*WARNING There are adult themes and explicit descriptions of drug use in this episode. All drugs come with their own risks and legal implications. For more information please see the links below*
Angina treatments, room aromas and leather cleaners: amyl nitrite has had a wide range of reported uses over the years.But in reality the substance, better known as poppers, is usually used as something entirely different: a recreational drug.
But when did people start using them, why are they called poppers and how did they come to be so intrinsic to gay culture?
Kate is joined by Adam Zmith, author of ‘Deep Sniff: A History of Poppers and Queers Futures’ to discuss the history of poppers, from its discovery and use as medicine in the Victorian age, through its height of popularity in the clubs of the 1970s and the moral panic surrounding it in the 1980s, to today.
Produced by Charlotte Long and Sophie Gee. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas.
Betwixt the Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal & Society. A podcast by History Hit.
This episode includes music by Epidemic Sound.