Monday, March 19, 2012

The Bases (of Romance)

Two weeks ago, I agreed to do a post on "the bases". Yep, those ones. The baseball analogy people use to avoid going into romantic detail, e.g. "I heard Dave got to third base last night. Imagine if he'd bought her dinner!"

Image by Texas.713
Er, something like that...

Unfortunately, people have conflicting definitions when it comes to these bases. One person's first may be another person's third. So, how can we all stay on the same page? How can we, as writers and readers, answer the question of how "hot" a book gets? Well, we could all get secret decoder rings or...

We could take a poll!

There's only one, small problem here: It's awkward. Really awkward. If questions of this nature make you uncomfortable, feel free to skip them. Head directly to the comments and tell me all about your weekend. I'd love to hear about it. 

...And I promise to be 97.3% less creepy next time. :)

As for the rest of you (provided you're over thirteen), there are only seven questions. It's delightfully anonymous, and it'll be nice to have a general consensus. I tried to phrase things as tactfully as I could...





Person A kisses Person B (on the lips).
  
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Person A "touches" Person B (through clothing).
  
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Person A "touches" Person B (underneath clothing).
  
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Person A uses his/her mouth to stimulate Person B (chest area).
  
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Person A uses his/her mouth to stimulate Person B (lower region).
  
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Person A goes all the way with Person B.
  
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It is possible to go to a "half base," e.g. second and a half.
  
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There you have it! The next time someone asks, you'll have a frame of reference. :)
*Crickets*

 ...C'mon, guys, it wasn't that bad! :P

P.S. Congratulations, Nancy! :D

84 comments:

JeffO said...

Okay, here's what I remember: first base: kissing. Second base: feeling up (no matter if clothes are/aren't present). Third base: At the time I remember hearing this stuff for the first time, it was 'hands in pants.' No talk of mouths. Home run was 'All the way'.

Now, funny you should have this poll. Not all that long ago I was talking to my wife about this very thing, can't remember why, it might have had to do with my own book which has a fair amount of high school flashback sort of stuff in it. The question was this: Regarding 2nd base in particular, it's always seemed like it's something done *to* women, not *to* men. Do women say to each other "I got to second base with Mike last night?" Probably just my male-centric view of the universe. Second question, Do women really talk about it in these terms?

Very interesting post, and I'm very interested in seeing how you use this information.

Laura said...

Interesting post. I always wonder whether my idea of these sorts of things are different from others, and when I'm writing I'm always concerned about how far I can take things before they become trashy.

April Plummer said...

Done. I don't really have a clear idea on what the bases all are, except I think that sex is sex - whether it's oral or not. So it's home. The rest...I don't know. I may have had a clearer picture when I was younger than I do now that I'm married (twice) and quite a bit more experienced. LOL

Cassie Mae said...

Lol. Is it weird that I giggled throughout this whole thing. (She used the word 'stimulate' hehe!)

I was always confused about the bases growing up, but I was Miss Naive herself when it came to this stuff. I had the sex talk at my bachelorette party, lol.

Hildred said...

I agree that sex is sex is sex (including oral, including between women ((I have many a nasty argument about this with straight people))) including anal, etc etc) but I still consider non-genital penetration (and that also depends on how the couple defines it) as third base. Or at least that's what it meant when I was in college a couple years ago. And yeah, I've used the base terminology to described how far I've gone, and so do my characters (then again there are quite a many graphic scenes in my adult stories so it's NBD to them).

This was fun. I love that we can all at least agree on the first and second-to-last question (so far) =P That is good.

Peggy Eddleman said...

*blushes*

I can't say I ever had a good grasp on what the bases were. And in the poll results, something I marked as 3rd was someone else's 1st!.... So maybe my voting will throw things off.

In somewhat related news, I wrote my first kissing scene a couple of days ago. :)

cleemckenzie said...

