As most millennials and Gen Z-ers know, saying you want to "Netflix and Chill" doesn't just mean you want to veg out on the couch with someone and binge-watch Wanda Vision. The phrase has been coined to mean something specific and sexy. Whether you're wondering how to Netflix and Chill or are simply trying to figure out why this particular date idea has gained such traction, we have the information you need.
What Does It Mean to Netflix and Chill?
So, what are Netflix and Chill? The term derives from Netflix — the streaming service — and the word "chill", which means to relax. But that's not all it means.
Netflix and Chill is a euphemism. It refers to the act of having sex while a Netflix show plays in the background. It's most often used as a way to hook up with someone casually — this generation's version of a booty call — but you can Netflix and Chill even in an established relationship.
How Has Romance & Dating Changed Over Time?
Netflix didn't exist prior to 1997, and it didn't introduce streaming until 2007. So, Netflix and Chill is a relatively new date idea — the product of millennials and Gen Z-ers. But, what exactly did dating look like before Netflix and Chill?
What Were Some Historical Dating Rituals?
Historically — especially in Western Culture — dating was supposed to lead to marriage, which was considered the only legitimate way to have an heir. And because marriage could have significant implications on your status in society, courtship involves a lot of rules, especially in upper-class families.
In the 18th century, people in Western societies shifted toward marrying due to affection rather than just marrying the partner their parents thought would make the best political alliance for the family. Jane Austen's novels are a great example of this transition period when courtship still had to be approved by families on both sides and chaperones were required at all dates to ensure women stayed "pure."
It wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that romantic love began to be prioritized above the end goal of marriage. This was when it finally became okay to have romantic relationships without a goal in sight. Different types of dates have become normalized between then and now, including booty calls, one-night stands, polyamorous relationships, and long-term monogamous relationships. It is within this historical context that Netflix and Chill were born.
How Did Netflix and Chill Come to Be?
The phrase Netflix & Chill was first used on Twitter in 2010, but initially, the term had no sexual connotation. It wasn't until 2014 that wink emojis were added to it when posted online, indicating that it had a double meaning by that point. By 2015, Netflix and Chill had become a meme.
Although there's no way to tell exactly how the activity of watching TV and relaxing became the new booty call, it likely happened very naturally. People would get together to watch TV and then turn to catch up instead. Soon, the phrase became primarily known by its second definition.
How Do Netflix and Chill Work?
Wondering how to ask a girl to Netflix and Chill — or how to ask a guy to Netflix and Chill? You're not alone. Asking someone to have sex for the first time can be nerve-wracking!
Should You Netflix and Chill on Your First Date?
Some people argue you should never Netflix and Chill on the first date, while others say you should ONLY Netflix and Chill with people you don't know that well.
The way you lean likely depends on the type of relationship you're looking to have. If you're looking for a one-night stand, this activity can be a fun, relaxing way to go. You might need to do a few more traditional dates first before bringing sex into things if you want a real relationship.
How Do You Ask Someone to Netflix and Chill?
Regardless of whether it's your first date or third, there is a generally accepted way to ask someone to Netflix and Chill for the first time. It's all about seeming relaxed and not overly invested in the outcome. So, for this date, you're going to want to use text message or instant message.
Keep things light and friendly, and have a show in mind when you reach out. Here are some examples:
- "Getting ready to watch a horror movie and could use a hand to squeeze if it gets too scary. You in?"
- "Have you seen the new Locke & Key yet? I'm getting ready to turn it on…."
- "Have you heard of Emily in Paris? I think you'd like it."
How Do You Set Up Your Environment for Netflix and Chill?
When setting up for Netflix and Chill, the number one rule is that you have actually to have a Netflix account. It doesn't count as Netflix and Chill if you're watching Hulu or Prime. Your goal is to keep things feeling relaxed and comfortable past having the account you need. Here are some tips:
- Clean up your space: No one wants to stare at your dirty socks while doing the deed.
- Pick a Show: Have a plan for watching before the other person gets there.
- Dim the Lights: Try a couple of lamps to set the mood.
- Change Your Sheets: Again, you want a clean environment for this.
What Do You Wear for a Netflix and Chill Date?
The good thing is that you don't have to worry about what to wear. Stick with something comfortable and relaxed — something that you can relax in all night if things don't go the way you planned, but that can easily be removed if the date goes as expected.
What Do You Serve for a Netflix and Chill Date?
Netflix and Chill aren't supposed to be formal events, so the last thing you want is a sit-down dinner served with it. Appetizers — preferably ones you can eat in bed — are a great option here. Try to have a small selection of healthy snacks, like edamame, alongside classic TV foods like chips. Be sure also to have a few different drink options in your fridge.
What Should You Watch During Netflix and Chill?
Ideally, it doesn't matter what you watch during Netflix and Chill, and it will mostly be background noise.
Choosing a show or movie, you're not too invested in can be a good idea. You don't want to be three-fourths of the way into the season finale of Wanda Vision when you and your date decide to turn up the heat. But you also want to pick something you can watch all night in case your date decides not to proceed with the "chill" part of the evening. Something you've seen a million times, like Gilmore Girls, can be an excellent way to go.
How Do You Make a Move During Netflix and Chill?
To send the right message, you'll want to initiate a little bit of physical contact when your date first gets to your place, whether that's giving a hug or a kiss on the cheek. Then, try sitting close to them while watching TV, maybe with a hand on their legs or around their shoulders. But don't lean in for more right away.
The best time to make a move during Netflix and Chill is around the 20-30 minute mark. That's around the time you'll want to lean in with a kiss. If your date reciprocates, the rest should flow from there.
Go Ahead: Netflix and Chill!
Now that you know what to wear and watch, Netflix and Chill can commence! To make it work, remember to focus on staying relaxed, having a good time, and not making things too awkward. It's right in the name — if you want to Netflix and Chill, then be Chill.
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How Has Dating Changed Over Time? A Brief History of Courtship. (March 2020). History Extra.
'Netflix and chill': the complete history of a viral sex catchphrase. (August 2015). Splinter News.
The Secret Guide to Netflix and Chill. (February 2016). Student Life.
How to Netflix and Chill. The Pickup Pros.