This week, I found time in my busy schedule to try heroin, and I have to say, it was an unusual experience, but it wasn’t all its cracked up to be. Neither, for that matter, was cocaine, which I also tried this week.
All right, I’m not actually talking about the illicit drugs themselves. I’m talking about I-Doser sound files, which bear the same names of various drugs and, according to i-doser.com, produce effects similar to their namesakes without health or legal issues.
I first became curious about I-Doser when my fellow columnist, Joe Dolan, told me about it. He said he listened to “crystal meth” for about two minutes, and it made him sweat and feel uncomfortable.
“Sign me up,” I thought, and went home to acquire some “doses” for myself.
Reading about I-Doser, I learned that the scientific name for the phenomenon that makes I-Doser work is “binaural beats.”
Apparently, by playing two slightly different, low frequency tones directly into each ear at the same time, brainwave activity can be altered to produce various sensations. This process is called brainwave “entrainment.”
Since the two tones being played are slightly different, headphones are required. Also, the Web site says it’s a lot more likely to work if you’re lying down, relaxed and concentrating on the tones.
The first one I tried out was called “anesthesia,” which was described as having a very strong sedative and numbing effect. Lying on the couch and listening to the hisses of static and incessant thrumming, I began to feel odd after about 15 minutes. I probably dozed off a couple of times, and at one point I was pretty convinced that my fingertips were numb.
While this may sound like pretty strong evidence that I-Doser works, I worried that I had been victim to the power of suggestion.
So, I talked my friend Dan into doing one without telling him what to expect. I selected one of the most ridiculous files I could find: “Masochist.” According to its description, this one combines an intense simulation of sexual arousal and orgasm with sensations of pain in the teeth and under the skin.
Thirty minutes after it had begun, the dose ended, and Dan called me in to report on his experience. He looked a little confused.
“Was it supposed to make me feel…aroused?” he asked me.
Apparently it worked fairly well. Dan said that about 10 minutes into it, he got an erection that, on a scale of one to 10, ranked at about a seven.
As far a pain goes, Dan said those sensations didn’t quite match the description, but he found himself clenching his jaws a lot and felt short of breath a few times, which was quite unpleasant.
I tried the heroin one and I almost fell asleep. I didn’t really feel like I was on heroin, I just felt tired and lazy, without the feeling of ecstasy that keeps junkies coming back for more.
Since I felt tired after listening to heroin, I decided to pick myself up by trying “Cocaine.”
I was mostly woken up by the headache I got about five minutes into the track. I did not experience the “mild- to high-degree euphoria” that the site said I might.
The next day I decided to try one called “Orgasm.” It was described a lot like the masochist one, but without the pain.
It didn’t work at all. I fell asleep. My dreams weren’t even sexy. I will admit, though, it was a pretty nice nap.
My verdict on I-Doser is that it’s pretty interesting, and to some degree, it works sometimes. However, the whole drug theme is pretty lame.
Instead of marketing a 30-minute sound file as “heroin” or “LSD” or some other drug that can hardly be simulated non-chemically, it should be marketed more honestly — as a 30-minute sound file that makes you feel kind of weird, or kind of horny or kind of like you want to take a nap.