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[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 164][Reference 166]

E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders

Appendix 1: Reference Section

165 Letter from Clive 14/2/94

Clive is a part-time dealer in California who attends public events where E is used. Raves in SF started in 1991 and were additional to existing E users. Among cocaine users, use of E is a well-known way to get off coke as it seems to satisfy many of the urges to party in a coke kind of way. Then there's underground psychotherapists, plain ordinary recreational drug users, bonding couples who will "keep a small supply to torque the intimacy now and then." 'Rave' has a juvenile/media sound compared to the more usual 'House Party'. Other ecstatic trance-dance parties under the 'underground dance scene' heading includes the no-obvious-alcohol-or-drugs 'barefoot boogie', 'dance spirit' and 'dance jam' to Grateful Dead concerts; parties where people play worldbeat, Turkish trance, drumming, and 'urban-primitive trance dance experiences' where they play Gabrielle Roth's recordings designed to accompany her workshops such as 'Initiation', 'Bones', and 'Totem'.

At these functions, besides the weekend influx of suburban kids who don't much identify with this culture, there is 1) The street faction, well connected with drugs in general, familiar with being on the threatened/criminalised edge of society and being up all night, mixing with the 2) Computer people/Nerds who have the money and great desire for X, but are often not connected nor comfortable with the illegality vibe or sketchiness of those they have to deal with. "These types really love me".

Every now and then people say the scene is dying, but the house parties are still happening, still going, and don't seem to be changing much. One institution in the rave scene is the Full Moon Party which has been going on monthly since the beginning of it all 3 years ago and continues strong. It never has flyers, its always free and usually at a beach. This event is in many ways the soul of the scene as it was imported from England, and retains the DJs who are among the most popular.

After a dry fall and spotty summer, supply of good X is now plentiful and of good quality, and the parties are well fuelled.

"I went into the chill room to discuss something with a friend. Gradually I noticed a girl, semi-prone beside me, was moving her hand up my leg. She was also being massaged by someone else. She had shorts. I immediately went for her legs, and it gradually turned into a nonverbal multi-peopled sensual groping, squeezing, massaging, hugging kind of thing. Nearly all strangers to me. I thought (not too much) isn't it great to feel free to do something like this. This is the therapeutic aspect of these events which needs to be more fully recognised as such. Medicines and therapy for the ills begot by egoic barriers and repressive social conventions. This sort of spontaneous, sensuous body contact is, in my mind, the sign of a good X party. In Marin we call them puppy piles. I've seen flyers with special rooms set aside for this aspect of the X experience called 'feely feely' rooms or 'petting zoo'. I've also heard it called 'snake slithering'. Whether or not a special room is put aside, ambient or chill rooms serve the same purpose."

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 164][Reference 166]
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (