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Eroticon 2014 – Sunday, Part 2

Eroticon 2014 Schedule

♦ Soon, Sunday morning at Eroticon 2014 became Sunday afternoon. Deciding that my voice is not made for erotica, I headed to what looked a very interesting session, one by Josephine Myles and Anna Martin called Queer as Fuck: writing convincing gay erotica whatever your gender and sexuality.

I got a bit of a disappointment when the session started, learning that it was to focus almost wholly on male/male erotica as opposed to a selection from the LGBT+ spectrum. The speakers did say that they’d try to include some information on it, but that their expertise was in M/M writing. For a girl like me who’s coming each time closer to believing it’s personally easier and hotter to write about two women than anything else, that was a bit of a blow.

Still, although I neither read nor write a lot of M/M fiction, I resolved to learn more about it. After all, just because I haven’t yet, doesn’t mean I can’t. We learnt about how writers of different genders are perceived and some of the stereotypes and marginalisation (mostly of effeminate male characters) in gay fiction itself. Plus, there were some tips on masculine language that were interesting, even if me with my “we’re not so different, you and I” approach couldn’t fully endorse them.

Further, to add to my mope, we were told that gay male erotic novels are by far the biggest chunk of the LGBT+ market and that trans* and lesfic have the smallest share. At the end of the session I went up and asked Anna what she thought of why F/F erotica is so small considering same sex experiences are so high in the lists of top women’s fantasies. My own theory is that, given the amount of non-LGBT-specific calls for submission I’ve seen that want mostly hetero stories but will happily take a few lesbian stories, perhaps the market for girl on girl is getting subsumed and fulfilled by the generic erotica market.

Either way, it’s a subject very close to my own heart and I’m desperate to find out more and write a proper post about it, so do leave a comment if you’ve anything to say about it.

At some point in the day, I was gifted a very thoughtful copy of the sexy boardgame Tie and Tease (a BDSM version of the game Tease that was doing the blogger rounds a little while back) by DomSigns and Molly because they knew I loved three things: dice, games and kink. Thank you, both! I’m sure it’ll be something to write about once Crush and I have given it a few goes…

The final education session of the day saw me heading to Molly’s Powerful Post Writing: Writing & Editing for better blog content for a few always useful content tips, countless of which I’m probably breaking throughout these write-ups! But, as Molly herself told us, “Do what you do, not what I say.”

There was a lovely balance of considering the reader and considering SEO. You should know your most popular topics and write more about them, but you shouldn’t narrow down too much just to boost your stats. Stats, at the end of the day, are only so much and they don’t always want what readers want.

We were given tips on hooking the reader in and making them want more which actually mirrored a lot of advice I’ve heard before about fiction writing, so it was interesting to see the common threads.  Perhaps the best advice we could have been given, though, was give something of yourself and be honest, warts an’ all. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog and, although I try each post to stick to it, I’m sure there’s more I can do. I’m looking forward to trying.

The day drew to a close with High Tea and Erotica Readings, of which there was a generally awesome selection along with a few I didn’t personally care for. It ranged from deadly serious to supremely silly with everything in between. Plus, there was cake. Of course, each word drew us closer to the close of the day and the breaking of the spell. I said my goodbyes to those remaining (a fair few had had to leave for trains and the like during the readings) and made my way back to reality and Cardiff. And, happily, Crush.

While the sessions, being structured, are clear in my mind, I can’t remember well enough all the little moments I wish I could share with you: meeting personal heroes and new awesome people, gossip, hearing kind words, sharing thoughts, revelling in the commonality of sex writers, inside jokes, stolen chats and even just feeling comfortably silent and at home in a room of your peers.

I am beyond sad that there won’t be a UK Eroticon next year. I’ve come to need it. But I feel absolutely sure that if there’s a community that can pull together and arrange something, even just a social meet-up, it’s this one. If there are any efforts in that vein, I’d love to lend a hand. And if any Eroticon or sex writer folks are ever near my neck of the woods, just get in touch. I’m shy, but I’ve learnt one major thing over the years at Eroticon: meeting other sex writers is amazing and together we can do amazing things. ♦

Eroticon 2014 – Sunday, Part 1

♦ The previous day at Eroticon 2014 had ended with a cocktail party to which I’d managed to buy Crush a ticket. After train shenanigans, he showed up shipshape and Bristol fashion and we headed to the bar. It was a great evening and I’m glad he was there as he got to say hello to old friends and meet exciting new ones and I frankly enjoy dragging him into my sex-based social world. He did so well there, too! The sheer amount of secret geeks he caught with his top was impressive.

