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Dear Culturalist: Is It Cool to Do Blow in the Bathroom?

By Onya Ganja on March 20, 2017

Dear Culturalist,
Is there etiquette for doing drugs in a bathroom at a party?

Is there etiquette for doing drugs in a bathroom at a party? Is there ever! And there is a lot to consider, from what kind of drugs and what kind of shindig to how many people can fit in any particular latrine. Some of the rules for proper behavior are actually rather surprising, too. For example, practically no one wants you putting white powders up your nose in their powder room. Weird, eh? 

A lot of different kinds of parties happen in the world, but for the purpose of this column, we should focus on two main types that occur in North America as I am really in no position to comment on the social graces of selecting drug-use locations in other countries. The two main types of parties we should concentrate on are house parties and big dos at public venues such as nightclubs and bars. Office functions vary too wildly to spend much time commenting on the rules of proper behavior and substance use, but I do not highly recommend working anywhere that does not somewhat condone drug use at the holiday party. Soft drugs at the very least.

There are also the kind of parties that involve drinking under bridges or holding flashlights while some nice strangers do blow off truck bumpers. No worries about being impolite while doing drugs at these gatherings as pretty much no social graces are necessary, plus rarely is there an actual ladies' room. Could possibly be an outhouse or a porta-potty, but if you’ve ever dropped beloved drugs down the hole of either, you’ll know it isn’t worth the risk. Doing drugs behind a bush is a far more civilized and respectable choice.

If you want to be considerate and respectful while doing drugs in a bathroom, intention and motivation are important details. Are you doing substances in the can because you feel like you should not be doing them at the party at all or because you have super good drugs and do not want to share? If you answered none of the above and are simply trying to avoid arrest, you are totally cool. Otherwise, you are rude. Do not come to a party with excellent narcotics unless you are willing to share… especially with me.  

Now let’s make a note about minding your Ps and Qs in the loo while doing whatever drugs you do. There is the question of when it is impolite to get high in a commode and also the question of how not to display bad manners when you are going to do it anyways. If you are overly intoxicated, you should be on your best behavior. Otherwise, you will give the whole lot of us a bad reputation. Or rather, perpetuate the one we already have.

There are more rules for public restrooms than the private house party variety. Be considerate while doing drugs in any bathroom. If it is public and has more than one toilet, there are extra social norms to remember. For starters, don’t make eye contact with other people in the bathroom, especially the sober and upstanding looking individuals. 

If you happen to accidentally make eye contact, say over a stall wall when you are doing a bump of Ketamine off your key, it is customary to offer the stranger you are staring at a bump after you have done yours. This is the well-mannered thing to do, unless the stranger has a cop-shaped head. 

Now if you happen to be the stranger who is about to do Special K off some random’s keys, know it is impossible to maintain your decorum if you accidentally blow that dissociative drug all over the commode. There is nothing less polite than wasting someone else’s drugs. If you pay them for the ruined drugs, I suppose that will help mend things, but if all you have is spare change, do not offer it to them. Paying for drugs with anything other than bills or sexual favors is totally frowned upon.

Maybe avoiding eye contact can be a little tricky when you are too messed up to blink, but the next courtesy you should offer is not to talk to anyone you come into contact with. Do not talk to anyone in the bathroom that is not doing drugs specifically with you. The sober or only slightly sauced-up do not care about anything you have to say. The only sympathetic ear you might find is another person on the same drugs you are on.

When I insist on you not making eye contact or speaking to anyone while doing drugs, I hope you know this means you should also not touch them. Especially if stimulants are your thing and you find yourself profusely sweating. Know there is only so much you can sweat before you lose all dignity, and hugging people you don’t know is never the answer. Under any circumstance. No hugs if you are on drugs. What a pain I know, but this is a hard and fast rule if you wish to mind your manners.

