I remember the first time I ever got a hickey.
I was five years old and I sucked on the top of a jar for far too long. Eventually, when I unlatched myself, there was a bright red ring around my mouth for the rest of the day. Granted, I didn’t know how much of a sex symbol it was back then, and until I turned sixteen, I had no idea how to even give one.
I'd always hear people talk about that girl with the red marks all over her neck in school, but I never knew how someone could do that. That all changed when I met my first boyfriend at sixteen. The first time we met was also when I had my first kiss. So, as you can imagine, I was still mystified by the idea of getting a hickey, a fact that I made clear to him during one of our woodland adventures.
On that day, he made it his sole mission to give me my first hickey. I asked him if it was supposed to hurt, and in all honesty, I don’t think I ever got an answer. He pushed me against a tree and began to make out with me. Slowly, he made his way down to my neck as he continued to leave a trail of soft pecks. I felt him begin to suck on the smooth flesh. Suddenly, I understood why all of my girlfriends loved being branded.
After a minute, he pulled away to examine his work. He didn’t see anything yet, so he went back at it.
“I see something now!” he shouted in victory after another five minutes. He asked me if I wanted to give it a try, so we switched positions. I tried to mimic what he did to me and, based on the sounds he was making, I was doing a good job. I really wanted to put 'giving a hickey' down in my book of accomplishments, so I spent just as long as he did. As I pulled away, he took out his phone and examined my work. “Oh shit, it’s so fucking dark,” he said.
It turns out, he had his sister’s wedding to go to in three days, which he hadn't told me about. He turned to look at me and covered his mouth. As he showed me my reflection, I saw now that the “little something” he left on me was a huge black blotch covering up a good portion of the side of my neck. We made the quick decision to dash to Walmart for some cover-up and jumped into his car.
“Have you ever bought cover-up before?” I asked him. He shook his head no, but told me that apparently Covergirl was what all his friends used. After what seemed like an hour to find my shade on the swatches, we paid and made our way over to my friend’s house, hoping that she could hide this atrocity. With one look, she started laughing hysterically as she took me into her backyard and began her work. She took the bottle and began to apply it to my neck.
“Did you pick this out or did Rob?” she asked. I pointed to him.
“For gay guys, you don’t know shit about makeup,” she said as she showed me my now-discolored neck. She left to go get some makeup remover and her own cover-up. She covered up the hickey as best as she could, but the black was still visible from underneath. I had to slap Rob when he started laughing at what he did to me.
It wasn’t easy, breezy or beautiful, but sleazy, skanky and downright nasty.