So here we go, part three of my Eroticon report. Today I’m donning my kinky dog collar and reminiscing about the weekend experience in my role as Reverend Blisse – cleric to the kinky.
Every day of my life I stumble across spiritual fulfilment. I don’t always look for it but I very often find it. Many people would assume that a sex conference is a Godless kind of place. I’m not one of those. In fact in 2014 myself and KD Grace led a workshop on the subject of sex and spirituality which highlighted a whole world of connection that the conservative church would like to bury. Not me though. I dove into eroticon seeking enlightenment and found it in several ways.
Walking up to the venue I saw some beautiful works of art and art definitely speaks to the soul. I’m a very owly person. I adore owls so seeing these fellas on the wall walking to our venue made me smile and I felt right at home.
Eroticon this year was at Arlington House an amazing social enterprise helping the homeless in very practical ways. Now that’s the kind of spirituality in action I love to see. I have to say the staff at Arlington were amazing too. So helpful, not a thing was too much trouble. As a coeliac I was a little unsure what food I might get. When I got my lunch on the first day I was overjoyed. I got this whole platter of yummy carefully wrapped in cling film. Absolutely amazing and delicious without a single worry about cross contamination. That, for me, is love in action and I appreciate it so much.
I think I was most surprised by spirituality late on the Saturday afternoon when my energy levels had waned and I’d resorted to chocolate and pepsi max for a bit of a boost. Molly asked if I fancied trying the Steel and Stilettos workshop and I shrugged and said ‘why not?’
I’m not the fittest person in the world by a long shot but I do my Zumba and I’m very happy with shaking it to music. This is what I expected to be doing. I wasn’t disappointed. Jetsetting Jasmine really put us through our dancing paces and the lovely King Noire did the DJ thing for us.
What I wasn’t expecting was to exercise my mind, there was a whole lot of roleplay involved, I had to put on my knee high, shiny, lace up fetish boots at one point, to pretend I was in my high heels and at another time I was dancing seductively at the bar to get free drinks. Oh and I got very up close and personal with my very own Mr Chair, he was very impressed with my lap dancing skills I can tell you!
And the last amazing surprise came as we cooled down and my soul became engaged. Jasmine empowered us as women, to give all we could give but to remember to take too, we need the balance. It was beautiful. I felt my skin prickle with electric and my heart soared as I connected with the spiritual right there. Encouraged to be wholly and beautifully me.
So The Steel and Stilletos experience exercised my body, brain and my soul. It was beautiful and I’m so glad I got to join in. There wasn’t a moment of worry. Okay, I couldn’t do some of the moves but I was encouraged to do what I could do and that was fantastic. I left the room energised and empowered.
Saturday night’s entertainment was very good for the soul, I laughed and laughed and wondered. Ros Ballinger’s Idiot’s guide to kink was fantastic – she had a whole room of people in a pub cheering for a doxy she held in the air, victor like, for us all to see. I’ve already mentioned the amazing Rubyyy Jones and her beautiful burlesque but it has to get a mention here too. Watching a woman with a very similar body shape to my own having a blast of a time stripping on stage and entertaining everyone present was so very uplifting. I’ve got body confidence issues, though more and more I’m accepting me and my bits just as they are, seeing Rubyyy doing her thing so brilliantly just gave me such a boost. Thank you.
Saturday night also provided much soul food in the guise of conversation. I sat for a while with the incredibly lovely Emmeline Peaches and part of our conversation revolved around how amazing it is to be with people who understand. Writing has its own quirks but sex writing is a very unique beast and there are things that only another sex writer will really get. Being around dozens of people who get it is a wonderfully nurturing and inspiring experience. Just being around such creative people is inspiring in itself. In a community where most members spend a hell of a long time on their own in front of a laptop it’s essential for us to meet up in the flesh sometimes and share our inspirations, joys, trials and tribulations. That’s why we set up Smut.UK events to get us out from behind our screens and socialising. That is, I know, a big part of eroticon too.
The same night I stood and had a long conversation with Yusef, Alington House Manager and all round lovely fella. We talked about inclusion, how an ideal world would accept everyone just for who they are. No one would have to ‘come out’ there’d be only celebration of people’s differences and uniqueness and the world would be a happier, shinier place. My soul sang, speaking to this man. An idealist and big dreamer just like me. It’s beautiful when open minds get time to play with each other. It soothes and excites the soul.
A lot of the spiritual moments of Eroticon were found in conversations. People with passion talking passionately about what they love makes me soul soar. I don’t even care if I don’t *get* why they’re so excited about it personally, I just delight in the expression of their delight and joy and commitment. It’s a beautiful, creative thing and I know many beautiful stories, ideas, collaborations and future projects will come from the melting pot of imagination and vision that was eroticon 2017.
Another way I find spiritual enlightenment is through pain. I’ve only relatively recently discovered this but my soul sings when I am experiencing pain. I wasn’t expecting to find any at Eroticon but then I ended up trying something new and thoroughly enjoying it. The lovely Michael was demonstrating cupping (informally) and I asked if I could have a try. It’s quite simple. A lil’ glass bowl like cup is applied to the skin, then heated and that creates a vacuum that pulls on the skin. It’s a method of Chinese healing and I can definitely see it’s therapeutic benefits. Even just the little bit I received stood, in a corridor, was relaxing as I focused in on the sensation of pinching, squeezing and almost paper cut scratching where the cup attached to my skin. It’s also all kinds of kinky and I certainly want to try more soon! Thanks, Michael!
I’ve one last story to tell you. It was after Eroticon finished. I was dragging my huge suitcase, banner and 2 bags stuffed full of personal bits and bobs, books and amazing donations to the erotic tombola back home via the first challenge – the tube. It was, in theory easy. I only had a few stops to go but what I’d forgotten was the number of steps I’d have to negotiate to get to the tube platform.
I dragged my luggage up two small flights (which when not laden down are nothing much) then saw the steeper flight of say 20 steps I had to get down to get to my platform. At the top sat a young man, begging cup in hand. I stopped to dig in my purse for some change and I will admit it wasn’t purely to help him out, it was to give me a breather to psych myself up for lugging the luggage when I was running very close to empty.
I spoke with the lad for a while, he asked if I’d had a nice weekend, I explained id’ been at a conference, hence all the luggage and how I needed a packhorse to move it all.
“Well, I can’t do that but I can give you a hand down the stairs if you like.” He replied. And bless him, he lugged my horrendously heavy suitcase all the way down those stairs for me. And that little act of kindness, a kindness tit for tat I suppose, warmed my heart and helped me the rest of the journey back up north. What a lovely guy. That small act made a big difference. And I’m finding more and more that it is the small things in life that make big differences.
So thank you to all at eroticon 2017 who’s small acts, little kindnesses and fond conversations fed my soul. It was a beautiful weekend and I can’t wait for next year.