A Comprehensive Guide to Ecstasy Etiquette

By Justin Caffier on August 28, 2017

Though illegal drugs carry the sordid and vulgar baggage of their production, transportation and sale with them from farm to table, one mustn’t ever use those unfortunate circumstances as an excuse for poor manners. Below, you’ll find a handy manners guide for purchasing, consuming and sharing MDMA while maintaining both dignity and social graces. 

While Peace, Love, Unity and Respect are all nice sentiments, they’re a bit too high concept to serve as much more than general guideposts to not acting like a dick. When you’re actually in the warehouse trenches at 4 a.m., it might be nice to have some more detailed guidelines on hand. 

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of rules to follow while acquiring, distributing and using MDMA-based party supplies. Whatever your roll preference, be it pressed Euros, molly caps or sucking on a moon rock like a Jolly Rancher, we’ve got your inconceivably sweaty back.


- When planning to roll at an event, purchase your (and your group’s) drugs beforehand, if at all possible.

- Use your dealer’s preferred encrypted messaging app of choice and/or adhere to their rules about what words are and aren’t allowed in pre-deal communications.

- When ordering molly in capsules, try to give an order amount ahead of time and avoid diverging from that number so that your dealer isn’t forced to hurriedly measure and cap extras when you pick up.

- When a group member is acting as the intermediary and buying in bulk for the group, do your best to digitally transfer them the money for your portion as early as possible, preferably before the sale. Ideally, little to none of this friend’s personal finances will get dragged into the transaction.

- Furthermore, if you’ve turned to a friend outside of the event group as your dealer intermediary, not only should you pay up front as stated above, but the exchange should be regarded as a personal favor to you, warranting a tangible token of appreciation (drink, lunch, gift, etc.).

- If payment to the group’s intermediary must be done at the time of the event, have your cash ready to turn over immediately, before they dispense your portion.

- If sporadically joining a group and having no supply of your own, it is perfectly fine to express desire to purchase hypothetical extras as a general declarative statement, rather than a question. “Just want to put it out there that I’m looking to buy any extras you might have” puts those holding in a less awkward position than asking an individual, “Do you have any extra I can buy?”

- When sourcing drugs from a stranger at a function, avoid the individuals weaving through the crowd or standing in a dark corner vocalizing the "X" or "rolls" they have for sale. Instead, look for groups of revelers who are clearly rolling. Approach the cluster and inquire about potential extras for sale. If they say no, thank them anyway and move on.

- When buying from a stranger at the event, exercise good judgment when finding a source as a costly mistake with an undercover police officer will hamper the enjoyment of the entire group, not just the arrested party.

- If buying pressed pills, don’t feel shy about pulling out your phone to compare and contrast the goods being offered by this stranger and the photos on Anyone who is not trying to swindle you should take no issue with this vetting, so long as you’re not needlessly drawing attention to the deal.

- When purchasing or distributing in a public setting, be aware of your surroundings and make an effort to keep handoffs below the waistline and out of eyesight.


- Offering a pill to a stranger or dance partner, gratis, should be done so with no expectations or strings attached.

- If someone is not interested in accepting your gift, do not force the issue or peer pressure them.

- That said, it is incredibly rude to accept drugs (or any gift) from a stranger only to disappear into the crowd after. As a rule of thumb, if the exchange involves no money, the recipient should be prepared to offer their company for at least another song or set.

- Molly water should be given clear identifiers so as to avoid mix ups.

- When sharing molly water (or normal water), all non-owners of the bottle should make an effort to tilt their head back and pour the liquid into their mouths, rather than wrapping lips around the opening.

- Don’t be stingy with the gum you’ve brought for the occasion. If you haven’t brought your own, it is perfectly acceptable to ask both friends and strangers if they have a piece to spare.


- Know your limits. Don’t overdo it. Not just for your own health but because your overdose will negatively impact the event for your friends and those around you. These things don’t really expire so, if you have an extra and the night’s winding down, consider just saving it.

- While rolling with others, be sure to stay hydrated and check in on the hydration of others, offering water if you have it.

- Be cognizant of your surroundings while dancing, moving through crowds, and interacting with strangers. Your good time must not infringe upon the good time of someone else.

- While a stranger’s umpteenth arm graze COULD be playful flirting and an invitation to introduce yourself, it’s more likely that you’re in a crowd, and people bump into each other in crowds. You’re also high. Try to not overthink it.

- A provocative outfit is not an invitation to touch or dance up on a stranger, and your inebriated state is no excuse for breaking this rule.

- If you absolutely must, you may request to touch a fuzzy, slick or otherwise touch-friendly article of clothing. Nine times out of 10, it’s probably best to just leave the stranger alone.

- Massages and neck rubs should only be given after obtaining verbal consent.

- Limit offers of massages and neck rubs to those within your group or to new friends and romantic interests you’ve picked up over the course of the event.


- If a pill is dropped, all in the surrounding area should help look for it on the ground, with the assistance of phone flashlights if necessary.

- Do not sit down in the middle of dancefloors or heavily foot-trafficked areas. 

- Conversely, keep your eyes to the ground while walking so as to avoid stepping on anyone.

- Don’t take photos of unaware friends in compromising rolled-out states.

- When taking group photos or selfies with willing participants, only upload the photos to social media after taking a sober pass at them at a later time so as to avoid accidentally incriminating anyone.

- Be mindful of your perspiration. Warn others coming in for hugs of the potential sweaty hazard and wipe yourself off before going in for a hug of your own.

- Even if you are comfortable and open about your safe, responsible and recreational usage of a drug, it is not your place to out anyone else’s.

As with any recreational drug, make sure the substance is there to enhance your good time, not act as the sole source of it. It should also go without saying that the manners and niceties of the non-drug arena remain in play alongside these more specific rules. Don’t forget the magic words you were taught at a young age. “Please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” are just as appropriate and impactful at a desert massive as they are at a dinner party.

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