Vampirism is a form of paraphilic condition where a person is attracted to the vampire lifestyle. As a sexual lifestyle, vampirism incorporates ideas and practices from the goth and sadomasochism subcultures. This may involve goth clothing, nocturnal body cycles, blood-letting and consumption, and BDSM play. As a modern movement, its linkages include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which made the vampire scene erotic.
Kinkly explains Vampirism
Vampirism, as a sexual lifestyle, can be very exciting. There’s always something thrilling about a mysterious blood-sucker! A vampire moves with such grace and cunning, their mere voice can send chills down one’s spine. It is great to be one, or to be with one. Of course, when it comes to the practice of blood letting and consumption, take it easy. If one has to cut skin, don’t cut too deep. Respect each other’s limits and heed the safe word when uttered. Also, be aware of safety when it comes to consuming blood or biting others.
You’re either here because you’re curious about vampire play and need reassurance you’re not weird, or you’re super confused as to why people are into these things. Either way, don’t worry. We’ll get you sorted.
You can’t kick a head of garlic without hitting something vampire-themed. They’re everywhere – movies, television, books, music, computer games, paintings, comics, opera/theater, and ballet … yep, even ballet.
The fact is, we’ve embedded all things sanguine in our culture WAY before we had the formal kinks and fetishes that are identified now.
WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE VAMPIRES?
Even if they started something as mythologically feral and terrifying, we’ve turned them into the perfect vessel for human longings.
We desire to be beautiful, powerful, intelligent, charismatic, and sometimes feared. We want to be so perfect, and so alluring, that we can get anything or anyone we want with ease – we want to embrace our sexual natures and not have to apologize for it.
On top of that…
We want the freedom to go wild at any time – whether from lust, hunger, or anger – and it’s “acceptable” because it’s in a vampire’s “nature”.
And, let’s not forget about our old friend, Death.
Humans fear the unknows of death, and so it’s no surprise that we feel drawn to things that offer immortality or far more years than we already have.
It’s not just being a vampire. Some people love the idea of being at the mercy of one.
Their sultry natures and “mesmerizing” abilities allow the “prey” to experience sexual bliss without guilt because “they had no choice”. It’s a similar theory to “consensual ravaging role plays”. Women, in particular, are socially condemned for being sexually liberal or something other than a married-off virgin, so for some, going wild with Dracula can be downright cathartic.
We can’t forget the gentlemen out there, who also enjoy being dominated by a powerful man or woman and find that role play is an easier avenue to explore these desires and enter a submissive role.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BLOOD?
Here’s where it gets very tricky.
For obvious reasons, vampire-related kinks and fetishes have found their way into BDSM culture, where outlying or “currently non-normal” bedroom behaviors are embraced and accepted without judgment. That is, of course, as long as they stay safe, sane, and consensual.
But, like any BDSM group, there are sub-groups upon sub-groups, as well as undefined titles or labels that people constantly disagree on.
We CAN safely break it down into two fetish categories…
VAMPIRISM FETISH – The attraction to the vampire lifestyle and mythology.
BLOOD FETISH – A BDSM edge play where someone gets a thrill out of blood.
Is it always sexual?
Are the mutually inclusive?
Someone can love vampire stuff but hate the idea of actual blood or bloodletting. Someone can love bloodletting but not give two frigs about Dracula. There are also people who combine the two.
Is there a right or wrong?
It’s like saying someone who plays basketball every other weekend is more right or wrong than someone who plays baseball once a month or the guy who likes both and does it as much as possible.
Kinks and fetishes are as personal and unique as the person practicing them. The BDSM community loves their labels because it’s easier to find people with similar interests. You’ll know which message board and groups to join. But, past that, you still need to spend time finding people who are compatible.
BUT IT’S BLOOD! EW!
True, and that freaks some people out. But if that’s the case, and the wonderful thing about real BDSM play, if you don’t like it … you don’t have to do it. Plain and simple.
If it’s something you want to try, just know that there are a TON of rules and research you need to do before then. And that’s not even covering all the STI tests you need to do before you even scratch the skin.
NOTE: Blood play is a large topic and better suited for a separate article.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF VAMPIRES
You’ll find all kinds in the spectrum…
Goth or Victorian fashion enthusiasts
Those who live on a nocturnal cycle
Odaxelagnia fetish (love of being bitten)
Those who enjoy “glamoring” (mind control)
Spiritual vampires (who feed off of energy, not blood)
Modern/pop culture lovers
People who enjoy kinky period sex
Full time, lifestyle vampires
The “once in a while” curious
The list goes on
BUT AREN’T THERE DANGERS?
