Our little dating glossary already explains some of the most curious and contemporary trends from the world of interpersonal encounters – from ghosting to Gatsbying. But now that winter is just around the corner, a new term has come into view. We’re talking about “cuffing season”, which can be loosely translated to “co-hibernation”. During winter, instead of spending our nights out at bars and clubs, we’d rather stay at home on the couch. And what are most singles missing? A partner to cuddle of course. That’s why singles are more likely to look for a partner during the “cuffing season” – i.e. the time between autumn and spring – with whom to share the short days and dark nights. It’s a convenient solution to avoid the unwanted feeling of loneliness.
So far, so strange. In a more literal sense, cuffing means attaching oneself to another person to make it through the depths of the dark season. Indeed, winter can be a difficult time for many singles. As soon as the days start to get longer again, and the flowers blossom and much of life moves back out into the open air, couples split up and people go their separate ways.
Being single can be a healing experience – and doesn’t have to be regretted
Cuffing isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. It’s human to long for company during the winter. There’s a reason why dating websites record the highest numbers of new registrations at the start of the season. It’s also a time when old affairs get a new lease of life. And when Tinder turns into a hunting ground to overcome lonely hours more than at any other time of year.
But I think the phenomenon captures a backward thinking. Being single doesn’t mean being lonely. I was single for five years. It’s no secret that our society makes it difficult to be a single woman, who is harassed with pity. However, my five years as a single were both healing and instructive. I learned that it’s never healthy or helpful to only feel complete when one is in a relationship. The season doesn’t matter. Furthermore, I learned to celebrate being single and to not perceive it as loneliness. This experience has made me much more relaxed in my current relationship.
Strong women speak out against the cuffing season trend
Thankfully, I’m not alone in my opinion. Many strong women are speaking out against the trend. “In an age where sextech is designed to be spectacularly clitastic, the idea of cuffing season to guarantee warmth and orgasms throughout winter feels outdated and, quite frankly, underwhelming. How about unlimited, body-shaking orgasms, whenever you need them, and the freedom to exert your independence, whenever you want to? Let the cuffs come off!” says Bryony Cole, CEO of Future of Sex and sextech expert. Instead, Bryony advocates for taking the liberty to experience vibrating orgasms whenever and wherever you feel like it.
Gigi Engle, the feminist writer, certified sex coach and educator, considers the “cuffing season” to be something revolting. “Cuffing Season as an idea is dated and gross. It doesn’t have room in a world where women are taking back sexual autonomy. You can be perfectly happy, fulfilled, and loving your life as a single woman – no matter the time of year. Get cozy with your sex toys and enjoy a guaranteed orgasm between your favorite Netflix binge. Need to cuddle? You have plenty of friends who are DTC (down to cuddle). Who needs a partner when they have a vibrator and a support net?”
Admittedly, being in a relationship can be beautiful, but if you’re single you shouldn’t be pitied. And you should definitely not look for a partner just because it’s cold outside.
“The foundation of sexual wellness is the ability to embrace your own pleasure. There are two elements to it: using masturbation to learn how your body works and being able to feel sexually fulfilled with or without a partner,” says Courtney Cleman, sex and relationship coach and co-founder of the V Club.
So, instead of retreating into a meaningless made-for-purpose relationship this winter, we recommend taking matters into your own hands, literally. But you don’t have to stop dating completely.
Author: Friederike Hintze