A beautiful sunny Brisbane meant that Sexpo was Hot!….Living in Melbourne I had mainly taken completely the wrong kind of clothing, winter dresses just don’t work in 25 degrees.
However as usual my writing comes after the fact and so as I reflect on my wonderful weekend in August at Sexpo I wanted to share some stories.
My eyes wide open this time and not on stalks I listened to the tales of swingers who just wanted to try something new, in my experience a lot of these couples have been in a relationship together for a long time and want to spice things up a bit. What’s wrong with that? I’m always asked if I have tried it and my reply is like many questions I’m asked at Sexpo…’not yet!’
Then there are the older men whose sex drive is still high but are widowed, divorced or single through choice. These beautiful curious creatures suffer from the age old complaint of loneliness and are not looking for love but just a companion. ‘I’ve even tried a bloke for the first time’ said one guy to me ‘it’s not bad you know, I’d do it again!’ As I listened I knew I was the first person he’d told this to and I felt privileged to hear of his bravery to experience the new, the different, to change his perspective later on in life when so many have already written their rigid path full of rules and regulations.
I found once again that it is the Sexpo consumers who are the preachers and teachers, the inspiration and us humble stall holders are merely the listeners, protectors of secrets and hand holders of a new way of life for many.
These nameless confessions from Sexpo I hope will inspire, confront and comfort. We all have a story to tell and I had the amazing privilege of listening to these beautiful people.
1. The Poet
He came in as soon as the doors opened on day one with eyes searching.
‘I used to write poetry’ he said with excitement in his voice but then he turned away and looked down.
‘But my muse left me’
My hubby and I have been through the mill these last few years, emigration, five house moves, working away, illness and redundancy. Basically we’ve experienced life and sometimes it pulls you together and sometimes it pushes you apart. We love each other sure but in love, no. Friends absolutely, lovers no.
It’s a harsh reality that we had to discuss. We are not connected and the more I write and get back to myself the further away we seem to drift. I found happiness in my writing and discovering myself.
‘You have changed so much’ he said. I have he is right and I love this new me but it’s not compatible to him any more, we both seem to accept that.
Not wanting to unsettle our two beautiful children nothing has drastically changed in our set up other than awareness and willingness to talk.
‘It seems everyone has been through this, is going through this or is divorced’ he said after talking to a few of his friends. He seemed surprised to find that there are not many happy marriages around. Everyone is struggling in one way or another, even if it is unsaid.
‘Men just don’t talk about their marriages’ he said.
Where we are right now reminds me so much of my first miscarriage. A sadness that we shared together. My body and mind seemed so disconnected from the world. It was out of my control and yet I was losing a part of me. All of a sudden the women around me shared their truth and experiences of miscarriage and I realised I wasn’t alone. It didn’t change the awful guilt or indescribable confusion about why this would happen but it helped with the isolation I had felt. I know my husbands friends were also willing to share their experiences too and it helped.
As we travel down this new road of ‘uncoupling’ I hope isolation isn’t a destination or even a pit stop. I hope we are not ‘damned’ for our new way of life.
I want to be happy and for those around me to be happy too, it’s that simple. Even when simple seems like a distant dream.
Whilst arriving at Sexpo this weekend with my subject of sexual liberation I couldn’t help thinking of comparisons of my book with a certain Shades of Grey, obviously I’m happy about being compared to a book that has become a multimillion dollar business. In the back of my mind I was thinking how the ‘Grey’ books have changed erotic fiction and people’s acceptance of it, did I need to be at Sexpo? Surely sexy fiction is mainstream now? Maybe it is but liberation certainly isn’t as I found out almost immediately.
I have this gig in November to talk about my writing and how it has empowered me. As my novels contain rather a lot of sex I suppose it is appropriate for me to do this at the Sexpo S.H.A.R.E seminars but somehow I feel like I will disappoint the audience. I’m just a normal housewife who has found a passion in writing. I don’t have huge breasts or a fabulous figure. I haven’t even had my eyelashes extended (like so many of the mums in the playground).
I hope I can concoct a talk that entices people into writing and empowers people to embrace their so-called ‘dark side’. I wonder if anyone will listen or even show up, I hope I can deliver. I have three months to come up with an engaging, interactive talk, an outfit I feel comfortable in and most importantly a bloody big helping of courage!
I will keep you posted and if you have any advice I’d be really grateful….
The Village Bike Theatre Production
In such a small theatre to be confronted by so much sexy raw energy was powerful. It filled me up and gave me hope that one day my story could be on the stage. After trying to write a screenplay that week it was great to see words come to life. I often see my words as pictures but that doesn’t mean everyone else does!