This will go down as one of my highlights of 2013. Duh.
If you’ve never seen air sex, it’s like air guitar, only instead of fake-playing-a-guitar you are fake-boinking-an-imaginary partner. It’s a combination of performance art, improv comedy and a full on athletic event. Judges sit on stage and watch you perform (set to a song of your choice) before a crowd of cheering/jeering strangers. Then, just like on American Idol, the judges give you feed back one by one, though it’s never “Yo dawg, you sounded kind of pitchy.” It’s more like, “How many partners were you with in that scene? I couldn’t tell.” (More photos are available by Brightest Young Things and We Love DC.)
Why was I judging air sex? What qualifications did I have to judge such a competition? The answers are: Austin, and none. (But c’mon. Does ANYONE have qualifications to judge air sex?) I judged because Air Sex was introduced in the US at the Alamo Drafthouse, a small Austin chain of theatres/event hubs that serve up beer and food and a whole film/TV show/comedy watching experience that can’t be matched anywhere else. The mastermind of the Drafthouse, Tim League, is responsible for launching air sex in America, and aren’t we all so grateful for it? Judging air sex was an emotional connection to home.
What I learned: Just as it is in life, the key to great air sex is commitment. You can’t break “character” or the scene you’ve set up. You have to go boldly after your invisible partner(s). One contestant created a narrative in which he was videotaping a woman he was air sexing and generally treating her like crap, another contestant (stage name “Victory Queef”) performed BJs on “four or five” partners, according to her count. The winner didn’t do anything particularly subversive — he was just expressive and enthusiastic and displayed a sense of confidence and creativity on stage unmatched by the rest. I and the other judges were quite pleased to give him the championship. A high honor, indeed.
If you’re into this whole notion, the air sex team is on a national tour and could be coming to a city near you. Meanwhile, if you want to see the air sex documentary someday, you can back the kickstarter now.