Surpise, Surprise
Citation:   Pfaffffed. "Surpise, Surprise: An Experience with 4-HO-MET (exp115211)". Feb 25, 2021.

T+ 0:00
10 - 11 mg oral 4-HO-MET (powder / crystals)
  T+ 0:30 10 - 11 mg oral 4-HO-MET (powder / crystals)
  T+ 9:20 3 tablets oral Melatonin  
  T+ 9:20   oral Various  
  T+ 9:50 0.5 tablets oral Etizolam  
This was my second time with this drug, and the first for my friend. We are both very experienced with a wide variety of classical and novel psychedelics, although we rarely push the doses to the high level and even more rarely take heavy doses. We have probably had 4-6 prior experiences with 4-AcO-MET, which is what we thought we would be taking today.

My friend suggested taking a day to take 4-AcO-MET and play in the snow. The last time we did that may have been six years ago, and it remains one of our fondest memories together. Five years ago, they took it with me while on a beautiful walk in the forest, which we both still cherish. Four years ago, I took it on New Years, and would have had a beautiful experience, but had to babysit some others. A year and a half ago, I took it in a National Park, and found it to be spiritually rich and meaningful, a decided surprise. I donít take 4-AcO-MET much because I generally want to enjoy the visual display on my own rather than in the company of others. That said, if Iím taking a drug alone, itís usually because I want to think through problems and get some insight, which isnít what I find this material lends itself towards. The fact that nearly every time that my friend has used 5-MeO-MET, MET, or 4-AcO-MET they have had depressive symptoms for days after, or until they use another psychedelic, has meant that it doesnít get much attention.

I've been planning this day for a few days now. That never seems to go well. Whatever it is, I resent it and don't want to when the day arrives, no matter how excited I had been. The weather has turned cold and gray, but the forest is still snowy and beautiful. The plan had been to go play in the snow, but I felt a little leery about trying to recapture the beauty of that prior experience. That said, it was a golden opportunity to take this drug with my friend again, so I acceded. As with the first time, we planned on a staggered dosing schedule so as to minimize head-space and maximize whimsy, joy, and visual qualities
we planned on a staggered dosing schedule so as to minimize head-space and maximize whimsy, joy, and visual qualities
. We intended to take 10mg, then another 10mg after an hour, then 10mg after another hour.

1:55 Ė I send some messages to my friend to ask them to weigh out the drug. I also mention that they might want to consider 4-HO-MET instead, as it might not have the same negative effects. After I send the messages, I realize that they might get confused and weight out the wrong drug; I decide that if they do, itís no big deal. Comparable drug, comparable dosage. Iíve wanted to test it out again after my one and only crummy experience with it prior, but just never manage to convince myself to. They pop over with a 10-11mg dose, which I take orally on an empty stomach. No tolerance expected.

2:05 - First alert, a flutter in my chest, then it was mostly gone except for a subtle feeling in the center of my forehead. Easily miss-able.

2:25 - Itís later in the day than I wanted, so I speed up the dosing schedule to every half an hour. I go to take another 10-11mg and look at the label. Whoops, it looks like weíre committed to 4-HO-MET now. Itís not what I wanted, but Iím excited that Iíve got the chance to re-evaluate it and that my friend gets to have a new experience. I also hoped that it might be softer, gentler, more emotional, and more erotic, less anxiogenic and stimulating for me considering where I was at.

We take another 10-11mg while noting that the effects from the first dose are still growing. I'm just barely at a + now. I set aside two more parachutes for us, which never end up getting taken.

2:30 Shivery, warm, pleasurable body high for both of us! That's really nice, and not something I recall from metocetin. My friend says its almost miprociny. I get a spontaneous erection and we both decide to retire to the bedroom. This was unexpected, as 4-AcO-MET reliably made me feel like a little kid in past experiences, and erotic activities are entirely beyond consideration. Notes from my prior experience with 4-HO-MET said that sex on it was good, but weird.

