That strange little mark on your neck that you so valiantly try to hide is a love bite or a kiss mark or more succinctly, a hickey. When someone sucks very hard on your soft skin (your neck or arm), they cause the capillaries just beneath the surface to rupture. The sucking motion lets the blood seep into the surrounding tissues. Hickeys, so un-romantically put, are broken blood vessels just under the surface of the skin. The blood pools, clots, and turn red. As the blood no longer receives oxygen, the blood dries out and turn into a dark looking bruise.
Traditionally love bites are considered a mark of possession by the person giving it. They are also seen as a mild form of sadism since hickeys can be slightly painful. It can be sexual or non-sexual and are popular in high school.
A hickey is a contentious symbol. They signal to the world that you have done “it” in the recent past. Most people are too polite to comment on the bruise on your neck, but one of your friends will point it out. You will have to tell the story of how you ended up having that love bruise on your neck. It can get embarrassing.
Why do Boys (and girls, too) Give Hickeys?
That strange little mark can be embarrassing and inappropriate in social, professional, or family environments. You can always hide a hickey, but they do take several days to go away. The classic hickey appears on the neck, but it can be anywhere on the body. There is so much debate on how to use your mouth on your love’s neck. There are those who will let light and sensuous kisses cover their neck and others who enjoy rough biting and sucking.
Having a Hickey is traditionally a “younger” person’s thing. But even they have different views on giving and receiving them. There are those who think it is hot, and some who think it is a sexist brand.
- The main reason a guy passes on a love bite is to let others guys know you have someone, or you are “taken.” Hickeys are almost like branding. There are those, however, who think a Hickey is lame. One young man’s opinion, “If I ever see a girl with one it shows me she is trash. I would never degrade my woman like that.”
- Hickeys can be about insecurity. Giving another person a hickey or having a hickey means you are not a “loser.” You might not have “got it,” but you are on your way to “getting it.”
Some guys in high school are so insecure and desire the reputation as a “lover” that they give themselves hickeys. They use some type of suction on their neck and proudly display this mark as a badge of honor. A bit on the sick side, but it happens.
- A Hickey can be a mark of affection or something given in the heat of the moment. It can be very powerful and has different effects on another person.
- Guys often leave passionate marks because, in reality, they want to get you into the bedroom. They mark their “prey” and let them know they want to “mate.” It may not be intended for this purpose, but in the heat of the moment getting it “on” is exactly what a Hickey means.
- Some guys just like sucking a girl’s neck. It’s sexy and powerfully attractive.
- There are guys, and girls, who think hickeys are a beautiful gesture. Some girls love hickeys to show they are desired.
A polite guy or girl will not leave a hickey unless their partner asks or says “harder” when you are kissing her/his neck. The most prevailing opinion is giving a passionate mark in a place where it can’t be seen unless it is for a partner you see all the time.
The majority of 20s something who were recently polled on hickeys did not like receiving them. Most felt that it is not anyone else’s business about their s*x life and walking around with a hickey is an advertisement.
Some did not receive any particular pleasure in giving or receiving hickeys on purpose. Purposely working towards a Hickey is “high school” and irritating. Many sexually active adults see no point in giving or receiving hickeys. There are so much better ways of showing your affection rather than marking your territory with a dark mark.
Although most couples believe that a hickey is sketchy or gross, they also felt that giving or receiving a hickey is completely personal. Hickeys might feel good and give you a “spark,” but the way they look and what they mean is almost tacky. Most would not like to show off a Passionate mark (unless you are a hormonally challenged boy in high school.)
How to Handle that Strange Little Mark
Time is the best cure for a Hickey. You can put a cold spoon on the mark, use toothpaste, or pull the skin around the Hickey taut. Use a coin and push as hard as you can in a spreading motion. Read more details on how to get rid of a hickey.
You can also make excuses about that shouting mark on your neck. Claim you have an insect bite were burned by a curling iron, you play the violin, or you wore your seatbelt too tight. You can also wear a scarf, a sweatshirt with a hood or a turtleneck. Use a green based powder-liquid concealer combination, or tell outrageous stories and lies about how you got the hickey.
The Bottom Line
If you want a Hickey, then go for it. Don’t be surprised, however, if your partner is offended or reacts negatively. If you are giving a hickey for territorial purposes, you need to work out trust issues. An accidental Hickey is not a cause for being irrational. Mistakes happen all the time. Just smile and let the world know you are a sexual creature.
What is the consensus on hickeys? They are awesome to give, but most people say, “Stay away from my neck!”