487: Numerical Sex Positions

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Numerical Sex Positions
We didn't even get to the continued fractions!
Title text: We didn't even get to the continued fractions!


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Sex positions are positions that two people can have sexual intercourse in. Many of them are named, although only one generally accepted position is named after a number: the 69.

In this comic, Cueball and Megan try to approximate the shapes of numbers that they are given as sex positions. They start with the classic 69, then represent the number 99 as "spooning" while standing and the number 71 as "doggy-style" sex over a table. They are then given ever more difficult numbers to attempt, although they are completely baffled by √8 before finally giving up and leaving at ln(2π). This interpretation of the comic suggests breaking the Fourth wall.


XKCD presents a guide to numerical sex positions:
[Traditional sixty-nine position, mutual oral sex.]
[A standing spooning position.]
[Megan is bent over a table, doggy-style.]
Cueball: Uh.
[Cueball and Megan look confusedly at each other.]
[Cueball and Megan are staring blankly at each other.]
Aww, c'mon...
[Megan begins walking away.]

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While I just did fix the Wiki link I don't think this "Fourth Wall" is relevant. The joke is just that Cueball is trying more different numbers by some mathematical calculations but Megan is visibly annoyed. At the title text Cueball is disappointed because they still have to work on more complicated numbers. I'm sure this joke is just mixing Sex and Math, not more.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:18, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

There are a couple of reasons I believe there is a fourth wall violation here. In the transcript, you can see that the "Uh" is from Cueball, but the "Guys" and "Aww, c'mon" are not--they are from the narrator. Also, that it says "guys" suggests that it's someone outside talking to both of them.Matchups (talk) 01:12, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Standard rules of comic chat-bubbles tend to apply to most of Randels comics. Words spoken by characted are referenced by a line extending from the head, thoughts are contained inside of bubbles, and narrator speech is contained "outside" of the panels inside it's own box. -- Para (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I don't know if I was the only one anticipating the possibility of Imaginary sex. Actually, there's arguably plenty of that already, possibly complementing all the Real sex that actually happens. 23:53, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

My take? The whole thing is being narrated. The numbers are the voice over, the characters hear the narrator, and have to act out the numbers. They have trouble with 34 (rule 34), the square root of 8 could be anal, and the last one? Read it out loud, in 2 pie. Lesbianism or threesome. -- (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just a reminder it is "LN", not "IN". 07:32, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't think that the characters in the first two panels are standing. I think they are viewed from above.
--Lou Crazy (talk) 14:17, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. I changed it. 21:22, 19 January 2016 (UTC)