Anyone who follows Niles Paul on Twitter has seen a lot of references to “cuffing season.”

Been feeling real thirsty as of lately, must be b/c it’s getting awfully close to cuffing season

— Niles Paul (@Niles_Paul84) August 23, 2012

Obviously, this called for a conversation with Paul about what cuffing season is.

“Cuffing season is basically the winter time where you get you a girl that you call your girlfriend, and that’s the one,” he explained to me. “That’s the main one, your one and only for the season.”

Urban dictionary offers an official definition of the yes-it’s-a-real-thing practice, because of course.

During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.

Like hunting, cuffing season is open to both sexes. Unlike hunting, you don’t need a license to participate.

“In the summer, you go out a lot, have your fun,” Paul said. “But it’s winter, you’ll be stuck in the house a lot. You need that. You need the Christmas gifts, the Thanksgiving dinners. You need that in cuffing season.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard a D.C. athlete allude to such dating behavior. Jordan Crawford once told me that he gets rid of his ladies by Valentine’s Day.

As for Paul, he says he’s a first-time cuffer.

“This is my first year, I think I’m going to partake in cuffing season,” he said, while looking genuinely cised for it. “That’s why I’m excited, it’s my first year. I’ve been a single, and I haven’t really partaked in the whole cuffing season, so I said, ‘Let me give it a shot.’

“Sept. 23 is the start,” he added.

Ladies, line starts to the left.