10 Things I Took From Eroticon 2017

Just over a month ago, I boarded a train to London to attend Eroticon for the first time. I started sex blogging around 15 months ago- although I use the word blogging in a rather loose sense. For those already familiar with my blog most of my work is confessional, and mostly non fiction or at least somewhat based in truth. The fiction I write is inspired by real life experiences or perhaps fantasies I have yet to experience.

Eroticon seemed to be a very pivotal event for the sex blogging community- and what a diverse community it is. From erotica, sex product reviewing, education, photography and drawing, to journaling about choices, lifestyles, relationships or dirty fucks (which in itself are as diverse, thrilling and interesting as you imagine)- no sex blog is the same. I watched on Twitter as the excitement built around this event, and one evening I decided to buy a ticket for the conference.

I was still to find my ‘niche’ in this big wide world (which is still true) as I admired, and still admire, the huge range of blogs tackling insightful, relevant, political, sexual and down right filthy. This was my biggest fear entering the conference venue, early on Saturday morning. If somebody asked me what I did, what would I say? How would I convince myself, and others, that I’m worthy of being in the company of such incredible people?

As I said my first hellos, and grabbed the most incredible bag of goodies I had ever been given at a conference, the nerves lessened (they didn’t leave completely!) and one of the best weekends began.

So how would I begin to round up this incredible weekend? Luckily Jenny Guérin began a ’10 Things I Took from Eroticon’ meme shortly after the conference. Now many have already submitted their pieces and it has taken me a little longer than most to compile mine. Although I started to draft my list not long after the conference itself, I wanted to wait for the Eroticon high to settle, and to see both what I took from Eroticon instantly and what took a little longer to manifest.

10 Things I Took from Eroticon 2017

The confidence to say ‘Hello, I’m Hannah. I write a blog.’

Firstly, and similarly to many others at Eroticon, it’s not very often I can say this to people I’m speaking to in person. That in itself felt really lovely.

Secondly, I wish I had more energy, time and intelligence for my blog! I leave it horrendously unmanaged for periods of time, and part of me would enjoy managing it all a little better, on a more regular basis. Yet, I enjoy that the nature of what I write is organic, cathartic and (although great to be read and appreciated) I’m not as concerned with views, readers and reach as perhaps I should be. However, Eroticon gave me the confidence in my little niche, and enabled me to feel more secure in what I do, and enjoy doing.

Two new books

I am a sucker for books- to me there is (almost…) no better feeling than curling up infront of the fire, with a cup of tea, home baking, my woolen blanket, my cat and the latest book that has taken my fancy. So luckily Eroticon gave me the opportunity to purchase not just one, but two, new books!

Identity: Eroticon Anthology


This anthology, edited by Anna Sky and cover illustration by Tabitha Rayne, features so many incredible minds and individuals I was honoured to listen to, and in some cases meet, over the course of the weekend. What a treat this book is! You may buy it here.

Enjoy Sex: Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock


After a wonderful session by Meg-John I felt compelled to buy this book. The session itself focused on putting yourself at the centre of your experiences, desires and journey in discovering your sexuality. This seems simple, but often we think about the desire and needs of others without or before trying to understand ourselves. This is definitely a book I’ll come back to again and again

This year I began lists of all those films, books and music that my friends recommend. You know, the ones they mention in passing, you say ‘I’ll have to give that a watch’ and go home to forget all about it. I’m starting a list for erotica/sex writing also- so any recommendations please do feel free to drop me a comment or email!

Some fantastic historical porn.

I love history, especially social history. I love learning about the people, not just the Kings, Queens, the powerful and the rich. I also love sex, the human form and finding out what makes others tick. Therefore when two sessions run by Dr. Kate Lister (Whores of Yore) were announced, I was beside myself with excitement. The first session talked about obscenity and literature, and delved into perspectives on what was too filthy or outlandish for public consumption and the processes taken to restrict readership of such materials. The session introduced many fantastic works of literature and art, from the street graffiti of ancient classical civilisations, to mediaeval Chaucer. Kate spoke about the open attitudes to, and visibility of sex, before it started to be seen as distasteful, and latterly corruptive. The second session was my idea of heaven, a collection of historical pornographic pictures showing a range of activities (including funnel assisted water sports!), clothing and body hair.

