How romance has evolved. Your great-granddad wrote your gam-gam mud-flecked postcards from the Somme; your gran and granddad met in the lines for some rations; your parents slammed inexpertly behind the dustbins outside the Hacienda—syrupy courtship working its way up to what, admittedly, was two people probably getting bin juice on their junk; but at least it was all very much substantial and sincere.
And now there's you: the sharp point of all those years of delicately negotiated romances, three episodes into Orange Is the New Black, hiding all visible signs of arousal underneath a blanket, and wondering when to make the move. This is Netflix and chill—the newest way young people have invented of fucking. The chill a lie, the Netflix a background noise, the humping calamitous.
The Netflix and chill meme has come so far in fact that, yesterday, someone started selling actual condoms branded with the phrase, and last month University of Pennsylvania staged a "Netflix and Chill Festival." Literally everyone knows about it now. They know about it and they are staging large events that require some level of extracurricular work because of it.
As we've reached this point, I thought it made sense to lay out some guidelines around the whole thing, because what is a fun casual sex meme without some extremely hard and fast rules about who, how, and where you can fuck someone while doing it?
TRAIN YOUR BODY TO BE AROUSED BY ADAM SANDLER PUTTING BOTH OF HIS PALMS ON HIS FACE AND MAKING A FART SOUND WITH THEM
"Hey, I know what'd be fun: 90 minutes of Adam Sandler talking like a baby with a mouth full of coins while somehow conning an extremely attractive and mature woman into falling in love with him" —nobody on Earth, ever.
This, right here, is why Netflix has paid for Sandler's next four films to be made exclusively for them. For sex. Because if you're going to be successful at Netflix and chill, you need to know the function of Adam Sandler movies—to be an inverted aphrodisiac, the exact polar opposite of a cheap thong and a plate of oysters; to be a film so bad that turning it off and having sex is the only viable option besides death.
Watching You Don't Mess With the Zohan is essentially an endurance event designed to test the very limits of your desire not to fuck. If you watch the Universal Pictures pre-roll and see Adam Sandler immediately make a fart joke ("Oh noooo, I did the poopy sound in the butt-pants area!"), then prepare your body for a sexual onslaught, because there's no way you're making your way through the next hour-and-a-half without at least doing some hand stuff.
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ACTUALLY GET NETFLIX SET UP ON A TV, DUDE
The main reason you need to get your Netflix set up on an actual TV while getting handsy, instead of squinting distantly at a precariously balanced laptop, is how easy it is: Every console made in the last ten years has a Netflix app. Failing that, an HDMI-to-HDMI cable or a Mini DisplayPort thing costs, like, $10 on Amazon. If you cannot spend $10 on Amazon and spend like three minutes and one Google search figuring out how to get the audio to run through the TV as well as the picture, then why should someone spend even a modicum of effort fucking you?
Second reason is there's a little switch that goes off when you flip from "trying to get into the first episode of Narcos" to "straight-up having sex with a person," and that switch completely nixes all feeling from your feet. You never know what you're doing with your feet when you're fucking. But they are there, always, on the end of your legs, waiting to absent-mindedly crush a laptop down to dust while you're trying to get purchase on the edge of a bed. Because you're all hands and hips and tongue action when you're fucking, is the thing, your feet flailing out distantly behind you, rarely if ever part of the action, each foot just one wrong move away from going absolutely through the screen and costing you a good hundred, hundred-and-fifty to replace, and all along—a condom bobbing off the end of your penis, shards of laptop screen in your foot, cab to the Apple Store—all along you're thinking, a $10 cable from Amazon and ten minutes of googling how to get the sound going could have saved me a lot of heartache, here.
BE CONSTANTLY AWARE OF THE INTIMATE SECRETS YOUR 'WATCHED BY X' BAR REVEALS TO OTHERS
If you're coming into Netflix and chill off the back of an extensive dry spell then your recommendations bar is an absolute shit-show: for dudes it is most likely "every single action film," and for girls it's probably just "all of Ru Paul, sorted ascending to descending in order of sassiness." Essentially, your recommendations bar is an air raid siren that, instead of warning you of the coming bombs, blares to the world just how many times you sat alone watching Netflix until the "Are you still watching, you fucking sad-act?" notification popped up.
Or maybe you're dabbling in a number of Netflix and chill-level relationships. There is no judgment here; we both know you won't be hot forever and you need to take advantage of it while you still can. But be aware that if your "Continue Watching" section is made up of two three-star horror movies, an Adam Sandler film abandoned after 15 minutes, and Clueless, that plainly tells whoever's next to you: You are not the only person ever invited over here for Netflix and chill. It says: You are but a sexy cog in this oiled and well-versed movie-streaming-n-casual-fucking machine. It essentially says: There are some stains lurking on this quilt that you do not want to know fully about.
