Before the review of HUMP! Film Festival, here are links to three funds that provide mental health and healthcare support, monetary support, and education to Black LGBTQ+ communities.

Third Wave Fund is the only activist fund led by and for women of color, intersex, queer, and trans folks under 35 years old in the US. 

Homeless Black Trans women fund is for the community of Black Trans women that live in Atlanta and are sex workers and/or homeless.

The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund is an emergency mutual aid fund that raises money to pay for one-time mental health therapy sessions with licensed Black women therapists. 

We are in the midst of a revolution. HUMP! Film Festival is a celebration of sexual freedom. None of us have freedom until we all have equality

Without Marsha P. Johnson, a black, trans, bisexual, sex worker, the mother of the LGBTQ+ movement, there would be no HUMP! Film Festival. 

As a bisexual, white, cisgender woman in an heterosexual relationship, I’m at the top of the LGBTQ+ privilege pyramid. I must acknowledge these facts in order to pay my respects to Pride month and the Black Lives Matter movement.

HUMP! Film Festival was started by advice columnist, author and OG podcaster Dan Savage. The festival includes short adult home movies created by regular people, aka not porn stars.

Despite the fact that I am not into pornography, I love the HUMP! amateur porn film festival.

The parameters are fairly wide, and in my experience, HUMP! Film Festival represents people of a variety of gender expressions, sexual identities, races and body types.

Savage created the festival so people can all watch dirty movies together, like they used to in old porn theaters. When there isn’t a pandemic, HUMP! tours in theaters across the country.

The festival includes 15-20 movies, each under 5 minutes long, that range from funny to hardcore kink.

So how did someone who is not into pornography find and love HUMP! Film Festival?

I’m a big Dan Savage fan. Before you stop me Gen Z, I will concede that, like all human beings, he is not perfect and has a problematic past. I do not think he is a voice for all queer people or for anyone really, other than himself. The bare minimum required for being an advice columnist is having an opinion, and that’s what he offers.

If you are familiar with the Lindy West book Shrill, or the fantastic TV show with the same name starring Aidy Bryant, you might know that the unself-aware boss character is based on Dan Savage. 

Here’s the quick and dirty on those two: According to Lindy, she wrote a post in The Stranger, the Seattle alternative biweekly newspaper where he was her editor, titled “Hello, I am Fat,” in which she called out Savage for fatphobia, and Savage responded with his own article titled, “Hello, I’m not the Enemy,” before they squashed their beef and made up. 

I feel like I understand the Gen X/Boomer inbetweeners like Dan Savage because of my birth time in history as a Millenial. I grew up in the 90s and early aughts, when Will and Grace was the only queer show on TV, and Sex and the City was considered revolutionary for female sexuality. Yes, looking back, it is painfully easy to see the problems and holes in both of these media examples. If I wanted somewhat positive queer representation on mainstream TV, all I had were Jack and Will’s redundant, cis, white, gay sterotypes. And while it was progressive for its time, Sex and The City reinforced almost uncountable harmful stereotypes about the queer community, as well as sexuality in general. 

All of which is to say, older gay men were my queer sherpas. When my best friend and I were 17 and 18 year old curious, questioning baby queers, sneaking into daddy bars with fake IDs, older gay men welcomed us with open arms. 

None of this is a defense of stubborn behavior. I think people can put their issues with Dan Savage into the same category as their problems with RuPaul. Both of these men are trailblazers, creating space in mainstream culture for queer people. Did they do it perfectly? Absolutely not. Have both learned from their mistakes? I’m not exactly sure, because RuPaul has been suspiciously silent during the BLM protests, but Drag Race the show has released a statement so it’s yet to be seen. Meanwhile, Savage has been a vocal supporter of the movement. 

I completely understand why Gen Z demands older queers Do Better. They (we) do need to be better. RuPaul excluding trans women is not acceptable. Dan Savage expressing fat phobic views is not acceptable. Both of these men are in positions of power and have an obligation to be informed and educated in order to better serve their communities.

