Advice

Cinema Sutra: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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The movie: I think you know the story, but in this 1992 film rendition we have Sadie Frost as Lucy Westerna, the vamp’s tramp, and Winona Ryder as Mina, the innocent visitor to Drac’s castle who reminds him a little too much of his long-dead lover.

The scene: In this extended clip, you get Dracula as a wolf howling to the poon (forgive me), then getting busy with Sadie al fresco while an aghast Winona looks on. And don’t worry; we’re not advising anyone to actually bite into anyone else’s neck, but if you were hoping to give a special someone a little Halloween hickey, here’s how.

What you need:

• a willing neck
• pursed peckers
• good Hoover action

The mechanics: Some years ago, a writer on these very virtual pages said of hickeys:

Such a marker, such a brand, more symbolic and defiant even than a tattoo: a hickey says, I’ve been messing around and I’m not afraid to show it, not to mention that I’m also rather crass and probably in deep economic hardship and I’m not afraid to show that either. I remember in high school proud Camaro-drivers in the locker room describing to us, their captive audience of weenies, the necklaces of hickeys they had left on their loved ones the night before in the church parking lot. I remember seeing enormous, purplebrownorangecrimson splotches like phantasmagoric blood-sucking sea flowers grafted onto the necks of my P.E. mates. I heard tales of initials being spelled on asses, of hearts crudely sketched, of yellow and brick-colored roads leading from clavicle to cunny, left by the champing lips of rear-seat Romeos. And I thought, “This is romance.”

Obviously this writer was unaware that one of the joys of autumn is knowing you can leave a grody-ass hickey on your lover’s neck and she or he can cover it up with a season-appropriate turtleneck. Not much recompense for the snow and sleet, but it’s something.

For those of you who have yet to leave your marks, to plant a fleshly “You’re mine!” all you need to do is purse your lips into a little oval, press them to a bit of skin, and suck pretty hard for upwards of thirty seconds. Technically a hickey is made by breaking little capillaries below the skin’s surface, so depending on the spot you pick, it will be harder or easier. (The neck is especially easy.) Here are a few more things you’ll want to remember:

1) Make sure the recipient is willing. An unwelcome hickey can be embarrassing in the extreme. Marked for a week can easily lead to scarred for life.

2) If you’re going for the neck, stay close to the clavicle bones. Too high up on the neck and no turtleneck in the world can hide it.

3) Put the letters backward for mirror viewing. Sure it’s nice to leave your initials behind to scare off potential interlopers, but if you want to leave a message for your kiss-ee, remember that they’ll be seeing it in a mirror, so you’ve got to write the letters flipped and re-ordered back to front.

4) Try the nibble variant. Here a small amount of skin is clenched in the teeth in a gentle bite and then sucked. The bite adds a nice element to the conventional hickey, but beware of anything more than love nips. Chomps that break the skin hurt like hell!

Lesson we learn: It’s good to be a vampire, except for that whole eternal-life-missing-your-long-dead-beloved thing, as Gary Oldham’s character demonstrates. In reality, the softcore vampirism of hickies is a mixed blessing: pretty funny when they first happen, a little annoying when they don’t go away in a few days (not unlike a lot of dates I’ve had).

Honestly, I think the neck is about the last place you’d want to give or have a hickey; the chance for discovery is too great, while almost anywhere else on the body can remain a secret between the nibbler and taker. And, hey, if a little subcutaneous blood flow can help my partner know I care, then I’m all for it.

Click here to read — and learn — more in Nerve’s Hollywood Sex Scene Database.