Dan Savage on his HUMP! Tour, Sex in DC, and the GOP

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 13.24.15Earlier today, FishbowlDC had the opportunity to speak with love and sex advice columnist Dan Savage, in advance of the DC stop of his amateur adult film festival, HUMP!. The show premiers tonight and runs through Saturday at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

HUMP! films take a nuanced approach to amateur adult films by using parody, documentary themes, animation, and more to give viewers an artistic look at the genre. The festival was created in 2005 by the “Savage Love” author as a sex-positive and creative outlet for amateur pornographers.

Eight screenings are planned for its visit to DC, including Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 at 8 and 10 pm and at 4, 6, 8, and 10 pm Saturday, March 22. Tickets may be purchased at http://humptour.strangertickets.com. The festival’s DC stop is presented by the Washington City Paper, which runs “Savage Love” weekly and online.

Read on for our Q&A with Savage on the origins of the tour, what we can expect, and naturally, his answers to Push/F@#k/Marry with Fox News’ Bret Baier, CNN’s Jake Tapper, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

 

FishbowlDC: What led you to create the HUMP! Tour?
Dan Savage: “Years ago we created the HUMP! Festival in Seattle as a joke and a dare. A coworker of mine, at The Stranger…we joked that, ‘We’re gonna have an amateur porn festival and advertise it in our paper,’ and see what we got in the mail…We weren’t even sure when we made the annoucenemt that we’d get enough submissions or any submissions enough to have a festival. We got plenty, and it was a big hit, and all the screenings sold out. It was actually kind of magic – the whole event – in the way the audience received it and the way people reacted to it and how old school it was. People don’t watch porn in movie theaters together anymore. You watch porn with your computer or maybe with one other person. There’s no communal aspect to porn anymore…and there probably shouldn’t be. I don’t think watching porn together in a movie theatre was the ideal format. It quickly became clear that it had legs, that this porn festival idea and people sharing their own vision of porn that they made with friends and lovers was going to take off and keep going. The festival just grew, year after year…people in other cities would say, ‘Oh my God, I want to see HUMP!, put it online, sell DVDs.’ And one of the reasons HUMP! has been so successful is that there are no DVDs and nothing gets online. So people were able to participate in HUMP! who might not otherwise make porn or share the porn they were making, because the idea behind HUMP! is that you can be a porn star for the weekend and not for the rest of your life…After the calls to tour got so loud, we decided to ask film makers what they wanted to do…We asked if they wanted to resubmit their film for the tour and they said ‘Yes.’ “

 

FBDC: What can we expect for those planning to visit the HUMP! Tour?
DS: “The films we did for HUMP! run the gamut from humor shorts, animation, erotica, hard core, it’s everything from vanilla, very sweet short films made by people who are clearly into each other to hardcore S&M. You’re going to see different types of gender expressions…it’s really all over the place. The one thing I think that all the films share is this sense that the people in them, the people who are making them, are having a really good time, that they know each other, that there’s an intimacy in a lot of the HUMP! films which can sometimes be missing from porn – even amateur porn – you see online…One of the things I enjoy most about HUMP! is the audience and the audience’s reactions.”