Air Sex Competition Comes to Richmond 

click to enlarge A performance from TyTy Sparklepants, of Eugene, Ore., wins season three of the Air Sex National Championships last year in Austin. Will a Richmonder take the 2012 crown? - HENRY LINSER
  • Henry Linser
  • A performance from TyTy Sparklepants, of Eugene, Ore., wins season three of the Air Sex National Championships last year in Austin. Will a Richmonder take the 2012 crown?

You've heard of air guitar?

You might say air sex is similar, except it's about plucking different kinds of strings. Or making a different kind of music. Or any number of wink-wink, nudge-nudge analogies that can be used in polite company.

But not too polite. After all, we're basically talking about miming whoopee onstage to music. We're all adults here, right?

Air Sex is coming to Richmond for the first time this summer, setting up for a one-of-a-kind competition July 6 at Strange Matter. The show is less about sex and more about the absurd comedy of it all, producer and emcee Chris Trew says. "The goal of the show is that everyone leave with a smile on their face."

But not that way, he says: "Anyone who comes to Air Sex to get turned on is going to be disappointed."

Trew, 30, is co-owner of the New Movement, a comedy theater with locations in Austin, Texas, Houston and New Orleans. Air sex grew out of air guitar competitions that were entertaining but eventually turned "boring," he says. "There's only so much you can do with air guitar," Trew says.

So they tried cranking it up a notch, charging performers with bringing the audience's imagination to full-color, X-rated, no-holds-barred life. The shows struck a comedic chord in 2007, and the season turned into a tour across the country, and shows that were covered by MTV, HBO and the Oxygen Network.

"We've done this enough times now that we're really good at it," Trew says. "At every show we create new superstars in the world of air sex."

And now he seeks Richmond competitors (see Styleweekly.com for YouTube clips of the shows, and register as a performer with christrew@gmail.com). There will be fun and prizes, he promises, and the winner will advance in the competition.

There is no nudity; props are allowed; music is required. And those are about the only rules, Trew says: "Everything's fine, as long as your climax is simulated, not real."

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