Couples Therapy

I have often talked about my advocacy for using MDMA* as a therapeutic assist for individuals facing PTSD, as well as a way for romantic couples to keep communication open and maintain a strong love for each other. A while back my partner and I got to experience something else when we had a night “rolling” with another couple who are our friends. I found this experience to be incredibly positive and I hope to relive it again with that couple and others that we know.

There is a false stereotype that MDMA is some sort of “sex drug”. In reality, it opens doors of communication and fosters love and trust between those involved. Due to the nature of the relationship of all involved the only sexual contact occurred between significant others and did so in a fairly private manner. Instead, the whole experience was a lot of discussions about love, life, relationships, and how much we appreciated each other. We  all got to discuss how we face the problems in our lives and what we hope for in the future. We were also able to find out how another couple deals with difficulties in relationship types (both being kind of mixed poly/mono couples). People who love each other should be free to discuss anything openly, but sadly social barriers and our past often prevent that. MDMA helps open that up.

Moving forward I certainly hope we have more experiences like this. With all things pre-intoxicated discussions are key. While I may be comfortable with things like being naked in front of friends, giving/receiving massages, having sex while others are in the room, or even sexual intimacy with others it is important to get these things on the table beforehand when everyone is completely sober… if something comes up of interest during a roll you can always discuss it the next day and save it for another time. It is better to guarantee enthusiastic consent and interest in an activity than risk harming a person or relationship. Basically, err on the side of the most conservative member of the group.

Unfortunately, I am not as outspoken in person with individuals as I am when writing about things as broad issues, so though I may be interested in something I often remain quiet. I’m working on this, and thinking there might be a better way. I’ve seen lists of sexual interests that couples can exchange where they rate things like “I’d love to do that – Maybe under the right circumstances – No way in hell” and I’m sure that could be adapted for couples therapy. Even if new boundaries aren’t pushed, enjoying a loving and intimate home environment while rolling is still one of my favorite things to do, and it sure as hell is a lot safer and cheaper than alcohol.

*Unfortunately we live in a place where men with guns are willing to throw peaceful adults in cages if they possess MDMA. Due to Prohibition the quality of MDMA can be compromised and can become unsafe. Please, please, please, always purchase from a trusted source, use a test kit to ensure quality, stay hydrated, and look out for each other. Rolling is amazing and can be a near spiritual experience, but it isn’t worth taking unnecessary fatal risks.  Be Safe.

How the hell are you happy?

Twice in the last two days I’ve been asked how it is that I’m so happy. My response was a little bit simplistic but basically true for me, I said that I’m happy because I “moved out of DC, use ecstasy, ignore the state, and get laid”. I’m not recommending those steps for anyone else to be happy but the basic concept has worked well for me.

Moved out of DC: When I lived in Washington DC I was unhappy. I didn’t like the city at all. I had some good friends there but the weather, culture, and environment was awful. Washington DC is a city where dreams go to die and good intentions get infected with an incurable strain of syphilis that spreads throughout a community causing insanity and eventually death. It is a place whose culture is filled with power-hungry, narcissistic, future asshats who care only about what you can do for them. Also, the humidity and heat during the summer makes the crowded, sweaty, stinky metro rides feel more like a form of torture than a modern form of transportation. Basically, my happiness is do in part to taking steps to get out of an environment I hate and move to a place where I feel more comfortable.

Use ecstasy: While I am very open about my use of MDMA as a medicine, a relationship aid, and just for fun that is not really what this is about. Part of my happiness comes from having hobbies and interests that take my mind of the negative shit in the world. Riding my bicycle along the beach, reading books, going to raves, writing, and just diving into “Firefly” on Netflix are all ways to escape for a while, which we all need. Mental escape is necessary and healthy to remain sane in a world that the media, religion, and the government says are going to hell.

Ignore the state: Yes, the government sucks. It is a tyrannical leech that pretends to be for the “will of the people” but is really for “the profit of those in power and their friends”. The federal government continues to oppress minorities through the War on Drugs, bomb the shit out of people just because they live in another country, and spy on all citizens because we are all potential terrorists in their eyes. Governments have always done that… it is what they do, their existence is based on the use of violence against innocent people and they don’t know how to do anything else. In addition, there really isn’t a lot any of us can do about it as individuals. You can certainly protest when needed, donate to non-profits, share stories, and raise hell but I believe the best thing we can all do is mostly ignore the state and try to be happy. If there is a victimless crime that you disagree with and infringing on your rights, just fucking ignore it smartly. And remember, we live in an amazing time. We have the most powerful companies working to cure death. We have satellites, telescopes, and space probes finding out new crazy awesome things about our galaxy daily. New research is finding cures for a number of diseases. It is seriously the best time to be alive but you wouldn’t know that if you only pay attention to government.

Get laid: Sex is awesome and I’m happy when I get some (I wish this piercing would heal already so that I could get some more often…), but this is really about relationships and community. Find people who are happy and be around them. I have a community of Burners here who share the Burning Man principles and take care of each other. Communities can be based around religion, sports, hobbies, exercise, etc. but they are necessary in my mind to be happy. I wouldn’t base it around politics much anymore, though I met some fucking awesome people through the libertarian movement, but to each their own. And I find it valuable to do things with a community that moves beyond how you originally met. Do you do yoga and enjoy the people there? Then invite them to go camping and share your love of the outdoors. People working together, loving together, and sharing experiences is a source of great happiness for me. In fact, now that I think about it, this may be the most important step.