I would recommend everyone to follow Whores of Yore on Twitter, and engage with some of the fantastic research being undertaken!

 

This session also inspired a vintage style picture I took with the most fabulous mirror, which you can find here. 

My first reading of my work, out loud, which just happened to be to a room full of actual writers.

When Zak Jane Keir released a call for readers, my heart sort of jumped. I immediately saved the email, and came back to it at the moment I realised the jump was a ‘I would love to do that’ rather than ‘I would want the floor to swallow me up if I did that’. This was one of my spur of the moment, I’ll worry about that later moments that I seem to becoming rather practiced in.

I knew the piece I wanted to read when I sat down to decide what I wanted the audience to hear. It is one of my favourites, about an experience with someone important to the journey of accepting myself. You can read it here.

However, yet again in true Hannah style, I changed this quite last minute. After a few glasses of white wine (and a fair few more) I told a story about an encounter on a train. No one has heard this before, and I had yet to write it as a piece in my blog, however the next morning I thought it was fitting to read an original piece brought out of my by the wonderful Eroticon delegates and those glasses of wine.

 

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Scribblings as I try to make my train story into something I could read in front of a room full of established writers and creatives!

My notes later became this story, which is slightly adapted (some versions of events, I like to keep for myself). And I managed it! Perhaps the original choice of story would have been a better choice on paper, or perhaps I should have spent more time writing a beautifully crafted piece of writing. However, I think this story really gave a good essence of who I am- yes I’m filthy, yes I like to take my clothes off in public places and photograph myself, but I also don’t take myself too seriously.

I would also like to mention another writer here. All of the readers in this session were fantastic, incredibly varied and it was thoroughly a privilege to be in the audience. However, The Other Livvy read her piece Hoar Frost. I had read this through her blog, and thought it was a beautiful and cleverly crafted piece of prose. Yet hearing it in person gave it another dimension. It is probably one of the most moving pieces of erotic writing I have read. Certainly in a different league to a train fuck!

A fair few laughs

Eroticon is definitely food for the mind, but also medicine for the soul. I laughed so much over the course of the weekend, especially Saturday evening. This was in part due to me drinking wine and listening and sharing stories and attempting to sing with others, but mostly due to the wonderful entertainment organised by the Eroticon team. The Saturday social was unique as a conference networking opportunity, as it was a fantastic way to break the ice in person to handfuls of people who could have already seen my whole anatomy online. Yet it was also a chance to be thoroughly entertained by three amazing people: Rubyyy Jones, Chris Coltrane and Ros Ballinger. Rubyyy provided a fantastic burlesque set, which made me want to buy nipple tassels to shimmy around my flat in to do all of my jobs. Chris and Ros provided the best mixture of kink and sex positive comedy (in Ros’s case with props). As someone who often starts conversations with lines such as ‘did I tell you about my experience with a topless ukulele player who was covered in gravy?’ or show my friends the hilarious messages I used to receive on various kink dating apps, I was naturally well into both of these performers. They have upcoming shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and I’d recommend going to see both of them! I will be!

Internet search history

Oh my Lord, my internet search history could have made a rather dirty NSFW verse for Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire.

Desire for a Doxy

Yes, I don’t own a Doxy, and until recently I’d never had the pleasure of using one. I was always concerned of showing up, opening my bag and brandishing something that wouldn’t look out of place being plugged into a socket in the kitchen, and used to make some sort of super healthy smoothie. This might be a treat to consider in the future…

Admiration, inspiration and education: Blogs to Educate

My blog doesn’t really do much to educate the masses. I have opinions on relationships, body positivity, trauma, using your sexuality to learn more about yourself and the whole idea that body and sex positivity can be used as a tool to help recover from illness (mental or physical). Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t speak enough about this. However, I run another blog which focuses on mental health, and that is partly why I wanted to attend. But also because I always want to be inspired and learn, and it was nothing short of awesome to hear from Emmeline, Sarah and Girl On The Net. They spoke about the diverse range of issues they blog about and inspirations behind their desire to educate- whether trauma survival, vaginismus, celebration of their kinks or their desire to harness their platforms to be the awesome people they are! I can only recommend reading the blogs below to be inspired and to broaden your mind to issues you didn’t even realise you had an opinion on!

