Eleven People You Might Meet at a BDSM Munch

I’ve got so many posts in drafts right now, many of them intensely personal and emotionally loaded. I want to tell you all about that time I got an STI, why casual sex feels complicated for me even as it’s something I also really desire, and my reflections on fifteen years of relationships that exist off the map of societal norms.

This isn’t any of those posts. I’ve tried to finish and publish them all this week, but they’re either currently feeling too vulnerable or just not quite coming together in the way I want them to. So you’ll have to wait for those, sorry!

Instead, because I went to my local one last night, you’ve got my slightly snarky reflections on the people you’re likely to meet at a BDSM munch. For those who don’t know, a BDSM munch is a social gathering of kinky people (typically in a vanilla location such as a pub, bar, or restaurant) for the purposes of making friends and building community.

Obligatory disclaimer: this is an attempt at humour and should be read in a slightly tongue in cheek fashion. Your observations and experiences may vary.

The Host

I hope you meet this person, because if you don’t they’re probably not doing their job.

Any good BDSM munch has an active host (or team of hosts). They’ll be the people who booked the venue, advertised the event online, and maybe answered your questions if you messaged them beforehand.

Their job is to welcome newcomers, facilitate the space, maintain any rules or code of conduct, and ensure that everyone feels safe and has a good time. It’s also their responsibility to sort out any problems such as attendees overstepping consent boundaries or behaving inappropriately.

The Regulars

For these people, going to a munch is just like going to the pub with friends because the attendee list is basically their social circle. Might be heard asking after each other’s spouses, jobs, kids, dating adventures, and other Real Life Shit.

The Creep

Usually a cis man and usually a Dominant, though there are exceptions, this person gravitates towards Nervous Newbies (see below) like a moth to a flame. May particularly target new, young submissive women.

They might try to pick you up, assert a D/s dynamic where none exists, touch you, or get in your personal space without consent. Best avoided. If they overstep a line or make you uncomfortable, speak to the host or a regular.

The Ostentatiously M/s Couple

They didn’t get the memo that this is a vanilla space. Perhaps the s-type kneels at their Master or Mistress’s feet on the sticky pub floor. Perhaps the Owner bends their pet over a table and spanks them in full view of the people trying to have a quiet after-work pint at the next table. The s-type probably either speaks exclusively in the third person (“this slave is pleased to meet you”) or isn’t permitted to speak at all.

Don’t be these people unless you want to be responsible for getting the munch kicked out of the bar. Wearing a discreet collar is likely fine, full-on play in public is not.

The Social Butterfly

Hi, I’m this person!

The Social Butterfly loves people and wants to chat to EVERYONE. You’ll get their undivided attention and be the only person in the room they see… for about four minutes. But so will everyone else.

They’ll probably bounce up and give enthusiastic hugs when their friends walk in, and be one of the first people to introduce themselves to anyone they don’t recognise. Imagine a particularly sociable puppy with ADHD and you’ve got this person.

The Nervous Newbie

Maybe this is you?

They’re attending a BDSM munch for the first time and they’re not sure what to expect. Depending on their personality, they might hang back and observe or dive right in. Relax – outside of a few simple ground rules there’s no right or wrong way here. Just learn basic munch etiquette, be yourself, and if in doubt speak to the host and let them know you’re new and nervous.

The Venue Owner/Event Organiser/Pro Who is Mostly There to Plug Their Stuff

I’m calling myself out here, I might also be this person a little bit on occasion.

They run a party or conference, have their own dungeon, or work as a Pro Dom/Domme, and they’re here to network! They might be seen wearing a branded t-shirt, handing out flyers, or proudly extolling the virtues of whatever it is they’re promoting. They’ve got their spiel down to the point that it sounds totally natural and unrehearsed… until you hear them reciting it twenty more times.

The Unicorn Hunters

Almost inevitably a male Dominant with a female submissive (likely decades younger than him), these two are on the hunt for additional submissive women for the dude’s “stable.”

She will be used as bait and she might not even be into women, but just performing a safe and male-gaze-centric form of bisexuality for his entertainment. There’s a One Penis Policy (of course!) and anyone who isn’t interested in what they’re offering will be derided as a “fake.” They’ll probably come to about four events, then leave in a huff when they don’t find anyone to be their live-in housekeeper-slash-sex-doll.

