This story was updated in January 2019.
‘Leave your mark, just leave your mark on me’
If you’ve got a dirty mind, you’ll know exactly which mark Jessie Baylin was referring to. Yes, we’ve all had a heated night of lovemaking after which we woke up with love bites all over. There is just something so intimate and vulnerable about letting your partner mark you in the most basic way.
Hickeys, like most things in life, divide people into two groups with opposing views. However, if you happen to love giving hickeys or if you’ve recently found out that your partner is a fan of the same and actually loves the little marks you leave around their body, we’re here to help you out. From ‘how to give a hickey’ to ‘how to get rid of hickey’, we’ve got it all covered for you. So before you jump into bed, read this to better your skills!
What Causes A Hickey?
No matter what you choose to call it, at the end of the day, a hickey is a bruise caused by biting, sucking or aggressively kissing the skin, usually around the neck or shoulders. It happens because the sucking of the skin can cause superficial blood vessels, called capillaries, to rupture which makes the blood flow into the surrounding tissue. The size of the bruise actually depends on the trauma on the capillaries, how many were affected and the time it took for the blood to clot. Sounds painful, doesn’t it?
How Long Do Hickeys Last?
Anyone who has ever gotten a hickey knows that their biggest concern is how long it’ll last, and god knows, it’s there for too long, begging for everyone’s attention! *Wink*
Hickeys are temporary and they rarely leave a permanent scar behind. Since it’s a bruise, it takes its own time to heal, which can range anywhere from 5 to 10 days, depending on the size. Also, initially the mark is blaringly red but as it heals, it turns blue or purple.
Some hickeys, however, may take a longer time to heal. This happens because of two factors. First, if the hickey is too severe and a lot of damage is done to the blood vessels, it’ll take some time for it to completely fade away. Your personal health is the second factor that determines how long the hickey lasts. The healthier you are, the faster it’ll fade since a lack of certain vitamins and iron makes it easier for you to bruise.
Why Do Some People Enjoy Marking Their Partner?
Hickeys have always been a controversial subject since some people enjoy giving and receiving hickeys while others are completely against the idea of being marked as if they were somebody else’s property. While we’re undecided about these ‘little marks of love’ here are some reasons why people love ‘love bites’.
- It is a sign of the good, rather great, time you had with your partner. A little reminder of a night of passion never hurt anybody!
- Some people like to claim their partners and what better way to do that than to leave a mark? With this, the world will know you’re with someone because hickey is a huge sign of trust.
- A lot of people find it extremely hot since it is a little souvenir from a night of romping in the sack.
- It makes some people feel more desired as they are able to make their partner lose control in the most primal way.
How To Give A Hickey?
Giving a hickey is actually pretty simple if you know what you’re doing. In fact, it can be quite fun to give or receive one, if you’re down for it. But if you’re still confused, let us help you nail the technicalities of it.
- Don’t Be Too Direct
Just because this involves a bit of bruising and blood, it’s not a battle and you don’t need to attack your partner. Start by setting the mood and kissing your partner. More often than not, hickeys are unplanned and happen in the heat of the moment. Most people don’t even realize that they’ve gotten one. So start by trailing kisses around your partner’s sensitive areas like the neck or the shoulder before you plan to get down and dirty.
- Choose Where You Want It To Be
It’s easier to bruise sensitive areas like the neck, collarbone or around the breasts than it is to give a mark to the other areas. So if you’re a first timer who wants to master the art of marking your partner, start with these areas initially. Also, check with your partner where they’re okay with because they might not want a hickey that’s at an obvious place.
- Use Your Lips Well
If you wonder how to give a hickey, we are here to help you. Imagine making the letter ‘O’ with your lips and then place it on your intended area. Make sure you press your lips firmly on the area and create a suction to create a good seal so that no air can escape or enter. But instead of being too hard on the skin, go soft. It will create the same effect and you won’t break any skin. Pro Tip: Use chapstick for softer lips. Having dry and chapped lips is not only a huge turn-off, but it can also be quite uncomfortable too.
- Suck Well
The key to giving a good hickey is to suck hard enough to break the blood vessels but not hard enough to hurt your partner. Sucking for around 20-30 seconds will achieve what you’ve set out to do pretty effectively. You can also break it into sessions if you feel 30 seconds is too long. Two sessions of 15 seconds each with a break will also do the job well.
- Don’t Use Your Teeth
Just because it is a love bite does not mean you have to bite your partner, so keep your teeth well out of the way. You’re a human after all, not a vampire. Also, biting down too hard can break the skin and hurt your partner a lot so avoid that at all costs. Even if you decide to use your teeth, nibble lightly instead of a full-blown bite.