So, as we drift into another beautiful weekend I hope you all have a happy time. I know I plan on filling my few days off of work with the beauty of southern California, ecstasy, anarchy, and banging.

One Of Those Weekends

I think we all have days, weekends, weeks, or months that we look back on and realize they were a turning point in our lives. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but they seem to define how we operate in the future. This past weekend was kind of one of those for me, and even if I come to realize it wasn’t something that defined my future it is certainly one that I won’t forget.

As someone who believes in the ability to love many people and that physical intimacy can work in many relationships I have always been eager to explore that beyond the hypothetical. I’ve had past relationships that existed simultaneously but didn’t actually overlap in my personal life. What I mean is, I’ve dated multiple people at the same time but these people never really knew each other or interacted with each other. I still have not had that happen but this weekend did show me that being intimate with multiple people at the same time can actually multiply the love felt and does not take away from one partner. This weekend also showed that sexual contact does not equal intimacy and that our bodies can be enjoyed and stimulated without it necessarily being sexual.

I guess first I should state that my partner and I have some rules about physical contact. These rules have come from open conversations, respect for each other’s boundaries, and a realistic approach to what we humans really desire and are capable of. I won’t go into the details of our boundaries but they are somewhere between fully open (all sex with anyone you please) and completely physically monogamous (no physical contact with anyone except your partner).

So, this weekend my partner had a close friend of her’s in town (let’s call her Sam). I was lucky enough to spend some time with Sam alone and we really connected. We had a great time talking and hanging out and now we have a growing friendship ourselves. Since we are all so open and communicative it is no surprise that after my genital piercing we went back to the apartment and took some ecstasy (Sam had never used it before). This lead to a four person massage cuddle puddle (another mutual friend was there as well). There was much kissing, nude massaging, talking, and loving among all parties, but that wasn’t just due to the ecstasy. Ecstasy certainly lowers ones inhibitions a little bit but one rarely does something that you would regret, it more lowers the walls just enough to peek over and see if you want to explore something new. It turns out we all enjoyed being physically and emotionally intimate with each other, in fact we continued the nude cuddle fest sober the next day when we were sober and continue to openly communicate about our desires, borders, and boundaries.

After a weekend of intimacy things between my partner and I are stronger than ever. Being able to explore physical contact with other people in front of each other actually has strengthened what we have, has sparked new conversation, and helped reassure each of us that we wouldn’t do anything to compromise our love. It really was practicing for the first time what I’ve discussed in the past. Sex, love, nudity, friendship, and intimacy are often all related but can all be mixed in different combinations based on the time, place, and people involved. There is no reason to limit yourself as long as you are openly communicating with each other and don’t harm. I would rather take some chances and take advantage of each moment instead of deciding to live my life the way I’m told is “proper”.

Meeting the Judge

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 13th Annual SSDP Conference in Denver. I was invited to speak on a panel about surpassing political boundaries to change drug policy. Well, the conference was amazing and I was able to hang out with a ton of people who I felt naturally comfortable around. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about…

The conference and a book I received from MAPS (The Ultimate Journey by Stanislav Grof) had me thinking about my first real healing vision. It happened about two years ago after a long night of MDMA use and talking with close friends that helped me with my PTSD. After hours and hours of talking, dancing, and emotional release we were starting to wind down and decided to use some nitrous.

I was laying on my back and took a hit of nitrous and had the following vision:

I found myself walking down a dirt road, it was daytime but the sky was dark and a storm raged in the distance. I could smell the storm coming and lightning flashed in the distance to my left. There was no real wildlife to speak of except for a few dead trees that sparsely lined the path I was walking on.

I continued walking a short time and statues started to appear on my left and right. They were nearly identical except the ones on my left were red and seemed to glow and pulse like fire. The ones on my right were blue and seemed to glow and flow like water. The statues themselves were both men and women and stood about 7 feet tall and wore armor and held swords in front of them blade resting on the ground.

They didn’t seem to be alive but I could tell there was a presence in them. I passed 12 statues on each side when a larger statue stood in front of me on the path. This statue was white and seemed to pulse like fire and flow like water. Instead of a sword he held a scale in his hand. This statue, the “Judge”, was neither male nor female and spoke to me.

The Judge said that my future was unsure but it was risky to travel it alone. After that brief message thunder cracked and a slight drizzle of rain started to fall. The statues all went dark and turned pale gray.

I soon came back to normal consciousness. I don’t claim to know what all of it means. I don’t even know if it was anything more than my subconscious addressing some of my issues at the time. I was very unwilling to love or even feel emotional attraction to anyone because of some past pain. MDMA has helped me with a lot of that pain but this experience feels like more than just an ecstacy roll and it has stuck with me.

Since that time I have had a couple more experiences when I meditate and use salvia but they were nowhere near as meaningful as this first experience.