Cuffing season is in full force, but is the trend of ‘settling’ into a relationship for winter ethical if both parties don’t know what they signed up for? Or can cuffing be the ultimate hook-up and a chance to explore new things?
TapDat is the free-to-download unapologetically pro-sex hook-up app on a mission to remove stigma around sex, and sexual health and wellbeing. Creative Director Alice Leach explains the pros and cons of cuffing.
Alice says: “Cuffing season is the trend that sees people ‘settle’ into a relationship throughout winter, only to end it pre Valentine’s Day/in the spring. The act of ‘cuffing’ is having a relationship during the dark miserable months to get comfort, regular sex, and someone to hang out with during winter. Not the most ethical form of dating – unless both parties are aware of and consent to the arrangement.
“It’s cold, there’s so many holiday events, days are short, and spirits can be low. Having the comfort of someone to adore and be adored by can be really comforting. For a lot of people who traditionally date or hook up, cuffing provides them with the physical connection but without having to go out and meet new people in the cold.”
Alice says cuffing can be seen as the ultimate hook-up, but it can have its pitfalls. “Cuffing is the most culturally acceptable and craziest form of hook-up culture. It’s a short-term sex and pleasure-based relationship with an expiration date. But unfortunately, most cuffing relationships aren’t transparent, honest, and entered into knowingly by both parties.
“If one person knows they intend it to be a cuffing season hook up and the other thinks this is a longer-term relationship, one person is set up to get their feelings hurt. No one should be in the dark regarding your intentions – especially when sex is involved.”
Consensual cuffing can be good for exploring new sexual pleasures, Alice explains: “A consensual cuffing relationship bridges the gap between traditional hook-up and longer-term relationship. With regular sex, you get to know each other more intimately, which leads to better sex, and you can use the more intimate dynamic to explore new things, try things you’ve always wanted to, and practice new sexual advocacy skills where you can express your needs and desires freely.”
Is reaching out to a past hook-up partner a good idea for cuffing season? Alice says: “Why not! It all comes down to honest and open communication. If you had a great time with someone during a hook-up and want to see them again, let them know. If you’re looking for a cuffing season relationship, let them know. It all really comes down to being clear and intentional.”
“However if you want to find someone new, you can use TapDat to explore your sexual needs. Use the app to find like-minded people who are also clear about their intentions. It’s the platform to meet open honest people who are also looking for a hook-up dynamic – how long those kinds of relationship lasts is between you two!”