Every Monday, the Center features a Word Of The Week (WOTW) to educate and promote an understanding of terms used regarding sex, sexuality, and gender—as well as to share some saucy and helpful tips about how to enhance and explore your sexual life!
Alright, fine, here it is. Now, “Netflix and chill” will forever be a part of our Word of the Week feature. Are you happy, internet? Are you!?
What is “Netflix and chill”, you ask? Well, we wouldn’t blame you at all if you thought that the phrase’s meaning was quite literal. That it meant to “chill”, or relax, whilst watching Netflix. Makes sense, right?
And according to Fusion’s write-up on the history of the phrases use on social media, that was what it actually meant at one point. Keyword = was. You see, somewhere along the line “Netflix and chill” went from it’s literal roots of chilling while watching Netflix to being hands down the single most popular sex phrase of 2015. The seemingly innocent invitation now serves as a euphemism for sexual activity between partners or a casual hookup.
Essentially, “Netflix and chill” is merely the new “we should study sometime”; wherein an invitation to study was actually an invitation to making out, heavy petting, some good ol’ fashioned dry humping, and maybe the odd handjob.
Of course, while many assume that everybody knows the sexual meaning of the phrase, there are many who do not. So it’s very important to understand that an agreement to “Netflix and chill” is NOT an explicit agreement to sexual activity of any kind. Get EXPLICIT consent folks! Euphemisms aren’t consent seeking…
Ultimately, like any other good internet meme, it was only a matter of time before the popularity of “Netflix and chill” started to fade and many claimed the phrase as “dead” months ago. Still, looking at “Netflix and chill” is an interesting exercise in seeing how quickly sex terminology and slang can rise and fall in the digital age.