This article first appeared in VICE UK.
You are aware of dogs. Tumbling, raucous dogs. Imagine two dogs, now, jolting about in a park. They are two of those grey, short-haired, muscular-type dogs, with floppy pink mouths, white tufts on their chests. The air today is dry and fair. This is the sound of the park: twit–twit–twit–twit–twit. Leaves gently rustle. You are mostly alone here, in this park. Early spring. The grass green but thin on the ground – you can see the dry soil between the sprigs of it. And the dogs are here, by a tree, rolling around.
Dogs course and tumble like circus performers when they are playing: they roll and gallop and chomp and bite, they scratch their necks inelegantly on the ground with no regard for where their limbs are going, they waggle and get muddy and slither their bodies around like big dumb snakes. One dog jumps on top of the other dog for a moment. The dogs make this sound sometimes: haurgh–raugh–blaurgh–raugh– blaurgh, somewhere between a bark and a laugh. This is horseplay for dogs. This is dogplay. Innocent, innocent dogplay. Then—
WHAT IS A QUOTE-UNQUOTE 'FULL 69'?
If you're not going to ask it, I will ask it instead: what is "full 69"? The existence of a state of full 69 suggests there is such a thing as an un-full 69. Question: at what point is the 69 docked? At what point does it go from "not a 69" to "a full 69"? Is it like when two spaceships create an airlock? That they are not truly joined together until there is a perfect seal? See how we're already in deeper than I ever really wanted to get with this.
So let's start with the numbers: we know that half a 69, AKA a 34.5, is straight up single-player oral sex: we can acknowledge that. But if Dawkins was talking about regular dog oral, surely he would say that ("Dogs suck dog dick, man, I've seen it. Fuck God."). What he intimates with the term "full 69" is that there is a state of 69'ing somewhere between a 34.5 and a full 69 – some sort of interlocking oral no man's land, where perhaps someone is getting their junk licked but someone is just nuzzling a gooch, that grey area after one of the 69ees has jizzed all over the 69er, but the 69 act itself hasn't finished. I would suggest that is a 70, though, because it's one up from a 69: it's a 69 where someone has completed the game, but is still an active participant in it. It's an overflowing 69.
So I mean, what we're getting at here is: the act of the 69, an ancient yin-yang, contains multitudes. The 69 is a sex act of light and shade. The 69 fluctuates according to the wills and the orgasms of the participants. It is something more than oral sex, but it is still ultimately just a lot of simultaneous oral sex. The 69 can start and it can finish, but in between those moments – the little revs and the clicks of the gear in the 69 engine – there are nuances. Dogs do not mess about with that, though. They just accelerate right through to full 69, no messing.
AT WHAT POINT CAN YOU SAY FOR SURE THAT A DOG IS 69ING, RICHARD DAWKINS
I did some research over whether dogs do and can actually 69 each other (miraculously the IT department did not come over and have a "quiet word" and confiscate my laptop throughout this process, but you have to assume its in the post) and anyway, obviously the only place to turn to here is Yahoo! Answers, the most judgment-free Q&A zone on the entire world wide web:
"They didn't learn it from me" aside, it is a good question: can dogs 69? To 69, you have to assume intent – one does not simply fall, head-first, into a 69. How intelligent are dogs? Researchers in 2009 pitched a dog's intelligence as similar to that of a two-year-old human, where they can recognise 250 words and gestures, count roughly to five and perform simple commands. It does not say whether they can 69 in that. How smart do you have to be to eat junk while getting your junk eaten? Are dogs at that level yet? Or does horniness override? Science does not have an answer.
But here's a Yahoo! Answer that made me stop and pause, quote marks and all:
So I guess what I am getting at is: dogs can fall into the rough shape of a 69, and do something that appears to the lay observer to be a 69. But is it really a "full 69"? Richard Dawkins is the only person who witnessed this, so we have to assume yes. We have to assume he popped a crouch, got close enough and watched long enough to establish the boundaries and consent of the dog 69, took some notes on the whole affair and, satisfied with his conclusion, left them to it. We have to assume that.
HOW LONG, ONCE RICHARD DAWKINS ESTABLISHED THAT HE WAS DEFINITELY WATCHING TWO DOGS 69, DID RICHARD DAWKINS THEN WATCH THE DOGS DO 69
Something about the tone of this tweet just suggests he pulled up a wicker chair, popped a cool sarsaparilla and just watched them dogs nosh off for one long lazy afternoon one summer, and that was fine, in Richard Dawkins' world, that was OK—
DID DOGS EVOLVE TO 69 OR IS IT GOD'S WILL THAT THEY 69 EACH OTHER WHILE RICHARD DAWKINS WATCHED?
More stuff about tweets: