Sharing our Shit

Considering that a large majority of adult human beings engage in sexual activity at various times and that many of them, possibly more than is generally realised, enjoy what might be termed alternative sexual activity, the prudery of many large internet companies may seem surprising.  I guess we can’t expect any different from politicians on moral crusades but now Patreon have joined the ranks of the digital Dr. Bowdlers and their target is a community of which I am a small part.

This blog is a pretty low-key operation. I work full time, have a long commute  and consequently don’t have a great deal of time to update it.  A number of my blogging friends devote a lot more time to their blogs, have many many more hits and are able to make part of their living, for example by selling advertising.  They will not, however, become rich from this. Any freelance writing (I have dome this and retain my NUJ membership so I know at first hand) is a precarious existence. So, in order to get a more regular income and so o be able to keep blogging, some of them are sponsored via the website patreon.com  And in the spirit of quid pro quo they may offer sponsors extras, a kinky video,  say, or a hot story, that are not made available to other visitors. But now, Patreon have changed their terms and conditions and are forbidding users from rewarding sponsors with free pornographic content. This will cut off an important income steam for bloggers and threaten the ability of bloggers to keep blogging.

The call has gone out for us to share our shit and promote each other. I am not going to do this. There are lots of Twitter posts under the hashtag #shareourshit where you can find a load of awesome blogs which I can recommend.  Instead I am going to talk about why sex blogging is important and why it deserves your support.

My friend Violet Fenn recently wrote a piece for The Metro about the joys of pegging. The comments from readers were quite an eye opener. One man seemed to think that there were “gay” and “straight” orgasms, and that pegging might tum you gay (it doesn’t…trust me). Others could not hide their disgust and seemed to find it hard to accept that other people may have sexual tastes that you don’t, but that it is cool. Live and live or as they say on the BDSM scene YKIMKBYKIOK . It is quite apparent to me that ignorance and prejudice are rife. Sex blogs can be, and I use the word with caution, educational.

This links in to my main point. In a  world where there is still stigma and prejudice, sex blogs can be a window into the world of those who are different and nor ashamed, as I am not. We deconstruct the normal,   share experiences, promote in our different ways safe play, safe sex, care about sexual health and the all important issue of consent. If you are confused, lonely, ashamed of your feelings, fetishes, whatever, reading good blogs can be a path to self-knowledge and self acceptance.

This doesn’t only apply to the readers, of course. My writing has had a major impact on my life, and helped me to understand my own sexuality, accept and embrace my gender identity. Oh and it’s enabled me to meet some totally awesome people to drink cider and smoke cigarettes with…….but that is another story.

 

 

 

Smutathon

I was wondering what to do for Smutathon but have now decided to edit and finish off the novella that I began six years ago and have toyed with on and off over the years, even reading a chapter at the Eroticon slam in 2016. I will now finish it because it deserves to be finished.  It changed my life.

Those who have met me will know that, in addition to being into sex and smut, I have a deep love of vintage fashion, and particularly of 50s fashions. This came about through writing smut….really. I had an idea one day of writing a story about a young woman who loved the fashions and style of the 50s , to the extent of living the lifestyle 24/7. So I invented Claire, who is my absolute favourite person of those who have been born from my imagination. Claire is different, she is proud of being different, she finds vintage empowering. And she likes sex. Rough sex. Sex on the back seats of cars.  Sex where she sends a man home with a ripped shirt , bloodstained from running her fingernails down his back.

I actually had the idea watching a programme about a woman in her early 20s who lived in the 50s even to the extent of using a Vauxhall Wyvern Series E as her everyday transport. My parents were amazed at  the attention to detail with which she had furnished her house. I have no idea what her sex life was like but she inspired the vintage bit of Claire.  And the sex  bit? Well that came from a Ford publicity shot for the Mark 2 Zodiac. A simple shot of a woman behind the wheel, in a circle dress,,, wearing leather driving gloves.  I have a huge glove fetish and my imagination ran wild as I looked at the photograph. I was aroused.

In this way the pieces came together, vintage fashion, classic  50s car, and unbridled eroticism.  So, on July 1st, I will put a nice frock on, open the laptop and finally finish this novella.

Claire, I promise I will do you justice. This will be my love letter to you.

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Ten Great Eroticon Moments 2017

Was it really a week ago that I walked out of the Grafton pub into a horrible night feeling the famed Eroticon drop? In truth the drop only lasted until I tucked ravenously into a pasty at Euston. On the train home I felt tired but elated. Eroticon just gets better and better. I have needed a week to take it all in and reflect but here are my thoughts.

2017 saw the event back in London after three years in Bristol. Much as I love Bristol, and much as I loved Armada House as a venue, I think London is  really where the event needs to be, not least because it is so much easier for overseas delegates ( of whom there were quite a few). I loved the vibe of Camden and loved Arlington House. And the proximity to Vivien of Holloway is, of course, another plus 🙂 And yes Anna Sky, we are going to buy frocks next year!