Whether you're a Netflix and chill polygamist or some dusty-dicked adult virgin, the solution to both of these problems remains the same: set up a separate Netflix profile for each person you invite over to chill with. Or, more crudely: separate accounts for separate mounts.
DO NOT PROPOSE NETFLIX AND CHILL AS SOME SORT OF "PLAN A," AS THOUGH DRY-HUMPING ON A KNITTED BLANKET IN THE 45 MINUTES IT TAKES A DOMINO'S TO TURN UP IS AN ACCEPTABLE DATE
Thing is: Everybody likes chilling, everyone likes banging, everyone likes that little dipping sauce you get with Domino's, and everyone likes both the smooth and intuitive UI and the unparalleled choice of blockbuster movies and exclusive immersive TV that comes with Netflix. But you can't Netflix and chill on a first date; you've got to try a little harder than that.
Early dating is just two people tiptoeing around the fact they would both rather be in bed alternately relaxing and having sex instead of going out for dinner and doing interesting things together and pretending they don't shit. Early dating is a type of performance art where you pretend to be literally anything other than the person you are, until you fool someone into loving you.
Does Netflix and chill fit into that narrative? No, it does not.
HAVE YOUR OWN NETFLIX ACCOUNT
Nothing kills a boner like having to text someone you shared a flat with three years ago to double-check the password (j03lissh1t) and log in with one of eight humorously named profiles (JOEL_IS_CUNT) before you can watch one single episode of Better Call Saul together. Netflix costs $7.99 a month, man. Come on. Come on.
GETTING UR CHILL RIGHT
The "chill" in "Netflix and chill," as everybody on Earth knows, does not in fact mean "chill." It means: Lie down quietly for anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour and a half, fully aware of your breathing and your every motion, the blood pumping through your body so hard you can feel it, and then—slowly, halfway through that boring episode of House of Cards where Frank Underwood goes back to his old university and gets drunk and baleful—while that's happening, slowly initiate anything from low-level hand stuff to full-on intercourse.
That is the unspoken secret, the words between the lines. Chill isn't chill. Chill is much more erection-y than that.
Does that mean your bedroom, the battlefield on which the sexual war will be wrought, needs to be a chill-free zone? Exactly the opposite. Your bedroom has to be the definition of chill. Two soft lamps. Cushion choices. A range of textures and weights to the blankets. Fresh sheets. A candle, maybe. Little snacks. A zen-like feeling of calm throughout the rest of the house. Soft entrance music. Luxurious carpets. A small warm animal to pet. Warm drinks. Lightly-scented incense. Airplane mode on your phone. Soft plump towels and robing. Your room has to be extremely chill in the brief moments you stay settled before breaking out the flavored lubricants and nipple equipment.
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DON'T WATCH AN OUT-OF-SEQUENCE EPISODE MIDWAY THROUGH A SERIES, YOU FUCKING IDIOT
What are you, an idiot? Are you a human idiot? How do you expect me to get fucky on a blanket when I'm still thinking about that episode of Orange Is the New Black? I do not understand why they just ran through a chain-link fence and into a lake. I do not understand why that was important. I was only six episodes into this series. Why is the annoying one friends with the crazy one now? Why is the silent one a shunned god? No, sto—stop rubbing that, I feel like I've missed a scene. Did I miss a scene? Why didn't they just escape? What does it mean? You know what, no, fuck it. I can't do this. I've got to go home now. I'm so confused.
ACTUALLY HAVE SOME SEX, THOUGH
Netflix and chill has to end in sex otherwise it's "just Netflix," and "just Netflix" is what you do four years into a relationship when you already hate each other and you're just sitting there, two opposite ends of a sofa, grimly thanking the Netflix gods for that "Next Episode Will Play in 12 Seconds" auto-function so that neither one of you has to talk to the other about who is going to get up and click the "Play Next" button with their actual finger, breaking the silence only to say, "Can you pause it? I need a wee"; breaking the silence only to say, "It's your turn to make tea, I made the last teas." So, I mean, if you want that then just watch Netflix together—one of you the cliff and one of you the sea, both of you slowly eroding—then by all means do so. But if you don't, then incorporate the chill component.
Much like the recommendations bar plots the exciting half-an-episode-of-It's-Always-Sunny-followed-by-anal opening sparks of a relationship, so the slow plod through every single Louis Theroux documentary in order, followed by a post-break-up argument over the Netflix password, follows the dying embers. Essentially, every relationship you have ever had can be accurately predicted by the Netflix algorithm. The intensity of your waning love can be foreseen by the "Related Movies" tab. Think about that next time you suggest one more episode of The West Wing before a full pajamas early night.
Anyway, remember to have fun!
Going to use photos of animals looking like they're spooning in this because have you ever looked closely at a photo of two humans genuinely hugging? Honestly, it's disgusting, and I know a lot of you read these things on your lunch.
Photo via Flickr user shellac
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