What are Poppers?

A beginner's guide to what they are, how to use them, and what they mean for your sex life.

What are Poppers?

When you’re planning or negotiating a bit of man-on-man action, the topic of poppers often comes up.

What are poppers? Here’s everything we know.

What are poppers?

The term Poppers refers to a liquid chemical that is sold in small bottles.

The chemical in the bottle is Alkyl Nitrite. It’s sometimes called Amyl Nitrite, and Amyl is sometimes used as another short-hand way of describing Poppers.

Alkyl Nitrite was first created in 1844 to help patients suffering from chest pains. The chemical is used as a muscle relaxant – it increases blood flow to the body.

It was in the 1970s that Poppers became popular. It became commonly used as a club drug – inhaling the fumes gives you a head-rush and a sense of euphoria. It also became commonly used by gay men who found that it enhanced their sexual encounters.

Where can I get poppers?

It depends where you are in the world and how the sale of products such as Poppers is regulated.

You used to mainly buy Poppers from sex shops. It was generally packaged as video cleaner or room deodoriser. These days, it’s usually branded as something like Rush, or Liquid Gold.

In the UK, it’s widely available. You can buy Poppers online, through sex shops, sex-on-premises venues, and local shops and off-licences. Prices vary, but you’d generally expect to pay from £5 up to £15 for a bottle of Poppers.

How do I use poppers?

You need to be careful with Poppers. The chemical is quite toxic – it smells like a solvent. You don’t want to get the liquid on your skin or in your eyes. If you drank Poppers you would be very ill and risk death.

The way to use them is to inhale the fumes or vapours from the liquid chemical.

You hold the bottle in one hand, take the lid off, position the bottle under your nose and inhale. It will be more effective if you block one nostril and inhale through the other. One big inhale will give you the rush that you’re looking for.

The effects of Poppers are relatively short-lived, so as the rush starts to dissipate, you inhale again to maintain the sensation.

Will using poppers make sex better?

Poppers can enhance your sex life in a number of ways. The head-rush and sense of euphoria you can get from Poppers can make your body more sensitive and help you to lose your inhibitions.

A lot of guys use Poppers when they’re getting fucked – the Poppers can help them relax, and might make it easier for you to take a cock in your ass.

It’s also used for jack-off sessions. Guys use Poppers while they’re masturbating to enhance the experience with that head-rush and sense of euphoria.

Do I have to use Poppers?

Poppers aren’t for everyone. You might try them and not really enjoy them or not feel that they’ve enhanced your sexual encounter.

Lots of people don’t use Poppers. You can have anal sex without Poppers.

Don’t ever feel pressured into using Poppers. If someone offers you Poppers and you don’t feel like it, you can just say that you don’t feel like using Poppers – that’s totally normal.

Are there any negative side effects from poppers?

If you over-use Poppers, or if you have some sort of reaction to them, you could experience a headache, a nosebleed, or feel nauseous.

If you’ve got heart problems or issues with your blood pressure or underlying health conditions then you shouldn’t use Poppers.

Don’t mix Poppers with erection drugs such as Viagra or Cialis.

There are some reports of people experiencing a negative impact on their eyesight after using poppers.

It depends where you are – it’s important that you check the local laws that cover things like Poppers.

In the UK, the law around Poppers has been fairly confusing. In 2016, the UK government proposed a ban on Poppers, but they backed down on this when people objected.

The government has since confirmed that Poppers don’t fall with the Psychoactive Substances Act – which is the legislation used to ban chemical highs – because they don’t have a direct effect on the central nervous system. But there are some legal precedents that add confusion to those definitions. The government appears to be planning to explicitly exempt poppers from the Psychoactive Substances Act but this seems to be a fairly low priority at the moment.

The After Dark edition

If getting sloppy with poppers is your go-to bate technique, check out our After Dark edition featuring Mexican Poppers and other gooners.

After Dark: Poppers
Goon out and take your bate next-level.

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