I always hear people say "I hit the third base" or "I hit the second base" (sex related). I am not 100% sure what they all mean.

Additionally, in one of the House MD episodes, there was a dialogue:

Dr. Wilson: How are things going with Cuddy?
House: Great. We've gotten to fifth base. That's two home runs, and then she gives me back a triple.

In one of the American Dad episodes, I remember Steve saying something along the lines, "did I just hit the second base?" after holding hands with a girl.

  • 7
    Like baseball, there are 4 bases. The "fifth base" line is a deliberate joke.
    – Urbycoz
    Jun 17, 2011 at 11:55
  • 11
    And you don't "hit" the base. You "get" or "make it" to a base. "I got to second base with that girl yesterday." "I didn't think I had a chance, but I made it to third base with her last night."
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 17, 2011 at 12:05
  • 58
    And of course programmers go to base 16 — we have lots of hex!
    – mgb
    Jun 17, 2011 at 15:14
  • 12
  • 2
    1st: kissing, 2nd: touching above the waist, 3rd: touching below the waist, home run: wear protection.
    – zzzzBov
    Dec 14, 2011 at 2:35

6 Answers 6


One of the other answers has provided a nice link to the Wikipedia entry for baseball metaphors for sex. There are, as the top comment on this question notes, four bases in baseball, and these have corresponding sex acts associated with them.

The sexual contact associated with each base has evolved dramatically since I was a teenager, although "home base" or "home run" has always meant intercourse, and "first base" has always meant kissing or snogging.

To use the expression correctly, you get or make it to a base, per my comment:

  • I got to second base with that girl yesterday.

  • I didn't think I had a chance, but I made it to third base with her last night.

You don't use "hit" with "bases," but you can use the baseball terms that correspond to hits:

I hit a triple when I took her home last night.

means to get to third base. It's double for second base, single for first base.

You can also "score," which is the same as hit a home run or get to home base.

About the House quotation, if I interpret it correctly, they had intravaginal sex twice and then she performed oral sex on him. If we say home base = fourth base, that's 4 + 4 − 3 = 5, the subtraction because he was receiving instead of giving. But this is a joke, and probably not intended to be analyzed too closely.

And here's another handy diagram.

  • 8
    +1 Americans are a bizarre and sophisticated species indeed.
    – user16269
    Aug 12, 2012 at 0:32
  • 2
    +1 for actually analyzing that house joke. It never occurred to me that it might actually mean something rather than just making fun of the bases analogy.
    – Ben Lee
    Aug 18, 2012 at 3:02
  • How could the XKCD comic mention the scroll thingy on that apple mouse but not the nipple/g-spot on the IBM laptops?
    – johnsnails
    Mar 11, 2019 at 0:29

Here's a diagram that may help you visualize it. (Sorry, no XXX rating here.)

1st base: Kissing, fondling, no touching of "taboo" areas. 2nd base: Touching of secondary erogenous zones, usually breasts. 3rd base: Direct stimulation of genital area. Home Run: Actual coitus.


Although this wasn't what "House" referred to, Urban Dictionary lists fifth base as anal sex.

Talking about fifth base when there's really only four bases reminds me of the expression UpToEleven.

If you want to downvote me for using Urban Dictionary, that's fine. If I could, I'd downvote myself!

  • 2
    I see nothing wrong with using Urban Dictionary as a reference for "English language and usage." Why would or should it be?
    – Nicole
    Jun 16, 2015 at 23:37

From examiner.com:

First base When you get to first base, you have been lucky enough to have been kissed. Some people only consider French kissing as getting to first base.

Second base is direct physical contact, usually meaning his hands to her breast. It also includes other forms of petting, touching and groping.

Third base may include manual or oral sex for either partner.

Home run Simply put, a home run is sexual intercourse

Grand slam Those looking to excel at sexual baseball strive for the grand slam. A grand slam is sexual intercourse with the female having an orgasm.

Balk A balk is premature ejaculation. Some also refer to this as a ball.

Strike out A strike out is when you don't get a kiss at the end of the evening.

Double header A double header consists of two rounds of intercourse in one night.

Sacrifice fly A sacrifice fly is the buddy who "takes one for the team" to ensure you end up with the girl of your choice for the evening, akin to a "wingman."

Picked off When your sexual activity is interrupted by a third party (such as a parent, roommate or child), you are said to have been picked off.

Walk A walk is considered a sympathy base and is typically reserved for first base only. It occurs when your date allows kissing even though they are not attracted to you.


This is called Baseball metaphors for sex

There's normally no fifth base, and House was actually playing with the terms. He explains this by saying "That's two home runs, and then she gives me back a triple."

Home run is defined:

Home run (Fourth base) is the act of penetrative intercourse.

Edit: Triple, I think, refers to getting to the third base, The third base refers to:

Third base is oral stimulation of the genitalia.

  • Triple is getting to third base.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 17, 2011 at 12:00
  • Thanks Kit, I was in bed, when I jumped out and realized I understood what triple really stood for. :-)
    – Thursagen
    Jun 17, 2011 at 12:15
  1. kissing
  2. fondling breasts
  3. blowjob/handjob/fingering/muffing
  4. sex

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