‘Never drop without your significant other, cause that way lies ruin’: The boundary work of couples who use MDMA together

Journal article


Anderson, K, Reavey, P and Boden, Z (2019). ‘Never drop without your significant other, cause that way lies ruin’: The boundary work of couples who use MDMA together. International Journal of Drug Policy. 71, pp. 10-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.05.004
AuthorsAnderson, K, Reavey, P and Boden, Z
Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier B.V. MDMA has a variety of pro-social effects, such as increased friendliness and heightened empathy, yet there is a distinct lack of research examining how these effects might intertwine with a romantic relationship. This article seeks to compensate for this absence and explore heterosexual couples’ use of MDMA through the lens of the boundaries they construct around these experiences. Three couple interviews, two diary interviews and eight written diaries about couples’ MDMA practices were analysed. Douglas’ (2001) and Stenner's (2013) work around order, disorder and what lies at the threshold between the two are employed here. This conceptual approach allows us to see what happens at the border of MDMA experiences as crucial to their constitution. Two main themes are identified in the data. First, MDMA use was boundaried from daily life both temporally and corporeally: the drug was tied to particular times in people's lives as well as the performance of rituals which engaged the material world and reenchanted everyday spaces and selves. Secondly, other people are excluded from MDMA experiences to varying degrees in order to preserve the emotionally intense space for the couple alone. This paper claims that MDMA use forms part of a spectrum of relationship ‘work’ practices; a unique kind of ‘date night’ that revitalises couples’ connection. Hence, MDMA should be recognised as transforming couple as well as individual practices. Finally, it is suggested that harm reduction initiatives could distinguish more ‘messy’ forms of emotional harm and engage with users’ language of ‘specialness’ to limit negative impacts of MDMA use.

KeywordsBoundaries; Drug use; Intimacy; Process; Relationships
Year2019
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Journal citation71, pp. 10-18
ISSN0955-3959
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.05.004
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395919301264
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jun 2019
Accepted03 May 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/865wz

Download files


Accepted author manuscript
AndersonReaveyBodenfinal.docx
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Open

