I watched porn in a theatre. It was a blast.
That both is and isn’t reductive. One of my partners’ mutual friends (y’all, I spent at least 30 seconds deciding where to put the apostrophe. THIS IS WORK) bought them tickets to HUMP – Dan Savage’s amateur porn festival, a series of 5 minute curated films of a provocative nature. She suggested I should come too. Failing anything, it’s always great to see said mutual friend (who happened to matchmake this partner and I). He and I go way back. I figured it’d be a fun and sassy night out, watching ridiculous amateur films with a creative twist. I was sold after hearing a highlight from last year’s fest: Dildrone, a copter (cockter?) based superhero who travelled around solving sexual frustration. Silly, right? I expected a Dildrone or two, and oh HUMP delivered.
I thought two things notable arriving at the screening. 1) Looking around, I realised I was totally surrounded by perverts. Wall to wall weirdos. My tribe. 2) I had a ton of friends who organically happened to be going. I don’t think that’s mere coincidence. We were all giggling, feeling slightly naughty. Then the screening started and everyone went silent. Paint Party. A blacklight flurry of naked, painted bodies gyrating. Bodies of all types flowing together in an orgy of colour. It. Got. Sexy. Quickly. The silence spoke volumes, I cast my eyes around and everyone was engaged. Holding my partner’s hand, I could feel her heartbeat rising. I know mine was. The short film finished with a splash of paint faux cumshots. My friends and I turned to one another wide eyed, breathing heavily. Someone piped up “oh, once we find some body safe paint, We Are Doing This.” Ever the engineer. We were all very, very turned on. I straight up expected the festival would be a dorky and/or sweet time, I did not expect to get actively titillated.
The films were excellently curated. Some were funny and inventive (like the music video with googly eyes adorning butts, boobs, peens, pubes etc. You don’t quite realise what a googly eyed covered butt looks like being spanked until you see it), others were sweet and endearing. I fell in love with this short documentary that intercut queer folx talking about their experiences discovering porn through archaic pre-internet methods. It was so endearing and relatable. A selfie stick hiking trip with a couple became a frenzied mash of bodies and sweat, slow motion frond spanking and DUBSTEP. An animated tale, My Cathartic Scene was gorgeous and touching. Beautiful animation set to a voiceover from a woman narrating her experience with extreme bottoming. How she used physical release as a way to let go of trauma was utterly lovely. It’s never been my thing, but it was so wonderful hearing someone relate why a certain sexual activity activated something within them.
Not My Thing But Wow was a running theme. An extreme bottom slut video had a master command his slave to go food shopping, then one by one slather himself with the ingredients by a river. It was physically nauseating, such a mishmash of flavours. A true textural nightmare. Raw eggs, chocolate sauce, coffee grounds, alfredo and pasta sauce, all slathered across this little porn piggie’s body. I mean, he took to it with wild abandon, which was awesome to see. I noticed my body’s tension release as he stepped into the river to wash off. Another featured rosebudding, there was extreme anal gaping and some impressive fisting. I’m not here to kinkshame anyone, it was fucking great to see them getting what they loved.
As a big bunch of pervs, I think we all left feeling inspired and uplifted. Also, goddamn if it didn’t give us some ideas…