19th September 2012

Bizarre Sports #2 – Air Sex

We put the Olympics to shame by bringing to light some truly obscure sports. This week – Air Sex.

The date is June 2012. In Tampa, Florida, Chris Trew walks on stage before the judges of America’s Got Talent. This is his breakthrough moment; for three years he has been pioneering a sport close to his heart in championships across America. Here, he hopes to see his sport explode into the mainstream.

The music starts as this large, bearded American prepares himself. He is alone onstage. He holds out his hand in front of him, carefully supporting a face that is not there. He holds the air tightly, lovingly. He begins to kiss his imaginary partner, his tongue exploring and caressing in time to the beat. On his face is a look of intense passion, every expression demonstrating the intimacy of the moment. His other hand reaches behind his head, pulling his hair back as he begins to gasp and pant.

There is a loud beep. After less than a minute, the judges have had enough. Chris has failed in his maiden attempt to see the sport of Air Sex be accepted in the mainstream… for now. “Clearly I was robbed,” he says, “I will get my revenge and prove to the world that the Air Sex Championships is a legit sport”.

Air Sex is exactly what you think it is. It involves men and women, mainly clothed, performing simulated sexual acts with an invisible partner, set in time to music. Similarly to diving, the act is judged by a panel and given an average score.

The origins of Air Sex can be traced back to Japan in 2006. J-Taro Sugisaku invented the phenomenon in Tokyo along with, unsurprisingly perhaps, a group of bored friends who did not have girlfriends.

The sport made its way to America when a showing of the BBC documentary Japanorama at a convention resulted in a spontaneous Air Sex competition. Since then, it has gained significant popularity. Founded in 2009, Chris hosts The World Championships, crowning victors in over thirty cities across North America and often bringing crowds in the hundreds.

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