Emmeline Peaches: http://emmelinepeachesreviews.com/
Sarah Brynn Holliday: http://formidablefemme.com/
Girl on the Net: https://www.girlonthenet.com/

V&A ‘Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear’ exhibition

Not strictly something from Eroticon itself, however whilst I was in London I decided to make the most of my time around the conference and visit one of my favourite museums the V&A. Especially appropriate for the occasion was their special exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear which closed shortly after. This was a thoroughly enjoyable exhibition, looking at the history and manufacturing process of some (very) tiny corsets, the change in purpose and form of both male and female undergarmets through time, as well as looking at the more modern fashions. I also recently visited an exhibition of John Samson films at GoMA (Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art) This complemented the V&A exhibition so well as one of his films, Dressing for Pleasure, discussed the emergence of fetish clothing. There was also a brilliant film, The Skin Horse, focusing on the sex lives of disabled people- ground breaking in the mid 1980s and winning a BAFTA. I would definitely recommend a visit to this free exhibition if you are in Glasgow.

London Underground signs

Again not from the conference itself, but from the whole experience. Two London Underground signs really stuck out and I want to share them.

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What an appropriate message after two days being surrounded by inspiring people producing incredible works.

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I spotted this after a rather lovely Monday evening, and it touched my heart (soppy). What was the most incredible about Eroticon was a room full of people not afraid to be themselves, or express parts of themselves, and sometimes in the face of personal adversity, trauma, anxiety, nerves, depression and many other reasons why their journey may not be the easiest or smoothest. I met the most open, accepting and friendly people, with interesting stories, perspectives and ideas, and it is this reason why I would love to return. Here’s to 2018!

I Support Eroticon 2018

#PussyPride

On Saturday, I posted a photograph for my weekly #SinfulSunday entry. Sinful Sunday, run by Molly of Molly’s Daily Kiss is a platform to share and celebrate body and sex positive pictures. Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes it is just a favourite picture from the week. 

My most recent entry was this black and white photograph (you can see my blog post here). 


I love this picture. I love the contrast of the underwear against my pale skin, I love the fact I’m lost in a moment as I was unaware the photo was being taken, but above all I love the fact I am wearing crotchless underwear and exposing a certain part of my body. That part of my body is my vulva. In all of its wonderful, fleshy, pink (but in the case of the photo black and white!) glory. 

I love this picture for more than just the picture. I love this picture because, until recently, I would never have posted such a picture. Until recently I showed nothing but sheer repulsion for my vulva, especially my labia, all because 5 years ago another person looked at me before he went down on me and said:

“You look really weird down here. It’s messy and it’s not quite symmetrical”

… before poking it a bit, changing his mind, and simply fucking me so he didn’t have to look at it. 

I remember the words so clearly. Weird…messy… I remember crying myself to sleep that night, after spending an hour looking at my vulva in the mirror. I remember the intense paranoia and worry that my previous partner of five years had been lying to me. I remember the first time I tried to tuck parts of myself away, and the first time I searched online for what I could do about this. And the second, third, fourth. Vagina surgery. Changing your vagina. Labia adjustment. Labiaplasty. Labiaplasty. Labiaplasty. I became obsessed. 

I remember not being able to masturbate using my hand. I remember not wanting to have sex with the light on, or without a cover. I hoped they’d kiss me, and fuck me, with nothing in between. I didn’t want to be touched down there, and I definitely didn’t want anyone to go down on me.

I was a young woman, in the middle of discovering and understanding my sexuality, who was considering voluntarily slicing parts of my most intimate body area. An area I’d never before had a problem with. I became disconnected with my own body, because of one comment. 
Since then I have been trying to recover and I’m almost completely there. I stopped focusing on the perfect vulvas I could find in porn, and convincing myself I was weird and strange, and instead started to find pictures of real vulvas to find I was different. But we all are. And that’s fucking incredible. I look different to everyone else in this world. I’m not symmetrical. I am unique.

