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Probably the best/shortest explanation of this analogy that I have heard is "The Four Fs": "French", "Fondle", "Finger", "Fuck". This corresponds directly to each base in masukomi's writeup above:

  1. French: refers directly to French Kissing, but more generally to all sorts of kissing, hand holding, and the like
  2. Fondle: cuddling, spooning, feel up, among other things
  3. Finger: fingering, mutual masturbation, oral sex
  4. Fuck: is any explanation necessary?
Right, I think I just heard my purity test score drop through the floor...

(yes, this writeup is very uncharacteristic of me; I was shocked when I visited this node that there wasn't already a "four Fs" writeup here, which with the vast depth and breadth of sex-related content on e2, so what could I do but throw in my two cents?)