Five Fabulously Femme Things I Wore to Eroticon 2023

I’m now home after my trip to London for Eroticon 2023, my fourth Eroticon overall and the first one back since before the pandemic. I’ve returned brimming over with ideas, inspiration, and gratitude for these amazing people (the #eroticommunity?) and this magical space where we can all come together.

There are lots of things I want to say and do post-Eroticon, and there will be more content coming in the next few days. But one of the most joyous things about this weekend was getting to femme it up to the max and wear some things that make me feel gloriously myself.

I’ve been wanting to write more about femme things and femme identity for a while, so this seems like a good place to start. Here’s the story behind five things I wore to this year’s Eroticon.

The Bat Dress

Rule the Night bat dress by Heartless

Mr C&K found this dress for me in our local branch of Blue Banana and I immediately knew I needed to own it. Between the bats (insert “batting for both” joke here) and the multi-coloured pink/purple/blue tie-dye, it just feels like a supremely bisexual garment to me. It got its first outing at BiCon 2022 and it always makes me happy to wear it.

Plus it has pockets. Yay pockets.

Dress is “Rule the Night” by Heartless.

Sapphic Pride Necklace

Sapphic pride necklace by The Gay Glass Stall

I recently wrote about feeling increasingly connected with the term “sapphic” alongside “bisexual” to describe my sexuality. It feels like a joyful way to claim and centre my attraction to women and to intentionally remove the male gaze from my queerness.

I found this gorgeous glass sapphic pride necklace at the BBB just last month, and I’ve worn it most days since. I almost never see this particular flag on merchandise, so it’s lovely to own and wear a little bit of sapphic pride.

Necklace is by The Gay Glass Stall.

Rainbow Ears

Fluffy rainbow cat ears, Pride cat ears

Being a pseudonymous blogger, I wear one of the “no photos” lanyards at Eroticon. However, I was amused to see that one of my ears had made it into the corner of this photo by Calandra Balfour.

I wore cat ears at my very first Eroticon, where I thought that they might help me to feel less shy and maybe act as a conversation starter. What I did not expect was that they’d become a sort of calling-card that I’d be known and remembered for years later. This fluffy rainbow set seemed the only appropriate choice for an Eroticon taking place during Pride month!

Rainbow cat ears were from Ice Nine.

Face Glitter

Glitter makeup pots

I just really like glitter, okay? After trying on lots of different ways to describe my aesthetic and presentation goals, I eventually settled on #sparklefemme. This involves leaning into the more glittery and over-the-top elements of the femme aesthetic in a way that feels quite deliberately queer. Getting to be outwardly sparkly during Eroticon helped me to feel more inwardly sparkly, too.

I particularly enjoyed getting to make other people glittery at the evening socials, including my flatmate for the weekend Violet, Exhibit A and Livvy as well as their daughter M, and Girl on the Net. And for anyone who might be reasonably concerned about the environmental impact, don’t worry – biodegradable glitter only here!

Face glitter set came from Etsy. That particular brand no longer seems to be available but there are lots of similar alternatives.

Sparkly Turquoise Shoes

Sparkly turquoise Irregular Choice shoes

I absolutely adore these shoes. They “go” with pretty much nothing, and yet I will happily wear them with almost anything. I got so many compliments on them over the weekend and it made me happy to wear them.

I have a chronic pain condition in my feet which means that wearing heels for any length of time is difficult for me and can leave me in pain for days. Sadly, this can mean that a lot of fabulous shoes are off limits. So finding sparkly, glittery, gorgeous footwear in FLATS is always an exciting things.

Sparkly shoes are a long-discontinued style from Irregular Choice’s “Bed of Roses” line that I picked up for £8 on Vinted.

Eroticon 2023 might be over, but you can read everyone’s post-event content over at the linkup and check out the official hashtag if you want to learn more about the event and what happened there.

Eroticon 2023 Virtual Meet & Greet

It’s almost time for Eroticon 2023! This means it’s now time for one of my favourite pre-Eroticon rituals: the virtual meet-and-greet. Head over to the linkup on the official Eroticon 2023 website to meet some of the other lovelies who will be attending this year.

NAME (and Twitter/IG/Mastodon etc)

Amy. You can find me as @CoffeeAndKink on Twitter!

Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2023

  1. I’m going to borrow from Molly here: it finally happening. It’s been too long since we all got to be together and I’m so excited to connect with my community again.
  2. Sharing a flat with my wonderful friend Violet. Look out London! We’re gonna get up to so many shenanigans!
  3. Teaching my workshop on affiliate marketing for sex bloggers that I wrote three years ago. I’ve updated it and I think it’s even better now.

