The ETO Show 2016 was my first ETO Show. Nervous doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt about going. I only started blogging eight months ago and felt totally out of my depth going to a trade show with seasoned bloggers.
When I arrived at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, I got lost in the building. Eventually I found some people and followed them. Luckily they were going to the ETO Show 2016 or that would have been awkward…
Once inside, I took a cursory walk around to get my bearings before heading to BlogSpot, the bloggers’ area organised by Cara Sutra, Cheryl from Horny Geek Girl, and Mel from Voluptasse. I had been expecting the bar next to BlogSpot to provide me with some Dutch courage but as it wasn’t open, I had to face meeting people sans booze. The Big Gay Review, TBGR: The Mr and Horny Geek Girl were the first people I spoke to but I can’t remember exactly who else was there when I arrived because my brain was set to PANIC mode.
Everyone was very welcoming. I was given a goody bag, a T-shirt from Hot Octopuss and offered snacks. I had a little glass of wine and then Lola Sparkles and I braved going to speak to companies at their stands.
Lola and I headed to Kink Craft first. I was super excited to meet Pixie and Andrew because I love their products and I have also been talking to them via email for quite a while so it was wonderful to finally put names to faces. They were just as friendly as I imagined and it was brilliant to get a sneak peek of their new latex flogger.
Lola and I then headed to the bar in Scala’s area to get some liquid bravery. We then checked out the E-stim stand and Lola shared some of her experiences of using E-stim toys. I’ve yet to try E-stim (although I have used TENS with clamps and been repeatedly swatted with a fly swatter) so I really appreciated the useful information about what I would need to buy as a beginner. Electro toys both intrigue and scare me. I swear I’m traumatised by the safety video that was shown in school but the woman from E-stim (sorry! I’m terrible with names) put my mind at ease.
After E-Stim, I had a nosy at the vast collection of products displayed across the ETO Show 2016. I was still feeling extremely anxious so I came out with some very strange things. Scott from Doc Johnson got some ramblings about cannibalism and Bradley from Creative Conceptions now knows all about my picky clit. Thankfully it’s pretty hard to shock people who work in the pleasure products industry!
I’d be here all day if I mentioned every stand so I’ll just mention of few of my favourites.
Creative Conceptions kindly gave me a Satisfyer Pro 2 to test (review coming soon). I’m really interested to see how the sensations work for me and my easily numbed clit.
Doc Johnson are a brand that have been on my ‘to try’ list for a while because I’m starting to use larger anal toys and they have such a huge selection. Some of those on display were gargantuan monsters that hurt just to look at but they also had a good selection of toys for people who aren’t so extreme.
Marco from Funtoys caught my eye because he was dressed as a Roman legionary. He was probably the friendliest person I met outside of the BlogSpot area. I hadn’t heard of Funtoys but I was pleasantly surprised to discover the innovative toys the brand has to offer, particularly the Gring (a finger vibrator that also works as a remote control for some of their other toys) and the Gvibe 2.
I saw a rubber tawse and some cruel nipple clamps I liked the look of at the Mister B stand. The stand was busy so there was only time to have a brief chat and exchange business cards with Joke. If you’ve not heard of Mister B, they are BDSM and fetish wear brand from Amsterdam. While they are male focused, they have a few bits for women and plenty of toys that are suitable for any gender. I’d especially recommend checking out the site if you are into the heavier side of BDSM.
XR Brands were the ETO Show 2016 sponsors and their stand confirmed I need some Tom of Finland toys in my life.
Alexandra from Svakom showed me some beautifully soft silicone toys that didn’t make my hand go numb even after holding one for an entire conversation. I had only really heard about their camera vibrators but after seeing the heating and touch sensitive vibrators, they are a brand I’ll be keeping my eye on.
I met a couple of people from Lovehoney (sorry for not remembering names) which was one of the highlights of the ETO Show 2016. I bought my first ever sex toys (apart from bondage stuff, which came first) from Lovehoney and I’m not sure I would even be blogging now if I hadn’t have joined their tester programme. I may have fangirled. Ok, I totally fangirled.
Wet Lubricants were a new discovery for me but I am very happy to have another vegan lube brand on my list. Ludmila gave me some samples to take home so I’ll be breaking them out and putting them to the test over the next few weeks.
The day was drawing to a close so I briefly popped back to Kink Craft where I met the awesome Girl On The Net (who won an ETO award for best erotic journalist). My final stop before home was BlogSpot. Everyone was talking about the ETO Awards which was unsurprising because there were at least three nominees chatting in BlogSpot while I was there (Voluptasse, Alix Fox, and Girl On The Net). The awards sound like lots of fun, even if potentially a bit messy if the stories the next day were anything to go by!
I missed my train and ended up only getting home at 9.30pm (ETO Show 2016 closed at 5pm)! My only sustenance for the day had been booze and a flapjack but luckily Horny Geek Girl had given me chocolate hobnobs to take with me, which tided me over until I got home.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to come back on the Monday because of the price of the train ticket but it was definitely worth it because, not only did I get to hang out with the bloggers…I won the BlogSpot prize!
I’m still not entirely over the shock of winning over £2000 worth of sex toys just by putting my business card in a jar. I have the worst luck in the world (like the recent three unconnected water leaks in my flat in three weeks) so not only did I not expect to win, I actually assumed the person who told me made a mistake. They did not, and now I have the Doxy wandand Kink Craft flogger I have been lusting after for months, not to mention all the other toys!
Being vegan, there were a few things I couldn’t use so I gave the chocolates and Kinky Monkey harness to Nat from Proseksualna and Kink Craft were kind enough to swap the limited edition leather and suede flogger for a large black and blue paracord flogger (review coming once I’ve been beaten black and blue with it).
The generosity of companies and individuals is overwhelming but I can’t mention them all in this post so please click this link to see the full breakdown of what the ETO Show 2016 BlogSpot prize included and links to all the people who donated prizes.
There were so many wonderful items in the prize but some aren’t suitable for me, some are very similar to things I already have and some just aren’t really my cup of tea so I will be having a raffle soon. I hope those who donated to the prize don’t mind. I’d just much rather things go to a good home than barely get used.
Getting the ETO Show 2016 BlogSpot prize home wasn’t easy. I had to buy a suitcase and then I still needed three bags! On the train home I met a guy and ended up taking to him about E-stim, Kink Craft, Doxy, sounding, swinging, puppy play & fetish clubs. It certainly made the train journey more enjoyable.
Overall, the ETO Show 2016 was a brilliant experience. I saw interesting products, met some companies I will hopefully be able to work with, won a ridiculous number of sex toys and, most importantly, got to put pseudonyms to faces. There is no doubt the highlight of the ETO Show 2016 was meeting all the people I’ve been speaking to on Twitter and whose blogs I’ve been reading (like The Big Gay Review, Girl On The Net, Kink Craft and Horny Geek Girl and Justin Decerous) but there were also new people I met like domstrapon, Alix Fox, and Voluptasse (if I’ve not mentioned you it’s because I have a terrible memory and not because I didn’t like meeting you). Horny Geek Girl and Voluptasse were so welcoming and helpful and the whole BlogSpot team (those two plus Cara Sutra) made BlogSpot an awesome place to hang out. I hope to see everyone back there next year, plus the bloggers who couldn’t make it this year.