Every time I come back from Eroticon, I find myself wondering the same thing for about a week or two afterwards.
I will have just spent the better part of two and a half days surrounded by openly sexual, body-positive people there with the collective goal of sexual freedom and openness of sexual expression. Typically, there will be no-holds-barred talks in which people use words like “cunt” liberally and nobody gives a f… a drat. By the end of the event, we’ll all be worn out, brimming with new ideas and usually a little horny.
How many of us have had sex since the event iself?
I haven’t, of course, but then I don’t. This isn’t really about me, though; it’s about you. Did I hug you at ‘con, or high-five you, or kiss you on the cheek? Did we share pleasantries, stories or a fist bump? Was there mutual recognition or re-connecting, or was there a new connection we shared? Then you were part of my weekend.
And since then, have you had sex?
How was it? Was it uncontrollable – a lustful fountain of fuck, so much pent-up energy being built up and let loose? Or was it careful – slow, deep, firm, and calculated? Maybe even planned? Perhaps the sex you had lasted hours, with plenty of foreplay and aftercare bookending the experience. It could have been the other way around: a random, unexpected shag on the sofa that hadn’t even been on your mind before it actually took place?
Or maybe you haven’t had sex with anyone else, but have done with yourself, concentrating on whatever best serves you with your fingers wrapped around your pulsing cock or thrumming your buzzing clit like a bass guitar?
Part of me wants to know. Part of me doesn’t. And then there’s the little voice in the back of my head telling me, it doesn’t matter, it’s not your place to know.
But still I wonder.
Because now I’ve met you, and I really want to know.
And so the Saturday evening social happened. It was a sequence of events.
I say that because I’m genuinely not sure what else to say about it. I ate too much food; I drank too much cloudy lemonade. Olly was chatty, Amy was sparkling and Robyn looked amazing. That’s what happened; I don’t have much else to say.
I went home via Kentish Town Station, having quite forgotten the farrago of the previous night, on which I clattered down the 100+ stairs in lieu of a working escalator. A helpful young man noticed me struggling with my bag and managed to convince me to let him carry it down the stairs for me – which he did. Thank you for your help, young man carrying bag full of sex things.
In contrast to Saturday, Sunday was a much calmer, more relaxing and relatively chill day. A pleasant surprise was the attendance of my dear friend Christine, whose name badge I had spotted at the Friday meet and greet but wasn’t expecting to see. It made me feel better to see her there, and I found her presence soothing.
Amy‘s session was nice and relaxed. As we should all know by now, I’ve never been particularly interested in adding affiliate links, but there were enough tips in her talk to help, and she was wonderfully composed while delivering it. Michael‘s first session – “Yet More SEO,” as I wrote in my notebook – was quiet but informative, and gave me an ego-boost by putting my site through GTMetrix. I don’t plan to use TikTok (I fail to see what I could do with it), but Sherryl seemed knowledgeable enough about it.
I didn’t take any notes during Michael’s second session. I don’t quite know why this is, but I’m really not keen on Mastodon. Probably mostly because I fear the unfamiliar. In any case, I now know enough about it to take the plunge. By contrast, I’m really not ready to have a Patreon, but GOTN‘s talk about it was so enthusiastic that I genuinely got some ideas about what I’d do with one if I did.
Goodbyes were said; the raffle was drawn. At this point it’s just become a matter of waiting to win the raffle, as opposed to wondering if I will. For my inevitable prize this year, I chose a book of erotica, and then sat with Olly trying to identify if I knew any of the authors.
And then we all went back to the pub.
And so that was it, basically. I ate some more, drank some more and then struggled my way down Kentish Town for the last time. Fair enough, it wasn’t the ribald ending filled with debauchery one would expect. We also didn’t get to play “I Have Never”, which I still want to do at some point…
…but it was Eroticon.
It looked like Eroticon. It felt like Eroticon. At some points, it very much felt like nothing had changed; as if 2020 hadn’t happened and we were returning to what was promised. At others, it felt so different that I began to doubt my own memory – surely there was more to ‘con than this? Was there something missing, or did I just have nostalgia for something that may not have existed?
