Poppers: An Oral History

Written by: Dr. Joshua Gonzalez

Perhaps a nasal history would be more appropriate. In every queer man's crossbody bag, you will find the usual PWK (phone, wallet, keys), and you may even find a bottle of poppers. With Hot Girl Summer fast approaching, it may be time to update the acronym to PPWK. 

So what are poppers, you ask? Chances are, if you are reading this, you are already familiar with them. Poppers is a slang term for an inhalable chemical class called alkyl nitrites. But they had another use before entering the bedroom or dance floor. Popstar is here to school you on the oral, nasal, anal (whichever hole you prefer) history of poppers!

Heart to Heart

Or should we say nose to heart? After their creation in 1864, amyl nitrites were used in 1867 to treat angina pectoris: chest pressure usually due to insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle. A Scottish physician named Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton discovered that patients found immediate relief after inhaling amyl nitrite. Amyl nitrites help to dilate the coronary arteries, thus improving blood flow and relieving patients of their discomfort. 

Amyl nitrites were initially packaged in glass mesh containers called "pearls." To administer, you would crush them in between your fingers. The action was accompanied by a popping sound, which is the origin of the colloquial slang term "poppers." 

What's in a Name?

If you are looking to partake in poppers, you may need to ask for something else. While their use is widely popular, poppers were banned in the US in the 1980s with the Anti Drug Abuse Act. To evade anti-drug laws, you may need to call poppers by another name: nail polish remover, videotape head cleaner, or room deodorizer. If you are Down Under, there is no need to worry; poppers are legal and are in pharmacies along with your body wash and actual nail polish remover.

Poppers in the 20th Century and Beyond!

The first recreational use of alkyl nitrites was in 1964. However, it wasn't until the 1970s that poppers became a staple in the gay male community to help facilitate anal sex. Poppers have a relaxing effect on involuntary smooth muscles like the anus by increasing blood flow to the sphincter muscles, thus creating a better experience. In addition, the short-lived "high" or head rush can enhance sexual pleasure. 

Today, it seems like everyone uses poppers recreationally. Poppers were once like Drag Race or the West Village, something just for the LGBTQIA+ community. But the temporary high and head rush has everyone looking to partake to bring a little more fun to the function!

Farm to Disco

We've all heard of Farm to Table. Well, Double Scorpio offers their Farm to Disco signature formula. So now you may be thinking: are these organic? Not entirely, but they are clean! Founded by chemists, Double Scorpio prides itself on delivering a pure product to its consumers. So if you are going to partake in poppers, you want to ensure they are from a reputable source! 

Double Scorpio has an array of cleaners in various scents. From hints of peppermint, eucalyptus, florals, leather, and tobacco, there is something for every nose. Their seasonal scents, like pumpkin spice, can have you popping til you drop all year round! 

Sexual Astrology

If Popstar had a starsign, it would most definitely be Double Scorpio. Scorpio sun and moon! If you are looking to take your sexual experience to the next level you can feel the rush and have the night end in fireworks with Double Scorpio and Popstar double feature!