A beautiful woman steps onto the stage in a wedding dress, rips it apart at the crotch, and reveals a chastity belt securely locked around her lady parts. Then, she picks up a buzz saw and begins sawing into the metal locks over her genitals.
“Sparks were flying from her pussy area like crazy!” says Chris Trew, founder and host of the Air Sex World Championships. He watched the woman destroy the chastity belt enclosing her crotch and proceed to passionately consummate her marriage to an invisible husband.
This sexually-charged performance is just one of many at Trew’s world-famous Air Sex shows. Air Sex is exactly what it sounds like — “it’s like air guitar … but with fucking,” Trew tells me. “It’s part sporting event, part comedy show, part sexual exploration, and allows performers of all types to make love to nothing at all.”
The first rule of Air Sex is: you cannot hump anyone or anything. Use of props is permitted, as long as you don’t have sex with the props.
“For example, you can bring a blow-up doll, but if you just fuck the blow-up doll that’s not Air Sex,” Trew says. Most contestants won’t take the risk of bringing any visual aids. If they’re caught screwing them, they’re out.
The second rule of Air Sex is: all climaxes must be simulated. As Trew announces to his audiences before each competition: "When you cum on stage, you may not cum on stage."
Things can get heated in the spotlight. Competitors must perform in various states of undress, miming out explicit sex acts and re-creating their most realistic vinegar strokes — all without a genuine orgasm.
There are a few more unspoken, but generally understood, guidelines. First, don’t actually try to look hot. Embrace how ridiculous you look during a vigorous humping, and the crowd will adore you. Next, no non-consensual sex acts. No one wants your invisible partner joining the #MeToo movement.
If they dazzle the judges and audience with their sexual storytelling, contestants could win a Fleshlight, the only trophy you can fuck. The stakes are high.
This epic sexual tournament comes from humble beginnings. Before founding the Air Sex World Championships, Trew was a regular judge at air-guitar shows at a bar in Austin, Texas. He says the idea of shifting finger-picking to finger-fucking evolved organically.
Soon enough, Trew wanted to take Air Sex on the road. “I realized the show had legs,” he says. “It’s successful whether you do it at a dive bar in Austin, a sex convention in Portland, or a theater in New York. You don't need a lot. You specifically need nothing.”
Trew began travelling to hold local competitions, then invited winners to the grand Fuck Off, the national championship in Austin. His journey inspired Air Sex: The Movie — a documentary that follows Trew as he travels the United States with the show.
Like its cousin, the Smallest Penis Pageant, over the years the Air Sex World Championship has transformed into one of the country’s most sex-positive celebrations. All the feelings of seriousness, shame and inadequacy surrounding sex seem to melt away as contestants showcase how idiotic we look while bumping uglies.
“It’s incredibly impressive,” Trew says, “commanding a crowd while doing something so intimate and personal."
This year’s local competitions will begin in March. As host and commissioner of the Air Sex sports league, Trew has big dreams for the future of the competition.
“We’d love to become an Olympic sport,” Trew says. “Winter or summer — we’re pretty open-minded. We want some college scholarships."
“We want to do more shows, in more places," he adds. "We want to help people take sex less seriously and be more open-minded. My hope is: the more serious I take this show, the less serious people take sex.”