Arts Desk

Dan Savage on Porn, Amateur Porn, and Porn About Fluffers

humptourToday is the day relationship and sex columnist Dan Savage shares his favorite amateur porn flicks with D.C. for the first time. The HUMP! Festival began as a small erotic film festival in Seattle almost 10 years ago and has since become the Pacific Northwest’s oldest, biggest, and only amateur porn festival. This year, Savage is taking the dirty movies on their first national tour.

“The festival kind of started out like the ["Savage Love"] column, as a joke,” Savage says. He and Brad Steinbacher, former managing editor of Seattle weekly The Stranger, started playing around with the idea of an amateur porn festival and decided to elicit submissions in The Stranger. Soon, the homegrown porn came flooding in, and HUMP! was born.

Up until now, anyone who wanted to see stop-motion sex or E.T. porn had to travel to Seattle or Portland for the screenings. “One of the things that made HUMP! so fun and unique was that there was nothing online, there were no DVDs. It made it possible for people to participate in HUMP! who might not want their porn shown all over the country,” says Savage.

But every year, Savage and the HUMP! team would hear from people in other cities across the country who wanted the festival to come to them. Savage decided to contact past HUMP! filmmakers and was happy to learn that many of them wanted to share their movies with the nation.

The HUMP! Tour will screen a wide range of dirty movies at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre this weekend, starting tonight. (Washington City Paper, which runs "Savage Love" weekly, is the tour's local partner here in D.C.) The 20 short films represent every color in the sexual rainbow and celebrate the full spectrum of sexual preferences (including but not limited to centaur fetishes).

Savage’s personal favorite is "The Legend of Gabe Harding," a vintage porn parody about a renowned fluffer on a gay porn set. Like many of the films at HUMP!, "Gabe Harding" is both sexy and hilarious—a combination not often found in mainstream porn.

“The mission of HUMP! isn’t to right the wrongs of the porn industry,” says Savage. “But it does show that the problem with porn isn’t porn itself; the problem with porn is the porn that’s being created.”

According to Savage, the filmmakers at HUMP! are creating the porn that they wish existed: a mix of erotica, hot sex, and a sense of humor that is a genuine expression of their sexuality.

Savage hopes that the HUMP! Tour will become an annual event and is currently accepting local submissions from each city. So if you want to represent the D.C. amateur porn scene, here’s your chance.

Dan Savage hosts the HUMP! Tour at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre from March 20 to March 22.

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