The First Taste

We started with childhood innocence and then we moved to adolescent shame. Now we are getting a little more mature. Since everyone is getting all Halloweenishy, I figured I would, too. So picture two young lovers in the dark one October night. This is what happens the day after at school.

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wanting them to see

wanting everyone to see

bright purple hickies on my neck

wanting everyone to see

that someone could want me that much

that someone would leave proof, undisputed

right there

on my neck.

i wasn’t embarrassed

and refused high collars,

wanting everyone to see

those purple circles

where lips met skin

and tasted blood.

Tell me one of your (real or fictional) acts of adolescent rebellion. Or just tell me about how you feel about hickies. 🙂

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43 thoughts on “The First Taste

  1. I refused to be peer pressured into stealing and smoking and drinking and doing drugs – later I did take up drinking, but it was my decision, and it was my decision to stop (now a glass of wine or a beer is about all I can handle) It would have been easier to just submit to the peer pressure–you take a lot of guff when you do not go along

  2. I remember being so PROUD of my hickeys. I wore them like a badge of honor. Granted I was like 17 at the time I got my first one, so I was not exactly moving at the same rate as my peers.

    Oh yeah and the first time a guy tried to french kiss me (also 17) I didn’t know how to loosen up enough to let his tongue pass my lips. They just wouldn’t move, my teeth would not budge! We tried for a while, but all to no avail.

  3. LOVE this poem, Renee, and it could have been my voice. My high school boyfriend was four years older than I was and I wore our age difference (and my own hickeys) with such self-conscious pride.

    Silly girl.

    Me, not you.

    p.s. I hope you saw my answer to your question on my blog yesterday. My replies haven’t been going to email…ugh. I thought about you the whole time at that conference, though…

    1. Ooooh! You had that older boyfriend. I forgot about him. Yeah, most of my hickies happened during the summer months, when my parents didn’t have to see the mess that was my neck. But it was fun.

      By the way, I didn’t see your response, so I went back to your bloggie and read the answer and send you an email. Such good information! Thank you. One day I will be you.

      Until then, maybe I can just give you a love bite. 😉

  4. This may not surprise you to know, but I never did anything even remotely rebellious my entire adolescence. Kissing in general scared me, right up until college. And I had five brothers who made sure a guy wouldn’t come within 10 feet of me. I was a late bloomer, what can I say. So I was pretty much close to being the world’s oldest virgin. (It’s okay, Tina Fey was, too.)

    1. Actually, it DOES surprise me. I would have thought being up there in Maine that giving each other hickies would be a legitimate pastime. There would possibly even be medals or at least paper plate awards: biggest hickey, smallest hickey, cutest hickey, hickey that most resembled the Virgin Mary. No?

      Well, I admire your five brothers for protecting their li’l sis. I think that is pretty cool. Believe it or not, though I may sound all flirty — and I was — I didn’t get busy until much later than people thought. Much later. Here’s to late bloomers. 😉

  5. Renée, I enjoy your poetry. You write with passion.

    I would have been covered head to toe in hickeys it if would have been my choice, but I was never wanted as an adolescent. I was a very late bloomer. I didn’t hit puberty until my senior year of high school, and no girl in their right mind wanted to be seen with a kid that looked like their little-little brother.
    (college was a completely different story)

    Alas, to this day, I have never had a hickey. My skin is tought to bruise I guess. I am an accomplished hoover though.
    As far as adolescent action/rebellion, it would have to be fictinal for me. *sniff sniff*

          1. Extremely attentive. I felt like I had quite a bit to make up for. My senior year I was short weighed just over 100 pounds, and looked like I was 12. By the time I was in my second year of college, I was 6’0” and 180 pounds.

            Now I’m older, no taller, but 224 pounds with a low body fat percentage. (and still very attentive)

  6. Oh, geez, Renee…this is awesome. It makes me squirmy, remembering my own weird hickey-pride, giggling as I tried to cover it up, both the pride AND the hickey. Except for that one time…

    I worked at resorts during the summer break from high school. Got up to much mischief, away from home, but *mostly* harmless. Until one August night, fooling around with a boy called Jake. Got a HUGE hickey on my neck, one that couldn’t be hidden under a turtleneck or scarf because it was so hot. So, I styled my hair – worn longer then – to drape aroundmy neck so that my parents, who were due to visit the very next day, wouldn’t see.