The morning wake up was full of sleepy sex and sneakily snapped Sinful Sundays, making me only just on time for the first session and only managing a breakfast of yesterday’s sausage rolls as I left Crush lying in. But never mind! It was a lovely sunny morning to spend all day inside talking smut.

Again, I was conflicted. The flash fiction workshop sounded right up my street, but in the end I decided I could already kinda do flash fiction and so I should probably focus on an area where I need more help. So I took a seat in Kay Jaybee and Lucy Felthouse‘s Step up: making the move from short stories to novels. I’d met them both before a couple of times, notably at the awesome Kinky World Book Night held in Cardiff last year (which I briefly wrote some NaPoWriMo poems about), and they’re lovely guys, so friendly and encouraging. It was a bit of a shame that their self-introductions were so long as I already knew a bit about them and it took a fair bit of time out of the bulk of the session, but when we got to the crux of it, it was full of helpful advice. Short stories are a  brilliant apprenticeship, we were told, for novels and Kay and Lucy even thoguht they were harder to write!

I’m not sure I agree, but I haven’t written a novel yet, so perhaps I will when I have. In fact, we were told to write down a reason or two that we hadn’t yet written a novel so that we could discuss them. Time was a big factor for me and we were advised to set aside time every day or at least in a routine so that it becomes a part of everyday life. My other main problem is that I’m just not sure I can write enough content, specifically plot and “stuff happening” to fill a novel. Plus, I feel like it’s OK for a short story to be a glimpse, a mood, an idea, a narrative where we know we’re not getting the full picture, a flavour. Whereas I feel like novels are the whole story, a fullness, you need a complete story with all the trimmings and not just a flavour or a feeling.

Whilst those points were not directly addressed as such and I still came away a little unclear on them (running out of time was a major factor of the session, again leaving me wishing for less, admittedly pleasant, introductions),  I did come away feeling more confident. Do things that scare you, we were told, and also told that writing a novel still scares these novelists every time.

The next two short sessions didn’t really grab me. Sex toy reviews are a big interest for me, but I’d be assured that the session was more for beginners than for me. While anonymity obviously interests me, the idea of writing anonymity guidelines in-session really put me off. Luckily I met a few people from Kristina Lloyd‘s aforementioned Fiction in a Flash long workshop in the break who assured me that she’d welcome people in for the second half.

I nipped in and scribbled down some notes still left on the Powerpoint before the session restarted in earnest. Based on the previous ideas of starting in media res, of implied plot between the lines and behind the story, of a key image or visual heart, of yearning, of the twist or turn and of sexual specificity in describing what makes the encounter meaningful, we were given a very unusual collection of writing aids.

Eroticon Flash Fiction Workshop Prompts

The idea was to look through these nail varnishes and wall colours and find a name that evoked something and that we could use to prompt a piece of flash fiction. With names like Ruby Pumps, Savage Ground, It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere and Cat’s Paw, there were a lot of wonderful images that sprang to mind. I’m definitely going to be looking at these sources for inspiration in the future! It’s interesting in that when I was thinking of where to find prompts for my Very Short Stories, I’d actually stumbled on the idea of hitting “random” on Gatherer to find Magic the Gathering cards that might work as they often have evocative names. It’s a similar idea that I’m glad to see actual proper writers doing too!

We then used our selected names, I picked “Down Pipe”, to decide what elements based on that would appear in our proposed story. I had images of rain, brickwork and vertical space, of blow jobs and tumbling down the rabbit hole. The harder task was to pick some things that would certainly not happen. I struggled, but managed that they don’t leave the room and it doesn’t stop raining, as well as a few other things. Before the end of the session, we were asked, which of these might actually happen anyway? It was a fantastic session and I’m quite sad to have missed the first half, especially as I enjoyed Kristina’s session so much last year too.

