When it comes to hooking up, some terms are intentionally vague. Like “hooking up.” For some, the phrase means kissing. For others, engaging in full-on coitus. The level of physical contact is not clear. A knowing gaze and a “we hooked up” could mean anything from “We had wild, passionate sex. Twice.” to “He fell asleep on me.” Which is why the base system exists, right? Wrong. I personally hate baseball, but I understand the concept behind the game. There are these bases, and this ball. You hit the ball, you run around the bases. The bases are numbered: first base, second base, third base. And then there’s a home run.
So, this concept also applies to sexual experiences, right? I’ll overlook the way that this metaphorical, sexual baseball game starts and ends at the same spot (if you get a home run, you end up right back on home base...masturbating?). The point is that you enter a field of play, you hit certain points along the way to...scoring. It’s a kind of nice metaphor, for the way that you can allude to someone stealing second, or to getting a home run, or to striking out. So I will swallow my dislike for the great American sport because it seems like it works as a useful sexual metaphor. But if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering: WHAT ARE THE FUCKING BASES?! Glad you asked, past self! (That was some clever use of profanity, by the way. We should get together some time...What are you doing Tuesday? No longer existing, because you only exist in the past, you say? Intriguing...)
Sorry, got a little distracted flirting with myself there...Where was I? Oh, yes, explaining the base system. I prefer to think of the bases in terms of contact: eye contact, mouth contact, genital con- tact, emotional contact, and so on.
Should the bases go in that order? Probably not. Eye contact can be really violating, and isn’t re- ally necessary. (Some people are blind, you know. Most people close their eyes for the actual act of kissing.) Not everyone makes mouth contact be- fore genital contact. Some people combine mouth and genital contact. (As third base, I believe. Or maybe it’s second...French, finger, fellate, fuck? Is that not the order? That seems like a hetero- normative way to remember the bases, even if it is all nice and alliterative...)
It’s all a bit unclear. Shall I draw a diagram? No, straight lines are too hard. The base system need not have anything to do with straightness, but diagrams are generally easier to understand when they don’t resemble the unstable scribbles of a maniac. (The type of maniac who probably shouts about bases and flirts awkwardly with her past self...)
I’m probably frustrating you here with my refusal to just give you a straightforward description of the bases. But that’s the point, you see! Slutty Health Expert lesson imparted! You’re welcome!
I object to the idea of a base system. Yes, I hate baseball. But my disdain extends to the metaphorical associations of the base system, as well. I object to the quantification of sexual experiences, the reduction of the experience to certain hurdles (hurdle-jumping is another silly sport) that need be passed. It’s reductive to assume that everyone will experience sexual interactions in a certain order. It’s silly for anyone to consider the order in which one sexual relationship develops to be relevant to any other sexual relationships. There is no standard sexual progression. Balls don’t even have to enter the equation. Just have fun, be safe, be honest...and forget about the fucking metaphors, just be explicit.
SEE WHAT I DID THERE? -SHE
If you have any questions, write SHE: Scripps Box #797 (no stamp required for intercampus mail!) E-mail SHE : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (Make the subject “SEXXX” or some- thing. SHE promises to ignore the email address from which your sexy emails are sent and assume everyone’s writing on behalf of sexually-awkward friends.)