I am also incredibly lucky. I am glad I didn’t make the choice to alter my labia. But, even more important, I’m glad I was able to make that choice. Many girls around the world do not. Many lack the education that helped me come to terms with my difficulties, and their available education does not enable them to understand their anatomy. Many lack the opportunity to feel empowered as they accept themselves- asymmetry and all. Female Genital Mutiliation (FGM) is happening. Girls are having their clitoris cut off, or their labia (sometimes both) and in some cases have their vagina, opening sealed (infibulation). And by sealed I mean literally sewn together. It is estimated that 24000 girls under 15 in the UK are at risk of infibulation, These girls have no choice in the matter. For information on the what, who, where, when and how I’d recommend Foward UK but there are also a lot of other great awareness raising websites and campaigns. 

I am not at all discrediting the upset or disconnect we feel with our ‘different’ labias. I still feel that with mine. I am still not confident in letting others perform oral sex on me. Which is a shame, because it’s something I used really enjoy, and I hope I can perhaps enjoy again. But I am lucky- lucky to have my asymmetrical, unique vulva, lucky to be part of a community to celebrate the beauty in differences, and lucky that I have access to education and choice. 

I AM PROUD OF MY PUSSY


I would like to highlight two pages which helped me gather the confidence to write this post. 

Normal is Everyone’s Different by Exposing 40, shared after I gave a basic reselling of the feelings above on Twitter.

Pussy Pride Project by Molly’s Daily Kiss– featuring a plethora of submissions and proud pussy owners! 



Second Love

I wrote a reflective piece on my First Love after a recent meeting earlier this month. I had this burning want to write about my second, and it came pouring out as I’m sat on the beautiful East Scotland coast, looking at the sea. These emotions aren’t static, they will change in time; I just need a little bit of time. 

My second love floored me.

One dark Thursday evening I placed my heart into the warm, outstretched palms of my best friend, not knowing if he would decide to keep it there for a brief moment, or to try and carry it for a lifetime. There were, and still are, no words to describe the feeling of him eagerly taking it in his scared, excited, inexperienced hands, promising to hold, guard, nourish and protect it. I can only describe it as a love so deep that it will likely never leave me.

I know this love was unique, and I’ll never experience it again. The youthful naivety, fully expecting to live out our dreams, with unprecedented levels of absolute happiness. The utter joy of realising we had found our matches, our partners to see each other through the trials and tribulations of this big, exciting world. The moving hundreds of miles to eventually begin a future, to be left with nothing to show for the happiest times I had yet to experience. 

The first real cut in my heart had just about healed before we ripped it open again. A harsh, jagged tear which I know will leave an ugly scar when it finally does start to recover. I picture my heart when I handed it to him: fresh, open, bruised yet whole, and alive with tantalising optimism and promise. I hope that one day I will be able to hand it over again, or perhaps more accurately allow myself to consider that. But I do not imagine it shall escape its tightly locked box for a while, and even if so, whoever wishes to touch it will have to scale the walls before they reach it. 

#EuphOff: Tool of the Trade

When I saw a request by The Other Livvy to submit gloriously awful, cringe-worthy erotica, I just had to submit something! As someone who rarely uses euphemisms in my writing (I love the word cock, I love the word cunt, and I love the word fuck- and would use them at any given opportunity) it was fun to think of new euphemisms, which inspired this story. 

He’d been at it for a while. I could tell by the beads of sweat on his brow, the filthy state of his knees and the tired slowing of his wrist. He was excited at first, and I could tell in the speed of his action that he was trying to reach new depths and unearth dark, deep secrets.

He stood up, faltering under the intense heat enveloping us. My eyes trailed towards the ground, drinking in every detail.

‘Professor Hardbone’ I began, sheepishly. ‘Is that what I think it is?’

His hand drifted to the protrusion, which he revealed. I was embarrassed. I knew I was an amateur, yet I should know how to control such a thing. But presently I couldn’t even look at it without blushing.

