Sexy Time: What’s The Deal with Hickeys?

hickey.jpg[For many of us, sex and college go together like Uggs and snow – you can’t have one without the other. So, we brought in one of Berkeley’s finest sex columnists, Elizabeth, to start a dialogue about the topic (and act) that is very near and dear to our hearts. Every Thursday she will get your day goin’ with a little somethin’ somethin’ that’s on her mind.]

Hickeys are freakin’ weird. Seriously, think about it. A guy sucks on your neck until you have a bruise the size of a silver dollar, and somehow it’s “sexy” and “romantic”?

Under any other circumstances, a guy giving you a bruise is reason to press charges. What makes hickeys the exception? And why must he insist on giving them?

Granted, I’m not just blaming the guy – nine times out of ten, hickeys are complete accidents. Most people understand that nothing screams “I’M A SKANK!!” more than a giant red disfigurement on your neck. But what about the ones that are just a little toooo obvious? Two days ago, my friend Megan came home so hickey-ed that she may have very well been mauled by a small dog. What compelled Mr. Let’s Make Out Behind the Stadium to burden her with such a mark?

Reason #1: Branding. Not gonna lie, I’ve been the culprit of the tricky hickey. In high school I was hooking up with this guy on the basketball team that insisted on keeping it a secret. When he pulled off his warm ups at the biggest game of the season that year, it was definitely not a secret anymore. This may be a reason why guys give hickeys – they’re marking their territory. Hey, at least he’s not peeing on you.

Reason #2: Flashbacks. Most of us like to think we’re past the innocence of “necking” a la 1950’s high school prom. To some, hickeys are still a playful little blast from the past. I don’t know about you, but a guy’s desire to relive the glory days really doesn’t justify the pain of wearing weather-inappropriate clothing for a week.

Reason #3: Because they can. Jerks.

Reason #4: Pure Enjoyment. The object of your affection may enjoy the feeling of receiving a hickey, which can transform into two separate motives. Firstly, he may just think you enjoy them as much as he does, and wants you to experience that enjoyment. On the other hand, he may just be giving you a hint that he wants it to be his turn. Avoid the whole situation altogether – give the eager beaver a 7 day sex-mark and see how much he enjoys it.



  1. Anna says:

    i totally agree i don't get why people get or give hickeys! like how do you suck on someone that hard without them pulling away? haha

  2. Davis says:

    I dunno, I kinda like hickies. Not every time, obviously, but, hey, hickies happen, so why not revel in them? I only dislike hickies when people do nothing to hide them – wear a scarf! It's not that difficult! Also, if someone does happen to notice, then they know that you have some sense of decency. But I am definitely a fan of the hickey, so long as it's tasteful.

  3. Kelly says:

    I actually get really turned on by a guy kissing my neck… and when you're drunk, it might be a bit more intense then you realize until the next day!

  4. C says:

    I remember getting hickies where it seemed like he was just kissing my neck….the guy doesn't always intend to… but yeah be careful its not fun to dress to cover your neck…

  5. Rachel A. says:

    I love being kissed on the neck, and a little bit of nibble/ suction makes it that much better. Hickeys are not my favorite, but the process really gets me going, so eh.

  6. ela says:

    if dude tried to give me a hickey i would literally punch him in the mouth.

  7. Andrea says:

    My boyfriend actually LOVES receiving hickeys. He asks me to cover his chest in them. I asked him about it, he says its a way to remember me when i'm not around.

  8. samantha says:

    I actually like them, a guy kissing my neck is sexy and it feels good…as long as he's not biting it to death then it's fine. I don't think having hickeys is a sign of being a skank, it happens to everyone.

  9. Cassie says:

    Honestly I lovve getting hickies from a guy I'm with. I'm just into the whole biting-type thing I guess, so marks of "what happened last night" are great ways for me to remember and hold onto the pain/pleasure cusp…

  10. sara says:

    I basically get hickeys whenever someone LOOKS at my neck, and they're a bitch to hide. I like ones that aren't public, like on my chest or farther back on my neck so my hair can hide it. I like it because I think its sexy he's "marking his territory" and calling me his

  11. Jill says:

    Usually when I get a hickey, it's by accident, like it's in the heat the moment type of thing. He sees it before I do and is like "Umm..sorry..I think I made a mark…"

    And then I have to try to cover it up with make-up so no one comments on it, because to me, it's embarrassing.

