My Acid Test - A Response to the LSD Refugee Hub
I had pondered for some time sharing this particular memory, but unlike CJ Stone, I was a bit more hesitant. Perhaps it's a response to my American upbringing and natural fear for ending up on a short list of people to watch by Homeland Security...but since he asked for other examples (probably so he wouldn't appear so jaded), I cheerfully submit this hub.
If you'd like to read the hub that started it all...and you should...it's here:
My tale is a bit long-winded...so I've put in little detours that won't affect the basic storyline. Should you choose this path, I won't be offended at all. :)
How it began
Best friends have all sorts of duties. It seemed my current job was to sit there and listen to how pissed off Mag was at her boyfriend, Javier. This was a frequent occurrence. Usually I'm a good listener, which is how I acquired the nickname "Dear Abby of Oxy." My dorm neighbors were finally accustomed to the odd hours I kept and the company that slinked out of my door in the wee hours of the morning. For a while they thought I was running some sort of brothel, which was somewhat irritating and amusing at the same time.
I owned two over-stuffed easy chairs bought second hand at a thrift shop. Between them was a beaten up coffee table that had one leg shorter than the rest and always held the ever present coffee mugs, coffee pot and munchies. It was a cozy little corner of my room and people felt very comfortable sharing it with me.
Detour #1 - The Story of Arndt
It was always the same. A hesitant knock on the door would pull me from my studies or even from sleep and I would peer out into the hallway to find somebody standing there, hands stuffed in their pockets as they looked up and down the long hallway to make sure they weren't seen. I'd motion them to come in and nod toward the cozy corner. I was always surprised by the number of visitors that were male...but I soon discovered they were no less vulnerable to college stress than the women that I knew.
They'd curl up on a chair and grab the closest thing to them...usually one of my stuffed animals and hug it to their chest. I'd put on the coffee and sit in the other chair...waiting.
"Umm..."he would say feeling very awkward, "I heard that....well somebody told me that...they said...that you wouldn't mind if I came by and wanted to just talk."
Sometimes they were homesick or having a difficult time with their girlfriend and wanted my opinion. Sometimes it was the pressure of college and the stress of having to complete all of the required assignments. And still at other times, once we had a few visits together, they just wanted to talk.
Only once did somebody get the wrong impression of what went on in my room...and act upon it.
It was late and I'd just gotten into bed. I could hear the sounds of distant partying, but it wasn't enough to keep me from falling asleep...it was a familiar sound. As I began to close my eyes though, a different sound intruded and in trying to discover the source of it, I noticed the door knob begin to turn, ever so slowly. Shit...I thought...had I forgotten to lock my door?
Sure enough, I had. My heart was pounding as the door inched open just enough to admit a tall, lanky shadow. He closed the door softly and locked it behind him before stealthily approaching me as I lay in bed...barely breathing...trying to figure out what to do.
I watched him through mostly closed eyes as he stood there at the foot of my bed watching me. He seemed to hesitate...and I took this as a good sign.
"Who are you?" I whispered.
The figure jumped slightly...surprised that I was awake, but seeming somewhat relieved at the same time.
"It's me...Arndt," he said.
I knew this person...he was the roommate of one of my "regulars," that we all called Mike the Russian. Mike was from east coast and had an accent that was a comical mix of Russian and pure Bayonne, New Jersey. Both Mike and Arndt had recently pledged to my boyfriend's fraternity. While Mike was always the jovial one and easy to like, Arndt had always made me uncomfortable with his sullen demeanor and shifty gaze. I figured perhaps he hadn't quite understood that I would be more than happy to talk...but that knocking was a requirement. Perhaps people didn't knock in Sweden, where he was from.
"What do you want," I asked more confused than alarmed by this point.
"I came to fuck you" he replied.
Oh. Hmm. Well this could be a problem, I thought. Should I scream now? I discarded the idea as soon as it entered my mind. Perhaps this situation could still be salvaged and both of us could walk away unscathed.
Wrapping my blanket tightly around me, I sat up and patted the end of the bed.
"Sit," I said, surprised at the firmness of my own voice, "I never fuck people I don't know. So we have to get to know each other first."
Arndt sat down on the very edge of the bed. For a potential rapist, he didn't seem to be too sure of himself. Be human, I thought...he has to see me as a person or I'm in trouble.
