The debate on whether or not “Poppers” are a good time.
“Poppers” are known throughout the gay community as a sexual stimulant. They may be a fun time with the right partner; however there are many health effects from sniffing them. They can lower your inhibitions and lead to more unsafe sex practices. What are they, what are the health issues related to them, and how do they affect the body and your brain?
The chemical names for poppers are alkyl nitrites, isobutyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, and amyl nitrite. They are used by sniffing the vapors from an open bottle. Doctors used to prescribe amyl nitrite for heart patients. They have actually been around since the mid 1800s, but they became very popular in the 70s disco scene and in the 80s and 90s raves when people would use them on the dance floors to get a rush. Originally, they came in capsule form and would be “popped” to inhale the vapors. Amyl nitrite is sold illegally, but isobutyl nitrite and butyl nitrite are sold as “video head cleaner”, “leather cleaner”, “room deodorizer”, or “nail polish remover” in small brown bottles.
What happens to your body?
Poppers cause muscles around blood vessels to relax and make your heart speed up to pump more blood. When you sniff the vapors, the effects are often felt within a few seconds and can last for up to a minute or two. Because poppers cause the muscles around your anus to relax, they are often used for sex. However they can also cause men to experience a loss of erection. Some people complain of headaches, a spinning sensation, or the feeling of “falling”. Never combine poppers with other stimulants like cocaine or Viagra, as this can cause a sudden loss of blood pressure and increases your risk of problems.
Because poppers can cause blood vessels to open up, it is easier for your body to get an infection, such as STDs or HIV. Studies have shown that poppers reduce the functioning of your immune system for several days after use. They pose an extra risk for people with suppressed immune systems, heart problems, low or high blood pressure, and those people who are prone to hemorrhaging and anemia. Poppers can also affect your judgment, so if you are planning on becoming intimate when you use them, plan to use safe-sex practices.
There are even several cases of people who used poppers who have experienced reduced vision and eyesight problems due to the overuse of them. They can also cause lung problems and rashes around the nose and mouth area.
Why do people use them?
Most of the time, poppers are used recreationally for sex and are used with the goal of heightened sexual pleasure. They can cause a head rush or euphoria, often associated with the increased heart rate. This is often felt as an increased sexual arousal or desire.
With many men frequenting bathhouses or nightclubs looking for a sexual partner, poppers can often be an exciting addition to a sexual experience. They relax your body and your anus muscles, so men who enjoy anal penetration can often feel more at ease with their partners. Many people find the experience of using poppers pleasurable; however this is not always the case. Overuse of poppers can cause erectile dysfunction and headaches and sometimes burns around your nose. Sometimes blurred vision can occur and its use is not recommended prior to driving.
Should you use them?
Compared to other recreational drugs like alcohol and tobacco, poppers can pose little harm to individuals who use them responsibly. If you are taking any medication that may have a negative effect when used with poppers, be smart! Don’t use them if you feel your body has had adverse reactions in the past and certainly don’t use them if you get headaches or have a suppressed immune system. This can cause other issues that could be compounded by using these chemicals for recreational purposes. HIV positive individuals can face extra health risks from the use of poppers.
Around 1990, many governments banned the use and sale of these products. Even today, they are marketed as deodorizers and it is illegal to market them for human consumption or sell them to minors. With all of this in mind, use them at your own discretion. If you are going to enjoy a night of wild passionate lovemaking with your partner, do so responsibly. Remember… Everything in moderation
WARNING: Never consume the liquid. If swallowed, call 911 or your local poison control center immediately. If you spill any of the liquid on your person, or get them in your eye, immediately wash thoroughly with water, or rinse out your eye. These bottles are flammable and should not be used near an open flame, such as candles or cigarettes. The exact contents of these bottles are not known and are not properly tested. Amyl nitrite is illegal to possess unless you have a doctor’s prescription.