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Naked Gun safe sex

And I'm Spent

I've been to conferences before, but never one featuring condoms in the delegate bag.

I spent my weekend at Eroticon 13, a conference for writers of erotica and bloggers of sex. (I am not about to become one of the latter. Sorry if this disappoints anyone.) It was relatively cheap and took place not far from my 'hood, in Coin Street, so I thought I'd take a punt and I'm glad I did.

The crowd was pretty much what I was expecting: lots of women around my age, give or take a few years, though everyone who'd been in 2012 said the young man count was well up. I was afraid I wouldn't talk to anyone, but found a friend straight away as we teamed up to persuade the coffee dispenser to dispense some coffee, and managed to strike up several more conversations over the course of the weekend. Late on Day 1 I was asked if I knew slightlyfoxed, an acquaintance to which I proudly admit, and that's how I met Jacqueline Applebee. (She had been told to look out for someone probably wearing orange and, having exhausted those options, eventually found me and my bright red shirt.)

I enjoyed Saturday's editing talk, entitled "Let's Eat, Pussy", which included some examples of how not to write sex. Hint: don't use the phrase 'baby batter'. (On Sunday, someone told me that this had sunk into their subconscious, causing them to go home and make pancakes.) There were creative writing sessions and talks by publishers. There was a talk from Brook, the young people's advisory service, about the challenges and opportunities presented by including information about safe sex and consent in erotic writing, and one on self-publishing ebooks. I enjoyed the Anthologies panel, which not only suggested potential markets but made anthology editors human, rather than the faceless entities of my imagination who read my submissions and laugh cruelly.

The surprise hit of the weekend, for me, was Ashley Lister's poetry workshop. There were some good points about using the tricks and tools of poetry within prose, and the whole session was a load of fun. We had to write smutty haiku and limericks in five minutes each, and were picked on to read them out.

Here is my haiku. I was at pains to point out that it's a proper haiku as it evokes a sense of season:
Screeches in the night
Howling Spring-awakened lust
Those bloody foxes.

And here is my limerick:
A young electrician named Peter
Was asked to repair a gas heater.
"It's sooo hot in here,"
Moaned his client, "my dear!"
Said Peter: "And think of the meter!"

Neither of these is especially sexy, but they did make people laugh. Which pretty much sums up my career in erotic fiction to date.

When I reported to my associates that we'd been made to write poetry then read it out, they paled and expressed relief they hadn't gone. Later, some of them went to a hands-on session entitled 'BDSM: The Tools of the Trade', which had a similar effect on me.

BIG YIKES of the weekend: at the closing session I was the first name read out as a random prizewinner and had to walk up and receive my goodies in front of everyone. Luckily the prize was books, rather than something donated by sponsors Swan Vibrators.

Here is a photo of, L-R, Jacqueline Brocker, Jennifer Denys, and me, all wearing black lanyards to indicate our consent to be in photos. Don't we all look nice and normal?

Eroticon 13

I came away very pleased with my weekend's work. I have new people to follow on Twitter, new markets to pursue, and a couple of new ideas for writing, and I was home shortly after 6 on both days.

But what am I going to do with all these condoms?
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Fill them with water and drop them from a great height.
Tempting, especially the glow-in-the-dark one!
I recall a somewhat embarrassing incident during my first degree that involved condoms (free on the cover of that week's student paper), a cylinder of helium, and a party of prospective students being shown around the labs that day.

Edited at 2013-03-04 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they all signed up on the spot!
This really sounds like fun for the whole family all around.

"Baby batter"? I'm more than slightly alarmed that someone, somewhere, must presumably have actually used that phrased in earnest. Here's hoping it won the anonymous author a bad sex award, at least.

I do like your haiku, too — and the limerick, but it was the haiku that really made me laugh.

Don't we all look nice and normal?