With the pause for lunch comes a pause in my writing! I’ll have my post about Sunday afternoon at Eroticon 2014 up soon, though, so don’t go away! ♦

Eroticon 2014 – Saturday, Part 2

♦ After a busy morning, lunch was quickly eaten with friends old and new, tweets were duly caught up on and retweeted and then it was on to the afternoon. Much as I think the speakers are fantastic, there was no way I was going to the talk about sex and spirituality. As an atheist and as someone who tries to be rational, spirituality of any kind is just not something that applies to me. Even the closest I’ve got to writing about a sexual and spiritual experience was definitely not a spiritual experience.

Instead I headed over to the Photography workshop, which was being run by Molly after the original speaker had come up against urgent family problems. I have to say, I was very impressed by Molly’s ability to pull a very good session out of thin air!  Of course, when you know that much about your topic I suppose all you have to do is tell people it, but if you’d told me it had been planned all along, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

We got to see the impressive Lightroom program at work (I’m really going to have to get it), we learnt that essential self-photography items like tripods and triggers needn’t be expensive and I learnt perhaps my most valuable technical tip of the weekend: don’t upload photos bigger than 900 x 600 to WordPress and just use the WordPress photo percentages to resize them. Photos that big aren’t needed (for screen use, anyway) and using that method can make your site very slow indeed. It was sort of obvious once DomSigns said it, but it’d never occurred to me before and I do that all the time. Looks like I’m going to be going back through all my photos to resize them properly (and add watermarks) soon!

At the end of the session, Molly mentioned her photo idea of getting a bunch of attendees in a row, back to the camera and bare-arsed. The room figured now was as good a time as any to do it! I so, so, so nearly joined in, but nervousness just won out. It was a tough decision, on the one hand it would be an awesome, bond-forming and empowering thing to be part of and I’d get a great picture with me in for my efforts. On the other hand, I was shy and nervous and I felt it was a rare occasion that my arse looks good on camera. I didn’t want to hate the shot. Getting my bum out in a room full of people seemed scary but also thrilling, but there were so many people already volunteering and I took so long deciding that I chickened out despite geting myself 95% of the way to going “Fuck it!” and joining in.

It was probably a good decision, though, as I’d have had to have spent ages awkwardly easing up my tights way after everyone else had already re-robed and plus the final picture shows a lot more possibly-identifying clothes, body shape and back of head than I’d really be comfy with. Next year, though, if the opportunity arises, fuck it, I’m in. Someone make me if necessary.

The next session was a big toss up: do I indulge my tinkerer side and go for tech talk or my creative side and go for tension and conflict in erotica? Well, in the end I’d been to plenty of techy ones in previous years and conflict in writing is really something I’d like to get a better handle on, so I headed to Mirren Baxter and Judith Watts‘s Building tension: conflict and consent in erotic fiction.

I’m so glad I did, as it turned out to be my favourite session of the whole weekend. At first it was a little hard to see where the speakers were going. We were asked to list all of the reasons we could think of that someone, whether from this reality or another, might have sex. Here’s what we as a group got (click to embiggen):

Eroticon Conflict and Consent Reasons 1Eroticon Conflict and Consent Reasons 2

I managed almost twenty myself and felt like I’d pretty much exhausted the options, so it was amazing to see another 30 or so ideas pop out of other people’s heads.

The bulk of erotica, we were told, tends to unfortunately focus on only the first two of these reasons: love and lust. How boring! Here’s where the session started to turn, for me, revolutionary and yet so simple. Pick something else. Anything else! Any of these other reasons to have sex is much more interesting than love or lust in terms of narrative and any of these other reasons comes prepacked with conflict, whether it’s against the self, another character, society or nature. Just try it and you’ll agree. This is the wonderful method I learned for this session: pick a reason for a character to have sex, ask yourself “What type of conflict can arise from that reason? What stands in this character’s way?”. Boom, instant conflict, instant tension, instant narrative.

And that is what I absolutely loved about the session. So simple, but so inspiring, such a new way of looking at how to create a narrative. And so creative. That room was abuzz with energy, you could tell. I was so impressed that I went straight down to the Eroticon bookstore and picked up their Mirren and Judith’s book Get Started in Writing Erotic Fiction (also available for Kindle), because frankly if the rest of the book has even anything like that in it, it’ll be worth it.

