“There is such a demand,” says Geoff, a 36-year-old British expat who works for a global bank in Dubai. People talk about the need for having poppers when they come round and see you.
I was having ‘interactions’ one time with an Egyptian guy I met online.
“I think what is different is that in the UK poppers get done in gay clubs and it’s a bit fun,” he says.
“That isn’t really how they are used in Dubai because the gay scene repurposes venues to be a gay venue for a night.
Strict homophobic laws necessitate any gay gatherings to be more clandestine. Instead, one of the more relaxed hotel bars is adopted for the night.
Sometimes the owners and other straight customers are not even aware – groups of men hanging out together is a common sight in Arab countries where the gender divide is more culturally enforced.
And the lack of any in a club environment gives the drug a darker, less frivolous aura.
But due to the physiological way it facilitates anal penetration, it is more commonly adopted by those who prefer to be the sexually ‘passive’ partner.He was so obsessed with having poppers it became the whole narrative while we were in bed.And at one point he put it up his nose and burnt the inside of his nostrils – he was so keen to have it.In that setting we heard stories similar to ours and realized that recovery from our problem was possible.We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective.Poppers are purely used for a sexual angle.” This “sexual angle” was famously explained by American psychiatrist Thomas P Lowry in his 1982 essay “The inhalable nitrites may be the nearest thing to a true aphrodisiac,” Lowry wrote.Importantly, he later notes that when under the influence “anal penetration becomes easier, probably from a combination of muscular relaxation and decreased pain perception.” Crucially it is this that makes poppers the most sought after drug by gay men in Dubai; more than coke or ecstasy.This explains why some people ‘need’ poppers, while others remain rather indifferent.What’s interesting about Dubai is the scarcity of poppers appears to drive that need.“We found in each other what we could find nowhere else: people who knew the depth of our pain.Together we found hope and the care of a loving Higher Power.