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Eugene Weekly : Dance : 12.15.11

Air Humper Wins Championship

Eugene go-go dancer “Ty Ty Sparklepants” is the new national air-sex champ

You’ve heard of air guitar, air drums, Air Jordans — now, enter air sex. A species of performance art that originated in Tokyo, Japan, air sex is a competitive dance-off in which partially clothed men and women pantomime the act of sex, set to the backdrop of music and in front of an audience. What started in the East has found its way west to the United States, with heavy financial sponsorship and a national competition.

Tyler Walker heard about air sex for the first time Sunday, Oct. 16, by way of a poster on the wall at John Henry’s bar. He showed up to watch the performance, but there weren’t enough people competing that night, so he rose to the occasion. 

Walker, who performs under the moniker of “Ty Ty Sparklepants,” didn’t just win the John Henry’s air-sex competition. He was invited to compete at the national air-sex championship in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 3, which is sponsored by Fleshlight sex toys. Accepting the invitation, Walker and his mother Dee Dee Walker, who functions as her son’s coach, journeyed to the Lone Star State in pursuit of national victory. 

“I went in knowing I was a wild card,” says Walker, “especially because I was the only super openly gay competitor in the show.”   

Walker explains that in national air-sex competitions, women and large, hairy men enacting a heterosexual pantomime of coitus and recreational coitus-related activities usually dominate. But this year, Walker won the belt, making him the self-described first openly gay national air-sex champion. 

“I’ve had a lot of experiences in my life that helped me win the competition,” says Walker. 

Indeed, his background as a gymnast, cheerleader and dancer helped propel the new national air-sex champion to undisputed success. But Sparklepants is not unaware of the controversy involving air sex. Just what is it: a sport or a performance? He stands on the side of performance, though he fully acknowledges those who rigorously pursue air sex as a sport. Walker is also conscious of the fact that there are people who may be offended by his choice of athletic expression. 

“I’m a performer.” he says. “If you don’t like it, don’t watch.” 

 Walker is the lead go-go dancer at John Henry’s bi-monthly queer-friendly dance party known as GLAM night. He says he hopes his prowess as the new air-sex champion will help bring more visibility to GLAM and its supporters. 

His message to other air-sex performers who would seek next year to challenge him for the belt — “Bring it.”