Sadly with a change of venue this year for the Friday night meet and greet we won’t be compiling a play list but I know that everyone enjoys that bit so…. What is a song that always has you turning the volume up?

I’m currently obsessed with I’m Fine by Self Esteem. Mostly for this bit:

Do you understand the pain you cause
When you see a body just for sport?
I tried to let you down so gently
When I had the right to tell you simply

NO

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

Something involving working with horses.

What does your joy look like today?

My beautiful partners, my incredible friends, sunny days, coffee (hot or iced as appropriate), theatre outings.

What is your favourite musical?

I’m a polyamorous musical theatre nerd! You can’t make me pick just one!

I’m going to narrow it down to a top three, in no particular order: Les Miserables, Rent, and Come From Away.

If you were the captain of a pirate ship, what would be the name of your ship?

I can honestly say I’ve never thought about this but for some reason the first answer that comes to mind is The Black Cat.

As soon as you have finished writing answering these questions what are you going to do?

Heat up some leftover Chinese food and watch the second half of Hamilton with my partner before our Disney+ subscription ends.

Complete the sentence:

I need..

…an orgasm and approximately three years of sleep.

Eroticon 2020: Virtual Meet & Greet

Yes, it’s that time again! A week from right now I will be at Eroticon 2020 and I am BUZZING. (Or I will be, when I’ve written my talk. Bad presenter, I know.)

The Eroticon rainbow lips icon

Let’s dive in to the virtual get-to-know-you, shall we?

Name (and Twitter if you have one)

Amy Norton. @CoffeeAndKink on Twitter.

Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2020

  1. Seeing my people! There are so many lovely folks I’m just so looking forward to hugging, catching up and sharing a drink with.
  2. Learning some cool stuff! There are, as always, so many amazing presenters lined up for Eroticon and I can’t wait to soak up all the knowledge in the room. I’m especially excited for Livvy‘s session on the language of anatomy and Meg-John Barker‘s session on consent in erotic fiction and fantasy.
  3. Saturday night! The Saturday night social is always one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I love getting to social butterfly all over the room, chatting to so many amazing people and comparing notes on all the things we learned during the day. I’ve been craving dancing lately, so I’m hoping I might get the opportunity. I might even get the catsuit out again.

Sadly with a change of venue this year for the Friday night meet and greet we won’t be compiling a play list but I know that everyone enjoys that bit so…. What is a song that always makes you want to dance?

Oh god, this is such a cliche, but… Mr Brightside. It’s mine and my best friend’s song and it will never not make me think of him and our university days.

What is the best book you have read in the last 12 months?

I have to pick just ONE!? Okay, fine. *grumble*

I’m going to pick the short story collection You Know You Want This (AKA Cat Person and other Stories) by Kristen Roupenian (she of Cat Person fame.) It’s a collection of vivid, brutal, often violent and always shocking stories which ask some really tough questions about sexuality, relationships and consent – and goes to some pretty dark places in the process. I’m going to write about it soon.

As you sit writing this post what are three things you are grateful for?

1. My cat, who is currently snoozing on his cat tree with his feet pressed up against the radiator for warmth.

2. Good colleagues who are kind, appreciative and fun.

3. Pole dancing and all the wonderful things it has brought to my life.

What is your mobile (cellphone) wallpaper or home screen image?

An abstract image with a quote from the musical RENT: “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.”

If someone gave you £5000 today which you were not allowed to save but had to spend within 24 hours what would you do with it?

Pay up my grad school fees in advance for the next two and a half years. Boring, but true and necessary.

Complete the sentence: I need..

…about twenty seven more hours in each day, and then I might vaguely be on top of things.

See you all at Eroticon!

Amy x

[Toy Review] Rocks Off Chaiamo

I have a major soft spot for Rocks Off. I encountered them at my first Eroticon, where I met the wonderful Tabitha Rayne and bought her brilliant creation, the Ruby Glow (the first toy I ever reviewed!) One of the main things I love about this company is that they create body-safe toys at really accessible, entry-level prices. Their stuff is even available in my local Sainsburys, which is just brilliant.

So I was thrilled when Tabitha offered me RO’s latest creation to review. Enter the Chaiamo!

Chaiamo Vital Details…

The black Rocks Off Chaimo vibrator.