But it was what it said it was. Frankly, I don’t even know what else I could have been expecting.
As I said in my meet and greet post, I was uncertain about going to Eroticon this year. In the end, I did, and although I wasn’t sure if I would, I put a lot of myself into it, and got a lot out of it. Is that a win? Maybe it’s a win. I’m not too sure.
There are a few moments I want to touch on, but let’s do this in a vaguely chronological order.
The Friday night meet and greet was all right for what it was. I was one of the first there (of course), despite having stopped at a barber for a haircut and shave on the way(!); I decided to get a cloudy lemonade and wait, and although it took a while for the steady trickle of people to start coming, come they did. I was pleased to see Molly, Michael and Nick setting up (and nobody needed to ask my name or which colour lanyard I wanted – they knew by rote!), the sparkles on Amy‘s face, the incredible amounts of queer energy emanating from Quinn, and – of course – GOTN. Always a pleasure.
Seeing Olly, however, was a genuine surprise. I haven’t seen him for about five years and had no idea he was coming. He is still a genuine delight to talk to, and we vibed really well. That’s one of the things I love about ‘con – seeing people you don’t expect.
Saturday, for me, was characterised largely by the fact that I woke up incredibly early and got an Über to meet for the first time my dear friend Robyn. Robyn is basically the reason I ended up going to ‘con, as she made a very generous financial contribution that helped with my ticket and I felt like I should ingratiate her into the community (plus, after months of talking and flirting, I felt we ought to meet!). She took incredible amounts of notes in the sessions – I am amazed by her workrate – and, by the time the evening social came around (in which she looked AMAZING – we are talking incredibly stunning here, people), she was contentedly chatting away with people she had never even heard of before. I call that progress!
One of the best moments of entire weekend for me was introducing Robyn to GOTN and laughing at the amount of mutual fangirling that happened. It was genuinely difficult to tell who was more excited!
The Saturday sessions, even though I found it difficult to choose, I all enjoyed. Blake‘s session busted a few myths and gave me some stuff to research. I went to Dee‘s on a whim but really liked not only the content but the way it was presented. GOTN’s first session was great – I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t get to read this year, so this was a chance to pretend I was; plus, Robyn’s husky delivery made me hard, so thanks for that uncomfortable moment, gang.
I wanted to go to Neil‘s session all along and I’m pleased I did, for not only was it informative, he was hilarious! I ended the day with Dr Eleanor Janega‘s session – my one dead cert to attend, as I love what she does. This was a whistle-stop tour of sex history and she is a genuine pro (I wrote “she is a pro” in my notes, so it must be true).
I was fully intending, at this point, to skip out and go home to dump my bag and change my shirt before the Saturday night social. As it turns out, did none of these things. GOTN talked me into being one of the thirteen participants in ElectraStim‘s record-breaking chain. I’ve never experienced electro sensation before, and although I’m a genuine wimp, this was a fascinating and genuinely curious experience. Not altogether unpleasant, either, and I’m pleased to have been a part of something special.
And then we had the Saturday social, which was a sequence of events.
Before I get into this, I want to make a couple of things clear.
Up until a few days ago I wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I would be attending Eroticon at all this year, or indeed any other year after this. Financially, I am in no position to be doing so; I also felt completely inadequate during the last one I attended and perhaps even more so during the aborted 2020 replacement. I also submitted a session idea that didn’t get taken up (which would have helped with the money… also, I was sort of planning it in my head already).
I’m not even sure I have the faith in the community that I used to, or if I do, it’s not to the same degree. There are always going to be the few that I trust and adore – and there’s one person coming this year who I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time with – but there are always those undertones that I’m not comfortable with. Specifically, there’s a streak of élitism detectable throughout the upper echelons, and that’s what makes me feel uncomfortable.
And yet here I am.
I’m coming for a number of reasons:
one, I’ve been to every ‘con since the first one back in 2012 and I really ought to keep doing so; two: I made promises to various people and I intend to keep them; three: my dear friend Robynmade a generous donation to aid my attendance and I owe her a lot; four: my therapist told me to go.