Yes. :) Ah, they use different-colored lanyards to indicate whether people are willing to appear in pictures or not? That's pretty neat; I wonder if furry cons could adapt something like that. (Of course, with lanyard colors already being used for such things as membership/sponsorship status, you'd quickly end up with a system that's at least as complex, arcane and confusing, not to mention non-standard, as the hanky code, which would likely limit its utility in practice.)
I'm wondering if the editing examples came from fanfiction.net. Another brilliant one was a character needing lube and 'noticing a pack of butter just laying around in the sheets from earlier'. As you do.

The lanyard idea initially made me think of a sort of party I don't get invited to :)
I'm wondering if the editing examples came from fanfiction.net. Another brilliant one was a character needing lube and 'noticing a pack of butter just laying around in the sheets from earlier'. As you do.

*snrk* I wish I could say my sex life was so varied.

But yeah, that sounds like a distinct possibility. I've only ever read a few pieces on fimfiction.net myself, and non-explicit ones for that matter, but you sure get some rather funny bits in fanfic at times. One piece, for instance, had this: "On the other side of the palace, sitting serenely on her throne conducting royal business, Princess Celestia suddenly flinched like she'd been slapped on her royal tooshie". Oh my... ^^

(EDIT: And no, "sitting on her throne conducting royal business" was, unfortunately, not a euphemism. ^^)

But I have a sneaking suspicion that quite a few fanfic authors are doing this on purpose.

The lanyard idea initially made me think of a sort of party I don't get invited to :)

I wouldn't know (alas), but that sounds like a definite possibility as well.

And although this may be apocryphal, I also recall hearing, years ago, about a similar scheme being employed at MENSA conferences; supposedly, red meant "no hugs", yellow meant "ask first", and green meant "just hug away".

A quick web search actually confirms this, too. :)

Perhaps this is something else that could be adopted for furry cons. I've noticed at EF that people's openness to hugs (both giving and receiving) has declined significantly as attendance has gone up.

Edited at 2013-03-04 01:04 pm (UTC)
It's a good thought - I would rather not be hugged without warning, and probably not by someone I didn't know. Looks like I'll be wearing red to ConFuzzled (but hey, I probably would anyway).
I'll go with yellow myself — hugs are OK, but unless someone already knows me and all that, I'd prefer to be asked first.

It turns out these colored dot stickers are cheap, too — I got almost 100 in each color for only about 5 EUR, and these are reasonably large (18mm) ones already.
Yes, it's the assumption that you want someone right up in your grill that bothers me more than anything else! One of these days I won't be able to control my lightning reflexes <.
Sounds like a great time! Too bad you didn't have a copy of your latest anthology contribution to show off. Soon!

As an adult anthology editor, I've seen quite a few bad sex scenes, but thankfully "baby butter" is a new phrase to me.

BTW, love your choice of con couture!

Heh, thanks! I thought it might flush out any lurking furries, but none came forward.

I was packing Heat in case anyone asked what this furry writing gig was all about, but didn't end up showing anyone.

(Er, I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about faceless entity anthology editors.)

Edited at 2013-03-04 02:48 pm (UTC)
No! No worries. Aside from online avatar icons, I can see how editors on the other side of the planet can feel rather faceless. Some day I hope to return to Europe, and perhaps we can meet up then.

I'm curious, do some writers wander around these types of conventions with copies of things they've written in their hands so that they can oh-so-subtly bring up the fact that they're published into the conversation? :)
That was exactly the sort of writer I didn't want to be (and I didn't catch anyone else at it). But had someone asked...

It would be lovely to meet in person sometime. I'd like to make it over to your side of the pond but I'm not sure when that might happen.
I suppose you could always send the condoms to the House Of Commons. It sounds like they're a right randy bunch.

Still, I'm really glad the day proved such a success and that it gave you some more inspiration! :D
Thank you!

There was also a glow-in-the-dark sperm keyring, which I initially thought would go straight in the charity shop pile, but I ended up finding it quite funny and putting it on my bike keys.
Aww, bless 'em.
"Neither of these is especially sexy, but they did make people laugh. Which pretty much sums up my career in erotic fiction to date."

Maybe you should be parodying erotic fiction, rather than writing it? (-8
Condom stress balls!! NEED.
Too bad the Fifty Shades boat has sailed.