Education instead of bans – our contribution to the safe and responsible use of poppers

Aids-Hilfe Schweiz recently published the flyer “Safer Use Poppers”. As part of our educational work, we will actively help to distribute this informative flyer to the target group, because we are firmly convinced that education on the subject of poppers is the only way forward, rather than bans.

In this blog post, we take this as an opportunity to once again point out some important points about poppers consumption.

If you like to experiment during sex, you’ve probably held poppers under your nose before. Do you use poppers, the little bottles that fit in every trouser pocket and make you willing and relaxed? Then you will certainly know how to use poppers correctly and safely. If not, no problem. Read on and you will find all the important information about the safe and responsible use of poppers in this blog post and why we as an online store are committed to the topic of education instead of bans. At the end of this article you will also find the Safer Use Flyer from Aids-Hilfe Schweiz.

How to use poppers safely?
First of all, you should know that poppers are intended for inhalation and not for drinking. Poppers develop their effectiveness through the vapors that arise when the liquid comes into contact with air. Because the poppers liquid can irritate the mucous membranes, you should make sure that the bottle does not come into direct contact with your nose when inhaling. The neck of the bottle is often moist and some of the liquid sticks to the nostrils when touched. To prevent direct skin contact, we have various poppers accessories such as booster caps, super sniffers, inhalers and banger stations in our store.

Booster Caps and Super Sniffers can simply be screwed onto the bottle opening and inserted into the nose without risk. By using booster caps, the vapors get deep into the nose and can develop their power better.

Poppers inhalers work slightly differently. First soak absorbent cotton or cotton buds with poppers, insert them into one or two hollow pins, each with an opening at the top, and screw them onto the base element. A cap ensures that the poppers only take effect when you remove the cap and push the sticks into your nose.

A banger station for poppers is another cool solution, because by placing the poppers bottle in a fixed station, you don’t always have to hold it in your hand and awkwardly unscrew it to enjoy the vapor. All you have to do is grab the long tube of the Banger Station and use the inhaler attachment.

What types of poppers are there and which ones are better not to use?
The main component of poppers are so-called nitrites. When buying poppers, you should make sure that you buy poppers that contain amyl, pentyl or hexyl nitrites. These nitrite variants are less risky and less harmful to health. It’s worth going for big, well-known brands and manufacturers, even if the price is a little higher. In any case, you should check which nitrites are contained in the poppers you want to buy before you buy them. This way you play it safe and protect yourself and your fellow players.

You should avoid isobutyl nitrites and isopropyl nitrites in particular, as they are potentially carcinogenic and can cause damage to the eyes. We clearly distance ourselves from the sale of isopropyl and isobutyl nitrites.

What effects can poppers cause?
The effect of poppers occurs very quickly after inhalation and in most cases only lasts a few minutes. The effects of poppers include an increased sense of pleasure and sexual arousal as well as a feeling of euphoria. It also leads to muscle relaxation, vasodilation and a pleasant feeling of warmth.

The more undesirable effects of poppers may include headaches and dizziness. Inhaling poppers can also cause discomfort, nausea and vomiting. Some users report a dry mouth. In addition, impaired vision, a drop in blood pressure, circulatory problems or even unconsciousness are possible.

Why is mixed consumption dangerous?
If poppers are consumed in combination with alcohol, other drugs or medication, this places a heavy strain on the body and psyche. It is difficult to predict the effects of such mixed consumption because the individual effects cannot simply be added together. It is particularly dangerous if you consume poppers in combination with erectile dysfunction medication, i.e. Viagra®, Cialis®, Levitra® or similar drugs. The combination of poppers and antihypertensive drugs is also risky because it can lead to a significant drop in blood pressure, which can lead to circulatory collapse, a heart attack or even death.

Should certain groups of people avoid poppers?
The reference to mixed consumption shows that there are certain groups of people who should avoid poppers. This primarily includes people who use the medications mentioned in the previous section. But also people who suffer from heart disease or low blood pressure. For anyone taking medication for erectile dysfunction, the rule is that they should use either their medication or poppers before sexual activity, but never both together.

General rules of conduct when handling poppers
First of all, you should note that poppers are intended for inhalation. This means that you must not swallow, inject or plug them under any circumstances. Safe use of poppers therefore primarily involves inhaling the vapors carefully and avoiding any direct physical contact with the poppers liquid. As a beginner in particular, it can make sense to start with poppers that are not quite as strong, experiment with the different varieties and strengths from 1 to 6 and increase over time. For your safety and the safety of others, it is also important to store the poppers in such a way that they are not accessible to minors and cannot be confused by adults, e.g. with shot bottles. Safe use of poppers also makes it necessary to prevent poppers vapors from coming into contact with open flames, as they are flammable.

What to do in an emergency?
In an emergency, for example if a sexual partner is persistently unconscious, you should definitely call a doctor and seek medical assistance. Contact the poison control center (Giftnotruf Berlin 030 192 40).

Educating and destigmatizing poppers
There are numerous efforts in Switzerland and in many countries to increase awareness of poppers and thus contribute to destigmatizing poppers. Such efforts are being made worldwide to ensure that the safe use of poppers becomes routine. One way to achieve this goal is to legalize poppers in countries where they are currently banned. Some countries, including France and England, have already done this. One example of this is World Poppers Day, which has been celebrated every year on April 5 since 2019. Its founder is Eric Hassan. He would like to see more education on the subject of poppers and believes that more scientific studies are needed to look at the long-term effects of poppers. For him, educating society about poppers is an essential way of destigmatizing poppers themselves and consumers.

What is Oxymoron AG doing to promote the safe and responsible use of poppers?
We at Oxymoron AG are also constantly working to ensure that poppers are used safely and responsibly across the board. To achieve this goal, we regularly publish informative guide articles on our websites and clearly point out the risks and side effects of poppers. We regularly update our FAQ pages on the subject of poppers based on questions from our customers. We also work with age verification in the online store to protect minors. As part of product safety, we rely on child-resistant closures in the mandatory and voluntary sections. We only sell original poppers with known and clearly declared ingredients that have been tested and classified within the framework of self-regulation. We also promote the sale of useful poppers accessories that reduce the risk of injury when using poppers. In addition to our own counseling information on the subject of poppers, we enclose the flyer from Aids-Hilfe Schweiz (Safer Use of Poppers) with every package we send out.

With our commitment, we would like to actively contribute to promoting education on the subject of poppers, supporting the destigmatization of poppers and using the options available to us to ensure that the safe use of poppers is possible for all consumers and remains possible in the future.

Baar, June 2024

You can download the Safer Use of Poppers flyer from the Swiss AIDS Federation here.