And so we talked...or rather he talked and I listened. He sat for hours in the dark on the edge of my bed, my room becoming his personal confessional. I will not go into what he told me, but I will say that in the end I discovered just how disturbed this person was.
Finally, with a sigh he stood up and looked at me one more time.
"Where are you going?" I asked, not believing my luck.
"I'm going to my room," he replied.
"I thought you wanted to fuck me," I said pushing that very luck.
"I can't now...I...I like you too much."
And then the shadow let himself out of my room quietly. As soon as he was gone, I leapt from my bed and locked the door.
The next day, I told my boyfriend, Jack, about the whole incident. Arndt never did become a member of the fraternity...and I heard from Mike that the brothers had been especially brutal with him.
The Actual Trip
"Laurie?" Mag asked impatiently, "Are you listening to me?"
"Oh, sorry...of course I am Mag," I said drawn from reverie.
"Anyway...since I'm not speaking to Javier," she concluded, "I've decided that you should do it with me."
"Aha! See...you weren't listening to me," she said folding her arms.
I had the good grace to blush having been caught out.
"As I was saying...I had planned to drop acid with Javier this weekend. Remember the stuff I told you about? The papers I showed you that came straight from San Francisco? Since I'm mad at him...you will have to do it with me."
Now that made me smile. I could never have admitted it to her, but I was secretly jealous that Javier was the chosen one. I hated having to share my best friend with her boyfriend at times.
"Sure, Mag," I said not even bothering to conceal my excitement, "but first...before we do...I have to do some research on it okay? We have to know everything about it."
Mag rolled her eyes a bit but agreed to my terms. Neither of us had done this before and I think, secretly, she was relieved to hand over the control of it to me. Of the two of us, I was usually the leader.
On the morning of the big event, I raced down to Jack's fraternity house and burst into the common room. Jack was there with his friend, Big Bird, and several others. I pulled up a bar stool and explained my errand.
"How wonderful!" Big Bird exclaimed, "I will tell you all about it."
Bird was one of my favorite fraternity brothers. He reminded me of the Celtics basketball player Larry Bird, tall and lanky with pale strawberry blond hair. His eyelashes were so pale and long that you expected his eyes to be the red of an albino. Instead, they were a very pale blue.
"Okay, Laurie...let us begin," he said with the flair of a showman.
To Jack's amusement, I paid rapt attention, as if I were the acolyte and Bird was my religious mentor.
"First," he began...
...First you must set the mood. Your experience will only be good if you are in a good frame of mind. So treat yourself well. Do something special...go out to dinner, take a nice long bath...anything. But be good to yourself.
...Second, understand that acid is not like any other drug you've ever tried. You smoke pot, you get the munchies, you fall asleep and the next morning you get your body back in somewhat similar condition to the way it was before...but not quite. You snort coke and your nose itches and drains into your throat while you grind your teeth down to nubs and the next day you feel like shit. Now with acid, you take it...you have a really, really good time and the next day it gives you back your body with a "I hope you had fun...here's your body...have a GREAT day. Understand?
...Third, if you want to truly explore the limits of it, come down here once it starts to kick in. We've been there and done it and I know I would personally love to guide you. There's only one first time ever...and the last thing you want is to be stuck with people that you don't know and don't understand. Okay?
I nodded, gave him a hug and ran to find Mag.
And that is pretty much how Mag and I ended up sitting in the dark blue Ford LTD that I was babysitting for a local police officer outside of the dorm. We'd gone to dinner, put the little pieces of blotter paper on our tongues and a bottle of Annie Green Springs Red Raspberry wine sat unopened between us on the front seat.
Every so often we would peer into the rear view mirror to see if our faces were melting.
Sitting on the passenger side, Mag's face assumed a truculent expression. "Nothing is happening, Laurie," she whined, "this is pissing me off!"
I had to agree with her on the fact that nothing seemed to be happening, but oddly enough...it didn't seem to bother me at all. In fact, I felt very...happy...content.
"Shut up Mag," I said in a cheerful conversational tone, "at the very least we had a very good dinner and if things don't look up, we still have the bottle of wine to share."
Another few minutes pass by...
"Why are you breathing so funny?"
Was I? I hadn't noticed. But now that I listened I could hear it too. Hhhh...hhhh...hhh. It was a shuddering sound...oddly...sexual.
"Why are you holding onto the steering wheel like THAT?"
