HOW TO BE A GOOD TRIPSITTER?
Whilst not necessary, a tripsitter can add a whole new dimension to the hallucinogenic experience. So we take a look at what one is, and how to be good at it.
Having a tripsitter watch over you whilst you get high can be a really reassuring experience, helping guide a trip to new and unexplored heights through the knowledge that there is someone around to catch you if you fall. However, the art of tripsitting is not as simple as asking a friend to hang around whilst you take hallucinogenics, so we have put together a small guide to being a good tripsitter.
Now, before we get into the real details of what a tripsitter is, and how to be a good one, it is important to note that a tripsitter is not essential, even for first time users. Not having one doesn’t mean you are going to have a bad trip, so don’t worry if you were not considering finding one. They simply offer those who want it, a little bit of extra reassurance and information.
WHAT IS A TRIPSITTER?
A tripsitter is essentially a sober person with experience of tripping, who stays close at hand whilst one or more people take hallucinogens, such as magic mushrooms or LSD. It is the tripsitter’s job to provide care, comfort and knowledge, allowing those tripping to know that they are safe and able to fully immerse themselves in their journey. For this reason, a tripsitter should be someone who is trusted.
Tripsitting is a passive role, with the tripsitter remaining unobtrusive. They act only when called upon, not actively bothering people to check up on them.
Timothy Leroy, a famous psychonaut and philosopher, described the role of the tripsitter perfectly with the following analogy:
“He [the tripsitter] is the ground control in the airport tower. Always there to receive messages and queries from high-flying aircraft. Always ready to help navigate their course, to help them reach their destination. An airport-tower-operator who imposes his own personality, his own games upon the pilot is unheard of. The pilots have their own flight plan, their own goals, and ground control is there, ever waiting to be of service. The pilot is reassured to know that an expert who has guided thousands of flights is down there, available for help. But suppose the flier has reason to suspect that ground control is harboring his own motives and might be manipulating the plane toward selfish goals, the bond of security and confidence would crumble.”
HOW TO BE A GOOD TRIPSITTER
As touched on above, the main role of a tripsitter is to simply be a sober reassuring presence, and ensure the environment is safe and secure. As such, buckle up for a backseat role, because chances are you will not really have to do anything apart from maybe get someone a glass of water. For this reason, it is a good idea to bring a book along, or something else to keep yourself occupied that won’t distract the trippers.
What is most important is to remember that you are there to help and answer questions when required, do not ask people how their trips are going or try to get involved. It is not that doing so will necessarily cause negative consequences, but you are not there to impose yourself upon their journey.
Before the tripping starts, make it very clear that you will be there to get water or snacks if required, or help someone move to another room of a change of scenery. Also ask those who will be tripping what they expect of you, so you can get an idea of your involvement if it is required.
If someone ends up having a bad trip and is getting anxious, a gentle touch and/or a change of scenery can often help. Just make sure that you get the trippers permission to touch them, or take them somewhere else first. Do not ask them what they are experiencing, as this can make the trip even more intense for them, and add to the stress. Just make it clear that they are safe and that you are there, so it is OK for them to experience whatever they are going through.
Tripsitting duties can also roll over into the next few day/weeks, but more in a conversational way. Taking hallucinogens can be an extremely profound experience. Chances are – especially for those who have just experienced it for the first time – that the trippers will want to discuss what they went through from a sober perspective. Making yourself available to answer questions and give opinions for this is very important.
Remember, although taking a sober and passive role may not be as fun as joining in the tripping, it is an extreme privilege. It shows a great deal of trust on the trippers’ part, and should be approached with care and respect. Both parties can gain a lot of insight from the experience, and help build a much closer bond.