NOT 50 Shades Of Bland: The Heart Of Erotica at Eroticon

by Hermione Way

Eroticon event 2015
Vibease sponsored Eroticon, Bristol, 2015. Not twenty minutes had passed until 50 Shades Of Grey was being talked about in the opening session of Eroticon 2015. I wondered how long it would be because I had heard 50 Shades had been met with bitter-sweet sentiment by this core community of global erotic writers. Both the book and the film which hit $1.5billion and $500million in gross global sales respectively  has garnered both positive and negative mainstream attention (which probably boosted it's revenue as people wanted to find out if it was really as bad as the reviews, read: yes). But amongst this community of writers, the problem with 50 Shades Of Grey, is that now the mainstream think that the genre 'Erotica' is that book and film. So what then is the genre of this community of writers whose comparative writing is far more exciting, deep and evoking than the bland trilogy and film of 50 Shades with a Disney storyline that is retold with a little bit of spanking? A Paradox: At the same time, 50 Shades, had opened up the public to what these authors did, making it less sworded, less of a taboo to friends and family. One author told of her son's teacher asking what she did: "You know EL James, the 50 Shades Author? Kind of like that, but better?" I was surprised when the founder of Eroticon said that publishers had been unenthusiastic about sponsoring or getting involved with the conference - one of the world's only events bringing together the top erotic writers in the world. If they were going to find the next EL James, it would be here. But now, aparently the market is saturated with erotic writers. And my honest thought was that that these writers having checked out their blogs throughout the event are just TOO DAMN GOOD for something as low-brow as 50 Shades Of Grey. The problem with writing something for the mainstream is that you have to cater to the mainstream of people whose average IQ is rather low. My favourite speech was Girl On The Net's 'Making  A living From Writing About Shagging' and then there was the live spanking session where we got to learn about all the industry's different spanking materials. It was really interesting to learn from Remittance Girl about the history of Erotic as subversive to popular culture. 11054280_10153542465401983_2980248572325642548_n