Playing Through

The air sex competition at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz last week featured something that should be inherent in all sporting events, serious fun

Henri Mazza (with camera) films an aspiring Air Sex champion
Henri Mazza (with camera) films an aspiring Air Sex champion (Photo by Thomas Hackett)

"Next up is Peaches," master of ceremonies Henri Mazza calls out. "Where's Peaches?"

"She's coming," someone in the audience responds.

"She's coming?" Mazza says. "No, please. Save it for the stage!"

Get it? Well, if you were at the Alamo Drafthouse's recent Air Sex competition – a preliminary round to the first ever Air Sex World Championship on Sept. 18 – you would. For you air virgins, the concept is simple. Brave and/or really drunk souls get on stage at the Ritz theatre and pantomime sex. Judges score them. There's a playoff. A champion is crowned. Just like rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming. Only instead of a gold medal, the winner gets a trip to Vegas.

For the moment, though, there is a slight confusion. Peaches isn't the contestant's stage name. Dirka Dirka is the name Jennifer C has chosen to go by (you know, from the movie Team America), and it's a song by Peaches that she will be performing to. However, that little confusion is nothing compared to the panic Dirka Dirka seems to be experiencing waiting in the wings. "What am I doing?" she pleads with a strange man sitting nearby. "I can't do this."

That strange man is me, and seeing the state Dirka Dirka is in, I feel an almost moral imperative to save her from what could be the most mortifying experience of her life.

But I say nothing. And thank God for that, because as it turns out, Dirka Dirka totally rises to the occasion. She is brilliant. Unlike the UT microbiology student going by the name Alamo, she performs sans whips, handcuffs, and ball gags. Unlike Sad Larry, she doesn't hump a photograph of an unrequited love. She just totally gets her freak on – alone, onstage, in front of a few hundred altogether indulgent strangers.

Is it sexy? Sure, but not for the reasons you might think. Although Dirka Dirka demonstrates a truly impressive sexual repertoire, what makes her performance hot is simply how fun and funny and brave it is – like, I don't know, a Tim Conway routine if Conway were an attractive woman pretending to give a blow job.

But this is supposedly a sports column, right? That's what it says at the top of this page. So if you'll indulge me, there is a rather tenuous point to be made here about athletic competition.

While it probably won't ever be legitimated as a big-time Olympic sport such as synchronized swimming or trampoline, Air Sex reminds us that the point of all this determined game-playing is, after all, to have some fun. Over the next few weeks of the Beijing Olympics, we're going to see amazing displays of athleticism. But all those humorless prepubescent gymnasts bashing their pelvises into a pair of uneven bars – they could learn a thing or two from Dirka Dirka. No, no, not in the way of pantomiming oral sex, just in the way of remembering to suck it up and have some serious fun.

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Air Sex World Championship, Alamo Drafthouse, Peaches

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