What You Need Know About Poppers And Gay Sex

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Poppers are a popular substance used by gay men, and often considered a party or sex drug. So, chances are you've seen one of these small brown cap vials laying around at a party, in a shop or in someone's bedroom. But do they really make sex better? And, can they be dangerous to use?

Poppers is slang for a variety of different alkyl nitrites solutions, particularly amyl nitrite. They are available over the counter and come in small, typically brown, bottles.

The nitrates are a yellowish, strong smelling, and quite flammable liquid. The liquid vapors are inhaled to deliver right to the system.

These nitrites are a yellowish, highly flammable, pungent-smelling liquid. You inhale their vapors as the method of delivery to your system.

They vary by strength, meaning how strong a dose each use will give, and are used as a recreational drug to increase sexual arousal. 

Popper, however, haven't always been used as a stimulant during sex. Amyl nitrites were generally used in air fresheners and video head cleaners. They were packaged in small capsules that popped when they were broken, thus the name "poppers." However, today poppers are the main ingredient for gay men who want to relax or are seeking a little extra during sex. 

How so? Poppers relax key muscles such as the sphincter of the anus, which can make anal sex less painful. Poppers also cause blood vessels to dilate, which drops blood pressure and increases heart rate (amyl nitrite was originally used to treat angina and cyanide poisoning).

As a result, users experience a flush feeling and increased sexual arousal. The effect lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the strength.

Although popper can enhance sexual experiences, there are some side effects. Side effects include headaches, sudden changes in blood pressure and potential loss of arousal after a few minutes.

Related: Taking Viagra Before Sex

There are a few risks associate with poppers use. Poppers enlarge blood vessels and increase blood flow. They can also impair judgment, leading to unprotected anal sex. Because of there is an increased risk of HIV transmission during use. A tear or fissure in the rectal walls during anal sex, combined with unprotected sex and increased blood flow can increase the risk of transmitting the virus. At its most severe, poppers combined with Viagra (which also lowers blood pressure) can be fatal.

Are The Sexual Benefits Worth The Risk?

Although poppers provide a rush during sex, the effect only lasts a few minutes. The headaches, which are common side effects, can in some cases ruin the mood. There have also been reported case of burns if the liquid drops on the skin. And since poppers often impair judgment, leading to unsafe sex, the risk of contracting HIV is much greater. However, each person is different, as is each sexual encounter. In this case, a little awareness can go a long way. By taking into account the potential risks, poppers can be used safely.

Still, poppers aren't available everywhere. Some countries have explicit laws concerning the sale and use of poppers.

For instance, poppers are banned in Canada as a drug, although they are not considered a narcotic. Poppers containing isopropyl nitrite are sold in Europe, however isobutyl nitrite is prohibited.