Are Passion Marks Still a Thing?

young attractive woman with large passion mark on he neck
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Claude2


Are Passion Marks Still a Thing?


Passion marks, also known as hickeys or love bites, have a long history as symbols of amorous affection. The practice of sucking or biting a partner’s skin to leave a temporary bruise-like mark likely dates back centuries, though its exact origins are unknown.

In the past, passion marks carried complex social meanings. They could signify a couple’s intimate bond, but also served as visible evidence of taboo sexual behaviors. This made them controversial, especially for unmarried women who risked social ruin if their passion marks were seen. Still, some people viewed passion marks as fashionable, applying cosmetics to mimic the look.

Attitudes towards passion marks began to shift in the 1960s and 70s as social views on sexuality grew more liberal. The marks became associated with youth culture and casual intimacy. By the 1990s, passion marks were commonplace, especially among teens and young adults. They were no longer seen as scandalous, though some conservative groups still frowned upon them.

Today, passion marks remain an intimate practice between couples. However, social norms have heavily relaxed around their acceptability. Most people in Western cultures do not view hickeys as inappropriate or shameful as long as they are kept private or discreet. Some creative individuals even see passion marks as an opportunity for intimate body art.

Among young people, passion marks can signify a new relationship or casual fling. The marked person may proudly display it amongst friends as a sign of their romantic encounters. However, hickeys may still be seen as unprofessional in workplace settings. Some individuals cover them with makeup or clothing to avoid judgment.

Passion marks carry less significance in long-term relationships. Married couples tend to view passion marks as a spontaneous part of foreplay, not as symbols of commitment. In fact, some see hickeys as immature remnants of adolescent romance. Still, couples may indulge in passion marks as acts of nostalgia or playfulness.

While passion marks are no longer shocking, public perceptions depend on their placement and severity. Small, hidden hickeys are generally more accepted than large, obvious ones which may be viewed as vulgar or overly aggressive. Couples often aim to leave subtler marks that can be concealed if desired.

Overall, passion marks remain an intimate practice that now occurs within a more open cultural backdrop. Their meaning varies between individuals and relationships. But despite shifting social norms, passion marks still bear connotations of desire, playfulness, and transgression. Their visibility pushes boundaries between private intimacy and public decorum. So for those who indulge, passion marks retain their timeless excitement and romantic allure.



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