On June 12, 1972, the World Theater on West 49th Street in New York City premiered an unknown feature-length film called Deep Throat. It was one of the first pornographic films that had an actual plot. Because of initial reviews, celebrity sightings at screenings, and the fact that it was banned in 23 states, Deep Throat ended up grossing millions of dollars. The US government had no idea what to do with the film's wild success, and individual states started flinging obscenity laws around, attempting to prosecute the director, producers, and cast members. The film became a symbol of sexual revolution and rebellion.

"Deep Throat was a badge of the new freedom," says director/icon John Waters in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat. And pornography, for a short time, went mainstream.

My favorite thing about all of those X-rated films from the "porn chic" era of the early 1970s through the late 1980s (films like Behind the Green Door, Boys in the Sand, and Debbie Does Dallas) is that they screened in real theaters, where you had to sit next to other people to see them! They featured real-looking actors, too—sweet, goofy guys like Harry Reems, and ladies like Linda Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers, who still had hairy puuu... well, you know what I'm sayin', hair down there.

These days, sitting in a packed theater with other living, breathing humans to watch porn is a pretty rare experience, and it's one where you consume the sex on the screen in an entirely different way. There's no fast-forwarding, no skipping over parts. You have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. And you enjoy it, respectfully, as a group. You also have to ask yourself at some point, "Have I ever seen a penis or a vagina on a seven-foot-tall screen?!?" No, you probably haven't. And it is a glorious sight!

I've seen every single HUMP! festival in its nine years of existence, and I can attest to its gloriousness. HUMP! films are made by real people (sometimes people with, uh, you know, hair down there). Often, you look at the person sitting next to you in the audience, and it's one of the actors on the screen. That's because HUMP! is local, homegrown smut—organic, farm-to-table, small-batch porn! We pick the best submissions—the funniest, sweetest, kinkiest, and most hardcore. The entries are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and genderqueer. Almost all the films have plots, and every single one of them is sex-positive. Deep Throat paved the way for regular folks to have fun with sex—and with HUMP!, anybody can be a porn star.

At HUMP!, we protect our stars, too. Every year, after HUMP! is over, all copies of the films are destroyed. The filmmakers keep the only copies of their work. This way, actors get to be porn stars for the weekend and NOT for the rest of their lives.

For the best of HUMP!, we contacted a bunch of filmmakers from the past nine years for permission to screen their films again. We got some of the very best shorts about angel blowjobs, Dungeons & Dragons orgies, porn fluffers, peggers, sex with centaurs, trans men car mechanics, pizza delivery boys, girls lighting the hair down there on fire, third nipples, knife play, dolphin sex, "butt seks," edging, pain sluts with clothespins, chocolate-cream-pie fights, and even an X-rated E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ("Oooooooouuch!"). All you've got to do is lean back and relax. recommended