Poppers belong to a group of nitrites called alkyl nitrites. Often, they are marketed and sold as deodorizers, but they are mostly not used to eliminate strong odors.
Poppers have become the poster substance to get high and enhance sexual sensation, especially within the LGBTQ+ community.
Poppers have an intense smell and can be fatal when inhaled directly. So it would be best if you didn’t get involved with them.
There are natural ways to feel euphoric or improve your sex life without inhaling the vapor from poppers.
In this article, we review other things you can use instead of poppers and the risks of poppers.
Why Not Use Poppers?
Poppers are commonly used for their short-lived, intense effects on the body, including a head-rush and increased sexual pleasure. However, there are several reasons why using poppers can be dangerous and harmful to your health, legal status, and social life.
Health risks and concerns
- Negative effects on the cardiovascular system: Poppers are known to cause a significant drop in blood pressure, which can be dangerous for people with heart conditions or taking medication for hypertension. In some cases, poppers have been linked to heart attacks or strokes.
- Respiratory issues: Inhaling poppers can cause irritation to the nose and throat, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Long-term use of poppers can cause damage to the respiratory system, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- Potential for addiction: Poppers contain a substance called alkyl nitrites, which can be addictive. Long-term use can lead to tolerance, meaning that more of the substance is needed to achieve the same effects, which can increase the risk of addiction.
- Legal status of poppers in different countries: Poppers are illegal in some countries, including Canada, Japan, and Australia. In other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, poppers are legal to purchase and possess but are subject to regulations.
- Possibility of legal trouble for possession or distribution: Even in countries where poppers are legal, possession or distribution can still result in legal trouble. In some cases, poppers may be sold as “room deodorizers” or “leather cleaners” to avoid legal issues, but using them for these purposes is still illegal.
- Stigma associated with using poppers: While poppers are commonly used in the LGBTQ+ community, there is still a stigma associated with using them. Some people may view popper use as a sign of promiscuity or drug use, which can lead to discrimination or social isolation.
- Negative impact on relationships: Using poppers can have a negative impact on relationships, particularly if one partner is uncomfortable with their use. Poppers can also impair judgment and increase the risk of engaging in risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners, which can lead to sexually transmitted infections or HIV/AIDS.
Overall, the risks and dangers associated with poppers make them a potentially harmful substance to use. It’s important to consider the potential consequences of using poppers and to explore alternative options for enhancing sexual pleasure and experiences.
As euphoric and sensational as poppers can be, they are dangerous to the health and even fatal.
We recommend you not use any other substances in your pursuit of euphoria. Instead of poppers, you should avoid chasing thrill or high through substances altogether.
If you depend on poppers to enhance your sex experience, use any of these methods instead of poppers:
Specific medications, physical health conditions, and even mental health challenges may alter sex drive and sexual performance.
If this is the case with you, your doctor is in the best position to offer a diagnosis and plausible remedies.
If applicable, you and your partner should consider couple therapy.
A professional couple therapist will help you and your partner spot intimacy issues and offer solutions.
Stress and anxiety can be thieves of joy and peace, even in your sex life.
Too much stress can inhibit sexual drive and sexual pleasure.
Here are four healthy ways to help you release stress and anxiety:
Regular physical activity like exercise can do wonders for mental health and stress relief.
You can start with gentle activities like walking, jogging, or biking if you are not physically active. However, if you are involved in irregular physical activities, you should consider making it regular in your schedule.
Yoga is a fun way to relieve your body and mind of stress.
It does this by lowering stress hormone levels and blood pressure while increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter found in small quantities in people with low moods.
Yoga positively promotes psychological well-being as well as physical. So you’ll be well served if you take some yoga classes.
Spending some time taking in nature is a very healthy way to relieve oneself of stress and low moods.
You can regularly visit and spend time in green spaces like parks, gardens, forests, the beach, water bodies, etc., to help lower psychological stress levels.
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil contains menthol, which can produce a cooling sensation and enhance sexual pleasure. To use, dilute a few drops of peppermint oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply to the skin.
- Eucalyptus oil: Eucalyptus oil has a refreshing scent and can help increase blood flow to the genitals, improving sexual pleasure. Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil and apply to the skin or add to a diffuser for aromatherapy benefits.
- Lavender oil: Lavender oil has a calming effect and can help reduce anxiety and stress, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable sexual experience. Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil or add to a diffuser for aromatherapy benefits.
- Kava: Kava is a natural sedative that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It can be consumed as a tea or in capsule form.
- Valerian root: Valerian root is a natural sedative that can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety. It can be consumed as a tea or in capsule form.
- Passionflower: Passionflower is a natural sedative that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It can be consumed as a tea or in capsule form.
- Meditation: Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable sexual experience. There are many different forms of meditation, including mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve blood flow, increase energy, and reduce stress, all of which can lead to a more enjoyable sexual experience. Aerobic exercise, such as running or swimming, and strength training are both beneficial.
- Diet changes: Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help improve overall health and energy levels, leading to a more enjoyable sexual experience. Incorporating foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can be particularly beneficial.
Nonsexual activities boost intimacy and aid bonding, which can lead to a higher sex drive and, in turn, improve sex life.
Spending quality time together, cuddling, holding hands, giving messages, going on romantic dates, exercising together, doing things you both love but together, and verbal affection are healthy nonsexual activities that boost intimacy with your partner.
This may be surprising to you if you have been sold the idea that alcohol always increases sex drive.
We’re here to un-sell you that narrative. Alcohol doesn’t always equal a high sex drive, especially in men.
Consuming large quantities of alcohol over a long period can lower testosterone levels.
What are Poppers Made of?
