A hickey is a temporary bruise that occurs when one partner sucks/bites on the other's skin for a prolonged period, causing blood to run into the surrounding tissue. The coloring of a hickey can vary depending on how hard the suction/biting is and the recipient's skin tone. Generally, the bruises are initially red in color and then develop into darker, purple blemishes. Hickeys are most commonly used like kissing - as a form of foreplay.
Hickeys may also be known as love bites, passion marks or hater marks.