After this I need to go back and rework a few scenes--bases loaded.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Uh, yeah it was! I quite reading after they started stimulating. My virgin eyes were scorched! ;)

Jessie Humphries said...

My phone won't let me take the poll...but I love baseball talk! And I love making Peggy blush. Hey, news flash: we didn't get delivered by stocks!

Emily R. King said...

Ha! I took your survey. I'm all about the love!

Alleged Author said...

Hahahahahahaha! It's almost as though you are a butterfly on the wall of the student cafeteria at my school. :)

Angela Brown said...

LOL! That poll was easy-peasy - or perhaps I'm just really comfortable with my sexuality.

I must admit. The way things were back in the day, I probably would have made slightly different poll choices, but I've learned a thing or two since I found out that hunching with your clothes on doesn't make you pregnant (yeah, I was very young and naive and was good about telling this very poor tale to friends until I found out what really had to happen for making babies lol!!!)

Aldrea Alien said...

Well that was an interesting insight. Seems I'm in with the main crowd on the bases.
We never used such terminology when I was at school, but then baseball's not a common sport. A kiss was a kiss and feel was a feel and ... well, anything more was generally referred to as “it”.
Though I’d a friend who wasn’t shy about what she’d done and with who. Including where the sand got while on the beach. >_<

Carrie Butler said...

Sounds like an easy way to remember it! I like having different generations vote together like this. The results are pretty interesting.

I have heard some women use the baseball analogy--even regarding "second base"--but more often than not, they just tell it like it is. I think we're more comfortable sharing intimate details than our male counterparts.

Thanks for being such a good sport, Jeff! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Me too! Fortunately, we have a nice cross section of bloggers here. It'll be nice seeing everyone's opinion. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for participating, April! :) Hah! Well, that experience certainly counts for something.

Carrie Butler said...

Weird in general or weird for you? ;) Kidding, kidding. I giggled at stimulate, too!

Hah! Oh, Cassie... I love it. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hildred! I love how open you are about this. You're a great sport! One of my characters uses "base terminology," too. It just seems to fit her way of speaking. :D

Yeah! It's fun to see where the votes split, too. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Hey, I love seeing so many opinions represented. It's all very interesting to me. :)

Whoa! Check you out, Pegasus! How did it go? :D

Melodie Wright said...

*tries to remember being single* Hmmm...I seem to recall the phrase 'going all the way' meant only one thing. It obviously comes from the baseball analogy. Everything up til that point is definitely still on base, tho.

Why baseball, anyway? Why not hockey? Or cricket?

Peggy Eddleman said...

I think I did well, actually! It was kind of hot. ;) It made me think, Hey, maybe I CAN do this! It wasn't my MCs kissing, though, because come on. They're twelve and that's gross. They snuck and watched an 18 and 19 year old kiss. And then I pretty much responded to writing it about the same way they responded to seeing it-- by giggling and running away.

Carrie Butler said...

Bases loaded, hm? *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Uh oh. Turn away, turn away! ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Making Peggy blush is pretty fun. We should vow to do it more often. *Grins*

Thanks for stopping by, Jessie!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Empress King! Fun, isn't it? ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! I can only imagine the conversations they have there, Alleged. *Grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! Oh, Angela... you made my day. :D

You know, as funny as that story was, it brought up a good point. MG/Early YA authors would do well to keep that naivety in mind. I'm sure some of their MCs have similar misconceptions. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Aldrea!

Good point! I'm sure "base terminology" sounds silly to people from other countries. :) Whoa. Sand, huh? Did that qualify as TMI (too much information) or is that type of sharing normal?

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

LOL! Fascinating! What a fun post : ) I'm a new follower here, found you through The Write Game. I look forward to reading your posts. Have a great night! ~ Jess

Carrie Butler said...

I never really thought about it. Maybe because hockey involves stickhandling around the crease.

...I can't believe I just said that. Ahem. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Welcome, Jess! It's great to have you here.

...And I hope walking in on such a weird topic doesn't scare you away. LOL You too. :)

Michelle @ Oh! For the Love of Books said...

The sad part - i thought about each individual question - reverted back to my "wilder" and much younger self - and answered as logically as I could! haha I hope it helps!

Aldrea Alien said...

Well, I would've liked to hear less at times (it became TMI when taste got involved) for her it was total normal.
But then, we were close friends, almost sister-like, and she always tended to speak without thinking it through. ^_^

Melissa said...

This was so much fun. You'll have to do this again. And I'm with Cassie Mae (she said stimulate *giggle*) = D

Kelley said...

Love surveys! This was so fun.

I'm not an expert though so my vote shouldn't probably count :)

Leigh Covington said...

This was so fun! And yeah - it probably made me blush a little, but that's part of the fun! Interesting answers too. Can't wait to see the final results. Be sure to share them :)

Carrie Butler said...

Woohoo! I knew you could do it--giggles and all! :D

Nancy Thompson said...

I was right with the majority with every one except the chest one. Still think that one is 3rd. I wonder where this baseball analogy first started? Your poll was fun, but not creepy at all.

(And thanks for being there for me over the last week or so. You're the best!)

Sarah Pearson said...

I voted even though I'm English. What can I say, we're influenced by our glamorous American friends :-)

Talli Roland said...

I'm blushing! Eeks!

i'm erin. said...

I love this! I love that You made Peggy blush and Jessie be like, what up girl...and I try to keep my books on base one. I love your "base terminology".

Morgan said...

Ah-hahahaha!!!! TOO FUNNY, Carrie! I loved the poll... ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for adding your two cents, Michelle! (Or rather, that of your wilder/younger self. *grins*) Much appreciated! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Melissa!

...Maybe I should've put petunias, instead. *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Kelley! Don't worry. I think we'd all be concerned if you were. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Leigh! :) I'll come up with a visual representation soon.

...Of the results, that is. Nothing instructional. LOL

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks! You know, I think I'm going to have to look that up. Maybe I can include the analogy's origin with the results. :)

You're so welcome! We're all just so stinkin' happy for you. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Sarah! The more opinions, the better. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Oops! Sorry about that, Talli. I think I'm making everyone blush today. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Erin! What can I say? I have a mischievous streak. *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Morgan! I was hoping it wouldn't offend anyone. :D

Melissa Sugar said...

OMG, Carrie, well I just participated in your poll (the best I could). I learned that the bases/sex analogy is much more complex than when I was growing up. I was so lost in the poll I was tempted to consult my teenagers, but thought better of it. When we were growing up-it was very simple and clear. First base-kissing; second base-boy feeling girl up (some regions call it feeling off) in any event it meant her breast; third base- the boy engaged in activity under the girl's panties with his Fingers (not mouth) & 4th base or home-all the way.

Wow, I feel stupid (and embarrassed) We did not have half bases & unless every single person I knew including all of my friends and sibs (4 sisters & 5 bros) kept me in the dark, we did not include oral into our bases. I know that has changed. My sister only ten years younger tells me that oral was part of the bases she grew up with. So I guess it all depends on the era of time the individual grew up. I cannot believe I just shared all of this. Well, anything to help writers and readers, huh. Oh, BTW, caveat,my answers in no way implicate me in my past in any of the conduct that is part of this topic, LOL. God help me if my teens stumble upon this blog.

Melissa Sugar said...

PS. I stopped by to pick up the Sunshine Award, but the link you left me is broken. I will look around your blog post for it. If I can't find it I am sure you can just create a sex award or baseball award for me. just kidding.

Carrie Butler said...

Sorry about that! It should be here. :)

Hah! That is, unless you really wanted me to create a basexball award... *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for being such a good sport, Melissa! Oh my goodness. Yes. I had to consult with a few people before making this poll. I wasn't sure how much to include!

So, no need for embarrassment there. :) Hah! I love your last statement. How very lawyer-ish of you. *Grins*

Leslie Rose said...

