July 2020

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Fucking Drunk: The Sloshed-Sex Science Behind Beer Goggles

Getting drunk and waking up next to an unattractive stranger is so common that someone created the term “coyote ugly” (which was later the title of one of the best Tyra Banks movies of all time) to describe the phenomenon. 

In case a reminder is necessary, this refers to a person gnawing off their arm in the sober light of day in order to escape their homely, slumbering bedmate undetected. “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder” is another phrase used in reference to someone seeming more attractive because of alcohol’s influence. 

But by far the most common phrase for alcohol’s ability to make a homely person seem attractive is “beer goggles.” A boozy variant on “rose-colored glasses,” “beer goggles” describes the filtering effect that alcohol has on a person when they’re sizing up another person’s sexual desirability. It’s like the old photographer’s trick of smearing Vaseline on a camera lens to blur a subject’s imperfections. Except in the case of beer goggles, the Vaseline is booze and the lens is your own perception. 

Okay, so we know that inebriated sex with hideous strangers is a real thing that happens frequently. But why are drunk hookups with busted beasts so common? 

Aidra Fox by Holly Randall Productions
Bottoms up! Aidra Fox would definitely not be a regrettable drunken hookup. Photo by Holly Randall Productions.

According to new research (yes, legit scholars in the U.K. proved this)“beer goggles” cause drinkers to get distracted by frumpy fours just as much as perfect tens, whereas teetotalers reserve their distraction for attractive people. In short, when someone has a few Guinnesses in them, they’re less picky about potential mates. 

HUSTLERMagazine.com reached out to the team behind the beer goggles study: Dr. Adam Qureshi, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Edge Hill University; Dr. Rebecca Monk, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Edge Hill University; and Prof. Derek Heim, Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University. The researchers got 80 students drunk and had them perform tasks on a computer while trying to ignore pictures of faces. The drunk students were distracted by ugly people just as much as pretty folks, while their sober cohorts were only interested in hotties. 

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