The Chaiamo is a straight vibrator with a gently tapered tip – the classic “lipstick” shape. (Though without the ridiculous “let’s try to actually disguise it as a lipstick” gimmick, thank Goddess).

It is a little over 6″ long in total, with 5″ being insertable. At the widest point, the width is 1.25″. The Chaiamo is fully waterproof and USB rechargeable. The advertising copy says it gives around 3 hours’ use for a single charge, but mine was definitely more than that – probably closer to 4 hours in total, over several uses.

This toy comes in three colour-ways and, praise be, NONE OF THEM ARE PINK. It comes in classic black, a stylish deep burgundy, and a pretty turquoise. Good on RO for bucking the “make everything pink” trend. Chaiamo currently retails for $49.99 at Shevibe. UK readers can pick one up for £44.99 at Lovehoney.

Materials, safety and cleaning

The Chaiamo’s main body is made of soft silicone, with metallic accent at the base. This means, of course, that it is phthalate-free, non-porous and totally body safe.

The black Rocks Off Chaiamo vibrator in a woman's hand.

As the Chaiamo is waterproof, you can clean it using warm water and a gentle soap, or use a body-safe medical wipe or 10% bleach solution to sterilise it more thoroughly. Remember not to boil-wash toys with motors!

The Chaiamo’s shape is ideal for using with a condom if you’re sharing with a non fluid-bonded partner.

Settings & Controls

The Chaiamo runs on a very simple one-button interface. The button (which sports the cute Rocks Off logo) is large and intuitively located on the base of the toy. It is easy and responsive to press. To turn the toy on or off, you simply hold down the button for 2 seconds.

The black Rocks Off Chaimo vibrator

The problem with one-button interfaces is that you cannot go back a step if you accidentally skip the setting you want – you have to scroll all the way back through. It’s an annoyance and the reason I generally prefer toys with +/- buttons, but it won’t ruin an otherwise good product for me.

The Chaiamo has ten settings in total: three constant speeds and seven patterns. I, along with (it seems) most of the sex blogging world, can honestly take or leave patterns. I occasionally enjoy playing around with them, especially if I’m doing a teasing or edging session, but if I just want to come then constant vibrations are where it’s at. Toy manufacturers, please consider this a plug for toys with more constant speeds and fewer patterns!

So how did it actually fare in use?

I’ve sometimes found Rocks Off toys, fab though they are, to not be quite powerful enough for my preferences. I love my Bamboo bullet, for example, but I tend to reach for it as a warm-up toy or when I am feeling especially sensitive.

So to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Chaiamo’s power was an understatement. At its higher speeds, this baby really packs a punch! I don’t know if RO have changed their motors generally or just used a different one in this slightly higher price-point toy, but good lord. And not only is it strong, but it’s rumbly, too. None of that horrible numbness you get from more buzzy toys. I am able to orgasm quickly and reliably with the Chaiamo, again and again. It’s been added to my easy-access basket of the toys I like best and use most often.

The gentle taper of the Chaiamo’s tip was great for me: I like a certain level of direct clit stimulation but not too pinpoint. (Remember the famed Zumio which I didn’t particularly like?) Be aware that if you like very pinpoint stimulation, this toy probably won’t be a good fit for you. But for my preferences, it was brilliant! Sometimes, it works really well for me by just pressing its length against my vulva and clit.

The Chaiamo is also a versatile toy, in that it can be just as easily used as an insertable as for clitoral play. I don’t like internal vibrations at all, so I didn’t use it in this way, but my friend Isabelle Lauren describes her experience very positively in her review.

Do I recommend it? 

If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile clit/G-spot toy at an affordable price, look no further! A great offering from one of my favourite companies. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

Thank you to Tabitha Rayne and Rocks Off gifting me the Chaiamo in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as always, my own. Shopping via the affiliate links in this post helps me make a small commission and keep doing what I’m doing.

Eroticon 2019: Virtual Meet & Greet

I can hardly believe it’s almost Eroticon time again! This will be my third year going to this amazing conference and I’m so excited. Let’s dive in to another Meet & Greet, shall we?

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)

Amy Norton (CoffeeAndKink on Twitter)

Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2019

  1. Bringing Mr CK along for the first time and getting to introduce him to so many of my sex blogging friends.
  2. Presenting my first workshop! (Once I’ve actually got around to writing it).
  3. All the new things I’m sure to learn over the weekend. I never come away from Eroticon without a head full of new information and new ideas.

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

You’ve Been Written by The Vocal Few. Because it’s a gorgeous love-song and is sort of about writing, too.