The Wise Elder

They’ve been kinky since before half these attendees were born but they won’t tell you that unless you ask directly how long they’ve been in the lifestyle. And yes, they’ll probably call it The Lifestyle unironically.

They have a wealth of knowledge to impart, but they’re humble about it. They reject the label of “expert” and believe we’re all just imperfect humans learning as we go. This person has a lot they could teach you. Listen to them.

The Not So Wise Elder

They’ve been kinky since before half these attendees were born and they want you to know it. They’ll grumble about how “young people today just don’t know what REAL S&M is.” (And yes, they’ll refer to all kink as S&M unironically.)

They have a lot of knowledge to impart whether you want it or not, and most of it will be wrong. They will refer often and wistfully to The Old Guard or The Good Old Days. High likelihood that they and The Wise Elder have lowkey hated each other since the seventies.

The Dude Who is Definitely Cheating on His Wife

He’s got to be discreet. Very discreet, because he has a very important top secret job his wife definitely doesn’t know about his shenanigans. There will be a deep groove on the third finger of his left hand from a hastily-removed wedding ring. He’ll avoid any questions about his relationship status, if he doesn’t just outright lie about being single/separated/divorced/widowed/in an open marriage.

Wants to be your 24/7 Daddy Dom but can only see you from 3-5pm on alternate Thursdays because he’s very busy and important that’s when she thinks he’s playing golf with his old university roommate.

So there you have it, the people you might meet at a BDSM munch. Think I missed any? Recognise yourself in any of these? Let me know! FYI: this post contains an affiliate link.

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.

Your First Kink Party: What to Expect

I’ve been going to kink parties (also known as play parties) for well over a decade and have learned a few things in my time. I’ve also organised or been a member of the crew for some parties. Whenever I’m crewing, I get emails from nervous attendees who are coming to a kink party for the first time. They want to know the rules, what to expect, and how to behave.

And I completely understand this. Being in a new type of space, in a community with its own norms and history, can be daunting. So that’s why I thought I’d put together a quick guide to what you need to know before you go to your first kink party.

You Will See All Kinds of People

Kinksters are a diverse bunch. You’ll meet people of different genders, ages, sexualities, races, body types, and abilities.

We don’t all look like supermodels (or like the characters in that scene in Eyes Wide Shut) and a reputable event will never ask you to provide pictures beforehand or accept/reject you based on your looks or any demographic factors. (The one exception here is that some events limit the numbers of single men who can attend each time, but this is more common in the swing lifestyle than in kink.)

So relax: whoever you are, you’ll fit in and be welcome. Be kind, friendly, and inclusive to everyone you meet, and you can’t go far wrong.

You Will See All Kinds of Play

Different BDSM parties have different rules about what is allowed. If in doubt, you should always ask. Some events allow genital nudity and sexual contact, others don’t (this is often a venue restriction or licensing issue.) Some allow physically or psychologically edgy play such as needle play, fire play, or consensual non-consent, while others do not. You might see activities such as rope bondage, impact play, sensation play, Dominant/submissive dynamics, service, and so on.

If you are attending an event for a specific dynamic (for example, Dominant women and submissive men) then playing in a different dynamic may not be appropriate for that event. In general, though, you should expect to see people playing in a range of different configurations.

If you’re not comfortable seeing a particular type of play, it is your responsibility to remove yourself from the space where it is happening. It’s always okay to quietly and respectfully leave a space. It’s never okay to make derogatory comments or kink-shame others.

You Don’t Have to Do Anything You Don’t Want To

Whether you attend alone, with friends, or with a partner or partners, there is never any obligation to play at a kink party. Good parties do not place any expectations on attendees about the kinds of activities they get up to. If you want to just sit and watch scenes from a respectful distance, that’s fine. If you want to chat to people in the bar, chill out in the hot tub, or dance the night away on the dancefloor, that’s great too! And if you do want to play, it’s totally up to you whether you approach other attendees for possible scenes (or accept any invitations that come your way) or just play with the person/people you came with.

