Science Explains Why You Should Always Buy a Woman Dinner First

The way to everyone’s heart is through the stomach.

Men who claim they just can’t do the kitchen thing: you no longer have any excuse. According to new research, a satiated woman is a horny woman.

In a new study first published by Appetite, scientists discovered that a woman’s level of hunger directly influences the way she views the prospect of romance. The study shows that brains of women “respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one,”according to according to Psych Central.

Here’s how the science breaks down: Researchers Alice Ely, Anna Rose Childress, Kanchana Jagannathan and Michael R. Lowe tested 20 young women who fell in a normal range of weight. As TIME reports in parsing Ely’s study, half the subjects “had tried at least twice in the past to lose weight, and half had never dieted.” The researchers asked them to fast then placed them in a fMRI scanner where they were shown a variety of images which TIME reported ranged between “romantic pictures, like a couple holding hands, and neutral images, like a bowling ball.”

After the starved test subjects were fed, they did the tests all over again. The results should instill hope in any guy who knows his way around a frying pan or a hot oven, as TIME notes: the second time around, subjects were more responsive to romantic cues,” Ely told TIME. “Instead of being anxious and annoyed and irritable when you’re hungry…once we’re sated, then we can get on to better things.”

It seems like common sense if you think about it, but Ely was quick to point out the study was small and focused. There were also subtle differences between those who had dieted in the past and those who’d never made it a point to calorie count, as the Appetite bullet points detailing the basic facts make clear:

  • Historical dieters (HDs) show greater response than nondieters both when fasted and when fed.
  •  HDs show increased response in reward-related regions after having eaten than when fasted.

So maybe don’t bank on slapping a meat — or tofu — and three in front of your lady as some kind of romantic silver bullet. Ely also pointed out the study still fell within the realm of speculation, so there is more research to do. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with learning to cook to impress your girl — and throw in a proactive grooming regimen just in case that doesn’t do the trick, after all.

Photos by Kashif Pathan/Flickr