The erotic started out as fantastic! It was raw and honest in a way that reminded me of a vastly better version of 5-MeO-MET: trippier, warmer, and randier. Over the course of a half an hour, though, the second dose of the drug begins to kick in. As with mescaline and MAL, the emotional warmth, enjoyable somatic sensations, and aphrodesia quickly disappear as the psychedelia grows. The music was particularly unsettling for me, as well, which complicated things. I generally like the bandís driving beat and abrasive sound, but it was in conflict with my newly tender self. I tolerated it for quite some time, but it was a little bit of a struggle. This was the first inkling I had that this drug would not be kind to my head-space if I tried to force myself into uncomfortable situations.

3:00 - We decided on a change of scenery. I know that 4-AcO-MET makes it difficult to enjoy movies, video games, etc. but makes me take a joyous and enthusiastic interest in the world around me, re-engaging my sense of child-like wonder. Neither of us were feeling that, but we knew that we needed to at the very least go check the mail down the street. On the way, we passed a brightly colored house. The house was shockingly vibrant against the backdrop of the snow, and was further enhanced my the color saturation of the drug. My friend commented on how very blue it was, causing us both to giggle, quietly at first, then heartily. I was frustrated that I was in my neighborhood, where others could see and hear us. I really wanted to let release my inhibitions and go into a deranged laughing fit, but I felt like I had to maintain some composure. My friend didnít manage to keep his composure, but I donít think they seemed unhinged, just pretty obviously high. This was the point where I realized that something was up. The only psychedelic that gives me the giggles is 4-xxx-DMT, as has been the case for my friendóIíve always viewed this as a sign of deep, psycholytic properties developing. Otherwise, it seemed like we both were soaking in the natural beauty around us. Apart from some color saturation and some subtly wavy or ripply visuals, there wasnít a lot of OEV activity. Mind you, it was extremely bright outside due to the snow, and neither of us were leaving our gaze in place long enough for much to materialize. That said, 4-AcO-MET consistently gave us both incredibly sharp visual detail in the past. That has always been its hallmark for both of us.

I wanted to keep walking up the road to a nature preserve, but my friend didnít want to walk far and didnít want to deal with the road. They wanted to walk through the forest on our property instead. I had kind of hoped to go sledding, but the days plans were feeling increasingly contrived, so I decided not to push the issue. I had to admit that this drug made me feel a little self-conscious around sober people that might be judgmental. We started post-holing through a foot of snow, stopping every hundred feet of snow to take in some quirk or unusual detail. I generally think that my forest is sad and ugly, and have to actively work to appreciate it. In the snow, however, it seemed rather beautiful to me. My friend kept describing it as horrific, viewing the hairs on the vines as suckers, parasitizing the trees they grew on. They seemed to enjoy the horror, but I found it entirely incompatible with my experience. Throughout this time, I noticed that I was a little hungry, but also felt the threat of nausea. I was a little disappointed in the unexpected head-space and lack of visuals, but realized that a re-dose would probably ramp up the nausea, keep me from eating longer, and make the head-space stronger and likely a bit challenging. On the walk up the hill, they warned me that they were having the same trouble with this drug that they have with 4-AcO-DMT, where they have no brain-mouth filter. Whatever theyíre thinking just pops out. After they mentioned it, I noticed it a little, but it wasnít as prominent at this point as with 4-AcO-DMT.

My friend wanted to turn around several times, but I pressed them gently to go on. All in all, we were out for maybe a half an hour. While walking back, I mentioned that I could see why the experience with 4-AcO-MET that I liked best was one with staggered dosing. By waiting an hour between doses, the peak never hit hard as hard and fast as it did with 20mg all at once, this allowed for a stronger plateau without the head-space of a strong peak.

After returning to the house, they were inclined to go inside, but I wanted to at least sled a little bit in the snow. We briefly lay in the snow, appreciating the snow-laden pine boughs above against the sky. My friend tired of this quickly, as it was cold, so I moved to sledding. I convinced them to take one run down the hill, knowing that there wouldnít be many. They really donít like it when their hands and feet get cold. After one run and a bunch of snow packed down their sleeves, something changed in their demeanor. They became more withdrawn, and they noticed that they were having trouble finding words. They mentioned again that this drug was more like 4-AcO-DMT than 4-AcO-MET. Within a minute or two, they had decided to go indoors.