You might be asked to play, or to participate in other activities (such as being touched, watching a scene, receiving a service, having a drink, or playing a game.) It’s always okay to say “no thank you” and, if anyone pressures you, speak to a Dungeon Monitor (DM), other member of staff, or the organiser. Reputable play parties have a zero tolerance policy to any kind of boundary pushing or harrassment.

You Might Not Get to Do Everything You Want to Do

Conversely, you may go into a kink party with a specific idea of how you want it to go, and you might not get to do everything you want to do.

Paying for entry to a party does not guarantee you play, or a specific kind of play. If you’ve attended with a partner, you can make plans together but these might need to change on the fly for any number of reasons. And if you’re attending alone, you might meet someone to play with… or you might not. I’ve been on the kink scene for 14 years and I don’t play at every event I attend. This is incredibly normal.

It’s important to go in with realistic expectations. Being too rigid in your hopes for the night is a recipe for disappointment.

Some Basic Etiquette Will Go Far

As I’ve already said, each kink event has its own rules, quirks, and norms. Always ask about specific rules for the party you’re attending. However, there are some consistent points of community etiquette that you should learn and observe at any event you go to. These include:

  • Never touch a person or their equipment without permission.
  • No means no, but anything other than a clear and unambiguous “yes” ALSO means no.
  • Do not assume a dynamic where none exists (for example, by giving orders to a submissive or using honorifis for a Dominant without clear negotiation and consent.) Treat everyone as an equal and with respect, regardless of role.
  • Never interrupt a scene in progress. A scene includes set-up and aftercare. If you see something that worries you from a safety or consent perspective, speak to a DM or the organiser. Always be aware that, even if something looks scary, there is likely a lot of background context that you cannot see.
  • If you’re watching scenes in progress, keep a respectful distance and be quiet. If you want to chat, move to the social space. Staying out of the way is also for your safety – no-one wants to take the backswing of a flogger to the face.
  • Do not take any photographs or recordings without permission. Many events will insist that you leave your phone and any other devices in your locker or car. This is for everyone’s privacy and safety.
  • Embrace the philosophy of YKINMKBYKIOK: “Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay.”

Soak Up Opportunities to Learn

Some kink parties take place as part of a kinky conference or other educational event. Others offer newbie orientations, workshops, or talks on specific aspects of kink during the course of the night. If any of these opportunities exist, make the most of them. Hearing experts talk about what they do best is one of the most effective ways to learn and grow as a kinkster.

You can also learn from events in a more informal manner. For example, as you get chatting to people in the bar you’ll have a chance to ask more experienced players about their experiences. And if you see someone doing an activity or playing with a toy that looks interesting? Ask them about it! (Wait until they’ve finished their scene and any takedown and aftercare, of course.)

Kinksters, by and large, are nerds. We are geeky and passionate about the things we do. If you politely and respectfully approach someone to ask them about a particular activity or implement, most will be only too happy to talk to you about it.

Don’t forget to thank them for sharing their time and expertise… or offer to buy them a drink to say thanks!

It’s Best Not to Make Assumptions

If kink is one thing, it is endlessly surprising. As a community, we pride ourselves on being diverse and open-minded. Even so, we’re still humans living in the world, so sometimes unchecked assumptions can creep in. Just this weekend, I was at an event with a male-presenting friend. People assumed not only that we were a couple but that I was his submissive, based on nothing but our outward appearances. Conversely, I’ve attended events with girlfriends in the past and consistently been read as “just friends.”

In general, try to avoid making assumptions about people’s relationships, sexuality, kink roles, or interests based on how they look. There are more things in heaven, earth, and kink than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

This post was sponsored by KinkFest, the UK’s premier educational kinky conference which is taking place in Birmingham this September. All writing and views are, as always, my own. You can learn more about KinkFest and get tickets here.

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

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!

Ten Fun or Meaningful Things to Do On International Celebrate Bisexuality Day

[Last updated November 2023]

Did you know that September 23rd marks International Celebrate Bisexuality Day? Also known as Bi Visibility Day, ICBD is observed by members of the bi community and our allies and supporters, and is used to campaign for greater bisexual visibility, to celebrate bi history and culture, and to show pride in our identities and those of the bi people we love.

If you’re low on energy today, or this is the first time you’ve heard of ICBD, here’s some easy and fun ways you can celebrate and make a difference!

