Senior hugging season is year around

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – February 25, 2022

By Tom Blake – author and columnist

I don’t make this stuff up. But, I do say that senior hugging season is year around.

My email address is on a journalist mailing list. The list includes writers who cover the topic of love, dating, and life in general. Because I’m on the mailing list, I receive daily “pitch” emails from public relations firms asking me to write about their topics.

Most of the emailers have no clue that my audience is comprised of people aged 60-90. Here are two examples of the emails I receive:

Email received January 17, 2022:

“With cuffing season finally here, singles are on the prowl for love and intimacy during these turbulent times. But finding a partner is difficult during a global pandemic.

“Is it okay to hug after a first date?”

“Would your date rather sit inside or out?”

“Do you ask whether the respective partner is vaccinated?”

“How to make your current relationship maintain its spark despite pandemic stress.”

And then the email offered an interview with a dating expert named Sarah Rose. Rose’s credits state she is a certified tantric sex, love, and relationship coach.

That email baffled me. I don’t think seniors are on the prowl. I had to check the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website to get the definition of what “cuffing season” is and how it might possibly apply to our demographic.

The dictionary site stated: “Cuffing season refers to a period of time where single people begin looking for short-term partnerships to pass the colder months of the year. Cuffing season usually begins in October and lasts until just after Valentine’s Day. The use of the word cuff references handcuffs, but is slang in the same vein as ‘hooking up’ or ‘getting hitched.’”

I had never heard the cuffing season words used in the context of senior dating.

Also, I checked a website called BetterHelp for the definition of tantric love. It stated, “You may need upwards of a few hours to successfully carry out a tantric lovemaking session. This is no romp in the hay. This is an activity that encourages relaxation, meditation, and taking things very slowly.”

My opinion: Seniors might have the time, but not the stamina, patience, or interest to exercise tantric love.

And I wondered why the email arrived on January 17, about three months after cuffing season usually begins, and only a month before it usually ends. It must have been a “slow day” in the public relations business.

Now, about those four questions. (1) Hug on a first date? Are they kidding? Hugs are great even with friends and family, let alone on a first date. True, during the pandemic, hugs were kind of shut down even with masks on. To seniors, hugging is an important form of friendship expression. Most of us grew up enjoying hugs. On a first date? You betcha!

Unlike Cuffing Season, Hugging Season is year-around.

(2) “Sit inside or outside?” I think most everybody would prefer to sit outside. But seniors aren’t likely to dump someone simply because they’d prefer to sit inside, especially during rain, snow, windy conditions, or excessive heat. A person’s health may determine where they want to sit.

(3) “Ask if vaccinated?” During the pandemic, yes. But do it before meeting face-to-face.

There would be no use in going on a first date not knowing who is or isn’t vaccinated. If being vaccinated is important to you, ask early in the first communication, so neither party wastes time.

(4) “How to make your current relationship maintain its spark?”

Now this question might apply to approximately 35 percent of our Champs who are in relationships. I was tempted to call the tantric woman to see what she suggests but with approximately 65 percent of our readers being single and not in relationships, I thought calling her wouldn’t help most of our Champs.

For people in relationships during the pandemic, I think the key is consideration for one’s mate and to utilize Netflix and YouTube TV to help keep the relationship fresh. Also, tackling household projects together might give the relationship a boost.

A second email, dated February 22, left me scratching my head

It stated: “…the personal-finance website Wallet-Hub today released its report on 2022’s Most Sinful States…To determine where the U.S. has the most moral growing to do, Wallet-Hub compared the 50 states based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.”

I am curious how they measured each of those sinful behaviors? And to rub salt into the wound, the report says California is the most sinful. Oh my, I guess I’d better check my jealously, lust, and laziness.

I don’t think seniors are going to make dramatic changes in their lives to move to states where sinfulness is lower. I can hear the boo-birds already, stating that Wallet-Hub validates that so many people are moving out of California (no one mentions the number of people moving here). Oh gosh, I hope we can all get back to a fairly normal life soon. The pandemic has been playing with our minds for long enough.

Part 2 – Fraud – When Harry met Scammy

Thanks to Champ Ellen for this reminder about romance scams. Up 80 % in 2021
“Take a seat, outdoor dining—the hottest trend in dating is being scammed out of thousands of dollars by a professional fraudster. New data released by the FTC reveals that romance scams reached an all-time high in 2021, up nearly 80% from 2020. “That stat might explain why The Tinder Swindler, Netflix’s latest true-crime doc about a man accused of conning women on Tinder out of $10 million, has led the global Netflix charts since it debuted on February 2.

“According to the FTC, people have lost $1.3 billion to romance scams in the last five years—$547 million of which came (or left) in 2021. It’s a steep jump from 2017, when losses from such scams totaled $87 million. 56,000 romance scams were reported to the FTC in 2021.The median individual loss for people scammed out of crypto by a catphish: $9,770

“While the highest individual losses were incurred by people 70 and older (with median individual losses of $9,000) the FTC warned that savvy scammers have had success with every age bracket.”

Note from Tom: On Tuesday night, Greta and I watched The Tinder Swindler on Netflix. It’s a couple of hours long. Three women who were swindled are featured—one loss $250,000–which is incredible that she allowed that to happen.

The swindler led an extravagant lifestyle, using women’s money to fund his operation. It is incredible how professional he was. I won’t tell you what happens in the end, but the key takeaway is: If someone appears or sounds to be too good to be true, trust your instincts and stay away from that person. Don’t give anybody money, unless you understand it won’t be paid back. I don’t want any of our Champs to get scammed. If you have been, share the details with us.

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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