Cuffing vs Uncuffing Season

by Lovehoney

on Jun 20, 2023

We’ve all heard of cuffing season by now: that special time of year when single people suddenly start to crave connection as the nights get colder, longer and well, lonelier. But what happens when we wave goodbye to winter and start heading into the summer months?

cuffing blog

It stands to reason that cuffing season should have a counterpart. Enter: uncuffing season. As the weather warms up again, for many people it’s time for the cuffs of monogamy to come off – just in time for a fun and flirty summer.

We wanted to find out how many of us are taking part in each season and why that might be. We surveyed over 1,000 sexually active adults about what time of year they would rather be single or coupled up, and chatted with our sex and relationship expert, Christine Rafe, about how to make sure you have the sex you want – whether you’re cuffed or uncuffed.

How many of us take part in cuffing and uncuffing season?

If you’ve ever found yourself longing for love as winter creeps in, you’re in good company. Our survey revealed that two thirds (66%) of us would prefer to be in a relationship in winter, while just 15% would rather be casually dating and only 13% would rather be single – confirming that cuffing season well and truly has us in a chokehold.

And so does uncuffing season apparently – a staggering 73% of people we spoke to saying they would rather be living their best single life (A.K.A. be uncuffed) in the summer months. We also found that over half (47%) also said that being single and dating would be their ideal summer situation, while just 18% would choose to be tied down.


With so many of us wanting to have a different relationship status during different seasons, we spoke to Christine to get some understanding on why this might be.

“In my practice, I notice that many people are more physically active, spend more time outdoors and generally feel more confident in themselves over the summer/warmer months. It’s likely that this influences willingness to date as well as have more casual sexual encounters.

“Winter is the hibernation season for many animals, and us modern-day humans aren’t really that different! The colder and darker it is outside, the more our desire to stay cozy and warm at home.

“The ‘cuffing’ season is likely related to social and physical connectedness rather than sexual desire or interest. Even though people aren’t socialising or out and about in the community as much during the colder/winter months, we still have a need for social and emotional connection. If you are a single person, and particularly if you live alone or predominantly work from home, having a stable partner during these months can support your mental and emotional health.”

Who wants a relationship and when?

To cuff or not to cuff? That is the question – but the answer might be different depending on who you ask.

According to the women we surveyed, being cuffed in winter is the best choice as most female respondents (70%) said they prefer to be in a relationship during the colder season. Meanwhile, the men surveyed were more divided; only half (50%) said they would rather be coupled up in winter, while a quarter (25%) voted for “single and dating” as their preferred relationship status at this time of year.

As for summer, it seems we all see the appeal of uncuffing season as both men (71%) and women (74%) agree that being single is the best option. That being said, a quarter (25%) of the men admitted they would prefer to be in a relationship in summer compared to only 15% of the women, so men may be slightly less inclined to jump on the uncuffing trend and explore new connections.


While it’s clear that most of us would rather stability during winter, and excitement during summer, it seems to vary more significantly within the zodiacs. We found that Geminis change their mind the most in-line with the season, with 82.4% saying they want to be single during summer, but 79.5% saying they’d want a relationship during the winter months.

Taureans and Pisces round out the top three star signs that want a summer fling, with 81.5% and 80.6% respectively confirming it. Then Aries (76.1%) and Aquarians (70.5%) come in second and third place for wanting a winter romance.


How to have the sex you want

No matter what time of year you want to be single or in a relationship, it’s always important to have a healthy and happy sex life. To ensure you’re having the sex you want, and are feeling as satisfied as possible, Christine has shared her top five tips:

Consider what turns you on

“Regardless of the season, think about what turns you on, what types of touch __ you like (and where), and communicate these with a partner. Particularly if you are having casual sex or sex with a new partner/s, communication is key in satisfying sex. If you start a relationship with open sexual communication, it sets you up for building confidence in ongoing sexual communication.”

Be curious

“Be curious about a partner_’_s sexual interests and fantasies and consider whether it’s something that might be a turn-on for you too (or if there is a willingness to try it and find out). Casual sex or sex in a new relationship can be perfect to open yourself up to new experiences and celebrate the variety of other people's sexual desires. If a partner is sharing with you, think about what you’d be willing to share about your own desires and fantasies.”

Let the seasons encourage you to explore more

“We can use the seasons to encourage curiosity and exploration sexually. For example, during the colder/winter months, think sensual showers and baths together, warm oil massages, furry blankets on the floor by a fire (or heater), sex on the couch (Netflix-and-chill style), and sex that has lots of body to body contact. Try positions like missionary, spooning, seated sex and wrapping your legs around your partner etc. In summer, consider sandy post-beach sex, cowgirl, oral sex, outdoor sex, exploring with ice cubes etc.”

Get some toys involved

“Incorporate toys or pleasure products, such as blindfolds or blow job toys, that encourage variation to your standard ‘sexual script’. Consider temperature play that is seasonal like warm oil or ice cubes and use this as an opportunity to learn something new about your pleasure.”

Be accepting

“Practice acceptance that sex can get very sweaty during the warmer months, that you might want blankets and warm fuzzy socks on during the cooler months, and that these variations can add to the eroticism of a sexual experience. Let go of the expectations of ‘performance’ during sex and focus on what your body needs at that moment. If you’re getting in your head about what you look like, focus your attention back to the present experience using your senses (what can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste). Embrace it all!”

Sources and Methodology

All data taken from a survey of 1,002 adults (18+) who have had sex, carried out in April 2023. We asked respondents about their gender, age, city, star sign and relationship status. If your identity sits outside of the binary, you might benefit from heading to our LGBTQIA+ page here.

Expert commentary provided by:

Christine Rafe - Lovehoney’s Sex and Relationship Expert

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Originally published on Jun 20, 2023. Updated on Jun 20, 2023