3:30 - For me, being outside clears my head and helps me stay grounded. The opposite is true for them, and they clearly had needed grounding. They jumped into the shower to warm up. When they get out, they looked better, but also a bit wild-eyed in a way that I havenít seen since they last took 4-AcO-DMT years ago and became a little manic and a little robotic. They immediately mentioned that as soon as they made the connection between the head-space of this drug and 4-AcO-DMT, they knew they needed to change gears and get to a safe place.

Quickly, they found it hard to communicate effectively. Word finding for me was a little difficult, but I felt good and wanted to talk anyway. There was a touch of emotional warmth that made me want to talk, share, and explore. Their struggle to communicate with language, however, was really bothering them. Their mind was beginning to spin at a thousand miles a minute, and the wheels were coming off. I suggested that they go find an activity that they could focus on by themselves, so that they wouldnít feel the pressure to communicate with me and I wouldnít be tempted to try. I was finding it really hard to shut up, as well.

Within a couple of minutes, they popped back upstairs and asked for a benzo. They said that they were going to try a few other things first to simmer down, but wanted it nearby just in case. After this, they retired to the basement for a twenty minute yoga session. After their session, they popped upstairs to tell me that it felt like sixty years worth of learning happened during their session, and that they looked forward to revisiting those insights about their time on and off the mat when they werenít tripping.

When they first went down to practice yoga and collect themselves, I wasnít sure what to do with myself. There was more depth to the head-space than I anticipated. I didnít really want entertainment or distraction, but I also didnít feel like going outside. The cat requested to go out, so I went out anyway to keep an eye on it, not trusting myself to remember that it was out in the cold if I didnít. Watching it sit near the snow, surveying its domain, the first real OEVs kicked in. They werenít impressive, but they were noticeable. The branches of the trees popped into relief and started swaying, and the snow was covered in a detailed, violet patterning, organic and decidedly reminiscent of mushrooms visuals. The cat tired of the cold within a couple of minutes, and we both went inside again. I struggled to get the sound system to work. When I did, the first selection had eerie, paranoid dialog in it, so I switched to Tycho. That was immersive and felt natural for the space, but was too bittersweet for my liking. I switched to classical guitar, which clashed intensely with its rich, round, spacious sound. I stuck it out, and the drug eventually conformed to the musics more human/organic contours. This was a huge help for me, as the synthetic feel of the material was for me not a good fit with its depth. Iím more used to that level of ontological dissolution with the much more human/organic vibe of mushrooms.

My CEVs were vibrant, mostly red (because of light shining through the blood of my eyelids,) and mostly organic in subject matter, but synthetic in that their geometries repeated endlessly. There were some organic fractals, but mostly it was female cyclops-es and their pouty mouths, and an endless parade of genitalia in various stages of copulation, belonging to many different species that doubtless do not exist. This was slightly strange feeling, as I was feeling no erotic desire in the slightest; that said, I often see organs, blood, maggots, and viscera on mushrooms while feeling content and in no way troubled by the visions. When I switched to classical guitar, the visuals morphed to brown fractals, sliding and conforming to the round contours of the sound. At the same time, I was experiencing some intense conceptual synesthesia, where the intellectual idea of pizza felt like blankets made of the goddess Juno. This isnít a real exampleóI sadly canít quite bring to mind any of the examples, and I didnít have a notepad at hand. I realize that I want to record my experience, but that I donít want to disrupt the mojo of my friend downstairs to access my computer, so I struggle to make some vague notes on a piece of paper, hand tremoring all over the place.

4:00 - They came up looking uncharacteristically frazzled and lunatic, pupils huge, saying that they were good, but that they still needed to have a sharp point of focus. They asked in the same manic-robotic-autistic way mannerism that they had on 4-AcO-DMT if I wanted to play a video game with them. Their state didnít worry me, but it was so out of character that I worried that I wouldnít be able to conceal my visceral feelings of alarm about the persona they were presenting. I didnít want to harsh their vibe by recoiling from them, nor did I want to force myself to try to accommodate their vibe while also maintaining my own carefully balanced equilibrium. I thought that it would be better if we continued to do our own thing, knowing that we were both good and available for the other if support was needed.

