There’s something rather haunting about the Tobacco Dock. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I mean. When you go through the gate(-y sort of thing) and see the pirate ships, the water, the brick and stone and the mysterious building that houses so many hidden corridors, it’s like entering a time vortex. You half expect to be whisked away to some kind of fantasy netherworld, or a tense thriller in which an unseen entity chases you through the entire building.
What you don’t really expect is buff men in skimpy shorts and a naked lady with her more delicate parts covered in sushi.
And this is the part where I tell you that I’d never been to Erotica before. I didn’t even know it existed, until last year, when it wasn’t on. By coincidence, ILB won double tickets for the full three days (courtesy of the folks at Bondara, for which many thanks), so on a windy Saturday afternoon (ehm, yesterday, actually) we chanced the weather and followed the flock of people streaming from Shadwell to the aforementioned Tobacco Dock.
Here follows a list of Nice Things Wot Happened At Erotica:
- Running into Lucy Felthouse (and giving her a massive hug, because she’s fucking awesome) about three minutes after arriving, prompting me to exclaim “Thank God, my people are here!”
- Catching up with the other Smutters in attendance, seeing Victoria Blisse and meeting Toni and Aoife, who were ever so nice.
- Vegan raw chocolate cake, which was bloody amazing.
- The knowledge that Gaz From Geordie Shore (a person of whom I didn’t realize the existence until yesterday) calls his cock a “parsnip” – which, on the whole, I could have easily done without.
- The naked sushi lady.
- The designated puppy play area, which was a stroke of genius.
- The amazing, and absolutely bonkers variety of outfits on show.
- The Glamour Zone, where you could go and say hi to a variety of adult stars and glamour models – all of them lovely, funny and very game for a chat.
- Special mention to the amazingly geeky lady in the pvc Star Trek costume manning the Cosplay Babes stand – I didn’t catch your name, but you were one of the highlights of my day.
- Being able to catch up with Annie and Stu.
- Stu effortlessly out-awesomeing Johnny Depp in the dandy fashion stakes.
- The ladies from Total E-Bound.
- Getting my paws on a copy of Smut By The Sea 2 for myself, and getting to sign a copy for someone else (whoever you are, I really hope you liked my story).
- The bondage bed contraption thingamagog, which made about three people (including me) go “…Blimey.” at the same time.
- The glorious fact that the buff gentlemen in the tuxedo-boxers milling about near the Bondara stand were due to be auctioned off as slave butlers later in the day (and the remorse that came later about not taking advantage of this change- it was only a quid!)
- KD Grace reading the “breakfast with Tino” scene from The Pet Shop to the passing crowd.
- Kristina Lloyd, who I didn’t get to catch up with properly, which annoys me, but she’s always fabulous and gorgeous.
There were downsides to it though. The food wasn’t great. The drinks were ridiculously expensive. We kept going in circles, always ending up in the room where the Television X booth was situated. The corporate air of the whole thing. And the fact that I was so shitting tired at the end of the day that I was ready to go to bed at 7PM.
Would I go again next year? I’m not sure. As I mentioned, it was very corporate, and it certainly doesn’t need to run for three days, because you could easily do the entire shebang in one (minus the shows).
But it was kinda cool, I guess. Just kicking myself in the shins a bit for not joining in with the Smutters crew.