Chasing Ecstasy: On the addictive potential of MDMA beyond MDMA1

Ecstasy is sunshine
Ecstasy is freshly squeezed orange juice
Ecstasy is rainbows
Ecstasy is iridescent, holographic
Ecstasy is green and blue
Ecstasy is queer

Ecstasy is a blue sky scattered with (white) clouds
Ecstasy is deep/genuine/infectious laughter
Ecstasy is smiling at being in the presence of loved ones
Ecstasy is the joy of seeing an old friend (who you actually have a deep connection with and can have good conversation and good times with)
Ecstasy is good times

Ecstasy is feeling tension release from your body, feeling your body move like you’re on acid in a field
Ecstasy is doing acid in a field on a picnic blanket on a sunny day with your friends/housemates
Ecstasy is the feeling of stress truly alleviating, even just for a moment, moments, a minute, an hour, a day
Ecstasy is freedom from the feeling that you always have to be doing something
Ecstasy is that feeling I had at Vassar sometimes or on that walk with Sarah in San Francisco at the beginning of COVID-19 quarantine, that feeling of upstate New York in the spring, that feeling of being away (Hudson Valley) but still present (proximity to New York City), that feeling
feeling
of Jenny Odell’s ‘third space,’ as a not-overtly-political feeling, that feeling of camp or a co-op (when the vibe is right)

Ecstasy is accepting yourself and crying about it / the world
Ecstasy is MDMA in a field on sunny day with your friends all around
Ecstasy is a normal sleep cycle, a well-regulated circadian rythym, consistent and regular exercise, a well-balanced diet when mental health struggles (anxiety, depression) are otherwise absent

Ecstasy is play(ful)(ness)
Ecstasy is definitely flowy (not a tie)
Ecstasy is dancing
Ecstasy is swimming
Ecstasy is biking while wearing a skirt, with your friend sitting on the seat
Ecstasy is disco
Ecstasy is energy
Ecstasy is joy

MDMA has an addictive potential because we live in a world that does not seek to foster collective joy: a consumerist, digital, virtual reality, escapist, stratified, capitalist (neoliberal, profits over people, deregulated, privatized), white supremacist, racist, xenophobic, hetropatriarchal, homophobic, militarized, carceral, wasteful, egotistical, polluted, car-dominated, atomized, individualized, lonely, alienating, depressing, anxiety-inducing, panic-inducing dystopia.

Ecstasy is sunshine
Ecstasy is freshly squeezed orange juice
Ecstasy is rainbows
Ecstasy is iridescent, holographic
Ecstasy is green and blue
Ecstasy is queer

Ecstasy is a blue sky scattered with (white) clouds
Ecstasy is deep/genuine/infectious laughter
Ecstasy is smiling at being in the presence of loved ones
Ecstasy is the joy of seeing an old friend (who you actually have a deep connection with and can have good conversation and good times with)
Ecstasy is good times

Ecstasy is feeling tension release from your body, feeling your body move like you’re on acid in a field
Ecstasy is doing acid in a field on a picnic blanket on a sunny day with your friends/housemates
Ecstasy is the feeling of stress truly alleviating, even just for a moment, moments, a minute, an hour, a day
Ecstasy is freedom from the feeling that you always have to be doing something
Ecstasy is that feeling I had at Vassar sometimes or on that walk with Sarah in San Francisco at the beginning of COVID-19 quarantine, that feeling of upstate New York in the spring, that feeling of being away (Hudson Valley) but still present (proximity to New York City), that feeling of Jenny Odell’s ‘third space,’ as a not-overtly-political feeling, that feeling of camp or a co-op (when the vibe is right)

Ecstasy is accepting yourself and crying about it / the world
Ecstasy is MDMA in a field on sunny day with your friends all around
Ecstasy is a normal sleep cycle, a well-regulated circadian rythym, consistent and regular exercise, a well-balanced diet when mental health struggles (anxiety, depression) are otherwise absent

Ecstasy is play(ful)(ness)
Ecstasy is definitely flowy (not a tie)
Ecstasy is dancing
Ecstasy is swimming
Ecstasy is biking while wearing a skirt, with your friend sitting on the seat
Ecstasy is disco
Ecstasy is energy
Ecstasy is joy

MDMA has an addictive potential because we live in a world that does not seek to foster collective joy: a consumerist, digital, virtual reality, escapist, stratified, capitalist (neoliberal, profits over people, deregulated, privatized), white supremacist, racist, xenophobic, hetropatriarchal, homophobic, militarized, carceral, wasteful, egotistical, polluted, car-dominated, atomized, individualized, lonely, alienating, depressing, anxiety-inducing, panic-inducing dystopia.


1. Non-rainbow version accessible here