    I don't suck hard enough to ever give him one though…

  12. Erin says:

    Why do you have to call people a skank if they like hikies? That's why people get embarrassed when they have one…seriously people should be allowed to enjoy themselves without people making rude comments like that. By the way, most guys that I've been with seem to really like hikies!

  13. Erin says:

    Why do you have to call people a skank if they like hickies? That's why people get embarrassed when they have one…seriously people should be allowed to enjoy themselves without people making rude comments like that. By the way, most guys that I've been with seem to really like hickies!

  14. Skye says:

    seriously i like hickies as long as they are below the neck line, nothing sexier than my man leaving a hicky on my thigh or lower stomach as long as its not the last for a week purple kind.

  15. Zach says:

    So yeah… I've been single for a while and all, but I've had my fair share of hickeys (also given my fair share). I never did it on purpose, nor did I ever receive one on purpose. Any time it's ever happened, it's been because my partner and I were caught up in the moment, and enjoying very sensual exchanges of neck kissing in the process.

    Personally, I love the way neck kisses feel, and I love giving them. There's something about the neck that is so beautiful, and deserves special attention, I feel… it's just a shame that it's so sensitive and easy to accidentally bruise.

    Ah, necking… one of the many things I miss about having a decent relationship.

  16. Dave says:

    ^ ahah yeah agree with Zach here.

    Plus I'm guilty of #1. :P I guess it was more of a high school thing but when you're in a budding relationship with someone and your friends see you around each other and everyone prods at you two asking about your relationship there's no better way to get everyone to ease off other than accidentally having someone see a hickey.

    You forgot to mention one reason as well.. I've met a few people who wanted hickeys to stir up trouble with their parents.. but again.. that is kinda a (junior)high school thing.

    Lol the #2 reason makes me imagine two really old people.. I don't have any memories of the 50's and I don't think I'd help someone that was necking in the 50's relive their memories by giving them a hickey. Just what it makes me think of using flashbacks as a reason :P

  17. Alison says:

    i loved being kissed on the neck. its so sensual n for me a major turn on. as long as i can either easily cover it up with makeup or its covered by clothing easily i dont mind hickies

  18. LaLa says:

    Hmm Hickeys aren't all that bad. To ME it is very sensual. but the science of it is… that some is biting your neck so hard they biting into your blood vessels. anyhoo. I like 'em but I dont ask fo 'em.


  19. Gem says:

    I think hickeys are hot… long as you don't have to show them off to the world. My guy likes to give them. Whether it is to "brand" me or the fact that he just thinks its hot….I don't know. He gave me one on my neck once and I told him to never do it again cause I think having a visible hickey is like saying "hey everyone….I'm getting some". He likes to give them other places as well and nobody but the two of us is wiser so…..its kinda like a little secret between just the two of us.

  20. kelsey says:

    i love when my boyfriend kisses on my neck and shoulder…i gives me goosebumps all the way to my toes, its never actually left a hickey but either way i would mind as long as its not huge to where its visible either way. id just put a little makeup on it and wear my hair down. but idk, i wouldnt mind a little one. just reminds me of the momentt.

  21. Julie says:

    I don't let my boyfriend give me hickies, but I give him hickies all the time LOL. Its definitely about marking my territory

  22. Becca says:

    I LOVE receiving hickies, and I love giving them. I like the FEELING of it, it's so sensual. I love having my neck sucked on, and so does my guy. I've never tried to hide them, though. I'm not ashamed.. It' s just the result of a hardcore make-out session, god. Who cares? If I've been with a guy for two years, I'm pretty sure I'm not a "skank." Just because YOU don't like them doesn't mean other people don't.

    1. Aki says:

      Thank you!! I don't know why getting or giving hickeys is such a terrible thing, or why a girl who has one (or multiple) is immediately labeled as a "skank." I'm pretty sure those two things don't follow. Our society has a pretty messed up relationship with sex.

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