A few years back when I was the editor of a well-known music magazine, I had the dubious honor of being one of the judges at the World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu, Finland. Why on earth we were covering an air guitar championship as a music magazine is definitely in question here, but hey, it was a great excuse to go to Finland. The judges were a mix of B-list musicians, music critics, comedians, and members of the media. The performances were judged on several things, such as technical merit (how much the performance looked like real playing, including accurate reproduction of all fretwork, chords, solos and technical moves) and of course stage presence—the charisma of a rock star, the ability to rock, lack of stage fright and power to drive thousands of “listeners”. The winner that year was Michael “Destroyer” Heffels from The Netherlands, who blew the judges away with his blistering air riffs and air power chords. Damn, I swear he almost set his air guitar on fire!
You can just imagine this guy practicing his whole life for this moment, standing in front of a mirror playing air guitar until his fingers bled.
You may think this lame behavior is pretty stupid and are right to believe so. But it’s also hugely popular with people who have no musical talent what-so-ever but want to be big stars playing at big shows where the lead guitarist gets his (or her) pick of the hot groupies. Personally I thought the whole thing was incredibly dumb, and in an uncontrolled fit of protest I went back stage and kicked over a whole row of air guitars, doing untold damage. Needless to say, I was promptly chucked out, sent a bill for the repairs and never invited back.
But if like me, you think air guitar (or drums or bass) is an inane and useless talent, then you are in for a treat with the latest air craze making the rounds.
Air Sex (yes, you read it correctly) is a performance activity that was invented by the Japanese, wherein clothed men or women simulate sex with an invisible partner in a competition before an audience. Sort of like air guitar, only a bit more R-18 and without the need for an air amp. J-Taro Sugisaku, who actually admits that he came up with this, says that it was invented in Tokyo in 2006 by a group of bored men without girlfriends. Ya think? And perhaps without lives also. But it has grown in popularity and is now not just a bunch of sad lonely guys without girlfriends, but women as well. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what act the woman in the picture is simulating. It’s certainly not announcing to the world what a loser she is through a megaphone.
Since August 2007, The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas has been holding bimonthly Air Sex competitions. By 2009, after a year of sold out shows, the Alamo Drafthouse toured America with the “Air Sex World Championships tour”, crowning Air Sex Champions in 14 cities. Later that year the first ever “world champion” was crowned when Shanghai Slammer from Los Angeles out-performed every other city champion. How they figure it was a world championship is beyond me, perhaps they thought Americans were the only one that would ever even consider doing something this inane.
It is hard to imagine what kind of person would want to appear in a show such as this. Do they practice at home for endless hours in front of a mirror like air guitarists? Are they trying to find a potential mate? Are they simply living out a fantasy, portraying how they would like to really be? From some of the pictures and videos you see, it almost seems as if they are enjoying the act as much as if it were for real. They may indeed look stupid doing this, but they can take comfort in the fact that they can have sex anytime they want, with whomever they want, even if they are …..well, pretty much invisible. There is even some talk that Olga Zajac is getting right into Air Sex, as she is still being held in Jail and may be practicing to appear in a competition when she is released.
Then of course there are the judges. It is an honor to be picked for one of these events, or so I am told. Like air guitar, you can imagine a panel of B-grade porn stars, adult bookshop clerks , retired Air Sex champions and really lonely guys, all grading the performances based on how realistic it all looks. However, if you happened to get picked to judge one of these events, I highly recommend that you don’t shake hands with contestants — you have no idea where they have been.
But are there dangers associated with this kind of behavior? At a recent Air Sex competition in Milwaukee, 3 male air sexers came down with a nasty infection when they all shared the same air girl and neglected to use an air condom. And in California, an Air Sex escorts service was raided after would-be customers complained that no one showed up after they had already paid for the “service”. (Maybe they just could not see them?) More importantly, there is the very real danger that a video of you, literally “doing” nothing, could end up on the internet for all to see. To punctuate this point, Ill just add this video. Look away if you are under 18 or get queasy at the sight of Air Sex.
So is getting an Air Date easy? Word around the Air Sex circuit is that even though these invisible guys and girls will do it on stage in front of loads of people, they are not as slutty as you might imagine. Most live normal everyday lives working, perhaps in your office, teaching at your kids’ school or making you lunch. Because most of us can’t see them though, it means the only place to possibly meet an Air Date is at an Air Sex show. I can’t wait for the Air Wedding.
If you still need more and can’t look away (like a train wreck) you can go here to see Anna Banana.