Something startling happened this weekend. I won an ETO Award. Not just any award, but an ETO Award. You know, those awards that sex toy shops coo over and companies hope for every year. Yeah. Me. Little Cara won an ETO award.
If I keep saying it, I might believe it.
The whole weekend feels like a dream. Originally I hadn’t even planned to be at the awards then was surprised by tickets a week before the event. Cue: panic. Outfit. What does a girl do when it comes to planning a special occasion outfit? Not too sure, to be honest, but what the Cara Sutra does, is plan for something shiny.
Shiny is always good.
Everything finally packed and we were off to Birmingham, my partner driving. We had our day of shopping and settling into the hotel and all too soon it was Sunday morning. First day of the trade show and the awards to come that evening.
The trade show was brilliant, very strange after a year being pregnant and then breastfeeding to come back to the industry environment that I had been something apart from for a while. Yes, I work as a freelance writer from home, but I don’t have an office, I don’t have a team behind me, I am just me. I’m a mum of two and I write in my pyjamas while drinking quite possibly dangerous amounts of coffee and don’t even put any makeup on. There, I said it.
Wandering around I saw some familiar, friendly faces (hello Give Lube, House of Eros, ABS and Simply Pleasure as well as Lee and Dale from ETO Magazine, John from years back and of course the glam Monique now at Nexus) as well as meeting plenty of new contacts and friends. I met up with the gorgeous blogger HellKat who outshone me with *those* boobs and also met up with the enviably slim Mel from Voluptasse, of ITV Happy Families fame.
The Doxy Massager has caught my eye this year, feeling very powerful. A shame I couldn’t get the attention of the Cascade Vibrator people, perhaps another time. Dom StrapOn on the KinkyMonkey.com stand and in the catwalk was simply stunning. Her personality, genuine Dominance and kinky flair shone through above what can all too often be a parade of lace-bedecked, walking mannequins.
The day wore on with meeting after meeting, being approached by companies who recognised my lovely Cara Sutra necklace (I received an amazing Christmas present purchased from Bete Noire Jewellery) and wanted to discuss whether I had time to help them along.
We eventually left around 4pm and it was time to get ready for the awards!
After a nerve wracking couple of hours straightening my hair, trying not to poke myself in the eye with a shaky mascara wand, downing Dutch courage and deciding upon dresses and shoes, Harlot and I made our way down to the bar, where we caught up with HellKat once again. Our taxi soon arrived and it was off to the awards.
The Crowne Plaza bar was full when we arrived. The foyer packed full of people in their finest dancing gear, sparkly and dapper and smiling and nervous and tipsy. After a couple (more) drinks there, it was time for the meal – then the award presentation. My mind was just an ongoing chant of, “don’t faint, don’t faint, don’t faint”.
I was located on the ABS/Simply Pleasure table for the evening and they took home so many awards, my hands ached from clapping so hard. Finally it was the last run of presentations and then, I heard my name. I pretty much collapsed at that point and was absolutely stunned. I still had to walk up to the stage!
I collected the award from a very smart Lee (of ETO) and he seemed surprised that I did, indeed, want to say a few words. Damn right I did! I… was quite tipsy by this point.
Thanking my partners for their work, I outed the fact that this was a nice was of saying “Best Blog Award” really. I thought I was hilarious, anyway. I still stand by thanking my lovely partners of course, if not for them, I wouldn’t have the award at all. Their work with the custom coding, SEO help, design and more have brought me to this point, as well as my own writing.
After the awards I partied hard, especially with Simply Pleasure, ThatPosition, Give Lube, KD Grace, Kay Jaybee, Strawberry Blushes and pretty much everyone.
So here I am, back home, with this award, still stunned!
Let’s see what the next year brings. Thank you to everyone who voted and made this possible!