“Poppers” is a slang term for amyl nitrites, historically inhaled recreationally by the gay community during sex. The high is intense, but momentary, something you don’t have to commit to for any longer than ten, crazy seconds.
According to drugs.com, inhaling nitrites relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body (including the sphincter muscles, making it particularly helpful to gay bottoms.) “Poppers cause the vessels to dilate, resulting in an immediate increase in heart rate and blood flow throughout the body, producing a sensation of heat and excitement that usually lasts for a couple of minutes.”
As explained by Dr. Lucy Robinson, Sussex University history lecturer: “If you trace the bottle of poppers through late 20th-century history, you trace the legacies of gay culture on popular culture in the 20th century. We wouldn’t have had rave, disco or club culture as we know it today without the gay community.”
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