I looked down at my hand, wrapped around one of the thick spokes of the steering wheel as if it was a handle...of sorts. Although neither one of us would say it...it definitely wasn't being held quite like a handle...but more like a part of the male anatomy. Combined with my breathing...we both began to worry a bit.
Just at that moment, there was a tap on my window that made us both jump. Bent over and peering in with a concerned smile was a young man that we both knew by sight...if not by name.
"Are you two okay?" he asked.
"We're fine," replied Mag, "really. Just...FINE."
On the last fine, she threw a rather nasty jab of her elbow into my side, leaned over and hit the button to raise the window back up, rather rudely I thought, in the face of the attractive guy.
"Why did you do that?" I asked pathetically.
"You were drooling."
"Laurie..." she began, "I think it's working...and I honestly thought you were going to grab him, haul his ass into the car and rape him."
I considered this for a moment and finally had to admit that the thought had crossed my mind. How interesting.
With that, we decided to leave the car and journey forth. Also Mag said she had to pee...
We didn't get too far before bumping into Kara, a rather slight African girl that I enjoyed hanging out with occasionally. As we walked toward the entrance of the dormitory, she flagged me down, asking if I had a light for her cigarette. I reached in my pocket and extracted my Bic lighter. As she took it from my hand she paused, looking into my face as a slow smile spread across her lips.
"Button eyes," she said, "oooh...you have button eyes!"
The pupils of my eyes were expanded to the point where you could barely see any color...a dead giveaway that somebody has taken the hallucinogenic substance. Kara decided to take full advantage of her discovery.
"Watch, Laurie...watch closely," she said. Before my eyes she waved her lit cigarette, tracing crazy colored arcs of colors with the glowing tip. I gasped in delight. How beautiful!
"So where are the two of you going," she asked nonchalantly.
"Mag has to pee," I explained.
"Oh...I see," Kara replied as her mouth slowly curved into a mischievous grin that made my stomach do a tiny somersault of fear. "You are going to the bathroom then?"
"Down that lonnnnng hallway, into the room at the end and then into one of those teeny tiny little suffocating stalls...right?"
I gulped...hard, nodding once again. Wow...when she put it that way, it sounded pretty awful. Mag slipped her hand into mine and squeezed it tightly. I didn't have to pee...but I suddenly realized that Mag was probably too afraid to pee alone, so I was doomed.
"Okay then...well have fun!" Kara said cheerfully before sauntering off.
"Laurie..." Mag said fearfully.
I patted Mag on the head comfortingly.
"It's okay...I won't let you go alone."
We RAN down that hallway as it stretched before us...growing longer than was possible...nearly smacking into the wooden door of the bathroom. I don't think to this day that I've ever concluded my business in a bathroom as fast as I did on that occasion.
Once we'd completed that lesson in terror, we stood outside in the soft breeze of a California early evening allowing the sweat to dry from our skin.
"What do we do now?" asked Mag.
"I think we should go to the frat house...Bird has some explaining to do," I replied.
It was a lovely walk. Everything was so beautiful in the half light and I was so wrapped up in it that I was almost disappointed when we reached the end of our journey...a stop sign on the corner of the street across from the fraternity house.
Mag refused to go any further and simply sat down on the grass, folding her arms with a rather petulant frown upon her face. With a sigh, I sat down beside her. People passed us as they walked by, occasionally giving us curious looks. I waved to each of them and said a friendly hello. To be honest, I was a bit appalled by their rude behavior. They seemed so stiff to me...as if somebody had taken a giant pole and stuffed it up their rigid little buttholes.
"Mag...this isn't a lot of fun," I said finally. "Can't we just go into the frat house?"
She shook her head, making her silky black curls bounce in a silly way. Her mouth opened up and from it came all sorts of silly, hysterical excuses about why she couldn't go inside the frat house with Javier in there. Realizing that a friend should be helpful, I slapped her soundly across the face.
Mag blinked at me.
"Thank you," she said.
"You're welcome," was all I replied.
I mused about the best way to get Mag into the frat house and decided that first the situation really needed to be scoped out. I signaled Mag to wait by the stop sign and I then tiptoed across the street. Seeing as how it was still very light out...I'm sure it was a sight to behold. When I reached the fraternity house, I peered into the living room window and spied Javier and several guests comfortably watching television. Okay...so I would have to lie in order to get Mag into the house...but I was okay with that. I tiptoed back across the street.
