What Are The 4 Bases In Dating: From First Base To Home Run

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What Are The 4 Bases In Dating

Have you ever been out on a date and wondered what the bases mean? If so, you’re not alone! It can be a little confusing trying to figure out the ins and outs of dating. With all the rules and regulations, it’s hard to know where to start.

But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here! We’ve got the lowdown on all four bases in dating — from first base, right up to the home run!

By the end, you’ll have no trouble finding your way around the diamond.

Whether you’re looking for something lighthearted or deeply meaningful, there’s something for everyone when it comes to understanding where you currently are (or want to be) with these bases.

Let’s dive in and explore each base one by one – batter up!

Definition Of A ‘Base’ In Dating

Humans have been expressing love and intimacy for centuries. But with the rise of modern dating, we’ve come up with a more casual way to discuss physical intimacy: the “bases” of dating. 

From first base to a home run, these terms are often used as slang for different levels of sex and intimacy.

In fact, we’ve found that nearly one-third of all people use these terms when talking about physical intimacy.

So what are the four bases in dating that we’re talking about? 

  • First base includes talking through text or face-to-face interaction, holding hands, and kissing. 
  • Second base involves physical touching above the waist. 
  • Third base is verbally sharing vulnerabilities. 
  • Fourth base is physical touching below the waist and sexual intercourse marks the end of this dating “game” and signals that a potential physical relationship is on its way.

With this quick overview and understanding of the bases in in mind, let’s explore how this metaphor originated…

Origin Of The ‘Base’ Metaphor

One of the most common terms used to describe physical intimacy and sexual contact is ‘base’. This metaphor is derived from an old baseball term, and it has been used for decades to describe how far a couple has gone in their relationship.

It starts with kissing, which is often referred to as first base, and can progress from there all the way to home plate, which represents sexual intercourse or penetrative sex. 

The origin of this metaphor dates back to World War II when people started using it as a way to explain the typical pattern of sexual experimentation.

A couple showing physical intimacy to each other
A couple showing physical intimacy to each other

Since that time, it has evolved and changed slightly over the years. The four bases are now kissing, physical touch, oral sex, and penetration, with each one representing a different level of intimacy between two people. These various levels of intimacy have become part of our cultural lexicon today, but they have been around for quite some time.

Knowing these terms can enable us to communicate more effectively about the boundaries we set in our relationships and understand where our partners are coming from with regards to physical intimacy. 

Without further ado, let’s explore the first level of intimacy: first base.

The First Level Of Intimacy: First Base

When it comes to the first level of intimacy, first base is a good place to start. You can gauge your date’s interest in physical intimacy by taking things slow and initiating with a kiss. Depending on the type of date, you can take it slow and steady, or even being direct and leaning in for the kiss can be a nice surprise.

Kissing has been known to create an amazing connection between two people and can bring you closer together. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re at this stage:

  • Be aware of your partner’s comfort level.
  • Respect their boundaries and don’t rush into anything physical until both parties are ready.
  • Show that you are not after just one thing by asking questions about them, so the mood is more relaxed.

Asking questions and being aware of one another’s boundaries go a long way in creating an intimate experience at first base.

 When it comes to moving forward, second base is just around the corner. By establishing trust and respect early on, you can create a safe space for both partners to explore each other further without fear or judgment.

Moving Forward: Second Base

Second base can involve a range of physical activities such as touching, fondling, and exploring each other’s bodies. Second base can be an exciting and intimate experience, but it’s important for both partners to communicate their boundaries and desires to ensure that everyone is comfortable and consenting.

When moving from first to second base, it’s important to take things slow and ensure that both partners are on the same page. Consent is crucial at every stage of physical intimacy, and it’s important to check in with your partner and respect their boundaries. 

A woman getting tickled by her boyfriend
A woman getting tickled by her boyfriend

If either partner feels uncomfortable or unsure, it’s okay to take a step back and revisit the conversation about boundaries and expectations. 

By approaching second base with open communication and mutual respect, couples can enjoy a meaningful and fulfilling physical connection.

This will help ensure that everyone has a positive and enjoyable experience. Physical intimacy should always be consensual and involve open conversations about boundaries, feelings, and expectations; this way everyone involved can remain safe and have a good time! 

After all, if done right, second base can be a fun and thrilling part of dating — just make sure you go into it with your eyes wide open and communicate along the way.

Getting Closer: Third Base

Third base in dating is often considered the more passionate stage of intimacy. It is a stepping stone to the next level and requires a certain level of comfort as two people become closer. 

The third base goes below the waist, entering new territory in that way. It involved touching or the oral stimulation of the genitals. 

While there are many bases in dating such as first base (kissing), second base (touching above clothing), third (where we are now), fourth/home base (sexual intercourse) – third base tends to be seen as a natural progression to further physical intimacy between two individuals who are emotionally connected.

At this stage, both partners have usually expressed their feelings for each other openly and have gone through some prior conversations about boundaries and expectations so everyone feels comfortable taking things further. 

As partners get closer and more intimate with each other they may explore all sorts of activities from massages, to light nibbling on sensitive areas such as ears and neck – these activities can help ease into the fourth base or home run without feeling too rushed or uncomfortable.

With understanding and proper communication between partners, couples can enjoy exploring third-base activities together safely without feeling pressured into anything that one person doesn’t want to do. 

From here on out it’s up to both partners to decide how far they’d like to take it!

Home Run: Fourth Base

Reaching fourth base, or home run, is the pinnacle of intimacy in dating. It’s a way to express your love and commitment to one another while also expressing yourself on a physical level.

Whether you choose to engage in sexual intercourse or simply engage in activities that bring pleasure to both people involved, it is important to remember to stay safe and use protection. 

Fondling and other activities can also be included in fourth base, but it is important that both partners feel comfortable with any activities they are engaging in. 

A couple waking up together after making love last night
A couple waking up together after making love last night

Fourth base should be something special between two people who are ready to share intimate moments together. 

When done correctly, it can bring about immense pleasure for both individuals involved without the fear of being judged or misunderstood by anyone else.

If both parties agree, this can be an incredibly fulfilling experience and provide lasting memories of trusting connection and pleasure.

Strikeout: What Happens When A Date Goes Wrong?

When it comes to physical intimacy, it can often be hard to know when and if you should take the next step. 

Whether that involves holding hands or a first kiss, it is always important to make sure both parties are at ease with the situation. 

Taking it easy and making sure your date is feeling comfortable is a must in order to ensure everyone involved is feeling safe and comfortable.

When things don’t go as planned – one person isn’t interested in taking things further while the other one is, it can feel like a strikeout. 

This doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong; it just means that now isn’t the right time for either of you. Respect each other’s boundaries and comfort level, and keep in mind that there could be more opportunities in the future.

Bottom line, when it comes to physical intimacy, so make sure both of you are comfortable before taking things further.


Dating is an adventure that can be exciting, thrilling, and also a bit of a challenge. It’s important to remember that when it comes to dating, there are 4 bases to cover. Form first base of hand holding and light touching all the way up to finally taking the plunge and getting to home base (sexual intercourse).

Whether you strike out or score a home run, you’ll never forget the experience. Just remember the old saying, ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’.

So go ahead – take a chance and make your move because anything worth having doesn’t come easy.

After all, love is like a game of baseball: sometimes you get lucky and hit it out of the park!

Photo of author


Over the years, Stephanie has had her fair share of dating experiences. While some turned out great, others weren't so great. She believes that relationships are meant to be fun, exciting, and full of laughter. She wants to help men and women become confident, attractive, and successful in their romantic relationships.