I write everything down that I like
and you’ve been written into the songs of my life,
and I like the songs that we write…

The pages filled, recording wars and victories that we’ve been given,
like altars built, preserving all our history, yes we’ve been written
in the melodies you gave to me.”

What is your favorite item or book you’ve purchased so far this year?

Jillian Keenan’s Sex With Shakespeare. “Extraordinary” doesn’t even cover it.

You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? Sushi? Scotch Tape?

Self-esteem, since lack of it is the thing that most often holds me back.

What is your favourite quote from a movie?

“Can you see what we’ve done here, by coming together all of us? We made history!” – Pride (2014)

What is your word suggestion to next years Eroticon anthology?

Memory

Complete the sentence:

I feel… as though 2019 is the year I will crack myself open, break apart into tiny pieces and eventually put myself back together again.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

[Wearable Review] Bijoux Indiscrets Maze Cat Ears Headpiece

Chances are, if you’ve met me in meat-space, you’ve also met The Signature Ears. That is, the various cat ear headbands I wear as often as possible in sex-positive spaces. They’re a big part of how I present myself as Amy, they’re super memorable, and I love them. So I was thrilled when Bijoux Indiscrets, who sponsored Eroticon this year , approached me before the ‘Con and asked if I’d like to try one of their new Maze cat ears headpieces.

Why yes, yes I would!

Feline Good…

BIjoux Indiscrets Maze cat ears headpiece on my desk.

MAZE is an amazing collection of faux-leather accessories from Bijoux Indiscrets. The line includes cuffs, harnesses, collars and more. Most of the pieces are available in both black and brown. The aesthetic is bondage-inspired and focused on sensuality, power and blending “current fashion with traditional eroticism”. Thing strong lines, minimal adornments and kinky elegance. Though they’re showed being modeled by feminine folks, I see no reason why this stuff wouldn’t also look amazing on more masculine bodies.

As a vegetarian, I often feel a bit hypocritical in my love of leather and I have a complex relationship with it. So imagine my delight at learning that everything in Bijoux’s “leather” range is made of polyurethane from recycled materials. Environmentally friendly AND 100% vegan approved. Whoever said that looking gorgeous couldn’t be ethical and cruelty-free?

Maze pieces range from £25 to £90 in price. These ears retail for £40 from Bijoux directly, and are currently available at Shevibe for £33.25 (about $45). They’re luxury pieces and come with luxury price-tags. However, they’re beautifully made from quality materials and this company has stellar customer service reviews.

The Cat’s Whiskers…

Bijoux Indiscrets Maze cat ears headpiece lying on an open lined notebook.

The Maze cat ears headpiece is available in both black and brown. I’m definitely a black cat, though, so that’s the colour I went for. It’s fully adjustable at the head. With a maximum circumference of 24.4 inches (minimum 21.25), this piece will fit the vast majority of adults just fine. There’s even space to add an extra hole if required, making it even more customisable to fit you perfectly.

I found the ears easy to adjust and super comfortable once they were in place. They were also nice and secure, so no risk of them falling off – which is important in any product, but especially one that you might pay £40 for!

Me-OW!

I honestly felt so fucking sexy in these ears. I paired them with my favourite catsuit from Latex Leather & Lace and high boots for the Eroticon Saturday night social and… let’s just say, heads were turning.

Was it over the top and ridiculous? Yes. Did I feel sexier and more powerful than pretty much ever in my life before? Also yes.

“They make you look hella kissable!” – anon. pretty girl.

Surprisingly, perhaps, I haven’t done very much kitten play or pet play of any kind. (I’m curious, though). But if that’s your jam, these ears could be the ideal piece to help you transform into the gorgeous sex-kitten you want to be.

CAT-egorically Recommended

(Sorry – the puns can’t all be great, okay!?)

I’m simply in love with these ears and this whole range! If you’re looking for a sexy, bondage-inspired aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with Maze.

Thanks to Bijoux Indiscrets for sending me these ears in exchange for an honest review! All views are, as ever, my own. If you get your own, please consider buying using my affiliate link above in order to send a small commission my way.

Ten Things I Learned at Eroticon

It’s over for another year! Eroticon, the event that changed my life last year (which I drunkenly told Girl on the Net on Saturday night) has been and gone yet again, and WHAT a time it was!

1. I’ve been undervaluing myself, financially.

I went to two sessions on making money from blogging, one from Kayla Lords and one from The Sarahs (Sarah Bryn Holliday and Sarah-Jane). Through these amazing sessions and chats with other bloggers I admire, I realised that I’ve been undervaluing my work and not charging enough for what I do. I’m resolving to change this and ask for what I’m worth from now on!

