3, 2, 1... inhale, deep. From the Victorian infirmary and the sex clubs of the 1970s, poppers vapour has released the queer potential inside us all.
This is the intriguing story of how poppers wafted out of the lab and into gay bars, corner shops, bedrooms and porn supercuts. Blending historical research with wry observation, Adam Zmith explores the cultural forces and improbable connections behind the power of poppers. What emerges is not just a history of pub raids, viral panics and pecs the size of dinner plates. It is a collection of fresh and provocative ideas about identity, sex, utopia, capitalism, law, freedom and the bodies that we use to experience the world.
In Deep Sniff, what starts as a thoughtful enquiry into poppers becomes a manifesto for pleasure.
"Absorbing, riotous, keenly-researched and utterly celebratory, Deep Sniff is exactly the kind of queer history we need right now! Through the heady prism of poppers, Zmith explores the queer body with such curiosity and nuance – and explodes just how very political and ongoing the search for autonomous pleasure really is." – Richard Scott, author of Soho
“A fascinating, joyful social and personal history of an underrated drug. Zmith manages to capture not just the intriguing story of poppers and their role in queer life, but also something of their ineffable chemical pleasure.” – Huw Lemmey, author of Unknown Language
“Adam Zmith's Deep Sniff is a fascinating dive into the history of a common, yet rarely remarked upon part of gay male life in the late 20th and early 20th century: poppers. Deftly intermingling history, personal experience, and cultural commentary, Deep Sniff is a remarkable addition to queer history.” – Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer
“A book on poppers and its dilated pleasures is long-overdue. Knowledgeable and naughty, Deep Sniff is a giddy, unashamed rush that doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge after opening.”– Mark Simpson, author of Saint Morrissey, It's a Queer World, Sex Terror, and Male Impersonators