We’ve heard of beer goggles, but new research suggests might actually work in reverse, too: Having just one alcoholic drink may help make you more attractive to the opposite sex, according to a recent study in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.
For the study, a group of 40 social drinkers studying at the University of Bristol volunteered to have their photos taken at three different times: sober, after having one drink, and after having two. Then, a separate group of subjects who hadn’t imbibed at all rated how attractive they found the people in the photos. The images of participants who’d enjoyed one drink were deemed the hottest, followed by the sober pics. The two-drink snapshots, meanwhile, were considered the least attractive.
So what about their perceived appearance changed when people had a drink? Researchers believe that vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels—has something to do with it. We’re all familiar with that subtle flush you get after finishing your first few sips of Pinot. Turns out, alcohol consumption may cause increased blood flow under the skin, which can make someone look a healthy shade of reddish pink. But there’s only a small window of opportunity when it comes to the beauty boost that booze gives us. That rosy glow goes away after just one drink.
Similarly, small amounts of spirits also can relax the face and influence facial expression to match a resulting positive mood. Translation: That glass of white just might make you smile. Unfortunately, drinking more makes us veer into sloppy—not sexy—territory.
Of course, in most real-world social scenarios, both parties are usually drinking. So any effect on the perspective of someone who’s imbibed might differ from what was observed in the lab. And without a much larger and more diverse sample size, these findings should be taken with a grain of salt—particularly since the reason you drink probably has diddly squat to do with making you more attractive to the opposite sex. Still, interesting info!