Poppers: “The Homosexual Peyote”


Last summer a friend told me about his boyfriend, who wouldn’t stop sniffing poppers. Frustrated, he gave the man a sexual Sophie’s Choice: ‘My nine inches or that bottle.’ The guy chose the bottle, bolted, and we all agreed this was allegorical. What comes between me and my poppers? Not even nine inches.

“Despite massive ambivalence, poppers are one thing we have yet to sell, condemn, or disown in the quest for equality. Consider poppers the homosexual peyote. Their open secret status in the tribe is key to staying power, as so few outsiders, Tallulah notwithstanding, know the first thing about them. In post-gay culture, kink, camp, and open relationships have been willingly sacrificed at the altar of assimilation.

“The sticky bottle is barely hanging on, each exposure to oxygen destroying potency. A fragile rose, whose bloom isn’t meant to survive, but it is still kept, hung upside down in hopes of preserving even a glimmer of former glories. The faintest whiff activating erotic muscle memory; a cheeky wink, a nod.”

Actor, writer and “rabble-rouser” Jesse Archer extolling the virtues of alkyl nitrite, better known as poppers, in an article for The Advocate.