Yes, there are dangers in anything – from practices to people.
There are some people who have problems with unidentified or phycological cravings that aren’t based in BDSM or a sexual nature – sometimes to a violent extent. While people like this will often (and unfortunately) find their way to the community, any dangerous practices immediately omit them in the eyes of others who follow the SSC rules.
Their “kink membership” is essentially/figuratively revoked.
It’s like an abuser using BDSM as an excuse to abuse. They are not, in fact, true BDSM players. These people don’t understand or care about the essential core of the community and join because they think it grants them freedom.
So, if you find yourself trying to figure out the difference, here’s a simple way to know…
Any BDSM or kink practice should involve communication before, during, and after any session.
Limits, triggers, and safe words need to be established ahead of time.
If the safe word is used, play should stop immediately. It doesn’t matter if the “Top/Dominant” agrees or not. In fact, if a safe word is used, the Top should only have concern.
Tops should always look out for and respect the wellbeing of their submissive.
They should also have a thorough understanding of what’s expected – the risks etc.
Both parties should be enjoying the act.
There should be no physical or phycological pressure for someone to do something they don’t want to.
Safety and precautions against diseases and infections should always be at the forefront.
So, if you find someone who’s breaking these rules or just flat out disrespecting them (whether be it casual vampire roleplay or hardcore bloodletting), that person is someone you should distance yourself from immediately.
HOW CAN I EXPLORE THIS FETISH MORE?
There are literally hundreds of websites, probably thousands, dedicated to Vampire fetishes in every extreme. If you want someone dressed as a Twilight character who spanks you every Thursday while licking ketchup off your bum, there’s probably a forum out there that will welcome you.
It’s just a matter of reading, exploring, surrounding yourself with safe practitioners or mentors, and take the first few baby steps into the night.
But, if you just want some role play ideas for you and your partner to get kinky with one night, that’s okay too.
For some women, their vampire fetishes are less about Edward Cullen and more about bloodsucking, fang BJs, and Vlad the Impaler.ARBy Amber RobertsSeptember 17, 2015, 9:25pm
PHOTO FROM TRUE BLOOD
Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries may have dragged vampires into the glare of mainstream society, but some women are still keeping it real with their darker desires. For these true blue bloodsuckers, having a vampire fetish isn’t about gazing into Edward Cullen’s eyes or holding hands with Eric Northman—it’s about fang blowjobs, Vlad the Impaler, and actually drinking the red stuff.
A quick look on Reddit, Facebook or the kinky social network Fetlife throws up a shit ton of groups dedicated to vampirism and blood fetishes. “I would watch every vampire movie I could ever find or get my hands on when it came on TV,” a Fetlife user called Sirce told me. “As young as I could remember, I had recurring dreams involving vampires, where I met and married Dracula and had vampire children running around. When I hit my teens the dreams changed and became more sexual in nature.”
As she got older, Sirce took her vampirism into the bedroom with one partner. “We’d cut each other on the chest slightly and drink each other’s blood during sex,” she said. “Drinking someone’s blood is very erotic and having your blood being sucked is also very erotic. It was definitely very, very intense.”
There’s even a thriving market for vamp-related fetish gear, sex toys, and porn, which includes the clumsily-titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer Parody XXX. You can purchase a Twilight-inspired dildo, vampire-branded condoms, and a Fleshlight with fangs. Mistress Meana Wolf, a fetish porn star, said that she sells at least five $14.99 vampire clips a day on adult websites like Clips4sale. The description for one video, Fully Drained, reads: “This boy doesn’t stand chance against two hungry vampire princesses.”
Wolf films one new vampire clip a month to keep up with demand. “It’s really really popular,” she said. “All of my vampire clips have been top selling clips on the website.” She goes to great lengths to ensure maximum believability, wearing red contact lenses and fangs, as well as using FX makeup. “I’ll make the fangs grow, kind of like True Blood style—they’re not there and then they kind of pop out.”
MEANA WOLF IN FULL VAMPIRE GEAR FOR A PUBLICITY SHOT. COURTESY OF MEANA WOLF
“For most of my clips, I’ll do a blowjob and things like that but then I’ll always finish up feeding on the victim and that’s amazing. Usually I’ll feed on the neck and genitals. I know my customers love to see my fangs grazing gently up and over a hard cock.”
