Beer Goggles: New Research and Its Results by Trisha Miller
Long time theories regarding “beer goggles” have now been scientifically backed, but maybe not quite in the way that we originally thought. Of course, drinkers have known and felt the effects of lowered inhibitions for a very long time. However, little research has actually been conducted showing the true effects on our levels of attraction towards each other and overall judgment while intoxicated.
The Science of Attraction
A recent study of “beer goggles” proves that an intoxicated person may be more likely to interact with other friendly folks who they may not have engaged with sober. Surprisingly, this test does not prove that people actually become more attractive in our mind’s eye.
The study showed that men and women who drank had an overall happier disposition and were more drawn to other happy people. People became much more talkative and only wanted to be around those who were interested in chatting. As a result, drinkers were found to exhibit more empathy towards others than usual. Ergo, it was easier for drunken subjects to relate to each other. Patrons were shown pictures of people showing signs of a range of emotions. The people who had ingested alcohol were more likely to recognize happy faces faster than their sober counterparts.
Lastly, the subjects were shown sexually explicit pictures. They were asked to rate these photos on a scale of “pleasantness”. The individuals showed a definite increased reception to these photos in conjunction with their alcohol intake. Although, this did not show a spike in sexual arousal to the photos. Subjects were not necessarily more excited by the photos. They were simply less offended by their nature.
What This Means For Those in the Dating Game
All in all, this doesn’t change much for the drinking crowd. This study was only able to prove the theory that alcohol is a social lubricant. The fact of the matter is, happy, talkative people want to be around others who feel the same way. So, the next time you’re drinking and have a few extra phone numbers in your phone that you can’t seem to place or find an embarrassing text to your ex, realize that it is actually the fault of the alcohol. It makes us less self-conscious and shy about who we talk to and what we have to say.
In a way, this is both a positive and a negative for drinkers on the prowl. This shows that our drunken mind is less judgemental than our sober mind, which means we are much more open to meeting new people. The criteria for a good time has been simplified to exclude “attractiveness” and sexual appeal and include more information about a person’s overall demeanor. On the other hand, no part of this study had data to show that these encounters were more or less fulfilling to a drunken person. There is no scientific research to say that drunken conversations with other happy people will be more or less interesting than sober ones. So, really that information is all relative to how open you’d like to be with strangers. Just remember to always be safe.
In addition, a little something for anyone looking to get lucky. This also does not definitively say that you or your date are more likely to want to have sex if they have had a few cocktails. Of course, no one should ever be forced into a situation that they are uncomfortable with, but let’s just assume that you and your date have an understanding about the possibility of a sexual relationship. Science is now saying, that however open minded alcohol might make us, it does not make us more sexually aroused. You and your date might be more likely to appreciate and relate to some raunchy stories you have stored in your repertoire, but that still doesn’t mean anyone wants to get frisky tonight. It’s always a good idea to talk these things out. Alcohol doesn’t give consent. Only consent gives consent.
Those who are looking to “loosen up” on a date now have concrete science proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that alcohol does just this. Alcohol will boost your mood and make it easier to talk and relate to other people. Just know that, especially in the dating scene, developing an alcohol dependency is quite common. Easing the stress of those first date jitters is a common reason for drinking in a social setting. Yet, true feelings can’t be faked. Using alcohol as a crutch for all social encounters is not healthy. You’ll still have to wake up the next day and decide if there’s a real connection between you or not. Our suggestion: be honest and upfront with your date before you ever start drinking, even if that’s easier said than done.
Editors note (from Jackie Pilossoph): I just want to be clear that neither myself or this site promotes drinking. I have nothing against men and women having some drinks from time to time, if they use good judgment and not drive. That said, repeatedly drinking has been shown to lead to alcoholism, DUI’s and accidents, including automobile accidents. Drinking is fun, and can certainly take the edge off, especially when dating after divorce, but just be smart about it.
Trisha Miller is a writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all-around healthy lifestyle. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan.