'Beer Goggles' Are Real, But They Don't Work How You Think They Work

Beer Goggles Research

Anyone with experience hanging at a dive bar after last call has seen impromptu romance bloom -- seemingly from nowhere and often sloppily -- but scientific research has been scant in the realm of beer googles. Well, until now.

Using a random pool of women and men, researchers at University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, discovered that drinking beer makes it easier to view sexually explicit images. Chief among the findings, researchers found that beer affects the way you see emotions.

“We found that drinking a glass of beer helps people see happy faces faster, and enhances concern for positive emotional situations,” said lead researcher, Professor Matthias Liecht.

Liecht added that the double blind study -- which saw groups of thirty men and women drink a glass of beer proportional to their weight and height -- found that alcohol “facilitates the viewing of sexual images, consistent with disinhibition, but it does not actually enhance sexual arousal.”

So no, according to this study, brandy does not make you randy, despite the glut of research begging the contrary. Women were reportedly more prone to the “beer goggles” affect, the study noted, but again, that doesn’t mean aroused simply from drinking alcohol.

The overall takeaway here, is that “beer goggles” aren’t just a ploy used by your local D.A.R.E. officer to scare you away from drinking. It’s a very real phenomenon, bolstered by scientific research, and evidenced by aeons of questionable decision making at the bar.

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Sam Blum is a Staff Writer at Thrillist. Send him tips and free beer goggles on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.

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