"Okay...so here is the situation. Javier is in there...watching television with about three other people."
"I can't go in there then, Laurie...I can't!" Mag pleaded with me.
"Do I have to slap you again?"
"No...no, I'm okay."
"Alright...so listen," I said, "I can get us both in there and without Javier seeing us. But you have to follow my directions...okay?"
"I'm going to make us invisible!" I said with a straight face.
Mag scoffed, "You can't make us invisible! Can you?"
Well...of course I couldn't...but Mag didn't know that. Most of the time she was pretty damn gullible...I was sure I could convince her long enough to get her in the house. So I waved my arms about and muttered some magic words and poof...we were invisible.
Quietly, we opened the front door and slipped inside. I led the way to the living room where Javier was, dragging Maginel along behind me, calling her a wienie and telling her to have some faith. The two of us pulled up a couple of bar stools and took our seats about twenty feet behind the crowd of people watching the television.
Javier turned around to look behind him...and then simply returned his attention back to the television, never even acknowledging our presence. Why....why...it was almost as if he hadn't even seen us! Oh...my...god! I grabbed Mag's arm in excitement.
"Mag! Oh...wow...Mag..." I said, "we REALLY are invisible!"
Being invisible is a great thing. One can do all sorts of things that a visible person would never get away with. And so we proceeded to bounce around, make faces and behave like complete idiots, convinced of our anonymity behind the disguise of invisibility.
Oddly enough...nobody noticed. So, perhaps we really were invisible after all. I'll never know for sure.
One thing I did notice about being under the influence of this drug was the inability to walk into a crowded room. Just the thought was enough to make me panic. Why? I think because it was too much input all at once and the sensations were overwhelming, lending itself to severe claustrophobia. However, if a room gradually became crowded that was okay.
Since it was a Saturday and Saturday nights always meant a party at the fraternity house, the place began to fill up with the usual crowd. Being the girlfriend of an upper classman who was also one of the more popular members of the household, I was always accorded the utmost respect of the guests...whether they were "sisters" like me, or "little brothers" hoping to become members of the house. It was easy to mingle amongst them and none of them remarked upon my odd behavior.
At some point, Mag and Javier made up and I was asked to join them along with a little brother named David for a game of foosball. I knew David well. The two of us volunteered at a local center for abused children and I knew him to be a kind soul, always thoughtful of other people and their feelings. So I was only too happy to make it a foursome.
Unfortunately, even under normal conditions...I truly suck at foosball. Tonight, it was even worse than normal. My arms had no strength to power the little ball and I was more fascinated with watching it drop into the slot than the actual play. David, on the other hand was pretty much carrying the entire game. When I wasn't watching the ball, my eyes were fixated on his biceps...flexing and bulging...flexing and bulging...
"Ahem," Mag said clearing her throat and giving me a meaningful look.
I looked back questioningly and she made a subtle motion to the corner of her mouth. I reached up and in horror discovered I had been drooling again. Damn. Obviously that whole thing in the car hadn't been just a fluke and I would really have to watch myself around the opposite sex tonight.
Suddenly, David took my arm and gently guided me away from the foosball table.
"I want to talk with you for a moment," he said softly.
The kitchen was quiet, only a small light on above the sink and we were alone. Oh...this was a bad idea, I thought to myself...bad...so bad.
"Laurie," David began placing one finger under my chin and lifting my face up to look in his warm brown eyes. "I just want to say...well I've been meaning to say this for some time..."
Oh...not good, David...not good...
I blinked. He understood? What did he think he understood? That if he didn't run away fast I could throw him to the kitchen floor and have my way with him?
David sighed deeply and smiled.
"And...well...I just wanted to tell you that if there is ANYTHING I can do to help, you only have to ask. I'll do anything for you."
I gulped. Anything? Wow...he really did understand then. He did say anything...
Luckily one small thread of sanity still existed in my hormonal little brain and I latched onto it like a drowning person. This was DAVID...my friend...a person that I could never forgive myself for hurting. I shook my head frantically and began to backpedal out of the kitchen with a horrified expression on my face.
"No! No...David...no...you DON'T understand...you don't."
And with that I panicked and flung myself through the door and straight into the back end of my boyfriend who was just returning from a beer run.