While at no point in the experience did I feel threatened by the drug, and while my reactions to it were positive throughout, the end of the come-up and the peak were squirelly
while my reactions to it were positive throughout, the end of the come-up and the peak were squirelly
. I had to negotiate my disappointment at having a different experience than I hoped for, one that was much deeper than the hoped for light-hearted brain candy. When suddenly confronted with deep pools and a more demanding head-space than expected, the drug and I were able to continuously dance, shift, and accommodate each other to find a comfortable equilibrium. Throughout it all, though, there was the constant surety that if I was forced into an uncomfortable situation, things would go south rapidly. I was grateful to be in a good place with all of my needs met and no need to respond to an emergency. Accommodation was key to having a good experience, and looking back I wonder if thatís somewhat true of my times with 4-AcO-MET, maybe even my time with 4-HO-MET. While the head-space elicits feelings of warmth and kind feeling towards other people, the depth of 4-HO-MET was not allowing me to be in the presence of other people. I was not prepared to flex to meet those needs, as I needed to maintain my own needs and equilibrium to stay positive. As I lay on the couch listening to music, I kept thinking about how much I would like to be spending this experience with my friend, except for the fact that neither of us were in a state to be together. The space made me want to share and connect, but paradoxically made me self-centered and demanding. My needs needed to be met for me to be happy.

I was feeling serene, tranquil, and a a little happy. They were manic and focused, I felt sure. My head-space felt lucid and clear, while simultaneously deep. As I do on many psychedelics, I felt as though some part of my mind was clearer, more present and focused than it ever is sober, but that it was just one part among a mass of other elements of confusion. I want that clarity while sober, and none of the trippiness.

5:00 At some point around five I think, I ďheardĒ a sound. As I was listening to music, I knew that the sound wasnít real. It was a complete mental fabrication, and it was compartmentalized. This reminded me of the voices in my head that I get during the souring second stage of 4-HO-MiPT, which always make me feel like Iím going psychotic and which keep me far away from that drug. In fact, a softer, quieter version of those voices very briefly appeared with 4-AcO-MET, but which resolved into a hiss or a high keen. It was coming from an expanse in the back of my head that stretched outwards like a globe of sky. I didnít like this feeling with its psychotic associations, but I impassively witnessed it until it went away in a few minutes.

Not long afterwards, the OEVs kicked up again. They had been intermittent and uninteresting despite moments where they were really prominent. At this point, though, greens, golds, and turquoises started replacing the colors in my field of vision, with the shapes and objects they were associated with popping out of the wall like banners and streamers, or pouring like liquid off of the wall. It wasnít a super impressive visual display, but it was charming and it made me smile. The tree outside the window became a friendly tentacle monster and for a good minute or so, I just accepted it as reality. When I suddenly realized that it was a moment of delirium, the tree returned to being a tree both ontologically and visually. After that, I got a flash of imagery of a man getting fucked by a cat. I recognized that this was supposed to be me and that the cat represented the entity or spirit that I was encountering with this molecule. It was clearly a pointed attempt at humor.

Prior to this, the visuals throughout the trip had mostly been color shifting to turquoise and adjacent colors. It was a really pretty color palette, but it gave human skin a sickly pallor. I began thinking of this as 4-xxx-DMTís pretty, but sickly sister or something nebulously similar to that. I accepted that this material was on par with mushrooms, something that really shook me. Iíve taken dozens of research chemicals, most of which have value, but few of which I think are really special. This one seemed to me to have a depth to it not unlike mushrooms, but a lighter and more positive outlook. It also felt more plastic, in that I could access the depth that I needed, but also step out and function to a much better extent if the circumstances required it. I felt a little more behind the wheel, a little more in control, at least at this dosage. Again, it felt like some of the authenticity and naturalness of the space had been turned sideways, but it didnít make me as suspicious as propyl substituted tryptamines do. The ethyl and the methyl blended a bit more naturally to me, with the ethyl softening the primal force and aggression of the methyl, and with the methyl providing the warmth and honesty and organic quality to the ethyl.

