When it comes to relationships, some phrases are prevalent amongst youngsters. The phrases are commonly known as baseball metaphors.
For at least the past fifty years, people have used baseball metaphors when talking about sex or their relationship status. So, even if you have never played baseball before, there are fair chances that you must have used or heard the baseball metaphors to describe your love life.
When it comes to sexual intimacy, the four relationship bases are broken down into the first, second, third, and fourth bases. These relationship bases are discussed in detail in the following sections.
What are the bases in a relationship?
The sexual bases system is mostly used by teenagers and young adults, but if you talk about “getting to fourth base,” even a baby boomer will understand this means you have had sexual intercourse.
Relationship bases are a global coding system for marking degrees of intimacy as you become more and more involved with your partner.
4 Sexual bases of a relationship
1. First base (Kissing)
The first base meaning is the kissing base. It is the first point of action as you head around the baseball diamond.
If you were to confide in your best friend that you went to first base with the new guy you just started dating, it would imply deep, or French kissing, with tongues. Most people would not use the first base metaphor if just speaking about air kisses, light kisses on the cheeks, or a dry peck on the lips.
No, the first base meaning is a fantastic session of kissing (no more than that at this point in the baseball game!), with lots of open mouth kisses and excitement building.
Don’t assume that because this is the first base of dating bases that it is something to skip over or rush through.
When you go to the second base, things are heating up. Most people understand that second base in dating means touching above the waist.
Breasts will be fondled, either outside the clothing or, for the more dating, underneath the blouse or inside the dress. Caressing the breasts, perhaps even with the bra off!
For heterosexual adolescent boys, the second base in relationship bases, where they get to see, feel and fondle breasts, can feel like paradise. It’s the moment they have been waiting for since their first glimpse of erotic or pornographic materials.
How many dates before second base?
That is a good question, and the answer depends on the age of the “baseball players,” their culture, and their attitude towards their bodies and their sexuality. In general, the younger the two people, the more dates they will have before hitting second base in the game of sexual bases.
People just looking for a Tinder hookup might run through the four bases of a relationship in one evening, so they would be getting to second base without waiting for a certain number of dates.
3. Third base (Oral Stimulation)
Now things are getting more intimate, more sexual. The third base in relationship bases means fondling below the waist, for men, and for women.
This can be outside one’s clothing, so caressing through pants or underpants, or discarding all clothing and stimulating each other using fingers or mouths. Getting to the third base implies a deeper degree of sexual contact, certainly more advanced than the first or second base.
The third base stops short of penis penetration but does imply penetration by fingers, tongue, and sex toys.
4. Fourth base (Home Run)
In baseball, the fourth base is “home.” In relationship bases, getting to the fourth base means full-fledged sexual intercourse.
This can also feel like home to many, with all the pleasure and comfort that implies. Whether you get to home base on your first date or your tenth depends on the two of you.
Just make sure that getting to home base is consensual and safe. It is important to have the conversation about consent, making sure both partners are sober and willing.
Now that we have had a look at these relationship bases let’s talk about how they come into play in the world of love and romance.
The four bases of sex are the same whether you are having a casual hookup or looking for a serious relationship.
The main difference is that the romantic bases may take a longer time to run through. In other words, these relationship bases are seen as love bases when the partners are looking for a deep connection and not just a one-night stand.
So going from first base to home base may be a long process for the two people who want to take things slowly in order to build a long-term relationship.
The timeline in running the bases
The notion that there is some specific timing for moving through the relationship bases is not a valid one. Each couple moves through the bases in sexuality as they see fit.
Going too slow or too fast is an individual perspective. There is no magic formula or calendar that tells you how you must progress through the relationship bases.
Don’t follow some arbitrary rule expecting it to win a person’s heart by delaying, or for that matter, having sex before you’re comfortable either.
Do what is comfortable for you. If your partner does not wish to respect your rhythm? Find another partner!
Because we are talking about sexuality here, let’s not forget the importance of protecting our physical health as well as our partner’s physical health. As we go through the relationship bases, it is essential to have the “have you been tested?” conversation.
You may even wish to both go to a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases before you hit your home run. Even if you both test clean, it is advisable to continue using condoms until you commit to a monogamous, trusting relationship. Then, moving through the couples’ bases will be worry-free!
Other baseball metaphors for sex
Here are some other baseball metaphors you may hear when talking about sex. Fun wordplays from the dugout!
Grand slam- Those looking to excel at sexual baseball strive for the grand slam. A grand slam is a sexual intercourse with the female having an orgasm. A Grand Slam can also refer to anal intercourse.
Balk- A balk is a premature ejaculation. Some also refer to this as a ball.
Strike out- A strike out is when you don’t get a kiss at the end of the evening. You didn’t even get to first base!
Double header A double header consists of two rounds of intercourse in one night. Peanuts and popcorn are not necessarily included!
Sacrifice fly – A sacrifice fly is a buddy who “takes one for the team” to ensure you end up with the girl of your choice for the evening, akin to a “wingman.” In other words, your buddy hits on the less-desirable girl so that you can score with the more desirable one.
Picked off – When your sexual activity is interrupted by a third party (such as a parent, roommate, or child), you are said to have been picked off.
Walk- A walk is considered a sympathy move and is typically reserved for first base only. It occurs when your date allows kissing even though they are not attracted to you. How can you tell? By the lack of passion in the kiss.
Playing the field – Dating several people at the same time and not committing to just one partner.
Pitcher- In male homosexual sex, the man who is penetrating
Catcher- In male homosexual sex, the man who is being penetrated
In today’s modern era of sexuality, many people think referring to baseball metaphors to categorize sex is ridiculous. They are rethinking how we move towards intimacy and find set relationship bases to be an unnecessary way to mark where one is in a relationship.
While it is true that using code terms to talk about sex seems a bit silly, at the same time, it can be fun to be light-hearted every now and then when we talk about a serious subject which is sex.
Also, despite every relationship being unique, you will be able to anticipate the next stage in your relationship by knowing these relationship bases. So, make use of this knowledge to better understand your partner and your relationship with them.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.