Exploring the Love Drug: MDMA Insights, Tips, and Cultural Impact

Explore the fascinating world of MDMA, and uncover the empathogen’s rich history, effects, and cultural impact. Listen to the experiences of an MDMA couples therapist and insight from the therapist of a long-time listener.
A picture of a woman in a field surrounded by hearts looking at a imaginary landscape in the distance

Host April Pride Offers a Brief Background on a “Drug” That Offers a Lotta Love

Episode Guests

Episode Resources & Additional Reading

Rumor has it that in the 1980s one could walk up to a bar in Texas (specifically) and order ecstasy. With your drink. From the bartender. The truth of it is even better as shared originally in the pages of Playboy and, thankfully, still available to read on MAP, which you can link to from this episodes show notes.

This is goop on Molly.

Available on Amazon Prime, Limelight is a documentary by the filmmaker behind Cocaine Cowboys. While the production quality is just okay, the very 90s backdrop is fitting to tell a very 90s story about the people behind the music and clubs that brought “ecstasy” across the pond and into the mainstream.

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Podcast Episode Full Transcription

April Pride, host: Hi everyone. Welcome to the High Guide podcast where we continue our weekly exploration of psychedelics for women. I’m your host, April Pride. If you’re coming to this show to learn about neuroscience or chemistry, you’ll get just enough of that to make you dangerous. Don’t worry. Like Mark Ronson, I too am sapiosexual smart, is most definitely sexy, and psychedelics are both and the sexiest of them all. Which technically is not a psychedelic, but rather an empathogen, which are class of psychoactive drugs that produce experiences of emotional communion, oneness, relatedness, emotional openness. Yes, on this Valentine’s Day, of course, we’re going to discuss my favorite all time, dare I say, drug. The love drug. And what we’re talking about is MDMA, commonly referred to as Molly or ecstasy. I know some of you listening out there. You took it when it was called ecstasy. That’s when I took it to for synthesized in 1912 by Merck, but not popularized in its current fashion until the 1970s, when Andrew Shulgin’s work with the substance gained traction. Celebrated for its empathy and connection inducing qualities, MDMA was originally used therapeutically in counseling sessions before it made its way to the rave scene, where its reputation dangerous party drug, took hold. By 1985, the DEA declared its illegality via its schedule one classification. It’s currently re-emerging, re-emerging in its original therapeutic form via studies of its efficacy in treating PTSD. But before we jump in and hear anything else, I want to tell you about a card game called set, set, get it? Like Set and setting.

April Pride, host: I developed it with some partners out of Toronto, and the intention behind the cards is that anyone can integrate their psychedelic experience after the fact or in real time, which is really the intention with the cards to take, say, a museum dose, which is about a half a gram, three quarters of a gram, and get together with some friends and play the cards, start to laugh, see what happens. So what is set? Set exactly? I thought I’d read this testimonial because it is from a facilitator working with couples using MDMA. And here’s what she had to say. They really helped with an MDMA couples session the other night. The person could not break down the walls of fear and protection and was having physical symptoms. Shaking hands out heavy, sighing, not making eye contact, trying to contain their feelings and stay inside themselves and bottled up. The vibe was pretty heavy. I pulled these out on a whim and it was the perfect icebreaker. They even said as much themselves. The card about imagining oneself on the ceiling got them laughing, and we got through about ten cards before the conversation finally took off, and the couples had some really great breakthroughs and much needed conversation. The card about snacks gave me the perfect moment to recuse myself so they could have time alone as well.

April Pride, host: You should be super proud of them! Feel free to share this review anonymously. We are proud of them, so please sign up for the High Guide newsletter at the High Guide. That’s g u I’d e to learn about upcoming events in Seattle and Toronto this spring. This recent story that I heard from a listener of the High Guide and who is new to MDMA and she consumed MDMA, MDMA, MDMA for the first time under the watchful eye of both a man and woman serving as her high guides, her facilitators, and she was advised to not consume like. Prior to this session, she was advised not to consume psilocybin mushrooms before she had consumed MDMA, because the thinking is that we should open our hearts before we open our minds, because the memories and our reinterpretation of them will require compassion and empathy toward all involved, including ourselves. This isn’t a hard or fast rule, but it makes a ton of sense to me. Thoughts on sequencing psychedelics. Like is there an order for it to you? Do you? Yeah. Do you get cross-faded and do you layer them in a certain way? And I’ve heard various sequencing ideas. Okay. I’m going to give you some trip tips. The effects of MDMA. It is the love drug, a stimulant that elevates mood and energy while also inducing an overwhelming abundance of empathy and compassion for others and oneself. Mdma interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature.

April Pride, host: Some report getting very cold, while others find themselves overheated. Typically get really cold a dose. Okay, so you can Google search and find out what I found out, which is a recommended dose of 80 to 125mg. The duration onset begins about 45 minutes after consuming, and it can continue for 4 to 6 hours. Dissolving MDMA crystals in water can speed up the onset of effects it’s I prefer. To get one tequila at the beginning of the night, dissolve it in that, and then, yeah, water for the rest of the night. Although we don’t recommend this method of consumption. If you could see me, you could. I don’t recommend this. But people do this. They snort Molly. That can speed up the onset of effects. But the high is shorter lasting, and I find it to be less of a of the high that you want when you take ecstasy or MDMA. Oh, here’s a pro tip after snorting anything, remember to use a neti pot before bed to reduce residual negative effects the next day. All right, we have something you should read. Oh, yeah. This is good. This is linked in our show notes. This article is mind blowing. It talks about how there is this club in Dallas. That’s where MDMA really was huge. And just Texas was where it was in the 1980s. For some reason, that’s where everyone was getting ecstasy.

April Pride, host: And you could order it at a bar with your drink from the bartender, just walk up to the bar. It wasn’t illegal. The truth of this story is really good, and it was originally shared on pages in the pages of Playboy, but you can read it on the map’s website again linked in the show notes. You should listen to the episode on Goop’s podcast about Molly, also linked in our show notes. And I just watched over Christmas break. There’s a documentary on Amazon Prime called limelight, and it’s brought to you by the same filmmaker behind Cocaine Cowboys. But the production quality on this one isn’t as good, and it’s very 90s, which is appropriate because they’re telling a very 90 story about the people behind the music and clubs that brought ecstasy across the pond and into the mainstream in the US. So this week’s quote is a song lyric. I mean, I think the song is kind of old. It’s by the streets, blinded by the lights. People know the song. Maybe I shouldn’t have done the second one. I feel all fidgety and warm. You probably know that those lines. Thank you for listening to this episode of The High Guide. I’m your host, April Pride, and don’t forget to visit us at the high Dot guide where you can sign up for our newsletter. Because we’ve got lots of juicy information in there you’re not going to want to miss.

Episode Credits

Creator, Writer, Host: April Pride Producer: Forest Key

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