1. Wear something purple

Purple is the internationally recognised colour of bisexuality. I think this originally came from the idea of purple as a mix of pink (gay) and blue (straight), which is a little problematic. But, hey, we have our own colour!

If you don’t have the energy to do anything else today – and that’s A-okay! – then why not put on a purple shirt, scarf, shoes or other accessory to show your bi pride?

2. Tell the bi folks in your life that you love them

If you’re monosexual (gay or straight), this is a great time to reach out and support the bi people in your life. A “happy bisexuality day!” from a gay or straight friend has never failed to make me smile on September 23rd.

And if you’re bi, reach out to your fellow bisexual friends, partners and allies, wish them a happy ICBD, and maybe get together for some cake?

3. Share bi content on social media

A retweet, a share or a comment goes a long way towards supporting the visibility and normalisation of bi people on social media. Obviously your comfort levels will vary, and I would never ask someone to out themselves if they weren’t ready or put themselves at any risk, but if you can safely post on social media about queer issues, try these on for size:

“Did you know September 23rd is International Celebrate Bisexuality Day? Just popping up to remind y’all that I’m still bi, regardless of my relationship status! I’ll be wearing purple to show my pride today. Will you wear something purple to show your support?”

“Did you know September 23rd is International Celebrate Bisexuality Day? I’m (straight/gay), but I support my bisexual friends! I’m wearing purple today in solidarity. Will you?”

4. Bust some myths

Hear someone say that bisexuality isn’t real, that bisexuality erases trans folks and enforces the gender binary, or that people can only be bi if they’re attracted to men and women exactly 50/50? Bust those myths! If it’s safe to do so, speak up! Explain why they’re wrong (see the linked articles for inspiration). Stand up for the bisexual people in your life and don’t tolerate biphobia when you see it.

5. Consume some bi media

Read books by bi authors (Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Robyn Ochs, Rachel Kramer-Bussell, Jennifer Baumgardner…). Listen to music by bi artists (Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Pink, Amy Winehouse…). Watch films or TV shows with bi storylines. Share content by your favourite bi bloggers, vloggers, indie writers and content creators (I’ll be doing a separate post on this later).

6. Give your favourite bisexual some cake

It’s well known that bisexuals love cake. It’s our little way of reclaiming that stupid “have your cake and eat it too” expression. Today is a great day to give your favourite bisexual (even if that’s yourself!) some cake.

7. Donate to causes that support bi people

LGBTQ+ causes have historically been pretty shitty about including either the B or the T in their work. Thankfully, this is improving, and there are now organisations specifically dedicated to improving the lives of bisexual people.

The Bisexual Index highlights and combats biphobia, works for bi inclusion in events such as Pride, and connects bi people to resources and community. They also have super-cute merch.

Biscuit is an online magazine and organisation for the bi+ community, focusing on women and other marginalised genders. If you experience life at the intersection of misogyny and biphobia, Biscuit is for you. You can donate at their homepage.

Bi Pride UK, an organisation and event dedicated to creating safe and accepting spaces for everyone who falls somewhere on the spectrum between straight and gay. You can donate via their homepage.

MindOut are the LGBTQ-specific arm of Mind, the UK’s mental health charity. Did you know that bisexual people are among the most likely to struggle with a mental health issue at some point during their lives? MindOut is dedicated to combating mental health challenges within the LGBTQ+ community.

8. Subscribe to a bi magazine

Bi Community News keeps you in the loop about all the fun things happening in the UK-wide bisexual scene – and it’s only £12 for an entire year!

9. Support bi and queer porn makers

You know by now that you should be paying for your porn, yes? Well, what about awesome ethical feminist porn featuring real queer women having real sex? Check out Crashpad Series to support awesome women-owned-and-created porn. Better yet, buy directly from your favourite queer creators.

10. Plan to go to a bi event

Going to BiCon in 2019? It’s the highlight of the bisexual year and I really recommend checking it out if you can! Failing that, there are regular bi groups in cities up and down the country – check out this list and find one near you, and make a plan to go along. You’ll  be sure to make some friends and allies.

What are YOU doing to celebrate ICBD? Tweet me or comment and let me know.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions, as ever, are my own. If you want to support my coffee-and-cake habit for bisexuality day, you can do so via Ko-Fi.

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!