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The base system in dating

opinion

It goes like this: Second base is all hands with the guy making his way up the girl's shirt.

Third base is oral and a home run is well, doing the deed. Using a sports metaphor to measure sexual progress might make things easy for teens, particularly boys looking to impress peers with how "far" they got with the girl next door. And hey, it is America's pastime.

But the need to measure sexual progress is itself a troubling impulse, one that reflects the misguided way we approach "The base system in dating" as an intimate act. The goal is to "score": With sex quickly becoming the goal in and of itself, young people can feel the need to lose their virginity because everyone else is — and perhaps jump into bed before they're ready or truly want to.

When sexual exploration becomes goal-oriented, satisfaction becomes secondary, and we risk missing out on the various kinds of emotional and physical satisfaction sex offers.

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