For as long as there has been baseball, there have been bases. For as long as there has been sex, there have been euphemisms. I often wonder when these two sentences became interchangeable.
I’ve never really understood why baseball is the choice sport for indicating the progression of a sexual relationship. I mean, every sport is rife with potential double entendres. No, don’t just laugh it off – think about it. Think of all the wonderful, perverted jokes that could be made just using official terms from any existing sport. From basketball to golf, from tennis to polo, from rugby to horse racing to historical reenactments and back again…they’re all fully capable of being used as perfect euphemisms for sex.
Nevertheless, baseball somehow became the choice sport for people trying to talk about sex in a blatant manner that everyone accepts as politely subtle…even though it’s not. Perhaps it was because no one outside of the bestiality community wanted to use the Kentucky Derby with sex. Plus, using a race for comparison probably undermined the outlandish fish tales men have about their staying power.
The strange thing about this almost universally agreed-upon euphemism, however, is that no one really sat down and thought beyond “sex = baseball” and “bases = ummm…sexual stuff?”
Ask different people to define what the bases are, and you’re going to end up with a lot of varying answers. It’s like we all agreed on a language, but not what the words mean. It’s a strange phenomenon that has confounded me since I was old enough to be in on the “secret” language of athletic sex talk.
People would ask me what base I got to, or tell me how far they got…and I could never comprehend what the stages in between batting and sliding into home were. I’ve even asked, which is precisely how I know that everybody has a different answer.
Today, I have found a definitive answer in the form of the latest installment of the webcomic known as xkcd.
Thank you, xkcd. I’ll be using this as my euphemism reference from now on.