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Peanut Butter Poppers: Choosy Huffers Choose Jif®!

Pictured above: Instagram photo of Jif® Peanut Butter Poppers/Photo: Instagram user the.sweet.foodie

Worldwide peanut butter and butter company Jif® has just released a new product called “Chocolate Poppers.”[1]

I, being a homosexual, immediately did a triple-take when I saw Jif®’s advertisement pop up (HA) on my Instagram story. I thought to myself, “Is Jif® trying to communicate with the LGBTQIA community or do they just have a marketing team full of heterosexuals? Who greenlit this? You’re telling me nobody in the marketing department of Jif® has done poppers before?”

“Will [Jif®’s Poppers] make my butthole loose and my face red?” Chicago actor Sawyer Smith asked, verbalizing the hard-hitting question we were all wondering. I decided to investigate.

Example of poppers/Photo: Wikipedia

But first! Not everybody knows what poppers are. Though the straights are now dabbling in this butt-sex-disco-drug, poppers are still unknown to many folx. For instance, Chicago comedian Cameron Little stated:

“To be honest…” Chicago comedian Cameron Little began, “ The first time a guy I hooked up with mentioned poppers I thought, ‘fuck yes, I want jalapeno poppers!’”

“I didn’t know this term was a thing,” Chicago heterosexual Alex[2] said. “And now I’m rethinking jalapeño poppers.”

Let’s look into the history of poppers.

Poppers–or amyl nitrates–weren’t originally used as a sphincter-relaxing party drug.The French chemist Antoine Jérôme Balard manufactured amyl nitrite in 1844. Soon after, Scottish physician Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton began using amyl nitrate to treat angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart). When inhaled, the arteries dilate allowing better blood flow to the heart muscle.

A more efficient angina medication came onto the scene in the 1960’s. This was great for patients and devastating for the massive pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome, which owned the patent. Who would buy the Amyl Nitrates now? The soldiers fighting in ‘Nam, of course! GI’s were consuming anything they could get their hands on and, according to duesberg.com, “somehow, the newest drug of choice became amyl. Sniffing it was legal, the bottles were light, and the fumes were labelled an antidote to gun fumes. In came poppers by the crate.”

By the 1970’s, poppers became a staple of the gay disco scene. According to verywellmind.com, one “effect of these drugs is relaxation of the anal sphincter. For this reason, poppers are sometimes used to facilitate anal sex. In addition, some users find that using poppers during sex increases sexual sensations and intensifies orgasm.”[3]

Fun fact: Poppers can also be used to combat cyanide poisoning!

Although the use of poppers never really went away, the rave scene of the 1990’s made them a dance floor staple once more. Today, poppers remain a staple drug of the gay scene.

As of 2018, poppers have now spread to grocery stores across the world. Even better, they come in three delicious flavors: peanut butter, chocolate and strawberry. As a serious investigative reporter, I found it necessary to dig deeper into the makeup of these new “snacks.” Below, you will find a comparison of Jif®’s Poppers and the poppers so many of us know and love:

Jif® Chocolate Poppers: Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn: Peanuts, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Organic Wheat Flour, Popcorn, Contains 2% or Less of: Water, Palm Oil, Baking Soda, Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Malt (Barley).

Chocolate Flavored Covered Pretzels: Organic Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Contains 2% or Less of: Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Whole Milk, Whey Powder, Salt, Water, Organic Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin (Artificial Flavor), Organic Malt (Barley).

My taste-test resulted in a sugar rush and a slight feeling of regret for spending money on a glorified bag of puppy chow.

POPPERS: Assorted alkyl nitrites-isopropyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite. (Originally, only amyl nitrites were used but isopropyl nitrite tends to be more common these days.)

I did not taste-test poppers because I’m sober and prefer butt plugs over inhalants.

Shockingly, it appears that there is no crossover between the ingredients found in the recreational drug poppers and Jif®’s Poppers. According to Jif®’s website, their chocolate poppers have “the flavor you crave, that will not undo your day.” With this information, we can only assume that the Jif® Poppers will not loosen your butthole or turn your face red. Too bad.

All of this leads me to wonder if Jif® is marketing to a whole new crowd of queers or if Jif® is oblivious of the message it’s sending? Either way, it’s hilarious and I’m here for it.

[1] Credit to Chicago’s resident photobooth daddy Eric Strom for this article’s tag-line: “Choosy huffers choose Jif®!” Well done, Strom. Well. Done.

[2] Subject Alex asked to use pseudonyms.

[3] In all seriousness, we need to talk about the side effects of poppers. Make your own decisions, but be informed. Side effects include: a drop in blood pressure, less blood going to the brain, dizziness, nausea, vision loss, methemoglobinemia, fainting, stroke and heart attack.

Emilie Modaff (they/them/theirs) is a Chicago-based actor, writer, musician, storyteller, cat co-parent, podcaster, tarot reader, reiki practitioner, performance artist, producer & casting director. They write for several publications, covering the Chicago theater scene, pop culture, and topics surrounding sobriety and recovery from addiction. Learn more about their work at their website, or keep up with them on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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