It was beautiful. His shaft fit perfectly, in his palm and his proficiency in wielding such a specimen oozed from his very being. I examined the hard, thick hilt as his calloused fingers grabbed its length. The filthy tip was a testament to the work it must have already done. I would have cleaned mine afterwards, but what did I know?

‘Yes. Would you like…?’

He trailed off, and I followed with my gaze as his girthy handle entered my possession. It looked strong, experienced… worn. I imagine a wealth of treasures had been at its glistening end. I wonder if he still thought about them, each one in turn, or whether only a select few dance across his experienced mind.

I wrapped my fingers around it, and there was no give. My wrist was weak, but I’m sure that could change… with practice.

‘It’s so…’ I trail off and examine his tool, from the base to the tip. ‘It’s so solid’

I blush again, not knowing what I was expecting for my first experience.

‘Yes, Lucy. This has served me well over the many years.’

I relished the feeling in my hand. The stiff, unforgiving haft felt reassuringly comfortable in my soft, delicate hands.

‘Professor Hardbone, how would I be able to have one of these for myself?’

‘Lucy, weren’t you listening all those months ago? You entered my office and we discussed such matters.’

‘No Professor, I feel I’ve learned so much from you since then. Please forgive my memory.’ The colour rose in my face, as my eyes travelled to the floor.

‘If you wish to dedicate your life to going down for a living, you need to become competent in handling and manipulating one of these.’

He took one last look at the colour between my pale, inexperienced fingers.

‘This is a 4″ solid forged archaeological trowel, and you will be able to purchase one from all good archaeological tool retailers, usually for under £15…’

Over the course of the next month, you can find other #EuphOff entries be submitted to this collection here. Perhaps you feel inclined to write your own? I found that getting some friends around, drinking wine and discussing dirty talk mishaps was a great start! 

First Love

During my recent visit to London I was taken out for lunch by my first love. The love that completely captured my heart and breathed life back into it. My heart had yet to be truly broken (that was to come), but was already cold, hard and sceptical. 

We travelled Europe together, climbed ridges and sailed through silent lochs. Each conversation was finished with an instinctive ‘I love you’ devoid of any real consideration for what that meant. We tried to simultaneously pursue our passions in life and learning, and our dreams of- and for- each other. 

I’ve since watched from a distance at his successes and failings in this endeavour without me, and he has in turn watched mine. When the next tear was ripped into my heart, he was there to (again) caress my broken heart back to life, to remind me of my worth and beauty, and to help me address my demons.

Do you still love him?

Yes, a completely deep rooted love. A glowing appreciation for what we had, and that I was able to experience all we did together with him. A pleasure for being an integral part of our own journeys and processes of growing, both together and independently. And, most reassuringly, a complete lack of sadness of how it is now. I would not wish it any other way. 

A confessional fantasy for International Women’s Day 2017

To celebrate International Woman’s Day, a fellow sex blogger Exhibit A released a call for women to come forward with their fantasies. I submitted the following piece for this.

Joyride

Even in the dark we were both close enough to be seen, but far enough away to be missed. He had planned this immaculately.

My thighs started tremble with the crunch of the gravel underneath the tyres. My dress was still hitched around my waist, with my bare cunt on show. Driving in such a state was difficult, and I was glad he didn’t touch me.

His cock was hard as he silently took it in his hand. He didn’t need to ask what I wanted, or more accurately what he wanted to do to me. I could feel the pool underneath me, and he would see the stain left on the seat as I exited to make my way around the vehicle.

The mess between my legs made it easy to bury his cock inside me. His hands were working the buttons of my dress, one by one, until I was exposed- facing the dark windscreen wondering who was looking back.

I did wonder if I’d let my thoughts slip out, as he reached to the right of my head and turned on the interior light.

‘Now anyone can see you’

The resulting compilation can be found on Exhibit A’s blog here. I am sure you’ll agree they are all hot, for a plethora of reasons, and for me the collection helps to celebrate the diversity in our kinks and fantasies. Some are dark, some are specific, some are so beautifully simple, all are real.