So how exactly do you negotiate a blowjob with fangs? “It’s a little hard to explain, but I just keep my head tilted back slightly so as to not scratch the cock with my fangs,” she said. “I have nicked a cock before and most prosthetic fangs are sharp enough that the receiver will feel it, but it’s all part of the fun and any injuries are really superficial. Men’s cocks are sensitive but they can take a lot.”
Wolf tells me that she sometimes gets requests for custom videos involving no sexual contact at all—just the feeding. “There’s bloodlust and feeding and biting, which is sexual in itself.”
The longest I have gone without [blood] has been seven months, at which point I could barely think straight because everyone seemed like a meal
Another woman told me that her interest in vampirism and bloodplay had come from a young age. “I’ve been attracted to blood since I was about 13 and I was 15 the first time I partook in blood drinking,” Maggie said. “When I was at school a lot of my friends were quite gothic [sic] and they used to self-harm—it was really difficult for me to deal with because you were watching your very close friends get hurt and at the same time [you] were incredibly aroused by the blood.”
Maggie said that she has gone on to almost become a fully-fledged vampire, albeit one without supernatural powers. She claimed that it was difficult for her to go for long periods without drinking blood (from consensual victims, of course).
“I drink up to three ounces a feeding if I am on a regular schedule,” she said. “The longest I have gone without has been seven months, at which point I could barely think straight because everyone seemed like a meal.”
Her attraction to blood provides a perverse sort of pleasure. “It’s so scary but it’s beautiful,” she explained. “It’s really just this great, powerful, awesome feeling. It’s the consistency, the scent of it, even the fact that people taste different when you cut them in different areas.”
Maggie’s bloodlust has a medical term: clinical vampirism, or Renfield’s Syndrome. Reports of blood drinking and its connection to sexual pleasure have been present in psychiatric literature since at least 1892, predating Bram Stoker’s Dracula by five years.
Unlike the rabid monsters in vampire literature, women like Maggie try to drink blood as safely as possible. Cutting your partner and drinking their blood, especially during intercourse, does have its risks. “You sterilize the blade [and] sterilize the area that you’re going to cut—and you can’t brush your teeth [before] or anything, because if you cut open your gum and are putting blood into your mouth, that’s cause for disease transmission.”
“There are lots of people who really enjoy bloodplay as part of their kink,” said Dr Ian Kerner, a Manhattan sex therapist. “It actually requires a lot of intimacy, safety and regard for your partner, and aftercare.
“Sex is often a very hygienic, manicured experience, we worry about what we’re wearing during sex, how we’re looking, how we smell, how we taste. But in reality, sex is wet, it is sloppy, it is bloody and it can be noisy.” He argued that a vampire fantasy—especially one involving blood—”allows us to embrace the sloppiness and the wetness, all the sensual aspects.”
Vampires feed for survival, but the act of feeding in itself is shrouded in sexual desire.
“We live in a culture where we are so paranoid about fluid exchange, we worry about unsafe sex,” he said. “Getting to dress up as a vampire and play with blood and bathe in blood? What a potent way of subverting that fear.”
This rampant craving and thirst is perhaps one of the things that makes the fantasy so attractive. “Vampires feed for survival, but the act of feeding in itself is shrouded in sexual desire,” Wolf explained. “It gives vampires an intense feeling of satisfaction, even euphoria… Perhaps there is a parallel to orgasming there.” As for the vampire’s victim, isn’t there something to be said for the idea that your body prompts such unbridled lust?
After speaking to several vampire lovers, I found that the creature’s super-human strength and powers were key elements of attraction. One Fetlife user told me of Vlad the Impaler: “I loved his strength. Who else could die and come back as something else? Something strong and deadly.”
Wolf explained that another essential turn-on was the idea of glamoring. Vampire kinksters enjoy the idea of being completely overcome and forced to do something, which Wolf regularly incorporates into her videos. “Vampires have the ability to look you in the eye and tell you to do something and you have to do it—it’s a mind control thing.” The popularity of erotic hypnosis speaks to S&M themes of domination and submission. One Fetlife user described their vampire fetish to me as “the ultimate surrender.”
Being seduced by a vampire and sexually ravished is a very easy, sexy and culturally mainstream way of accessing that submissive role.
“In some ways vampires are just taking S&M further into the world of fantasy and roleplay,” Dr Kerner explained. “The women I talk to who enjoy submission say it’s a chance to explore a taboo that they don’t normally get to explore—many like exploring rape [fantasies]. In some ways, a vampire fantasy could be a [form of] rape fantasy.”
Dr Kerner added some women feel embarassed or ashamed about their fantasies. “Being able to play with a vampire fantasy is also a way to access these submissive roles that might otherwise cause shame,” he said. “Being seduced by a vampire and sexually ravished is a very easy, sexy and culturally mainstream way of accessing that submissive role.”
But it’s equally important to note that not all women fantasize about being the submissive, paralysed victim in their fantasy. Maggie has always drunk her partners’ blood, but never the other way round. She described herself in the bedroom as “a very dominant person and it is a very commanding place I usually come from.”
Vampirism has been around as a form of sex-play for a long, long while. While Dracula is often thought of as the primary depiction of a vampire, there was Carmilla—a gothic novel depicting a lesbian vampire who preys on lonely women—some 25 years before that.
“I think we’ve seen so many sexual portrayals and sexy portrayals of vampires throughout the years that it’s become kind of a cultural archetype,” Dr Kerner adds. A helpful one, too. While I don’t play with blood, I think my younger self probably experienced its sexual awakening thanks to Angel, the broody vampire-with-a-soul off Buffy, and hey—what’s wrong with that?
Ian concurs. “I think fantasies are really positive—vampires provide a quick shorthand for people to shed their inhibitions in the bedroom and enjoy exciting sex. It lets them inhabit roles that they might not otherwise be able to inhabit—I’m all for it.”
The vampire lifestyle, vampire subculture or vampire community (sometimes spelt as “vampyre”) is an alternative lifestyle and subculture based around the mythology of and popular culture based on vampires. Those within the subculture commonly identify with or as vampires, with participants typically taking heavy inspiration from media and pop culture based on vampiric folklore and legend, such as the tabletop role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and the book series The Vampire Chronicles by author Anne Rice. Practices within the vampire community range from blood-drinking from willing donors to organising groups known as ‘houses’ and ‘courts’ of self-identified vampires.
Participants within the subculture range from those who dress as vampires but understand themselves to be human, to those who assert a need to consume either blood or ‘human energy’. Both types of vampires may assert that the consumption of blood or energy (sometimes referred to as auric or pranic energy) is necessary for spiritual or physical nourishment.
Though the vampire subculture has considerable overlap with gothic subculture, the vampire community also has overlap with both therian and otherkin communities, and are considered by some to be a part of both, despite the difference in cultural and historical development.
Types of vampire lifestylers
There are several types of vampire lifestylers.
“Sanguinarians” (sometimes referred to as hematophages) consume the blood of others.
“Psychic vampires” claim to attain nourishment from the aura or pranic energy of others in order to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency, such as a damaged aura or chakra.
“Hybrids” both consume blood and assert that they consume psychic energy.
“Blood donors” willingly allow other members of the subculture to drink their blood, and may or may not exhibit subservience toward those who do.
“Blood fetishists” use blood as a stimulant or sexual fetish, sometimes drinking it during the course of sadomasochistic sex.
“Role-players” acknowledge that they are human beings. Williams states that they may “dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in RPGs such as Vampire: The Masquerade“.
Explanations for blood-drinking
Renfield syndrome is a clinical condition marked by a fixation on blood or blood-drinking.
Sex researchers have also documented cases of people with sexual (paraphilic) vampirism and autovampirism. However, not all participants in modern vampire subcultures display a link between the vampire lifestyle and their sexual behaviour.
Some self-proclaimed Christian vampire slayers have arisen in response to the vampire subculture. Online, they swarm vampire websites with hate mail and participate in other similar activities.
Tracey Wigginton gained the nickname “The Lesbian Vampire Killer” in 1989, after committing the murder of a man, purportedly to drink his blood. Other crimes have been committed by people believing themselves to be vampires, such as Rod Ferrell, a murderer, and Jonathon Sharkey, who has repeatedly threatened public officials and harassed underage girls.
Heads up: Some of the descriptions in this article are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers. And while we fully encourage exploration and experimentation, we also endorse educating yourself about any techniques you’re looking to try to ensure safety.
Whether we’re talking about broken hymens or navigating the ins and outs of period sex, blood and sex have an undeniable connection. And, for some people, this connection is specifically what gets them off. They enjoy what is known as blood play or a blood fetish.”
