Am I the only person who hadn’t heard of cuffing season? It seems so! However a brief Google, a play of Yungen’s Cuffing Season song (littered with Netflix-and-chill style lyrics), and a scroll through various glossy mags filled with cuff tips and tricks and I’d like to say I now understand, but in all honesty I’m still totally mystified.

“Cuffing” season refers to handcuffing yourself to someone, metaphorically speaking, of course (this is a respectable publication), in a bid to reach Valentine’s Day paired off, avoiding a date-night akin to that of Carrie and Miranda’s in Sex And The City. To put it in the least crude way possible, cuffing season is defined as a time when it’s too cold, dark and miserable outside to get your glad rags on so instead you stay inside canoodling with your chosen candoodle-worthy partner, and while away the hours in perfect bliss.

It’s a time of year is defined not by rain or shine but by #relationshipgoals and end games. The “season” first appeared in the Urban Dictionary circa 2011 and runs from the 1st of December until the 15th of January but in all honesty you can choose to commence or terminate your ‘cuff’ at any time.

While all this cuff nonsense might sound relatively straight forward there are feelings involved and, as we know from a multitude of rom-coms, feelings mean trouble in paradise. Suffice to say, the plot thickens! There are actually certain rules to cuffing season malarkey, inclusive of specific ways in which to treat your “cuff” (or sexual associate, if you will). From specifying sexual positions to tip-toeing around feelings, here’s how to have you best cuffing season yet!

If you’re sitting cufftably, I shall begin…

Cuff Responsibly

Apparently, cuffs are essentially people, and people have feelings (or so we hope), and so you’ve got to treat them as such. If you’re hooking up for cuffing season and cuffing season only then you need to remember things will come to an end. So, keep feelings in mind and don’t follow the rules of treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen because to be honest, that doesn’t result in anything good usually. Keep your cuff relationship tight and things should play out pretty smoothly, unless someone catches “feels”… which brings me onto my next point!

All The Feels

If there’s one thing we know all too well it’s that cuffing doesn’t come without its fair share of catching feelings! In other words, after a whole season of cuffing chances are one cuff might start to fall for the other so to speak. Our advice? Embrace it! You’ve no doubt seen the rom-coms and thus seen that they typically end in a very Hollywood happily-ever-after way, but where cuffing is concerned this is not always the case. The monogamous relationship you held in the back of your mind for the duration of cuffing season might not be the outcome, so you need to go into cuffing season with an open mind.

*This Schedule Is Subject To Change And Based Upon Feelings*

It turns out there’s a kind of weird, made-up science and schedule where cuffing season is concerned. Courtesy of Instagrammer Terrell we have ourselves a timeline! So you’ve got a little time for scouting out your ideal cuff partner (August), cementing this decision during the pre-season (November) before entering over a month’s worth of cuffing (Dec 1st- Jan 15th). Next you’re into the awkward feelings phase (Jan 16th- Feb 13th) before decision making pre-Championships or, as it’s better known, Valentine’s Day! Who knew dating was so complex?!

Serious Feelings Not Allowed Zone

Serious feelings have to take a back seat if you want the cuffing to commence, that means kissing goodbye to things like the “L bomb” and intense emotions. Feel free to discuss all things boundary related (physically and emotionally, we suppose) and make sure you lay down the law when it comes to what you like and dislike in the love department, but aside from that it’s fingers to lips and cuffing only we’re afraid!

Stay Safe (Cringe!)

As with operating heavy machinery, it goes without saying that where, um, bodily fluids are concerned safety is paramount. Especially if you’re simultaneously still operating that heavy machinery. So without getting all your-mum-when-you’re-going-on-a-night-out-ish, just, y’know, be careful.

Enjoy Yourself

Cuffing season is a meant to be a bit of fun. It’s called ‘cuffing season’, after all, rather than something deadly serious. So make sure you actually enjoy yourself. Getting to know someone is a thrill and an adventure, so sit back and enjoy another cliché, if not the ride.