feature image © Molly Adams for Autostraddle

Hey, kittens and puppies how the hell are ya?? Fun fact, in Austin, TX it has been hotter than 100º F (38º C for non-Americans) for 25 out of 31 days in August. So for the past month, anytime anyone has asked me how I’m doing, the answer is almost always “I’m hot,” which is not a good feeling! But my friends, August is over after today, and in some places of the world that means that you’re already feeling the beginnings of my favorite season and yours, autumn.

Autumn means pumpkin spice everything, leggings with boots, flannels, femmes knitting scarves for you, and cuffing season. What is cuffing season, you ask? It’s that time when the weather gets a little cooler, you go out less, and you begin to look for someone to keep you and your bed warm during the long winter months. According to Urban Dictionary, one might define cuffing season as,

Usually the colder months; i.e. fall or winter, when new relationships start and old relationships turn into engagements. The persons in said relationships are “cuffed”, meaning that they no longer seek non-platonic relationships with others.

In a nutshell, these next coming weeks are preparatory. Wash your sheets, get new pillows, and make a new makeout playlist, amongst other things. Friends this is why we’re here today: I want to give you the tools so that you can have the best cuffing season you’ve ever had. I’ve started a collaborative playlist, and in my heart of hearts, I want us to fill this baby up with our favorite songs to get in the mood. I want bass, I want provocative lyrics, I want all the things that make you gyrate your hips and want to get close and personal with your number one (and/or two, or three, etc.). I’ve started the playlist for you with a few of my favorites. Please add (by clicking the title and using your own Spotify account) any and everything that makes you feel sexy and alive.

So friends, what songs do you need to have on a makeout+ playlist? Tell me about them in the comments and add them to the playlist! I want this to be so long that you and your potential boo could make out for hours and hours and hours while the crisp air cools down the earth around you (*cries in Texas*). I also want to hear about the non-cuffing season related things going on in your life. Did you just start classes? Tell me what you learned! Did you have a plain old, regular shmegular week at work? I still cannot wait to hear about it. I’m so glad to be here with you and I can’t wait for us to talk about everything from making out to the mundane details of your life together!

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. I don’t think I have a makeout song. Last time I made out was to the sounds of the ocean at the beach and I like it.

    How is everyone’s week going? It was hot earlier in the month, but now it’s actually good(unless you are in Palm Springs, where Dinah is hosted, where it’s still 95+ on average in the summer). Mines has been pretty good. I went to lesbian karaoke again(sang my usual( with friends had a blast. Still, have feelings for her despite being bffs now, but weirdly Seinfeld(no need to judge) have been kind of helping me. Like I can be bffs-wb with someone I dated and everything be cool. I also made a new FB friend at the Abbey on Wednesday, & now home sick with a cold watching Futurama. Sunday I will be at Cuties for their monthly queers, donuts, & coffee event. If you are in the SoCal area, they need people to shop as they are at risk of shutting down, and we need more spaces like this. A place that isn’t a bar & focused on white cis-gay men.

    Sunday went to my local wildlife basin, Sepulveda & the first thing I saw was nature in action. Osprey hunting for fish.

    Thank you for reading & viewing my post. Have a positive & safe weekend!

  2. I really like Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman”. At first, I turned up my nose thinking it was just another diva parading bbefore the male gaze; and then one day, I had a revelation!! What if she’s singing to all of us…

    • Hey, great post! I heard all about Cuties’ coffee shop on Cameron Esposito’s Queerie podcast it sounds like a very needed space, so I hope lots of her listeners donate money and keep it afloat. Wish I were there, I’m in FL, or else I’d be there all the time!

    • i LOVE i’m every woman! my mom used to sing it affer she fixed something with power tools so it has always felt gay to me!

  3. Added a few –

    “Like Lust” by MOVEMENT
    “Holiest” by Glass Animals
    “Get You” by Daniel Caesar, Kali Uchis

    Been waking up at 4am the past couple days to go to work, so this was a lovely way to space out for 5 minutes. Thank you for that! Looking forward to whatever everyone else adds!

  4. My sexy times playlist includes anything by the band Wet, Lykke Li’s new album, Bushop Briggs, Hayley Kiyoko, and King Princess. SO EXCITED FOR COOLER WEATHER!

    Work has been busy busy this week and classes start Tuesday and I work till 8pm tonight and then need to wake up and drive solo 2 1/2 hours to my girlfriend’s family’s place for Labor Day and I’m beat so I’m loving the chance to zone and look at music :D

  5. Added Good Pressure by Shea Diamond and Inhale Exhale by NAO, could listen to either forever!

    I’m super duper nervous about starting classes next week and having to like officially start writing my grad thesis LIKE REALLY SOON. I haven’t read enough! I have many books I want to read/ need to read, but like will I be able to read them all?! I just don’t know! Also I don’t have any syllabi yet and I don’t like that!
    In other news, I continue to have fairly decent days/great food that gets interrupted by angst/anxiety/worry about plans for top surgery over winter break falling apart because my surgeon’s office manager is not doing their job and ?maybe? is trying to ruin my life/mental health. idk? they continue to not do things/lie/not communicate with me.

