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The ‘war on bottoms’ continues as Australia reveals plan to ban poppers from sex shops

Josh Milton January 30, 2020
Poppers, alkyl nitrites

(Getty)

The war waged against bottoms continues and, in the latest siege of cruelty, Australian authorities are vowing to regulate the sale of poppers.

Last year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration shelled plans to restrict the purchase of poppers, typically sold in adult sex shops, to pharmacies.

However, plans to continue with this have been brought back, officials confirmed to The Star Observer. Meaning that adult entertainment shops and suppliers will be unable to stock poppers from February 1.

Poppers are a type of nitrate, an alkyl nitrate screwed inside colourful bottles – sometimes signed by Charli XCX – that, when inhaled, give users a euphoric head rush.

Instead, poppers will only be attainable from a qualified health practitioner, with a medical prescription needed for therapeutic use.

Amyl nitrates will be available at drugstores without the need for a prescription.

Officials say LGBT+ were consulted during the amendment proposals.

The amendments, part of the February 2020 Poisons Standard, will restrict products that contain alkyl nitrate

“The February 2020 Poison Standard, including all of the proposed changes to alkyl nitrites, has been published and will take effect from February 1 2020,” they said.

Agency officials added that LGBT+ people were involved in discussions around the amendments. Companies will also have the opportunity to create “home made” nitrates.

“Prior to making the decision, the TGA held two workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as seeking public submissions, to better understand the views of the LGBTIQ community,” the spokesperson said.

“The move of amyl nitrite to Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine) will allow for easier access to products containing the substance, as a prescription will no longer be required.

“This may also encourage companies to consider supplying products into Australia.”

Move to limit poppers is ‘homophobic’, says activist. 

Steve Spencer, a HIV activist, branded the the move “homophobic” and compared the amendment as declaring a “war on bottoms”.

“It’s not a drug of dependence, nor is it addictive, and it has played a very important role as an enabler of affection, love, and exploration of one’s self and others,” he told the Star Observer.

“It’s also always been there for moments of queer celebration.

“When gay men, bottoms, women, and young people need something to assist their pleasure and sexual enjoyment like poppers, they’re simply told tough luck.

“Their access to these things are denied and pushed underground, and any health consequences are blamed on the individual rather than any accountability being taken by the authorities that pushed us to this point.

“This is what stinks about this whole thing, it’s not the amyl – it’s the discriminatory nature of this move; it’s homophobic, it’s misogynistic, and it’s ageist.”

More: Australia, Health, poppers, Steve Spencer

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