Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reality Check: the Vampyre Subculture

     
The winner of the signed copy of Sacrifice is rachel445! Contact me via my website so I can get your mailing information.

So sorry to be late posting the winner of the giveaway! I had a computer crash and I'm still recovering.
                                              
It's hard to dodge the influence of vampires on pop culture today, with Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and a plethora (always wanted to use that word) of vampire books on the market. All of these focus on supernatural vampires, creatures I'll assume don't actually exist. (Aw ...) I'd like to talk about lifestyle vampires, humans who model themselves after supernatural vampires because it fulfills some need of theirs. Many in this subculture call themselves vampyres to distinguish themselves from the supernatural variety.

Vampyres don't just belong to clubs that meet every Saturday night to discuss the latest True Blood episode. They incorporate their chosen lifestyle into everything they do, including forming extended "families"--clans-- that may come to mean more to them than their real families, who don't understand their urges. It isn't play. It's serious business. Generally vampyres look at the dark side of life, like Goths, and share other characteristics of Gothic appearance: black-lined eyes, blood-red lips, Victorian-style clothing, black fingernails, and frequently white-as-chalk faces, implying their need for blood and deep familiarity with the night. As I understand it, the Goths don't like their appearance being co-opted by vampyres, but there's little they can do beyond make an occasional fuss.

In addition to shared needs to belong (are the clans really a variant of gangs?), the vampyres believe they have things in common with the supernatural vampires, such as the need to draw life energy from others in the form of blood, sexual energy, or psychic energy. Also, those who have some form of minor or major mental illness, ranging from lack of lack of ability to deal with other people to schizophrenia sometimes feel these aren't flaws at all, but due entirely to their vampyrism. It's easy to see why this lifestyle can draw people who are uncertain about their own identities. There are thought to be about 10,000 vampyres in the U.S., ranging from those with a mild interest who like the costumes to those who sleep in coffins.

A clan meeting involves secret rituals that may or may not include drinking blood, but the odds are much higher with sanguinarians, or sangs, defined by their thirst for blood. Sangs don't do the whole Goth dress-up and usually try to disassociate themselves from vampyres. They feel their need for blood is a part of their physical makeup, and don't like publicity or the current popular emphasis on vampires. They don't use fangs; they draw blood with a razor blade and suck it down, almost always from a willing donor. Being practical about it, they test their donors for blood-borne diseases.

Vampyrism can turn deadly. In the Rod Ferrell case, the sixteen-year-old Florida clan leader killed the parents of one of the members of his clan.

Props

(Image removed. Apparently I mistook a sex toy for a custom-molded vampire mouth accessory. My bad.)

Fake vampire teeth are available, from cheap plastic ones used at Halloween to fancier custom-molded, full mouth designs that are similar to movie effects. Some vampyres have their teeth ground to sharp points, or have fang-like caps placed over their incisors, but this can be awkward at the day job.

Bottled fake blood can be bought or homemade. Here's a recipe for edible blood, just in time for Halloween or your next clan meeting.  Yum!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Light (clear) Corn Syrup
  • 5-10 Drops of Red Food Coloring
  • 1 Drop of Blue Food Coloring
  • 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and cocoa powder, until entirely dissolved. It should look like hot chocolate. Avoid adding whipped cream and marshmallows.
  2. Mix in the light corn syrup until entirely dissolved. Continue adding tablespoon by tablespoon, until a syrupy consistency is reached.
  3. Mix in food coloring. If too thick, thin with warm water. If too thin, add a small amount of sifted flour. (Recipe from http://uvkitty.com/.) 
What do you think of the vampyric culture? Know any? Are you one?


Sacrifice BadgeI'm giving away a signed copy of my latest release, Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book 2. To enter, sign up for the "Put Yourself in the next Mortal Path book!" drawing on my blog. Click on the badge to the right for details. Then leave a comment here. This giveaway ends at midnight on Halloween and the winner will be posted at the top of this blog entry on Monday, November 1st. Check back to see if you're the signed copy winner!










22 comments:

Sullivan McPig said...

I've played a lot of Vampire Larp, but that was just a game and not a lifestyle.

Sharon S. said...

whoa, that is kind of scary. Play acting is cool, but this is a whole new flavor of crazy . I have no problem if someone actually does this, unless they are trying to hurt others.
I wonder if there are Were groups like this. Imagine the 'menagerie' (that is a word I have always wanted to use ) of characters you would get to pick from.

I've got both books so don't enter me. I just love to share my opinion .

Lea U. said...

Okay, that´s crazy. I can´t believe it...I mean. I think vampires are cool, but people who believe that they need the life-energy from blood? That´s kinda sick.

Nanny said...

I looked into this life style when I was much younger, teens, and some of the stuff freaked me out.

Patricia Lynne said...

Can't say I've ever met some one who considered themselves a vampyre, but I have read a few serial killer files of killers who killed and compulsively drank blood because they believed some crazy thing would happen to their body if they didn't. I think blood turning to dust was the one guy's fear, can't remember his name right now either. >.< (that's my little tidbit of knowledge on the subject)

Jessica said...

