My Sunday started pretty usually with a trip by bus over to my church…but I had my case in tow and I wasn’t staying. I dropped my daughter off, chatted to the vicar (who was wonderfully blasé about the fact I was missing church to go to a Sex industry show and awards ceremony) stayed for 15 mins then headed back towards Manchester Piccadilly and my train to Birmingham!
I met up with Lexie Bay and Kay Jaybee at the station and headed through the NEC and onwards to our hotel. The Crowne Plaza is very swish, and I felt like a star from the moment we walked in. Lexie and I were room mates for the night so we went up to our room, bounced on our beds and freshened up before heading over to the ETO show itself with Kay and KD Grace and Ray,her other half who’d just arrived too.
I wanted to find Cara Sutra at her stand but rather like Macavity the mystery cat…she wasn’t there! But we carried on regardless.After we chatted to Lee Schofield about plans for the awards we met one of the Brit Babes Street team members, Mel. She’s fab and runs an online store called voluptasse, full of sexy goodies! The final Brit babe in our weekend line up soon arrived, the ever elegant Tabitha Rayne!
Ruby Kiddell, Eroticon organiser and lovely Velvet books editor also came over to join the conversation round the table (we were inbibing much needed caffeine!) and I felt right at home, amongst the dildoes, lingerie and bondage gear.
It was with great trepidation that the Brit Babes accepted the offer of Ice cream from Becky from System JO. We were in the middle of a display of all kinds of sex toys so I was a little worried what the ice cream might actually be..but no, it was real ice cream in a little paper cup with a tiny plastic spoon.
The twist came when we were encouraged to cover it in flavoured lube…no really! I tried the Cherry Burst and the Peachy Lips and both were delicious!
Time was marching on so the assembled babes headed back to their hotels to get glammed up for the ETO awards! I was, I confess, a little worried that I’d look frumpy in the company of so many beautiful people but I have to say, I look pretty in pink. I admired many pretty dresses and shoes (though boy am I glad my shoes were flat!) and drew a fair few positive comments on my outfit. I’ll give a prize to anyone (bar Lexie and my sister who already know) who can guess how much my dress cost.
We gathered outside the Crowne Plaza to head (by bus) to the awards, being held inside the NEC.
Waiting around being offered champagne and orange juice (I picked orange juice as alcohol makes me sleepy) I chatted to Paul Evans, the guy behind Jo Divine and others. In the awards hall itself (which was huge) I made my way over to the Velvet Books table, with Ruby, the Brit Babe gals , Lovely lisa and Nina from Carnal Creative and a young man in women’s knickers. Well, not literally, it was Gareth of Alter Ego Lingerie.
Table 15 was the place to be and after a tasty 3 course meal we settled down to find out the award winners. The Dapper Dale and Lee kept us entertained and gave us the nominees and winners.
It was lovely to see Nigel and his fab team pick up the Best Consumable award for Give Lube. We Smutters love those guys, they give us lots of support and lots of lube. They’re a real asset to the industry.
And then Xcite got best book brand and my mates KD Grace and Kay Jaybee went up to get the award, woot!
And the awards kept coming. There were 3 babes up for the Best Erotic Author, Kay Jaybee, Lucy Felthouse and the winner KD Grace!!!! Our table went wild, we were so excited for KD, she is an amazing author and hands down one of the nicest people I have ever, ever met.
We were still partying over KD’s win when Cara Sutra was awarded best Erotic Journalist and moments later the incredibly awesome Renee Denyer of Sh! was crowned The best Store Manager. I was so giddy, all my mates were getting awards and it felt brilliant!
After the awards there was photo taking and then there was music and we Brit Babes (and Ray!) were the first up on the dancefloor, I tell you, we can boogie! I took a break from the dancing to have a drink and bumped into team Segzi who generously sent free cock rings to Smut by the Sea and give us smutters a 10% discount at checkout if we use the code SMUT10 . It was great to chat in person for a change.
For a while it looked like we were being sensible, back in the hotel for 1am…then we decided to sit in the foyer and chat for a bit (with many other ETO visitors) and then all of a sudden it was 4am!
We met a very charming gent who found ice for our champagne, popped our cork and gave us all a…flute of bubbles (dirty minds, all of you) to properly celebrate KD’s great success. It was the perfect way to crown the day.
Lexie and I dragged ourselves down to breakfast a few short hours later, it was tasty and you know, even after little sleep we babes look sexy!
After checking out Lexie and Me said bye to KD, Ray and Kay and headed back to the ETO show. We finally tracked down the illusive Cara Sutra, she signed cards for me and I signed a copy of Her Secret Past for her (enter the contest to win it here!) and she gave me a big bag of goodies, yay!
Pick up her Fantasy Beginners Bondage Kit here if you fancy spicing things up a bit!
Who else did I see on Sunday? The lovely Matt from Tease Games and I finally caught up with the illusive Nigel over at the Give Lube stall. We’d done little more than wave at each other across crowded rooms up until that point.
It was a fabulous couple of days and I napped on the train home. No one came to sit beside me, I thought maybe I was snoring, but no, the paddle handle from the big bag ‘o’ goodies that Cara had given me was sticking out of the top of my bag. I don’t think anyone one on the train fancied a spanking!
I enjoyed getting glammed up, staying in a posh hotel and playing celeb for a while but as always with these kinds of events I enjoyed being with like minded people the most. Folks who love sex, who celebrate it and don’t get all squicked out when it’s brought up in conversation. The kind of people who build you up, who support and encourage and who don’t bat an eyelash at giant butt plugs and enormous dildoes. People in the sex industry rock. I’m so glad to be part of it and thanks ETO for helping us come together!
(I couldn’t resist ending on a pun!)