Sexual conquest is codified into what stages in France, Chile and the USA?

Chilean couples achieving "grado uno" in a plaza. Photo: Annais Ferreira.
Chilean couples achieving “grado uno” in a plaza. Photo: Annais Ferreira.

Most cultures have slang for reporting the results of a previous night’s rendez-vous. But the French, Chileans and Americans have actually codified their sexual achievements into numbered levels, much to the distaste of the rest of the world.

Of course, each country’s numbering system is different.


Inappropriately, Americans use their most boring sport, baseball, as a metaphor to explain their degree of romantic exertion. (A baseball field features a four-pointed diamond; a player runs around touching these “bases”, and if he makes it to the fourth, he scores a point.)

Baseball players approaching third base, figuratively, and home plate, literally. Photo: Eric Molina.
Baseball players approaching third base, figuratively, and home plate, literally. Photo: Eric Molina.

FIRST BASE: Kissing on the lips.

SECOND BASE: Touching above the belt, usually under the shirt.

THIRD BASE: Touching below the belt. Also, frequently, oral sex.

HOMERUN: The penis enters the vagina and/or sometimes the butt.



Chileans divide sexual activity into “grados”, or degrees.

GRADO UNO: Kissing on the lips, with perhaps some groping.

GRADO DOS: More wild groping.

GRADO TRES: The penis enters the vagina.

GRADO CUATRO: Some sort of unknown kinky sex; if you actually ask, nobody seems all that sure what this means. Sometimes it refers to anal sex.



The French have several stages of activity that the Americans and Chileans don’t seem to have thought of, though, surprisingly, they’re rather chaste. They speak of vitesses, or speeds (like on a bicycle).

PREMIÈRE VITESSE: Go out together for a drink.

DEUXIÈME VITESSE: Mutual declaration of romantic intentions.


While the French can be just as promiscuous anyone, it’s important to know that the kiss on the lips in France is often taken to mean that: 1) a new, sexually exclusive couple has been created, and; 2) they will fuck. Thus, it’s not so necessary to divide up the types of groping or penetration as the Americans and Chileans do.



I’ve checked with folks from quite a few countries and haven’t found other numbering systems for sex. If you know of any please let me know in the comments, or send a message.

The above systems are vaguely defined, particularly that of the French. If other definitions or versions exist, I’d also love to know that. Thanks dears!

Thanks for reading our treatises on cross-cultural boozing and boinking. On rare occasions, this site contains automatically monetized affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

1 Comment

  1. Brit
    September 13, 2012

    In the UK we also use "bases" (probably borrowed from the US, but may have independently come up from the game rounders), except ours are slightly different and can vary across the country. The one used most often were I grew up was: 1st kissing with tongue; 2nd mutual masturbation (either or both partners); 3rd oral sex(either or both partners); 4th penetrative sex and beyond. Since it varied across the country in practice with people you didn't know that well you'd have to ask for clarification (normally with 2nd and 3rd), which sort of defeated the point.

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