I think the reason why the proverbial “base” analogy is up for such debate because it is very subjective to what the individual’s ultimate goal is. For a grade schooler a kiss would constitute success, or to a seasoned pervert, having her dress up like Santa Clause while she cries, shits on your chest , and hits you with an overcooked steak (ie: my 23rd birthday) that would be considered the ultimate of the interaction.
In an adult world how does one measure success of a date/relationship? Condensing it down to comparisons to America’s sleep-aid seems a little oxymoronic doesn’t it? Is everyone’s goal sex for a date? Realistically, no. On the other hand, (most) guys do anticipate sex on the first date, but like packing a flashlight in your car -its for the “just in case”. It usually doesn’t go beyond some manscaping, unloading the gun, and a fresh shave. The whole analogy is geared towards a goal as a playful litmus test for physical achievements and highly debatable for those exact reasons. The goal you want to accomplish.
I will base the following on sex being the “ultimate goal” as I feel it’s the most common pinnacle of a perfect date.
First Base: The Kiss
I have to exclude the “thanks for dropping a hundo on me, I feel bad” kiss on the cheek. I’m talking about a meaningful kiss. Something that makes your heart race, your head light, and your knees weak. Not having your tongue reenact the cool parts of 300 but something better.
Second Base: Intimate Touching
This is at point during a make-out session or playful encounter when hands get brave and inhibitions fade into lust. This is where the boobs get first treatment and the penis makes his debut. I have to insist that the under the pants penis contact is like 2nd and a half base, but misogynistically I must include that under the bra boob touching keeps you at second base.
Third Base: Ejaculation w/o Intercourse
This might be the most controversial of them all because depending on the young lady/guy oral or hand (is that the right word?) sex may come after regular sex. In my personal experiences regular sex has usually happened first, then third base later down the road if things continue. This is the point where (hopefully) both parties get off. It may be something sexy your lovely lady wants to treat you with, but as I mentioned before it depends on the lady. Some women devalue the blow/hand job and they covet actual intercourse more and some quite the opposite. I guess that is what makes this whole topic debatable.
This being probably the highest scoring answer in a very strange Family Feud episode sex is the home run in this little analogy. Sex is the ultimate gift or act of hedonism two people can enjoy within reason. It is the subconscious goal of any above casual encounter and the subject of every neon dipped, bold fonted girl magazine from cover to cover. We all spend countless resources pursuing it, watching it, and enjoying its a huge fraction of our whole. Sex is either the beginning of something new or the end of something forgettable.