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Even within the diverse and accepting S&M culture, vampirism and people with a vampire fetish might be the more misunderstood lifestyles. It’s not without extremes, but surely the BDSM community isn’t scared of a little blood? 

Do you have a vampire fetish?

21st-century vampires aren’t nocturnal, can’t shape shift and don’t sparkle, but yeah, it’s a fact that some do crave your red stuff. These people with a vampire fetish are known as sanguine, whilst others that prefer the psychic or sexual energy of a partner are known as psionic. Both subcultures have an active network of online forums and these are boosted by high-profile vampires, like Michelle Navarette.

Navarette is a unique kinda gal, even without the vampire fetish tag. She’s an artist who works in her own blood, a tattooist and now one of the most recognisable faces on the vampire scene. Like anyone who’s unashamed about their difference, she’s been called a freak, but the overwhelming majority of feedback online has been good.

Navarette is completely honest about her vampire fetish, explaining: “I’d just love to bathe in blood with someone and have sex. That’s a little harder to get my lovers to do!”

The vampire fetish, BDSM and a thirst for blood

But safe, willing donors are their only resource. Many are in a relationship with their donor, but others are approached by, or seek out, vamp-curious donors online. In the community, these people are referred to as Black Swans or Blood Dolls and they often see themselves as polyamorous, in that they donate to multiple partners.

Unlike in fiction, vampirism and the vampire fetish isn’t caused by a virus, but human blood does contain plenty of nasty infectious diseases that can be passed on through drinking it. To protect themselves modern vampires have organised safe feeding techniques that guard each participant. STI and HIV checks are common, plus both sides educate themselves in safe methods of bloodletting.

Although these details make vampirism comparable to a bloodplay fetish, a glance around any specialist vampire forum makes it clear that feeding in this way is not a turn on for every genuine sanguine. Drinking blood happens as the result of a certain hunger and arousal is a completely different state of mind, one that’s directed at the person – not their plump veins. Most modern vampires find blood as kinky as others find a burger.

Vampirism, a vampire fetish, and the BDSM community

However, for those with a predilection for BDSM, passion can definitely be stirred by vampire fetish play involving a helpless victim and a dangerous vampire. Just like in other areas of sadomasochism, couples work out their own boundaries, creating a bespoke blend of bondage and vampirism that works for them.

Psychic vampires claim to soak up the life force of people around them in different ways. This can include everything from physical closeness, to passion, or simply being in the same room as someone who’s extremely creative, like an artist or a musician.

Although abusive partners are regularly referred to as energy vampires, that’s not the connotation here. The sharing of psychic energy is not supposed to be harmful and can be interpreted as a form of complimentary therapy, like Pranic healing. Psionic’s believe they can tap into the energy field that surrounds another person, then plug in and take a hit. The point of climax, apparently, is an optimal time for energy vamping.

Modern vampires and the BDSM community

People who identify as modern vampires are drawn to the BDSM community for a number of reasons. Primarily it offers an acceptance that’s absent in the mainstream world. Ridicule can cut deep, but when you’re amongst others who appreciate the same aesthetic influences, you feel a sense of belonging.

Sexuality also plays a part. Bondage freaks treasure the strange and unusual over the mundane. Therefore, it follows that exotic outsiders dressed in black with fake fangs are going to be considered very hot, vampire fetish or not. Vampire nights are common at BDSM clubs. As well as a vampire fetish, we share others, like edgeplay, and FetLife hosts many vamp groups.

There’s plenty that links bondage and vampire subcultures in the public arena, but in private, this connection can make for a more honest and fulfilling relationship. Most of us who enjoy a level of fetish and BDSM in our lives can identify with feeling like an outsider. Consequently, modern vampires make a love connection with someone on the scene. It’s easier for them to be open about themselves and their lifestyle.