Beer Goggles, Beer Schmoggles: New Study Says We’re Lusty, Not Blind

Here’s some news: according to a recent study at Durham University in the UK, the beer goggles effect is a fallacy. We don’t actually see a potential mate as more attractive. Instead, we just lose the ability to make rational decisions without suffering any cognitive dropoff at all in the lustful pit of our reptilian brain. In other words, we can’t argue that the beer gave us goggles that made us mistake a goat-human for an angel. Instead, the beer just makes us unable to avoid the thought, “I want to give that goat-human the business. Right…this…second.”

We’ve all been there. At some time or another, we’ve all been out wandering the Lonely Hearts Highway and found ourselves face to face with a moment of weakness, a moment where our desire to connect on a spiritual, emotional plane is overrun by our desire to connect our private parts with those of another. This is being human.

These nights begin with clear eyes and refreshing optimism. “Things will be different tonight,” you think. “This is my night.” You dive into your closet, confident that you’ll find the outfit that makes it appear that you know more about “the gym” than “Slim Jims.” Put some product in your hair, brush your teeth, and take a quick look in the mirror. Not bad.

You’re out the door and into the waiting arms of a wide world of possibility. The evening looms before you like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Yes, things WILL be different tonight. Your friends have convened at a bar. They are merry and true and a generally good-hearted bunch with the best of intentions. You are greeted with a shot of whiskey and a cold beer. Perfect.

The night unfolds as these nights do. Conversations are had, jokes are cracked, fraternal bonds are explored and strengthened, clear eyes become hooded and hazy. The hours pile up on each other, almost as quickly as the booze, and then you notice something. There are some people in this bar that you find VERY attractive. They weren’t there when you arrived, but hey, you weren’t quite ready to get your Casanova on then. Your attention was on the shot and the beer, not the atmosphere. But damn. Things are looking up.

From across the bar, you lock eyes with an angel. This is it. But the “it” is not the “it” you might have expected. You don’t want a backstory. You don’t want to build a life. You don’t want small talk and hand holding. All that can come later. Right now, this second, you must possess intimate knowledge of this angel. You are a dog with a bone (no pun intended…as far as you know).

“Bad choice,” your friends say. “You’re drunk and stupid and that’s a goat-human not an angel. Dude check your beer goggles. Don’t pursue this,” they might argue. Pfft. You’re not that close to these idiots anyway. They have notoriously bad taste. The angel must be yours.

For the sake of brevity and my family-friendly PG-13 rating, let’s skip ahead. The morning light is streaming cruelly through your window, except it’s actually afternoon light. You had a late night, the kind that leaves you cotton-mouthed and scrambling to piece things together from credit card receipts and brief snatches of broken memory. All of a sudden, a slight sound…the angel! Yes! The angel! How could you forget? You roll over, eager to soak up the immense beauty whose brilliance etched itself into your poisoned brain. And in that moment, you lose religion. This is no angel, or if it is, then Heaven is nothing more than Hell with a better publicist. You have fornicated with a goat-human, and you have a phone full of text messages from your friends that indicate this is not a moment you will be allowed to forget.

The person beside you is very possibly a wonderful soul with a multitude of things to offer the world. But “not being ugly” is not high on the list of their strengths. Your friends were right and you curse your lousy luck. “Beer goggles! It’s all beer goggles’ fault!” But is it?

Or is it really the beer in your blood, the liar’s light of a sticky-floored bar, and the aforementioned curse of being human? This is a tale as old as time, and ultimately only one lesson is to be learned: goat-humans are people too, so don’t be a jerk.

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