I’ve gone to ground since returning from London two weeks ago. I’ve been unable to write, to think, to move.
Somewhere over the Atlantic — mid sobs — my lymph nodes swelled and my head cracked open. For days after my skull blistered as I went through the motions of mothering and work. By the following Monday the headache was gone, but so were my words.
I wrote in Heathrow and at 38,000 feet. It took everything out of me. I cried because of the beauty of the experience, but also because of the irony of my choice: a young man thousands of miles away. Ben was safe to practice being all of me, Hy and the other woman. He won’t want to be in my life full-time or even part-time. He won’t demand I open up more than I want to. Basically, he won’t need more of me and that feels fucking great right now as I navigate my way through zipping the two sides together.
It was a revelation to be more of me with one single person than I usually am with all of my closest of friends and those magical 36 hours never could never have happened were it not for the incredible previous 4 days at Eroticon.
I landed in the middle of the tarmac at Heathrow and we had to load onto a bus and drive for 15 minutes to even reach the terminal. It was 3 am my time and I clung tiredly to my backpack and tried desperately to look like I knew what I was doing. In a fog I shuffled through customs and angled for wi-fi to contact Michael and Molly, my fairy godparents for the trip, and let them know of my whereabouts.
“I’m here! Gotta run to the bathroom and grab my my luggage then I’ll be right out!” I texted.
“Ok. Just look for the short, fat man with a small penis,” was Michael’s response.
I knew at that moment the weekend would be remembered in the grooves of my marrow.
To be called “Hy” by everyone who saw me, to be hugged, to have casual discussions about sexual pleasure, agency and consent, to be in a massive conference hall with dozens of strangers and realize many of them had seen my tits, to know that each night couples frantically coupled high off the day’s activities, to drink and laugh and cry, to speak passionately about writing and sex. All of this meant that I was a part of this small, yet vibrant and committed community and I felt like I was home. Real fucking HOME.
There are many people who made my days in Bristol magical and who need to know their impact on me. Of course my fear is I will forget some since it’s been so long now, but if I do, just email me and I’ll fix it. My memory is utter shit, which is why I typically write about sexual encounters the day of or following day.
I called them my fairy godparents, but Michael (@DomSigns) and Molly are so much more than that. At the train station Monday afternoon I had to fight tears as I hugged them for our 3rd goodbye in 24 hours (I had a couple of false starts). I didn’t want to leave them.
Not only did they drive me around western England, but they also took me under their wings and made sure I was fed, knew where I was going, how to get home safely from the “Italian” waiter’s house (he turned out to be Brazilian, for what it’s worth). They answered my endless questions about the universe in general and never made me feel like a burden. On the contrary, I felt like part of their little kinky family, their little sister.
Molly was a co-panelist on Ask a Sex Blogger and she conducted a brilliant session on photography and how not to take shit photos. Michael did tech-y sessions and hauled out their BDSM arsenal for the last session on Saturday where he’d intermittently scare the shit out of all of us cracking his purple whip. (I’m pretty sure the lovely Honey made that whip for them.)
They even set me up with the most incredible roommate known to man, Girl on the Net. She wrote she could write an entire essay on me, well, the feeling is entirely mutual. She’s vibrant and hilarious with a mile-a-minute intellect. She’s sensitive, but tough and seems to be a shrewd business woman beyond what she’s alluded to in her writings. She taught me how to get from our apartment to the hotel with long, Londoner strides and what “bell end” meant.
I went home earlyish Saturday night and bought a bottle of wine on my way home just in case. She burst through the door not long after having DMd me, “Shit! I didn’t buy any wine!” We drank and talked until fatigue set in and in the dark in our little twin beds on wheels we talked more like kids at camp until we both suddenly agreed we’d never stop talking unless we just decided to.
The next morning she was my co-panelist for Ask a Sex Blogger and by the end of the night we were deep in our cups laughing until our sides ached. That night I got home after her and flung open the bedroom door.
“GOTN! Come talk to me!” I shouted to the mound of covers in the dark.
“I’m tired!” she answered.
“No! Get up! THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!” I insisted.
And guess what she did?? Guess what this wonderful, funny, bad ass, wickedly awesome woman did?