2. Age Verification under the DEB doesn’t apply to written content.

I attended a brilliant session on legal tips for sex bloggers from lawyer Neil Brown. Much of this, unsurprisingly, was focused on the Digital Economy Bill, which may or may not take effect later this year if the government gets its act together and works out what the fuck’s going on with it. Though, of course, throwing the whole thing out would be better!

Turns out at age verification, should it be implemented, will not apply to purely text-based sites. This will be a relief for a lot of us. However, the rules around images will still affect loads of bloggers, and this bill is still utterly horrifying and we should be doing everything in our collective power to get it overturned.

3. Turns out there are circumstances under which loud, crowded bars are fun for me.

And those circumstances involve “three or more sex bloggers” and “copious amounts of wine.”

4. I can say no when I need to and it’s okay.

Being the lucky girl I am, I had two offers of kisses from utterly delightful people whom I would be honoured to make out with. I declined on the basis of having not negotiated spontaneous ‘Con make-outs with Mr C&K (note to self: negotiate that next year!!!) The same with a lovely offer to spank a gorgeous arse. On all occasions, everyone was 100% fine with my boundaries and lovely interactions continued!

I wish the same could be said for random dudes in bars who seem to think that a sexy outfit is an invitation to circle back around every 15 minutes or so and try their luck again. Speaking of which…

5. I look DAMN fine in a catsuit

Have you ever walked through a bar full of unsuspecting vanillas in a PVC catsuit, leather ears and high boots? If you haven’t, I recommend it. The glance, followed by the double-take and the head turn, is quite something.

Thank you to all the Eroticon babes who were so complimentary of my slightly OTT but utterly fabulous outfit choice.

My body in a very sexy PVC catsuit, from Eroticon 2018

6. Podcasting is a blast 

I got to record an episode of Loving BDSM with Kayla and JB, and it was an absolute blast! I had SO MUCH FUN and we laughed so much. And yes, we had coffee while we were doing it. Obviously.

7. How to give responsible sex advice.

This was the title of a brilliant session I attended run by Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock, the powerhouse duo behind Enjoy Sex (How When and If You Want To) and their fantastic sex education website.

In this session I learned about self-care when giving advice, about setting boundaries around advice giving, about how to advise someone when the asker is being a dick, and about knowing the limitations of your own expertise and “credentials” (not that such things meaningfully exist in this field). It was SO good and I feel much more confident in my own advice-giving, both on and off this website, as a result.

8. Even the most awesome and accomplished people sometimes feel insecure.

Hearing bloggers and writers and creators I really admire, those who inspire me every day, talk about their own struggles with imposter syndrome and not feeling good enough was weirdly comforting. We’re all a little insecure in our own way. We all occasionally feel like we don’t know what we’re doing. But actually, our work has tremendous value and each of us brings amazing and unique perspectives to the table. Our brains are lying to us. We’re brilliant.

9. I am enough.

Being at Eroticon, and especially hanging out with the of ridiculously awesome people I spent a lot of time with, makes me feel profoundly accepted in a way I’ve rarely experienced anywhere else. It’s okay that I’ve been having a bad mental health time. It’s okay that I haven’t achieved all of my goals yet. I am accepted and I am enough.

10. Your words can change the world

Finishing, as I did last year, with some words of wisdom from Girl on the Net.

Let’s change the world together, babes.

If you’re a reader who would like to support me in continuing to attend events like Eroticon, please consider buying me a coffee or shopping with my affiliates in the right hand sidebar.

If you’re a company who would like to hire me, please email coffeeandkink69 (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll talk.

Ten Things I’m Taking TO Eroticon

Many of you may remember last year’s Ten Things I Took Home From Eroticon blogging meme. Well, I decided to turn it on its head and, with just a week and a half to go until this year’s ‘Con, tell you a little about ten things I’m planning on taking with me this year.

1. My name

Last year’s Eroticon, I wasn’t Amy Norton yet. I was using a haphazard mix of my kink scene name, a diminutive of my legal name, and just “Coffee&Kink”/”CK.” I’d toyed with different names but none of them felt quite right.

This year, though, I’m comfortably sitting in this identity (so much so that select people in my offline life now call me Amy, and I love it).

Hi. I’m Amy. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

2. A schedule

Last year, I pretty much went in blind to Eroticon. I’d glanced over the schedule, but being a newbie I decided to mostly go with the flow and go to whatever felt right in the moment.

