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‘Tis the Season: All About Cuffing

cuffing season

Trying to get frisky to keep yourself warm? You’re not alone. It’s time for (more) hot chocolate, getting those cozy scarves and boots out (strut it baby!), planning the long-awaited holiday trips, and some good ol’ skin-to-skin contact. After all, isn’t cuddle weather best spent with a cuddle buddy?


Aunt Sassy’s all for riding solo if that’s what you prefer–because there’s nothing hotter than owning your own pleasure. But she also understands the temptation of cuffing season, and the longing for a lover to spend the night with while burying yourself in your blanket. But before you start swiping through the dating apps, here are some things about cuffing season that you might want to know.

What is Cuffing Season?

Like most millennial lingo, the term ‘cuffing season’ first appeared on Urban Dictionary, in 2011, and describes the phenomenon of finding partners to cozy up with for the winter.

The popular idea is that you find yourself a babe you can engage with for more than just a one-night-stand or a fling–someone you can spoon with throughout the winter (next to your bedside with your favorite full body massager), and possibly bid farewell, once the sun starts shining again.

That might sound like a bit of an odd setup, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as all partners involved are aware of each other's expectations. As anybody who engages in BDSM should know, cuffing is all about shared pleasure. *wink wink*

cuffing season

Why do People Wanna Cuff Each Other?

#1 Evolution: Although the term itself is millennial, the motivation to get under the sheets with a boo during the winter chill isn’t a modern invention, and supposedly goes back all the way to our ancestors cuddling together in caves (date idea, anyone?) Studies on social thermoregulation speculate that our social networks evolved around keeping us warm, which makes it natural to expect that we’d want to bond with partners when it’s colder.

Research also indicates that testosterone levels in men increase during the winter, and so does their level of attraction toward women. It might not be a stretch to call cuffing season mating season as well, with the term “the Christmas effect,” describing the pattern of more babies being conceived during this time. 

i just want to mate

#2 Feel-good hormones: Mental health professionals warn us about seasonal affective depression (SAD) as the winter sets in–less sunlight is associated with decreased production of vitamin D, lower serotonin levels, and overproduction of melatonin, all of which can contribute to depression.

Consensual touch releases oxytocin, a social bonding hormone, which in turn causes the release of dopamine and serotonin, helping us fight the winter blues (*cue to snuggle your lover tighter*). And if you’re by yourself, Aunt Sassy’s got you, honey. Touching yourself also releases the same feel-good hormones, so grab a personal massager and let OG personal massager take you to G-town. 

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#3 Culture:
As the cold sets in, so do the festivities–which are an invitation for spending heartfelt time with family, but might also bring unwarranted pressure or questions about a special someone in your life.

There seems to be no end to the romantic expectations around these couple of months (which also happens to be shaadi season), with the holiday rom-com about meeting your partner’s family,  songs about kissing under the mistletoe, and of course, the midnight's kiss at New Year’s eve.

While most of these may present fun opportunities for you to get real with your date and talk about wanting to take things to the next level, it may not be as fun if it feels forced and centers around hetero and mononormative ideas of love.

Some people may also have misogynistic biases about women being preoccupied with wanting commitment, and men being all about keeping it casual.

These biases would only serve to limit what your relationship can be, and can come in the way of raw and authentic expressions that could spice things up. 

what is cuffing season

How to Go About Cuffing      

The popular saying goes, “There’s plenty of fish in the sea”, but Aunt Sassy’s not here to teach you how to bait someone. Rather, she’d like to encourage you to pursue your own pleasure, and if you’re looking to partner up, to do it with someone who enjoys it too!

This would require reflecting on yourself and what your interests and goals are. Could this be the well-deserved time alone that you can spend treating yourself to some holiday cheer and some self care products?

We’ve got a whole collection of adult toys in India to keep those good vibes going! Or would you rather curl up with a boo and discover each other’s hot spots to beat the chill? If so, it’s important to base that relationship (whatever the label maybe), on a foundation of honesty, trust, communication, and shamelessness.

If you’re looking to pair up with someone just to keep your bed warm, try to engage about it respectfully and transparently. If you’d like to introduce them to your loved ones, let them know and try to have a conversation to see how they feel about it, so you can find something that’s mutually gratifying. Whatever you decide, Aunt Sassy wishes you a warm, sassy winter!


About the Author 

Anna (she/they) is a queer and neurodivergent. They have always been curious about pleasure and conversations around it (and wanted to found a condom company when they were 12, because of Global North misinformed panic that the climate crisis is a consequence of overpopulation–they’ve learnt better now). They wish to contribute to a world where everyone can enjoy access to pleasure, safely and shamelessly. 

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