I will type that again: my therapist. told me. to go.
five: as you may have noticed, I’ve sucked at blogging this year. The intent is there, but the flesh is weak. I’m really wrestling with a creative block. Whatever else Eroticon may be, I’m hoping for it to be a way out of this.
And so here I stand in front of the annual Meet & Greet, wondering if I will get what I want out of Eroticon, if anything unexpected will happen, or even if I am still welcome. I am, as always tentatively excited about this, so I cautiously dip my toe into the waters. Here’s hoping I find them clear, to some extent.
The Meet & Greet
Name (and Twitter)?
Innocent Loverboy, but usually referred to as ILB (pronounced “I’ll be” /aɪel’bi:/, not “illb” /ɪlb/). I have other names too; a few of you know my real name and I’ll answer to that. Frankly, I’m still amazed anyone talks to me at all so I’ll probably answer to anything.
I’m on Twitter as @innocentlb, but I’m not on any other social media platforms. Oh, and please don’t refer to Mastodon as “Masto”. That sounds like a supervillain.
Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2023?
(i) I stole this from Molly wholesale, but it is “it’s finally happening”. Yes, I was a bit dubious of the whole affair as above, but I can’t deny that I am both relieved and excited that ‘con is back.
(ii) The social aspect. I’ve mentioned Robyn above, but I’m sure there will be a few there who I hadn’t realised were coming that I’ll know. There are always new people at ‘con (maybe too many, if I’m being honest, at the last one) and that might be fun. (I’ll also buy GOTN a drink. I don’t genuinely owe her one, but I always pretend I do and she hasn’t clocked this yet.)
(iii) I’m sure some of the sessions? Having looked through the running order, there are very few that move me so far, so I’ll make a choice at the time, but let’s be honest, I’ll end up at all the ones run by my mates. I am genuinely intending to rejuvenate my blog at ‘con, though, and I hope at least some of them help.
If there’s a session I’m not going to and I have no alternative I may well be in the coffee / break room, available for chats and hugs. I’m also willing to talk blogs if you struggle; I genuinely have decades of experience.
And I can do sex talk. Always can do sex talk.
Sadly with a change of venue this year for the Friday night Meet & Greet we won’t be compiling a playlist, but I know that everyone enjoys that bit, so… what is a song that always has you turning the volume up?
I actually don’t know where the Friday night is, but I’ll be going along whatever, so yeah.
At work recently we have been playing a lot of dance music (there’s a reason for that; it’s not just random) so, even though I don’t dance as well as I used to due to my increasing disability, I’ve been enjoying the rhythms. How about Don’t Stop Movin’ by S Club 7?
Don’t laugh; you like it too, don’t you?
At my wedding last year, the final dance was to SHUM by Go_A, so maybe that’s an option.
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
As I told my educational psychologist during my genius diagnosis (yes, really), I wanted to be a film director. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I wanted to be a cartoonist, a magazine editor, a computer programmer, a journalist, a peace campaigner, an English teacher, a campaign organiser based in Japan, a rock star and a comedian.
I am none of those.
What does your joy look like today?
A Vine compilation. I didn’t really catch the zeitgeist when Vine was a thing, but people are still making compilations on YouTube and they never fail to make me smile.
What is your favourite musical?
As anyone who’s paid attention knows, I am a massive fan of musical theatre, and it’s one of my greatest loves. It’s an unfulfilled ambition to end up on a West End stage (or any stage) and sing in a musical… and I have a fantasy about it, if that’s your sort of thing.
In any case, my favourite musical is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – it always has been – but I know all the words to Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Producers and several others. I’m still working on Hamilton, but I almost have that too.
If you were the captain of a pirate ship, what would be the name of your ship?
The Sea Cucumber. Yes, that’s a Monkey Island reference, but I’d steal adapt it for my ship too. At school, we once had a challenge to build a seaworthy craft out of paper, and my group’s went through several changes before we named it #4.
As soon as you have finished writing answering these questions, what are you going to do?
Oh, boy. It’s been a very long and difficult week full of unexpected challenges. This is written with the very last of my energy. I think the appropriate verb is “collapse”.
Complete the sentence:
I need… £2,500 in order to clear all my debts and have some money left over. Or, if that’s too much, maybe some cake.