This time, though, I’ve got a much more curated workshops plan in order to get what I want the most out of the ‘Con. In case you were wondering, it is as follows:

Saturday:
Taboo (Remittance Girl)
Making Money from Your Blog (Kayla Lords)
Legal Tips for Sex Writers (Neil Brown)
Podcasting Panel (Kayla Lords & John Brownstone)
Different Approaches to Sex Toy Activism (Emmeline Peaches)
KinkLab

Sunday:
Is There a Book in Your Blog? (Cressida Dowling)
Getting It Up (Fetish.com)
Shocking the System (Kendra Holliday)
How to Give Responsible Sex Advice (panel)
Financial Wizardry for Sex Bloggers (Sarah Bryn Holliday & Sarah Jane)

Naturally, I’ll also be attending the Friday evening pre-drinks and the Saturday evening social. Other plans include a pre-‘Con run with Emmeline, dinner with Sarah, and food and recording a podcast with Kayla and John of Loving BDSM. Of course, my planned schedule is flexible if I find I’m really not in the mood for something at the time, but this is a good cross-section of stuff I want to learn plus all the workshops I consider unmissable this year!

3. The signature kitty ears

I wasn’t expecting these to be such a hit last year! To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting to be the only person in feline-themed headwear! I just wore them because they make me feel more confident and they help me to tap into my kinky, sexy, sparkly self. But I got so many compliments on them and people remembered me for them (I literally pitched an article to Girl on the Net with an email that included a sentence along the lines of “if you don’t remember me, I was the one with the ears.”)

Yeah, they’re definitely coming with me again this year. I might even pack a couple of different pairs. Yes, I have daywear ears and formal ears. Doesn’t everyone!?

4. The Catsuit of Joy

Remember this one? It was a review item/gift from my friends at Oscuro Adult Boutique and the cause of The Boobs That Made Straight Girls Question Their Heterosexuality.

Yes, I’m planning on wearing it on Saturday night. Yes, I will also be pairing it with the aforementioned signature ears. And yes, you have my full consent to stare at my chest as much as you like.

5. (Small) sex toys

I’m not interested in hooking up at Eroticon, but I did realise last year that hearing so much glorious smut during the day would inevitably lead me to needing to have a quick wank back in my hotel room before bed. Couple this with the fact that citalopram withdrawal has made my sex drive go a bit haywire this last week or so, and… yeah.

I’m gonna be short on packing space but I think the Tango and MiMi will fit nicely in my case.

6. Fabulous femme things

I can’t wait to get my femme on at Eroticon. I’m already planning makeup experiments of the kind I don’t normally attempt. There will be glitter, for sure, because I need to make the most of this opportunity as I am no longer allowed to wear glitter at home (you get it in the sofa ONE time…!)

There will also be jewellery, made for me by my sweetie The Artist, getting its first outing that weekend.

7. A portable coffee mug and good coffee

Um, hey. Have you met me? I’m obsessed with coffee and would probably replace my blood with it if I wouldn’t die. I just ordered myself an awesome new travel mug, which is coming with me and will be filled permanently with coffee in order to keep me going at top capacity through the whirlwind of the weekend. I’ll probably also bring a stash of coffee bags, because I find the coffee most venues serve leaves a lot to be desired. (Yes, I’m a snob.)

8. My Fuck.com notebook

This was in the goodie bags at Eroticon 2017 and it’s still my favourite notebook to scribble smutty notes in. I’ll be frantically taking notes and story ideas and sound-bites and hanging on every word my favourite presenters have to say!

9. Hugs to give out

There are so many people I want to cuddlepounce the fuck out of next weekend. I will be coming with my best hugging arms and ready to wrap them around anyone who consents.

10. Realness

Last night, I was panicking that I haven’t achieved all of the things I wanted to achieve ahead of this year’s Eroticon. I haven’t lost 50lb, or finished my novella. I haven’t quit my job to spend my days writing about dildos (okay, that one is a pipe dream rather than an actual plan) or completely weaned myself off my antidepressants. Hell, I haven’t even finished my PhD application!

But then I realised: it doesn’t matter. I can bring my realness to Eroticon. I can be a hot mess in all my hot, messy glory, and it will be okay. These are my people and this is my community and I can be both a fabulous, smut-loving #Sparklefemme AND an anxious wreck with a hefty dose of imposter syndrome. Both of these things can be true. It will be okay.