Finally for the day, we headed in to watch A Place of Power – the exquisite grace of deep surrender, a demonstration of ecstatic BDSM by London Faerie and his partner Marti. I won’t go into too much as my clarity of detail fades the further from it I get and as I feel you really had to be there for it to have the same meaning. Faerie and Marti, though, are captivating, both as individuals and as couples. And their play together was beautiful to watch. Although I understood the significance of the head-shaving, it didn’t really resonate with me and left me a little cold, but the rest of the session certainly connected. I find myself jealous of their wonderful skill and connection in BDSM! The majority of the session was breathtaking, beautiful and even made me a little shy in places. I dearly wished I’d got a chance to talk to them after the day ended, but they were rightly very popular and I was feeling a little too nervous to approach. Next time!

Speaking of next time, do “tune in” then to hear a little about Saturday night and a lot about Sunday’s great sessions! ♦

Eroticon 2014 – Saturday, Part 1

Blacksilk at Eroticon 2014

♦ 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.

I’ll be writing a post soon, I hope, about my own created label “Blue Moon Dom” (which I’ve used here before), so keep an eye out for both that post and the podcast.

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! ♦

Eroticon 2014 – Friday

♦ How on Earth am I supposed to write about Eroticon 2014, hmm? What a weekend. To give myself a starting point, I decided to look back at my post about Eroticon 2012 (I didn’t write one in 2013 because I was still feeling miserable at spending my conference poorly and petrified and feeling like I’d wasted it). What I see when I read it, is some who’s clearly nervous and faltering and new. I say I felt at home, and I feel I did, but that’s nothing compared to this year. This year was sublime.

I think it’s a mix of having done this a few years now and of knowing some faces along with generally feeling more confident and at ease at talking to people in this environment. People who know me through my geeky social life can’t believe that I’m shy and horribly awkward, because I’ve been there long enough that I’m awfully comfy. Bold and even brash. I think the same is happening in the sex writer world. I’m becoming part of the furniture and it’s fantastic.

Anyway, good health combined with it not being my first rodeo certainly helped this year’s Eroticon be the best one yet, but of course what makes it are the sessions and, above all, the people. And I had an amazing time.

At first I’d planned to come up early on the Saturday morning as Bristol is just a hop over the border, but that would have meant missing out on Friday evening’s meet & greet. Luckily, my wonderfully kind blogging BFF Lady Pandorah offered me a share of her double bed (the offer that launched a thousand ‘ships!) and so Cinderella did go to the ball. Seeing Lady P, Innocent Loverboy, Jilly, Rose and Molly and DomSigns again was a smush of hugs and excitement and smiles. I’ve really missed these people! I resolve that it won’t be this long again before next time.

We chatted away happily as the room filled with more fantastic people and I felt the urge to mingle with new folk. I spotted first-timers Vanessa and AM Harding looking a little nervous (actually I’m fairly certain Vanessa never looks anything other than bubbly as all get-out, but that’s besides the point) and I felt entirely brave and comfortable enough to introduce myself – all by myself! – and start chatting to these lovely people. That alone was something I’d never have been able to do before and it was wonderful.

At some point someone introduced me to, essentially, sex blog celebrities. Pandora Blake, who is lovely and impossibly sharp, really knows what she’s talking about, and Girl on the Net exudes an easy, friendly sort of coolness. The addition of Zak Jane Keir to the conversation did not help me feel any less rather out of my depth, but was definitely bloody brilliant. What was perhaps, selfishly, the shiniest thing was seeing how pleased Girl on the Net seemed to be to meet me after she’d hopped on board my Very Short Stories thingummy. To see someone who I’d never met before so keen on an idea I’d chanced on for an erotica writing challenge was immensely awesome. I really got a feel for how my writing almost has a life of its own separate from me!

I spent a fair part of the evening talking to CJ Forrest who is a very likeable character indeed, as well as accidentally shaking hands with people with a wrist adorned in a Sainsbury’s bag, being bought a (rejected) drink by a complete stranger, having my QR code scanned and even receiving some very kindly donated Magic the Gathering cards from John D Stories. I love it when sex and geek spheres overlap.