I'm all about organizing data on a spread sheet. Oops, bad choice of words.

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! Oh, Leslie.... :D

Joylene said...

I read the questions, and all I know for sure is I'm old. LOL. Seriously, I have no idea. So, what did I do last weekend? Painted. I'm still painting. In fact, I've been painting since March 1st. Why is it taking me so long? I'm doing the whole house, trim, walls, ceilings. I even painted my bedside bench. My hands hurts. My fingers are swollen. Woe is me REALLY.

I raised 5 boys and they were never ever allowed to discuss girls in our house. Especially if they had a buddy over who got lucky the night before. In fact, I once heard my son say, "If you want to see WW3 say that a little louder so my mum can hear. I'm positive she didn't hear you the first time."

Carrie Butler said...

Wow! That's quite the ambitious undertaking, Joylene. I can't even begin to imagine how sore you must be. You know, it's a shame you don't live closer. We could've had a writers' retreat/painting party! LOL

Oh man. I bet they were walking on thin ice after that!

Stephanie said...

Baha! Ummmm...I honestly have no idea. And also, now I have that Meatloaf song in my head. And nothing good ever comes from having a meatloaf song in your head.

Aldrea Alien said...

Ha! I’d the same thing.

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! Well, I'm glad you guys were close. Otherwise, that might've been a bit awkward. *Grins*

Carrie Butler said...

...Great, now it's in my head! *grins* Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!

Becky Wallace said...

Carrie Ann Butler! Did you say stickhandling? And CREASE?!?! I don't even know how to respond to that. *wipes eyes* *fans self* Too funny.

Carrie Butler said...

Oh man... I knew I wasn't going to get by with that! You even busted out my middle name! LOL

Melissa said...

ROFL!!!!! xD

Melissa said...

Ooo! That gives me an idea. Let's make up a sex award for Carrie. hahaha = P

Carrie Butler said...

Let's not and say we did. :P

Medeia Sharif said...

I voted and it was interesting to see the results.

It wasn't awkward at all. Many writers need to know this stuff. ;)

I'm off to Nancy's blog.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sure my older views on the subject just skewered your results...

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Medeia! You're a great sport. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Not at all! I was hoping to get a wide array of opinions (from a wide array of demographics) on this one. I appreciate your participation. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Just took your survey. :) It was particularly interesting to see the results . . .

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Eagle! Yeah, there were some interesting differences of opinion there. I'll have to make up a few charts for Monday. :)

Natasha Hanova said...

Can honestly say I've never seen a poll like this. Kudos on creativity. Are you planning on posting a sum of results next week?

Lydia Kang said...

Um, I think there needs to be five bases.

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Natasha! You bet. I'll have pie charts up Monday. :)

Carrie Butler said...

...Can I just say I had a panic moment? I'm not much of a baseball fan, so I was like, "Crap! Are there five?!" I totally misread what you said. LOL

Sally said...

Ok, first of all: LOL. This was so randomly fun XD I remember a few years back when a friend of mine and I were discussing the bases, at some point she asked "But what IS the third base then?" And I was like "That's easy, it's...Um..." And that was when I realized, I did not know the bases xD

Neat way to solve the problem of bases here! Definitely one of the more interesting polls I've seen on the internet!

Lynda R Young said...

lol, there definitely needs to be more bases.
I think guys would answer very differently to women too.

Brooke R. Busse said...

I've never entirely gotten the bases (though I tried to answer your questions as best I could). When I see them referenced in books, they usually just end up confusing me. Easy A was very instrumental in learning about second base, however.

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Sally! :) Hah! Yeah, I think that's the reaction most people have. We think it's common knowledge, then there's that pause. "Wait..." LOL

Carrie Butler said...

We need a different analogy. Maybe a dart board or something. "I heard you got to eleven points last night..." *Grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Oh, I forgot about Easy A! I love that movie. :) Thanks for participating, Brooke!