The vampire lifestyle or vampire subculture is an alternative lifestyle, based on the modern perception of vampires in popular fiction. The vampire subculture has stemmed largely from the goth subculture, but also incorporates some elements of the sadomasochism subculture. The Internet provides a prevalent forum for the subculture along with other media such as glossy magazines devoted to the topic.
Many self-professed vampires actively resent the term "lifestylers," as this tends to carry the connotation that vampirism is not real. Some vampires actually use the term as a pejorative for role-players.
Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both sanguinarian vampirism, which involves blood consumption, and psychic vampirism, whose practitioners believe they are drawing spiritual nourishment from auric or pranic energy.
- 1 Ideology
- 2 Members of vampire subculture
- 3 Terminology
- 4 Controversy
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
Consumption of blood
Like Dracula and other literary vampires, some traditions of modern vampires drink blood, either animal or human, although human is preferred. They claim they need blood to make up for a deficiency of proper energy processing within the body, or that it helps them gain energy and strength.
Sexuality and sexual practices
The link between vampirism and sexuality has been present even before Stoker’s Dracula. With the modern vampire movement, “eroticism has become so entwined with the contemporary vampire scene that popular vampire magazines, like Bloodstone, include previews of the latest vampire pornography, featuring combined acts of sex and blood-letting.” This focus on sex and sexuality stems from vampire literature. In fact, sexual attraction was the most frequent response in a survey conducted among a group of 574 college and high school participants, where the participants were asked what they found most appealing about vampires and vampire literature.
Members of vampire subculture
Unlike what is commonly assumed, there are more members to the vampire society than simply those that drink blood. Such members tend to congregate into small clans, usually called covens or "houses," in a tribal culture to find acceptance among others that share their beliefs. Generally vampirism is not considered a religion but a spiritual or philosophical path. There are also many modern vampires that are not part of a coven, but rather are solitary. Most human vampires wear regular or ordinary clothes for the area they live in to avoid discrimination. In addition, there are hybrids, human vampires that take both blood and energy. There are three main types of vampires lifestylers.
Those that drink blood are called sanguinarians or "sanguine vampires". They and psychic vampires address themselves as "real vampires" and usually have a collective community. They believe they have a physical and/or spiritual need to drink human blood to maintain their mental and physical health.
Commonly known as psi-vamps are another kind of human vampire that claim to attain nourishment from the aura, psychic energy, or pranic energy of others. They believe one must feed from this energy to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency such as a damaged aura or chakra.
Often calling themselves by the namesake are highly spiritual and consider vampirism an action required for spiritual evolution and ascension, yet maintain a rigid ethical system in its practice. Living vampires are rarely, but sometimes, blood drinkers and are usually organized into initiatory orders such as Temple of the Vampire, Ordo Strigoi Vii, and the Order of the Black Dragon.
The notion of the vampire having an immortal soul is the focal point of this Vampiric identity. Those who associate with this form of Vampiric identity such as the coven House Bennu hold the belief that their soul/psyche may travel into, and fuse with the soul/psyche and body of a younger Vampire with the goal of achieving immortality. Transcendental Vampires may be sanguinarian and/or psychic in nature.
Blood donors are people that willingly allow human vampires to drink their blood. Within vampire society, human vampires and donors are considered equal, yet donors are expected to be subservient to the vampires. At the same time, donors are difficult to find, and because of that, human vampires have no reason to abuse their donors.
Vampire role-players, otherwise called "fashion vamps", differ distinctly from human vampires in that they are "serious vampire fans and those who dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in RPGs such as Vampire: The Masquerade."
|feeding||the taking of energy via blood or other forms|
|mundane; nil||a closed-minded individual/ non-awakened,
|black swan||a non-vampire that is sympathetic to vampires|
|fledgling||someone that is new to vampire subculture|
Christianity and modern vampires
In response to the rising vampire subculture, a Christian counter-movement of self-professed vampire slayers has formed that opposes the notion of real vampires. Online, they swarm vampire websites with hate mail and participate in other similar activities, but there are rumors of zealous vampire slayers killing human vampires.
Modern vampirism and crime
Tracey Wigginton gained the nickname "The Lesbian Vampire Killer" after she killed a man in 1989, purportedly to drink his blood. Other serial killers and similar individuals have killed people, believing themselves to be vampires and in need of blood to drink. However, the vampire subculture as a whole does not associate themselves with these individuals, stating that they are not real vampires, and that the subculture does not promote violence or crime in any form. Crime as a whole is rarely associated with vampirism.
- Skal, David J. (1993). The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: Penguin. pp. 342–43. ISBN 0-14-024002-0.
- Keyworth, David (October 2002). "The Socio-Religious Beliefs and Nature of the Contemporary Vampire Subculture". Journal of Contemporary Religion 17 (3): 355–370. doi:10.1080/1353790022000008280.
- Williams, DJ (2008). "Contemporary Vampires and (Blood-Red) Leisure: Should We Be Afraid of the Dark?". Leisure 32 (2): 513–539. doi:10.1080/14927713.2008.9651420.
- De Marco, Joseph (May–June 1997). "Vampire literature: Something young adults can really sink their teeth into". Emergency Librarian 24 (5): 26–28.
- McCully, R. S. (1964). Vampirism: Historical perspective and underlying process in relation to a case of auto-vampirism. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 139, 440–451.
- Prins, H. (1985). Vampirism: A clinical condition. British Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 666–668.
- Sebastiaan, Father (2010). Vampyre Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire. Red Wheel/Weiser. ISBN 978-1-57863-480-4
- Guinn, Jeff (1996). Something in the Blood: The Underground World of Today’s Vampires. Arlington: Summit Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-56530-209-9.
- Thorne, Tony (1999). Children of the Night: Of Vampires and Vampirism. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 978-0-575-40272-0.
- Belanger, Michelle A. (2004). The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work. Red Wheel/Weiser. ISBN 978-1-57863-321-0
- Laycock, Joseph (2009). Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-36472-3
- Russo, Arlene (2005). Vampire Nation. John Blake. ISBN 978-1-84454-172-0