Oh, come on. Don’t pretend you’ve never wondered.

Here’s the result of an experiment from the 1920s, during which a Harvard student got a rectal injection of alcohol every night. He went to a certain lab, scientists covered him in sensors that monitored his heart rate and breathing. They had him lie face down on a bed. And then they inserted a small catheter into his anus.

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Somehow, the student managed to fall asleep like that. (They must have been working students very hard at Harvard during the 1920s, because he was asleep by 9:30.) At about midnight, in went the “injection of alcohol,” although injection is a strong word. The injections went into the catheter drop by drop, so as not to wake the student. Sometimes they consisted of a solution containing, overall, 37.5 grams of ethyl alcohol; sometimes they contained only saline solution.

At six o’clock the student woke up, presumably pried the catheter from his ass, and got tested on his metabolism and response time. A standard drink contains about 14 grams of alcohol, and scientists wanted to see whether his two and a half “drinks” at midnight had any measurable effect on him. What they found was that the ingestion of alcohol had “a positive effect”—meaning a real effect, not a good one. Overall, they found that the “effect of alcohol... is clearly in the direction of a depressant action, and that these effects agree as to direction with other results obtained by the feeding of alcohol by mouth.”

So no need to consume your alcohol rectally, people. You’ll get the same effects if you drink it.

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[Sources: The Effect of Dilute Alcohol Given by Rectal Injection During Sleep, Proof: The Science of Booze]

Image: Alpha du Centaure