Mind you, this flew in the face of the paradigm that I was viscerally inhabiting at the time. In the moment, I was repeatedly forced to acknowledged that this place felt like it had a spirit in the way that mushrooms, DMT, and salvia frequently do. There was a personality. It was good-natured and had a sense of humor. It was beautiful, not exactly feminine, not exactly feline. More feline than feminine, and really more a description of its grace? Softness? Delicacy? None of these really capture its vibe. If 2C-C had a spirit, though, it would feel like this. Instead, that drug just feels like metal to me. Itís inert.

If youíve read other reports of mine, youíll remember that Iím not inclined to woo. In fact, I think theyíre generally rather clinical. I think itís important to note it, then, when a drug elicits these experiences and perspectives in me. Because they are exceedingly rare. While Iíve had magical moments and inexplicable coincidences happen on or right after psychedelic experiences, I think the last time that has happened was ten years and hundreds of trips ago. Itís only ever been on mushrooms, apart from maybe one experience with mescaline, and thatís a stretch. Salvia and DMT are separate cases, and if weíre counting them weíre looking even further back in time. If I didnít spend most of the trip laying on the couch, I would not have been surprised to see surprising and mysterious happenings once again.

At the same time as I was forced to acknowledge the distinct personality present (and itís incompatibility with the molecular structure-activity relationship paradigm I was constructing to explain it away,) I was also experiencing the personality as if it were myself. My thought process was seamlessly integrated with it, so that my internal mental dialog (I donít normally have one) was...a conversation, I suppose? With myself. There was no back and forth, but it was as though the mind that was in control was me, but was not my normal self, and it was able to hold forth for the benefit of my witnessing normal mind. Was it an entity? Or was it myself in dialog with myself, as is my experience with ayahuasca? It could be one, both, or neither without it mattering. The important thing was that I was able to gain a valuable new perspective from a kind and knowing self/other.

I could have used this time for hedonic purposes as intended, but the path was open for me to go deep into the self and get some work done. Did I want to go looking for dark corners, to cause trouble? Having already stumbled into some new perspectives on a period of life that I had never viewed as ďtraumatic,Ē I decided that I did. My life spooled before me like a reel of film, and I rewound to some places I hadnít thought about in years. Some of them were places where I was proud of my resolve and my positive outlook, dealing with things that I seemed to be able to shrug off with grace and dignity. Times when I didnít have enough food, where I was involuntarily homeless with no one to lean on for support. At the time, I was cheery, determined, accepting, and equanimical about my circumstances. I put my trust in faith and plugged on, and was rewarded for it. Months later, when life had settled down, I had a breakdown and was depressed for a decade. I attributed it to circumstances in my life, but in this altered state I wondered if I had been repressing all of the stress and isolation, the fear and insecurity. Once I was finally stable, it all came crashing down. At the time, I thought this might be a retcon of my own history, that I could never go back and know for myself how I felt at that time, and that I would have to trust my past selfís interpretation after so many years of remove. Sober now, I think that might be the case, but I see this new interpretation of the story of my life as an interesting and potentially valuable take on it. Simply being able to move back and forth between memories that are generally inaccessible to me was worthwhile without a doubt. When I look at how much better I am now, and how every year gets even better, I can see that through the lens of my prior trauma. Life isnít very precarious anymore, and hasnít been for years. Food is abundant, and my home is stable, but most importantly I have stable family and friend relationships. Could there be more and could they be richer? Of course. But I have many, and they are rich, and that is the most important security of all. Itís no wonder that my depression has been ebbing slowly but steadily away for eight years.

I would have liked to have taken more for the visual richness, but I think I would have had to have laid in bed and surrendered myself to ego death if I had. Food would have been difficult, nausea would have been an issue, and other side effects would have surfaced. As it was, I had only a suggestion of the threat of nausea, was able to eat crackers and drink plain soda water, and pass all of the gas that I developed throughout without pain. In retrospect, the 20-22mg that I took was the ideal (if oddly disappointing) dose.

5:15 Ė I can eat goldfish crackers and drink soda water, but I still find myself mixing up words like ďeatĒ and ďdrinkĒ when I can think of words at all. I drink some homemade beet juice, spilling a little on the white counter top. While I know that itís beet juice, the color is the deep and intense red of venous blood. Itís confronting to look at. I have to clean it up, but itís amazing how hard it is to look at. Something very deep and primal is activated by the scene before me. Thank god I donít have to deal with actual blood right now. Iím writing this report more than 24 hours later, and the memory is still intense and unsettling. Thanks to the character of the drug, I find the humor in all of this and am not deeply upset by this, as has been the case when confronting all of the various struggles and frustrations Iíve had throughout.