I am a long time listener of Savage’s podcast and I can say there is no other media platform I am aware of that normalizes kinks and non-normative sexuality more than his does. 

I am against cancel culture. I think we should refrain from icon worship, hold our idols accountable, and allow them an opportunity to grow and repent. Cancelling should be reserved for extreme cases. To make a distinction here, have Louis CK or Woody Allen repented for their evil sins? No, not by my account. Do I think they deserve a place in the canon? Nope, fuck ‘em. Was I the biggest Woody Allen fan in high school before I learned about his atrocities? I sure was! Have I seen Louis CK live in multiple cities before his victims came forward? I sure did! There’s no place in my heart for evil, but depending on the day, I can forgive ignorance.

OK, problematic daddy rant over. 

As a long time listener of the Savage Lovecast, I learned about HUMP! Film Festival when I was still living in NYC. 

I bought tickets and saw it at a theater in Brooklyn, but I can’t honestly say I remember much of it. I went to a cocktail bar beforehand, and had at least three. Then I went to the theater and ordered a bottle of wine and drank most of it myself. Have I mentioned I’m sober now? 

It was one of those occasions where the empty bottle fell to the floor and rolled under all the seats in front of me in such a way that felt very loud and embarrassing. It’s also something that has happened to me more times than it’s probably happened to you

I saw it again the first time the festival came to Nashville, this time in a BDSM dungeon

I was sober this go around and had a much better experience (not that the first time wasn’t fun, I just can’t remember the second half of it). It’s hard to recall exact movies since they’re so short and you watch so many at once, but one of my favorites from last year was a video of genital puppetry. It was hilarious! Dick and balls look like elephant faces forever now and you can’t tell me otherwise.

This year’s festival was online, so it was unfortunately not the intended experience of watching porn in a packed theater full of people. It was still fun to watch it on my couch, but I can’t help but wonder if part of my enjoyment the last time was watching it with fellow perverts.

One of my favorite funny ones from this year involved a pizza ordering a man for delivery. 

Another favorite was runner up for the Best Sex category. It was a tender movie featuring a man and woman having sex according to the specificities included in a note she left him that morning, and at the end you find out he’s her servant.

One of my least favorites was of a woman-woman-man threesome. It was in sepia colors, and had sad piano music and took itself really seriously. Honestly I go to HUMP! Film Festival for the laughs and the shock, straight up sex is kind of boring, even if it was a threesome.

The winner for Best Kink was my favorite shocker of the year. A butch woman meets a femme woman in a bar and says, “tell me what you like.” The femme is a serious submissive, and they have a long scene during which the submissive gets waterboarded and then whipped. It was intense! But honestly I’d watch it again.

There was a fun 70’s themed swinger movie called Sex First, where the couples swapped partners, had sex, and then had a nice dinner party.

The other Best Kink winner was from Berlin, so you know it was freaky! A femme couple asks another couple to bring pancakes to their house. They make the batter with their bodies, and one uses a syringe to put the batter up the other one’s ass. Then they ride their bikes to the first couple’s house. The person expels the batter into a hot pan, and a pancake is made. Then they eat.

Are any of these movies my cup of sexual tea? Not today, but I do find them incredibly fun to watch. I love knowing what other people are into.

So why aren’t I a “porn person?” I am exclusively speaking for myself here. But my mind is a literal cornucopia of genitals and fun dirty stuff. Watching something like porn feels like an interruption to the beautiful circus in my mind. I am a horny little boy trapped in a grown woman’s body. I get the woman equivalent of NRBs. (No Reason Boner? Any other adult-teenagers out there?) I could get off from a commercial on TV, I don’t need the pomp of a $500 budget and some bad acting. I know there’s “good porn” out there too, but I’m telling you I don’t need it. Although I’m glad you have it! I want people to get off however they see fit, as long as no one gets hurt, so you crazy kids enjoy all the porn your heart desires.

For me, HUMP! Film Festival is amazing because I get to enjoy porn without the pressure of getting off. I can watch people have sex (my favorite part of any movie, let’s be real) without needing to find it sexy.

Related Articles