We’re just recovering from another amazing weekend at Eroticon. This annual conference has become not only a focal point for the sex blogger community in the UK, but also an essential way for adult companies to build relationships with bloggers and each other, and a highlight of our year.
This was our fourth year as sponsors, and the event was bigger and better than ever, with more delegates, more sponsors (it was great to get to know so many industry colleagues), and a fascinating schedule of speakers.
Last year post-Eroticon it took us weeks to write our ’10 Things…’ post, so this year we’ve decided to jump right in and (hopefully) be one of the first:
1. Great feedback on our new ATOM range
We only just launched our ATOM and ATOM PLUS cock rings, and we were excited to show them off at Eroticon. People seemed impressed by the ATOM’s power and design, and we have a long list of reviewers to get review units out to – we’ll get round to all of you ASAP, we promise! (If you were at Eroticon and would like to review one of our products, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning you were at the event).
We were also glad to have the chance to talk to various reviewers about the issue of actually getting the ATOM PLUS on, because there have reportedly been some screams from those who’ve tried it without being aware of the correct procedure (OK, some of the screams may have been from members of the HO team). Basically: only use from flaccid, *really* stretch the ring, put on sideways, try pulling some of the skin of the scrotum through first and the rest will follow. It’s actually really easy once you get the hang of it (as it were).
2. Lots of top tips on working in the sex industry
Nina Saini, who works for lots of sex industry brands via her company MediaBitch, gave a really helpful and practical session on the challenges that we as an industry face in 2018. From the sheer number of channels to incorporate into any promotional strategy, to the best ways to work with bloggers, and how to ensure that any product launch is covered from all angles.
It was also good to hear from bloggers themselves – during the sessions and the individual conversations we had over the weekend – how we can best work with them to make sure that we’re taking their ideas and experience on board. Kayla Lords’ session on how to make money from your blog without trashing your ethics was a brilliant whistlestop tour through the key aspects of blogging for money. It gave us some useful insights into the challenges bloggers face and contained spot-on (from our perspective) advice on working with sex toy companies. We recommend her notes from the session for those who missed it.
We’re talking specifically about product lust. Sheets of San Francisco managed to bring in a full four-poster bed, which was a genius move and made us fall in love with their incredible, silky wipe-clean sheets. The Doxy No 3 is a gorgeous piece of kit (and we are already wearing our Doxy T-shirts!). ElectraStim‘s product demo literally made our hair stand on end; we’re mega excited about fetish.com’s new kink-positive dating site and Bijoux Indiscret’s vegan leather harnesses… and we’re sorry we can’t mention every single product and service that wowed us this year – but do check out all our fellow Eroticon sponsors to find out more.
Generally speaking, it was great to have so many sponsors in the Corridor of Swag this year, and to have some really useful chats and brainstorming sessions – we’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of all of that networking!
4. A greater understanding of the challenges facing disabled people and sex workers
Miss Eve E is an awesome disabled blogger and sex worker who impressed us with her insights into the ways that sex work and disability are similarly stigmatised and sensationalised by the mainstream. It was her first ever session at Eroticon, but we hope that there will be more, and we strongly recommend giving her a follow and reading her writeup of her session when she publishes it.
5. A peek into the future
Girl On The Net hosted a panel with some sex tech experts – Stephanie Alys from MysteryVibe, Dan Cooper from Engadget, Calandra Balfour from LoveGivr and Neil Brown from decoded:Legal. They talked about some of the more exciting developments in the sex tech space, including teledildonics, customised or hacked sex toys, and the ways in which sex workers are leading the way when it comes to innovative applications of sex tech. We’re obviously incredibly nerdy about sex tech ourselves – we were even invited to the Science Museum to talk about the tech behind our toys last year – so this panel has given us lots of inspiration to keep pushing the envelope in terms of the tech we produce.
6. Some very useful advice about advice
Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock are amazing sex and relationships educators (and heroes of ours) and their panel with Girl On The Net about giving responsible sex advice was clearly on-target for the large audience. The temptation to give advice as a sex toy company can be strong, but Meg-John and Justin’s emphasis on the importance of focusing on the person/s asking the question and what it means to them, rather than assuming you know what is best for anyone when it comes to sex and sexuality, is a good rule of thumb.
It was also great to hear agreement from the panel and members of the audience that everyone working in this industry is going through a continuous learning process, and that part of that process is being able to admit when you no longer agree with something you said or did in the past.
7. A call to action for more UK vloggers
Hannah Witton gave a really lively and engaging talk about vlogging – how to get started, who to follow in the sex space, and much more besides. She pointed out that there aren’t nearly as many UK vloggers talking about sex as there are in the US – many of her heroes are US -focused and she’d like to see more people in the UK picking up the mantle. So perhaps this is a call to action some of the Eroticon bloggers can respond to!
8. A very cute pic of our Pocket PULSE
How adorable is that? Thanks Emmeline Peaches, and a donation to MIND is on its way!
9. A sense of inclusion – and lots of admiration
A rest room for chronically ill people was appreciated by the Hot Octopuss team and made us feel very welcome. Overall, the friendliness of everybody at the event and the interest attendees showed in our stand made us feel very much part of this community. The three remarkable people who organise Eroticon – Molly, Michael and Girl On The Net – could not have been more passionate or inspired in creating this year’s conference, and we are in awe of all they do for the sex blogging community.
Because we didn’t get to speak to absolutely everybody, and the chats we had with most people were way too short, and we didn’t manage to make all the sessions, and… and…
Basically if you didn’t get chance to talk to us and would like to, drop us a mail, because we’d love to hear from you.
And roll on next year!