Posted at 9:30 AM Jun 15, 2009
By Andrea Grimes
Friday night, I watched a guy who calls himself "Urshur" drive around, pick up a hooker and screw her brains out--all from about twenty feet away.
It was Air Sex. Think "air guitar," but with simulated sex organs, not axes. What started as a bizarre Japanese bar show was picked up a couple years ago by adventurous Austinites at the city's excellent Alamo Drafthouse theater. This year, the Air Sex Championships went on tour across the nation, air-humping their way all the way to New York City, where I saw the aforementioned hooker sitch at the High Line Ballroom.
Still not clear on what Air Sex is? Here's "Slut Truffle," an Air Sex finalist:
Jezebel.com editor Megan was one of the competition judges, and while I can't wait to read her inevitable write-up of the experience (hopefully coming later on today), I mourn that she didn't have the pleasure of spending the competition down among the audience plebes, where--shock of shockers--sexist idiocy was rampant.
Air Sex is really good fun--it's a fantastic acknowledgment of the pure silliness of sex. Watching it in a large crowd is also a great way to pick out the bad lays and worse misogynists. The performers were a good split between guys and girls, but the guys gave altogether better performances (Slut Truffle, who was awesome, notwithstanding.) Not that guys are better, of course, at the sex act overall, but with Air Sex, it's easier to simulate sticking your penis in something than getting stuck with a penis. After all, penises are silly, bumbly objects, while vaginas are mostly internal action. Simulating fellatio? Easy, highly visual. Simulating cunnilingus? Well, it's hard to see a flicking tongue from forty feet away.
Still, there was plenty to be disturbed about in all the silliness. Many of the girls went straight for dick-sucking simulation right off the bat, which of course got big cheers from the audience of mostly dudes. But great Air Sex is about simulating the entire act, not just licking air dick for cheers. When things got a little more realistic for the ladies--like when Professor Long Hair tried to teach her invisible partner how to find her clitoris--the audience was, very palpably, not having it. After her performance, host Chris Trew asked her to explain--"I was trying to get him to touch my clit!" she yelled, giggling. "A lot of guys don't know where it is!"
The response from a group of (perhaps not coincidentally) short-statured douchebags standing behind me? Charming variations of: "FUCKING SLUT!" "SLUT!" "BOOOO!" If there had been any question about which men in the audience could actually find a clitoris, well, it was answered in those brief moments.
While it's empowering to watch women own their sexuality--and pretending to fuck a sheep, as the opening trio of girls did, is certainly ownership of some kind--it's also saddening to watch a negative public response to said sexuality. A mustachioed "Dirty D," who performed his bit with zero foreplay and a lot of multi-partner, raucous screwing, pimp-style, got massive audience approval. I find it difficult to believe any of his invisi-partners would have given him a positive performance review. (He walked off stage yelling "No fat chicks!" Ugh.) In contrast, "Backseat Betty," who simulated some funny-bad sex in the back of a car, was booed heartily. I came away from Air Sex feeling that most people still value male pleasure over female pleasure when it comes to sex. (There was, to be fair, a woman who appeared to be actually masturbating on stage, and everyone seemed to enjoy that just fine. In the most awkward way possible.)
But perhaps the most surprising, amusing, disappointing aspect of the night: the winner, the aforementioned hooker-pick up scenario starring the dude who called himself "Urshur," was the first-ever Air Sex performer to wear an air condom.