Poppers contain mainly butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite. They belong to a class of inhalants called alkyl nitrites.
Medically, amyl nitrite is a volatile liquid that relieves angina attacks, also known as severe chest pain. It usually starts to work after thirty seconds of inhalation. It first relaxes the blood vessels and then increases the blood and oxygen supply to the heart.
Amyl nitrite also acts as a depressant and slows down the messages between the brain and the body.
Recreationally, amyl nitrite is used as a high or for sexual enhancement.
Like amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite is also a validator. This means that it is a drug that dilates the blood vessels, veins, and arteries. Butyl nitrite also keeps the body muscles from tightening and the muscle walls from narrowing. This way, the heart’s job is easier as it doesn’t have to pump blood too hard, lowering blood pressure.
Non-medically, butyl nitrite has a reputation as being a sex-enhancing substance.
Together, amyl and butyl nitrite or poppers are a force you should not be involved with. Here’s why.
Although they may give you a short-lived euphoria and increase sexual sensation, poppers are addictive, pose short and long-term risks, and are inherently fatal.
What are Poppers Used for?
As mentioned, medically, the main ingredients of poppers, amyl, and butyl nitrite, are used to relax the blood vessels and ease blood flow, as well as treat angina (severe chest pain).
But poppers are popularly used in non-medical settings to get a short-lived feeling of euphoria, enhance sexual experience, or simultaneously.
Poppers are made majorly of amyl and butyl nitrite, which belong to a class of inhalants called nitrites and are often used as high and sexual enhancers.
The effect of poppers may also be obtained from inhaling items like degreasers, nail polish remover, dry cleaning, liquid paint thinners, and contact cement. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you don’t purposely inhale these items.
Because poppers are banned in many places, you will often find them in adult stores. They come in leather cleaner, video head cleaner, or room deodorant containers.
So if you are browsing through an adult store and you come across a bottle with one of these labels, congratulations, you are eye to eye with a bottle of poppers.
- Cosmetics like nail polish remover, deodorant spray, hair spray, and fabric protector spray
- Liquid incense
- Leather cleaners
- Air fresheners
- Dry cleaning fluid
- Paint thinner and contact cement
- Art and office items like electronic contact cleaner, correction fluid, and felt-tip marker liquid
- Vegetable oil sprays
- Propane gas tanks, butane lighters, refrigerant gases, and whipped cream dispensers
Poppers feel so good because they have euphoric and sex-enhancement properties. Allow us to explain.
Inhaling poppers gives users a head rush resulting from increased blood flow between the heart and body. This feeling is often described as a euphoric high and usually only lasts for some minutes.
Sex on poppers may feel incredible because poppers increase sex drive, facilitating intense sexual experiences.
This is because poppers have a muscle-relaxing effect and can relax the muscles in the anal area. This is why poppers are popular among the LGBTQ+ community.
However, we strongly advise against using poppers for sexual or euphoric reasons.
Instead of using poppers, follow our recommended ways to build your sex drive (see above) and entirely steer clear of substance use.
First and most importantly, you shouldn’t use poppers for anything other than their intended function.
For instance, a bottle of room aromas should not be sniffed directly to get any high. Instead, it would help if you sprayed it in a Ventilated room and inhaled the scent.
That way, you’re safely inhaling the substance at a less concentrated level than when it is directly from the container. As a result, it poses little to no risks, except that it may offset allergies in some people.
If you use poppers to enhance your sexual experiences, there are other ways to improve your sex life instead of using poppers. We outlined a few above.
Nevertheless, if we haven’t gotten through to you and you still want to use poppers for euphoric or sexual reasons, you should at least do it right.
Here are tips on how to use poppers:
- Start slow and take your time. Don’t be in a hurry because poppers have an intense kick.
- Choose and buy poppers of your choice, don’t try to make one at home. The substance is already dangerous, even when industrially produced.
- Whatever you do, do not inhale directly from the bottle. Instead, you can lightly dip a cotton swab or cigarette into the bottle and take a sniff of that.
- Do not ingest poppers in any way.
That includes injecting yourself with it, snorting it, or swallowing it. Of course, you’ll die if you do.
- Don’t use them near a naked fire source, as they are flammable.
- Keep water around you. You’ll need to rinse off any droplets of poppers if they end up on your skin or eyes.
- If you’re pregnant, do not use poppers because the nitrites can disrupt the functioning of the placenta.
- Poppers can be fatal for people with heart issues, breathing problems, anemia, and glaucoma because it drastically reduces their blood pressure levels.
- Don’t take poppers with other sex-enhancement drugs. It’s always best to take one or the other. Don’t try to outdo yourself, as it might lead to fainting or a stroke.
Even though poppers aren’t the most ethically recommended sex-enhancement substances, there’s still a stratum from the best to the worst poppers.
Here’s a list of the best poppers to get in no particular order:
- Locker room original
- Double Scorpio
- Jungle juice gold sweat
- Pig sweat
- Blue boy poppers
- Jungle juice black label
- Amsterdam Original
- Crypt tonight
- Jungle juice platinum
- Everest premium
- Amyl ultra-strong formula
In stores, poppers are usually sold in small 10-15 ml bottles and can be found in room deodorizers, nail polish removers, head cleaners, or leather cleaner sections.
In a word, methemoglobinemia. When your swallow poppers, you put yourself at risk of methemoglobinemia.
The aftermath of methemoglobin is that it becomes difficult for your blood to carry oxygen throughout your body. This is harmful to your organs and potentially fatal.
Popper high is usually short and can last between two and five minutes.
If inhaled, you might begin to feel the effect of poppers after about 15 seconds of inhaling.
But at the end of the day, the duration of a popper high depends on how much was inhaled.