A Guide to Explaining Poppers to a Noob

A Guide to Explaining Poppers to a Noob

My first experience with poppers was at a gay friend’s house. We were all sitting around drinking and he pulled out a tiny little bottle that looked like one of those essential oils you stick into those fancy burners.

“Want to do some poppers?”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a gay sex drug. It makes your asshole loose.”

This did not particularly sell me. Aside form “muscle relaxation,” my friends swore that poppers would create a feeling of mild euphoria, or as it’s known on the street, giggliness.

I decided to take a little sniff and I felt my face go “flush with desire.” Soon we were passing around the bottle and watching YouTube videos of cats playing the piano, espousing our new favorite drug, poppers. It was like weed mixed with whippets, but way less intense, lasting only about 30 seconds per sniff.

I did not notice any troubling, ahem, asshole effects.

The problem with poppers, everyone soon realizes, is they make you stupid for days. That’s what you get for suffocating your brain over and over for two hours, thinking you’re mildly enjoying something along the lines of Pottery Barn eucalyptus oil. Names become impossible to remember, your writing goes to pot, and you get mild headaches over and over.

Nonetheless, you will eventually end up in another social scenario where someone brings up poppers, and you have to explain what they are. To tell the truth, you’d have to say:

1. They’re a gay sex drug.
2. They make your asshole lose.
3. They make YouTube funnier.
4. They make you stupid and headachey.

This is not a functional formula for peer pressuring someone to try a new drug. It’s worth examining these points one by one, depending on your friend group.

Saying poppers is a gay sex drug probably makes them fall on the “enticing” side of the spectrum. “Ooh! That sounds hot and experimental.” Point number two instantly cancels this out. I recommend saying it “relaxes you,” and if they ask about the butt thing, say “It’s never been a problem for me.” Throw number 3 in there as a kicker and just leave out number 4, unless you want to be totally conscientious. (Let’s be friends, nice person.)

I hope this guide helped you broach the complicated subject of poppers. The Tangential, uh, doesn’t condone using them or anything.

-Rachel Green