The Bases are in The Wrong Order
From the time I was just a wee little lassie walking the halls of my middle school, the media, our parents, my sex ed teacher Mrs. Rufesco, my horny 12 year old male classmates, and society at large have taught and then reinforced the typical progression of sexual activity, also known as ‘the bases’. They go as follows: first you hug or hold hands, then you ‘peck’ or kiss without tongue, then you add tongue, then it’s a handjob under the bleachers (favor not returned), then it is a blowjob or cunnilingus that lasts half a minute (in the former case because he finishes, in the latter because he thinks you finished or got tired), and finally we arrive at ‘home base’, the grand finale, the magnum opus, sex. The idea, of course, is that each base becomes more serious, more intimate, more consequential, than the last.
I took these bases as fact. And so did most of the other young women I knew in middle school, high school, and college. Sex was a really big deal. Blowjobs, on the other hand…much lower stakes. Looked upon by society as way less serious than sex. It is not until now, as a 32 year old woman living alone in a flat in Brooklyn having tons of intercourse, that I have begun to question the very fabric of these so-called bases.
Here is my argument: at this stage in my life, with no fear that the other girls on the playground are going to call me a whore and nobody to please but myself and some lucky fella, sex is far, far less intimate than giving a blowjob, and I’d be far more likely to have sex with someone before going down on them. Sex is whatever. It’s basically making out while some guy slams his pelvis against your hips. If he’s good at it it feels good for you too. If he’s bad at it it is still usually pretty nice.
Now oral sex, on the other hand…Jesus Christ. Far more intimate than sex sex. I’m putting a literal penis in my mouth. And it’s not just about me not wanting to meet your little ungroomed trooper face to face on our first date. I’m not sure I want a stranger up close with my rose scented cave of wonder until he knows where I went to college or where my mom is from.
And then after like 2 months of dating, you get comfortable enough to give him a handjob.
And then like a month or two after that you are boyfriend and girlfriend and doing peck kisses and holding hands.
So basically, the bases reverse as you get older.
I imagine most of the male readers are fans of this take.
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*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'The Bases are in The Wrong Order' in the style of Paul Gauguin, Sheri Staufler's artist of choice.*