It’s near impossible not to giggle if someone mentions the number 69 (nice), but as far as getting up close and personal with another person’s genitals goes, there’s really only one thing you need to know: sixty-nining is terrible and absolutely nobody should do it.
For the blessedly uninitiated (hi, what was it like being trapped on Mars waiting to be rescued by Jessica Chastain?), sixty-nining is an ostensibly hot, “just kinky enough to not creep your friends out at brunch” sex move that involves two people voluntarily human centipeding themselves jaw to genitalia in futile search of the hot sex they’re currently pantomiming. It is, as you may have already surmised, not very good.
Admittedly, the origins of the term 69 are pretty badass: A gun toting French courtesan named Theroigne de Mericourt, who was known to show up in Parliament just to heckle people, is credited with vividly describing the term soixante-neuf in her self-published series of 'Whore’s Catechisms' in the 1790s. It spread through France, and is rumored to have reached England thanks to America’s horniest founding uncle, Benjamin Franklin. Like gossip or that hot new Ecuadorian mosquito plague, the term spread rapidly.
But other than a legacy of ballsy courtesans with guns, sixty-nining brings little else to the table given the fact that it is, as mentioned, abjectly terrible. (It should be noted that de Mericourt died after going slowly insane and wandering France naked, so that’s a pretty good indication you shouldn’t turn to her for sex advice.)
From an engineering standpoint, sixty-nines are the least structurally sound sex position you can engage in. Have you ever been texting in bed and dropped your iPhone on your face? Now imagine that iPhone is instead a glistening vaginal cross section — or an up-close set of dick and balls—zooming in on your face with all the weight of a human person. Not so sexy anymore, is it?
As the bottom is focusing on not getting smushed, while also having to pretend it doesn’t take a Herculean effort to bench press their lover’s crotch high enough to actually make some oral inroads, things aren’t so great up on top either. At best, you’re holding yourself up in the world’s longest plank, just to try to keep things looking lean. At worst, you’re hunched over someone else’s body in the least attractive position possible, looking like a horny Quasimodo as you attempt to make your parts fit, just because somebody had to suggest Naked Tetris as the game of the night. If you’re on top, you no longer have an excuse to not get deep in there either, face to ass. And as your mouth is ostensibly occupied, guess who has no choice but to breathe through their nose?
You could, of course, go on the knife edge by each laying on your sides instead of each other for stability’s sake, but then you’re just entering into faint taint territory — the times when you’re just close enough to someone else’s asshole to be aware of its proximity, but not close enough to go nose-blind to its scent — and let’s be honest, a hint of taint is just as bad, if not worse. If you like eating the booty like groceries, your grail is just out of reach, and if you’re not a fan of taking the dirt road instead, guess what? You’re outta luck, because when you sixty-nine, that shit is close. Literally.
Even if you can work out the many structural flaws, 69s are a logistical nightmare. Show me someone who swears they’ve worked 69s seamlessly into their sexual repertoire, and I’ll show you a liar (or a very talented porn star). There’s no such thing as a casual 69. They’re awkward to get into from any other position, and while good communication in the bedroom is vital, trying to essentially build Ikea furniture in bed using each other’s bodies does not for sexy pillow talk make. At any given point, at least one partner will stop and think “Have they been going down on my thigh for the last three minutes?” before letting it go immediately for the better pursuit of getting this over with faster.
Neither party will be fellated at even a fourth of the strength they’d get head on, largely due to the fact that having to navigate genitalia you don’t possess upside-down isn’t the type of skill most people just happen to have on their resume. (Except dentists, who are tested heavily on their ability to quickly translate images across a plane.) For non-dentists however, 69s take planning, a strong working knowledge of geometry, and a significant amount of core strength.
The view leaves something to be desired, the body types rarely match up comfortably, no one ever gets anything resembling even three-quarters of a blow job — that’s a 69. Awkward, uncomfortable, 69s are a scourge on our sexual identity, when they should be nothing more than a niche Urban Dictionary entry alongside your Dirty Sanchezes and your Cleveland Steamers and your Houdinis and what have you.
Even though I can’t knock the benevolence in chasing the dream of simultaneous orgasms, the fact that 69s have continued to prevail as some “hot” sex act for almost 250 years is a nightmare, and one that if you’re an adult, you must cease immediately. Unless, of course you’re a hot dentist, in which case, call me.