I originally posted this at eroticmeet.net but it’s in keeping with what I’ve going on here so I wanted to add it anyway. I added an extra surprise on the Erotic Meet version but if you want to see that you’ll have to go check it out for yourself. 😉
This is a different kind of Erotic Meet Write Up. It’s also very long, so please be patient.
When I first went to an Erotic Meet in May, I was interested in meeting other people who were trying to make their way in this business we call Erotica. I wanted to learn about websites, and how to write better, and how to get published, and how to convince myself that one day I will make my fortune as a writer. I went to the second meet because I’d had so much fun at the first, even though it took me three hours to get there and three hours to get back and I only got an hour and a half in the pub when I got there. I already felt part of a thing that I couldn’t miss out on.
I went to my third meet up a different person. I was not a happy camper at home and the family at Erotic Meet were becoming some kind of haven where I could express all the things I wanted without being reproached. There were a whole boatload of experiences I wanted out of that weekend and I didn’t get any of them (for one reason or another). But I was still there primarily professionally and I came away having networked and I was happy with that.
Erotic Meet started to change after that. It got very big. It wasn’t just a networking place any more. It was a social event. Admittedly it was always social, but I got a bit upset because I didn’t feel these two things should be mutually exclusive. There were a couple of people that really got me cross because I felt they’d missed the point. The first Meet that I missed was the beginning of the stage show but I couldn’t help but feel that as a writer of fiction looking to make money out of my words, I was being edged out by people that just wanted to be kinky and meet people they could talk about filthy sex with.
The next meet that I went to was the first one with Cefyn. And that was when Erotic Meet changed for me. I hadn’t written for a while because I’d been moving house and splitting up with my husband and starting a new job and watching my life implode as Cefyn told me he was married and that he was fucking off with his wife for a month to let me mull over that news. I didn’t need a networking event. I needed the family of people that have taken me in as a kindred spirit and cuddle me and love me and keep me going when the rest of the world is difficult. Cefyn had never had that kind of family before. I think it was a big eye opener for him. We went away as two people not sure quite what was going on and came away as a couple knowing what our future should be like. Erotic Meet will do that to you.
I think we Erotic types are a bit different to other people. You’ll have to forgive me if I’ve got this completely wrong (and please let me know) but I have a theory. We’re not afraid of talking about sex. We write about it, we think about it, we revel in it. Our love of sex isn’t what makes us different. We are able to openly express an intimate connection with sex that most people are too scared to admit they even have. But what makes us different is that our open expression of sex equates to a comfort in our own skin that most people don’t have. We understand our desires and we’re okay with them. Is that fair? I’m not saying this in a “everyone else is wrong” or “we’re better than everyone else” kind of way. I don’t really want to imply there is an “us” and a “them,” even though there kind of is because most of us are leading double lives to express these desires so openly. Which means that this comfort in our own skin for a lot of us only exists when we are together. Not necessarily around the “normal” people that we live and work and socialise with on a regular basis.
What I’m trying to say is that being together is an incredibly powerful experience. And for me, this has kind of taken over as a main reason for coming to London. The networking is valuable. I’m making a name for myself. But more than that, I’m putting faces to the Twitter handles that get me through my day to day. I come to meet and laugh and just be with the people that really get me.
This Erotic Meet just gone was the first weekend that Cefyn and I have had together since we came to London for Erotica in November. I had a vague awareness that we were all over each other like a rash and it probably comes across that we’re like that all the time but the truth is we were making up for lost time. (This is not to say we’re not like that when we’re together the rest of the time, just that we don’t have a heck of a lot of time in which to do it.) I was a wreck and I knew it. I was in constant pain because I’d spent two weeks slicing my arms open and whilst I anticipate everyone would have been understanding, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I wasn’t really me. I was trying to be me, but I couldn’t work out how. It was nice to see everyone but I felt detached from reality.
Then along came Molly. I cannot tell you how much time I have for this woman. She keeps me and Cefyn going so much just by text that being in the same room as her has a kind of soothing effect. I can’t hide from Molly because she gets inside my brain. I often think she knows my thoughts better than I do. Which she has every qualification to be able to do, as it happens, having been there… but anyway. I digress. Molly made me cry and I let her, for which I am very grateful. I find crying one of the most cathartic things on the planet. I do it a lot. You may notice.
And actually, that was the high point of my evening. After that I “found myself” a bit. There were loads of other things that were awesome about this meet. I met a whole ton of new people, Rose and Black Silk Blog (and perfectlytwistd, it turns out!) amongst them. I stood in a corner getting very cosy with Lady Grin Soul and Cefyn (more to come on that one.) I caught up with the rest of the “family” – Liz and Annie and Shalla and Josh and ILB and Jilly Boyd (and many more besides that I will clearly have forgotten to mention. Please don’t take it personally). I spent a lot of time hanging outside passively smoking with John-Joe-Stu and Lady Grin Soul and discussing deep issues like how we cope with stuff. I realised that we’re all broken in one way or another and that is an after effect of being painfully “real” people. I left the after-party with a handprint on my ass that was still there when I got home on Sunday.
But if anything sums up my evening, it is that talk with Molly. It epitomises everything that Erotic Meet is about for me – helping each other get through the ridiculous things we expect of ourselves that everyone in the “normal” world just doesn’t get. And that goes so, so much further than trying to make a living out of writing smut.