“Drink the sickness away,” my mom used to say. I pondered this as I inhaled the steam from my hot toddy, my breath ragged, my throat sore, my nose completely stuffed up. Laurel was sipping a dirty martini and telling me about her crazy dating life. She was dressed up nice and showing a considerable amount of cleavage. We were pre-loading for the final screening of HUMP!, the amateur porn festival showing a Cinema 21.
After finishing our drinks we walked up the street to the theater and got in line, just as Marko, Liz, and Brandon got off the bus and came up to meet us. The line got long fast. A cab driver rolling by with an open window screamed “I'm hung like a donkey!”
The beloved sex advice columnist and podcast host Dan Savage handed us our ballots as we went into the theater. Next to the movie titles on the ballots there were two columns of check boxes, labeled “Funniest” and “Sexiest.” We took our seats, and I grabbed a water bottle full of wine from my bag and started drinking, pausing to wipe snot from my nose with a wadded up napkin.
Savage stood at the front of the theater with a microphone and did a little introduction. He was wearing a tight t-shirt and had surprisingly muscular biceps. I was a little disappointed to find out that the festival would be featuring entries from both Portland and Seattle. Apparently this is a Seattle festival, and rather than hosting our own Portland version of it, we're being allowed to participate in their festival. Gee, thanks, Seattle. The listings of the films in the Mercury and on the ballots didn't say which ones were from which city, but I got the impression that about two thirds of the entries included in the festival were from Seattle. I hope next year we have our own Portland-only porn festival. We like to do our own thing here.
The show opened with a video titled “Dance Belt,” featuring a tall, skinny naked guy with a Mohawk flanked by two attractive naked women, all of them in high heels, dancing to Beyoncé's “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in a dance studio. Fucking brilliant. In the mirror behind them you could get occasional glimpses of the cameraman, who was also naked.
Watching the series of short films I was impressed by the quality and variety. Some were hilarious and some were legitimately sexy. I kept thinking the guy sitting next to me in the corner was getting a handjob from his girlfriend, but I couldn't bring myself to look. That being said, the mix of humor and sexiness was not as awkward to watch with friends as I thought it might be. After all, I would never bring friends to the Paris Theatre (unless I was planning on fucking them), but here there was a sense of camaraderie, like we were rooting for the people on the screen to succeed at... whatever they were doing, and indeed, many of them were in the audience with us.
Some of my favorite films were “Read My Lips,” in which a beautiful black woman pegged the shit out of a white guy she met at Powell's, “Incubus,” which was a wonderful mix of dirtiness, creepiness, and sexy pantie-pissing, and “Beyond Gay,” in which a gay guy and a lesbian unsuccessfully tried to get it on (when he tried pressing a dildo to his head while kissing her I almost spit wine all over myself).
All of the flicks were entertaining. I had a blast at this event and will definitely be going again next year. I'd also like to submit something. I've already written a screenplay for it titled “Pee on my Face.” Keep an eye out for it at next year's HUMP!
The winners of this year's HUMP! can be found here.