Once in a while something will pique my curiosity insufferably, and I have to go around asking everone about what they think or know about it. Today, the topic is hickeys. The questions (1) Why do people give hickeys? and (2) what demographic groups practice hickey-giving?

(2) To me, the only people I know who give hickeys to each other are American teenagers? A cursory googling shows that it’s mostly discussed on teenager websites in English. Do teenagers in Germany or China or Peru give each other hickeys? Or college students? Or retirees?

(1) Why? what’s the point? Is it simply a badge of kiss-and-tell? A conservation starter about you having engaged in some sort of hanky, if not full panky? Apparently they can be painful. In spite of having been a teenager in no less than three American high schools, I never gave or received a hickey. I never knew what they were, until I was a junior, and one of my friends was very self consciously tugging the collar of the shirt trying to keep it up.
“What are you doing?”
“George [her boyfriend] gave me hickey,” she rolled down the collar.
I didn’t really get a satisfactory answer then, and the topic came up recently. So I’m curious about it again. If y’all have any insight, especially if you didn’t go to an American high school, please share it with me. Thanks.


2 thoughts on “Hickeys

  1. Pingback: Malcolm Gladwell « Fishface

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