Vodka eyeballing – Alcohol, with sadomasochism
Move over carbombs and tequila shots, Vodka eyeballing is the new talk of the town. A new teen drinking trend that started in the U.S. – pouring vodka directly onto your eyeball – has now spread to the college party scene in UK. This new phenomenon is now helping many teens across the pond get drunker, quicker.
Vodka eyeballing’, as it is known in student circles, is the latest drinking craze to sweep through Britain’s universities. Those who do it claim that it induces feelings of drunkenness at break-neck speeds, providing an instant high.
A simple youtube search shows over 800 documented evidences (might be offensive to some) that illustrate the physical pain and discomfort that goes with this, and yet teens are starting to vodka eyeball themselves like there’s no next weekend.
Pain is no doubt a negative aspect, but we’re often drawn to it. Why? The answer might just lie in a recent research done on pain and pleasure.
Marta Andreatta from the University of Wurzburg professes, its all a matter of timing.
After we experience pain, the lack of it is a pleasurable window of relief. Andreatta thinks that if something happens during this pleasurable window immediately after a burst of pain, we come to associate it with the positive experience of pain relief rather than the negative feeling of the pain itself. The catch is that we don’t realise this has happened. We believe that the event, which occurred so closely to a flash of pain, must be a negative one. But our reflexes betray us.
And with vodka eyeballing, things are no different. After analysing a few youtube videos, CBS2 reported that “the pain gives way to an instant high and then a deeper state of drunkenness.”
This instant high happens in the pleasurable window of relief, right after the pain of vodka in your eye; this sentiment vindicates and builds on Marietta’s previous research:
Andreatta’s work builds on previous research with flies and mice. If flies smell a distinctive aroma just before feeling an electric shock, they’ll learn to avoid that smell. However, if the smell is released immediately after the shock, they’re actually drawn to it. Rather than danger, the smell was linked with safety.
This works with humans too.
The gratifying after effects of otherwise scary or painful deeds might explain why we as humans, are so drawn to dangerous or terrifying pursuits, vodka eyeballing being one of them.