For years, decades even, ocweekly.com and the back pages of our dead-tree edition have featured the sex-and-relationship-advice column Savage Love. Think ¡Ask a Mexican!, only with more fluids from naughty bits. (Dan Savage and Gustavo Arellano even swapped columns once.)
Savage, an openly gay father and husband, as well as editorial director of Seattle’s savage alternative weekly The Stranger, has used his pearl necklaces of advice not only for same-sex couples, lonely hearts and horndogs, but also for straights, transgenders and those who are so kinky they don’t know what the fuck they are. I’d wager I’ve learned the most about this crazy little thing called love from Savage’s exchanges with those whose sexuality is foreign to me.
As with ¡Ask a Mexican!, Savage Love long ago became a brand, and its author has smartly parlayed his fame into other ventures, including the Hump! Film Festival, which as part of its 13th-annual, 35-plus-cities tour makes a stop Wednesday in Long Beach’s most LGBTQIAPK-friendly moviehouse.
Savage has admitted that his amateur porn festival began as a joke in 2005. He and a colleague placed a full-page advertisement in The Stranger soliciting submissions, believing their mailbag would become the source of shits and giggles. What they got were earnest, homemade movies of straight sex, gay sex, trans sex, sexlessness and every conceivable (and inconceivable) kink. “Initially people are thrown back in their chairs,” Savage told Playboy of his festival last May. “You’re a straight guy watching hardcore gay porn, or you’re a gay guy watching cunnilingus.”
In that way, it really is like Savage Love. So is the reaction. “Everyone is cheering and clapping after every film,” Savage says. “At first, all anybody can see is the differences. And halfway through, everyone starts to see the similarities, or that everything is exactly the same.”
For those who mistakenly believe they can skip the festival and catch the content on the interwebs, know this: Contributors are promised no nasty, long-lasting consequences to their on-camera sex. Not only are cellphones forbidden at screenings, but the films are destroyed after the tour, as well. As Savage puts it, “Porn stars in a movie theater for a weekend,” not “for all eternity on the internet.”
So, here is what you can only see locally at the Art Theatre (with film descriptions courtesy of humpfilmfest.com):
Objectify: Once you’ve got HUMP! on the brain, even the most mundane objects look a whole lot sexier.
Desert Pussy: A very real couple gets it on in Monument Valley and will have you dreaming of outdoor-destination sex from dusk until dawn.
A Sunday Hike: The Blair Witch Project meets an anarchist EDM festival in this witchy, magical, queer porn.
A HUMP! Public Service Announcement: Educational and sexy, this film proposes an easy way to avoid a no good, very bad day. (Also: winner of the 13th Annual Festival Best Humor!)
The Alley: Fine tattooed strangers find an extremely hot way to pass the time between a few spin cycles. (Winner of the 13th Annual Festival Best Sex!)
Boys at the Beach: What’s more fun than a day at the beach? A day at the beach with a group meat spin!
The Code: If you haven’t already been detoured by its garbage business practices, this film will convince you to never take Uber again. Lyft for life. NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS IN YOUR LYFT HOME FROM THE SHOW. (Winner: 13th Annual Festival Runner Up Best Sex!)
Bum Apptit: This kinky couple skips straight past dinner to the good stuff. We knew there was a reason we liked the eggplant emoji so much.
Hermetic Dating Rituals: Animated ritualistic demon porn is a first for HUMP!, but this film makes us happy to welcome it into our kinky family.
Dark Room: You might recognize some of the cast of this rough romp. Featuring hot bodies, great sex and an end you’ll not soon forget. (Winner of the 13th Annual Festival Runner Up Best Kink!)
Is Queefing an Instrument? Queefing is the new rap air horn.
Pizza Roles: Pizza roles are always better than gender roles. In this meta porn on a porn set, there’s no telling what stereotypes will be shattered next!
Bed Bugs: The ghost of boyfriend past haunts a trashed mattress. (13th Annual Festival Jury Award Winner!)
Second Favorite Man: The No. 1 country banger about polyamory.
Morning Comes: Ruminations on sexual insecurity and some very real, very hot morning sex.
Oh the Savings: What really gets this solo masturbator going? A thick wallet.
Paramnesia: Kinky Tumblr girls shot a Lynchian porn! Get ready for sexy, scary and simultaneously adorable nightmares. (Winner of the 13th Annual Festival Best Kink!)
Connection: A coffee-shop fantasy turns a contemporary-dance routine into one of the sexiest stripteases HUMP! has ever seen. (Winner of the 13th Annual Festival Best in Show!)
The Spaces Between: A “behind the scenes” look at the complexities of queer interracial relationships in modern political times.
Turiya: A Depeche Mode video on Quaaludes, get ready for gender-bending, mind-warping, double-sided dildo magic.
Dildrone: “Cool drone,” said no one ever, until these folks equipped one with a dildo. (Winner of the 13th Annual Festival Runner Up Best Humor!)
Hump! Film Festival 2018 at the Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach; humpfilmfest.com. Wed., 8 p.m. $20 (plus $4.49 in fees). 18+.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.