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Savage Lust: The HUMP! Tour Returns 

Wednesday, Jan 27 2016
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This weekend, you could go to the Roxie Theater to see Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, or if you prefer kung fu to cultural doyennes, maybe Ip Man 3 at the Four Star Theatre in the Richmond. Or you could go to the Victoria and watch shorts called "Let's Try to Fuck," "Lube Dispenser," and "I Fist a Grrrl."

Like the long-shuttered cinematic porn palaces lining Market Street, the Victoria will become a giddily seedy house of cuckolding and cumshots, because Dan Savage's carnival of smut is blowing through town again. The HUMP! Tour is a festival of 22 short films, each homemade and under five minutes in length, meant to get people out of their pornographic comfort zones. And, like bagging sexual conquests over spring break, it's a competition.

Here's how it works: Savage and his team curate the films to ensure maximum diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, and placement on the vanilla-kink spectrum. Audience members then vote in four categories: humor, kink, sex, and best in show.

Tickets are $25, and while Savage won't be introducing the shows in person this year, demand was high enough that the Victoria added an extra show on Friday and Saturday nights. People really do clamor to watch porn the way their grandfathers did: in public, among strangers.

Knowing if I asked Savage to pick his favorite, he'd demur and say he loves all his children equally, I ask him for some standouts. (HUMP! has been happening for 11 years, which means upwards of 200 films in all.)

There's "a terrific film by Buck Angel ['Blown'] featuring a couple of transmen exploring and loving and talking about how they came to love their own dicks, their own bodies, and how they work," Savage says. "'Level Up' won Best in Show in Seattle and Portland, and it's a terrific film — porn for people who want to see naked hotties making war on the patriarchy."

"Level Up" also answers the complaint, apparently a common one, that HUMP! wants for bi material. A bit kinkier is "Lube Dispenser," which he calls "moody."

"'Lube Dispenser' is pretty kinky but not super-intense — and I say that as someone who loves super-intense kink films myself. But it's nice to see somebody make a movie with kink that's more relaxed and atmospheric."

About the closer, which is simply called "DICK," and the blurb for which is "For anyone who thinks there wasn't enough dick in HUMP this year," Savage says it's mostly tongue-in-cheek.

"There's usually no shortage of dick in HUMP," he says. "Anyone who thinks they didn't get enough dick is someone who could never be satisfied. They could have every dick on the planet dumped on them and it still wouldn't be enough. 'DICK' is just a cool short film—a music video, actually — with a lot of penises in it."

This coming Monday, Feb. 1, also happens to be the Iowa caucuses. Former senator and permanent Savage bête-noire Rick Santorum — who squeaked past Mitt Romney to win Iowa in 2012 — is currently, um, bottoming out. At least some part of his cratering comes from the Savage Love redefinition of santorum as the "frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." Savage is, understandably, quite happy that the Hawkeye State seems to be rejecting the prudish, homophobic Republican — although he humbly credits the popularization of the term to "the collective genius of my readers."

"It does make me proud," Savage says. "In 2012, before we got to read headlines like 'Santorum Surges From Behind in Iowa,' I wrote something about him, when he was stumbling along at 2 percent, in which I dubbed him 'yesterday's bigot.' That post was four years too soon. He had a shot then, he had his surge, but he's done now. He's over. You think about Rick Santorum's long political career, and all he has to show for it is a filthy neologism. Everything he went to Washington to achieve, he did not achieve. He's a failure. I'm a goddamn gay-married man with legal weed in my desk at work and he's unemployed. Rick Santorum lost."

In an unpredictable election cycle like this year's, it's still up in the air. Who knows if a spent Santorum could dribble over the finish line again? (What if the turgid Donald Trump blows his load early?) Whether Santorum triumphs or fades into obscurity, one thing is for certain: As he chokes down yet another foot-long corn dog in frigid Sioux City, a packed theater in San Francisco will be whooping and hollering at a short film called "Orgies Happening Tonight."

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Bio:
Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.

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