The O-Face: Beware of hickeys

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Photo credit: Emily Reising

You wake up the next morning and make your way to the bathroom, peeping at yourself in the mirror when you see those big, dark bruises staring back at you from your neck. That’s right, I’m talking hickeys— the unfortunate and dark (pun intended) side of hooking up.

Receiving hickeys can be a fun and enjoyable activity, but the aftermath can be downright scary and highly unattractive. I think we could all agree that hiding hickeys is a pain. Aside from the fact that hickeys are dark and obvious bruises marked on an extremely visible part of our skin, they also force us to awkwardly interact with people who are staring straight at something we badly wish to hide.

Unfortunately (for me anyway), hickeys have become, or maybe always have been, a large part of the hookup culture in college. Sometimes it seems almost like a law that a hookup can only be defined by the hickey that comes along with it. On any given day, especially on Mondays after the weekend, I can spot many people with hickey-covered necks on campus. When I’m sitting in class, I notice them even more, and it’s so typical that it almost seems like a fad all the “cool kids” are doing.

I’m not a fan of walking around with obnoxious marks on my neck, obvious proof of my hookup or the idea of being marked as someone else’s territory. Getting intimate with someone else is a private matter to me, and the consequences of a hickey almost ruins the privacy of the whole matter, revealing to the world exactly what you’ve been up to in your free time.

Maybe I’m too self-conscious and should just learn to own the whole hickey look, or maybe it’s true— hickeys are ugly, plain and simple. While we’re all walking around trying to look our best and catch the eye of those cute guys and gals, it would probably help us out if we had sparkling clean necks. Free of evidence, proof and territorial markings of our previous promiscuous activities.

However, hickeys do come along with passionate, intense, caught-in-the-moment hookups, and who would want to hold back from that? Hickeys might just be unavoidable and, as much as I would love to groan and grumble about them, I don’t think anyone is quite willing to give up the pleasurable process that leads to hickeys.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.