I think the theme of this Eroticon for me will be: I am.

If you’re there too, come say hello!

I’m very friendly. Talk to me about BDSM, sex toys, smashing the patriarchy, what you’re reading lately, musical theatre, coffee, sex ed reform, feminist fiction, femme identity or non-monogamy. Or just tell me about your work and I’ll lap it up.

The Eroticon 2018 rainbow lips badge

If you want to support my work and help me keep attending conferences like Eroticon, which are the highlight of my year but also expensive, you can buy me a virtual coffee or shop with my affiliates in the right-hand sidebar.

Eroticon 2018 – Virtual Meet & Greet

Hard to believe it’s been about a year since I first did one of these! I’m even more excited for Eroticon this year now I know what an amazing, affirming, and occasionally life-changing experience it can be.

So, without further ado, here’s my virtual getting-to-know-you…

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)

You can call me Amy. (I’ll also answer to CK or Coffee&Kink). CoffeeAndKink on Twitter.

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2018?

The people. There are so many people I’m looking forward to seeing again (some of whom I haven’t seen since last year) and I’m always excited to make new friends!

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

All Over Me by Lindsey Harper, because to me it’s just the most perfect love song.

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

Something involving horses. Sometimes I wanted to run a riding school, sometimes I wanted to set up a rescue sanctuary, and sometimes I wanted to be a competitive eventer.

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

I fucked in a bluebell wood that one time…

Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself?

In no particular order:
– At time of writing, I have had sex with a total of 30 people.
– Despite the obsession/addiction I’m known for, I didn’t actually like coffee until I was 22.
– I got up to Grade 8 in piano when I was a teenager.

Complete the sentence: I want…

…unlimited time, a wealthy patron and to never get sick? With all these in place, I might have time to do at least a fair percentage of the writing I want to do.

See you at Eroticon!

Ten Lessons from One Year of Sex Blogging

I started my blog late in the evening on 31 December 2016. Can you believe I’ve been at this game for a whole year already? Time flies when you’re having fun, fucking various sexy people, learning important life lessons, and accumulating a collection of sex toys bigger than you reasonably have storage space for.

And oh what a year it’s been! This little side project – and the community I’ve met as a result – has changed my life, and changed me, in deep and fundamental ways. I’m a better person, and a better writer, than I was a year ago thanks to this little adventure. I’ve placed in Kinkly’s top 100 sex bloggers, won a Newcomer Award, and been paid for my work. I’ve worked with numerous sex-positive retailers. And I’ve met some of the most awesome people I’ve ever had the privilege to know.

So, in the spirit of reflecting on the past year – it is New Year’s Eve, after all! – I wanted to share with you ten lessons I’ve taken away from this first year.

1. I can experience pleasure and orgasm in ways I never imagined.

I hardly ever bought sex toys before I started this little adventure and started getting sent things to review. They’re pretty expensive and my vulva is fussy – it knew what it liked (this baby, mainly) and though I was curious about other toys, I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend upwards of £50-100 on things that may or may not work for me.

Well, I’ve now tried oscillating toys, suction toys, dual-stimulation toys, ride-on toys, great vibrators, terrible vibrators, mediocre vibrators, dildos in interesting materials, and even sex toys shaped like penguins. And if you’ll pardon the pun, fuck me it turns out my experience of pleasure is diverse. Not only can I get off in all these different ways, but each gives me a subtly (or sometimes wildly) different variety of orgasm.

Bodies are cool, y’all.

2. Sex writers are the best community.

I cannot overstate the extent to which the sex writing community has changed my life for the better. At events like Eroticon, Lube & a Laptop, and even the recent sex blogger Christmas party, I feel profoundly seen, deeply understood, and radically accepted in a way that I have never quite encountered anywhere else.

This community is so open, so generous with time and support and knowledge and friendship and a helping hand up, that I want to cry with joy every time I think about it. You, reading this? Yes, you. I love you.

3. I have the power to take my ideas and make them real.

This whole “sex blog” thing was just a bit of a side project a year ago; a bit of fun that I thought would keep me busy during a difficult transitional period and maybe entertain a handful of people. Now, though? Now it’s so much more. It’s my genuine passion project AND a source of additional income.

That didn’t happen by accident. That happened because I had an idea and ran with it. It happened because I put in the hours (and hours and hours) at the computer screen, tap-tap-tapping away; because I invested what I could, money-and-time-wise, into things like going to Eroticon; because people like Girl on the Net, Kayla, Molly and Sarah generously shared their wisdom and I was smart enough to shut up and listen and learn from them; frankly, because I worked my ass off for it. I still do every day.

