Amateur erotica fest Hump! has gone online, but no screenshots, please

The traditionally theater-only festival has had to embrace the virtual world and the challenges it brings with it.

Hump!, the brainchild of popular sexpert Dan Savage, is selling tickets to a livestream of the festival’s greatest hits from over the years. The amateur erotica and pornography event has long remained a theater-only experience where the films are destroyed at the festival’s end, according to Ars Technica. Earlier this year, the pandemic forced the second leg of the 15th Hump! Festival online, and almost immediately after, a series of stream dates were announced for a compilation with submissions dating back to 2005. The most recent livestream will get weekly showings until July 10.

What is Hump!? — After a couple of years of drumming up interest, Savage and Seattle’s The Stranger launched the first Hump! Festival in 2005. What began as a Seattle-only experiment has since grown into a touring festival with stops across the country. The short films follow an annual theme and can receive bonuses for adding certain aspects (this year it was "bubbles, photo booth, and Carol Channing").

The films themselves range from emotional to graphic, span the spectrum of sexual and gender identity, and submission styles have even included animation and stop-motion. There are certain content limitations — like no minors, no animals, and no feces — but otherwise, the narratives are free to roam from fully clothed intimacy to some of the seediest corners of kink.

Making porn porn again, kind of — The longstanding ethos of Hump! encourages average people to briefly become porn stars on the big screen instead of forever on the internet. The Stranger destroys its copies and participating theaters prohibit any audience photography.

This stop motion leather daddy was part of this year's festival.Hump!/Index Media

Now that theaters are potential Petri dishes for COVID-19, the festival had to find a way for the show to go on, and livestreams seemed like the safest way forward. During this year’s festival streams, viewers are encouraged not to take screenshots.

"Audiences all over the country have been lovely and wonderful about protecting Hump!," Savage told Ars Technica. "They want to keep it a safe space for people who may have an exhibitionist streak or share whatever their thing is, about their lover, their kink, their gender expression, whatever it is. But they don't want it on the Internet forever."

Wouldn't you like to know what this cardboard R2 is up to?Hump!/Index Media

If you’d like to explore tales (NSFW trailer) of a toupee-wearing R2D2, an adult animation E.T. reunion, and steamy live-action romps, tickets are $25 through Bold Type Tickets. Stream information is emailed two hours before the stream starts on Hump!’s website, and each screening lasts for approximately an hour and 20 minutes.