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Editors Note: This column is part one of a four part series about rounding the proverbial bases.

My long repertoire of flings began in seventh grade with a baseball player. Eventually, he asked me if I would go to first base with him. At that time, I thought he wanted me to take his place out on the playing field. Except, that just didn’t make much sense. So, I turned to internet search engines where I discovered the meaning of the four bases. Interestingly enough, the only agreed definition is first base and home run. The others happen to be as ambiguous as the term “hooking up.” I’m sure that I’m not the only person who had no idea about this baseball reference, so I thought I’d start the school year off on first base and go from there.

It makes sense for first base and home run to be clearly defined, as they symbolize the beginning and the ending of physical activity. Knowing how to kiss is vital — it acts as your SAT score, giving an indication, but not necessarily the full picture, and of your future capabilities. If you’re a bad kisser, it’s not going to prevent you from “getting in,” but it’s certainly not going to help you. So, to be informative of dos and do nots of kissing, I thought about comparing kissing styles to functions.

For instance, I thought about saying that someone who doesn’t know when to get their tongue out of your mouth is similar to a function that goes out to negative infinity. Then I realized that just sounds like MIT, and, well, classes haven’t even started yet.

Instead, I decided to just give you some advice that I’ve learned first hand:

DO remember to part your lips. For my first kiss, I forgot to open my mouth. I had this notion that kissing just came naturally. Well, he suffered an allergic reaction to my lip-gloss. Kissing can be a very dangerous sport, and I should’ve learnd that then.

DO NOT slobber, that just makes everyone think of dogs, and while I love puppy kisses, when a person does that, it’s not really cute. Teeth licking also makes me think of puppies, and I think it’s safe to say most people aren’t turned on by animals.

DO use your tongue to caress theirs, typically in a circular motion. Go with the flow, though avoid making it mechanic.

DO NOT bite. Like I mentioned earlier, I should’ve learned kissing can be dangerous. Last year, I almost went to MIT Medical because my mouth was bleeding so badly. Now, there’s an unnecessary reminder of an unfortunate hookup. Some people enjoy nibbling; however, I don’t suggest that for a hookup. If you’re in a relationship, just ask the person.

DO explore the other person within reason. For guys, it’s nice to feel the small of her back or rub her lower thigh. By touching her back, she can place your hands elsewhere should she want more. Caressing her face is also romantic, except, if it’s a hookup, it might come off as creepy. For girls, direct the guy. If you want him to go further, position his hands. Don’t be afraid, trust me, he’s not going to feel violated.

DO NOT randomly grab body parts. There’s nothing that screams desperation more than instantly grabbing genitalia or zippers. (Guys, this means don’t immediately grab her boobs or butt.) Also, the hair is off-limits for many girls, especially if she’s wearing earrings. It sucks when a guy gets his hands caught in your favorite pearls, and they just disappear somewhere beneath a messy futon, never to be found again. Another reason that kissing can be dangerous: you can lose stuff.

DO take a mint, breath strip, or some breath spray before.

DO NOT share already chewed gum. I don’t understand this concept. It’s like feeding someone your chewed food. While some couples enjoy feeding each other, they don’t enjoy feeding each other chewed food.

DO relax yourself. It’s better to laugh at awkward situations than create them.

DO NOT drink too much in an effort to “relax.” First of all, drunken hookups just sound sketchy. Also, you might ruin the person’s favorite drink, forcing them to associate it with all hookups. (*coughs* Captain Morgan) And, just FYI, beer also tastes bad on the breath — since it’s warm and pungent by that time since it’s been lingering in your mouth.

So, keep some ChapStick on hand and start the school year off on first base — just see where you’ll wind up. You might just have to kiss a few frogs before finding your special someone — or so I keep telling myself.