on sexual metaphors

By: ivan |

Sex is often taboo, and it is not uncommon that we talk about it using metaphors. Here’s a text about the ‘baseball model’ of sex and sexuality which is prevalent in American society. The article provides a critical take on the baseball sexual metaphor and contrasts it with a hypothetical ‘pizza metaphor’. Any thoughts on this? Are you familiar with the expressions discussed in the text? How did you get to know about them? Do you use them in your conversations, or do you know someone who does? Can you provide examples of the metaphors used by young Singaporeans to talk about sex?


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(Edit) Azzam
The pizza metaphor is more inclusive then the baseball metaphor.
(Edit) Joel Low
Sexual metaphors have arguably tinted the way our society perceives and talks about sex today. The widespread nature of the baseball metaphor arguably entails that the entrenched sexism is constantly reinforced. Therefore, despite how idealistic the pizza metaphor is, the cultural norms and values now portrayed in the baseball metaphor are too deeply rooted to be swept away by a mere change of discourse used to approach sex.
(Edit) Ming En
Interesting to see how metaphors that we take for granted and accept can strengthen the entrenchment of certain values
(Edit) shk95
Perhaps, we can consider "dabao" as one example of a local sex metaphor used to describe a situation where (usually) a man successfully brings home a woman (usually from a night out/ the club). The expression originally contains this meaning. Comparatively, it is of course is a narrow use and it being standalone as compared to the baseball/pizza metaphor. This is quite suggestive  that sex being a taboo subject here in Singapore.
(Edit) Jasmine
The baseball metaphor focuses on how one team has to guard against the other; this portrays sex to be restricted within boundaries (limiting to only heterosexuals, and women to "guard their base" against men). We still hear this being used today (in terms of how far the relationship has progressed) but I believe, not as widely spread as in the American culture.
(Edit) Natasha
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I actually never realised that the baseball metaphor was something more complicated than it seemed. I first heard of bases while reading Western books and watching films where teenage boys talked about “reaching 3rd base” and to me, it just seemed like another level of sexual contact or intimacy that one should reach with their partner. However, after reading this article, what struck me most about this whole baseball metaphor was the idea that there was a winning side and losing side- the losing side being the women?? The conquering, the achieving of another base, another ‘score’ seems to objectify women as merely a game. It doesn’t construct sexual intercourse as a consensual milestone, equally significant to both parties in the relationship, but rather just a means of securing a social status or dominance about one’s masculinity and capability. So yes, women end up being on the losing side because perhaps her value ends up being cheapened in this competition to get to the top the fastest. However, this metaphor isn’t something I commonly hear in our local context. Perhaps this is because baseball isn’t a game we resonate with. That being said, I do believe that this whole idea of achieving the bases does exist in Singapore, but perhaps is conveyed through other slang. One such term that could be similar to this is the need to “up your game”, meaning that one needs to improve themselves, do better and get better at achieving more points in whatever aspect it may be in.

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