- Mix Things Up A Little
Experiment with a few different things to actually see what your partner likes. Start by sucking gently while moving your tongue around on the area and then escalate to sucking a little harder. Keep track of your partner’s reaction to see if they’re actually enjoying it or not.
- Don’t Be Sloppy
Don’t slobber over your partner, please. You want to leave them with a mark of your passion not dripping in saliva!
- End It Smoothly
When you’ve done the job well, in your mind, end it smoothly. Since the area is already a little sensitive, kiss the mark a few times and continue making out like you were. For instance, if you gave her a hickey on her neck then kiss the mark once and slowly move your lips up or down her body as you’d like and continue the hot love making sesh! Another great tip is to blow lightly on the sensitive area, it’s so sensual and such a turn-on!
- You Can Always Make It Darker
The mark take a few minutes to show up just like any other bruise would. So don’t keep at it for a long time. Wait for some time, about five to seven minutes, for the mark to show up and once it does, you can choose to make it darker or let it be as it is. Depending on the bruise, it could be anywhere from light pink to purple. If you do wish to make it darker, just repeat the 30-second process all over again
- Stop As Soon As You Are Asked To
Remember, it is your partner’s body you are marking so you need to be extra respectful of their wishes. If they are uncomfortable and ask you to stop, do so immediately. You might want to continue or make it darker but in this case, it is their way or highway!
How To Hide Or Get Rid Of A Hickey?
Even though the best way to get rid of a hickey is by not getting one, we all get carried away in the heat of the moment. But you can’t turn up at your place with a huge bruise on your neck, obviously. Your mother, who misses nothing, is going to spot it and then all hell will break loose. In another scenario, imagine turning up to work with a huge love mark on your neck completely visible. Neither does it reflect well on you professionally nor does it give you the ‘cool’ feel you were aiming for. Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered too, know how to get rid of hickey a night before.
- Using A Cold Compress
Applying something cold to the area while the bruise is developing is actually one of the most effective ways to prevent it. You could use some ice, a frozen spoon or a cold press. Doing this prevents redness and swelling and rubbing something cold on the bruise can also help break up any of the congealed blood. This method is best for the first 48 hours of getting the mark.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is an answer to most of our beauty problems and it is a damn good answer to this one as well. Since it is a natural moisturiser, apply it over the bruise in a thick layer for about 10 minutes and then wipe it off. If you do this twice a day, you’ll see results very quickly.
- Hold A Banana Peel To It
We were surprised by this solution too but turns out that's how to get rid of hickey easyily. The inside of a ripe banana peel helps to cool the area around the hickey. Apply it for 10 to 30 minutes and repeat this two to three times a day.
- Use Some Vitamin C & K
A lack of vitamin C and K can actually make you more prone to bruising so it is advisable to up your intake of them. Vitamin K, especially, helps the body absorb clots of pooled blood including the one around the hickey. So eat your greens girls, including kale, spinach and broccoli. If you’d known as a child that spinach helped get rid of hickeys, you wouldn’t have given your mom any trouble!
- Brush It Out With A Toothbrush
With a super soft bristled brush, go over the bruise lightly to promote blood circulation around the mark. Use very little pressure, working the bristles in different directions to spread the clotted blood.
- Apply Some Heat
If the hickey is still prominent and showing after 48 hours, then you should use some heat on it. Use a warm tissue or compress on the area. The heat will increase the blood flow to the area, helping the healing process. But an important thing to remember is to never to apply the heat to the area for more than 20 minutes and between two sessions, you need to give your skin time to cool down so that it doesn’t burn.
- Using A Concealer
If you aren’t big on home remedies and don’t want to go through the hassle, a little concealer will sort you out. A yellow colour correcting concealer will work the best since it will help cancel out the bluish-purple bruise. Just blend it around the edges and you’re good to go.
- Use A Scarf
If worst comes to worst and nothing else works, just use the most effective way of hiding it - scarves, turtlenecks or a collared shirt. Use them wisely because everyone will know what’s up if you turn up in the middle of June with a scarf around your neck.
Are Hickeys Actually Dangerous?
It may seem like a harmless bruise but it’ll surprise you to know that hickeys can, in reality, be more dangerous than you expected. Here are some lesser-known dangers of this ultimate mark of passion.