Very strange.

Entered in the contest already! Still would love to win a copy of Sacrifice! I put it on my bday list but winning a SIGNED copy would be awesome!!

Crystal ♥ said...

Wow, this is a very interesting post. I've heard of this of course but never actually read any info on it or know anyone into this. Saw something like this on Nip/Tuck though, man did that show get weird!(I just had to look up that Rod Farrell case too.)

I wouldn't want this lifestyle for myself but to each their own I guess.
Hurting others isn't cool but there's good and bad in every group, society, ect., unfortunetly.

@Sharon S., it would be interesting to hear about a Were group like this. I wonder what happens during a full moon with them!

Barbara E. said...

CSI had an episode recently on this subject, those people are really strange. I've never run across anyone that was into this subculture, and although I love reading about Vampires, unless I can be a real one, I'm not interested.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Psychic Vampire - A condition of the spirit, by which one needs to obtain vital energy from outside sources. They are unable to generate their own energy, and often times don't have the best capacity to store the energy they do have. You can read about the types and sources of energy that a Psychic Vampire feed off of HERE http://psychicvampire.org/food.htm . Explore the site and it will tell you all you need to know about Psychic Vampires.

Psychic/Emotional Vampires/Leeches - this is a psychological term used by psychologists to describe an emotionally needy person. This person may not technically be a vampire but rather just an ordinary mundane who might have had something traumatize them, and they crave constant attention or emotional energy from a person. Unfortunately, for the vampire community, psychologists coined the term "psychic vampire", to represent these emotional vampires. They are often called emotional leeches. Without help, these types of people are usually incapable of having a normal healthy relationship.. But with therapy, they usually get better.

Sanguinarian Vampire - Someone who has a physical thirst, need, craving for blood (which is non-erotic in nature) in more significant quantity than is generally required or desired by other blood-drinkers. Sanguinarians (a word from the Latin root "sanguinarius," meaning "bloodthirsty") apparently do not get the benefits from pranic energy, or else they are unable to feed psychically like psi and energy vampires, for whom blood and pranic energy are apparently interchangeable. To learn more about the terminology surrounding Sanguinarians go HERE http://sanguinarius.org/terminology.shtml . As with the other site explore this site and it will tell you all you need to know about Sanguinarian Vampires.


Clinical Vampirism - A psychological condition, such as Renfield's Syndrome, in which the afflicted person experiences a psychological urge to drink blood. This urge is often satisfied with their own blood, and sufferers of clinical vampirism typically bear slashes from razors and knives up and down their arms from where they have drawn blood from themselves. Particularly sociopathic forms of clinical vampirism drive sufferers to attack and sometimes (although rarely) even kill other people in order to drink their blood. A related condition is known as SMS, or Self-Mutilation Syndrome. This newly named pathology is becoming alarmingly common in American youths. Sufferers of SMS, often known as "cutters", feel the need to cut into their flesh and watch themselves bleed. Some sufferers of SMS also drink the blood drawn out this way, although this is not standard for the disease. Most sufferers of SMS are redirecting feelings of anger, frustration, inadequacy, or emotional pain onto their bodies.


Fashion Vampyre or Life Styler- This is not a type of actual vampire. Someone who does not have the vampiric condition, and who just dresses the part. The fashion vamps are only into the aesthetics (fangs, contacts, fashion) and not the philosophy or spirituality of the lifestyle -- think "fashion victim".


Otherkin - One who is Otherkin or Other-Souled (having a soul or multiple souls in ones body that is not human), and believes him or herself to be not fully human, (generally only on a spiritual level). Some examples of this are: Elenari, Dragonkin, Fae, Weres, Therianthropes.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Psychic Vampire - A condition of the spirit, by which one needs to obtain vital energy from outside sources. They are unable to generate their own energy, and often times don't have the best capacity to store the energy they do have. You can read about the types and sources of energy that a Psychic Vampire feed off of HERE http://psychicvampire.org/food.htm . Explore the site and it will tell you all you need to know about Psychic Vampires.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Psychic/Emotional Vampires/Leeches - this is a psychological term used by psychologists to describe an emotionally needy person. This person may not technically be a vampire but rather just an ordinary mundane who might have had something traumatize them, and they crave constant attention or emotional energy from a person. Unfortunately, for the vampire community, psychologists coined the term "psychic vampire", to represent these emotional vampires. They are often called emotional leeches. Without help, these types of people are usually incapable of having a normal healthy relationship.. But with therapy, they usually get better.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Sanguinarian Vampire - Someone who has a physical thirst, need, craving for blood (which is non-erotic in nature) in more significant quantity than is generally required or desired by other blood-drinkers. Sanguinarians (a word from the Latin root "sanguinarius," meaning "bloodthirsty") apparently do not get the benefits from pranic energy, or else they are unable to feed psychically like psi and energy vampires, for whom blood and pranic energy are apparently interchangeable. To learn more about the terminology surrounding Sanguinarians go HERE http://sanguinarius.org/terminology.shtml . As with the other site explore this site and it will tell you all you need to know about Sanguinarian Vampires.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Clinical Vampirism - A psychological condition, such as Renfield's Syndrome, in which the afflicted person experiences a psychological urge to drink blood. This urge is often satisfied with their own blood, and sufferers of clinical vampirism typically bear slashes from razors and knives up and down their arms from where they have drawn blood from themselves. Particularly sociopathic forms of clinical vampirism drive sufferers to attack and sometimes (although rarely) even kill other people in order to drink their blood. A related condition is known as SMS, or Self-Mutilation Syndrome. This newly named pathology is becoming alarmingly common in American youths. Sufferers of SMS, often known as "cutters", feel the need to cut into their flesh and watch themselves bleed. Some sufferers of SMS also drink the blood drawn out this way, although this is not standard for the disease. Most sufferers of SMS are redirecting feelings of anger, frustration, inadequacy, or emotional pain onto their bodies.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Fashion Vampyre or Life Styler- This is not a type of actual vampire. Someone who does not have the vampiric condition, and who just dresses the part. The fashion vamps are only into the aesthetics (fangs, contacts, fashion) and not the philosophy or spirituality of the lifestyle -- think "fashion victim".