You can, too.  You just need an idea, some determination, and the willingness to put in the hard work to see it through.

4. Sometimes, the best way to get what you want is just to ask.

Sending off my first pitch was so scary that I needed to celebrate a little bit having done so. Actually getting it accepted? Well, that was something I’d never imagined! That first time someone believed in my work enough to pay me for it, even a little, was like a shot of pure confidence straight to my anxiety-riddled brain. But I never would have got it if I hadn’t faced down my fears and just asked.

Writing to Hot Octopuss a couple months ago on a whim, going “hey we’ve got some common interests here want to sponsor a post?” felt ridiculous. Presumptuous. Why would a big and successful company want to work with a nobody like me? But they said yes. They liked my idea and they paid me for it and I’ve worked with them again since!

These little victories would never have come my way if I hadn’t bitten the bullet and just asked the damn question.

5. Rejection can tear you down, or it can propel you forward.

Rejection happens in any creative industry. It’s just a fact of life. I’ve been rejected plenty of times, both as a sex writer and in my vanilla writing life. My first novel probably got rejected 30 times before I decided to e-publish. I got rejected from an OxBridge Masters programme at the final interview stage. I’ve spent days, weeks, crafting a perfect contest entry and not placed. I’ve sent pitches off and never heard back.

What I learned this year, though, is how to channel rejection into determination and forward momentum. I’ve honed my pitching style and my approaches. I’ve looked again at a rejected piece with fresh eyes and revamped it. And I’ve taught myself how to view all experience, even rejections, as valuable and as opportunities for growth. All writing experience is good writing experience.

6. Whatever weirdnesses I have, I’m definitely not alone.

Whatever bizarre fetish or kink I might be into, someone else is into it too.

When I think I’m the only person in the world whose body responds to a certain stimulus in a certain way, someone will go “me too!”

When I’m struggling with an emotion or a fear or a trip into the darkest depths of my psyche, sometimes what keeps me going is just knowing that someone else sees me, that they understand what I’m going through, and that they came out the other side – and I will too.

7. I have workaholic tendencies.

Okay, so I had a hunch about this one already, but it’s become apparent to me in the last year just how true it is. When I’m really into something, I am in real danger of becoming completely consumed by it.

In October, writing every single day for my Kink Month challenge was stressful and thrilling in equal measure. Since then, I’ve forced myself to take half a step back to recharge as my day job workload explodes over the festive period, but I still feel twinges of guilt if I go more than three or four days without blogging.

This passion and the way it eats at me until I sit down and do the work is a blessing, in large part, and occasionally a curse too. Sometimes the best thing my loved ones can do for me is give me space to work, and sometimes the best thing they can do is force me to take a break, eat some snacks and watch a terrible movie with them. Often, though, I need to take a good look at how I’m really doing in order to communicate which of these things I need.

8. People HATE being told the truth.

Whether it’s that their jelly dildo is riddled with toxic gunk, that shoving 2lb of marbles up their ass is a really bad idea (yes, this is a real conversation I had), or that their favourite toy company hired a known abuser as a spokesperson, people really cannot deal with facts and information if it conflicts with their view of The Way Things Are. What’s more, sometimes these people will come at you with name-calling, personal attacks and even threats of physical violence when you speak the truth.

Block early, block often, my friends.

9. How not to take shit from companies.

I don’t work for other people/companies for free, unless:

1) You’re a charity I really, deeply believe in, OR

2) You’re a personal friend and I’m either doing you a favour or we’re doing some kind of work exchange.

Even so, the number of companies who have approached me wanting me to write for them for nothing – or “for the exposure!!!” – is fast approaching levels of bullshit I never knew existed. Add this to seriously shady requests like “talk up our product but don’t let on to your readers that we sponsored you for this,” and I’m left shaking my head at the audacity of some people. This year, I’ve learned to value my work properly and not accept flattery or “exposure” as forms of currency. I’ve learned to stand up for my worth, to hold firm with my boundaries, to put my foot down, so say “no”.

You love what I do and REALLY REALLY want to bring my voice to your readers? Perfect. I’m flattered. Now pay me.

10. No-one Does What I Do Quite Like Me

I’m just gonna finish off with this gem of wisdom from Girl on the Net, a phrase which adorns the mug that I drink my coffee from every morning. Because it’s true.

Happy new year, you beautiful lot. Here’s to 2018.

This post contains affiliate links.