The ‘Pink Champagne’ or ‘Amber Nectar’ of the LBGT world Poppers is the 4th most important liquid to gay men just behind obviously cum, piss and beer. The trouble is that since the 1960’s they have been common in the gay world but none of us ever learn about them properly and we pick up everything purely by word-of-mouth leading to some bad practices and habits and not giving enough thought to the dangers (and there are big dangers) of using poppers. Therefore, here is a public service feature to all AT readers as let’s face it if you are going to use poppers you may as well do it safely and know the facts. Bottles of poppers do not come with instructions and if any caveats or info are printed on the bottle they are usually for legal purposes mainly and tbh when did you last ever read the label on a bottle of poppers?…we would wager our entire Fort Troff & Oxballs sex toy collection that the answer is never. We guarantee this that although you may think you know everything on this subject you just don’t so please read on and get up to speed with your extended gay fetish knowledge.

We appreciate that some guys use Poppers for recreational use as opposed to a vital formal part of sex play like fisting, toys and hole training but at Alphatribe we never support ‘Chemsex’ and never will as our fetish community has lost to many great men and seen so many lives ruined by drugs that we will not be a part of promoting it so this is for latter guidance and safe use alone….remember the famous saying ‘a guy never got more interesting after he took some chems, he always becomes more boring’. Furthermore, as we mention below Poppers are illegal in some territories and not others and as an Interational magazine we have to cater for and be aware of different perspectives so please check local legislation. Just this month New Zealand the glowing success story of the pandemic with what appears fantastic intelligent politicians has entirely banned poppers from being sold manufactured, carried into the country or even having in your possession…so maybe not such great forward thinking people in charge as one would hope.

Poppers is the slang term given broadly to chemicals from the alkyl nitrite family most famous of which is Amyl. Developed over 160 years ago in 1844 to assist Angina sufferers as it eased their pain and helped blood flow to the heart. The poppers “craze” really began in the early 1970s in our LGBT community in gay bars, discos and bathhouses. It was packaged and sold pharmaceutically in fragile glass ampoules wrapped in cloth sleeves which, when crushed or “popped” in the fingers, released the amyl nitrite for inhalation, hence the name ‘poppers’. It is a liquid readily found for sale at many gay events and retailers and when the bottle is opened it is the fumes that do the work in relaxing your anus and for a short time making you horny (as well as warm and flushed). Many retailers say they are their biggest selling item often making up about 40% of sales and of course being a repeat consumable, they bring guys in regular and often and then there is a chance they may also pick up a Tee, some underwear, a book, magazine or some such which is why gay retailers the World over are constantly fighting for them to be allowed to sell against various attempts by authorities to outlaw Poppers alongside harder more dangerous recreational drugs as they are vital for business. They are safe and not addictive if used properly yet of course there are many stories and myths surrounding their misuse including that poppers were part of what killed both Kurt Cobain and Michael Hutchence of INXS. A lot of guys buy Poppers online but that is a bit of a nightmare with different laws from Country to Country of what can be sold or shipped and of course what you are getting for your money is a minefield – We would recommend reading what is in your online popper purchases carefully before buying to ensure you get what you want and are expecting. There are a million types of brands and they have various strengths (and just as many price variables). The strongest are always the most expensive but often are way too much for what most people want to use them for.

Millions of gay guys use poppers daily, have fun with them and expand their sex lives and assholes in equal measure yet their legality from Country to Country is all over the place and changes constantly. We mentioned New Zealand above moving in the wrong way making them entirely illegal and throwing them in with the likes of Cocaine and GHB whereas just across the water in Australia they are completely legal although there was a failed attempt to change that in 2019. In the UK they are legal yet there was an attempt to put them with the hard drugs recently that was defeated due to pleas from Gay retailers and Two gay Members of Parliament from the governing party standing up and stating proudly that they use them regularly and to lump them in with Class A drugs was nuts. Once again over the water in France they are illegal; Canada illegal, The EU countries are allowed to sell ‘reformulated’ ones etc which is why when you are travelling guys often ask you to buy them some poppers as they find ‘The German ones too weak’ or the ‘South American ones are better quality’. The good old US of A changes their mind on Poppers about as much as they do on Presidents, gun laws, which Drag Race Season is best and whether Ellen Degeneres is a force for Good or Evil but basically, they are illegal to sell and distribute but individual possession and use is not, yet there are so many loopholes that retailers can utilise that you can regularly find them on booths at the likes of Folsom and IML and instore. One of the most common tricks Worldwide is to sell them as leather cleaners or Tape head cleaners and trust us they are poppers, will work, are then legal etc. They are actually very good at cleaning leather so rather than throw your old Pops away give your boots or chaps a good buffing up but we aware that the fumes are pretty pungent and potent so ensure plenty of fresh air is about.


