Poppers (Alkyl nitrates) are liquid inhalers sold as VHS cleaners or room freshness. It causes a small euphoric high period and loosens the smooth muscles in the body. They appear in liquid form, which needs to be inhaled for an instant high. Poppers are often sold as room deodorizers it can be illegal to sell them as a drug. Poppers are cheap and easy to afford, they can be found in sex shops, clubs, market stalls, and online.

Origin of poppers

It originated in 1844, by Antoine Jerome Balard and was popularized as a treatment for angina by Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton, It came in small capsules which made sounds when it popped, hence the name originated from it. It was mainly found to treat a severe heart condition called angina, Angina is a constriction of blood vessels around the heart due to poor blood flow to the heart which results in pain. Poppers can alleviate angina by relaxing narrowed blood vessels. Sniffing poppers cause vasodilation around the heart relaxing the muscle to cause relief, which resulted in to decrease in the pain of angina. As years passed, people found other benefits rather than treating angina. Poppers create feelings of well-being and also give a high sexual drive and making orgasm last longer. During the Nineties, popper becomes a famous drug in nightclubs and underground parties.

Effects of popper

After sniffing poppers the chemical inhalant goes right into the bloodstream through your nasal cavity and the respiratory process reaching directly to the brain and the heart. Normally, blood vessels maintain a state halfway between contraction and dilation but neuronal or chemical stimuli can change this. Poppers when sniffed use their chemical properties to dilate the blood vessels in your body.

10-20 seconds after sniffing the alkyl nitrate has reached some cerebral vessels of the brain, where they chemically cause vasodilation. Vasodilation on the cerebral vessels causes an increased intracranial pressure (ICP), (i.e.) pressure caused by fluids inside the skull and on the brain tissue which causes a euphoric high, resulting in feelings of loosened inhibition, warmth, and calmness.

After another few seconds, the Poppers drug passes easily through smooth muscles cells in your body. Once in smooth muscle cells, they activate enzymes that cause relaxation and vasodilation to muscles.

Since there are smooth muscles cells present in our body such as the throat, vagina, and anus, this is a significant reason why poppers have been using it as an aid in sex.

When you drink or eat drugs it gets absorbed into the blood through the GI tract (Gastrointestinal tract) and then goes to the liver to get metabolized. When you sniff something it goes directly to your brain and heart which are very important organs of our body, that’s why sniffing drugs are considered to be very dangerous. Poppers do not pass through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in the brain but still hold to have a great effect on our body.

It gives a short moment of bliss and warmth inside your head. It starts working after 10 seconds and stays lasts for 2-5 minutes.

After the euphoric feelings are gone now the body has low blood pleasure. The heartbeat starts to increases to cope up with the low blood pressure. People feel bulged around their neck and head some start to experience headaches, which are symptoms of low blood pressure.

Poppers and Gay men connection

Poppers are more an active aphrodisiac among gay men’s sexual lifestyle. It is a very common and repeatedly used substance among gay people. It relaxes the muscles giving a more comfortable feeling to have sex. Orgasm becomes more intense while in the high of poppers.

The vasodilation of internal and external sphincters of the anus is the main reason why gay men use poppers in sex. It’s very much evidence about the likable attribute of gay men to have anal sex, and yes poppers act as a good catalyst towards it.

People using poppers and Viagra’s mostly end up having sex with strangers in gatherings that are of high risk. Most gay couples prefer poppers for having anal sex, but when in the euphoric high they deny the use of condoms. The chances of STDs are very high in such instances.

Repeated sex using poppers have exposed the gay community to more dangerous sexual acts, like asphyxiation, where intentional oxygen to the brain is choked by sexual arousal by one person towards their partner. Such occurrence of acts has been normalized when in the high of poppers. So it is very important to have safety guidelines before using poppers in sex, to mention the do’s and don’ts.

Risk factors of poppers

  • Too much concentration of poppers chemicals in the bloodstream can cause a fatal condition, where hemoglobin is unable to carry oxygen to the rest of the body, including the brain leading to brain failure
  • Poppers are highly inflammable substance-using cigarettes near poppers is not advisable.
  • Don’t drink poppers as it can lower the oxygen content in your blood. Sexual drive is an uncontrollable desire but if you consume poppers when you have low blood pressure and go for sex, then your death also becomes an uncontrollable one.
  • Poppers sure act as an aphrodisiac but it comes with various precautions and restrictions in its usage, cause a drug is a drug. Mixing up poppers with other ecstasy drugs such as Viagra, Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA) is highly dangerous.
  • There is no specific dosage or measurement for its intake, so consuming it repeatedly is not advisable. It’s also cautionary advice not to make no contact with liquid with your body, it may provide burn rashes to the skin, and getting it near to the eye while inhaling is quite dangerous it may cause severe damage to the eyes if met with contact.
  • Intake of poppers is dangerous for anyone with heart problems, anemia, or glaucoma (an eye disease).
  • ‘Sudden sniffing death syndrome” has been accounted for a strange heartbeat when taking poppers, cause there happens to be abnormal heart rhythm while taking poppers.
  • People experience nausea, headache, yellow spots in front of their eyes, which are common low blood pressure strains.
  • Poppers may lead to you losing consciousness and choking on your vomit. Using poppers with alcohol can increase this risk.
  • People while in poppers are more prone to taking risks, that’s what makes sex dangerous while in poppers. People mostly avoid using condoms and participated in highly risky sexual acts.
  • In recent years, there have been reports of people experiencing temporary and permanent loss of vision after using poppers. If you are experience problems with your eyesight after using poppers we strongly advise you get medical advice.

NOTE: There is a very little amount of scientific research done on poppers, so more about its effects and long-term impact on our body and mind is still undiscoverable.






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