It’s official: alcohol makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. And that’s when you are boozing, not them.
Scientists at the University of Bristol found that having ‘one large glass of wine’ increases ‘facial flushing’ and ‘confidence’, making the drinker ‘more attractive’ to others and more likely to ‘get lucky’.
The perception of beauty becomes skewed once “beer goggles” turn someone who was a “2” at 10 p.m. to a “10” at 2 a.m. This coincides with the “closing-time effect,” where our window of opportunity to find a partner starts to shorten. A new study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, however, may provide some hope for those who are worried about the dwindling time. University of Bristol researchers found the amount of alcohol it takes for us to appear more physically attractive to others is all in just one glass of wine.
Researchers quizzed 40 heterosexual male and female students and asked them to rate the attractiveness of three groups of people who were sober, tipsy and drunk.
The study found that tipsy people, who had downed one large 250ml glass of 14 per cent wine – that’s one-third of the bottle – were consistently voted as the ‘most attractive’.
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.
The study said, however, that too much booze led to ‘changes in facial expressions which were excessive and unattractive’ – leading to a decrease in ‘pulling power’.
It adds: ‘In conclusion, our data indicate that alcohol consumption may lead to consumers being rated as more attractive than sober individuals, but only following low levels of consumption.
‘At higher levels of consumption this effect is not observed, and may even be reversed.’
Facial attractiveness has been linked to several measures of health, with certain physical traits being idealized over others based on our culture’s long-held perception of attraction. Typically, averageness, symmetry, and sexual dimorphism, such as size, coloration, or body structure, are biologically based standards of beauty in society. These components along with cues from our families, society, peer group, and even pop culture, reflect standards of beauty set by cultures.
The researchers admit that in a real-world setting, if your companion is also drinking, the amount of drinks is unlikely to matter when it comes to attraction.
It is inevitable that alcohol does influence our sexual attraction to others. Remember, simply one glass of wine can make us look and feel divine. After two, it all goes downhill, unless your companion is drunk, too. Cheers!