What is Cuffing Season and Am I Guilty of Partaking in It?

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?

If so, 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. To be honest, before researching the article, your author had no idea what the term meant. But seeing it pop up so much lately, it just had to be documented here.

According to the Urban Dictionary, Cuffing is a seasonal happening 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.”

So no, Cuffing Season is not the time of year where more and more couples experiment with 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 all about catching feelings and the pursuit of a long term relationship 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. After all, holiday events are coming up and having a romantic partner could make those parties a lot more enjoyable.

The Reason for the Season

For those of you who need more than an entry in the Urban Dictionary as proof of fact, there are actually some evolutionary reasons why an increased desire to couple up coincides with temperature drops and extra layers of clothes.

Biological Sex and Gender Roles

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. In our anthropological past, there was less food and 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.”

So, to be extra clear: your desire to stay warm under a blanket and watch an entire season of Squid Games in one sitting is actually hard-wired into you from caveman times.

Correlative Evidence

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.

If you find yourself feeling this way, spend time with friends and family and maybe a long term partner will find their way into the mix. 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.

So, single readers, can you attest to feeling the 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. Go check it out.

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