Love will be in the air, along with the loins of several able-bodied improvisors, when the Air Sex Championships gyrate onto the Oriental Theater stage on Tuesday, August 2. Air Sex is conceptually similar to air guitar — if the ax were replaced with the body of an imaginary lover. The contest pits teams of official competitors and brave volunteers from the enthusiastic crowds against each other as they writhe and wriggle their way through elaborate coital pantomimes. A panel of judges, typically composed of comedians (though past judges have included pro wrestlers and adult-film stars), weighs in and decides which performer humps empty space better than everyone else.
It's all very silly, and that's precisely the point. The show has toured across the country and, along the way, inspired both the documentary Air Sex: The Movie and served as a framing device for the indie comedy Love & Air Sex.
The Air Sex Championships were created by Chris Trew, who continues to produce and host them. He's the co-founder of the New Movement Improv Theatre, which has outposts in Austin and New Orleans, and also organizes the annual Hell Yes Fest. Denver comedian Timmi Lasley and improviser Justin Franzen (currently Denver's Air Sex Championships title holder) have announced their intention to join Trew, head judge Brock LaBorde and a gaggle of horned-up "airsexuals" for an unforgettable evening.
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"Being a part of Air Sex has been some of the most awkward fun in my life," Franzen effuses. "I'm proud to call myself Denver's Air Sex champion, and I'm really excited to defend my title against any Jabroni that would like to try and take it."
The show has found a perfect home at the Oriental Theater, a stalwart supporter of DIY music and comedy, as well as a welcome haven for freak-flaggery. Volunteers (and their invisible sex partners) can sign up to perform at the venue or online via the Air Sex World Championships website.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show on Tuesday, August 2. Tickets, $10, are available through the Oriental Theater events page.