After more things and more people I’ve undoubtedly missed, we toddled off to the hotel room to try and get some sleep for the big day ahead. And what a day it was! ♦

Stark Contrast

♦This weekend I’ve been at the outstanding Eroticon 2014. Absolutely outstanding, in fact. There will be plenty more blog posts on the subject as I start processing the weekend and regaining energy. For now, it’s Sinful Sunday and I’m dying to put some of the things I learnt and the inspiration I got in Molly’s Saturday session on photography into practice.

Plus, I always like to take a dirty picture or two on the Eroticon weekend anyway, just because.

image

Be brave, try things out. That was key thing I picked up not just from that session, but from the whole weekend. Sometimes I’m reluctant to take dirty pictures because I’m not naturally photogenic and I don’t think I’ll look all that good. But the whole thing inspired me to be bold and be true. Be honest.

So I gave it a go and, especially given this was the only shot of me I hastily took this morning, I’m proud of myself! I managed to pick my spot and get a mixture of stark contrast (see what I did there?) and diffuse hints of light elsewhere.

And I love how you can see just a glimpse of my Iron Man (there’s a hint) manpants and naked body in clarity. Geeky enough for you?

Now all I have to do is apply the tips from Eroticon and the confidence from this shot to my proper camera and see what I can do! ♦

SinfulSunday

Excited for Eroticon

♦ So, Eroticon 2014 is just around the corner. It’s so close now! I can’t wait to come away too full of ideas to move, intoxicated on inspiration and mashed on motivation. And it’s been so long since I’ve seen everyone! Plus, there’ll be new people to meet. It’s all too exciting.

I’ve been preparing in anticipation. Not only did I fill out my Eroticon 2014 Meet & Greet, but I’ve been dusting off the business cards (it really has been so long since I’ve been out as Blacksilk, now that Erotic Meet is dead) and polishing my perhaps now-famous  Blacksilk necklace. It doesn’t appear that I’ve shown it on here before, but it certainly made the rounds on Twitter, prompting a few fellow bloggers to end up with their own!

I’ve found it’s an absolutely great way to make sure people at an in-the-flesh event know who you are when you don’t show your face online. Plus, it’s great for me as a fairly shy individual. I may not always have the guts to approach people, but they might approach me!

But what’s that next to the business cards and Blacksilk necklace? Some things I didn’t have before!

image

I’ve picked up a new notebook to write in, even though Eroticon almost always gives us one in its goodie bag, simply because I thought “Ideas for tweets” was funny for Eroticon. Heck, sometimes there are entire sessions about that!

More excitingly, I have a new necklace I can wear alongside my Blacksilk one! One for the more gadget-minded, I feel. That’s right, that necklace is a little 3D lasercut QR code that links directly to the front page of this very blog. How neat is that? Now not only can people see my web address on the business cards I hand out, if they want they can just snap my necklace and go straight there!

Now, I’m not saying I think everyone, or even anyone, will do that. I’m really not sure how many people use QR codes. But I personally love them. Even though I understand the technology, there’s still something almost wizardy about using them, so it takes a lot for me to see one and not scan it! Hopefully similarly techy folks might at least give it a go. And if not, I love it anyway.

Now all I need to do is work out what to wear and then pack and I’ll be all sorted! Hooray! ♦

Very Short Stories

♦ I popped into WH Smith’s recently to pick up a much needed new pencil case (my old one smells awfully of old curry, don’t ask) and some other stationery things. After all, with Eroticon 2014 coming up, I need to be kitted out to write, write, write (and not smell like old curry).

While there, I found a notebook that’s perfect for taking with me, as well as this interesting little thing…

Very Short Stories - Cover

It’s not, as it first appears, a notebook. It’s a tiny, adorable little pad of post-it notes. I just don’t need post-it notes in any way, but the cover of the pad caught my attention. “Very short stories,” it says. Sure, it goes on to say “about milk, cheese and bread”, but the idea of very short stories wouldn’t let go.

I didn’t need to actually write my shopping list, after all. And the pad was small enough to keep inside my new pencil case, meaning I could write any time. And the longer I stood there, the more I saw the little pad of “very short stories” as a challenge.

