XKCD explains the baseball metaphor for sex

Today's XKCD nerd-toon has a fantastic, profane chart explaining the "base" system as it pertains to romantic entanglement. I'd always been pretty familiar with the main touchpoints (as it were) -- first, second, third base and home run. But I must admit that I have wondered from time to time where on the notional diamond one might find "Downloading Star Trek fanfiction and replacing Riker's name with your crush's." Oh, and Joel? Fursuits are on there, big fella.

Base System



  1. ok, the only part i don’t get is “retrograde wheelbarrow.” am i not nerdy enough, or is it really a non-sequitur? hopefully the former.

  2. So this is what XKCD is about when it isn’t putting down people who major in something other than math or making lame hipster “<3″ strips.

  3. Just in case you don’t read binary:

    #!/usr/bin/env python
    import string
    print “”.join([chr(string.atoi(s, 2)) for s in [“01100010″,”01100001″,”01110011″, “01100101”, “00100000”, “00110010”]])

  4. I overheard some people in a cafe talking about dating and sharing domains once– so, I was amused to see the root password bit. Heh.

  5. I just thought of a fun new use for the AYB phrase…

    …and a way it could be really badly misunderstood. Hm.
    I’ll let your own imaginations be your guides, I’m not saying another word on it. (Fifth Amendment, and all that)

  6. Tak: backspace the period at the end of the URL. unfortunately, browsers don’t understand grammar.

    so it’s a reference to strange and possibly-apocryphal sex positions.

  7. I didn’t see ‘renaissance dancing’, where you wear period costumes and dance to Madonna. If we’re gonna put fursuits on, gotta put all the other weird stuff on.

    I remember being in school and not knowing what the bases were, and kids made fun of me. Then Kurt, a mentally disabled kid who hung out with my lunch buddies, said, “I HAD A GRAND SLAM!”

    We all said, “what’s a grand slam?” thinking he had no idea what he was talking about.

    “More than one at once!”


  8. This is weird. Years ago I once related to my mom how odd it was that we drink milk. That someone, somewhen, decided to yank on some udders and drink what came out of it.
    In less than a week, that was the exact topic of the weekday newspaper Calvin and Hobbes strip (I told you it was years ago).

    So just the other night I was relating to my girlfriend that no one ever explained to me which sex acts correspond to their baseball metaphors. I’m more of a sex person than a sports person, so metaphors of such a nature just seem ridiculous to me.
    and now, in less than a week XKCD comes out with a strip explaining it to me. I’m all sorts of acausal.

  9. Jon Adair said: “Disappointed that he didn’t throw in the infield fly rule.”

    Or catcher’s interference. Or defensive indifference. Or pine tar too far up the handle.

    (I’m too lazy to make a login, but my name is Michelle, and I love baseball almost as much as I love xkcd and boing boing.)

  10. #16, 2 Outfielders 1 Glove does indeed truly win.

    I’m sure you’ve all googled “Retrograde Wheelbarrow” by now, but for those too lazy, Urban Diction has two definitions.

    1. retrograde wheelbarrow
    A sexual position in which the male (or pitcher) stands behind the female (catcher) and holds her legs up while she holds herself up with her arms in a wheelbarrow-like position, face down. It is in this position that the two engage in thrustings and moanings of sorts.

    2. retrograde wheelbarrow
    Its when you are part of a donkey show where you have a donkey and a man(or woman)in a harness, and the donkey is giving it to the man(or woman) while suspended from the donkey. Meanwhile there’s a midget with a riding crop wearing nothing more than a black leather hat. He’s whipping the donkey to get it to move while the donkey is also eating out of a bag of oats laced with PCP. Now you take a Wii remote with the nunchuck attachment and you insert either end into the donkey’s rectum, you then put the other end into the midget’s rectum. There’s a wheelbarrow behind the donkey. In the wheelbarrow is a tub of pudding with a german female midget can can dancing in the pudding, while “God Save the Queen” is playing on a radio.

  11. For fans of Dan Savage, the arrow with “Teens” next to “Maginot Line” can be amended with “Christian Teens” and “Saddlebacking.”

  12. Awhile back I heard a guy on a radio show say that he hadn’t gotten to 2nd base with his wife in over 6 months. This led me to ask my wife and a bunch of guy friends what they thought the various bases meant. The only one we all agreed on was a home run.

  13. LotusMonger @15

    “I’m more of a sex person than a sports person, so metaphors of such a nature just seem ridiculous to me.”

    Wouldnt’ it be brilliant if the metaphors went the other way – applying sex metaphors to sports?

    “How did your baseball game go?”

    “Alright I guess. I got my hand in their pants twice, but no sex. First time I hit a chastity belt, and the second time her parents got home.”

    “Say what?”

    “I made it to third base twice, but never home. The first time I got caught out, and the second time the batter struck out. Sheesh, how literal do I have to get?”

  14. As a non-native English speaker, I very much appreciated today’s XKCD. I also appreciate the discussion threads (such as this one) that reveal that there isn’t as much agreement on the meaning of these metaphors as I thought.

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