Booty bumping, sometimes called boofing, is a way to consume drugs — usually methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine — by way of your butt.
You might also hear it referred to as plugging, hooping, up your bum, or UYB.
In the past, it’s been associated with gay men, transgender women, and their partners. But let’s get one thing straight: Booty bumping is an option for anyone who consumes drugs, including people who aren’t interested in anal sex.
Here’s a closer look at how it’s done, strategies for making it safer, and why it can be a less harmful option than injecting, sniffing, or smoking for some people.
Healthline does not endorse the illegal use of any substances. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using them.
How’s it done?
How does one get something powdered, sticky, or rocky up there? It starts with having the right materials.
Most booty bumping supplies are available free of charge from your local syringe service program (SSP) or through the mail via NextDistro, a harm reduction organization.
- needleless, 1 milliliter (mL) syringe
- clean mixing cup (SSPs have these, or you can use a shot glass)
- sterile water (SSPs have pre-packaged pouches, or you can use boiled, filtered water once cooled)
- sterile stirrer
- petroleum jelly or your preferred lubricant
- vitamin E capsules
Additional supplies can include:
- naloxone (also available from NextDistro) to reverse an opioid-involved overdose
- a milligram digital scale for accurately measuring your dose
Booty bumping isn’t a risk-free practice. But, if you’re going to do it, these steps can help you reduce your chances of infection, overdose, and other risks:
- First thing’s first: Poop! This will help you start with a clean slate.
- Make a plan for how much you’ll be using. Starting slow with small doses is important for any mode of consumption, and boofing is no exception. You’ll also want to do this when trying a drug for the first time or using a new batch. The website TripSit provides dosage guidelines for most drugs.
- Measure the water. Using your syringe, measure out sterile water from a clean cup. You can calculate the amount of water required for your dose using TripSit’s calculator, or you could just eyeball a volume between a half and 1 mL. Return the measured amount to the cup and toss any extra water.
- Mix it up. Measure out and mix in your drugs, stirring until all is dissolved. If matter remains, that may be fillers. You can try to remove some of these by passing the mix through a coffee filter.
- Fill and prepare the syringe. Draw up the solution into your syringe. Then, lube up the first centimeter or so (no need to put lubricant on the very tip).
- Assume the position. Comfort is key, whether that’s laying on your stomach, back, or side, or standing up with one leg raised on a chair. It’s unlikely liquid will leak out if you’re standing.
- Insert the syringe. Slowly insert the syringe. You don’t need to go very deep — 1 centimeter works. If things feel tight, you can make a farting motion to loosen up.
- Plunge. Empty the contents of the syringe, leaving the syringe in for a few minutes, so the liquid doesn’t drip out.
- Remove and dispose. Pull out the syringe and throw it away. If the syringe came with a needle that you removed, you can safely dispose of it by putting it in a hard plastic bottle and duct-taping the cap shut.
- Use vitamin E. Insert the vitamin E capsule in your anus to promote the healing of any micro-tears that happened during the process.
- Clean up. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Can it be done without a syringe?
Sterile syringes are the safest option, but they aren’t the only one.
Some people make suppositories. But these are typically used for prescribed medications and have a slow release, which might not be ideal if you’re hoping to feel the effects quickly.
Lubricant injectors and enema bulbs can be used, but they’re not as precise as syringes. They also require sterilization for re-use (syringes, on the other hand, can be disposed of).
“Stuffing,” or simply inserting drugs up your butt, especially rocky and crystalline substances, can cause tears, increasing the risk of infection and rectal bleeding. So it’s best to avoid this method.
How long does it take to feel the effects?
The effects usually come on within minutes and can last for hours, but this can vary, depending on the substance used. Keep in mind that there isn’t much quality research around this, so the exact timespan isn’t clear.
When it comes to the onset time for methamphetamine, some
Regardless of how you ingest it, meth’s effects generally last for hours.
For heroin, an older 2004 clinical study suggested the onset time of boofing is comparable to that of injection, which is known to rapidly deliver effects.
What does it feel like?
Some people say the high from booty bumping may be felt more in your torso or limbs, versus the head-rush often associated with smoking.
Others (including heterosexual, cisgender men) also experience arousal. Some — but not all, by any means — may feel shame due to widespread stigma around anal pleasure.
The long history of demonizing what’s been called “sodomy” obscures the fact that the prostate lends itself towards this arousal.
Some particularly enjoy boofing because of the unique arousal it can offer in the context of sex parties. This is the case for those in the chemsex and so-called party ‘n’ play (PnP) scenes, spaces of mostly queer men or transgender women and their partners.
Boofing might also cause some discomfort, irritation, or pain if the syringe isn’t properly lubricated.
Is it safer than other ways of consuming drugs?
When done properly, boofing avoids some risks and harms of the more commonly-practiced routes of taking drugs.
Booty bumping vs. injecting
If you’re looking to stop injecting (or would rather not start), boofing can be a safer alternative. It doesn’t carry the same risks of abscesses, collapsed veins, endocarditis, skin infections, and bloodstream infections.
Booty bumping vs. sniffing and smoking
Sniffing and smoking can irritate the nose or lungs, respectively, if done frequently and without preventative measures.
