It’s the end of an era. Pac West Distributing (PWD), the company that makes Rush poppers has gone out of business. Nobody knows why, but according to the This is FYF blog, the company’s website has been down since Aug. 17.
Poppers, (not the fried, cheese filled jalapeno peppers) are small little bottles full of a volatile liquid like amyl nitrate or other stuff sold commercially as “air freshener” or “VCR head cleaner” and has been used for decades during sex by people looking to loosen themselves up and get jiggy with it. Its the sexy drug equivalent of huffing airplane model glue.
I’m always giggling at most sports bars and in the frozen food section of my supermarket whenever I see a box for cheese Poppers, whose ad slogan is “bring home the fun.” I’ll say.
How do they work? Amyl nitrite was originally used in medicine in the early 1900s to counteract the effects of cyanide poisoning and was found to relax the smooth muscles in the body, mostly the anus and vagina.
In the 1970s poppers were popular not just in the bedroom but on the dance floor, and even the Al Pacino film “Cruising” shows him huffing a hankie covered with the fluid on the dance floor.
That’s Al huffing on a rag covered in poppers!
Poppers have a long history of abuse due to the rush of warm sensations and dizziness experienced when the vapors are inhaled. Most often, poppers are used recreationally by men who have sex with men as a sexual enhancer or by young substance abusers.
It also deprives the body of oxygen and heavy use can lead to nerve/brain damage. Plus the use of poppers has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Fun times!
Although its illegal to sell them for human consumption, many gay clubs/bars, sex shops, drug paraphernalia head shops still sell them as “room deodorizers” although the smell isn’t something I’d consider pleasant.
If you’re still wanting to get a bottle, go ask film maker John Waters. In OUT magazine he told the interviewer that he’s not a “poppers pig” but he has a lifetime supply in his freezer.
“I made a giant bottle of Rush for my last art show, and the owner of the poppers company sent me a lifetime supply,” he confesses. “It’s really embarrassing ’cause I forget when people go to get ice and they see, like, a case of poppers.” He emulates an unsuspecting house guest recoiling in horror. “Oh, my God, he’s a poppers pig!” This picturesque expression prompts another tale. “My friend told me the worst story,” he says. “He went home with somebody that really was a poppers pig, who came out of the bedroom with a mask on that was hooked to a bottle of poppers so that he could give blowjobs and breathe poppers at the same time!” Waters laughs. “I’m afraid people think that’s what I am when they look in the freezer and don’t say anything.”