Study: One Drink Makes You Hot. Two Drinks? Not…

Celebratory drink
Tend to feel sexier after a few drinks? (who doesn’t) Perhaps a little more confident? (totally) Well, you may actually want to stop after one cocktail if you’re trying to impress a date with your looks.

A new study shows that people were rated more attractive after one glass of wine, but not after two glasses, compared with when they were sober.

For the experiment, researchers gathered 40 students willing to get a little tipsy. They had their face photographed three times; once when sober, again after one drink and once more after two drinks. A separate group of students then rated how attractive they found each headshot. As it turns out, the photo after one drink rated higher than the sober photo. But the photo after two drinks got the lowest rating.

Researchers don’t know why this exactly is, but some say it could be the greater pupil dilation after one drink (which is usually perceived as positive), more muscle relaxation or even the rosiness of their cheeks.

After two drinks, these features tend to get more exaggerated, perhaps looking more tired than relaxed and more flushed than “rosie”.

It is important to remember that the experiment was done in a controlled setting, where the people analyzing the photos were sober. Other research has showed that after drinking, people perceive others as more attractive. So, you consume a drink and see others as more attractive, but you also become more attractive. Exactly how this plays out in the real world, the lead researchers says, we don’t know. However, I can only hypothesize that it means more sex.

The study was published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Ashley M. Papa

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