Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lulu's User-Friendly Guide to: Air Sex

Air guitar? Boring. Anyone can pick up an invisible Les Paul and crank out a few unchallenged power chords. I mean, the music’s already there – you really just go along for a little self-indulgent ride. Where’s the room for criticism in that?

On the other hand, picking up an invisible lover and finessing your way into his or her “bedroom” – now that is a different story. No doubt, making love to thin air is a skill, one that not all “air sex” proponents and performers have necessarily mastered.

As the name suggests, air sex is what you call it when an individual simulates sexual activity with an invisible partner. A group of bored, unsatisfied Japanese men are reported to have shaped the would-be private activity into an official music-driven, formally judged performance art competition in 2006. Some of the men’s moves leave me wondering what the receiving end would look like, were she more than just oxygen (and nitrogen and carbon dioxide). It would seem that sex is truly no holds barred when you are dancing with yourself in front of a group of indiscriminate, enthusiastic observers.

It didn’t take long for this bizarre pastime to trickle into the U.S., where it arrived stateside as an elaborately choreographed, straight-to-YouTube spectacular by a group of creative high school romeos with a thing for one very special ottoman…

…and was later adopted by Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse in 2007 as an official competition that would go on to sweep the country, one dry hump at a time.

Tonight, the Air Sex World Championship 2009 Tour is making a stop at one of my favorite San Diego venues, The Casbah. This is a notably small space for what is likely to be a sweaty, highly gesticular affair, so I have high hopes for an inspiring evening. If I’m lucky, I’ll pick up a few pointers… and maybe a date?


I'm still recovering from that experience. Here are a few glimpses of my favorite moments from the San Diego Air Sex Championships:

Air Sex "F*** Off" Final Round Qualifier
Not Explicit, but EffectivePretty Frat BoySlap Happy

And a clip of my favorite routine (not really air sex -- more robotic bedroom dancing):


CpILL said...

Interesting, I think you'd be hard press to get a date considering how much wanton air there would be hanging around a comp like that ;)

I was listing to the Alan Watts podcast of late and he was/is talking about sex and the church. He notes that by making sex taboo (and its really the only thing you can get chucked out of the church for) you make it more attractive to the mind and we become more obsessive about it. I guess the Japanese guys whom are repressed the most socially are hence the most obsessive about it.

I thought America was more open and relaxed about sex but I guess it still a society based on Christian morality...?

Lulu McAllister said...

Hey Again Alex,

Yeah, there's just no competing with air where the San Diego dating scene is concerned. Lesson learned!

Obviously, the American society's treatment of sex varies depending on where in the country you go. Christian morality still factors heavily in very religious areas (i.e. the Bible Belt); whereas, on the other hand, San Francisco society tends to be shaped by a more diverse set of influences. That said, even notoriously liberal San Francisco has very conservative and religious pockets.

It would be interesting to compare how differently the Air Sex Championship Tour was received in various parts of the country. I just read somewhere that "authorities" managed to ban the Air Sex Championships from Salt Lake City; meanwhile, San Francisco hosted two Air Sex nights back-to-back! Basically, it's hard to generalize.

With the ASC, I don't think Americans (or Japanese, for that matter) are necessarily "obsessing" about sex -- it's not a lot of the same sex we're talking about here, it's about 30 seconds per person of really wacky, creative (would-be) sex. In a communal setting, air sex investigates what kind of sex exists with little consequence to those involved. Is that not progressive? It's an exploratory thing and, wouldn't you know it, sex can be very funny.

The U.S. isn't as sexually progressive as parts of Northern Europe, for example, but I would be hard-pressed to label it as an entirely repressed country. The one nagging issue to the contrary that I would be foolish to ignore is the ongoing struggle for LGBT rights. Otherwise, I know plenty of people who are generally "open and relaxed" about sex in a healthy way. Feel free to stop by California, if there's any doubt in your mind.

CpILL said...

Sounds good, perhaps, I, will :)