Hump! Amateur Porn in Portland

by Elle on December 7, 2011 · 6 comments

in Movies, Porn, What is Sex Work?

Three strippers and a well-adjusted boyfriend attend the 7th annual Seattle and Portland amateur porn film festival, Hump!. This was Kat and her friend’s first time attending and the second for my man friend and myself. We learned that we never want to see sex to piano music again, that stop-motion animation can be more obscene than real life, and that Kat’s former coworker wasn’t afraid to be penetrated with a knife.

Standing in the long line outside of Portland’s Cinema 21, I was immediately struck by how chipper the crowd was. An equal proportion of mid-twenties to late-thirties men and women chattered excitedly in the rain. I actually stood on my tiptoes to peer down the block, looking for solo older men lurking in the shadows, but didn’t see any. All six Portland showings had completely sold out and the line of hip young people wrapped around the block. Kat overheard a guy tell his girlfriend that they were at the new Harry Potter movie, which didn’t seem unreasonable given the mob of excited people.

When everyone had filtered into the theater with their ballots, the editor of the Portland Mercury, Wm. Steven Humphrey, introduced the show and explained some basic rules. No cell phone use was permitted whatsoever to prevent any of the clips from being recorded, “These people might want to be porn stars in a theater for a weekend, not on the Internet for a lifetime.” We were told to vote for our favorite movies in the four categories: Best Humor, Best Sex, Best Kink and Best in Show. (At $500 for runners-up, $1000 for winners and $4000 for Best in Show, that’s arguably more than the going rate for non amateur porn, especially considering the submissions are under five minutes and destroyed after the festival.) We were also instructed not to be assholes in general, among other reasons because some of the performers could be in the audience.

And with that, the theater darkened and the clips began.

What followed was approximately one hour of moaning, giggling, both intentionally and unintentionally cheesy acting, outrageous props and costumes, a few vaginas, and lots of penis. Also, lots of me covering my face with my hand and peeking through my fingers. The submissions ran the gamut from sexy, shocking, silly, to nearly alarming (that whole coworker—consensually—having a knife inserted into her vagina thing). A spoof on James Bond’s Goldfinger. A gay priest performing his last rites on a married man. A bicycle geek’s masturbatory fantasy. Some dirty cartoons. Atari Joysticks. A perfectly choreographed musical bit done to “Teenage Dream” set in a locker room.

A common thread was the sense of humor in most of the submissions; one actor in a gay porn even had “Santorum 2012” written on the back of his neck. While standing in line at the concession stand (Who wants to watch porn without popcorn, am I right?), Kat couldn’t help but hear the couple behind her talking about how their neighbors had declined an invitation to the showing. The woman was offended that her neighbors had reacted as if she were inviting them to swing. But then she learned that the husband neighbor “used to have a porn addiction,” which explained why his wife had such a visceral reaction. Truth be told, many of the Hump! submissions were so campy that they really only technically felt like pornography. One entry called “Kegawa Sekkusu,” a farcical take on Japanese furry porn, only featured people in animal costumes ejaculating silly string onto a topless Katsumi Ko, a local fetish model.

As ladies who bare our vaginas on a stage several hours per week, it was immediately apparent that there was a lack of pussy on the screen. Typically when I think “porn,” I think crotch shots. They were only briefly shown, if at all. We found it interesting that more women would sooner have partially-clothed sex on camera than be fully nude. The men seemed less shy, thankfully, so there was no shortage of penis shots for viewing pleasure. Gay and bi male submissions made up a large percentage of the festival, which should come as no surprise considering that Hump! was started by Dan Savage to be a “celebration of sexuality.”

It was impressive how polite and mature the audience was; they clapped for all submissions and no one was disruptive. Post-viewing I spoke briefly with Katsumi Ko about her experience entering Hump!, “I am for sure entering the festival next year and you can bet that I am taking home Best in Show! I just can’t believe that my first ever film I made was chosen. It gives me the confidence to do something better next year.”

Thank you to Kat for her assistance on this piece.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sex Mahoney December 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Everything that Dan Savage does makes the world a slightly better place.

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Shawn Baravetto December 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Lovely write up! Yep, Dan Savage is pretty great and Hump! is a good time.

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ma b December 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Got a good sense of the evening by reading your article. Sounds like a fun time!

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Remington Reignz December 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Very interesting, excellent write up. Now I have wheels turning lol watch out

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Logan Wright December 8, 2011 at 11:13 am

I now have a reason to go to Portland ;)

-Logan Wright
Straight Male Companion
[link removed per commenting policy]

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