1 Do use them sparingly. We often see subs taking 4 nostril sniffs every 2 minutes and overusing them like a mental crutch. They should be used as part of the sex act to enhance it and make certain practices easier and less painful to handle not become the dominant player in a decent fuck or fist. Also do not make it a habit. If you are enjoying your sex partner and are connected then you don’t need poppers possibly at all, don’t be that guy that every time just before you suck a dick say you have to take a whiff of pops like a reflex action, a total habit that you don’t need you just always do. The popper time scale is as follows:-First 10 seconds – you get a warm feeling and your face flushesFrom about 15 seconds – your body, most noticeably your ass will be more relaxed and ready for that huge rugby players’ fist.Between 35- 45 seconds – you will naturally feel very horny1- 1.30 Minutes the feelings will dissipate5 Minutes you are entirely back to normal…so if sniffing more than once in 5 minutes you are truly getting carried away….Let the top fuck you not the poppers.If you use them too much or too quickly you will feel dizzy, get headaches and possibly have nose bleeds. Health wise you will be fine as in the scientists list of Top 20 ‘substances’ Poppers are placed 19 out of 20 for dangers (including addiction) whereas alcohol is Number 10 and Marijuana is at 11 it is just simply that you are not using them right and for the best. Basically, if using poppers ALWAYS USE THEM IN MODERATION.

2 Do be aware of the dangers (see below) especially as poppers impair judgement and that safe sex you wanted may go out of the window when your guard is down or that baseball bat that feels so good in your hole maybe doing some damage which you are not aware off until afterwards when your senses and nerve endings return to base camp. Ventilation is important so if possible open a window. Always let the bottle get to room temperature and basically the warmer the better so a hot club in Maspalomas or Puerto Vallarta should be fine. Other favoured practices are putting the bottle in your armpit for a few moments or in some warm water. Many guys are so fussy on which brand they buy ‘I like Jungle Juice’ ‘I like XXL’ etc and the strength they purchase also often paying double the price of basic bottles and then just plain using them wrongly and not getting the benefit…’I bought that type and they were rubbish and too weak for me’ translated means you just took them straight out of the fridge and did not use them properly”…’s like ordering Sirloin steak and eating it on a paper plate with plastic cutlery and coating it in ketchup.

3 Poppers are a fantastic relaxant which is why they have dominated our sex lives for 50 straight years with no new upstart competition getting close. If you are a virgin to anal it is a good idea to take a whiff (infrequently) and it will greatly help you relax and your enjoyment. Anal sex, toy play and fisting should be about pleasure not pain as that is for the CBT and S&M dungeon part of our sex lives not the fantastic more straight forward hole training part and poppers are your best friend for this. Very simply poppers do work they increase you blood flow and heart rate making you horny and able to temporarily shut out a chunk of the pain from your ass nerve endings and they also make your head feel good too….but please limit it to the actual act of sex and don’t become one of these cockwombles you see sniffing poppers on a dancefloor, having a life wrecking party in their own head and becoming increasingly boring as fuck to everyone else around.

4 Poppers are not cheap and can be used in a number of sessions so don’t become one of the ‘Have you got fresh poppers brigade’. Always keep them in the fridge or even for longer periods the freezer. Remember poppers are the fumes not the liquid which are produced when the latter is exposed to the air. So, if you quickly recap a bottle a couple of times during sex they are as good as new whereas if you leave them on your bedside table open or loosely open or keep them partly covered with your thumb you are throwing money away. It is more than possible to have great ‘fresh’ poppers for about 7 sessions. The actual test of whether they are still useable is the smell – if they smell of fruit as they should you are in the black and can keep using them if they smell like an Accountants pair of old socks then they need to go in the bin. There are 4 standard methods of popper intake:-A Sniffing from the bottle (The most common and probably the most waistful)B Pouring a small amount onto a handkerchief or rag and replacing the tightly capped bottle in the fridge.C Having a ‘working bottle’ where you decant some fluid into your own receptacle putting the stock one back into refrigeration and taking the working bottle to the bedroom.D Coating part of a mask or commonly a gas mask…be careful not to get any pops onto the gas mask filter. This is good for ongoing popper maintenance but of course bad for the fact that you do not get the desired roller coaster effect of a whiff of pops every 5/10 or 15 minutes which is what they are designed for instead the continual odour will make you too used to the smell and not have the desired affects you want with increasingly decreasing returns and are more likely to lead to headaches faster and probably worse.