Blood fetishes are a form of edgeplay, or extreme BDSM sexual behavior that’s thought to be more dangerous than other kinds of fetishes, and they’re considered particularly taboo. These fetishes can involve cutting one another open with sharp knives (knife play) or surgical instruments, and they can also entail smearing blood across a lover’s body or on objects, drinking blood, or just enjoying the sensation and visual image of bloodletting, Dr. Aaron says. Blood play can also involve more symbolic gestures, such as wearing a vial of your partner’s blood as a necklace, says Galen Fous, a kink-positive sex therapist and fetish sex educator. (If you remember, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton famously wore one another’s blood in vials around their necks back in 2001. Jolie also told 20/20‘s Barbara Walters that she experimented with knife and blood play as a teen.)
According to Fous, the appeal of blood play for some people is rooted in primal instincts and intimacy. “[Blood play] is associated with the heart, the color red, and the passion of it,” he says. “There’s trust that’s involved in blood play; [it’s] life or death.” Others with this fetish might just enjoy the masochistic element and the pain, says Mistress Bettie Bondage, a professional dominatrix and BDSM educator. Bondage uses blood play in both her professional practice as a dominatrix and in her personal life. “Blood play can be cathartic on many levels,” she says, referring to the emotional release many blood fetishists experience when releasing blood with a partner.“
There’s trust that’s involved in blood play; [it’s] life or death.GALEN FOUS”It’s also important to note that, for some, enjoyment of blood play could be connected to unresolved emotional issues and self-harm, according to Fous. However, he says that these people are likely the minority. And, in fact, a 2017 study conducted by Dr. Aaron and a team of researchers found that, among the 200 people they surveyed, the majority of those who enjoyed extreme BDSM activities weren’t driven by harmful urges. Of course, more research needs to be done before we can specifically say this is the case for blood fetishes.While it’s hard to say exactly how many people engage in blood play, Fous says that blood fetishes (in the form of edgeplay) likely aren’t very common. On Reddit, for example, the “blood play” subreddit only has 109 subscribers, while the “blood fetish” subreddit has a mere 13 subscribers.One reason people might not be talking about or engaging in this fetish? The extreme dangers involved. Along with the obvious risk of accidentally hurting yourself or your partner, people who try blood play risk infection from cuts and transmission of STIs (such as HIV) if they exchange blood with a partner. David J. Ores, MD, a general practitioner, says that you should never exchange blood with a partner, because you can catch any blood viral illness your partner has. At the very least, he says that you and your partner should get tested for HIV if you’re thinking about trying blood play.As Minx, a woman with a blood fetish, told Refinery29 last year: “What I think people don’t realize about [blood fetishes] is how much responsibility and how much effort you have to put into doing something that’s a little off the beaten track. I had to go to classes on how to do this safely, correctly. I practiced and practiced — countless tomatoes have lost their skin to my terrible scalpel practice before I could use it on a real, live person. You don’t want to harm someone.”“
“I practiced and practiced — countless tomatoes have lost their skin to my terrible scalpel practice before I could use it on a real, live person.”MINX”The BDSM community has adopted its own set of guidelines for engaging in risky behavior like this, which is known as RACK (risk aware consensual kink). Implementing RACK standards for blood play involves sterilizing any cutting instruments, testing for infectious diseases, and only drawing blood from safer, meatier areas of the body that are not near any major veins or arteries, Dr. Aaron says. But again, it’s important that you talk to your doctor and receive the proper training before you even think about giving this a try.
Also, as with all risky sexual behavior, it’s important that you make sure to only do this with a partner with whom you’ve built trust and intimacy, Fous says. And don’t forget to pick a safe word with your partner so that you have a clear way to communicate any discomfort or a need to stop whatever you’re doing.
The good news? If blood turns you on, you don’t have to engage in any particularly risky behavior to indulge your fetish. The safest way to try blood play is by acting it out via role-playing. Try drizzling a blood-like liquid (such as red wine, ketchup, prop blood, or a DIY concoction) over your partner’s body, or invest in some prop knives. Then, utilize the power of dirty talk to make the fantasy come alive. “You don’t have to actually do the cutting and bloodletting if you want to get a sense [of blood play],” Fous says. Sure, most people out there may think this fetish has nothing to do with them, and they might be right. But there’s no reason to judge anyone for what turns them on, as long as they’re not harming anyone. And if you love Edward Cullen or get excited by the primal messiness of period sex, it might not be as far from your desires as you thought.