She got up.
And we watched Babestation together and she fed me her peanuts and we drank more wine and she recorded us rambling about what, God only knows, until nothing but sleep was an option.
The next morning she walked with me for a bit back towards the Raddison then gave me a fierce hug and just as hurriedly as she’d run into my life 3 days earlier she was off to catch her train home.
Marie Rebelle is another I can’t forget to mention. I could lay cuddled in her arms for days. She’s focused, sexy, and kind and her love for the community was evident each time she saw a familiar face who’d embrace her. We dined together and drank and talked endlessly about life and kids and kink. And of course there’s her indelible partner, the quiet Master T, whose wit and sweetness was a perfect compliment to Rebel’s.
Remittance Girl wowed me with her intensity and sharp wit; eye and I somehow found each other in the Raddison lounge and shared at least two bottles of bubbles on two separate occasions; Liza and I talked and laughed like sisters.
F. Dot Leonora and Exposing40 burst into my life simultaneously with hugs and smiles and by the end of the weekend I had promised Leonora some fiction and was saying Hello! just like Exposing40.
The Other Livvy and EA were at the end of at least a couple of friendly toasts to the weekend. Livvy lent her tits to our Boobday endeavor and EA showed me the edits he made to his reading once he’d taken my session.
I caught Jilly’s session on how to let real life inspire a story and wrote my first piece of fiction in years and Innocent Loverboy helped me with what -ing words are called in my own session and was my go-to guy for all the proper grammar words and then came up with a terrific story in my workshop.
I made sure to meet Charlie Powell and catch her session about writing about disability intelligently and she was everything I’d hoped and more. Also, an extremely good hugger.
I lusted after Zak’s pants, watched in awe as Pandora paddled Celine’s bottom while Gryphon branded people in the other corner and Kerry used ropes on eye, became mesmerized by Andriy’s eyes which were like an Icelandic pool at dawn as we talked about sex and culture and he nibbled on his pie. Every chat was another petal on the sunflower that was the weekend.
Adam and Monika are the two masterminds behind Godemiche and the dildo making duo can only be called artisans, really. Their Technicolored phallic forest a testament to their dedication to beauty and functionality. I blushed mercilessly as I chatted with Adam while holding a silicon replica of his beautiful cock. Not every day that happens. And Monika lent not only her breasts, but also her creativity to the group Boobday pic.
Alyson of Hot Octopuss (makers of ) and I chatted about sexual pleasure and the amazingness of their toy and their #SexWithoutStigma cause and Will from Doxy and I talked about vibrators until my cheeks were red. The folks from Mystery Vibe told me they were fans of my Instagram account even before the realized who I was and I regret not having more time to speak with them about their creation.
Ruby Kiddell, the creator of this event, deserves a gold medal and every gold star known to man. She single-handedly carved out a space for us to all meet and though it’s sad that her book is now closed as the steward of this gathering she has nonetheless set the bar high. And though it was her “job” to run the show throughout the weekend we still shared good laughs and lots of toasts.
She’s a tough cookie and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next and I hope she comes to whatever incarnation Eroticon becomes next because without a doubt I will be there, too.
The very last person I saw from the weekend was Stella who rode with Michael and Molly and I from Bristol and who then rode with me on the train until her stop which was miraculously just one before mine. We laughed at the indecipherable message about 4 cars ahead in a London station and any numerous other things and she patiently answered all my questions about how one rides a train. More excellent hugs were had and given.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I forgot to announce that while floating on the waves of many glasses of crisp white wine at the very purple Raddison Blu Hotel bar in Bristol, England I got married.
To three stunning women.
I won’t tell you the order in which it all happened since there was some debate about this, but Molly, Girl on the Net and Rebel made me a very happy woman that night.
It’s no wonder my heart broke when it was all over for where else on the planet can a weekend like mine be topped off by three incredible women wanting to be your sister-wives? Who argued over who should be my #1?
The truth is, I don’t deserve any of them, but I will endeavor to always be that woman they found me to be, because I want to be that person all the time. I want to be the woman everyone met and hugged and spoke and laughed with that weekend. I want to be more of me all the time, not just once in a lifetime.
I guess it’s time to let Hy take over a little more