  6. Ooh this is a fun one, I love a good playlist! I made a number of contributions, most notably Glorybox by Portishead, which I came across after hearing somewhere that Lucy Lawless & Jaime Murray used it as inspo whilst filming a love scene together for Spartacus Gods of the Arena. Additionally, Brain by Banks and Ellie Goulding’s cover of Tessellate. Years ago someone had both of them on a Cosima-inspired 8tracks playlist I would listen to while reading Cophine fanfiction, and consequently I now have a Pavlovian arousal response to it.

    • Glorybox really doesn’t get enough love. It’s so good! Like, I don’t think I’d be comfortable listening to it with anyone I *didn’t* want to make out with. It’s the audio version of a sex scene in a movie: it’s awkward with family.

  7. My makeout song would be “Mary Jane” by Rick James, because I am a Sagittarius.

    Fall is already scaring me. It’s back to grad school for another semester of mounting dread that either I am not enough to cut it, or the place is a soul-sucking graveyard of youth and dreams, or both. I desperately want it to be cuddly and cozy but instead I’m shopping around for witchcraft charms to keep my mental endurance up, so…..???

    • Hi, I know grad school can be tough. I’m on my last term starting in two weeks. I have a strategy: Most classes are broken up into week-long “modules” or “folders”. Just take it one week at a time, and then when you have mental energy left over near the end of each week, that’s the time to start those semester-long papers or whatever. Good luck and keep plugging through it!!

    • Sometimes when I fear I am not good enough to make it in my field, I stop reading the really well-done papers by my most respected colleagues with years of experience, and I go back and read the ones I have noted in my reference database as particularly awful.

      This sounds like kind of a snarky/joke thing to do, but I actually mean it seriously. If you’re trying to decide if you’re good enough, you should have an appropriate range of work to compare yourself to, right? Any valid scale has an appropriate range – don’t just anchor yourself at the top, ’cause the only way from there is down. “Good enough” doesn’t have to mean “as good as the best, who have a lot more resources and experience than you do.” And it works like a charm. Just think about the last paper you read that made you think, THIS shit got published??? For sure you can do better than that, right? (Go outside your class readings – of course only the best get used there.)

      And do you have a mentor – your official adviser or otherwise – that you can bring these fears to? Odds are they will at a minimum remember feeling similarly and might even still be struggling themselves. If they know your work, maybe you will get super lucky and they will say “Actually I think you are one of the most promising students I have ever seen.” But even if they don’t say that, wouldn’t it feel better to be told either, “You are doing fine for a student at your level and we will continue to help you improve” or “Here are the problems I see in your work and here are some suggestions for how we might work on them.” You will probably get better advice from them, and impress them more, if you come in saying “Here are the specific shortcomings I am afraid my work has” [NOT ‘that I have’!] “and my suggestions for the kind of help I think I need – can you provide that help, or make other suggestions?”

      If there’s one thing finishing my PhD totally convinced me of (ok there are lots), it’s that being some sort of brilliant genius isn’t necessary at all. If you made if to grad school at all, you’re smart enough, whatever “smart enough” even means, and people who ought to know have judged that you are worth investing their efforts in. Believe in their judgment! Ask for the help you need! And if the internalized misogyny monster is making that difficult, think “it’s not for me, it’s because this question I have/area I want to focus on is really important and deserves to have the person working on it be as well trained as possible.” Or tell the internalized misogyny monster to fuck right off because YOU are good enough and deserve to have smart, well-trained people invest time in your training.

      Does the length of my reply suggest I have feelings about this? I have feelings about this. I wish someone had said something similar to me when I was a sophomore devastatedly concluding that I didn’t have what it took to be an astronomer and giving up on that lifelong dream. So go do your thing! You are probably already better at it than you think, and you’re going to get better yet.

  8. I haven’t had a great week. I recently got back from a week-long vacation in which I got to catch up with lots of people I care about. It’s made me realize that I really don’t have a community in Chicago, even though I’ve lived here for a year. I moved here to pursue career goals, but thus far, I’ve just been spinning my wheels.

    So while I hope cuffing season comes through on the relationship front, I’m also hoping to make friends. And it wouldn’t hurt to get a break, professionally.

    I’ll have to think about this question… Everything that’s coming to mind has already been suggested!

    • Have you joined the Chicagostraddlers facebook group? It’s pretty active and full of great folks!!

