Quantcast
Dan Savage's HUMP! Tour Teaches Straight Dudes That Realistic Gay and Lesbian Porn Is Hot

Every year regular people become porn stars for a weekend at Dan Savage's HUMP! Film Festival. This year Savage has taken 20 of the short films on tour across America, teaching straight dudes to love gay porn and realistic lesbian sex along the way.

Photos by Justin Morrison and Kelly O

I've watched a lot of weird porn, because stereotypical porn about fake blondes with fake boobs bouncing on a greasy dude’s dick is meh to me. I have no desire to watch a cartoon pound E.T. in the ass while yelling, “Shut up and take it, space whore!” (E.T. 2: Dark Territory) or watch porn in a public theater—what sex columnist and It Gets Better Project founder Dan Savage described as “seeing porn the old-fashioned way,” when he spoke to me over the phone a few weeks ago.

Since 2005 Savage has organized the HUMP! Film Festival. Every year regular people become porn stars for a weekend, filming their own five-minute sex tapes that they show at the festival, where they compete for cash prizes. This year Savage has taken 20 of the short films on tour across America. A few weeks ago, I attended the New York stop of the HUMP! Tour to pop my porn-theatre cherry. 

Before the event I wondered if the theater's ushers would pass through the aisles to check if anyone was masturbating. As Chie, a young Canadian woman in attendance, put it, “This is definitely my first time doing anything like this. I've watched lesbian porn at home, sure, but nothing this wild and not with this many people around.” Chances are some of the amateur porn stars had never watched porn in a theater either. “We got submissions from teachers, doctors, lawyers, bus drivers, and baristas who want to show off, have fun, and get their freak on,” Savage told me. 

Some of their movies were more silly than sexy. The mocumentary Mythical Proportions explored the taboo of centaur sex, while other films were straight up sexy. Magic Love showed a straight, good-looking couple fucking in various places, including a bubble bath filled with packing peanuts—at one point he flung a peanut off his penis, and she caught it in her mouth.

The crowd favorites were tapes that were both hardcore and humorous. In The Beat a hot, young guy masturbated intensely with various anal toys. He delivered the perfect pop shot, and then the music changed, and we saw him picking up a bible and dressing in a sweater vest adorned with a nametag that revealed he’s a Mormon.

Tim, another audience member, told me his favorite aspect of the festival was that “the films were both sexy and funny, which is hard to achieve—it's usually one or the other.” This is what Savage was going for. “The films were meant to be both sexy and funny, which is how sex really is,” he explained. I told Dan I thought the film that won Best in Show last year, Ouroboros, was both explicit and romantic. The gay sex scene was so hot Rick Santorum would get hard watching it, yet for every explicit moment or funny joke, there was an intimate moment that balanced the scale, allowing hearts to warm as well as genitals.

Best of all, the festival taught straight dudes to get down with realistic gay and lesbian porn. One guy, Ben, saw gay porn for the first time at the festival. Krutch taught the audience about realistic lesbian sex and to remember that disabled people have fully functioning private parts. Described as proof “that people with disabilities have [genitals] that work just fine,” the movie cut back and forth between the disabled protagonist walking through New York City, dealing with public transportation, and masturbating at home in her leopard-print sheets. At the end of the film, her girlfriend walked in to join her, finding her face flushed with post-orgasm sweat. (Porn can be romantic!)

Other movies introduced the audience to new sex techniques. Edged taught the audience about edging (bringing someone to the brink of an orgasm then not allowing them to come), when the sub character unsuccessfully prevented her orgasm by thinking about tampon commercials and Sarah Palin.

One of my favorite shorts was Lauren Likes Candy, an S&M piece set against a chain-link fence. The film featured a Janet Jackson-style nipple clamp removal that made the audience gasp. The film balanced the extreme content with the ending, when the characters lay on the floor laughing—of course, there weren’t many lesbian-oriented movies. My one problem with the festival was the lack of trans, queer, and lesbian porn. 

“That was a hurdle in putting the fest together,” Savage said, defending the event. “We don't keep any copies of the films or paperwork after the fest is over, so when we decided to take it back on the road, we had to from memory reach out to filmmakers. Not everyone we contacted wanted their film on tour. They felt comfortable with it in Seattle and Portland, but not in their home city.” He said the movies’ gender variance depended on what films people submitted.

“Three or four years ago, we had absolutely no lesbian films at all, which was a bummer for us, but then the next year, we were overwhelmed with lesbian submissions!” Savage said. “HUMP! is generated by its audiences. If there is something you want to see, make it!”

Savage had a point: HUMP! only reflects the turn-ons and politics of the participants. This structure has its flaws because it leaves certain groups out some years, but it also allows attendees to feel (some what) comfortable while learning they're turned on by porn they would never watch at home. How else would straight dudes know that realistic lesbian sex is hot?

For upcoming dates of the HUMP! Tour click here.

Follow Sophie Saint Thomas on Twitter