I know I’m a vampire, but I don’t have a regular donor – how can I feed?
You are probably automatically draining anybody and anything that isn’t shielded from it already. It’s never enough, though, is it? And it’s never a good thing to be accused by your friends of being a walking black hole, an exhibit of psychodrama, etc. Try these tactics, they are good in a pinch: go to a nightclub and imagine the excitement of the crowd flowing into you; stand against a tree and feel its strength seep into you, tingling as it flows up your spine; breathe deeply and exhale slowly; eat foods rich in prana: raw fruits and veggies, eggs, live culture yoghurt, cheese, fresh milk if you can squirt it out of the cow, goat, whatever; to take the edge off that blood craving, make yourself some Manhattan clam chowder or spaghetti, or drink lots of red drinks, or help yourself to a rare steak. The juice of the latter is mostly water and food colouring, but it has a psychosomatic effect.
I want to date a vampire. Will you help me find one? How can I find a vampire in my area?
You might try socializing in a place that attracts vampires. There are a surprising number of us in the White Wolf role playing community and in the BDSM community, if either of those venues are your cup of tea – or you might try a goth nightclub (warning: not all goths are vamp-friendly, though many are), or a coffee house, or an occult bookstore, or a science fiction convention. Those seem to be our most frequent haunts.
We also have our own personals board at The Vampire/Donor Alliance, and every time we’ve held a list Gathering, at least one pairing has come out of it (not that we’re a matchmaking service. Actually, the Gatherings also often produce some nasty emotional letdown and fallout, I’m not sure why – hopefully this won’t be a continuing pattern! I think they’ve just amplified whatever feelings were lurking under the surface, and there have been some negative ones in the past as well as positive ones.)
What is a vampire?
A vampire is a person who for whatever reason lacks energy – can’t keep it worth a darn. There are various explanations for this, such as a hole in the root or belly chakra or a missing chakra or a vampire entity possessing a human body (I don’t like the thought of that!) or illness or some sort of genetic factor. what it boils down to is that we get hungry, and have to feed. My site has a bit of a bias toward blood-feeding, because I happen to feed on blood and because there needs to be a site which hypes sanguinary safety. It’s quite possible to feed without feeding on blood, but in my opinion, blood is the most efficient way of getting the life energy that we need. “The blood is the life.” Blood carries a great deal of life force. Bloodletting releases that force, as well as a lot of other energy depending on the circumstances. So a vampire is a person who needs to feed on life energy, and frequently (thought not always) finds him or herself craving blood as a result of the hunger.
Isn’t it a cop-out for a person to call theirself a vampire, and then say they don’t need blood?
No. There are several definitions of vampires in the dictionary, including one from the early twentieth century, which refers to a sexually adventurous woman as a vampire. Vampirism is used metaphorically these days to describe any sort of leeching, whether it refer to blood, money, ego strokes, or whatever. We who hunger have just as much right to call ourselves "vampires" as modern day Wiccans have a right to call themselves "witches." I do think, though, that had it not been for the popularization of the vampire in Victorian fiction, Hollywood horror films, then later popular culture, vampirism would not be such a common metaphor, nor would self-identified "vampires" refer to themselves as such. If we had an adjective at all, we’d probably be calling ourselves fey (touched by fate, weird, unusual, a little spooky, associated with the fairies…)
How do you feed?
Either by drawing blood, or by psychically draining life force from a subject. It’s much better to use a willing donor, as this doesn’t raise issues of rape and theft. Blood can be obtained via blade or other methods, and there are several essays about this in the essay section. Energy can be obtained by touch, kiss, bite, martial arts (if you’ve studied aikido or kung fu or tai ch’i, you know the methods involved) or by passively soaking in the ambient energy of a room, magic circle, whatever. Don’t ask me to explain how to passively soak – it’s passive, I don’t know how to do it, it just happens. Getting energy actively produces a lot more energy, though, and it’s usually of a higher quality. We seem to need intimacy and immediacy.
So you’re saying it’s a sex thing?