A few familiar faces were missing this year but we had a lot of new faces. A number of them admitted to anxiety and trepidation beforehand but they took to it like fish to water and made a huge contribution to the success of the event. It was great to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again next year. And if anyone is reading this who didn’t come because of anxiety please do come next year. We are more than people who come together once a year, we are a community and we want you to be part of it. Any event needs the renewal that comes from having new participants and it really bodes well for the future.

Others have written about ten things they took away from Eroticon 2017. I am going to write about my ten favourite moments (in no particular order)

  1. As I was enjoying a pre-Eroticon cigarette outside Arlington House I was joined by one of the residents. came to chat.

“This conference, what is it?” she asked.

“It’s a writers’ conference” I replied  vaguely.

“Only I’ve just been downstairs and I’ve seen them putting all penises out on a table.”

“Oh yes it’s an erotica writers’ conference” I said with more than a hint of relief.

2. Kate Lister’s run through the history of obscenity, .She mentioned Catullus who I had to read at school and who, oddly enough, is in a story on this blog here and here. And I never tire of Chaucer’s Miller’s tale

3. Being tied up by Screw Taboo at DJ Fet’s rope workshop and going all floaty and spacy. A lovely experience and a lesson in the power of rope.

4. Talking sex work politics. Can we have more on this next year please?. .

5. Girl on the Net’s riotous Listeresque poem. She fucking loves fucking in London ( although I may have worked that out already)

6. My train journey to work has not been quite the same this week after Confess Hannah’s tale of a train journey in Scotland.  But I still await my moment. Come on Chiltern Trains, lift your game!

7. Being asked for my autograph. This hasn’t never happened before….and may never happen again. For you Livvy it was a pleasure.

8. The Saturday evening social and particularly the burlesque show which will stay in the memory for a ling time.

9. Cigarettes with awesome people. You know who you are. I know I ought to give up but  I would surely be missing out on so many interesting conversations if I did.

10. Leaving on the Sunday knowing we will do it all again next year.

Read other reflections on Eroticon 2017 here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In A Name?

I’ll start with a disclaimer. This is not a finished piece of analysis but rather a few things that have come into my head, a sort of thinking aloud if you like. I am very interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

It happened a while ago that a blogger and sex worker who had separate blogging and working names that she was clearly determined to keep separate. decided to advertise her new working website and working name via Twitter. I had briefly wondered what her working name might be although not curious enough to actually do anything about finding out. Seeing it on the new site started me thinking about the whole issue of pseudonyms.

Why have a pseudonym? If you’re involved in sex you need to because our so-called liberated society still has a problem with people with those who have alternative sexual preferences or who engage in commercial sex whether as providers or as clients. This even applies to people who write about sex. I write erotica and make a small amount of money doing so. However I make my living writing about serious, dull if you like, matters like accountancy and have to accept that, if it was known that I write, and enjoy writing, about sex, I would not be taken seriously as a writer on financial matters. So I adopted the name Eve Ray, simply because it is short and snappy, (my real name isn’t!) and because the name Eve has a certain resonance (the fallenness of man and so on). Using a pseudonym enables me to write freely about my own life and to write about the sex work debate, including recounting my own experiences of paying for sex. I could never tell those whom I deal with professionally about any of this.

I suppose for sex workers there are two further aspects. They are actors and the name is part of the fantasy and illusion they are trying to create. The client sees, and I’m picking names at random here, Daniela and not Tracey. Daniela is a femme fatale in a tight leopard print dress and blood red lingerie, skilled in the erotic arts, the predator no man can resist. Tracey normally wears jeans and a tee-shirt, she has two small children she leaves with her mum when she goes to work and has a huge pile of washing to do when she gets home. Sex work is theatre. And many actors have stage names don’t they? I suppose the other reason is psychological. It enables the sex worker to take off their sex work identity when they get home, like taking off a coat, to draw clear boundaries around their private life. If sex work was socially acceptable and men could go to a massage parlour as openly as they might go to the gym would sex workers use their own names?

I suppose for a dominatrix the choice of name is even more crucial. I’ve never come across a Mistress Daisy but a Mistress DeVille might have a potential sub shaking even as he plucks up the courage to dial her number.

I wonder too whether pseudonyms help to create an aura of mystery and allure. The client surely wonders sometimes about the real identity of the person he or she is seeing, knows there is another life from which he or she is excluded, a world about which the client might be afforded a tantalising glimpse in the context of post-coital putting the world to rights. Maybe this is a turn on for some people.

As for me I just wish I could be Eve more often. She is funny, I am told, she loves sex and, most important she is much the nicest part of me.