What the Hell is ‘Cuffing Season’?

We’re just sliding into that late autumn/early winter hinterland – 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 for some extra body warmth beside you in bed or on the couch?

If so, welcome to 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 (in which case, skip that first paragraph – we know you’re all busy people). 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.

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 layered clothes and an extra pound of Halloween candy in your thighs (on in the case of the author, lower back fat).

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 Narcos in one sitting is actually hard-wired into you 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.

So single readers, can you attest to feeling the effects of Cuffing Season? 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.

Written by: Lea Marsden

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.

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