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.
Lucky for all our Heartless Doll indie rock, fashion and Lone Star beer fans, this Heartless Doll lives in Austin, TX, where the SXSW festival is in full swing. Today's the first day of the world-renowned music portion of the fest, and judging by the traffic on I-35 last night, every owner of ironic tight pants in America is trying to get into town.
I don't have a badge, but I am an Austinite, and that means I have magical powers and special capabilities during South By, mainly that I know where to get good brunch and you better let me into that open bar party or I'm not going to tell you where to get it. Over the course of the week, I'll have my iPhone in hand, bringing you the best and worst of SXSW fashion on Friday.
If you're lucky enough to be in town, I invite you to download Totes Unofficial SXSW Bingo, brought to you by this here Heartless Doll, and play along throughout the week with your friends.
Along with Gourmet magazine, Craftzine.com is one of those things I never previously gave a damn about, and now I absolutely adore. My current favorite thing up one their blog: steampunk clay creatures. They've got hearts, but also turtles and a half-griffin, half-shrimp thingy. Granted, they all look pretty challenging to make, but you know there's someone in your life who loves top hats and pocket watches and who would think these make awesome Xmas gifts.
Speaking of steampunk, I tried the other day to explain to a friend who's unfamiliar with the term just what the heck steampunk was. I ended up with, "It's like it's still the year 1890, so modern technology has developed, it's just all industrial revolution-y." Needless to say, that wasn't very helpful. I ended up directing her to the Wikipedia page. Here in San Francisco we have a steampunk society -- I'm sure there are many out there -- the members of which dress up and put on performances and generally revel in aesthetically pleasing dorkdom. I've always wanted someone to commission me for a feature on steampunk culture. Then again, I've thought the same thing about renaissance fairs for years, and that hasn't happened yet. I suppose I'll have to content myself with buying my own top hat.
Does anyone else think this child-sized sweatshirt is just soooo not okay? Topless Robot contributer Jason spotted it in a shop window in the Redmond Town Center in Washington state. It's not that children can't be hip. It's that they really shouldn't start advertising their slutty ways with suggestive slogans until they're at least eighteen. Patience, girls, patience.
The thing that bugs me about this shirt is that it implies something so sexual, so "tasty" and fresh about the kid wearing it. Maybe I've been watching too much Law and Order: SVU, but that kind of thing seems like a pedophile's dream. It's like the Big Bad Wolf drooling over Little Red Riding Hood. Snatch me from the playground, please! Just think how young and tender I'll be when you eat me!
As we dolls know well, for women Halloween isn't just about dressing up -- it's about turning perfectly PG costumes into ridiculously slutty numbers that will attract the attention of sugar-crazed boys at a friend's party. Well, this weekend I saw enough PG-to-slutty costume transformations to last me many, many Halloweens to come. I was covering the 2008 Exotic Erotic Ball, a pre-holiday faux-masquerade where very few faces -- or other body parts -- were actually covered. Of the thousands and thousands of partygoers who pressed past me in the sweaty crowds Saturday night, here are the costumes I hope never, ever to see again:
1) Santa with no pants. Oh, and no underwear, too. Somehow I always ended up behind him in lines. He had the beard, the red shirt, the hat, the nose that says, "Santa's been drinking" -- and nothing else. I saw seven, yes seven, penises at the ball, but his was by far the most unsettling. It made me picture coming down on Christmas morning to find Santa half-naked and wanking under the tree.
2) Mickey Mouse with a giant wang. Yes, some clever, clever person rented himself a full Mickey Mouse suit, complete with giant head, then attached a 12-inch rubber dildo to the outside. Thank goodness the event was 21+ only (the majority of the crowd was at least 40), because that would have scared the living daylights out of me at age five.
3) Hot zombie dancers. These weren't just partygoers, they were official, paid dancers who performed in the VIP tent. Probably about 10 beautiful women (and at least one beautiful man) were dressed up to look like zombies -- well, zombies if zombies barely wore any clothes -- and set loose on a dance floor. That was fine, but when they moved through the crowd to get backstage, they went with fake "handlers" and swatted at us attendees with crazed looks in their eyes that were a lot less hot than they were terrifying. Why am I suddenly associating pole dances with terror?
