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What are bases in dating? Here’s how you reach them!

Dating can be confusing enough without having to worry about the bases. But what, exactly, are the bases? And why do we call them that? Let's find out!

Author picture of James Mendoza
Dating Expert James Mendoza September 27, 2022 • 8 minutes read
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Dating is an essential part of the early stages of a romance. When you’re just getting to know someone, it can be hard to know how physical your relationship should be and what’s appropriate and acceptable behaviour.

Most people would say that there are at least four “bases”. Read on to find out more about these four bases!

Where do the bases come from?

Where do the bases come from?

The bases are a pretty common classification system in term of dating. In case you’re not familiar, the “bases” are just a series of steps that we use to measure how physically intimate we’re getting with someone.

Using this terms is really popular, especially in the US, and it’s always been used as a bit of a joke. But there are actually some solid reasons for using the bases!

1. Why do we speak of bases in dating?

The original idea behind the bases is that you’re essentially progressing step by step – or better base by base. And the further you go, the more intimate you get with each other. This all is done just by using baseball metaphors.

The further a baseball player gets, the better. The same thing is true for dating: The further you get with someone in terms of intimacy and physicality, the closer you’re getting to a deeper connection.

2. Why are the bases important?

The idea of “bases” being used in dating is important for a couple of reasons. It’s great because it helps us communicate with each other to make sure we’re both on the same page when it comes to intimacy levels.

It also gives people a chance to talk about sexual intimacy without being vulgar or X-rated. And finally, it’s just fun talking in sports metaphors!

3. Is it okay to skip a base?

It is totally fine to skip a base if both you and your partner consent. There is nothing wrong with that! You can always continue later if you want to.

Some people just don’t like certain bases that much, so don’t bother about that. Reaching every base isn’t obligatory.

But before you can skip any base, you need to know what the different bases actually are!

What is first base in dating?

What is first base in dating?

The first base is where everything starts. The batter has hit the ball and needs to “take it home”, so to speak. It’s the first time you two are connecting in a meaningful way.

But what is the first base? Well, it’s the first sort of sexual intimacy, and stimulation people could feel: french kissing.

When you French kiss someone for the first time, it’s exciting. It’s also a little nerve-racking because you don’t know how they feel about it. It’s not necessarily awkward, but you don’t always know how to french kiss at first, as every person has their own sort of “style”, if you will.

How to get to the first base

Getting to first base is the first big step in becoming intimate with somebody. It’s all about reading body language. Knowing if somebody is willing to kiss is half the bet.

But reading the body language of somebody can be tricky for some. Here are some great tips on which body language usually means that somebody is interested in kissing you:

  1. They are looking deeply in your eyes when talking to you
  2. They slightly lean towards you when talking to you
  3. They touch you when talking to you (pat on the back, touch on the arm)
  4. They smile and laugh a lot when interacting with you

Those are pretty clear signs that somebody is interested in you as a person and probably would also like to kiss.

If you’re really unsure and don’t want to step on their toes, test the waters by asking them: “Can I kiss you?” This way, they can’t say “yes” without actually making out with you at the end.

If they say “no”, respect their decision and try again later when more comfortable. If they look bored or uninterested in your advances, they probably aren’t interested in kissing you.

Don’t start with the first base when there’s an awkward silence between you and your date. You both should be able to talk before getting into any intimate situation. If there is no obvious connection between the two of you, you will maybe never reach first base.

For many, the first base happens somewhere between the first and the second date. Find out what to text after the first date so you can hit the first base with ease!

3. What is second base in dating?

3. What is second base in dating?

The second base is when you start to get really intimate with your partner. Reaching the second base means that you and your partner have touched each other below the belt and caressed each other’s private parts with your hands.

It’s more commonly known as petting. Petting often also includes kissing, touching, and light caressing of the face, neck, and breasts.

The second base is seen as the true intimacy border. There is a lot of intimacy involved since – compared with the first base – you already need lots of trust to let this happen.

How to get to second base

You managed to reach the first base in dating, congrats! But now, the next hurdle might seem a little daunting. Touching and caressing each other is a big step in intimacy.

At this stage, it’s important to ask for consent before proceeding. Don’t kill the mood during a passionate kiss by just moving your hand to places your partner may not feel comfortable with.

Some people are okay with different levels of intimacy, while others might still be very shy. You should both set boundaries for each other before proceeding any further on the bases scale.

4. What is third base?

4. What is third base?

As a dating couple becomes more intimate, sexual intimacy may develop. As the intimacy level increases, often the third-base is reached.

Some people skip third base, as not everybody is comfortable with it, which is totally alright.

But what is the third base? The third base involves intimacy that is more sexual in nature than the second base. The third base continues this caressing. But instead of using hands, you’re using your lips, mouth and tongue to stimulate your partner.

Never push your partner to do things they don’t like doing! But don’t take this base for granted. Lots of people don’t like to perform or receive oral sex.

How to get to third base

Performing the third base is something very intimate! If you’re not looking for a casual hookup, you should definitely take your time before reaching this base.

So, get to know each other well and be on the same page about what you want from your relationship with each other.

Remember, you don’t have to reach bases you don’t feel comfortable with! And your partner does neither!

5. What is fourth base?

5. What is fourth base?

The fourth base is also known as “the home run”! You probably can imagine what this means.

If it’s the first time for your or your partner to hit the home run, this is the point where virginity is lost. Allowing this intimacy usually requires lots of trust and emotional intimacy. It is often considered an unofficial milestone for a couple’s relationship, as doing it for the first time together usually carries a lot of significance.

Even if sex is considered to be a home run and many people tend to rush toward it, take it slow. Having intercourse for the first time with somebody should be something beautiful to be remembered.

How to get to fourth base

How to get to the fourth base in dating is a question that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. That said, there are some great tips and tricks for getting them to the next level of intimacy.

  1. Get to know each other beforehand!’ You two should know and trust each other well enough for this to happen.. Hitting the home run should be a great moment for both of you.
  2. Use protection! Being safe is way sexier than being infected by STDs or being surprised by an infant nine months into the future.
  3. Relax! Thirdly, just let it happen and be brave. Don’t push your partner or let yourself be pushed into things you don’t want. Have fun with each other.
  4. Think of your partner! During the act, be considerate of your partner’s feelings and needs. Both of you should enjoy it and have a great time. Being selfish in bed is a no-no that can hurt your relationship.

Are you looking for more information? We hope that this article has helped you learn something new and you enjoyed it!

How to win at early stages dating: The ultimate list of books

If you're looking for books about the early stages of dating, you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of some of our favorite books about dating, all of which are perfect for early stages in a relationship.

  1. Dating Sucks, but You Don't: The Modern Guy's Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect Partner
  2. Seven Secrets of Modern Dating: The He Said, She Said Guide for Getting from Single to Spouse
  3. First Date Mastery: The Complete First Date Psychology Guide For Men
  4. Just Send the Text: An Expert's Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating
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Author picture of James Mendoza
Dating Expert

James Mendoza

James Mendoza is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about relationships, marriage, and living happily as a single. After getting through two divorces and being cheated …

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