Sculpture 

When visiting the V&A museum recently, I was stunned by the beauty of the sculptures in their gallery. I love the human form, in all its glorious diversity. The shape of our bodies are unique only to us, and what an exciting thought that is! 

Also the first sculpture I was faced with reminded me of a photo I’d taken last month.


Mankind, Eric Gill


Dots, Hannah

She took the Class 158 Express Sprinter train going anywhere… 

When the offer to register interest to deliver a reading as part of a session organised by Zak Jane Keir for Eroticon 2017 appeared on an email newsletter to delegates, I felt a twinge in my stomach. As an incredibly new blogger, still unsure of my niche or direction, who has never read her work to her friends, let alone a room full of eloquent, beautiful, inspirational sex writers, I was not best pleased with this feeling- as it suggested for a second that this was something I was interested in doing. But I was travelling to attend Eroticon for the first time, and surely this was going to be the best occasion to do this- and plus, what a privilege!

Needless to say I knew I was in the company of some pretty fucking hot sex writers. And of course, as Girl On The Net made the audience howl which laughter at her incredible poem (featured in the Eroticon anthology), and the other readers nervously worried about having to follow such an act, I already knew it was going to be me.

So now was probably the worst time to be standing with a fist of hand scribbled notes retelling a story I told at the social the evening before. This was a story I’d written for the first time two hours ago, which mentions the word cock a grand total of 0 times and where the word train appears a fair few more…

All aboard. 

I recently read an article titled 10 Train Journeys You Must Do Before You Die. Now, in my head, that title reads 10 Train Journeys You Will Probably Have To Do Twice Incase You Miss The Good Bits Whilst You Are Being Fucked In The Toilet. I’m not referring to those spacious toilets where you worry that if you press the wrong combination of buttons you will be the victim of a grand reveal, not unlike a game show prize, mid urination (I appreciate this may well be a prompt for certain fantasies for many of you). I mean those tiny, cramped cubicles, more closely resembling the chokey from Matilda; those toilets with ‘that smell’, where you are forever unsure what you are stepping in. If you are familiar with the Class 158 Express Sprinter, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about!

I’d been on this journey every day for a week, and everyday the guard checked my ticket there, and checked my ticket back. We were now at the stage of ‘oh not you again, do you live on this train’ chuckles and eye rolls. 

Today was different, he seemed to be taking a long time with my ticket. Now I, being a ball of uncontrollable anxiety, flooded with images about being thrown off the train, in a remote railway station and made to find my way home. Think that scene from Trainspotting, and just how shite it is to be Scottish.However, the ticket was returned, with a telephone number scribbled with the biro residing in his shirt pocket.

Now, I love going out for food and wine as much as the next person, but I really fucking love trains and I must capitalise on this opportunity. Skipping the negotiations (which resulted in a further scribble of ‘toilet…5mins?‘) I found myself bent over the sink, in that cramped toilet, with a hand grabbing the hair at the nape of my neck, and yanking my head back to watch myself in the dirty mirror. 

But that wasn’t the best bit… On the train floor, by my left foot, was the guards portable ticket machine. At this stage I thought, you know, in for a penny…. in for a pound(ing) so I asked the question I probably will never have the good fortune of repeating again.

May I please wear your ticket box around my neck…?’

(God, I’m polite for a filthy slut being fucked in a train toilet)

I understand this was not a request he was likely expecting, but he obliged- I imagine he didn’t know quite was else to do, and he hung it around my neck.

Now for the real best bit- and by this point I’m being fucked from behind in a dirty train toilet of a 158 Express Sprinter so I don’t use the words best bit lightly. I braced myself against the wall with one hand, and took the box in the other. I felt him change his movements, his rhythm quicken, and his fingers grip that little bit harder. As I felt the groan in the back of his throat rise through me, I pressed the Print Blank button and heard the machine as it ejected a pristine new ticket. 

I pulled up my tights, hung the box around his next, took the pen from his pocket and checked his (no longer blank) ticket. I slipped it into his pocket and made my exit.

The ticket simply read:

Thanks