Dammit, I could write very short stories in it! I could! And they’d be sexy and tiny and I could make it work. And even if I couldn’t, the exercise was bound to be interesting, worth blogging and undoubtedly very useful for honing my skills at writing bigger, longer stories.

So I bought it. Today, a few days later, I decided to give it a go. I logged on to Twitter, determined to take the first word of inspiration that hit me. What follows is the result (in picture form for authenticity, then transcribed for accessibility). It took me about three minutes, from that first word I used as my muse to drawing the little diamond signature in the bottom.

Very Short Stories - The Coffee Story

“Alone together at last. The long day had led to aching anticipation for this moment. I licked my lips, savouring the view. Strong, dark, patiently waiting for me and covered in cream… I had fantasised about you, but now I worried you were too hot to handle. Taking the plunge, I took you in my hand… And drank you. Thank Christ for coffee.”

And there you have it. Perfect? No. Fantastic? No. But at a mere 62 words and in a mere 3 minutes or less on a theme chosen at random from a word found on Twitter and essentially unedited, I’m quite pleased with it. I’m certainly going to write more of these. It was a nice challenge to keep it ambiguous until the last (calling coffee “he” or “she” seemed disingenuous) and I like the playful idea.

Maybe the Very Short Story (flash fiction on teeny-tiny post-its) will catch on and bloggers and writers everywhere will join in! What do you think, could you write a story on a post-it note? And what are your thoughts on mine? ♦

Want to see the next Very Short Story of mine? It’s called Prometheus.

Valentine’s Day Sex Toy Selections

♦ It’s February and in the world of doin’ it and talkin’ about it, that can mean only one thing. Yes, Valentine’s Day, which sex-based businesses make the mistake of referring to as “VD” but once in their business lives. No, really, I’ve seen it done.

Valentine’s, of course, means a big ole marketing push. “How we can we get people to buy more things to put in their orifices?” “How do you make a hashtag romantic?” “Do lovebirds and analbeads mesh in any way?”

The way most e-retailers promote to us is by having a dedicated Valentine’s Day toy selection, but I’ve noticed a trend among sex toy shops online. That’s right, don’t fret! If you’re confused about how to market Valentine’s Day toys to your customers and which ones to recommend for that special day, it turns out  it’s deceptively simple!

After looking at how the professionals do it, I’ve made this handy-dandy flowchart:

How to recommend a sex toy for Valentine's Day

Eroticon 2014 Meet & Greet

♦ So, it’s nearly Eroticon 2014! Well, it’s not. But it’s nearly nearly it. And that’s close enough to start getting really excited!

For those that don’t know, Eroticon is a yearly convention for erotica writers and sex bloggers with many, many different sessions on everything from spanking to SEO and more. I’ve been going every year since it started and I love it. Absolutely fantastic.

Every year there’s a little online set of questions to serve as an introduction to those attending. Here are my answers!

What’s your name?

Blacksilk. It’s definitely my real name and everything.

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2014?

The fantastic sessions, that’s one thing. They are just amazing. Although I find myself much more muddle-minded this year about which to go to. Some jump out obviously, but others could be equally good and it’s so hard to decide!

Aside from that, it’s seeing all my blog friends again. There are less events that we go to than there used to be, so it’s been far, far too long. I miss you!

What are you most nervous of about Eroticon 2014?

Last year I had, essentially, an incredibly sensitive stomach brought on by nerves, plus a great dollop of anxiety, which really made me far too poorly-feeling to get anywhere near the most out of the event. I’m nervous that’ll happen this year, but I’ll know what’s going on and how to deal with it this time, so I should be well-armed against it!

What do you hope to get from Eroticon 2014?

My mojo back. I’ve become a bit lacklustre lately and I know Eroticon will be full of absolutely bollock-loads of inspiration and, let’s be honest, mild jealousy at the motivation of others. That should be enough to get me back into the swing of things.

What is your bad erotica writer’s pen name?

Well, people often shorten Blacksilk to BS. Luckily, I don’t mind! With that in mind, it makes my bad erotica writer’s pen name… Robustia Orificeicle. I’ll bust your orifice…. icle. If you know what I mean. Er…

Readers, why not comment with your bad erotica writer’s pen name below?

Bad Erotica Writer's Name