    They emerged from the car, arms stretched out for hugs and there was much excited chatter and smiles…until a rare breeze lifted my hair and then suddenly, all went silent. All eyes were on me and my neck and I’m pretty sure my dad’s face went as red as mine.
    “What…is…THAT?” he bit out, through clenched teeth.
    “Uh…it’s a hickey. Sorry.” I hung my head now, deflated, ashamed.
    “Who DID this to you?” he roared. (Well maybe he only roared in my head. It was hard to hear him over the mental shrieking)
    ” I did, sir.” Jake stepped forward, nervously. Tentatively stuck out his hand. “I’m Jake. I gave her the hickey.”
    We all stared at him, this brave and foolish boy, as his hand hung in the space between them, waiting. Hopeful, even.
    Reluctantly, my dad took it, shook once and then dropped it, as if burned and then gestured back to me. “Are you proud of this, young man? Is this something you like to see on my daughter’s skin because I assure you, I do not.”
    “No sir. I’m not proud. But I’m proud of her for stopping things before they went further. You should be, too.”

    He was. I was. And Jake got his own hickey later that summer, as a thank you. I was 15…whaddya expect? 😉

    1. “I’m Jake. I gave her the hickey.”


      Thank you, once again, for writing your blog on my page! That is freaking excellent! Now copy & paste and put it on your page. (Or don’t.) We don;t want your father to get upset again. Or your husband. 😉 But seriously, that is rich!

      1. Ha! Yeah, I think this is one post I’ll leave off my blog. 🙂 It’s sorta sad, isn’t it, that a bunch of years later (25 or so…gawd, where does time GO?!) I still don’t wanna bring that memory up for him. Poor dude.

        I however, have spent a lovely afternoon reminiscing…

    1. I was totally into it for one summer. I was like a Hoover. Now if my son ever came home with his neck all purplified, I would not be happy. How’s THAT for a double standard. 😉

      By the way, when I wrote that comment on Gigi’s blog, I think I didn’t convey what I meant to say as well as I meant to say it. It’s probably a bad idea to try to talk on the phone, eat breakfast and write a response at the same time. I promise not to do that again. That was a very thought-provoking post — as usual. And I was glad to see you networking with Gigi. She’s fabulous.

  7. Hickies are one of those staples of adolescence that, once they vanish, they vanish entirely. Just, poof. No interest, at all, ever again. Baffling. A less painful and permanent alternative to actually branding someone, I suppose. At least there’s that.

    1. It is kind of like branding someone. “He’s mine.” These days, I would imagine it appeals to all those vampire lovers. Or something. If my husband tried to give me a hickey now? I can’t even imagine it. It’s that ridiculous. I guess that’s what wedding rings are for. 😉

  8. Hickies for Halloween. Love it! Are they a trick or a treat? Hmmm … I remember enjoying getting hickies, then having massive shame attacks trying to hide them from everyone. Pretty much describes all of my adolescent sexual adventures! 😉 Love, love, love the poetry!

    1. I am so happy you are enjoying my poetry project. I don’t do it every week, but once in a while, yes. Hickies are weird. Back in the day, I’d say they were a treat. But I know my parents though otherwise. And can you even imagine your spouse wanting to give you a hickey now? It’s absurd. 😉

  9. I was always disgusted by hickies, but that may be because I had some weird skin rash that popped up often during the teen years and it would spread all over my neck like red, itchy, blotchy wildfire. I was mortified. All the teasing about the “hickies” didn’t help.

    Boy that sounds mortifyingly uncool when I read it back. Damn.

    1. Hahahaha! I had an absolutely gorgeous friend in college who occasionally broke out in a weird rash. She was very self-conscious about it, but I still gave her hickies. I mean, I still thought she was very beautiful. That wasn’t you, was it? Because that would be weird. 😉

  10. I love the feeling of getting a hickey, but unfortunately the mark is just too ridiculous past high school. Too bad. I got one in university by accident and was seriously mortified. Not to mention pissed at my boyfriend (now husband) for doing it. And would you believe he tried to do it again a month or two ago? I think he thought because I wouldn’t be leaving the house for awhile (I had a baby in August) it would be OK. Like our family and friends who came to visit the new baby wouldn’t notice a giant hickey on the 33 year old woman’s neck who just had her second kid! We’re not in a trailer park here (no offence to any trailer folk, just sayin’).

    1. Your husband tried to brand you? Whaaaaaat? Omigosh, hilarious. I would have paid to have seen the look on your friends’ and familiies’ faces when they saw your giant hickey.

      Actually, the more that I think about it, the more I think it’s kind of hot. Like your husband loves you THAT much, he just can’t help himself. Or something. 😉

  11. I was the rebel of rebels, the leader of the packs. But hickey leaving or getting? No thanks I had standards and rules, one was there will be no marks on my body. Marks came later and those were with closed fists and open hands, I didn’t know how to stop them.

    1. Oh Val. How awful. And terribly ironic. I wanted these marks. It was those other kinds of marks that would have been impossible for me to tolerate. And yet, I know about abuse. About sociopaths and stalkers and rapists: people who leave those invisible marks. Truth be told, I don’t know if I could identify those people even now.

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