Move Over Air Guitar. Bring on the Air Sex.

What Women Really Think
June 12 2009 3:45 PM

Move Over Air Guitar. Bring on the Air Sex.

Here's a guest post from Slate V intern Lindsay O'Neal:

On Wednesday, I joined a hundred other voyeurs at the Rock 'n' Roll Hotel in D.C. to watch air guitar's scandalous sister sport, air sex. Air sex, as the name implies, is a theatrical sexual performance with an imaginary partner. The Air Sex competitions are to be held in 16 cities across the U.S., culminating in the World Air Sex Championship where the Ultimate Air Lover will be crowned. (It would have been 17, but the Utah venue, facing a threat of a revoked liquor license if it hosted the event, backed out.)

I was surprised to find that the performers and the audience were of the typical D.C. mold-professional and straight-laced. My favorite, "Dr. Love," came straight from the hospital still donning his scrubs. (Watch him, and the rest of the highlight reel, below.) The first performer, Auto Asphyxia, a Georgetown Law student, told me why the Teach for America alum wanted to enter into the sexual three-ringed circus: "Bringing comedy to sex helps ease the tension that so many people feel about it. It relaxes people."

View highlights from the Air Sex Championship.

Advertisement

Don't see the video? Click here.

I guess I’m one of those tense people he’s talking about. I was raised in a socially and sexually conservative environment where not only was sex not dinner table conversation, but it was almost completely ignored.

Now past my formative years, I still am extremely reserved when it comes to sex. I am notorious for dodging even the slightest PDA. The thought of kissing in public causes my eye to twitch, and public handholding turns my face red. Yet, I found myself with a front row ticket to some serious PDS (public displays of sex), and loving it.

Yet, I refused to believe that anyone here could see real sex as a mere performance. Or is it? Have all its wonders and mysteries been navigated, leaving just a shell of entertainment? Was I the only one who does still find it mysterious, who still has anxieties or sexual inhibitions?

I brought my question to the night's winner, Auto Asphyxia. His response: "Sex can be a very powerful thing, and it's kind of nerveracking not being able to know with 100 percent certainty what sex means to that new partner." So, even the most skilled of air sex-ers comes into real relationships with a little bit of stage fright. Who knew an air sex competition would bring such peace of mind? Still, I don't think I'll be pleasuring a vaporous lover on a stage any time soon.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Women’s Sports Show

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now, at Least.

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 2:24 PM The New Interstellar Trailer Is the Most Exciting Yet
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 2:26 PM The Apple Graveyard Leave a flower for a dead Apple product.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 2:36 PM Climate Science Is Settled Enough The Wall Street Journal’s fresh face of climate inaction.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.