    • I’ve moved around a lot and each time it’s taken me a good two or three years to settle in and find people/community. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, it just takes time.

  9. Provider, Frank Ocean
    Who do you love? Kindness feat Robyn
    Cold fire in rain, AYER
    Love, Kendrick Lamar
    Signs, Drake
    I’ve been thinking, Handsome boy modelling school
    The way, Kehlani
    Sleepyhead, Passion pit
    You got me, The roots
    You’re the one, Kaytranada
    Taste, Rhye (Mano le tough remix)
    Skin, Jamie woon
    Show me how, Men I trust


  10. This is excellent timing since for the first time in… like.. maybe ever? I actually have a sweet, funny, smart, super cute lady to make out with this lovely cuffing season :) However I have basically no game and definitely no playlist, so I’m gonna sit back and take notes from everyone else.

  11. Okay.
    Maybe this is because my partner and I don’t ever really make out (except for like three times…blame scheduling and awkwardness and other things). But I didn’t realize people still have playlists for that kind of sexytime activity!

    Maybe that will help give us the spark again or something…

    • To be fair, we are fine. More than fine, actually (talking marriage which is scary but in a good way). We’re both unofficially officially demi/gray-ace. So. It’s not like it’s needed but yeah.

  12. Almost anything by Hayley Kiyoko
    Uh Huh Her – Explode
    Tegan and Sara – Stop Desire
    Demi Lovato – Body Say
    Taylor Swift – Dress

  13. Added Breaking Away by Ratatat, Drive by Melissa Ferrick (which I first encountered on Autostraddle’s excellent Lesbian Visibility Day playlist), and Asleep At The Wheel by Working For a Nuclear Free City, which has the distinction of being the song I lost my virginity to (well, the first time, anyway).

  14. River by Bishop Briggs
    Ruin the Friendship by Demi Lovato
    Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden
    I Want To Hold Your Hand by T.V. Carpio
    Something by Jim Sturgess
    Run to You by Whitney Houston
    Lucky by Big Naked
    Charge by Splendid
    Concentrate by Demi Lovato
    Universe by Savage Garden
    Colorblind by Counting Crows
    Every You Every Me by Placebo
    Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen
    Boom Clap by Charli XCX
    I Put A Spell on You by Annie Lennox
    Fooled Around And Fell In Love by Elvin Bishop

  15. Crier tout bas – Coeur de Pirate

    Theme – Amelie

    Electrocutango – Felino

    (…to both of you ??)

  16. This reminds me of that time Barack Obama released his nighttime playlist for the summer in 2016:

    And suddenly, everyone’s like, “um, did the President just drop a booty call playlist?” Or, as Damon Young at VSB put it, “The POTUS Nighttime Playlist Proves President Obama Saved All Of His Remaining Fucks For The Bedroom.” LOL.

    But seriously, though, no makeout playlist is complete without “Say Yes” from Floetry or “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean.

  17. Well I can’t figure out how to add songs to the playlist, but as a suggestion, “Scandalous” by Prince.

  18. Random question. I joined a few groups a while back but I don’t know how to access them.

  19. Tribal Mozart by the Kazu Matsui Project
    Lots of things by the Gotan Project and Bajofondo especially Pa’ Bailar

  20. I have nothing to contribute because I really like the way making out sounds and so I’m bad at frisky playlists in general BUT I did just pop by to say that THE COVER PHOTO ON THIS POST OH WOW. Really great. <3

  21. As someone who makes playlists for all kinds of events I’ve never made a makeout playlist because I’ve never made out with anyone. I don’t know if that’s embarassing, sad or pathetic…
    However, I do think Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? by Bryan Adams and Crush and Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band are worthy of making out too.

    • These are all great selections! As much as I love Dave, I would have never thought about putting him on a makeout playlist

  22. I was at a wedding last weekend with my girlfriend and though it was the STRAIGHTEST wedding you could possibly imagine there were not one, not two, not three, but FOUR lesbian couples in attendance, two of whom were married and one of whom had an adorable daughter. At one point my GF and I joked that there should be a special dance for the lesbian couples, and I recommended “Both Hands” so that we could all slow dance and cry and text our exes. Not sure if this qualifies as a make-out song but it will definitely be an important part of my cuffing repertoire this autumn because nothing says monogamous committed relationship like “I am writing graffiti on your body I am drawing the story of how hard we try-y-y-ied.”

    • That is really funny. I’m sure I made out to a lot of Ani in the early aughts. And that is so perfect

  23. Ray LaMontagne-Let it be me
    Jessie Ware-Wildest Moments

    It’s three am, I’ll figure the technical things out with Spotify in the morning.

    P.S.:Coming home from the club and posting about songs to be put on a make out playlist while lying in bed alone is my personal brand and I’m owning it.