"Jack!" I exclaimed in relief and pleasure beyond measure.
"Button Eyes!" he cried back and twirled me through the air.
I was safe. Jack was here and beside him, smiling, was Big Bird.
"Go up to my room," Jack said, "we'll be up in a few seconds."
Happily, I danced up the stairs and did as I was told. Within a few minutes, Jack and Bird appeared to begin the guided tour of my altered mind...
They found me playing Helen Keller...my arms outstretched before me as my palms ran over the four walls. They were rippling like waves beneath my skin and I was in awe that I had never noticed this before. My sense of touch was extraordinary...nothing felt the same and my fingertips tingled and yearned to feel everything.
"I'm so jealous," said Bird from the doorway watching me. "Seeing you...it makes me wish I could be taking this trip with you. You are having fun...aren't you?"
"Oh Bird...I didn't know...I just didn't know," was all I could say over and over again.
"Well, hang on there little missy...it's going to get even better."
Jack and Bird went into action, setting the mood. Jack ran around the room turning on the lava lamp and an ear-assaulting recording of the Kent State riot. Bird disappeared and reappeared with props, tossing things like Comet Cleanser into the air and making a statement before popping back out. He was a one man comedy show. I giggled as they did everything they could to stimulate my imagination, even singing along to Steve Hackett's "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man," which to this day is still one of my favorites.
I had not ceased my exploration of the walls during all of this and finally I had arrived at the one that was covered from corner to corner in a mural of space. Jack was a geology major...but his roommate was studying astronomy. I had always loved the mural...but tonight, well tonight it was different somehow.
I pressed my nose against it and blocked out the rest of the room with my hands. It was beautiful...so beautiful it made my heart ache. I was flying...through the stars...through unending space. Without shame I allowed the tears to fall from my eyes, down my cheeks...soundlessly.
"Jack," I whispered, "Oh...it's so beautiful."
He peeled me from the wall and held me tightly. Jack always knew how to make me feel safe.
Word had gotten out that the real party was in Jack's room and before too long, the coolest of the cool were all in the room with us. I gave out free back rubs because my hands simply had to be touching something and I was tireless. Someone had the bright idea to turn miniature boxes of cereal into space ships and land them on the coffee table. As a result, we were pretty much ankle deep in cornflakes before we realized that boxes weren't very aerodynamic. I remember one person came into the room and looked at the mess before saying, "I don't understand. What's the point?"
We laughed at him because any idiot could see that there was no point and that's why it was so much fun.
The evening wound down and eventually only Jack and I were left in his room. At last I could indulge in all the touchy feely stuff I really wanted and it was good. However, once Jack was sound asleep and snoring...I found that I couldn't sleep and it annoyed me. My whole body was still vibrating with energy and I simply had to get up...had to do something...anything. This laying here totally conscious while he slept was just unthinkable.
But how to extract myself from his embrace without waking him up....
Carefully, I reached down and removed his arm from across my body...placing it gently by his side. Then, I wriggled slightly from beneath the leg that he had thrown over mine. There! Without warning he moved and once again his arm was thrown over me, pinning me to his side. Damn! I repeated the removal and took a deep breath. Now for the hard part...getting out of the bed without causing a commotion.
It only seemed logical to roll out...
And that's pretty much how Jack found me when I woke him up...naked and on all fours on the floor by the side of the bed with an apologetic look on my face.
"Sorry...can't stay. Gotta go. But it was good...really...had a great time."
I stood up, and swaggered to the fridge where I helped myself to a cold beer as I dressed. Popping off the bottle cap, I took a swig and lit a cigarette before leaving his room. So this was how it felt to be a man, I thought. I felt strangely powerful. I got what I wanted...and now I'm free to leave. Damn...this is nice. No wonder guys do it all the time.
As I headed for the door of the fraternity house, I thought of Mag. She was probably in Javier's room. I tiptoed to his door and stood outside of it, unsure of what to do. Should I knock? Should I just open it and free her too? What if I interrupted something?
Instead I tried to quietly call her name..."Mag....Mag...Mag."
After not getting any response, I shrugged and decided to walk back to the dormitory alone. It was only later that I learned she had heard me and just didn't have the manliness required to leave as I had. But oh...she wanted to.