5 Do enjoy poppers as if used properly they are very safe and most of all they are not addictive. There is a reason they have stayed at Number One in the gay ass training world for half a century because once aware of the potential downsides and you have educated yourself on them then they are amazing and will achieve all you want from them and more and soon you will be making traffic cones disappear up your manhole or take a double bicep fisting without any pain becoming a legend along the way. Poppers work for subs period….why you would want your top to have them is questionable – yes, they make him hornier for a very short period and the short burst of increased blood flow will aid his hard on for a equally limited time but nowhere near as good as Viagra or other erectile aids but to be honest you want your top aroused not relaxed as that is what you want with the sub or more directly his anal rings…. relaxed & willing. For tops of course there is also another MASSIVE problem with popper use (See below).


1 As mentioned earlier there are no great lists of instructions with Poppers yet there are many dangers which all gay men should be aware of. One of the most blatant ones is that Poppers are flammable in fact highly flammable so be aware of that post fuck cigarette or any flame risks near the fuck area. Hot wax, cigar and burns are all part of the wonderful pantheon of fetish sex but should be kept a Million miles away from any popper sniffing. Believe us it can take just one tiny bit of ash from a cigar say to turn your three-way into a dangerous fireball.
2 Do not spill your poppers. The chemicals in the liquid have one job and that is to mix with air and create fumes. If a few drops are spilt on your bed sheet your whole room will have a headache inducing aroma for 12 hours and it soon becomes unpleasant…..rather than making you hornier it is a full-on boner killer. Most importantly do not get poppers in the eye. If you think it is painful when some over excited spunk producing teen gets a huge wad of jizz in your eye (which is basically just salt so painful but not damaging) then Pops are a whole different level. Let’s make this clear, poppers can and will cause vision loss and eye damage so that should never happen guys.

3 Another very important danger is mixing Poppers with other substances notably hard drugs and erectile aids like Viagra, Trimex, Caverject etc. Obviously recreational drugs should not be part of sex anyway (As you can tell we are not fans of the modern Chemsex plague) but without preaching having one substance that greatly alters your judgement is only magnified my doubling up with two and it also doubles massively the health risks both short and long term. As we mentioned above tops always want a dick of steel and over the last 2 decades erectile disfunction tablets and injections produced originally for older guys who over time struggle to get or maintain a decent boner have been wholly adopted across all age groups of gay men wanting a guaranteed hard on that impresses or maybe to counter a couple of beers downed earlier in the evening. That is fine as all these erectile aids work well and each top has decided his own rules of when and where he uses them and has hopefully checked out all the right info on it. BUT and it is a big BUT (A bigger and more important BUTT than even say Trip Richards or John Thomas’s ) if you take Viagra or similar never and we cannot say this loud enough, NEVER take whiffs of poppers as well. Both things are doing the same job increasing your heart rate and it is just not fair on your horny little heart to put that much pressure on it…..down this road leads to strokes, heart problems or worse.

4 Do not drink poppers if getting in the eyes is bad then imbibing it is worse and can easily lead to death. There is a pattern developing here…poppers are a wonderful and hugely popular part of the gay sex world, they work, can help you try new things easier and are not addictive or particularly expensive and in many Countries can and should be legal to purchase. Yet they are a chemical which we possibly daily take into our bedroom acrobatics whatever state we are in and that temporarily enhance our sex drive whilst possibly denting our judgment and inhibitions and we have no training in their usage just picking up what to do from sex partners over time who equally may not have a massive clue of the dangers. If ever you spill a couple of drops on your skin it will irritate, redden and be sore and this should be the lesson that it is the fumes that are your friend, what you want and what works for you so well in sex and that the liquid which is needed to produce said fumes is dangerous and should be thoroughly respected as such.

5 Not everyone should use Poppers. They should not be used if you have blood pressure issues or if there is a history of heart problems in the family. After all there are alternatives to relaxing your ass muscles such as ‘Anasol’ or pile cream which will numb your hole for a while easily doing the same job as Pops and of course there are many other ways of getting sexually aroused and horny. Poppers will pump more blood into the brain around your body and up your hearts work rate so if you have any medical conditions that may be affected by this then speak to your doctor and don’t be shy as he has heard all this before and will be happy to advice and not judge. Poppers are great and are ubiquitous throughout the gay fetish scene and it seems mandatory in the fisting world but please keep abridge of the dangers.


Written by Paul Stag

Paul is an international porn star and a long time editor for Alphatribe magazine.


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