A ‘lovebite’ is an affectionate sign of love, embrace it

Sucking a neck isn’t just for the vampires in “Twilight.”

Look in my closet and you will see several long, dark blue turtlenecks. These are mainly from my younger days when I didn’t want my parents or classmates to see the mark my high school boyfriend left on my neck. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that hickeys are not a bad thing. Sure some people will judge you, but who cares? If you had a good time and received pleasure from that little purple bruise, then wear it with pride.

There has always been a stigma around hickeys and the people who have them. When walking by someone, you may feel their eyes on your neck, chest, or wherever you have broken capillaries.

Hickeys should be celebrated, not stigmatized. Having a mark on your neck means that you were shown love, which there isn’t enough of in the world already.

Many are quick to assume that you’ve recently had sex or that you have a controlling partner that just wanted to “leave their mark.” This is not always the case. It’s very possible that you have only one partner (if you have more, then that’s fine too, go you) or that you just like the feel and look of themMost people have sex, so it doesn’t have to be a secret.

People are going to judge you no matter what you do, including sporting a hickey. Lots of people will find them trashy and disrespectful, especially if you have more than one.

Of course, if you’re going to a job interview or meeting your partner’s parents, then some concealer might be a good idea. However, if you’re just going about your everyday life, then you should stop covering them up. Even when going to church you can just sit in the back, if necessary.

There are lots of people who don’t like hickeys for many reasons, which is also fine. But if the only reason you don’t like hickeys is that you think others may find it tasteless, then you should stop hiding them and start expressing them. Wear them as a badge of honor. You had a good time – let the world know it. So, throw out those turtlenecks, get rid of those scarves and save that concealer for when you’re going to a party.

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.