This time next week I will be down in London for Eroticon 2023, which means it’s virtual meet and greet time!
[CW: suicide, mental illness and transphobia – I know, I’m super fun]
I’m so excited about Eroticon 2023 – and I’m also nervous. My first Eroticon was in 2018, barely six months after I’d started my sex blog, so you’d think that my nerves would have lessened by now. And they have, but I’ve changed a lot has changed since Eroticon 2019. I have new pronouns, a deeper voice after one year on testosterone, and a lot more confidence in myself. But while I’ve found my voice and know there’s value in what I have to say, I’m still stressing out about what I should wear. I’m still nervous about the social-interaction parts of the weekend, even through connecting with other sex writers and educators is one of the best parts of Eroticon.
NAME (and Twitter/IG/Mastodon, etc.)
Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2023:
- Incredible people. I love how many people I know because I started writing about sex on the internet who I’d never have met otherwise. Brilliant, clever, good people. I’ve made some amazing friends, and despite how nervous I’ll be I’m excited to connect with people whose work I’ve enjoyed or who I’ve only talked to on Instagram before. (There’s one person who I’m really excited to meet in person but who I’m going to have to try not to embarrass myself by attempting to flirt with.) Where else do you get to be around so many other sex nerds?
- Information. Speaking of sex nerds, I’m so excited for all of the talks and workshops! I love having nerdy, nuanced conversations about sex and I always end up getting cramps in my hand from trying to take as many notes as possible. I haven’t planned out what sessions I want to go to yet, because there are so many good ones and I honestly have no idea how I’m going to choose. And even outside of the sessions themselves, just getting to talk to people who think about sex as much as I do is so fun and I learn so much.
- Inspiration. I always come away from Eroticon feeling like I can change the fucking world, and I really need some of that right now. I know I’m going to finish the weekend with a hundred different ideas for new projects, but hopefully also some feelings of clarity about my career. I feel like a directionless-mess when it comes to journalism sex writing at the moment, and struggling to find a balance between actually making money and not burning myself out. I’m ready to get inspired!
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?
This is such a hard question. Honourable mentions should go to this Grace Petrie song and a song that a friend who sadly won’t be at Eroticon this year introduced me to. However, the song I end up singing at top volume most often right now is Frank Turner’s Get Better – which I think I first found through Girl On The Net, making it a very appropriate song for a would-be Eroticon playlist!
It’s no secret to people who read my writing or follow me on Twitter that I have severe depression and suicidal ideation. I’ve come so far in the last year, but there are still days when it’s really fucking hard. This song is a reminder that I can do this, I can keep going, I will get to a day when I feel less shit than I do today – I’m not dead yet.
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I think the honest answer to this is that I wanted to be a dancer. I did dream of being a writer for years though, before I realised how impossible it is to make a living as a writer. It makes me so fucking happy that I do now make, well, not a living, but some money from writing. Which I’m not sure is something I’d ever have thought would be a possibility if I hadn’t come to Eroticon in 2018. I’ve built – or at least I’m building – a career off the back
(I do still love dancing though. I need to find more opportunities to dance.)
What does your joy look like today?
The gender euphoria from shaving my head. Putting on testosterone gel. Laughing so hard while listening to No Such Thing As A Fish podcast episodes that I can barely breathe. Singing along to P!nk and Queen. Texts from my girlfriend – them telling me that I look handsome; them telling me what they want to do to me.
What is your favourite musical?
Hamilton. Individually there are songs from other musicals that might I like more, but as an entire musical I think it has to be Hamilton. I know so much of it by heart and singing it is a brilliant way to channel my anger when I need to work through emotions.
If you were the captain of a pirate ship, what would be the name of your ship?
The Faggots’ Wrath.
As soon as you have finished writing answering these questions what are you going to do?
I’m sitting outside right now, making the most of the sunshine, so when I’ve published this post I’m going to walk home and record some audio porn.
Complete the sentence: I need…
… £10,000 so I can get top surgery. Legal recognition for non-binary people. Mainstream publications to stop uplifting transphobia under the guise of ‘balance’. Our Prime Minister not to think that outing trans kids to their parents is a good safeguarding policy. People to stop passing laws that deny us access to life-saving healthcare and try to stop us existing in public. Basically, human rights for trans people – and for our rights to stop being treated as though they’re up for debate.
(These are all quite heavy, but it is pride month and I don’t know a single trans person who isn’t absolutely fucking terrified right now.)
To attempt a more playful answer: I need… you to go and subscribe to Genderbent, which is my newsletter exploring gender and transmasculinity! I’ve been publishing there more than I’ve been publishing here – albeit not much more. I started my newsletter as a more SFW way to showcase my writing, because I wanted to send editors who I was pitching links to my work secure in the knowledge that they won’t click through to be met with a photo of my junk.
While I haven’t been writing much here, I have been writing for other publications and getting paid to write, which feels amazing. Though if it didn’t feel like I was copying GOTN’s answer, I’d say that I need… the publications who are fucking weeks late paying my invoices to pay me so I can afford food while I’m down in London at the weekend. (Is there a session on getting people to pay you? I need to check the schedule.)
See you soon, sex nerds!
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.