One last thing about public facilities. If there is vaseline or tape on the back of the toilets, the owners would really, really like you not to do lines off them. So maybe you shouldn't. You will probably never see this at a house party. When it comes to private dos, it is somehow both customary and impolite to do drugs in the bathroom. So you need to decide if you care more about doing drugs and social graces than being a good guest. Sometimes there is no right answer or choice, but you have to make one nonetheless.

The strangest thing about the trend of doing drugs in bathrooms is people are doing it because they want their drug use to be private. However, everyone knows they are high and what they are high on. Or at the very least I do. I can spot a cocaine buzz from a mile away. Human skin doesn’t glisten and vibrate like that on its own.

Alright, this is all getting a little convoluted. Let's do a recap and then move on to some notes about specific substances. Don’t work somewhere you can’t do drugs. Doing drugs in the bathroom at a club isn’t rude, but it is illegal, and you should not make eye contact, speak with or hug the sober people. 

I feel it is important to note that any drugs administered via an anal suppository are more than appropriate to do in a bathroom. At a party is a little weird, but if you were caught, I think you could plead your case pretty well. In fact, I feel like it would be impolite to rectally administer any drugs, not in the bathroom, whilst partying.

There are a lot of drugs to do in the world so I don’t think I can cover them all, but here’s a least a few. No one cares if you swallow some kind of pill in the bathroom. Whether that be sedatives, barbiturates, benzodiazepines or MDMA. I know the kids nowadays call that last one Molly, but that just highlights their total lack of respect for pharmacology. Which is a little rude, if you ask me. When it comes to any pill that is a central nervous system depressant, it is not impolite to do in the bathroom, but it is rude to do at parties at all. You’ll really bring down the overall vibe, man.

Which brings me to acid. Doing Lysergic acid diethylamide in the bathroom is just disrespectful to the substance itself. Part of its charm, in addition to the trip, is that you don’t need a lot and could easily swallow a tab in front of almost anyone without them noticing. This includes my priest, my mom, really almost anyone. 

No one is going to care if you eat magic mushrooms in the bathroom. It is perfectly polite. What will piss people off is if you stay in there the length of your trip musing on how you look like a human-deer-hybrid. Shrooms or no shrooms, if you are at a house party with only one or two loos, don't be a hog. A bad psilocybin trip, or a super great one, is no excuse for occupying the facilities for extended periods of time.

DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) and any other substance considered part of the tryptamine family… not appropriate for washroom use. This includes ayahuasca and mescaline, whether synthetic or from peyote or even a San Pedro cactus. Angel Dust, not okay to do in someone else’s tub. Phencyclidine’s (PCP) dissociative and hallucinogenic properties are one thing, but no one wants some raving lunatic in their bathroom. Everyone I've ever met that was high on PCP was a manic to the point of foaming at the mouth.

Personally I think smoking crystal or crack cocaine at a party is in poor taste. What if someone there is in recovery and the strange lingering smell totally sends them into a relapse just because they had the decency to hit the privy to wash their hands before eating from a communal chip bowl? 

We must not forget alcohol is a drug, and one you should never do in the bathroom at a party. It would just be weird, unless you are at a chaperoned high school dance or a bar with drinks that are far too expensive and weak to waste your time on. Those are two reasonable motives for drinking in the loo.

When it comes to heroin, well, I think if there is a cute sign in the bathroom asking you not to do cocaine, you should assume this applies to doing rails of smack, too. Now if you find yourself in a position where you will either projectile vomit all over a party or poke yourself in the bathroom, do the gear if you must, but take your needles with you and don't ask a stranger to watch the door for you while you shoot up. This will probably make them a little uncomfortable.

Wait, were you wondering about etiquette regarding smoking just straight weed in the bathroom at a party? Well, that is pretty straight forward. Do not do it. I could be at that party, and if I want to smoke your ganja, I might think to kick the bathroom door down. Instead, you should smoke your grass next to me or start a train of people chanting about hotboxing the pantry.

Main photo credit: Flickr.

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