Last Call: Toasting and Cumming

Mutual masturbation is a moment shared with very specific rules and expectations, generally, you should both agree to do it, or at the very least, know it’s happening. But with any moment where you feel particularly screwed, nothing rings truer than the feeling of missing out in 2020. It prompts me to try to think optimistically about the missed occasions this year had to offer that I had to endure in 2019. Much like every champagne popping moment that fell by the wayside this year, it’s those loathsome, teeth gritting experiences around any celebratory occasion that come to mind.

On the cusp of New Year’s Eve, I suspect there won’t be very many resolutions or positive reflections as the clock strikes midnight. The thought of the typical raised glass of champagne from the dusty bottle hidden in my cupboard for months leaves several bitter tastes in my mouth. The bubbly would likely be regifted from a friend, propped neatly in one of those Christmas bottle bags with the tag noticeably removed, because it’s likely she’d regifted the fucking wrapping paper too. 

That’s the thing about champagne, no one wants to drink it, and no one wants to keep it, and it’s those moments that make me think about all those celebrations which were always coupled with the piss poor taste of champagne. Having missed the train, I was forced to get a taxi with a driver whose intrusive questions queried my marital status, childlessness and choice of drinking another re-gifted bottle of champagne I’d taken with me. Avoiding idle chit chat, I’d stared blankly through the window when suddenly a particular movement caught my eye. At first, all sense of panic was replaced with disbelief. My feminist protesting flew out the window with the no smoking sign beside me as I sideways glanced to assess the situation somewhat agasp. Too long to be a scratch, the pace and shudder of his elbow left little to the imagination. Perhaps it was the constant eyeing in the rear-view mirror, or the fact that he began to pant a little when I noticed his arm motioning eagerly on the driver’s door side. But when it dawned on me that this ride was more for him than me, the observation of such a masturbation celebration caught be blind. 

It was always confusing to me why champagne was the drink of choice in celebratory moments, but it seemed apt that I was holding a bottle while the simple inconspicuous masturbation from my driver took place. Shuffling through the loose pocket of his grey joggers, his conversational interest in me fell silent as we drove each mile in time with his pace, and I couldn’t help but think if I should pop the cork in congratulations or perhaps self-defence. 

Seemingly a symbol of festivity and positivity, every glass of sparkling wine held a collarette of bubbles reaching the lip of the glass. And to compare it in likeness as he edged towards his pinnacle, moments of popping bottles and his forthcoming explosion would be poetically juxtaposed. If anything is certain, it is these celebrations and moments in 2020 that we should thank our lucky stars we’d missed out on. Fuck the bachelorettes and the engagement parties, fuck the gender reveals and baby showers, fuck the weddings and birthdays and house warmings and christenings. Fuck all the gifts and all the small talk, and all the husbands, wives and partners you’d rather not get to know. And fuck the champagne. Fuck the sanguinity, fuck the buoyancy and fucking toasting resolutions. Because if anything is certain, it’s not really about welcoming in 2021 but rather getting the fuck away from 2020. 

This year hasn’t seen many wins, but if losing out on moments like these is a victory, then we all get a participation trophy, and I’ll drink a toast to that. Because come to think of it, the nature of our human resilience calls for some sort of acknowledgment that we made it, then it’s always about winning, because one cares about taking part. Unless you’re in an orgy, in which case you’re happy to just be invited. Mutual masturbation with 2020 comes with a few simple rules, one that recognizes this year has been a total wanker, and the other where you can tell it to literally go fuck itself. 

Recipe for 2021

  • Take a year of disappointment
  • And mix in perspective and insight
  • Drink your optimism with a pinch of salt
  • Ease over mutual agreements
  • Omit being a sex pest



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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