A former housemate of mine in Ann Arbor now lives in Portland. I try to get him to move back to Michigan on occasion, but it’s hard to compete with a city like Portland. Case in point… when I went out to there to visit him a few years ago, he took me to a taco place that you had to enter through a seedy strip club. Actually, you didn’t have to enter though the strip joint, but Dave wanted to show me that there was a secret door connecting the two. He knew I liked stuff like that. Anyway, he’s been there for about seven years now, and, every once in a while, when something really cool is going on in Portland, he’ll mention it to me in hopes that it’ll make me jealous and expose me as the slack-jawed, straw-chewing Ypsilanti hick that I am. A few days ago, he mentioned that he was going to a DIY porn festival called Hump, and, when I asked for details, he responded with the following article. Enjoy.
On Saturday night my wife and I attended “HUMP!” – an adult film festival that runs in Portland and Seattle. What makes HUMP! interesting is that the jury-selected short films must contain specific props and/or local landmarks that change yearly, all submissions are kept under lock and key and destroyed after the showings, and the audience votes for winners in the following categories: humor, sex, kink, and best all-around. It’s basically a chance for people who are dying to make porn, but don’t because they might want to run for office some day, to realize both dreams. For the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to see your neighbors get it on on the big screen. If you think that means seeing people that you decidedly do not want to see naked, don’t worry. Although the spirit of the event is all-inclusive and sex-positive, at this point, in it’s second or third year, the submissions still pretty much contain the young and beautiful.
Before the show, the MC reminded us to keep criticisms to ourselves lest we be sitting next to the actor whose genitals are currently filling up the screen, and that any recording devices even suspected of being used, would be smashed into tiny bits on the spot. He also noted that as opposed to last year, this year’s films contained no “ass hooks.”
The stand-out for me was a series of 18 paintings shown in sequence with music and a little Ken Burns effect applied. It depicted an R. Crumb-like giantess neutering and crucifying a tiny scared man hanging him chained between her nipples. Normally, watching a guy get his dick snapped off wouldn’t do much for me, but this was art.
Next on my ballot was film starring a nun. I know the naughty nun angle might seem tired, but the bible verses she spouted were hilarious. The high point was the close-up of the insertion of a crucifix into her lover’s penis which had the entire theater squirming and squealing with sacrilegious delight.
My third favorite was a gay film ostensibly created for the It Gets Better project. The joke here was that after sharing his personal stories of discrimination, the protagonist declares “It gets better. A LOT better!” as the camera pans down to his boyfriend giving him a blow job. The two guys romp around on the couch having playful, fun sex with intermittent dialog like “yeah, yeah, YEAH, BETTER, BETTER, MUCH MUCH BETTER!” This one had the audience cheering on the actors as if every thrust and grunt were a victory over homophobia.
There were many more great entries, but those were the ones that I voted for. None of the films was particularly titillating to me. I guess dom/sub lesbians, masturbating clowns, and various pizza boy scenarios just aren’t my thing. The most turned on I got was when my wife declared that “we could totally make one sexier than all of those” on our way out the exit. Oh really now!? I had a great time at the event, though. I’m all for gays and straights and kinksters of all stripes getting together and experiencing art celebrating sex. It deserves it.
So that’s what we’re up to in the Northwest. Your move Ypsilanti. If you copied the idea but made it bicycle-powered (with naked bicyclists), you could out-Portland Portland! And don’t worry, I’ve seen Mark naked. I think. On second thought, maybe I haven’t. I lived with the guy for several years in college and never saw him naked? OK. I guess every film needs a camera man.