Dawn was just breaking...and I felt...so relaxed. How could this be? Shouldn't I be exhausted? I'd been up for about 24 hours straight...but...I was not tired in the least. I walked home slowly, admiring the grass, the flowers and the trees. My fingertips demanded that I touch everything...and so I did. The world was such a beautiful place...how had I ever managed not to notice it until now? I mean...I always enjoyed it...but I had never really seen it.
Birds were singing, welcoming a new day and my own heart responded to their joy. Another day of being alive...what a wonderful gift.
I decided after this experience that I never wanted to do it again. Ever. And I never have. Sometimes, very rarely, you touch true perfection and I felt that in this experience I had been privileged to reach the pinnacle of pure happiness and joy. The memory, as you can see is vivid and easily recalled...so I have no reason to repeat it. I'm afraid that should I try to reach that feeling again, it would somehow diminish the experience...and it was too special for me to allow that.
Detour #2 - Just My Opinion (You can stop here)
I am sure that learning of my experience might shock people who know me now...for I'm truly the epitome of responsibility. I'm not a drug use advocate...but I'm not about to judge a person for having tried it. My own father admitted to having an experimental situation once and after that...I found I was more comfortable with him. Even though he said he never liked it and wouldn't do it again.
I've had friends that were addicted to certain substances and pretty much allowed it to ruin their lives. Some I was able to help...others were beyond any advice I could offer. But because I understood...they did come to me. It's sort of like a priest giving marital advice. What could a priest know about being married? A lot of psychology...but nothing from experience. When I want help...I would rather get advice from a person that has been in my shoes and knows what they are talking about.
There isn't a whole hell of a lot that I haven't tried. Drugs that I consider truly hard core never interested me and if it involved a needle, even more so.
The only time I've ever felt the minutest discomfort was one night at the dinner table with my ex-husband, Ed and his two young daughters. We had very different "parenting" styles. Ed liked to lay down the law without explanation, expecting that his demands would be met without question. I, on the other hand, felt that if I wanted their cooperation they were entitled to any answer I could provide...even if it was an "I don't know."
The subject of drugs came up and Ed simply said, "Drugs are bad. NEVER do them. Just say NO. Your Daddy has never done drugs and neither should you."
Of course Daddy loved his Bacardi and coke...but I kept quiet.
"What about Laurie?" Miranda piped up, noticing how quiet I was on the subject.
A small smile played around the corner of my lips as I focused my attention on the food before me.
"Laurie's...different," was all Ed said after clearing his throat.
Suddenly two sets of eyes were boring a hole into the top of my head...waiting. I looked up as Ed shot me a warning look.
What the hell I thought. The advice worked for my kid sister...perhaps it would work again.
"Yes...I've done drugs," I admitted.
Both of the girls gasped.
"You did?!" said Brittany all owl-eyed.
"What was it like?" queried Miranda in her little girl voice.
"I don't think Laurie wants to talk about it," Ed said trying to gain control of the conversation.
"Well..." I continued, ignoring him, "it was good and bad...it really depends."
"On what?" Miranda, the more intelligent of the two asked with the tenacity of a badger.
I took a deep breath before continuing.
"Drugs can be dangerous, Miranda...understand that first and foremost okay? Do you understand that and believe it?"
She nodded and so did her sister.
"Don't ever do them while you are a kid...and I'm serious about that. Promise me?"
Again they nodded...swearing with earnest faces that they would never do that.
"When you are grown up...ready to make your own decisions and deal with the repercussions of those decisions...then it's a different story. I won't judge you for being curious, because I've always encouraged you to think on your own. But if I ever hear that you've thrown your life away on drugs or alcohol...I will find you and cheerfully beat you to within an inch of your life. Understand?"
They both smiled and nodded their heads, perfectly satisfied with this explanation.
And with that, the discussion was over. I heard Ed breathe a sigh of relief and within moments the topic faded into normal childhood chatter.
Just say no...is good in theory, I guess. But to me it sounds like the clanking of a slammed door and leaves me wondering what is on the other side. Things that are forbidden seem to have a greater appeal. Children need to know why...but not necessarily in great detail. And they have an uncanny ability to sniff out hypocrisy.
Will they follow my advice? I don't know...but so far I haven't heard anything to indicate they haven't. I used the same advice on my sister when she was in her teens and asked for my opinion. I know she's not completely innocent, but she's also never taken experimentation as far as I have. She's also probably one of the most responsible people I know...so, I will take that as a mission accomplished.