I find myself developing a kind feeling towards my parents, and wanting to do something to express my gratitude to them. I also feel like reaching out and texting some friends. Fortunately, I both realize this is a bad idea and canít follow through since Iíve misplaced my phone. I want to tell a few of my friends about this material, to offer it to them to enjoy and appreciate. I recognize the signature of the entity, and of the tiniest hint of messianic evangelism. I make a note to consider doing so later, when Iím not under the influence. Iím again thankful that I didnít take that final parachute
Iím again thankful that I didnít take that final parachute
, as I would be in the throes of a full-throated +++ if I hadómuch more than I had bargained for.

Iíve been in the peak for a while, but it was hard to identify because of the staggered dosing, and the fact that the substance has some of psilocybinís wavy inconsistency. The peaks and troughs here are different, though, with the psycholytic depth out of sync with the visuals. I still canít bring myself to fix the music, so Iím listening to the same album for the third time now. Iím glad that itís simplistic guitar, so I donít really notice.

5:30 Ė My friend reappears upstairs to prepare some food. I was already full, and told them they should prepare what they wanted for themselves. They attempted lentil soup, which they found delicious but ate very little of. Food was still quite hard for them. We both are starting to be able to communicate pretty well, and all we want to do is gush, analyzing our experiences. They need to eat and I think that we should experience now and process the next day, so we postpone. I commented that I thought that while I get why this is such a beloved research chemical, I thought that it was remarkable that this was treated as trivial brain candy for partying. They mention that 20mg of this caused them to enter a full meltdown. They were glad to have the benzo available, but wanted to make sure that they practiced and developed the skills necessary for times in which a benzo wasnít available. When they get their food together, we both decide that weíre done thinking and just want to watch a movie. Apparently, theyíd been thinking at that same frantic rate for the entire time Iíd been lounging on the couch, reflecting serenely on past and present. Iíve been thirsty throughout, and can never seem to get enough water in me.

7:10 Ė Strangely, I start noting the body sensations from early in the trip again. Nothing to report since watching the movie, other than that I canít make sense of a lot of whatís going on. Itís still too psycholytic.

7:30 Ė Finally starting to come down abruptly. For a second, I thought I was actually down. Iím really, really tired.

9:00 Ė I really want to go to bed.

10:00 Ė I try to go to bed. Iím exhausted, but canít sleep for some reason.

11:15 Ė I take three melotonin, some jatamansi, some passionflower, some lemon balm, some albizia, and and some mulungu. Within minutes, the albizia and lemon balm kick in, making me feel more comfortable, but I still canít sleep. The culprit is a subtle, lingering body energy. It shouldnít be enough to keep me up, but it is.

11:45 Ė I take half of an etizolam and fall asleep

7:00am Ė I wake up, feeling a little groggy all day. My friend says that he has an afterglow instead of his usual post- x-MET depression. He went to sleep at eleven and woke up after a full night of sleep. Heís really tired, though.

Summary: This seemed like a total gem. It was a surprise, disappointing my expectations for the day, but turning out to be a stunning surprise. Neither my friend nor I can believe how different it was from our many experiences with 4-AcO-MET. I donít know if Iíll ever take it again. Iím a little disappointed that my insights look more questionable than they did at the time, but they donít strike me as necessarily wrong either. I can see this being quite therapeutic, fun, valuable, and just all around magical. I donít know what context I would use it in, but I think itís got all the makings of an ally worthy of developing a relationship with. If I spent a quarter of the time with this that I did trying to get something out of 2C-B, I think I would have a great ally in it. Unlike 4-AcO-MET, I donít think that I personally would ever take this in a social setting. I suspect that the pressure of that last time was what made it so lackluster until I got out on my own.

Exp Year: 2021ExpID: 115211
Gender: Not Specified 
Age at time of experience: 38
Published: Feb 25, 2021Views: 4,225
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4-HO-MET (436) : General (1), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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