The Science Behind Cuffing Season

Yes, There's ACTUALLY Science Behind Cuffing Season, Doctors Say

Alright, players, start your lineup.


We're officially two weeks into October and you know what that means? Hot girl summer has come to a close and many of us are looking for a warm body to snuggle with as the chilly air of fall turns into winter's brutal downpour of snow, sleet, and hail.

This need for physical intimacy during the colder seasons is commonly known as "cuffing season" and believe it or not, there's science behind that.

"Cuffing season has happened in our evolutionary history every time the days get darker," Dr. Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the psychology of love, sex and gender roles, told MTV. "We're walking around in DNA that's hundreds 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... [This] increased survival of any offspring that came out of it."

Also, social psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller explains more via NPR's 1A podcast about why humans flock together during the cooler months from a biological standpoint. "There are seasonal changes in hormone levels, specifically testosterone. So in the winter, men have higher levels of testosterone and that could potentially play a role here," Dr. Lehmiller says. "There is less sun exposure so you have less production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which plays an important role in regulating mood. That's partly why we see the winter blues in some people, where they feel more depressed in the winter so we may have that biological factor there making people want to partner up because it's a way of combating that feeling of loneliness."

We also have to take into account the social pressure to have a significant other at this time.

The late fall and winter are times when we reconnect with our families and it's nearly inevitable if you're single that your parents or grandparents ask you invasive questions about your potentially non-existent dating life.

And we can't forget about how there are loads of holiday parties — I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel good to have someone to share a cliché kiss at midnight on New Year's Day. There's no doubt in my mind that social pressure plays a big factor as to why online dating sites are at their busiest between December 26 and February 14. Additionally, searches on Pornhub for “boyfriend," “girlfriend," “cuddle," and “couple" increase significantly during the fall and winter months.

So before you move forward with the scouting, drafting, tryouts, and pre-season, don't forget these tips for a successful cuffing season:

Know your status.

Make an appointment at your local clinic and get tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Even if you think you don't need to, keep in mind that most STIs show no symptoms so it's nearly impossible to be sure you don't have one unless you get tested. At-home tests are also available for some STIs, but they aren't always reliable so check with a doctor just in case.

Figure out your needs first.

Assess what you actually desire to achieve based on your personal needs. Do you only want sex or do you need some cuddle time as well? Do you want a fling that's as close to being in a full-blown relationship as possible or do you prefer to limit the time you spend together?

Use your common sense.

The winter months come at you fast so sometimes it's hard not to be eager to find someone, but don't let that eagerness make you fumble your chances. Unless you two are already on that level, don't start out texting them at 2 a.m. asking "wyd?"

Assemble your designated overnight bag.

This particular bag can be a purse, duffel bag, small backpack, etc. The key is to use it to store at least the top 5 items that you can't forget during your sexcapades. The following items may include, but are not limited to: breath mints, mouthwash, lube, condoms, hair tie, feminine cleansing wipes, emergency underwear, emergency cash, chapstick, etc.

Be prepared to reevaluate your relationship in time for spring break.

Having someone to cuddle up with may be nice for about 6 months when the weather practically forces you to stay inside anyway. However, by the time the spring season comes along, you may have to ask yourself whether all of this was just a short-term fling or something you hope will persist for even longer. You'll want to make sure your cuddle buddy is on the same page as well to avoid a tough breakup despite not being in an actual relationship.

Follow Swoon on Instagram.

Report this Content

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.


Insecure is one fo my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less

Honey has been a staple in my Ayurvedic skincare routine since I was a kid and my grandmother used to make me homemade paste-like face masks by mixing chickpea flour, turmeric, honey, and yogurt together.

I now use honey head to toe — on my hair to make it extra shiny, on my face for its natural smoothing and anti-bacterial properties, and the rest of my body for its extreme textural and brightening benefits. Some people even use it on their armpits for honey's lightening effect on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

People Are Eating Salads For Breakfast, And It's About Time

As Americans we know we all need to eat more fruits and veggies, why not do it at breakfast?

I first started seeing a dietitian in late 2017. At the time, I was the heaviest I've ever been at about 210 lbs. At the first appointment, my dietitian asked me to record what I ate in a food diary so she could better understand my habits and give me better direction in changing my lifestyle. I did exactly that and returned a week later, diary in hand. After a cursory glance at the pages, she first remarked at how few fruits and vegetables I ate. Deep down I had already known that, but what I didn't know then was that I was far from being alone in that respect. According to a Times article, about 90 percent of Americans don't consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet current dietary guidelines. It's hardly rocket science as to why that is — many of our diets consist mainly of carbs and non-planted based protein. This isn't to say that carbs and protein are the devils; they're both parts of a balanced diet. However, vegetables and fruit are also part of a balanced diet — a part that often gets neglected. So, when I see people on Instagram eating salad for breakfast, I think to myself "It's about time!"

Keep Reading... Show less

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments