Extended 69

(Heavily sexual topic, some racy — just barely not X-rated — images, and extended discussion of sexual acts. So not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Well, extended 69 — the term, not the act.

The story begins with what is probably a one-off use of the sexual slang 69, in You could hug 69, conveying ‘you could hug each other for mutual pleasure’; hug 69 here is a V + V compound, lit. ‘to 69 by/in hugging’, a generalization of the customary sexual 69, preserving only the semantic components of mutuality / reciprocity and pleasure in the act.

(Hat tip to Kim Darnell.)

From GDoS:

noun sixty-nine: (also 69, neuf-soixante, six-nine, sixty-niner, soixante-neuf ) [… the numerals 69 supposedly mimic the head-to-tail bodily positions] 1 mutual oral-genital stimulation… 2 (US campus) a homosexual [1967 lexicon] 3 in fig. use, anything intensely satisfying or pleasurable. 2000 C. Cook Robbers (2001) 5: Kaleidoscopic view: consumer soixante-neuf. Anything you wanted in there, racked up to please the eye and move fast

verb sixty-nine: … to perform soixante-neuf (on someone); thus sixty-niner n., a person who performs this act. [first cite 1933, prison lexicon: sixty-nine ‘a perverted sexual act’. sixty-niner ‘a sexual pervert’. 1940 criminal lexicon: sixty-nine ‘a sodomite’. 1950 underworld dictionary: sixty-niner ‘one who practices the sixty-nine act’. most cites are same-sex, two women or two men]

The entries show an especially close association (in the popular mind) between this sexual act and homosexuality, especially male homosexuality. The background reasoning is probably that oragenital sex is associated with same-sex couples, especially male couples: anybody can go down on anybody else, but for same-sex couples oragenital sex is (in fact, not just in the popular imagination) the everyday, default sexual act. So since 69 is, in effect, oragenital sex squared, same-sex couples should be especially given to it; it should be a characteristic sexual act for them.

In order to talk about oragenital sex in a way that’s neutral with respect to the sexes of the participants, I’ll use oral partner to refer to the one who brings their mouth to their encounter; and genital partner to refer to the one who brings their genitals, vagina or penis, to the encounter.

A popular conception of oragenital sex is that it is for the pleasure of the genital partner, but for many people — especially for same-sex couples, and even more so, in my experience, for male couples specifically — this is an inaccurate picture of the emotional landscape of these acts. In particular, for a huge percentage of gay men, sucking cock is an intense pleasure in itself, a source of both physical and emotional satisfaction. That means that for most male couples, oragenital sex is in itself a mutually pleasurable act.

In any case, though 69 is popularly viewed as especially pleasurable — since both participants serve as genital partners — the participants themselves don’t necessarily experience it this way, finding that serving simultaneously as genital and oral partner is distracting and diminishes the pleasure associated separately with each role.

Nevertheless, the conception of 69 as especially pleasurable leads to extensions of the term 69 to refer to ‘anything intensely satisfying or pleasurable’ (as the GDoS subentry above has it). And to the extension in hug 69.

Notes on 69: visual symbols. First, of course, the numeral 69, as in this U.S. route sign:


Then abstract silhouettes combined in the 69 position:


And the numerals 6 and 9 combined with the Mars and Venus symbols, in various orientations. Here a Mars 6 over a Venus 9 to represent hetero 69:


Then symbols borrowed from other contexts but usable to represent 69 because of their form. First, the astrological sign Cancer, an abstract representation of a crab (rounded shape, two big claws):

(#4) So 69ing could be referred to as crabbing

And then yin and yang symbols:

(#5) So 69ing could be referred to as yinyanging

Notes on 69: bodily alignment. The two bodies in 69ing can be aligned horizontally (the usual configuration) or (in a more challenging performance) vertically.

Within horizontal alignment, the bodies can be top on bottom (as in the representation in #2 above), with its suggestion of dominance; or side by side, fully egalitarian, as with this male couple:


Vertical alignment is something of a stunt, more entertaining to look at than to perform. It’s somewhat easier to manage if the couple have sometime to lean on for support, as for this male couple here:


But if the body sizes fit and both participants are agile and strong, they can do a free-standing 69, as with this male couple:

(#8) Flying 69: the 69 variant of the Flying Cowboy position for fucking

Notes on 69: rim 69. Rimming (anilingus, ass-licking) is a staple of gay porn (not so much in real gay life), so mutual rimming — rim 69 — is predictably a thing there:


Similarly: dildo 69 and finger-fuck 69.