  • 139
    total views
  • 19
    total downloads
  • 6
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Peripheral recovery: ‘Keeping safe’ and ‘keep progressing’ as contradictory modes of ordering in a forensic psychiatric unit
McGrath, L., Brown, S.D., Kanyeredzi, A., Reavey, P. and Tucker, I. (2021). Peripheral recovery: ‘Keeping safe’ and ‘keep progressing’ as contradictory modes of ordering in a forensic psychiatric unit. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 39 (4), pp. 704-721. https://doi.org/10.1177/02637758211013032
A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology: Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research: Second Edition
Reavey, P Reavey, P. (ed.) (2020). A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology: Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research: Second Edition. Routledge.
Supported discharge service versus Inpatient care Evaluation (SITE): a randomised controlled trial comparing effectiveness of an intensive community care service versus inpatient treatment as usual for adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders: self-harm, functional impairment, and educational and clinical outcomes.
Ougrin, D., Corrigall, R., Stahl, D., Poole, J., Zundel, T., Wait, M., Slater, V., Reavey, P., Byford, S., Ivens, J., Crommelin, M., Hayes, D., Middleton, K., Young, P. and Taylor, E. (2020). Supported discharge service versus Inpatient care Evaluation (SITE): a randomised controlled trial comparing effectiveness of an intensive community care service versus inpatient treatment as usual for adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders: self-harm, functional impairment, and educational and clinical outcomes. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01617-1
Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid from the Perspective Of Workplace End UseRs-EMPOWER: protocol of cluster randomised trial phase.
Atanda, Opeyemi, Callaghan, Patrick, Carter, Tim, Durcan, Graham, O'Shea, Nick, Brown, Steve D, Reavey, Paula, Vangeli, Eleni, White, Sarah and Wood, K. (2020). Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid from the Perspective Of Workplace End UseRs-EMPOWER: protocol of cluster randomised trial phase. Trials. 21 (1), p. 715. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04636-0
Bursting bubbles of interiority: Exploring space in experiences of distress and rough sleeping for newly homeless people
McGrath, L, Weaver, T, Reavey, P and Brown, SD (2018). Bursting bubbles of interiority: Exploring space in experiences of distress and rough sleeping for newly homeless people. in: Reavey, P and McGrath, L (ed.) The Handbook of Mental Health and Space: Community and Clinical Applications London Routledge. pp. 135-148
Affect theory and the concept of atmosphere
Brown, Steven D., Kanyeredzi, Ava, McGrath, Laura, Reavey, Paula and Tucker, Ian (2019). Affect theory and the concept of atmosphere. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory. 20 (1), pp. 5-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/1600910x.2019.1586740
Conducting sexualities research: An outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten wellcome-funded projects [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]
Kneale, D, French, R, Spandler, H, Young, I, Purcell, C, Boden, Z, Brown, SD, Callwood, D, Carr, S, Dymock, A, Eastham, R, Gabb, J, Henley, J, Jones, C, McDermott, E, Mkhwanazi, N, Ravenhill, J, Reavey, P, Scott, R, Smith, C, Smith, M, Thomas, J and Tingay, K (2019). Conducting sexualities research: An outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten wellcome-funded projects [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]. Wellcome Open Research. 4, pp. 137-137. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15283.1
Sexuality, risk, and organisational misbehaviour in a secure mental healthcare facility in England
Ravenhill, JP, Poole, J, Brown, SD and Reavey, P (2019). Sexuality, risk, and organisational misbehaviour in a secure mental healthcare facility in England. Culture, Health and Sexuality. 22 (12), pp. 1382-1397. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2019.1683900
Problematic Pornography Use: Narrative Review and a Preliminary Model
Binnie, J. and Reavey, P. (2019). Problematic Pornography Use: Narrative Review and a Preliminary Model. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2019.1694142
Organizing the sensory: Ear-work, panauralism and sonic agency on a forensic psychiatric unit
Brown, S., Kanyeredzi, A., McGrath, L., Reavey, P. and Tucker, I. (2019). Organizing the sensory: Ear-work, panauralism and sonic agency on a forensic psychiatric unit. Human Relations. 73 (11), pp. 1537-1562. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726719874850
The atmosphere of the ward: Attunements and attachments of everyday life for patients on a medium-secure forensic psychiatric unit
Kanyeredzi, Ava, Brown, Steven D., McGrath, Laura, Reavey, Paula and Tucker, Ian (2019). The atmosphere of the ward: Attunements and attachments of everyday life for patients on a medium-secure forensic psychiatric unit. The Sociological Review. 67 (2), pp. 444-466. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026119829751
Building visual worlds: Using maps in qualitative psychological research on affect and emotion
Reavey, P and McGrath, L (2019). Building visual worlds: Using maps in qualitative psychological research on affect and emotion. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 17 (1), pp. 75-97. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2019.1577517
Vital Spaces and Mental Health
Reavey, P and Brown, S D (2019). Vital Spaces and Mental Health. Medical Humanities. 0, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2018-011609
Navigating intimacy with ecstasy: The emotional, spatial and boundaried dynamics of couples’ MDMA experiences
