By now we’ve all heard of playing air guitar, right? Most of us have probably strapped on an air guitar a time or two, alone or in a group. Heck, we even have the 2008 World Air Guitar Champion living right here in Alameda.
So when I saw that for the first time, the Air Sex Championships were coming to the Bay Area, I thought I had to see what it was all about.
I was surprised to walk into the Independent in San Francisco on Wednesday night to see a packed house anxiously awaiting the start of the festivities.
Two guys from Austin, Texas, were the hosts, MC’s, and judges for the night.
Joel Keith is the Simon Cowell to Chris Trew’s Ryan Seacrest.
Trew told me that the air sex competitions started two years ago after the owner of Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema saw a video of some sort of competition in Japan that looked like it may have been air sex.
He decided to run with it since the air guitar nights were such a hit at his theater and after two years of success in Austin, they’ve taken it out on a three-week tour across the country to find the National Air Sex Champion.
Nine teams competed Wednesday night, from solo acts like Dick Oxygen who wore tighty whities and a t-shirt while doing a pelvic thrust routine with unmentionable props to the Cheers TV show theme song, to group acts like The Carnival Players who were dressed as clowns acting out “graphic depictions of pornographic slang.”
My personal favorite was Robo Lover, a guy dressed like a Fisherman’s Warf street performer in a silver hodgepodge robot outfit who then had sex (simulated, of course) with a blender, lava lamp and hand mixer before signaling climax with the opening of a rainbow umbrella.
After each performance, Chris Trew, who would hop off the stage to shoot video of every contestant while they were doing their thing, would do a little post-mortem interview of sorts with the air sexer, and then he would throw it to Joel Keith who would really break down the performance.
Keith brought up the hot button issue of props after seeing Robo Lover because he wasn’t sure if air sex with a prop, was the same as air sex sans props.
I see where Keith is coming from because if you think about someone playing air guitar and then you think of them playing a broom or something, it isn’t quite the same.
That said, Robo Lover’s robotic pelvic thrusts in and out of a blender was pretty awesome, and there is no way to mime a blender.
At the start of the show, Chris Trew complemented San Francisco saying that in most cities, people sign up ahead of time, but there are always a few extra slots that need to be filled at the show.
Wednesday night, there was only one slot, and the woman who filled it had no idea what she was going to do, or what song was going to be playing for her.
Britt, a teacher from San Francisco, signed up ten minutes before she went on stage as Pandora’s Box and when the DJ cued Nelly’s Country Grammar, she went through the motions of being a bottom, and then, after miming like she was putting something on, she had her way as a top.
The crowd went wild and she easily made it to the final round and ultimately won the whole thing.
“I feel a little in shock,” Britt said after her win. “I can’t believe it, and now I’m going to be flown somewhere [to the as yet undetermined location for the finals]? I hope it doesn’t ruin my teaching career.”
If you want some more airness, the Independent is hosting two nights of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships this Friday and Saturday with nightly tickets costing $18 and a 2-day pass for $30. Let’s see if Craig “Hot Lixx Hulahan” Billmeier can hold onto his title or if it’ll slip through his hands.
Josh Keppel is trying to decide what his air sex name would be... he's already got Dick Taco as his pen name.