Notes on 69: if 2, why not more? In porn (though not in real life), more is always better, so if you get two people engaged in 69ing, why not add more on?

From my 3/31/2013 AZBlogX posting “Threesomes and more”, treating spitroastingfuck chain or fuck sandwich (or Lucky Pierre), suck chain or suck sandwich (or daisy chain), rim chainjack-off chaindouble penetration369reach-around (fuck), and rim 69, with this note:

And 369, where two men 69 and a third man fucks one of them. (And I haven’t talked about finger-fucking or dildos.)

With 4 or more men, these various acts can be mixed and matched in several ways (and combined with kissing). Yes, there is a 469.

Even with only two men, there are combinations, for instance the reach-around (fuck), in which the top reaches around and jacks off the bottom while he’s fucking him. And the rim 69.

Most of these are stunts for an audience, of course.

Notes on 69: some history. From a 5/8/10 posting “69”:

More puzzling (to me, anyway) is that the sexual use of 69 (in English and French) seems to be only a couple of hundred years old. French sexual soixante-neuf looks like it goes back to roughly the 1790s, and 1883 is OED2’s date of the first use of sexual sixty-nine.

Now, it’s not that people didn’t 69 each other until the late 18th century. There are (obscene, and consequently much suppressed) art works portraying the act from ancient Greek, Roman, and Indian times (a few photos here). But apparently people didn’t talk about it, at least in surviving texts; or they just treated the act as one of many minor variants of oral sex, not worth its own label; or a fashion for the act developed only in the past 200 years or so; or a fashion for the label did.

Notes on 69: an analysis of conceptual components in the domain of sex acts. From a preliminary conceptual analysis of sex acts (here limited to encounters with no more than 2 participants), some factors.

Participants and their relationships:

2SEX for 2-party sex acts, 1SEX for 1-party (solo) sex acts

2ACT for a 2SEX encounter in which both participants are actively performing a sex act, 1ACT where only one is

R for a reciprocal, mutual, or symmetric 2ACT encounter (the partners perform the same act); vs. ~R

SIM for a simultanous 2ACT encounter (the acts are performed at the same time); vs. SEQ for sequential encounters

HOM for same-sex 2SEX encounters, HET for mixed-sex ones

Body parts and toys:

G for genitals (as agent or patient); A for anus (as patient only); O for the mouth and lips (O for oral), as agent or patient; D for the hand (D for digital, aka manual), as agent only); I for the involvement of a tool as sextoy (I for instrumental), either insertive (agent) or receptive (patient); S for a bodily surface (S for surfacial) in frottage / rubbing, patient only

These concept codes can then be combined with the prefixes a (for agent) and p (for patient), with these possibilities:

agent: aG, aO, aD, aI

patient: pG, pA, pO, pI, pS

Some combinations:

aG+pG: vaginal intercourse / fucking; aG+pA: anal intercourse / ass-fucking; aG+pO: irrumation / face-fucking; aG+pI: intercourse with a surrogate sexcavity toy, no standard name)

aO+pG: fellatio, cunnilingus; aO+pA: anilingus / rimming; aO+pA: French kissing; aO+pI: dildo-sucking

aD+pG: masturbating (vaginal finger-fucking, jacking off); aD+pA: anal finger-fucking; aD+pO: (finger in mouth, finger-sucking)

In these terms, classic 69 is

2SEX+2ACT+R+SIM+aO+pG: two partners each performing oragenital sex (fellatio or cunnilingus) on the other, at the same time

One final symbol, nicely suggesting the interlinking of bodies in 69:


4 Responses to “Extended 69”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    My sixty-ninth limerick’s next,
    about Roman reciprocal sex.
    When deploying their lumber
    by the magical number,
    they’d be calling it LXIX.

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    Without knowing the context, I have to wonder if “hug 69” means to hug not just mutually, but in a 69-like position (head-to-tail).

  3. Joe Fineman Says:

    Wind, and sky,
    And sounding surf,
    And you and I
    And soixante-neuf.

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