sexual high
The New York Post broke a story Sunday in which Mimi Alford told of an affair she had with John F. Kennedy when she was 19 years old. Among the bombshell revelations is that JFK popped a capsule of amyl nitrate and waived it under her nose at a swinging Los Angeles party even though she said she didn't want to inhale the drug, which causes a sexual high. A popper is a slang term for amyl nitrate which has been part of the club culture from the 1970s disco scene to the 1980s and 1990s rave scene. Poppers have a long history of use due to the rush of warm sensations and dizziness experienced when the vapors are inhaled. Capsules or liquid are inhaled with the goal of enhancing sexual pleasure. TIME and the Wall Street Journal reported that the popper fad began among homosexual men as a way to enhance sexual pleasure, but "quickly spread to avant-garde heterosexuals" as a result of aggressive marketing. The head rush, euphoria, and other sensations that result from the increased heart rate are often felt to increase sexual arousal and desire. A 1987 study commissioned by the US Senate and conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services found that less than 3% of the overall population had ever used poppers. JFK's use of amyl nitrate is curious because Senator Ted Kennedy's former top aide Richard E. Burke wrote in his book "The Senator" that Senator Kennedy regularly used amyl nitrate (poppers) for his recreational sex which Burke described as voracious. Curiously as Chairman of the Senate Health Committee Kennedy published a report on the dangers of amyl nitrate which causes irregular heartbeat. I guess freakiness ran in the family.