneously enraged that women were referred to in the classical humoral period as ‘cold / wet’ for being irrational and emotional. Apparently, we are not interested in sex, yet when we look at the Catholic Church’s flow-chart of approved sex it’s not hard to see why! There are simply too many rules for what type of sex we can have, why we want to do it, and heaven forbid we make it last any longer than it needs to! Basically, the reason for having sex at all was to procreate. Ban any enjoyment from it.
Dr Janega pointed out that women’s love in general is accused of being insatiable.
“Whereas a single cock is sufficient for ten hens; ten men cannot satisfy ten women.”
Other notable snippets from the talk are the observation that women needed to be controlled. Why? Because according to the medieval camp, they just want sex. Oh, and they’re also irrational for wanting sex during menstruation or any holy day. And the church contradict themselves when they say that Eve committed the ‘original sin’ in the Garden of Eden. Why was sex not needed in the garden, when surely, they needed more children to be born to worship God?! They had no logic there.
I digress at this point, but basically the Church have a lot to answer for in terms of treating women as ‘the other’ whilst men are the default. We were seen as too horny, but then in another few hundred years we became disinterested in conventional penis in vagina ‘hetero’ sex. Hence expectations become flipped about, and still we are not sexually fulfilled. Fuck that. Literally!
Rolling some dice to write
The second talk I went to was like a workshop to help come up with ideas for writing. Zak Jane Keir suggests using dice to introduce random aspects to our creative ideas. For instance, using four building blocks such as making the character resemble a celebrity, giving them an emotion, including a fact about them (e.g. they carry handcuffs), and suggesting that maybe they hold a secret, we can start to write a story about a character who could be anyone.
My random attempt presented a character resembling Ben Affleck, who is a lonely single cop (hence the handcuffs). He has a daughter he doesn’t see, because her mother met someone else. So Dicewriting is essentially a tool to get the creative juices flowing. And I appreciate I haven’t explained it very well here at all. Please forgive me. I’m experiencing con-drop and a fuzzy memory.
Learning to manage my habits
The third talk of the morning was Kayla Lords’s How to Reach Your Goals When You have No Time To Work On Them. I so needed to attend this talk!
In a nutshell, Kayla talked about setting goals, to encompass short, medium and long-term ones. Working out your habits is important too, because if like me you hit the snooze button a couple of times before getting up, and then scroll through Twitter for 15 minutes or so, those are habits that need to be changed if I am going to reach my goals. Kayla’s top tips included:
- Use a planner to list what you do. Include everything, including commuting time, care duties for dependants and appointments, as these all take up a lot of time.
- Start with 30 minutes. If you find it hard to focus for several hours at a time, because you’re easily distracted, then any time you can spend on a goal / task is better than nothing.
- Don’t give up something good because it’s not ‘perfect.’
- Find your idea time; this may be dependent on your body clock and sleep patterns, or if you have family around.
- Work out your goals, whether it be to place on a ‘top 100 bloggers list’ such as Kinkly’s. Alternatively, you may wish to use your blog to earn some / all of your income.
- Procrastination is a habit, not a character trait and we often do it out of fear! If you find yourself cleaning the kitchen or sorting through a pile of junk mail rather than writing, maybe you need to ask yourself “why am I afraid to sit down and write?”
- Is the answer because you feel you have nothing valuable to say? Or because you fear no one will read your work? This may stem from ‘negative self-talk, as I know I am prone to do. We need to challenge this inner voice and say “Yes, we DO have something valuable to say!”
- People will read your content, if you put it out there. If it’s not there they cannot read it!”
- Sometimes you just need to jot all your ideas on paper, to get the ‘noise’ of too many thoughts out of your head. You can write this how you find it easiest to visualise. It doesn’t have to be neatly numbered lists.
- A lot of blog work involves ‘behind the scenes’ admin like fixing links and improving the search engine optimisation (SEO). People don’t see this work happening, but it’s important as it will make your site easier to find and navigate.
Time for lunch
All the listening to those talks made me pretty hungry so at this point we had a break in proceedings to eat and refuel.
I will write a separate post on some of the other talks I attended over the weekend. Check back to see it if you want to find out more about what goes on at Arlington House!