As part of a series of blogs to highlight the fantastic people who will be speaking at Eroticon 2018, today we’re chatting to Lori Smith. Lori is a style conscious body-positive LGBTQ+ feminist and blogger with an inexplicably academic love of lingerie. Blogging on her own site – Rarely Wears Lipstick – since 2003, she was also the Sex & Relationships Columnist at women’s magazine site BitchBuzz.com from 2009 to 2012 and was a finalist in the Writer category of the 2012 Erotic Awards. Lori has spoken at a number of UK conferences and events on various topics, including co-hosting a session about sex blogging at Cybher12 and a session on polyamory at Eroticon 2013. Recent years have seen Lori throw herself wholeheartedly into academic research, focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century underwear and becoming known as the ‘Master of Bras’ after graduating from her MA at London College of Fashion in 2015.
What inspired you to start working in your field?
My journey from sex blogger to underwear historian began with a vintage girdle. It was very sturdy, but still pretty in a pin-up-y way, and I bought it from a woman in Brighton with the intent on wearing it for a burlesque performance or photoshoot. Sadly that never happened and the girdle sat unloved in a drawer at home, until I started a part-time MA course at London College of Fashion and had an introduction to their archives. I asked if I could donate the girdle but the archivist suggested I do some research around it first. Four lingerie-related essays and one bra history dissertation later, and I had to admit that I’d become a bit obsessed!
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring sex bloggers/podcasters/writers/erotic creative types, what would it be?
My advice to aspiring writers would be to read a lot and be inspired by the stuff you enjoy. Keep notes on topics you’d like to write about and anything that might be useful to refer back to. Consider how public/anonymous you’d like to be, and what your unique selling point is. Most of all though… just start writing. You don’t have to share it with anybody until you’re ready, but writing’s like a muscle that you have to exercise regularly. The more you write, the easier it gets.
The way we talk about sex and relationships has changed a lot over the last decade – what changes do you hope to see in the next 10 years?
I hope that the way we talk about sex and relationships continues to have more of a focus on consent, and being comfortable with who you are. The more effort writers make to understand those who are different to them, and make their writing more inclusive as a result, the happier everyone will be.
Lori Smith’s Eroticon talk – The surprising history of the bra
What links a whippet named Clytoris, the Miss America beauty pageant, a pair of jockstraps, and a mechanical bull? Oh yes, that’ll be the brassiere, my friend. Whether you’re a fiction writer looking for background details or simply a bra-wearer with an interest in this unique garment’s history, this session aims to reveal secrets about the bra’s colourful past that you never thought you needed to know.
Come along to Lori’s talk at Eroticon 2018.