Ten Things I learned at HUMP!
Although I’ve been living here in the Pacific Northwest for a good three-plus years, so far I had never been able to attend the shining beacon of light that is HUMP! Every year, Seattle locals are graciously given the opportunity to grab a camera, grab a script, and publicly show Seattle up to five minutes of some of the most clever, confusing, impressive, bizarre, hilarious, and brilliant amateur porn your virgin eyes have ever witnessed. Produced by The Stanger, HUMP! is a three-day film festival that showcases hundreds of local filmmakers highlighting almost every aspect of human (well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves) sexuality. Tickets are practically guaranteed to sell out, and the competition is fierce: grand prizes of up to $2,500 are awarded to winners, on top of the utter celebrity that is destined to accompany such prestige.
I’ve never really been one to turn down an excuse for pure debauchery and hedonism. So this year, my senior year, I was proactive about getting what I wanted. I rallied a group of friends to cough up $20 each and make the journey to the “On The Board” performance space in Queen Anne for one of Friday night’s many sold out screenings. After nearly missing the cutoff time for admittance to the theatre (some boys refer to coif more than others for this sort of thing), we could barely contain ourselves as we grabbed a ballot and entered the utterly packed and dark theatre.
This year’s entries were intelligent, mentally scarring, hilarious, hot, charming, and mentally scarring again, all in that order. I left the theatre feeling like a veil had been lifted from my eyes, revealing several new dimensions of sexual intelligence that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. So, here, in a nutshell, is what I learned:
1) Food porn actually exists.
2) My goodness some of you have large penises.
3) Music is CRUCIAL to the atmosphere your film creates. I don’t care how hot you think you are, Seattle hipsters, if you start to play Broken Social Scene while filming you and your boyfriend on the pool table, my eyes begin to roll back into my head and I will immediately zone out. I didn’t come to see an American Apparel ad.
4) Jesus is hot. Let me rephrase. Jesus is really freaking hot. In fact, Jesus is SO hot, he can drive nuns to do just about anything. But don’t forget to leave room for the Holy Spirit, because Jesus is apparently into threesomes.
5) Lesbians and trans-persons: I had NO idea. Thank you.
6) Back to music. If you can come up with a catchy theme song to ease me into the concept of “twincest”, give yourself a pat on the back.
7) Sadism and masocism have bad reputations. Not only can fire and electricity be soft-core, but they can be the most sensual, intimate, and gentlest forms of pleasure for the human body. Well, that is until the spray bottle of flammable liquid comes out. Then it’s time to learn some limits, people.
8) Claymation figures need love too.
9) To all young gay boys who are going through troubled times in their lives: it gets better. Trust me. It gets, so, so, so much better.
10) You, Seattle, are super hot, super funny, and super talented. And messed up, in a good way. In a country where your sex life is constantly tried and censored by governments, religious organizations, backwards politicians and public figures, somebody needs to give them all the giant middle finger. You also live in a city where hundreds of other beautiful and hot people can crowd together in a dark theatre to laugh and gasp while watching you do what you do best. So, keep up the good work everyone, and don’t forget, it’s only 5 minutes.