We’re just sliding into that late autumn/early winter colder months – you know the time: the air is crisp, the sleeves are long and the lattes are pumpkin spiced. But now that the sun is setting earlier and there’s enough of a nip in the air to make an excuse to skip after-work drinks, have you noticed a certain yearning to spend time with some extra body warmth beside you?
Welcome to Cuffing season.
What is Cuffing Season?
We know, most people aren’t even aware of what Cuffing Season is, and you clicked on the headline in order to find out. Your author didn’t know what Cuffing Season meant before she researched the article. It has been popping up all over the place lately so it was obvious that it had to be documented.
According to the Urban Dictionary Cuffing is a seasonal phenomenon as follows:
“During the fall and winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”
No, Cuffing Season does not mean that more couples are using handcuffs. However, if you’re interested, learn more about what a set of sensual handcuffs can add to your foreplay and lovemaking, have a read of this.
Cuffing season is about the pursuit of long-term relationships and catching feelings during winter months.
Yes, it’s really a thing people tend to do, whether it’s a temporary relationship (like friends with benefits) or committed relationship they’re after. Holiday events are approaching and a romantic partner can make these parties more enjoyable.
Seasons: The Reason
For those who require more proof than an entry in Urban Dictionary, there are evolutionary reasons why a greater desire to partner up coincides with temperature drops.
Gender Roles and Biological Sex
According to clinical psychologist specializing in love, sex and gender roles Dr. Wendy Walsh, Cuffing Season “has happened in our evolutionary history every time the days get darker.” She continues to explain:
“We’re walking around in DNA that’s hundred of thousands of years old. Our anthropological past had less food and more resources [available], and hunter-gatherers’ survival happened better if you were in a pack, if you were coupled up [and] increased survival of any offspring that came out of it.”
Let’s be clear. You want to keep warm and watch an entire season. Squid Games In one sitting, you are actually hard-wired into your brain from caveman times.
However, there’s a bit more correlative and anecdotal evidence to support the idea of Cuffing Season.
Considering that most babies are born between July and August, that means that most parents got busy during the fall months, add that to the fact that dating app usage surges as the first snow touches the ground, and you’re starting to see the correlation between climate and coupling behavior.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some say cuffing season can also be related to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression that’s associated with the start and end of seasonal patterns.
“The impact of anxiety on sexuality, and vice versa, is by far the most prevalent concern amongst my clients,” says certified sex therapist Casey Tanner. You can check out her Q&A on sex and anxiety here.
Spend time with family and friends if you feel this way. You might find a long-term partner. Cuffing season can help ease the stress of societal norms, just make sure that if you’re pursuing something casual that you and your partner are on the same page. We all know what it’s like to feel pressure sitting at the holiday interrogation table.
Single readers, are you able to attest to the positive effects of Cuffing season? Perhaps you’ve witnessed a cuffing season relationship around you. An even if they’re caused by the colder months, let’s hope they make it to Valentine’s Day and the warmer months.
Sound off in the comments, and while you’re at it, do a Spotify search for ‘Cuffing Season’ to find hundreds of playlists that for some reason are dominated by Drake tracks. Seriously. You should go and check it out.
For Lea, what once was “a European summer abroad” turned into traveling the world and studying sexual cultural differences for the past 6 years. She has a PhD in Gender & Sexuality and has a theory that dating guys in their twenties is an unpaid internship. She’s currently writing from a cafe in New Zealand.