Sexy time: why men feel more and more attractive as the evening wears on

Name: Sexy time.

Age: Not important, this is all about attractiveness.

Are the two not related? No! Well … maybe. But that’s not important here.

What is important here? It’s more about time. More specifically, what time of night…

And that is related to attractiveness? Perceived attractiveness yes, perhaps. You know the song Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time?

Remind me. [Clears throat] “A-one, a-two, a-one-two-three-go, All the girls all get prettier at closing time …”

OK, OK, enough. Not really my thing, country music. What about it though? A team of psychologists in Scandinavia has been looking into it, to see if there’s anything in it.

What, whether girls really do get prettier at closing time? And boys.

But that’s about beer goggles isn’t it? After a few, you’ll do. The song is, yes. But what the researchers found was more interesting.

Go on. Over four weekends, Tobias Otterbring of the University of Agder in Norway, and Kristian Rolschau of the Aarhus University in Denmark, got drinkers at a bar to fill in questionnaires, about their age, sex, relationship status, the number of drinks they’d had, as well as rating their own attractiveness, from one to seven.

Hang on, they’re rating their own attractiveness? Exactly.

And? In conclusion Tobias and Agder wrote: “Patrons perceived themselves as more attractive at later times …”

Well that’s just looking in the mirror wearing beer goggles isn’t it? “… regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed or how drunk they felt.”

So if it’s not about the beer, what is it about? They say that your sense of your own attractiveness is important to your chance of pulling, and as the night goes on the window for doing that starts to close.

So it’s like a home-grown booster shot of self-esteem to increase the chances of mating and procreation happening? Yeah. Or just a bit of fun, post lockdown.

How watertight is this theory? Well, the study authors did have a few other ideas about what could be happening here. They suggested that it may be that those going to bars in the afternoon may just be less attractive, or at least less convinced of their ability to pull.

And it’s easier to look good at night when the lights are dim. Perhaps. They wrote that those going to bars at night could “represent a segment that wears fancier clothes and more alluring accessories … given that such style-based strategies seem to play a prominent role in mating contexts”.

Anything else interesting come out of it? More men got more confident as the evening progressed. “Female patrons perceived themselves as more attractive at later times only if they were single.” Sigh.

Do say (or sing even): “Not all the girls think they get prettier at closing time.”

Don’t say: “Who can even afford beer goggles in Norway?”