There’s a chill in the air, dead leaves are crunching under foot, the holidays are nigh — and cuffing season has commenced.
While we resign ourselves to the great indoors this winter, I’m here to tell you — hibernation can be hot.
What is cuffing season?
Cuffing season is the autumnal urge to enter into a more serious or defined relationship in anticipation of a long winter to come.
“Cuffing” refers to the idea that commitment between two people is akin to the pair handcuffing themselves together, which could be kinky or horrifying depending on your interpretation.
Cuffing season lasts approximately from late fall to early spring, equinox to equinox if you’re pagan.
The appeal of cuffing season lies in the perceived ability of partnership to stave off loneliness, seasonal depression and the woes and wounds that come from weathering the holidays solo.
Whether you are locking it down with a longterm love or getting hot with an extended autumn fling, ’tis the season for experimentation — toys, positions and even a shared f–k it list to accomplish before the first thaw of spring.
While each of the following adventures in intimacy comes with a zodiac prescription, I invite you one and all — Aries and Pisces and all signs in between — to explore, inspire and enjoy in the dark days and wild nights to come.
How to approach the sexploration conversation with your partner
Because we live in a repressed patriarchal trashcan of a society that would rather we feel shame than pleasure, conversations about sex can be challenging for both parties.
Sarah Riccio, sex sage and owner of delicto.com, offers her insights on how to approach your partner about a hot-sounding cold weather sexcapade.
As with all things, consent and compassion are at the top of the list.
Riccio expounds, “If you pitch the idea of a new sex position, your lover might feel nervous at the prospect of stepping outside their comfort zone. This doesn’t necessarily mean the answer is no, but it’s important to address feelings of discomfort or performance anxiety before jumping into new territory. Take plenty of time to address wants, needs, fears and, if applicable, safe words. The more you let yourself be vulnerable with your lover, the greater your shared intimacy will be.”
Read on, get it on and stay warm, my friends.
Ruled by war monger Mars, Aries folk like their sex and their conflict hot and often, but it turns out, cold plunging paves the way to intensified intimacy.
If you’re not ready to invest in a full plunge system, you can still ice down your bathtub as a kind of frigid foreplay.
Experts recommend couples hold hands, sync their breath, and stare into each other’s eyes while in the chill — before warming up and getting down with vigorous sex.
As a fixed earth sign, Taurus folk are inclined towards intimacy that feels like wild abandon with minimal effort.
Riccio divulges, “Lovers who have never tried a ‘doggy-style’ position might want to give it a go. There’s no one right way to do it (which might ease your mind if you’re a beginner) as long as the giver is behind the receiver. The romantic part about this position is that the giver is able to explore their lover’s body from a new, exciting angle. They can rub their partner’s back while they receive, reach around their body to provide stimulation, whisper sweet nothings in their ear, kiss the back of their neck — the options are endlessly intimate!”
A back rub and an orgasm? Pure bull bait.
Sweeten the deal for this ilk, and get them a nice pillow that can easily transition from sex prop to statement piece.
Air signs like Gemini have a tendency to live more in the mind than the moment and can benefit from eye contact and coerced closeness.
Riccio explains, “Also known as ‘modified missionary,’ this position puts a romantic spin on a fan-favorite classic. You start in missionary as you normally would, but the receiver wraps their legs around their lover to pull them in extra close, while the giver cradles their partner’s head and draws it into the erogenous zone between their ear and shoulder. This slight modification allows players to hear and feel each other’s breath and body movements in an incredibly intimate way.”
Incredible intimacy? Close enough to feel another person’s breath? Sounds like a real promise of progress for mutable air.
Sex with a sweater on
It’s cold AF out there, folks, and thus an ideal time to get it on without taking it all off.
With “sweater boob” sweeping the collective cultural imagination, and Cancer being the sign that rules the chest, there’s never been a better time, nor better sign, to combine comfort and coitus and leave a little something to the imagination.
Also known as “shirt c–king” and “Pooh bearing,” rolling around with your top half covered and your bottom bare is an ideal way to wile away the winter.
Send a provocative package
A Leo’s preferred love language is abject worship — with gift giving a close second on the pleasure pyramid.
Bow to their glory and surprise them with a special delivery of lingerie, lube, a small framed nude photo, a sex toy, or an invitation to join you for a “strangers at a bar” role play.
As a mutable earth sign ruled by ever-changing Mercury, Virgo folk are much more adaptive and imaginative than they’re given credit for.
Detail-oriented with a desire to please, they can really commit to a character and will low-key love the opportunity to utilize their DIY skills and/or repurpose their homemade Halloween costumes for kinky sex.
For scenarios, characters and other inspiration, see our guide to role play through the signs.
As the sign of partnership, Libra operates as a kind of mirror for their mate, making reflective sex an excellent choice.
Riccio explains, “Making love in front of a mirror can make any position feel more romantic because couples get to admire themselves mid-play. This can also be a great steppingstone for folks who aren’t quite ready to try a new position, but still want to explore a sexy, new sensory experience.”
Blindfolded oral sex
This recommendation is brought to you from a Scorpio (my ride or die, kitchen witch and certified bad b—h Sarah Freeman) for Scorpios.
As the sign of shadows, this fixed water sign will appreciate being cast into the dark and fully focused on the pleasure/temple worship of oral sex.
Receiving in the dark is akin to getting head from a ghost — hot, hot, hot for the spookiest sign in the zodiac.
Author a f–k it list
Symbolized by the arrows to the sky centaur, Sagittarius is the sign of the explorer.
Honor this archetype by making your home environment a map of coital conquest. Be it the bathroom sink, exercise ball, the coffee table, stairway, your roommate’s bed, atop the washing machine or the overturned sofa, research ways and positions that make your home furnishings fully f–ktional.
Candle wax massage
Ruled by stern planet Saturn, Capricorn folk tend to like their pleasure with a sidecar of pain. Set the mood with candles, strip down and drip at a distance to manage the level of ouch.
Consider investing in a candle like this one from WOO or this one from Love Salve that conveniently melts into massage oil and features a pour spout — perfect for sea goats that love a multipurpose purchase and are always in need of a little loosening up.
Bonus: Every time you light the candle you’ll send an olfactory message to this workaholic earth sign that it’s time to power down and get it on.
Watch porn together
As a fixed air sign, Aquarius is often cast in the role of outsider or observer — and watching porn with a partner is a great way to honor that vantage while also opening up a dialogue about desire, turn ons, turn offs, fantasies, fetishes and role play inspiration.
Remember to never yuck the yum of another.
Because Aquarius rules the 10th house of community and holds fast to utopian ideals of equality, dignity and orgasms for all, consider selecting your smut from this list of ethical porn sites.
Fun fact: With their squishy insides and dreamy dispositions, Pisces people are, in fact, weed gummies.
In kind, CBD candies can be an optimal way to help fish folks get in the mood and out of their heads.
Taking a mild mind-altering substance together creates a bond betwixt partners, and taking a low dose of CBD has been proven to help users feel present, more lubricated and less anxious — a real boon in the bedroom or anywhere else you may be getting it on.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.