Plus, sharing equipment introduces the risk of contracting a virus, including SARS-CoV-2 and hepatitis C. (FYI, sharing boofing materials carries the same risk of virus transmission.)
Other potential sniffing harms, depending on the precautions you take (like dissolving coarse drugs), range from a runny or bloody nose to the development of holes in the septum.
Dissolving coarse drugs reduces the risks of damage to the nasal tissue.
Compared to smoking and sniffing, booty bumping may also help you moderate your consumption. It takes more preparation to boof, which can help you slow down and be more intentional about your use.
If you’re at a party, for example, excusing yourself to use the restroom to boof slows your pace more than a pipe being continuously passed around the room.
What are the risks?
While booty bumping may have some benefits over injecting, sniffing, or smoking, it isn’t without risks.
Boofing, like any mode of administering drugs, bears the risk of damaging the orifice in question; here, the anus.
You can accidentally tear the internal tissue of your anus, according to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Tweaker, which may be accompanied by pain and bleeding.
As a result, there’s the risk of contracting an infection, like HIV, hepatitis C, and the chlamydia-related lymphogranuloma venereum.
If possible, try to avoid bottoming afterwards. Otherwise, wait at least a half hour and be sure to use a condom.
If you’re running into this predicament a lot, the HIV prevention medication PrEP might be worth exploring.
Overdose or overamping
Booty bumping can overwhelm your body in some cases, regardless of the kind of drug you’re using.
Opioids and other central nervous system depressants can slow your breathing to the point of death. This is what happens when someone experiences an opioid overdose.
Your overdose risk increases if you mix multiple downers. Using for the first time or after a break can also contribute, since your tolerance is nonexistent or diminished.
An “overdose” of stimulants is called overamping. Unlike an opioid overdose, it’s not defined by drug quantity or potency.
The National Harm Reduction Coalition says this term can have various meanings, ranging from psychological crises, like anxiety or psychosis, to medical problems, like heart attacks or strokes.
You might have a higher chance of overamping if you haven’t been sleeping, eating, or hydrating. Mixing multiple drugs or using in an uncomfortable environment can also make you more vulnerable.
Boofing your usual sniffing or smoking dose may hit harder and faster, potentially raising your risk of overdosing or overamping.
Regardless of experience or tolerance, anyone can experience and overdose or overamp.
The widespread and ever-changing adulteration of the unregulated drug supply can make it difficult for you to know exactly what’s in your product.
The potent opioid fentanyl, for example, is now a common cut in heroin and is increasingly being found in stimulants, including cocaine and methamphetamine.
If you’re going to try this approach, there are a few things you can do to help make the experience a bit safer and more comfortable:
- Think twice if you have hemorrhoids. If you have hemorrhoids, boofing might not be the best option for you, according to a harm reduction guide by Merchants Quay Ireland, a homeless services organization.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water beforehand. Afterwards, go easy on your bowels and eat some fiber.
- Don’t share supplies. Stuff that’s been up or near a butt can spread harmful viruses and bacteria.
- Reach out. It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional if you experience butt pain or discomfort. According to the San Francisco Aids Foundation, it’s especially important to connect with a healthcare professional if you experience painful rectal bleeding.
- Dose yourself. You want to be in control of how much you’re doing. What sounds like a large dose to you might be a smaller dose in someone else’s eyes.
- Carry naloxone. Everyone who uses drugs should have naloxone, even if they aren’t using opioids and even if they don’t think their drugs contain opioids. Remember: Contaminants, including fentanyl, are increasingly showing up in stimulants. You can also check your bag with fentanyl test strips, available from DanceSafe or your local syringe service.
- Know how to use naloxone. Make sure someone around you knows how to use naloxone. This video provides instructions for using the naloxone nasal spray Narcan.
- Have a buddy. It’s always best to have a trusted friend who knows how to administer naloxone nearby in case you start having symptoms of an overdose. If you’d rather be alone, tell a nearby friend what you’re up to, and make sure they are able to physically reach you. You can also use the overdose prevention hotline Never Use Alone.
Signs that someone might be experiencing an overdose include:
- limp body
- slow or interrupted breathing
- blue lips or fingernails
- being unresponsive, even when you rub your knuckles on their sternum
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away if you think someone’s experiencing an overdose.
Worried about legal consequences? This guide can help.
The bottom line
Booty bumping is an under-discussed way to consume drugs. While it carries risks, it may be a safer option if you usually inject, smoke, or sniff drugs.
Whether you’re looking to fold it into your sex life or try it as a harm reduction technique, boofing can be a tool in your arsenal to make getting high a bit safer.
If you’re concerned about your drug use, there’s help available. If you feel comfortable, you can bring it up to a healthcare professional. Keep in mind that patient confidentiality laws will prevent them from reporting this information to law enforcement.
You can also reach out to one of the following free and confidential resources:
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357) or online treatment locator
- SAFE Project
Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard is an independent drug journalist and transgender critic. She was formerly a staff writer at Filter, one of the only online journalistic publications dedicated to covering harm reduction. Follow her on Twitter, @SessiBlanchard.