Last weekend sex bloggers, journalists, erotic writers, porn producers and adult company representatives gathered in Camden for a vibrant and exciting Eroticon 2023. After a four-year lockdown hiatus, people were very eager to get together, and the atmosphere was electric as representatives from all corners of the creative sex world gathered at Arlington House to share ideas, learn how to build their brands and improve their writing, and generally nerd out about all things sex!
The weekend opened with an inspiring keynote panel on the unique challenges and opportunities for adult creators in 2023. Innovation Fellow Dr Carolina Are, sex educator Gigi Engle, legal expert Neil Brown and award-winning kinky porn producer Blake gave a powerful overview of the landscape adult creators have to navigate. Highlighting the growing problem of shadowbans and the impact these can have on writers including exhaustion and burnout from having to constantly juggle posting on different platforms. It can sometimes be hard to keep posting when things are so rocky for adult creators, but the panellists had plenty of positives to share too, including opportunities created by new platforms and the chance to increase representation and diversity in erotic content. Attendees left the panel fired up for a weekend of learning how to use their creativity to challenge society’s prejudices and tackle shame.
The following two days saw talks and workshops on everything from practical advice (such as SEO, affiliate marketing, using platforms like Patreon and TikTok, and understanding the Online Safety Bill) through creative courses (like writing more inclusive erotica, balancing fantasy and reality in writing and performing your work as audio porn) to the inspiring (for instance on banishing shame and understanding your sexual desires). Sex historian Dr Eleanor Janegagave attendees a crash course in the importance of sex history. Sex Ed YouTuber Hannah Witton offered advice on how to avoid burnout. And the buzz at the social events after each day’s discussions focused on all the new ideas and plans attendees wanted to start putting into practice.
As with past Eroticon weekends, the event sponsors played a key role in making the conference a huge success. ElectraStim got stuck into the KinkLab demo on Saturday, breaking their previous record for ‘longest human electro chain’ and causing many a delighted squeal. Sex-positive platform LoveGivr were there to provide hope for bloggers sick of dealing with shadowbans and censorship. New online retailer WhippleTickle got a very warm welcome from toy reviewers, and attendees also enjoyed checking out the fabulous new grind toys from Ruby Glow, beautiful strap-on collection from Toii, and whimsically smutty ceramics from Outlandish Creations. Spectraliter were on hand to provide info on their support and STI testing services for marginalised communities, and although they weren’t able to join the event in person, Literotica, Chaturbate, Godemiche and Sheets of San Francisco were all there in spirit, having generously contributed to help fund the event and ensure its future even after the trials of Covid – no mean feat!
With so many attendees having a large online following, the reach went far further than just those who gathered in the venue as well – in the 24 hours after the conference alone, chat on the #Eroticon hashtags on Instagram and Twitter gained over 800,000 impressions. Creators will be sharing plenty more over the coming weeks as people start putting their learning into practice on their own blogs and social channels.
Eroticon Director Molly Moore explained that although the future of the event had seemed precarious after the huge challenges created by the pandemic, the success of this year means it is likely to return in 2024. “In the short term, we’re looking into online options – workshops and talks that can be delivered over the internet, so that we can make the event more accessible to people outside the UK and generate some revenue that will help to fund the next in-person conference. However, this year’s conference went so well that I do think we’ll also return in 2024: the demand for another is very high indeed. Watch this space!”
If you’re interested in attending or sponsoring Eroticon 2024, visit the website at eroticon.co or get in touch with Molly Moore at email@example.com