Sexual usage of first base, etc. 
Posted: 10 September 2010 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I never even got to first base!

Hearing a character use this term in its sexual sense I began to wonder. Are second and third base used thus? Is there a common understanding that first base is a kiss, second base the upper quarters and third the Netherlands or Low Countries (stealing an image from Shakespeare)? Is home run used for consummation?

I don’t think there are many British sporting parallels. I scored last night comes to mind, presumably from soccer. (Do Americans use this)? Of course at my age I’m long out of touch with such male pub braggadocio. Thinking back to my own youthful fumblings a verse of Pope always comes to mind where he speaks of the many obstacles that present themselves to a young man. (It’s from one of the Horation Epistles, I think).

Dangers on dangers, obstacles by dozens,
Spies, guardians, guests, old women, aunts and cousins.
Could you directly to her person go
Stays will obstruct above and hoops below
And if the dame says yes the dress says no.

By God, a man had his work cut out for him in the 17th and 18th centuries! It’s a wonder they ever managed to procreate.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes, second and third base are used, though I don’t think that the definitions are quite so precise.  And yes, “I scored last night” is also used by Americans, though presumably not with soccer in mind.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Pope certainly had an imagination, poor guy. I remember bases and achieving-same rodomontade. Unless rounders it has to be of baseball origin?
I was surprised to learn Americans used nookie, too.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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By God, a man had his work cut out for him in the 17th and 18th centuries! It’s a wonder they ever managed to procreate.

A word in your ear, aldi - quite a lot of people take their clothes off before procreating, even in the UK (whispers: I believe some of them don’t even put out the light!).

;-)

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Posted: 10 September 2010 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes, but in those days, getting the damn things off was a performance in itself, which is why many people didn’t bother, I suppose.  Leather breeches were famous for the difficulty in doffing and donning.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think you miss aldi’s point, Lionello.  I think he is assuming that the clothes will be removed before procreation begins, and observing that the difficulty of the former would be an impediment to the latter.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I got aldi’s point, Doc, just couldn’t resist the opportunity for a little banter. However, on a more serious note - I do believe aldi underestimates the extreme lengths a man will go to, for a chance to get his (figurative) breeches off (I am of course not qualified to speak for a woman *).
My ancestor, the geneticist Yankele Itzikovich Shepherd, for example, did a total of fourteen years’ hard labour for the privilege of procreating with Rachel Labansdottir (I’m not counting his stopgap activities on the side, though understandably I’m very grateful for them, since inter alia they produced Judah). I think the future of procreation has little to fear from even the tightest, stickiest, most recalcitrant of leather breeches.

*nonetheless, it was from an English working woman (whose memory I hold in high esteem) that I learned, long ago, the following lament:

One minute’s pleasure,
nine months of pain,
two weeks’ rest
and you’re at it again

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Posted: 10 September 2010 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sex is so simple in crickety England. Just back and forth, back and forth.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 01:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes, I was exaggerating for effect, lionello, and thinking more of those elaborate and doubtless bewildering female accoutrements of the period with which the poor male had to struggle in engagements of a hurried and impromptu nature. Although at the other end of the social scale there’s many a man must have offered up his grateful blessings to the designer of the humble placket!

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Posted: 11 September 2010 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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OP Tipping - 10 September 2010 11:24 PM

Sex is so simple in crickety England. Just back and forth, back and forth.

Which is exactly why cricket never held on in the US.  We just don’t understand anyone who thinks that getting to first base is the same thing as scoring.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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HDAS defines get to first base (under base) as “to engage in lovemaking that goes no further than kissing.” There is a bracketed, meaning not quite on point, 1908 citation from H.C. Fisher in the compilation A. Mutt. The cited quote doesn’t give enough context to determine why it’s bracketed. There is an unambiguous cite from 1928.

HDAS defines get to second base as “to engage in lovemaking that goes no further than fondling the woman’s breasts.” Surprisingly, the first cite is from 1977. It has to be older than that.

Get to third base is defined as “to achieve a level of sexual intimacy short of intercourse; (usu.) an act of ‘below-the-waist’ petting.” The first cite is from Mailer’s 1947 The Naked and the Dead.

While there is some variation as to the exact activity reached at each base, these definitions are the usual meanings.

The OED only has get to first base in the general sense of “to achieve the first step towards one’s objective.” Second base is only given in a baseball context. Third base is not listed under base, and only mentioned under third.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks, Dave, that’s exactly that’s exactly what I was after.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Oh, and home run is indeed used in this sense. HDAS defines it as “an act of seduction culminating in sexual intercourse.” There is a bracketed cite from 1961 and the use of homer in this sense from 1963.

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