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Taste the Void: Ecstasy

As explained in the first installment of our exploration of wonderfully wicked world of drugs, these are not the views or beliefs of CVLT Nation as a whole. I have personally done every drug we are exploring, but have not used recreational drugs in thirteen years, following fourteen years of use that ended with me having to deal with some serious addictions. If you have read my other work, it should come as no surprise my views on drugs differ greatly from the largely Christian recovery community. I feel all drugs should be legal, and do not take a militant straightedge like view of them; just because I can’t use them doesn’t mean other people should not. I had some very positive experiences on certain drugs and adhere to the hallowed words of the Butthole Surfers: “it’s always better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done.” While some of my thoughts on the subject, as well as personal experiences, will be shared, I am going to attempt to maintain a somewhat neutral stance here, though with this drug it’s hard for me not to get romantic.



Once called rolls or X, these happy pills are now referred to as Molly in the US and Mandy in the UK. The drug rose in popularity in the rave culture of the 90s, and chances are if you took the drug then you might be guilty of also buying the “Rave til Dawn” CD, since this is way before illegal downloading came into prominence. Nothing is new under the sun, as the drug was being synthesized 90 years ago as an appetite suppressant, and was eventually used in martial counseling. It has since been demonized, more than likely under the sway of drug companies producing other happy pills that are less counter-productive to their sense of society. There are current studies underway to see if it might be useful in treating PTSD, though there is still concern over the rare fatalities and supposed neurotoxic effects. The most common causes of death due to ecstasy are from dehydration and overheating. However, if you are going to dance all night to bad music, then it’s time to thin the herd. Some countries such as Peru, the Netherlands and Portugal are not as harsh with the drug and generally tend to overlook casual street use, but most countries see “molly” as a hard drug.



Ecstacy takes between thirty minutes and an hour to kick in, but after waiting thirty minutes you tend to think you got a bunk pill, so take another. For me, it was not uncommon to take a pill every hour for the duration of the night so the peak would – at least in my mind – not diminish; this peak typically lasts three hours. Taking multiple pills sometimes causes distorted vision, which in my experience looks like everything is on shutter speed, clicking back and forth. There is an intense body buzz that connects with the euphoria to create one of the best highs out there. In the 90s, it was taken with LSD to create what was originally dubbed in Manchester as “candy flipping.” It was generally not a good idea to leave the house when doing this, and if we did, we went to a club that knew us really well and took care of us in case the acid went the wrong way in our heads. I commonly felt like I was in a homoerotic mash-up of The Matrix meets The Hunger.



To create “rolls,” the drug is often mixed with other drugs, typically either “speed pills” or “chocolate chip” pills, which contain heroin – in my opinion, the latter being the best version of the drug. However, this did lead me to a heroin addiction that flushed most of my inheritance down the toilet after an ill-fated evening when I asked the chemist why the brown pills were better than the white ones. When the secret ingredient was revealed, investments were made which opened the chapter to one of the more dysfunctional loves of my life. This is not to say ecstasy is a one way ticket to heroin addiction – that was just my experience. Word on the street is that at least in the south eastern markets it is much more common these days to find “speed” pills than smack pills.



One of the negative side effects of ecstasy is a frequently finding yourself in night clubs with the drug giving you mega game, but once one comes down to “business,” the idea of eroticism proves to be much more appealing than the physical act, which is often impeded by “the limp pimp syndrome.” But this is easily glossed over by taking a couple more rolls and then rubbing your face on a blanket, which will seem much more like heaven than an orgasm would. Other side effects include muscle tension, jaw clenching, fatigue, insomnia, blurred vision, loss of motor skills and anxiety.

Another drawback to the drug are the people you have to hang out with in order to obtain it. They tend to be man-baby hippies and part Pokémon children, into bright colors and going to festivals that celebrate bad music. This drug is worthwhile if you want to take a bath with two of your closest lesbian friends while listening to Massive Attack – that is, if you are the sort of person who can moderate. I am sadly not that person. But I enjoyed my experiences on the drug, until the mind-numbing and suicide-inspiring depression set in once my serotonin was depleted; because hey, that’s what The Cure is for.

The top ten albums to listen to while rolling would be

Radio Head- “Kid A”

Cocteau Twins -“ Heaven or Las Vegas”

David Bowie – “Earthling”

Lords of Acid – “Voodoo U”

Underworld- “Beaucoup Fish”
Bjork- “ Post”

DJ Shadow- “ Endtroducing…”

Depeche Mode – “Violator”

The Cure – “Wish”

And oddly…. Genesis -“ Abacab”

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