After lube, the most common item in the fister’s shopping list is poppers. Most practitioners believe fisting is impossible without them. Is this true? Well, not really. I have had many fisting sessions without poppers. However, those times are a tiny minority of my fisting experience. So, are poppers really necessary for opening up to be fisted?

I used to think that this was entirely a placebo effect. Bottoms thought fisting was impossible without poppers, therefore, fisting was impossible without poppers. I am generally not a fun of chemicals. I have mentioned before that I consider being a fisting bottom an extreme sport. Therefore, all chemical aids are cheating. Poppers were so ubiquitous however, that one just had to tolerate them. Since then, I have learned a lot more about poppers, their physical effects on the body, and why they really do make fisting easier.

So what are poppers? Poppers are any of a class of chemicals called alkyl nitrites. They are sold in small bottles, and are used as a recreational, legal high, either during sex or during partying. Yes, people sniff them on the dance floor. They were a big party of the disco and rave scenes of the 80s and 90s. Generally, this use is prohibited and they are sold as “leather cleaners” or deodorants – you can even still find them labelled as “cassette player cleaners”!

What do poppers do? The short answer is that poppers cause a relaxation of the body’s involuntary muscles. This includes the muscles of the throat and anus, as well as the walls of the heart. The latter is actually the purpose they were first used for – medically: by causing the muscles to relax they allowed better blood flow to the heart and therefore relieved conditions like angina. So poppers do actually make fisting easier, by relaxing the involuntary muscles of the anus – of course the anus also has voluntary muscles, that have to be actively relaxed by the bottom.

How are poppers used? The most common way to use them is to inhale them through the nose by holding the tiny bottle up to your nostrils. Technically, you could also inhale them orally, but apparently guys cannot handle having a bottle so close to their mouth without taking a sip, so this is considered unsafe. Do not drink them! Bad things happen when you do. The ridiculous practice of taking two sniffs, one through each nostril, is meaningless. Your nasal cavity is not divided in two. Be careful when doing this, to avoid actual contact with the liquid. When a bottom is sniffing poppers from a bottle I usually stop what I am doing and hold still, just to make sure I don’t cause them to make an accident. Some bottoms dislike this courtesy, however: in truth, the moment of the inhalation is a very good time to “push”. This is true of any deep breath, and poppers just seem to make it even smoother.BreathRight Inhaler Chamber with Mask for Delivery of MDI NEW (Normal and Colapsable)

You could also opt to use a gas mask, or even a medical inhaler. Another common technique is wetting a handkerchief (preferably red!) and then sniffing the poppers through that. I am not a huge fan of gas masks, as they limit communication and feedback, but I found the medical inhalers very practical. No risk of burning, no risk of spilling, easily used with one hand. I am not referring to the inhalers that attach to a machine to produce vapours or to a canister. These have a simple chamber where you can insert a tissue paper soaked in poppers. They are also a lot cheaper than a gas mask! Some bottoms have this fantasy of being “forcefed” poppers by the top, but I personally find this disagreeable, impractical, and dangerous. You can control your own substances, thank you very much.

Are poppers safe to use? Well, they were first used by doctors to treat heart disease… so yes? But then they decided to stop using them…. so no? Historically, accidents and injuries involving poppers appear to be caused not by the “recommended” nasal inhalation route, but by accidental spilling or ingesting. As recreational drugs go, doctors consider poppers the least toxic. Of course, you can overdo it, but there are some sure early warnings as to when you are going too far: blue nails and lips are good signs. Also note that some people just have a stronger reaction to poppers, and that people with certain heart conditions should absolutely avoid them. If you want horror stories about the effects of poppers, the internet is full of them.

If you are planning to use poppers for the first time, be reasonable. Do it with someone you trust, preferably someone who has experience with poppers. Start small, wait for your reaction, and judge accordingly. Don’t mix them with other drugs – in fact note that poppers should NEVER, EVER be taken with drugs such Sildenafil or Viagra, because of their effect on blood supply to the heart. If you combine poppers with any vasodilator drugs you will hurt yourself. However, if you are taking poppers in order to get fisted, do you really care about staying hard?

Why are my feet so f*cking cold? It is normal for your extremities to feel cold when you take poppers. If you are holding your legs up, or you are on your back in a sling, that will also accelerate the rate at which you loose heat through your feet. You know how bottoms in fisting porn always wear red football socks? It’s not just for looks. Go get yourself some thick rugby or football socks, either from a sports store (cheap!) or a sex shop (expensive, but the really fancy ones actually have a pocket to put your poppers bottle in).

Are poppers all the same? Absolutely not. There is at least half a dozen of different chemicals used as poppers, and they vary widely. Their availability in different countries is also varied – and always changing. When one chemical becomes illegal, another one becomes more popular, and so the circle goes. Within the European Union regulations vary widely, even though they are impossible to enforce: If you can’t find the ones you want in Germany, buy them from an Austrian website. Their properties vary widely: viscous or not, transparent or yellow, and, importantly, they evaporate at different temperatures. The consensus among users seems to be that the two “original” chemicals that were used for medical purposes are still the best choice, and that the others become popular only when the two veterans become hard to get. These originals are: amyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite. You can buy them under names like Jungle Juice and Rush, depending on where you are.

How do I store them? The consensus seems to be that once opened the bottles should be refrigerator. Since these substances are volatile that makes sense. Close the bottle as tight as you can. Some bottoms are convinced that poppers use their potency gradually after being opened, and I have no reason not to believe them. That is a good reason to buy smaller bottles – in addition, if you play outside your home you are likely to loose/forget/have them taken from you often. Some bottles have a small agitator in them – I assume this is useful for some of the more viscous types.

What if I do not want to use them? Don’t. You can still enjoy fisting. It might take you a bit longer to open up, but you will not enjoy it any less. Yes, I admit they are not a crutch, or a placebo. They do help. But if you have the patience and the drive to do it without (or medical reasons not to take them!), do not feel compelled. You will do fine without them. Personally, I really enjoy fisting bottoms who are completely sober, because I have such respect and admiration for what they can accomplish without chemicals.

Are there any questions I have not answered? Do you have a personal experience with poppers that you think might benefit other readers? Feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.