What Is A Hickey

Some may wonder what's a hickey? People have different opinions about the morality of hickeys. Some compare a hickey to a slightly sadistic form of "branding," while others insist that a hickey is an expression of "true love." While opinions about the ethics of hickeys may be varied and up for debate, how a hickey is given is not.

Essentially, a hickey is a bruise. When the person giving the hickey applies a combination of pressure and suction to the other person's skin (usually on around the neck) for about 30 seconds, small blood vessels are broken. When these small blood vessels (called capillaries) are broken, blood pools under the skin, causing a dark mark to appear on the skin.

Seeing as how some people find receiving a hickey to be offensive, it is important to determine if the receiving party actually wants one. Inflicting a hickey on someone who doesn't want one could be classified as sexual abuse or sexual harassment. Some would even go so far as to compare hickeys to a mild form of sadism.

Since hickeys are essentially bruises, they will heal in time. The healing time depends on the person and the severity of the hickey. A hickey can last from a few days to several weeks. Fair skinned people tend to take longer to heal from a hickey since their bruises are usually more severe. There is nothing that can be done to make a hickey heal faster. However, there are things that can be done to hide one. Your best bet is concealer with green or yellow undertones. If that fails, try a turtleneck. If your partner has given you an unwanted hickey, be sure to have a frank discussion about boundries.