Last Call: Don’t Drink the Punch

Sex parties are strange affairs, there’s always a lot of finger food. At least there’s always a table of snacks of some sort, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one concerned about the potential chilli content and hidden allergies in various chicken and vegetable meatball options. It wasn’t lost on me that some point a joke about nut allergy had been shared that evening, and the thought of the dips alone left me feeling a little nauseous upon watching it dribble down a snackers’ chin.

The fruit punch was sweet. It reminded me of a mix between vodka, Mirinda orange and the pink concentrate juice you would drink in Pre School for lunch break. The correlation between the two was not something I’d wanted to make, thinking of moms packed lunches was suddenly juxtaposed to a middle aged erection framed with what seemed to be a well maintained landing strip of public hair. It didn’t taste great either; the punch, to be clear. There was an aftertaste that lingered from the first sip that was made even more pungent by floating fermented lemon and orange slices swimming aimlessly amongst ice cubes.

My journalistic prowess had lead on a fact-finding mission for an article under a pseudonym for an online magazine. Its intention was to shed light to newbies as to the expectations of a night out at the home of a group of strangers in various stages of undress. All the, have to knows, the etiquette and the myriad of shaving preparation required would be laid bare so to speak. If anything was certain, the fearsome concerns about fidelity, trust, diseases and pregnancy were all top on the list of elements to be addressed in the piece, even the potential to catch feelings was something that could be on the list of pesky infections. As I came to learn, everything, if done properly, would be laid out on the table for all participants to consider before, ‘tucking in.’

Communication would be the key learning from that evening, all the participants were well informed of each other prior to the event, having shared their information on STI clearances, concerns, no go’s and yes pleases. Everyone was well aware of my article too, and they were exceptionally open and keen to discuss the process with as much information as they could.

Each person was eager to share, and it all seemed to start with the usual introductions around the peculiar snack table beside the room. One of the more surprising things was how everyone, no matter the potential risk of unfamiliar food, were willing to tuck into the platters and scoff their way through the spread. They’d scoop up the punch with fancy glassware as they ate, and the drink seemed never-ending with the host constantly topping up the concoction as the night progressed. Time seemed to dissipate. The night went on with more laughter and gentle flirtations, and as the punch became stronger with vodka, so the participants became more comfortable in their own skin devoid of clothing.

I wasn’t sure when things took a turn, having expected people to disappear throughout the night to various rooms or hide-aways, but when I was alone I began to feel an extreme heat and nausea overtake me too. I was surprised and confused by the reaction at first. The physicality left thinking I was somehow recoiling from what I saw, but my mind changed when I heard a desperate shriek coming from Deborah in the adjoining room. The mother of two working in finance surfaced perplexed from the pile of bodies. Her face was horrified as she darted frantically towards the bathroom close by. And when the others began to turn ill too, it wasn’t only Deborah who was strewn with vomit.

The sinks and flowerpots became the next best solution without access to the now permanently occupied bathroom. Those whose colons were affected by the bug quite violently engaged the lavatories throughout the home. The mood took a sudden turn for the worst, and the heat in my ears was accompanied by a low curdle in my gut. The stench in that house would be something I’d remember more than the fucking, but if anything was clear from that evening itself, was that the process to the intimacy of mixing couples, seemed to be far smoother than the art of mixing punch.

Recipe for disaster

  • Take a room full of people
  • Spread in carefree abandon
  • Mix into the double dipped punch
  • Let it percolate easily in a heated space
  • Drink down on the navel of a stranger with an open mouth kiss

Amy-Jean Muller is an artist, writer and poet from South Africa who lives and works in London. She explores topics such as culture, memory, identity, and sexuality. She aims to create a snapshot of experience and narrative with a non-traditional approach. She also likes whiskey, afternoon naps and nihilistic musings.

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