8 Things I Learned at My First Sex Writing Conference
As of the date I’m writing this, we’re five months away from Eroticon – a UK-based conference for anyone who writes about sex or smutty things in general. If you’ve spent anytime around Smutlancer, you can tell I’m a fan of the event. It wasn’t my first business conference to attend, but it was the first one as a sex blogger, and I can still feel it’s impact on my life and career as a sex blogger/writer/podcaster.
If you’re writing about sex – fiction, nonfiction, or journalism – you need to consider conferences like Eroticon. BDSM Writers Con is on my wish list of events in the future, as is Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit and a few others. You’d think I’d go to the others first, as they’re in the United States, but…nope, apparently, my tribe lives in and around London. (True story, if I ever decide to become an ex-pat, I’m going to the UK.)
While my vote for your first sex writing conference is Eroticon (full disclosure: I’m speaking at the 2018 event), if you have a chance to go to any of the cons, go. I learned a few things at my first one that made me determined to go back year and after year…
I’m Not Alone
That feeling of being solitary in our endeavors isn’t a sex-writing thing, it’s a creative thing. Much of what we do has to be done alone, in our heads, behind our keyboards. It’s very easy to think, “I’m the only one.” But if we’re all thinking that, are we really? No, you’re not. Neither was I. Although I didn’t know everyone when I got there (and I didn’t meet everyone I intended to), simply seeing everyone reminded me, “I’m not alone.”
We’re All Anxious
Our degrees of anxiety vary from barely able to function to kind of nervous, but we’re all nervous at some point. I cried in the airport, on the airplane, and in the shower. Other people came in for a day, went to the workshops, and never said a word to anyone. A few (myself included) found the two or three people we were comfortable with and stuck to them like glue. A big shout-out to F. Leonora for being my soul-sister in London. We all coped differently, and that’s okay, but knowing others were nervous too made me feel almost normal.
I Know More Than I Think I Do
It happens to all of us – I saw it with my own eyes. We go to a session to learn something new or ask questions, and we find ourselves nodding along with someone else. They said something that spoke to what we believe about sex blogging, marketing, branding, you name it. Even some of the newest bloggers I met experienced it. We all know more than we think we do simply by putting ourselves out there and creating content.
I Still Have More to Learn
No one knows it all – no matter how confident they appear. It was refreshing to get new ideas or learn a completely new concept. Sitting in the session on disability and sex at Eroticon opened my eyes in ways that nothing else could. When I’m tempted to fall back on old thinking about sex and disability, I remember what I learned, and I do better.
We’re All Freaks Here
I use “freak” as an endearment, but we are. Hitachi jokes at the group event. Conversations about squirting over lunch. Showing off our sex toy purchases and letting still-almost-strangers know about the sale. It was downright refreshing not to repress myself as much as I usually do. For a few days, in the relative privacy of the venue and our groups, we could be who we are – and openly discuss things we usually reserve for our kinky Twitter.
We All Have Goals
Please know that I’m aware we all have goals, and I knew it before I went to Eroticon. I’m not completely self-absorbed. But it’s so easy to focus on our own dreams and forget our fellow sex blogger or creator has their own goals. Being in that environment allowed us to talk about them, share advice, and offer help where we could. Plenty of connections were made that furthered a lot of personal smutlancer goals during the event.
We’re Stronger Together
All creatives in the world of sex and kink have plenty to worry about. Will social media shadowban us? (Probably.) Can we keep using this free service or will their terms of service change? (Likely.) As individuals, there’s very little we can do about these things. But coming together as a group and a community, we can build each other up, support our fellow bloggers and writers, and make a lot of noise.
This is My Tribe
It doesn’t matter what kind of sex or smut you’re writing, your fellow bloggers, writers, and creators can be part of your tribe. You may have vastly different audiences or techniques. I’m a word girl while others focus on the image. You may love poetry, while someone else prefers prose. We’re still all the same tribe. At Eroticon that understanding was personified in the very real faces of the people I met and spent time with. And in the faces of the people I didn’t meet. We were all there for a common reason, and as different as we all are, we connected.
To make a long story only slightly less long, I guess what I’m saying is go…Go to Eroticon. Or BDSM Writers Con…or Woodhull. Pick one, and go. But I really hope I see you at Eroticon. Yes, it’s an international trip from Florida to the UK for me – long, exhausting, and expensive. It may be longer or more exhausting for you depending on your circumstances. I get it. But I’ll go again for one simple reason…
It’s worth every penny.
Did I convince you? Get your ticket to Eroticon here!