Not always. It's a lot easier to get blood from an intimate, of course, and for those who feed purely on energy, sex does produce an awful lot of it. Also, intimacy is wonderful, a communion of souls, and who doesn’t crave that? Finally, the feeding process and blood can become fetishized. However, we can feed from other people besides lovers – and do; we can feed outside of sex, and believe me, we do.
How do I become a vampire? Are we turned? Do you embrace people, or what?
"Embrace" is a term from Vampire: The Masquerade (TM). There is no turning, no "dark gift," no "crossing over." Either you are a vampire, or you aren’t. Since vampirism isn't exactly the sort of thing that people talk about at the dinner table, it being a sort of fruitcake kind of thing (I don’t like fruitcake, do you?) a lot of people don’t know that they have this tendency until they encounter another vampire or have a dramatic, earth-shattering experience that makes them suddenly aware of that which they’ve repressed all their lives. I don't like to use the term "awakening," myself, because it’s twee, but it’s a lot more accurate than "turned."
Why are you so down on vampire cults and lifestylers?
First of all, I’m not down on lifestylers. Many non-lifestylers are, because they were snubbed and it’s a case of sour grapes, but I personally find the vampyre lifestyle fascinating. The reason that my own group doesn’t cater to the lifestyle is that there are so many organizations out there for lifestylers, so many websites, and then there’s the club scene which is pretty much based on lifestyling. The lifestylers have plenty of support – outsiders don’t. By "lifestyling" I refer to vampires who dress gothic, have access to the clubs and frequent them, belong to households or clans, and follow a code such as the "long black veil." There are people within the Sanguinarium and other large umbrella organizations who dress as vampires, show a sort of Victorian etiquette, and stay up all night, but who don’t really consider themselves vampires – they’re called lifestylers too, and that’s kind of confusing, so I figured I’d explain my terminology. I think the fashion victims are okay too.
What are the different types of vampires?
There aren’t really any. There are people who believe that they are "vampire souls trapped in human bodies," "otherkin," or mutants. I’ll leave that up for debate until there’s some actual proof of any of this actually existing; I am perfectly willing to waltz into a DNA testing laboratory and have my chomosomes compared to those of a self-confessed "Fae," "star seed," or "nephilim," and if their chomosomes really are different, I’ll end my disbelief. Ditto for the "viral" form of vampirism, which I don’t believe in. (Any virus spread by intimate contact that simultaneously confers immune problems, craving for blood or life force, and yet also psychic powers and slow aging would have been jumped on by the scientific community and the media long before now, if it existed. People would want to bottle it up and sell it in a jar. Prove to me that it exists and we’ll talk. But I have yet to see proof.)
I won’t even dignify theories of "dhampiri," "nighttimers," "inheritors," "classicals," etc. with a comment. Basically, there are only two types of vampire: the kind that drink blood, and the kind that don’t. Since blood is a carrier for what the non-sanguinarian vampires drink, rather than a raison d’etre for vampirism itself, that difference is pretty artificial too, mostly just good for establishing what the relationship is going to be like with a potential donor ("are you going to whip out a razor on me, or just make me oversleep every morning?")
Do you change into a bat?
Oh, get real.
Don’t you know that there are all sorts of diseases out there like AIDS, and it’s really unsafe to live the way you do?
We are aware. There are several essays on my site about safer feeding techniques, although what it basically boils down to is how much you trust a given donor with your life, and how valuable you consider your life to be. Hepatitis, HIV, etc do not show up during the incubation period, which is when they are most contagious, so even a negative test result is no real assurance that your donor is safe. Drinking from strangers is NOT recommended. On the other hand, just because we are in a high risk group does not automatically make us icky, dirty, diseased, and tainted. What a Puritanical society we still live in…
Is this an occult thing?
Most of the people who actually come out and say, "I’m a vampire," are probably into occult philosophy, New Ageism, witchcraft, etc. There are probably vampires out there who aren’t, but they aren’t likely to actually sit down and say to themselves, "Hmm. I think I’m a vampire." See the above comment about fruitcake.