Joining the pantheon of popular misleading euphemisms is “Netflix and chill,” a delightfully postmodern ancestor of the drive-in movie. Rarely involving chilling, and sometimes even lacking Netflix, Netflix and chill has experienced a rollercoaster of a history, from an innocent personal venture (“I’m about to log onto Netflix and chill for the rest of the night,” as the phrase’s first use on Twitter goes) to a remarkably lazy proposition for sex (“hey girl lets netflix & chill,” as roughly half of all Tinder inboxes go).
Already, women have taken to Twitter and Tumblr lambasting the phrase, propelling it to meme status and killing its potential as a cheat code to getting laid. However, it’s still more than possible to pull it off – as long as you do it right.
Part one: The Netflix
As a phrase, Netflix and chill is effectively a two-pronged lie. The chill part is obvious; you aren’t unwinding after a long day, you’re setting up to lie in bed with someone with a pretty clear destination. The Netflix aspect of the lie, however, is a little more subtle. While there will probably be some Netflix going on, it should be as a backdrop, not as a focus. After, the goal is to get laid, not finally get into Peaky Blinders.
Anyone who has orchestrated a Netflix and chill sesh has experienced the ultimate challenge – when and how to turn off Netflix. It’s far easier to pull this off if you plan accordingly, because you’d astonished just how many obstacles the “Netflix” poses to the “chill.”
TV series can be tricky. Serious dramas can be high in action and romance, which could help set the mood; however, they can just as easily ruin it with depressing themes, or worse: cliffhangers. Good luck not watching the next episode of Breaking Bad. Dramas can also be less accessible, so your date may not be that into the show. For this reason, lighter comedies can be a wise choice – just beware the urge to binge watch. Movies are the safest bet as they’re self-contained stories, but it does mean you’re guaranteed to wait about an hour and a half before getting into it.
Part two: The Chill
The more overlooked aspect of Netflix and chill. The chill is a bald-faced lie, but it’s the one that needs to be sold the most convincingly. You won’t be chilling at all, obviously, but for this to happen, you need to make your bedroom the epitome of chill. Soft lighting. Plenty of pillows, fresh sheets and blankets. A candle or something. You need to do this right. This is more than just some casual hookup. Your date’s seen all the social media posts, they know the score. Make them forget everything they know about Netflix and chill. Warm drinks like cocoa or tea? Why the hell not? How about some snacks? Light some damn incense while you’re at it.
Seriously, the environment is everything. Sell that chill. If you’re not going to go to the effort of, you know, going on an actual date, at least make it seem like one. It’ll be worth it if only for the sheer astonishment on your guest’s face when they see that this is not your average Netflix and chill. The only reason so many women are averse to Netflix and chill is that somewhere along the line, some idiot thought inviting someone to your sheetless mattress in your dorm-flashback of a bedroom was an adequate substitute for romance.
Whatever you do, don’t start watching the middle of a show your date hasn’t seen. There’s just so much obviously wrong with this that I can’t even dignify it with a section of its own. Catch up on Mad Men* on your own time.
Also, in case you’re one of those who watches Netflix on their computer, invest in an HDMI cable and put it on a TV. Not only is it easier for both parties to watch the show, screwing next to a laptop basically sets you up for a broken laptop. Trust me on this.
Finally, don’t pose Netflix and chill as the original plan. It’s not a first date. It’s hardly even a date. It’s pretty appropriate with someone you’ve had a few flings or so already, but as an opening line on an online dating app, it’s old hat and trite. You can do better.
*It should be noted thatMad Men is basically the best show to Netflix and chill. The episodes tend not to have cliffhangers, it drips with sex appeal without being overt, and it’s also conveniently one of the best TV shows ever made. You’ll look sophisticated and your date will get hooked, guaranteeing you a steady lay and not having to sit through some trash. Win-win.