Today marks the official first day of Arse Elektronika, San Francisco's sex tech conference, this year with a science fiction theme. That means last night yours truly attended the mini-gala opening for the conference, complete with an award given for a vibrator that responded to earthquakes across the world, and an acoustic song about sex with robots. The main event of the night, however, was i09 editor Annalee Newitz's tongue-in-cheek talk giving tips on how to have a happier, healthier science fiction sex life.
Her amusing, if less than pragmatic, suggestions included: don't have sex with a cylon in a puddle, and always discuss boundaries before -- not after -- you have a threesome with two fembots. Oh, and if you're going into a mind meld using a ridiculous, early '90s form of virtual reality, respect your lover when she says, "No, I don't want to hang out with you in the sexual goo of your mind." Because even in fake virtual reality, no means no.
I'll be sure to report back next week on other fun tidbits from Arse Elektronika. Wish me a happy weekend of sex and tech!
Before heading out to the Bound Gods release party on Friday, I swung by Sandbox, a PR company that specializes in giving video game reviewers like me somewhere cozy to check out new titles. Like, seriously, their office is the size of my living room and they've got a sofa and flat screen TV right in the center. It's pretty sweet.
While I was at Sandbox, I tested out a bunch of games, but by far the most adorable was Ninjatown. This little strategy title for the Nintendo DS, which comes out next month, was actually inspired by a line of Ninja toys that are themselves heart-stoppingly cute.
It's probably no surprise that a game based on a stuffed animal earns a lot more points for looks than gameplay. Personally I was won over by the ninja character design: some are old, some are feisty, some wear scarves. Also, when the ninjas aren't fighting off enemies (oh right: that's the point of the game), they stand around, look way too happy, and occasionally hug. Now that's my kind of ninja.
As promised, on Friday night I headed out to the release party for Kink.com's new male bondage site, Bound Gods. Contrary to what I'd thought, the event wasn't actually held in the Kink warehouse, which is somewhere down in San Francisco's Mission district. Instead it was in the Armory, a giant, fortified building with California flags flying from its turrets (yes, turrets), also in the Mission. [Note from the PR fairy: the Armory is the new Kink warehouse. How cool!] At first I thought I had the wrong place, until I spotted the blacked-out windows. A man walked past me in a shirt that read, "I love Jesus," except that Jesus had been crossed out and replaced with "blowjobs." Right spot!
The party started at 6:00, so it took a little while to pick up. Inside the open bar was supplementing with near-nude go-go boys and not one but two screens showing off the hardcore male porn Bound Gods will be producing. Later on in the night there was apparently some sort of floor show, though I bailed for a local burrito before seeing it. All in all, a lovely little soirée -- though it was particularly hard to keep up a conversation with hot, naked men roaming the floor. More than once I found myself stopped, mid-sentence, staring at a well-formed ass. The person I was talking to was like, "Um, hi, it's been like 30 seconds since you made a sound..."
Yes, tonight I'm headed to the release party for Bound Gods, a new sub-site from the alternative porn empire based right here in San Francisco, Kink.com. I got the invite after covering another one of Kink's sub-sites, Fucking Machines (remember? the one with the book and the lawn mower motors). As for Bound Gods, it's all about male bondage and sex, pretty hardcore stuff.
Where will this unassuming female reporter fit in? While I may be neither bound nor a muscle-y male god, I'm less innocent than I look. Remember that, world. Plus, I'm super interested to check out the Kink.com building. These guys have an entire renovated warehouse in the Mission where they film all their porn, in-house and crunchy-like. At the same time, I'm excited to go meet some of the performers, ask them what it's like working for Kink, etc. Plus, I imagine, there will be cocktails presented in glasses the shape of erect penises. Check back Monday for a full report!