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Behind the risky scenes of ‘boofing’: what is it and how does it work?

By Malavika Pradeep

Aug 30, 2021

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On 28 September 2018, then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared for a testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Accused of sexual misconduct and assault, Kavanaugh’s past was dug into—especially his high school years—where his senior yearbook became an artifact to discern fact from fiction. Apart from ‘devil’s triangle’, one particular term that struck out among the entries was ‘boofing’.

“That refers to flatulence, we were 16,” Kavanaugh clarified, denying all allegations and inferences related to the term. However, boofing is neither listed as a synonym for ‘fart’ on Thesaurus.com nor featured on ‘150 Different Words For Fart’. And the latter is saying something—given that it mentions everything from ‘air biscuit’ to ‘get out and walk Donald’. So what exactly is boofing and why is it advised against in the modern context?

What is boofing?

In the 1980s, when Kavanaugh mentioned it in his yearbook entry, ‘boofing’ was a slang term referring to anal sex. According to some forums, ‘boof’ grew out of ‘bu-fu’ (pronounced boo-foo), which was short for ‘butt fuck’. In 2006, the kayaking community leveraged the word to define a technique they use when paddling toward a waterfall. Let’s just say they were less than flattered to learn its origins at the time.

Fast-forwarding 15 years, the term has now mutated into a dangerous variant—far away from a 16-year old’s immature take on farts. It still involves one’s rear end, but for the insertion of drugs and alcohol. “Inserting drugs or having someone insert drugs into your body through your anus,” reads the top definition on Urban Dictionary for the term. “Better experience is allowing someone to blow the substance inside you with a straw.”

Before we get into other questionable techniques, let’s address some spin-off concepts originating from boofing. If boofing involves alcohol specifically, it is referred to as butt chugging or an alcohol enema. The practice consists of someone ingesting alcohol through their rectum to bypass the normal digestive system. People will often use beer funnels or rubber tubing to butt chug.

When it comes to drugs up our rear ends, the practice is also known as thumbing, booty bumping or booty popping. Similar to using a funnel in the case of butt chugging, this sketchy administration technique involves water-soluble drugs. Boofers will take whatever drug they’re interested in, dissolve it in a small amount of hot water, draw the mixture into a syringe (minus the needle) and squirt it into their colon after lubing up the rim of their rectum. Another technique involves the use of vodka tampons. Here boofers soak—you guessed it—tampons in alcohol before inserting them up their vagina or anal cavity.

Inserting substances into cavities is sadly not limited to drugs and alcohol either. Banyan Treatment Center cited the case of a couple, Trina and Mike from Saint Petersburg—who admitted to having an addiction to coffee enemas. Featured on the American documentary series My Strange Addiction, the couple believed coffee enemas to be an alternative type of ‘colon cleanser’ with healing and detoxing benefits for the body. However, these claims are yet to be backed by research.

Butt why?

Be it the techniques or the entire concept of intoxicating ingestibles up your butt, boofing makes one wonder: why? Does it work, and if so, how?

The major reason why boofers get behind the practice is because of its promise of an instant high. Your anal cavity has a huge number of blood vessels and a thinner surface layer. Substances inserted into this area are therefore absorbed into the bloodstream faster than through oral consumption—which can take up to an hour depending on one’s weight and other food in the digestive tract. This particular entry point allows drugs or alcohol to essentially bypass the digestive system. The effects of this practice may be felt mere minutes after administration depending on the dosage and the user’s tolerance to the drug.

Some people also swear that boofing generates different highs than smoking, snorting or swallowing drugs which contributes to its novelty and appeal. According to Healthline, 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) may also experience arousal.

So, does it work? Although not backed by research, boofers often stand by the practice. But then again, users over at StonedTok once believed vitamin C supplements could boost their high—although it proved to be a placebo effect.

Boofing may possess minor advantages when compared to other conventional routes like snorting and injecting, but the risks are more than enough to outweigh its mainstream usage. Because of its high absorption rate, the effects of boofing are also magnified. It’s easy to ingest higher volumes of drugs and alcohol through this passage—increasing the chances of an overdose.

Your poop chute is also not meant to handle these types of substances. Boofing may therefore end up damaging fragile tissue that is necessary to keep you alive. Side effects of the practice may include bloody stool, a constant feeling of needing to go to the bathroom, the inability to control bowel movements and tears in the rectal tissues or membranes. It only gets worse. Boofing can also block blood flow to several parts of the intestine and result in unnatural death of cells. In the severest cases it can also require colostomy, a surgery used to divert part of the colon away from a damaged portion—instead directing it to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall.

“For people who already have pre-existing conditions in this area, their problems are probably more serious and likely to get worse,” noted the Banyan Treatment Center. Chronic boofing may additionally increase the chances of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) as the mucous membranes protecting against such infections are the first to face damage.

To put all of this into perspective, boofers have previously died from engaging in the practice. If they had simply chugged the same amount of alcohol, the worst they would’ve experienced was a wicked hangover. So think thrice before trying it out ‘just for the lolz’. In the end, boofing is considered illegal even if you use legal substances that aren’t suppositories (drugs specifically designed to go up your butt). If a cop catches you butt chugging some vodka at a socially-distanced frat party with your pants down (enough of an embarrassment in itself), you can still get charged with illegal drug use.