Clearly, I’m all about #throwbacks, with articles about the Renaissance of hand jobs and finger blasts. Something I am not in favor of bringing back, however, is the Age of the Obvious Hickey. Remember when hickeys were a true mark of pride? Your friend would come into school wearing a scarf that phe would then excitedly rip off to show you the purple bruise on their neck. What was the point of the scarf if you were just going to take it off or play with it until everyone in your Algebra II class saw what was on your neck? Regardless, by lunch time, everyone knew.
In college, a hickey can be a source of embarrassment, rather than a brag. “Is that a hickey?!” people will ask you in derision. Scarves or make-up are necessary in class or when meeting with a professor. Don’t even get me started on a visit to the CareerLab. Now, whenever I have a hickey, instead of feeling proud, I feel completely self-conscious.
This is a real hickey I received consensually, not a vampire bite.
This is not to say that getting a hickey is not an enjoyable experience that should be discarded. It can feel very sexy and passionate. However, the key element to the equation is proper hickey etiquette. “Etiquette?” you ask. “That is not a word commonly associated with hooking up or hickeys.” What I mean by hickey etiquette is giving a hickey that can be pleasurable and socially acceptable simultaneously. The most important part of the equation is the size. A hickey doesn’t have to be a tiny dot that could be mistaken for a birthmark, but try not to take over the person’s neck (see above). This step should not be too difficult if you are a normal human. Next, consistency in coloring is key. The less “streaky” the better; it makes it look less like an animal bite. Finally, placement matters. Lower neck, collarbone, or body parts are the best areas, as they can be easily hidden; go higher up and you are getting into harder-to-hide territory.
For those of you who want to try this out, and aren’t sure how, giving a hickey is pretty easy. Let’s break it down in three steps, using our new guidelines:
1. Pick a spot. As I said, lower is better. Doesn’t have to be on the neck either.
2. Make your mouth into an “O.” Suck in for 20-30 seconds. If it feels awkward sucking for that long, you can take a kissing break and come back to the spot later.
3. Admire your work.
As always, make sure you are listening to your partner for what they like and don’t like. If phe loves huge, obvious hickeys, ignore this and go for it. If phe hates them, forgo it. Suck on, Brunonians.