Anderson, K (2017). Navigating intimacy with ecstasy: The emotional, spatial and boundaried dynamics of couples’ MDMA experiences. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Applied Sciences https://doi.org/10.18744/PUB.001844
An Affective (Re)balancing Act? The Liminal Possibilities for Heterosexual Partners on MDMA
Anderson, K, Reavey, P and Boden, Z (2018). An Affective (Re)balancing Act? The Liminal Possibilities for Heterosexual Partners on MDMA. in: Juvonen, T and Kolehmainen, M (ed.) Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships London Routledge. pp. 19-33
Comparison of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an intensive community supported discharge service versus treatment as usual for adolescents with psychiatric emergencies: a randomised controlled trial.
Ougrin, D, Corrigall, R, Poole, J, Zundel, T, Sarhane, M, Slater, V, Stahl, D, Reavey, P, Byford, S, Heslin, M, Ivens, J, Crommelin, M, Abdulla, Z, Hayes, D, Middleton, K, Nnadi, B and Taylor, E (2018). Comparison of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an intensive community supported discharge service versus treatment as usual for adolescents with psychiatric emergencies: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry. 5 (6), pp. 477-485. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30129-9
Facing the void: Recollections of embodying fear in the space of childhood homes
Reavey, P, Del Busso, L, Mcgrath, LM, Kanyeredzi, A and Guest, C (2018). Facing the void: Recollections of embodying fear in the space of childhood homes. Emotion, Space and Society. 28 (3), pp. 29-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2018.06.004
Embodiment and place in autobiographical remembering: a relational-material approach
Reavey, P and Brown, SD (2018). Embodiment and place in autobiographical remembering: a relational-material approach. Journal of Consciousness Studies. 25 (7-8), pp. 200-224.
Agents and spectres: Life-space on a medium secure forensic psychiatric unit
Reavey, P, Brown, SD, McGrath, L, Tucker, I and Kanyeredzi, A (2018). Agents and spectres: Life-space on a medium secure forensic psychiatric unit. Social Science and Medicine. 220, pp. 273-282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.11.012
Living ‘in between’ outside and inside: The forensic psychiatric unit as an impermanent assemblage
Reavey, P, Tucker, I, Brown, SD, McGrath, L and Kanyeredzi, A (2018). Living ‘in between’ outside and inside: The forensic psychiatric unit as an impermanent assemblage. Health and Place. 55, pp. 29-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.10.009
Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory
Brown, SD and Reavey, P (2017). Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory. in: Meade, M, Harris, C, Van Bergen, P, Sutton, J and Barnier, A (ed.) Collaborative Remembering: Theories, Research, and Applications Oxford Oxford University Press. pp. 197-215
Remembering 7/7: the collective shaping of memories of the London bombings
Brown, SD, Allen, MA and Reavey, P (2016). Remembering 7/7: the collective shaping of memories of the London bombings. in: Tota, AL and Hagen, T (ed.) Routledge International Handbook of Memory Studies Oxford University Press.
Institutional forgetting/forgetting institutions: Space and memory in secure forensic psychiatric care
Brown, SD and Reavey, P (2016). Institutional forgetting/forgetting institutions: Space and memory in secure forensic psychiatric care. in: Institutions Inc. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 7-29
Scenic memory: Experience through time–space
Reavey, P (2017). Scenic memory: Experience through time–space. Memory Studies. 10 (2), pp. 107-111. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750698016683844
Dark Organizational Theory
Reavey, P and Brown, SD (2017). Dark Organizational Theory. Journal of Cultural Economy. 10 (3), pp. 280-295. https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2017.1298533
False Memories and Real Epistemic Problems
Reavey, P and Brown, SD (2017). False Memories and Real Epistemic Problems. Culture and Psychology. 23 (2). https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X17695764
The ward as emotional ecology: Adolescent experiences of managing mental health and distress in psychiatric inpatient settings.
Reavey, P, Poole, J, Corrigall, R, Zundel, T, Byford, D, Sarhane, S, Taylor, M, Taylor, E, Ivens, J and Ougrin, D (2017). The ward as emotional ecology: Adolescent experiences of managing mental health and distress in psychiatric inpatient settings. Health and Place. 46, pp. 210-218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.05.008
Examining professionals' perspectives on sexuality for service users of a forensic psychiatry unit
Dein, KE, Williams, PS, Volkonskaia, I, Kanyeredzi, A, Reavey, P and Leavey, G (2016). Examining professionals' perspectives on sexuality for service users of a forensic psychiatry unit. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 44, pp. 15-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.08.027
"Zip me up, and cool me down": Molar narratives and molecular intensities in 'helicopter' mental health services.
McGrath, L and Reavey, P (2016). "Zip me up, and cool me down": Molar narratives and molecular intensities in 'helicopter' mental health services. Health and Place. 38, pp. 61-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.12.005
Legal professionals and witness statements from people with a suspected mental health diagnosis.
Reavey, P, Wilcock, R, Brown, SD, Batty, R and Fuller, S (2016). Legal professionals and witness statements from people with a suspected mental health diagnosis. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 46, pp. 94-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.02.040