Can A Ne'er-do-well Do Well? by “Anonymous”
I am a 66 year old free-lance nature photographer of independent means married to my cousin for 21 years. Before receiving my B.A. from Harvard I studied with Ansel Adams. After graduation I spent a year at M.I.T. in graduate studies with Minor White. Then two years at the Rhode Island School of Design receiving a M.F.A. in Photography under Harry Callahan. Over the years, along with a lot of travel (domestic and foreign), there have been numerous exhibitions and work in various publications and a couple of years ago, I self-published a book of my photography. Living in the same place in Northern Virginia for the last 31 years, I’ve cut my own wood until this year (worsening back condition).
I first smoked marijuana when I was 21. (This was quite an eventful year as I also finally managed to “give up” my virginity, although the two events did not occur together) Before this year (2002) ends, I will be 60. For the last 35 years, I have been growing and daily smoking my own.
Even before my first experience there must have been interest if not predestination since one paper written in high school was titled something like: ” Drug Addiction – Treatment or Punishment”. Also as a drummer (Band, Orchestra, Marching Band, Jazz Trio, Rock-and-Roll Band) I was more than a little aware of Gene Krupa and his experience.
So there I was, fresh out of college with two old friends, one of whom, was a couple of years younger and moved in considerably different circles, had somehow procured the fabled substance and was now about to “turn us on”.
Except for a very brief period (mis-guided Mr. Cool ), I was never a smoker and don’t remember whether this initial experience involved pipe or hand-rolled joint, but do recall after much typical novice coughing, a kind of perceptional shift that involved three dimensional stretching: when I held out my hand, it reminded me of a comic book character of those days, Plastic Man, in that my hand appeared much further away then usual. Perceptually something was definitely going on.
The emotional component was equally fascinating. I was much more relaxed and empathetic with others. For me at least it worked as a sensory extender. One could enter into and experience music with much greater appreciation. Food (and especially sweets) was more delicious. Sex was incredible.
One of my proudest achievements was turning my widowed mother on. She had been partially deaf since early childhood, but now heard and experienced music as never before.
I was never a hippie or Woodstock type, never a marcher or demonstrator or dealer. I just wanted to be left alone to grow my own, but for some time now the politically motivated and absurd “War on Drugs”, despite glimmers of sanity, defines me as a criminal.
As a graduate photography student wandering about Providence, R.I. looking for subject material, I came across a huge (stalk base diameter more than 1 inch) free growing marijuana plant – more like a small tree. After dark I returned in my Land Rover, cut it down and brought it home to cure. As it turned out, it was crap: ditchweed, but at least it was growing wild, and this was against the law? Rather than toss my hard won harvest and knowing of the Province Police’s interest in these matters, I sent them the half-pound this plant produced using rubber gloves, generic container, plain wrapping paper with stenciled on address….I figured we should all do what we can to “fight crime.”
This September, my wife and I spent two weeks abroad divided between Amsterdam and Bruge. What a revelation this Amsterdam! Marijuana smoking: No big deal. No prison. No property forfeiture. No “War on Drugs.”
Not knowing what to expect re: customs, I paid for eight different varieties of seeds to be sent via stealth delivery from England to a safe address in the States. As it turned out, my suitcases could have been loaded with the seeds in question and it would have been ok. What a farce and waste of resources.
Nowadays, and for some time now, my (our) usage is more ritualistic or ceremonial: sometimes after 5 p.m. we (my wife and I) stop whatever we are doing, get into bed, smoke and make love (2-4 hours every day: twice on Sunday). We recently (2002) celebrated our 15th anniversary.
Before trying to explain how marijuana effects the sexual experience, I think something should be said about the setting.
Our regular love making takes place in a completley darkened room except for a low-wattage fiber optic “starfield” ceiling light. We also use a white noise generator to mask any outside sounds. Jasmine incense is burned. Much of the time we are completely under the covers and if we were kinky enough to have an outside observer observing, that person would quickly become bored as much of the time we are hardly moving at all. A small amount of jasmine-infused massage oil is utilized.
In regard to how marijuana enhances the sexual experience, I don’t know that I have anything to add that isn’t already known. Obviously, it contributes to increased relaxation (which in my case makes my continuous back pain more tolerable), increased sensitivity of touch, and a slowing down of time. Furthermore, there is a kind of disolution of physical boundaries that occurs. For example, when we are kissing for extended periods (teeth contact; no tongue) it seems as if we are some kind of dual-bodied creature with ONE mouth. Additionally, when achieving positions of maximum physical contact, there is the experience of not knowing where one of us ends and other begins. It becomes a kind of sexual meditation.
(2008: Update, Six Years Later) For a couple of years I stopped growing since we were doing more traveling until my back went South. During that time we smoked material I had stock-piled. Now I’m growing again and we make love four times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (morning) and Sunday (including my wife’s back massage). Of course this schedule is not chisled in stone as outside obligations and events may dictate otherwise, but that is what we try for.
When we get together, we smoke “Northern Lights,” “S.A.G.E.,” “Sweet Tooth,” “White Russian,” “Yumbolt,” or a superior bag seed variety given to me by a friend (in fact, it’s the same guy who first turned me on many years ago). We use a two chambered water pipe I designed.
To avoid becoming overly tolerant to any given variety of marijuana, on the days we don’t make love, we smoke “scuff” a blend of bud trimmings and loose bud. “It ain’t bud, but it ain’t bad” is the way I’d describe it. By saving the “good stuff” for the times we get together, it makes our experience all the more special besides conserving our stash. The only “danger” I’ve experienced sometimes occurs in my work as a photographer: There are occasions when critical analysis is important and yet, because of this “debilitating” drug everything looks good!
I pay my taxes. I’m registered to vote(and do so). I’ve lived in the same house for 31 years while participating and winning recognition, via my photography, in local art shows and publications (recently I gave a presentation before our local Master Gardener’s Club and sold six copies of my self published book). I am, dare I say, a productive member of society, but because I grow and use a naturally occurring plant the authorities have decreed “illegal” despite objective/scientific evidence to the contrary, I’m breaking the law. So much for “the land of the free” where harmful plants (like tobacco)are legal to ingest while this particular plant that gives pleasure and/or relieves pain will get you jail time. What a world. It’s kind of crazy; so I guess I fit in just fine.