Why 69 Is the Internet’s Coolest Number (Sex)

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Photo: Daniel Deitschel/Getty Images

Check out this tweet from the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, regarding the political squabble surrounding Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Filling a Supreme Court vacancy is an extremely important process, the results of which could have significant repercussions for vast swaths of the American citizenry.

But you weren’t thinking about that. I know you weren’t. You were thinking about that big honkin’ 69 staring at you. That’s the sex number, you thought to yourself.

“Nice,” you whispered to nobody in particular.

The 69 (verb: 69-ing) is a sex move, as we all know because we are sophisticated, sex-having adults. But 69, being a two-digit number unavoidable when counting from 68 to 70, also appears in other contexts. Like the president’s tweet.

The thing about the internet is that everyone on it is horny. Everyone on the internet is horny all the time. Selfies are thirst traps; faves and likes are one-click methods of saying, “I’m thirsty.” This is not that different from the real world, where, thanks to the magic of biology, everyone is in a perpetual state of “horned up and ready to go.” But on the internet, sex manifests itself in unexpected ways. Like how there is somehow now only one correct response to the number 69.

In a sexual context, “nice” has been around for a long time. We crawled out of the primordial ooze and figured out how to simultaneously stimulate each others’ genitals with our mouths, and then shortly thereafter we figured out how to react to news of the 69: “Nice.” Simple, elegant, to the point.

You might have seen it on South Park:

Or The Office:

The sex number is, among a large subset of social-media users, an incredibly important number (as is the weed number, 420). When you see the sex number, which is 69, it is your duty to comment “nice.”

Let’s check in on the response to that Obama tweet.

Great work, everybody.

Impromptu collaboration on the web is always an intensely satisfying moment, and accumulating a large stack of “nice” is great — even more so when it happens in traditionally combative forums like the area beneath a presidential tweet. The 69 is bipartisan. Red states and blue states have both voted “nice” on Proposition 69. Make America 69 Again. There are many responses to Obama’s tweet that are not “nice,” but that’s to be expected. There are still many people saying “nice,” and that’s … nice.

Adding your “nice” to the Jenga tower of “nices” is one of the great small kindnesses of our age. The 69 is a clarion call, to which users answer, “I see the 69, and I’m aware of its significance and our traditions.”

Have you ever played the Game? Maybe you have, but if not, the Game is played like this: You cannot think about the Game. If you remember the Game, you lose. The number 69 is similar, in that you don’t have to actively seek out 69s, but when you see them, you must act. You have to say “nice.” That is shorthand for “You and I? We both know about sex. Congratulations to us on our base-level sexual knowledge.” If you see a 69 and don’t comment “nice,” that just means you don’t know about an extremely cool activity (which is, to be clear, having sex).

Weed fans celebrate weed on April 20, which can also be written as 420. So, too, do sex-havers have a calendar date of their own. It’s today, June 9, abbreviated as 6/9. Remove the slash. Do you see it? It’s the number 69. The clock will never read 6:9, but I think celebrating at 6:09 is perfectly acceptable.

In conclusion: 69. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.