Eroticon Meet and Greet

It’s nearly Eroticon time again and many attendees are taking the opportunity to introduce themselves online. Here are my thoughts.

Name (and Twitter, if you have one)

Eve Ray @EveRay1 where I currenty bang on as much about Brexit (sorry) as I do about sex.

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2018?

This will be my fifth Eroticon and I like to ring the changes,,,.to date I have attended Eroticon in  2 cities, stayed at 3 different hotels (a fourth this year), registered under three different names with two different genders, and worn a load of lovely vintage frocks. If you see anyone in Vivien of Holloway it may well be me! To get to the point I am looking for new experiences, to learn new things, meet new people. One of the great things about 2017 was that, whilst a number of old friends were absent, a number of new people came and made a huge contribution. I am sure 2018 will be no different. Having said that I am looking forward to catching up with fellow “veterans”. After four years I am sure I am not the only one who feels that we are a community, that we are friends. I have had a lot out of Eroticon in so many ways and once again I am going to share the love. In 2018.

We are creating a playlist of songs for the Friday Night Meet and greet. Nominate one song that you would like us to add to the playlist and tell us why you picked that song.

Rock Your Baby by George Macrae. I totally love the idea that the getting on a bit me is still in tune with the music I liked when I was younger. And this song totally does things for me….

What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

I always wanted to be a football writer. Finally got round to it in my 50s (albeit on a very part tome freelance bassi)

Weirdest place you’ve ever gotten up to mischief (define ‘mischief’ however you like…)

On the platform at New Street station in Birmingham (really)

Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself

I was 27 when I first had sex

I am a published poet and was the subject of a documentary on Polish radio.

I once ran a microbrewery.

Complete the sentence: I want…

A pint of Bathams and a bag of scratchings.

Read what others are saying here

 

Remembering Laura Lee

It is, I guess, not unusual to hear bad news these days but this week I heard news that truly shocked me.  This was the death, at the scandalously early age of 39, of Laura Lee. Laura had acquired a significant profile over that last couple of years as an articulate and determined sex workers rights activist both in Great Britain and in Ireland, where both Northern Ireland and the Republic have recently introduced laws to criminalise the purchase of sex, both, incidentally, without lifting existing criminal sanctions against the sex workers themselves despite this being part of the sales pitch for the so-called Nordic model which politicians claimed as their inspiration.

I never met Laura. But I came across her back in 2012 when I started blogging and tweeting and stumbled across the debates raging in Scotland over the attempt by MSP Rhoda Grant to introduce a criminlisation law north of the Border. Laura was prominent in this battle as, although originally from Dublin, she lived in western Scotland (hence her Twitter handle @glasgaelauralee),and so I discovered her on social media and we soon followed  each other on Twitter, became friends on Facebook and we chatted quite a bit about the various issues.

I blogged a lot on sex work in those days. I don’t really write much now as I have said all that I had to say and where more needs to be said, there are many others better placed than me to say it. Nonetheless I am FB friends with a number of sex workers and activists from around the world and really value my little online sex work community. Laura was very much part of that

Laura was about to fight her biggest battle yet, to get the criminalisation law in Northern Ireland, (introduced two years ago on the initiative of Lord Morrow of the DUP and against the advice of the Police Service of Northern Ireland) overturned as a breach of the ECHR. Sadly she did not live to see the outcome of that fight.

Those who knew and love her will grieve as they must. Those who did not know her in person will be saddened. But all of us who value the safety of vulnerable women, all of us who value policy based on evidence and not on ideology, all of us who believe in the bodily autonomy of women, must fight on.

None of us, and least all Laura, would ever say that sex work is never exploitative, that many sex workers would not prefer to make their living in other ways, that many want and need exit strategies. What we do say is that the way to make life better, safer, for sex workers, those who want out as much as those who want to remain, is to remove criminal sanctions, to get the state out of all our beds. Continuing the struggle for this is the way to honour the memory of Laura Lee.

Rest in Power.