Posted by: brad – Apr 29, 2015
Air sex is a phenomenon.
RVA Mag has been writing about the competition of farcical fornication since 2012, and since then it has only grown larger, stronger, and more virile.
The competition is simple:
People arrive and throw their names into the 'fuck bucket' - when they are called upon from the 'fuck bucket,' air-sex competitors use their bodies and minimal props to performed imagined intercourse before a crowded bar.
Judges view and rate each performance on funniness, realism, choreography and general interestingness. After their initial adjudication, they send certain participants to the final round. In the finals, the audience cheers- rated by loudness- and decides that evening’s Air Sex Champion.
And now Air Sex returns to RVA's Strange Matter this Sunday - let the air-fucking begin.
“It’s not a hard ‘circle one through 10’ on costume, it’s all the judge’s opinion,” Chris Trew, Air Sex founder and host, said. It’s not just about one category or another- its a judge’s opinion about the whole experience.
“In a way, its run like karaoke, you don’t know who is coming up next there’s not like a set run order,” Trew said. “You show up, you do it. Often times people don’t think they’re going to end up doing it until they’re doing it.”
The top performers from around the nation- 12 of the 20 to 30 champions crowned on tour- get invited to compete in the national championships in Austin, Texas. Trew said that event is in the biggest venue Air Sex is in all year.
Normal tour dates are run in smaller, quirky venues like Strange Matter, where Richmond’s date this Sunday is held.
“Strange Matter is really the ideal venue for us because its got a good reputation for doing cool weird events, its got a high stage and its got a really fun sound system,” Trew said.
Trew said beyond that, Strange Matter is trustworthy- if they’re putting up an event, he knows people will trust it and want to come.
The Air Sex Tour date in Richmond has been held there every year since 2012. Sticking with a venue is commonplace for Trew and other Air Sex personnel.
“Air Sex is such a strange concept to so many people that if we get in good with a venue we will just go back there every year because you don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again,” said Trew.
Those questions, Trew said, include ‘What the hell is this show?’ and ‘How does it work?’.
This competition, however, is bigger than just filthy fun. Trew said that people use Air Sex to better communicate with their loved ones and learn to express themselves sexually. He mentioned a woman in the kickstarted “Air Sex: The Movie”- a profile of the competition and tour and its history.
The woman in question won a small Air Sex show her first time on stage. At the time, she was in the closet. After she won, Trew said that she felt more open and free and she came out as a lesbian. Now she does regular comedy performances and credits it all to her time as an Air Sex champ.
Trew said that those experiences are not uncommon.
“[Those experiences led us to say] Holy shit! This show is way more than a silly pretend sex comedy show,” Trew said. “We thought that plus how fun the show is on its own, plus the aspect of the road show. We felt like all those things together added up to be something that would be a good film.”
A screening of the film will take place at the Coalition Theatre prior to the competition at Strange Matter.
Trew said that the competition is a sex positive environment and that they are very interested in promoting safe sex. For the past two years, sex-toy manufacturer Flashlight has been a sponsor of the event, but they have yet to sign on again this year.
“Before we signed on with Flashlight two years ago, we were looking for all kinds of different sponsors,” Trew said. “Most notably, a condom or sex toy. The only sex safer than sex with a condom is sex with the air.”
The organization is also reaching out to local sex shops to offer promotion, possible sponsorships or giveaways.
“I can say in front of the 200 people that are hopefully at Strange Matter, ‘Hey! you’re all here because you’re interested in sex and we don’t have to take sex super seriously,’” Trew said. “There’s an awesome sex shop downtown called whatever, go talk to them, and visit them.”
That’s something that Trew said would ideally happen in every city. It would add an important educational aspect to the multi-faceted expectation-defying road show. One thing is clear: People shouldn’t underestimate air sex.
“The show is way more intelligent and special and well produced then I think people realize,” Trew said. “It’s not just some very basic ‘people get up and then they hump the air.’ There’s so much more to it.”
Tickets for the Richmond Air Sex Tour date are available at Eventbrite.
Words by Ben Weiner