  24. Maybe Zoe Keating, Zap Mama, depending on the person I’d be into making out to Sleater Kinney.

    I finally had my baby. I was almost 43 weeks (for the uninitiated, average pregnancy is 40 weeks and some change). I’m on the older end of the range of ages for being pregnant and it was August so needless to say I’m glad to be on the other end, holding baby in my arms. The transition has been easier than expected but definitely not without its challenges. This baby nurses and sleeps better than my first so far.

    • Congratulations Juno! I know it’s seemed like a long difficult stretch for you. I’m hoping that this will signal a new transition and beginning for you as well.

      Wishing you continued peaceful nights as well!

  25. These range vibewise, but.. (all on spotify)

    Don’t: Zoe Kravitz
    Closer: Tegan and Sara
    Turn Me On; Norah Jones
    Song Beneath a Song: Maria Taylor
    I Like That: Janelle Monae
    Ruby Blue: Roisin Murphy
    Howlin’ For You: The Black Keys
    Superpower: Frank Ocean & Beyonce
    Can’t Remember to Forget You: Shakira (&Rihanna)
    #GETITRIGHT: Miley Cyrus
    Smoke Detector: Rilo Kiley
    One Week of Danger- Demo Version: The Virgins

    • like literally the first time i hooked up with a Caller of mine was when we were watching st. vincent’s coachella set. it’s a time for horny tunes. it has the perfect combo of Bops and slow jams to bone to. can’t recommend enough.

  26. It’s less a playlist and more like 3 albums and a classic piece of music that show despite how low maintenance my daily look is there is indeed a gothy lil metal head always lurking beneath the surface.

    OST Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Anton Coppola
    Type O Negative- October Rust
    Gorilla Pulp- Peyote Queen
    Varying composers’ arrangements of the Requiem, but most often Gabriel Fauré because his In Paradisum is my favourite one and it’s good song to nod off to cuddlely post-coital sleep

    But I understand completely not every would want to get it on to a soundtrack from a monster movie or stoner metal or just metal and can pick a suitably boring long album or long piece of classical music that’s not a funeral mass for normal people who actually know what the Requiem and do not like the idea of boning to that no matter how beautiful it is.

    At least I have the good taste to not bone to OST from Queen of the Damned, rewatched that movie this week and oh boy it’s worse than I remember. Such a terrible Early 00’s trashy time capsule but I love it anyway and Akasha always RIP Aaliyah.

    The Deftones aged pretty well music wise I will say tho

    • Lol…I once (around age 19) organized a small party based around that Bram Stoker’s Dracula soundtrack that was really a thirst trap. I sent out invites requesting dapper vampire dress, and decorated with dried dark red roses hanging upside down all around the room. Obviously I had the soundtrack playing…

      So…just to say I see you on these musical choices!

      • Anybody actually manage to come in dapper vampire dress at that party?

        Cause I for a know fact dapper vampire dress is a very manageable look, femme vampire dress is harder. :P

        • Yes! There were top hats, cufflinks and morning coats, and I wore a tailcoat.

          Not from this party, but from another…here’s a dress I altered from a thrift store (originally white) wedding dress around the same time:

          • Sounds superb.

            Is it the lighting or did ya dye it black only to have to try and dye it red because the black was more grey than black?

          • I think this comment will come out above the one it’s in answer to…I dyed it/ sprayed into it various shades of dark reds as well as using some kind of lacquer for blood drops ( on the dress) to keep them shiny, and added the lace and ribbons.
            I was studying costume then so I had access to spray booths/ dyeing stuff at college :)

  27. I love collaborative playlists! Been rocking out to this one all lazy Saturday morning and discovering new sounds. Added the smoldering “Need It” by Half Moon Run, from a Christina Ricci/Ruby Rose makeout scene :)

  28. I’m so sorry, I went a bit overboard with my contributions. I couldn’t sleep last night and found myself enjoying combing through my various playlists in search for songs that might fit this one. Since circumstances currently prevent me from making use of our excellent playlist myself (silly me managed to unluckily fall in love – despite my best efforts I might add… some of you may be able to relate) the thought of my song-suggestions at least potentially helping some of my fellow autostraddlers to get their groove on and providing the right background for a few of your romantic endevours definitely lightened my mood a bit.

    For future reference however I have to ask: How do you all manage to naturally include your respective playlists into your make out sessions? Can’t imagine any of you stopping whatever your doing to shout “Alexa, play ‘Let’s Make Out” on Spotify”.

    • But now you have us all imagining it and I dunno about anyone else but I am snickering.

      Might have to try this. It will be even better because we don’t have an Alexa. Or a Spotify account. Ah, now I really have the giggles. ;)

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