LadyValkyrie37 said...

House Kheperu http://www.kheperu.org/index.html is a website run by author and Psychic Vampire, Michelle Belanger (The Psychic Vampire Codex among many other books on Vampirism). Click on the "Articles" tab and there you will find many informational articles on Vampirism, Energy work, and Mysticism.

TVD Haeven http://thevampiredon.com/ is a website run by "The Vampire" Don Henrie who is a Hybrid Vampire (Psychic and Sanguinarian Vampire). It's like a MySpace for Vampires.

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Oh, by the way, I hope you know that the first "prop" you have posted there is a sex toy. It's a "vampire fleshlight." http://www.manolith.com/2009/10/27/the-vampire-fleshlight/

LadyValkyrie37 said...

Your statements about Sanguinarian Vampires are incorrect to say the least. Sanguinarian Vampires as a whole have no one set way they like to dress or how they like to injest the blood. I know for a fact that many Sanguinarian Vampires end up educating themselves on Phlebotomy and therefore collect the blood as one would in a lab. Not many Sangs use razors, needles, or their teeth. As for how they dress, it's a matter of personal preference. Sangs have no code of attire.

Mistress Dominae Drakonis said...

LadyValkyrie37 - Thank you for trying to educate these people about what True Vampirism is all about. There is so much misinformation here on this blog!! I suggest that people look into the websites you've posted and search online for a more accurate representation of who we are and what we are about. I think it's hilarious that he posted a pic of a sex toy!! LOL
We are sane, rational, kind, compassionate people who just happen to be vampires. We have jobs, families, friends and ambitions. And most of all, we feed from consensual donors in a manner that is safe and healthy for all!!

Mistress Dominae Drakonis

Father JP Vanir said...

I am not Life styler, actually that is a fancy term for some one who just wants to look like a mythical vampire in legend. True Human Vampyres NEED to feed on human energy (psychic life force or blood) and most do not even look like the fictional/Hollywood or even the many of the mythical Vampyres (which I believe also exist but meeting them is rare, you probably will not survive, and you wont find them on the internet or normal life much). There are many online sites that have facts about Real Human Vampyres.

1. http://www.templeuvup.org

2. http://vampspace.com

3. http://sanguinarius.org/

4. http://www.atlantavampirealliance.com

5. http://drinkdeeplyanddream.com

6. http://kheperu.org

Father JP Vanir

rachel445 said...

I saw a show a while ago and the people being interviewed said they were vampires. It was the Tyra show, I believe. Definitely..interesting.
I entered the contest on your blog!
Res498(AT)aol.com

Aliravrykul said...

I am so glad that others are correcting the wrong people out there in the world. It is so difficult to explain something to someone when they think you are clinically crazy. I am not a Lifestyler or have ever been one. People really need to get educated and understand that we are not killers or clinically crazy. Its appalling to me that someone can post a blog and not be educated on the subject. This only makes it once again harder for the vampire community to fix.

nymfaux said...

I wanna win!!!! AMAZING AMAZING contest!!!--I totally tweeted and put your badge on my blog!!!!

Great post!!! It's incredible how deep the vampire/vampyre subculture is.

--And thanks to people/vamps who posted links and info--I don't think the writer's intention was to offend anyone, but to create discussion--which it obviously seems to have done.

Although I am not a vamp, for the people I know, I guess I like to look at is as closer to a role-playing type activity, but it's obviously a lot more than role-playing to some people.

When it comes down to it, I don't believe in REAL vampires--But I'd LIKE to. And I think a lot of people would LIKE to, because then there would be something MAGICAL and MYSTERIOUS and ROMANTIC and ADVENTUROUS, and everything that we look for in books and movies, but in our own lives, and that's where I think the reality of vampirism stems from.

Thanks again to all the people who shared--this isn't a topic that a lot of people run into in our day-to-day lives, but I definitely think it's a topic that a lot of people are curious about, and I appreciate being able to hear from people who live on both sides of the vamp discussion.