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#LockdownZim Day 10: Of Folks Cuffing During Quarantine Period

LockdownZim Day 10: Of Folks Cuffing During Quarantine Period
I’m a single young man out and about in the streets. It is with a heavy heart that I’m coming out to inform you that the COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing painfully clear for many single people and people […]

I’m a single young man out and about in the streets. It is with a heavy heart that I’m coming out to inform you that the COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing painfully clear for many single people and people who live alone that human contact is the most precious commodity these days. With the ongoing social distancing which feels like forever now although it’s been ten days only, we are miserably craving for that connection.

It’s not like we have a lot of options in our sleeves. It’s too scary to go out, and it’s too lonely to stay in. The nights are long and full of terrors. Blessed are the “haves”, those lucky humans who’ve got kids, partners, or roommates. Yes, they may be loud and exhausting and downright crazy-making at times, but a warm body is a warm body. To the “have-nots” who are isolated in their homes for days or weeks on end, this can seem like an incredible luxury. A text or WhatsApp call just isn’t the same as an in-person company.

Lonesome isolation can be very harmful to people’s mental health, triggering or exacerbating conditions like anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Even before the coronavirus came along, loneliness was a silent epidemic, afflicting millions around the world. Studies have found that loneliness increases your risk of premature mortality by 26 %. Experts say it’s as bad for your longevity as smoking.

To combat this epidemic, it turns out that some of our single folks might have made capital out of the lockdown period to cuff, absolutely disregarding the need to follow social distancing rules as laid out by public health authorities and local governments.

Now, to our uninitiated cool friends, cuffing is an official sport where singles scramble for brunch partners, bedsheet warmers, and people whose “Hey” texts you see but don’t click on for hours because you don’t want them to get a read receipt.

Derived unofficially from a study that researchers at top educational institutes never thought about doing, CUFF (Consensual Undercover Fornication Federation), is a game when people couple off to combat the cold and loneliness. When parsed down, it is simply a social construct, partly manufactured from holiday stress and partly biological, that pushes single people into relationships for a certain period. Though it’s not an ironclad law, there is a schedule to cuffing season, and it usually happens in the wintertime.

Although highly contested, sociologists have determined that cuffing is about companionship and less about sex. They argue that cuffing is an informal agreement to provide companionship and romantic interest without the entrapments associated with a formal title. It requires a greater investment of time than a “cut buddy” or a booty call, but it is less than a girlfriend.

Mutually agreed upon the activity, it’s for those folks who aren’t ready for long-term relationships for various reasons, but value companionship, friendship and semi-regular orgasms within the safe confines of monogamy. The great thing about cuffing is that –because it is an indoor sport– a cuffing partner doesn’t require all the bells and whistles of a regular partner because there is no public aspect to cuffing.

Contrary to popular belief that is a no-strings-attached affair, cuffing comes with responsibility. If you are lucky enough to be someone’s first-round cuffing pick, you are no longer a free agent, therefore, your services are limited exclusively to your cuffee, unless your contract states otherwise. Cuffing requires more chemistry than a booty call because a cuffing teammate must have the same taste in movies and have a compatible work schedule that allows for extracurricular cuffing activities.

It involves a delicate communication process of understanding and mutual agreement. One does not ask, “Would you like to cuff?” In fact, a huge number of all cuffing situations evolve from booty call activities. One day you’re pulling up at a guy’s house at 2 am for late-night sex, and 2 months later, you’re dropping by at 4 pm on a Sunday to watch Netflix while he cooks you a steak in his drawers.

Now, from what we are reading from Twitter and what we are getting from our well-positioned squealers who lives in your neighbourhood, there is a lot of cuffing going around in the closed doors of lockdown.

Are we disappointed or amused? Yes and No. There is absolutely nothing wrong with two consenting adults choosing to spend time in an ambiguous relationship (although WHO has a different opinion right now in light of the COVID-19 pandemic). It is actually a more organic way of getting to know each other. Sex has long been one of our favourite human sports and has been linked with a wide range of physical, mental and emotional health benefits.

Perhaps the biggest hazard of cuffing is the phenomenon known as “catching feelings.” Invariably one side always catches feelings during cuffing. One of the easiest ways to tell the onset of feelings being caught is when the question arises “what are we?” The second worst thing about cuffing is the awkwardness that comes at the end of the season when the ice thaws and it is time to pack up your locker and go home.

Just one more thing. Since the advent of the HIV crisis, doctors have been vigilant in encouraging safe and informed sex by advising their patients to know their status and ask prospective partners for theirs. We trust you’re doing this. And yet according to the present crisis, you may need to ask your partner another important question: “Can you perform CPR?” Recent investigations have highlighted the prevalence of sudden cardiac arrest during or within an hour of having sex. What’s disturbing about these findings is that the majority of sexual partners do not perform CPR when witnessing their partner in cardiac distress. So, if you’re a cuffee, it is vital that you receive adequate training and attempt CPR when necessary. Performing it is easy, but the results are significant; it can double or triple an individual’s odds of survival.

And since the researches usually indicate that men may be especially vulnerable in their most intimate moments, the onus is on girls to consider mastering the basic knowledge of what to do in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest may ultimately save his life.

Happy tenth day of lockdown to all the sneak-ass cuffees out there. Remember to pack up your locker and go home when the days are over. 

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. A Storyteller & Creator who balances nuanced & witty literary writing with a pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow him on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba 

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