Smut by the Sea: What happened!

A few days back now and at last I’m posting my write up of Smut by the Sea. I’m glad I took the time to use 750words.com to type up my initial thoughts that evening – has made doing this post so much easier.

Scarborough
Scarborough

Our trip began Friday. We drove up to Scarborough during the day, a journey of about 4 hours – 5 if you count lunch time spent in an OK Diner on the A1 with some very tasty burgers – and got settled into our B&B (Airedale Guest House) before heading out for a walk along the beach. The weather was unusual, a bit of sun and a bit of cloud, casting shadows and light on the headlands and the water. I miss living near the coast at times like that – apart from the lack of huge surf, Scarborough’s coast isn’t too different to parts of Australia where I spent my teenage years – different geology and the headlands on the Australian east coast have a brighter shade of green I think. We had dinner at Restaurant 55 – my comments are best noted in my Trip Advisor review.

Chairs on the library stage
The stage is set for smut…
Victoria Blisse welcomes us
Victoria Blisse welcomes us

In the morning we were up and ready, and after a generous cooked breakfast trotted down the road to Scarborough Library for Smut by the Sea. We made it just in time for the introductions from the lovely and so-bloody-hard-working Victoria Blisse (she and Kev Blisse are the brains and the engine behind the Smut events), followed by the first of three reading slams. I always enjoy the reading slams, hearing different kinds of stories from different kinds of voices. Don’t know about you but I tend to read stories as if they were told in my own speaking voice, so the variety of ways of reading and accents makes such a good contrast to how it sounds ‘in my head.’

Slave Nano at the reading slam
Slave Nano at the reading slam
Ashe Barker at the reading slam
Ashe Barker at the reading slam

Next up was Slave Nano’s workshop on using history as inspiration for our fiction. Great workshop informed by his own experiences in study and work, something we have in common – me being a history graduate – and the ways of using historical documents that many of us hadn’t thought of, and just making the past such an interesting place to visit. Having read us his piece on slave trading in the Caribbean (Maman Brigitte – also from my regular publisher Forbidden Fiction) it was fascinating to hear of his own historical research experiences and how he wove those into his own fiction. I was sitting with Ashley Lister and Janine Ashbless for this, so our group sessions were interesting, including the following (paraphrased) exchange on looking at a photograph of two women circa 1880s:

Janine: She’s wearing pants, she must ride bicycles! (Never had such a charge sounded so loaded)
Me: Would they have ridden penny farthings back then?
Ashley: Well, the title’s got to be ‘Ride my Penny-Farthing, Bitch.’

The power of collective smutty minds, I can tell you.

BellaS ettarra at the reading slam
Bella Settarra at the reading slam
Helen J Perry at the reading slam
Helen J Perry at the reading slam

We then had a terrific performance from Bea Noir – terribly bendy and flexible, and over a bed of nails too! (I’m fond of metaphors, but I mean that quite literally.) The second reading slam followed, and then it was lunch for us where I caught up with a few folks and perused the tables and stalls (including a fantastic set up from Bella Settarra, Cara Sutra’s wonderful array of toys) and tried my hand at the erotic tombola (no wins, boo…)

Bea Noir
Bea Noir bending over backwards for us…

After lunch we were treated to the Blue Belle’s striptease, very nice and very sexy. Jennifer Denys then got us to ask questions about how to expand the werewolf erotica genre, including some interesting historical tidbits and things that made me want to be contrary and write the very things that no one writes in the genre currently – like becoming a werewolf by drinking water from the footprint of a werewolf!

Reading slam three, and I was up, reading an excerpt from my story Oasis Beckoning, which seemed to go down well. I should practiced a bit more, would have been nice to make it more performative that just reading, but perhaps next time.

Kiki de Lovely
Kiki de Lovely at the reading slam

The final workshop was Cameryn Moore on dirty talk, both as writers and practically in our own lives. Very interesting to her of her own experiences as a phone sex operator and from her work doing smut while you wait – a quick interview then she’ll write you your own tailor made erotica story. Brilliant idea, and her own samples when she did the reading slam were very good indeed. Cameryn is currently on tour in the UK with her play Phone Whore – a shame I’m not able to get to a show.

A great, fun day, and I look forward to it again next year. Was lovely meet with old acquaintances and make new ones too. And hopefully, I’ll be in Manchester for next event, Smut Manchester

Bonus pic: We went to Robin Hood’s Bay the next morning before our drive back down south. Here is me on the beach there.

Me at Robin Hood's Bay
Me at Robin Hood’s Bay


All pictures taken by Matt Pearce