♦ So, you’ve heard about the social side of Friday at Eroticon, but now on to the main event: the conference itself. The room Lady Pandorah had booked was wonderfully close to the conference venue, so it was a leisurely walk in the early morning. We picked up our goody bags and nametags and went into the room containing three important Eroticon features: tea, stalls and loitering-with-intent-to-network.
After having mingled a little (can you tell the exact details of the event are sadly evaporating?), it was time for the grand opening from Ruby Kiddell, conference organiser and wonder woman. After a welcome, the keynote session Censorship: from on-line to print how censorship affects you began in earnest.
Zak Jane Keir lead with what quickly became one of my favourite utterances of the conference: “If censorship is the answer, then it was a fucking stupid question.” She led us through ideas of censorship, power and class that really resonated with the room and echoed throughout the session. Myles Jackman, perhaps more well-known as The Obscenity Lawyer, gave us a hell-for-leather ride through censorship and the law, focusing on the complete piece of bullshit that is the Obscene Publications Act. If you’re in the UK and that’s something you’re not familiar with, do go and get informed. Finally, Pandora Blake gave us a more personal approach in talking about her trials with censorship in her work as a pornographer. The session left me riled up about censorship, not that it takes much, but definitely energised to get on with the day.
The next slot was a hard choice between enjoyment and usefulness. The session on dealing with the press was perhaps more information-based, but I thought that the session by Molly Moore and Harper Elliot entitled Using Words: making labels work for you might be more interesting. It was a friendly and relaxed session, almost more like a chat with friends than a conference, which made it very welcoming. All the better considering Molly and Harper were recording the session for a sneaky podcast later.
Labels were presented as a convenient shorthand, but one which tends to box us in. We were told that instead of labels being the be-all and end-all, we should use them as springboard for discussion about what those labels mean to us. Labels fluctuate and you can even make up your own if you can’t find ones that fit. Molly and Harper shared with us their own created label “Significant Third” and asked the audience if we had anything similar. It’s at that point that I accidentally found myself in a podcast. Eep! It was lovely to have a say, though, to feel like people were interested in that say and to feel able to let my voice get out despite being an anonymous blogger.
My coffee break was spent talking to the fantastic guys at LELO (who sponsored Eroticon) about some fascinating sex toy facts, especially regarding colours of toys and sales based on colour. I’m definitely going to be getting in touch with them and writing something about sex toy colours soon.
Next, despite promise of a plastic pelvis model elsewhere, I headed off to Cara Sutra‘s Professional copy writing in an adult arena as I’d absolutely love to get into working in the sex field and I find hearing about people who do it fascinating. Cara started by telling us that “words are a form of magic we can all see and understand” and giving us an introduction to the world of adult copywriting. We learnt how to get noticed, how to build a portfolio and work off our current reputation as adult writers, how to price ourselves and how to comport ourselves.
By the end, I found myself feeling like it’s a job I could do, but I admit to being a little concerned about professional vs private voice. I think I’d have to be quite picky about who I worked for, because otherwise I might shoot myself in the foot with not wanting to mute my personal blog and opinions. I’d never let that slip through on the professional side, but I’m not going to stop talking my opinions in a personal capacity and some companies may not like that.
To read about the rest of the day’s fascinating Eroticon sessions, including my favourite of the weekend on conflict in fiction, watch this space! ♦