Cuffing Season: An Explainer for People New to Seasons

If you don't understand seasons, this is your Cuffing Season guide.

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Complex Original

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We in N.Y.C. and other places that have true seasons find ourselves in the midst of Cuffing Season 2015-2016.

Kerensa Cadenas, deputy editor of this here fine Pop Culture channel, has let it be known that she doesn’t understand Cuffing Season. At first I was baffled. Then I was stimulated. Now I present to you a guide to Cuffing Season if you’ve never experienced seasons. If you’ve never experienced cuffing, that will be addressed as well.

Let’s start at the most basic level. Seasons. You see everyone, Kerensa moved here from Los Angeles, where they don’t have those. Be patient with me while I quickly define them for her.

A season is a set of three months or so that we use to make sense of the endless nature of time. There are four of them, and now you understand the name of the high-end hotel chain called The Four Seasons. Each season is categorized by different weather patterns. Merriam-Webster defines weather as, “the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place.” In L.A., weather only consists of sun and rain [Ed. note: rain doesn’t actually exist in L.A.]. In N.Y., and other places with true seasons, it’ll be hot sometimes and then so cold another day that you’ll be able to cut glass with your nips.

Fall is a season that starts in late September. It gets crisp outside. People love talking about sweaters and wrapping themselves in blankets. For some reason, you can only eat pumpkin flavored things during this time. You’ll feel a lot of peer pressure to talk about the leaves. As fall comes to a close, winter begins. Winter is a season that starts in late December and it turns everything you once loved into a cold hellscape. You might slip and die walking down the street. You might not.

There are two other seasons during the calendar year: spring and summer. People enjoy going outside during these months, because they are categorized by warmer weather. (Please see the definition of weather above if you need a refresher.) L.A. has the weather of spring and summer all-year round. New York does not.

Okay, great. Now that we understand seasons, let us add a layer.

During fall and winter in places with real seasons (because again, L.A. doesn’t have those) it is so cold that people like to stay inside instead of going out to socialize with their peers. That presents a problem. You see, if you are single, and you confine yourself to your home, you can’t meet new people, and you therefore cannot have sex. If you prefer to have sex with yourself, you can stop reading here. If you prefer partnered sex, read on.

Cuffing Season is the phenomenon of figuratively and emotionally cuffing yourself to another person during fall and winter for the two I’s: Intercourse and Intimacy. There aren’t real handcuffs involved unless you are into that sort of thing. When spring and summer come and the warm weather allows for people to wear less clothing and go outside once more, it is no longer Cuffing Season. You still need to use protection though (and birth control if you’re into heterosexual intercourse).

“But Elena!” you say, “I have dating apps that I can use to get someone to my apartment, house, or condominium for intercourse and intimacy!”

Yes, you can use dating apps to get someone to have sex with you at your own place of living, but will that person murder you? Perhaps. Will they know where you live? Most definitely.

Cuffing Season’s premier characteristic is security. You can be surer that your Cuffing Season partner won’t murder you than a stranger, but there are no true guarantees. This should go without saying, but also there are no sexual guarantees even with a Cuffing Season partner.

The one true problem with Cuffing Season is that typically one person doesn’t know that they are in a Cuffing Season relationship, and is emotionally crushed when it comes springtime and they find themselves single once again. In order to have a truly successful Cuffing Season relationship, both parties must be in agreement that their relationship is for the fall and winter only.

Kerensa, now that you understand seasons, cuffing, and Cuffing Season, I feel you are now truly ready for your first fall and winter. Godspeed.  

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