- Hickeys Can Pass You The Oral Herpes Virus
One of the most important things to remember about sex is to practice it safely. Most people tend to forget that in the heat of the moment. If your partner has an open sore and causes a deep breakage in the skin, the virus could actually be passed to you. In fact, if your partner is having an oral herpes break out, you might as well avoid sexual contact till it’s healed.
- Some Hickeys Do Leave A Scar
Haha! So you thought it was temporary! In some cases, depending on the depth of the bruise and lightness of your skin, the hickey can leave behind a permanent mark. You’ll make it all worse if you constantly touch and pick at the hickey.
- Hickeys Have Been Known To Cause Strokes
In two separate cases, a boy from Mexico and a woman from Australia actually died due to hickey-induced strokes. It happened because the love bite was too deep, causing serious damage. In such cases, the blood flow to the brain then gets blocked causing something like a fatal stroke. While these cases are extremely rare, it is important to remember this fact when you think your partner is being too sucky! *Mentally cringing so hard*
Have You Had A Conversation With Your Partner?
It may seem to cool to you to give, or receive, a hickey, your partner needs to be on the same page as you. Some people are not comfortable with a semi-permanent mark on their body. A lot of people see love bites as one partner marking his/her territory and they aren’t on-board with the idea of claiming your partner with something like ‘a mark of love’. This is why it is important to talk to your partner and find out exactly where they stand when it comes to a love bite that THEY will have on THEIR bodies for days to come. Just like any other sexual act, mutual consent is of utmost importance.
Things You Didn’t Know About Hickeys
- People With Iron Deficiency Get Hickeys Quickly
Just like with Vitamin K, if your body has lower levels of iron, you’ll bruise easier than normal. It’ll also be harder for you to get rid of the mark and it’ll be darker than usual. All the more reason to finish up those greens, isn’t it?
- Dreaming About Hickeys Have No Sexual Connotations
Surprising, but yes. If you dream about hickeys, it has nothing to do with your desire to have sex or go down and dirty. It usually means that either you’re stuck in a toxic relationship you can’t find an escape from, or your head and heart are in conflict over a decision you made.
- They Were Mentioned In Kama Sutra
It feels like Kama Sutra has already covered everything you’d ever want to experiment with when it comes to sex. So it comes as no surprise that Kama Sutra mentions love bites too! In fact, the book referred to love bites as ‘coral and jewel’ where the lips are the coral and the teeth are the jewels.
- Scientific Evidence Proves Hickeys Began In The Animal Kingdom
A psychologist born in the 1800s, Havelock Ellis, studied mammals for the academic journal Studies In Psychology Of Sex. He noted that the male ones nibbled the neck of the females before mating. This was usually done instinctively and was a sign of male domination. While his study was based on heteronormativity, we now know that hickeys aren’t a gendered thing!
- There Is No Instant Cure For Hickeys
You know all the cures for hickeys we suggested? Well, they only help to speed up the healing process or make the bruise a little lighter. There is no known cure for hickeys that’ll get rid of it immediately. In this case, like most others, prevention is better than cure.
Actors And Actresses Spotted With Hickeys
While we may be scared to turn up to our workplaces with hickeys, imagine turning up in front of all of the media supporting a hickey and being completely unaffected by that. Yes, a lot of celebrities have stepped out and been photographed with love bites and they looked as cool as cucumbers doing it. Could that also be a reason why so many of us think it’s fun to give our partners hickeys? Or maybe they didn't know how to rid of hickey.
- Saif Ali Khan
Once, a leading daily photographed Saif with a tell-tale mark of a night of lovemaking when he was changing for a dance reality show. It was when he was dating Kareena and the mark was pretty obvious while Saif did nothing to hide it.
- Kareena Kapoor Khan
Looks like the Nawab and the Begum are both fonds of marking their territories. Kareena too stepped out in a backless white dress with nail marks and bites on her back around the same time Saif was spotted with the hickey. Seems like the couple is pretty feisty in bed.
- Katrina Kaif
While dating Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina was spotted with a mark that looked a lot like a hickey behind her ears by the paps. She tried to (unsuccessfully) hide the mark and answered no questions about it. Imagine been grilled about a love bite. Smart of her to not answer!
- Shah Rukh Khan
When leaving for a shooting schedule in Dubai for Happy New Year, the usually shy Badhshah of romance had a very red love bite on his neck.
Image: Daily Motion
- Ali Fazal
During an event for Fukrey Returns, an obviously elated Ali stepped out in a sexy leather jacket and a love bite nobody could miss. We wonder if it was a gift from Richa Chaddha.
Image: Giphy, Shutterstock
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