Archive for June, 2009

donor blogs

first, sorry for my long absence; over 10 days is really not acceptable. but life has come knocking and i’ve been really busy, uhh, living life, as it were. i’m doing very well.

when i first started is blog i found exactly two blogs on wordpress on the subject of real vampirism. unfortunately both were dead, or at least deeply comatose. “confessions of a modern day vampire” had last updated in october (except for a farewell post some time later), “donor, not a döner” by acrophobicpixie from blackswanhaven hadn’t been updated since november. it felt just a wee little bit lonely.

so i am very glad to say that pixie is back! i hope she will be updating more or less regularly, and encourage everybody to go read her blog. i found it worthwhile to read the whole thing when i first found it.

donor, not a döner

and actually a few hours earlier on the same day i learned of another new blog by a donor: “livin’ the swan life!“. admittedly he hasn’t really written much about donoring yet, but i still welcome another swan to the blogosphere (did i really just say blogosphere? oh dear).

the links to all the blogs are of course also in my linklist, feel free to explore. and if you know of any other vampire or donor blogs, please let me know, yeah?

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vampires are predators

here’s a simple fact which is important to remember if you ever have dealings with vampires: vampires are predators.

when we hang out in the vampire communities it is easy to forget that. one of the most wide-spread texts we encounter (in one of its various versions) is the black veil; all versions include rules about feeding only from willing donors. some go further and specify being respectful of donors, watching out for the donors’ health, and so on. there’s the donor bill of rights which i’ve talked about previously. out of the half-dozen or so relevant books on real vampirism one is titled “The Ethical Psychic Vampire“. on forums, websites, in chat, even when they’re feeding on you (or at least, up until right before, and immediately afterwards), vampires are always very concerned about not harming their donors, about only feeding from willing donors, about being ethical.

and you know, that’s good. we don’t want vamps running around cutting people up in their sleep. we don’t want the psi-vamps draining people randomly and unawares. i like civilised vamps.

but as i wrote earlier, vampirism is not polite. whether it be energy or blood, they feed from other humans, they consume other humans. and if you sit very quiet as a donor, or if you earn the trust of a vamp or two, and you might hear stories about how they miss the hunt. that just ten years ago the notion of a psi-vamp relying on donors would have got you ridiculed. the idea of independent donors, people like me, is so new that we don’t even yet know what to call ourselves.

and if you look around even longer, you’ll find things like this blog here by a fleeting acquaintance* of mine. they is quite unabashed about being a predator, about hunting, about feeding non-consensually. it is really quite interesting reading. and there are a few other places where i’ve seen similar things written, or heard things said, but i can’t or won’t link those because they’re in private or protected spaces.

i’m quite okay with that, actually. part of what makes vampires (and being a donor) so attractive is that it’s so carnal. but if you’re just starting out on becoming a donor it might be well to not forget that vampires really are predators.

*they posted on the vcmb, and announced having a blog. as they’re the only other person i’m aware of who’s currently regularly blogging about vampirism, we spoke a little.

call for papers

i received the following about a week ago in my inbox:

PROTEUS: A Journal of Ideas

CALL FOR PAPERS

Vampires, Parasites, and Invaders in Nature and Society Bloodsucking, parasitism and invasion have long haunted our human imaginations and played a crucial role in shaping our natural world. Proteus: A Journal of Ideas seeks essays and scholarly articles that explore the themes of parasitism and alien invasion from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives–including those of biology, cultural studies, sociology, philosophy, psychology, economics, and literary theory. Articles might analyze how authors and/or societies have represented vampires in literature, folklore, or the media. Or the biological processes underlying parasitism or alien invasion among individual or multiple species within an ecosystem. Articles that discuss the economic, social, and biological impact of parasites and invasive species on human populations are encouraged. Theme-related photographs, poetry, and creative writing are welcome.

Manuscripts accepted — NOW until AUGUST 17, 2009

Perferred format – Chicago Manual of Style, in text with endnotes.

Publication date October 2009.

Submit manuscripts electronically to proteus@ship.edu.

Proteus (717) 477-1206

proteus@ship.edu

for an academic (that’s me!*) who is interested in vampirism (anybody?) that looks very tempting, doesn’t it? and seeing as there’s been one or two recent publications on the subject of real vampires (see my previous post) i’m thinking that there might be scope for an article on the subject.

i’m mentally sketching out two possibilities. the first would involve talking with the folk at suscitatio enterprises about whether and to what extent non-vamp (or also vamp) donors had responded to the VEWRS & AVEWRS questionnaires. if we have even just 50 non-vamp donors it’d probably be enough to do something with it (and going by anecdotal evidence i think a fairly important contingent of vampires are also at least occasionnally donors, so there would have to be something, but i would prefer to work on non-vamp donors). also, i would dearly love to get my hands on their database.

the second approach would be ethnographic, and closer to what i’m doing anyway. i would be using publicly available documents and discussions (e.g. the forum at blackswanhaven) and perhaps (if the powers could be made to agree) from closed spaces (e.g. the vcmb). i’d also want to interview a number of donors. from that one could construct a narrative of what it is to be a donor. perhaps an extra advantage would be that, while e.g. Laycock had to prevent himself from “going native”, i am already native in both communities.

the only real problem i see is that i’m also supposed to be finishing my research project by late august. doing both would be a considerable job.

here’s the final detail, which is rather neat: you know who forwarded me that CFP? my little sister. she really is neat. (though now i wonder how much she knows about what i get up to at night…).

*okay, i’m still working on finishing my degree, i need to do my research project over summer. i’ve started blogging it at assisted dying. afterwards i’ll be a sociologist – allegedly.

book announcement

this is the first time i do this, mention specific community-wide “news” elements. i reckon most of the interested people in the vampire community will learn these things through the grapevine or by the people who spread news wide in the community. but i liked this one in particular:

Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism” by one Joseph Laycock.

it is an academic book about real vampires and the communities they (we!) have formed. the writer is a scholar of religion and (apparently) an ethnographer, the book is certainly a work of ethnography. in an interview (here) about the book he mentions his approach and the basic ideas (including a reference to foucault, which tickles me) he was pursuing. of the various reviews etc. that i’ve seen on the book the interview is definitely the text which most makes me want to read the book.

from what i’ve understood of the content (by what others have mentioned) the author concentrates on the offline vampire communities, and seems to have (as so many others) utterly ignored us donors. i have not seen the word “donor” mentioned once in association with this book. if that is indeed so, then it is a huge shame. the other subject which he actually wanted to include was therianthropy and otherkin; again a shame, because we are present throughout the community, but this seems to have been a decision of his editor.

nevertheless this is potentially a fundamental work in the scientific study of vampirism, and i for one would very much like to read it.

p.s. i wish i had a possibility to shop online. is somebody looking for a gift for me? *bats eyelashes all prettily*

i spotted a vampire

i had quite the day yesterday. took part in the pride for the first time (lots of beautiful people). did a workshop with the off-pride (the real activists) on body communication for trans/queer people. saw the Bloodsucking Zombies from Outer Space (BZFOS) in concert (and got nicely bruised and hurt in the mosh-pit). watched a queer burlesque & drag show. partied the night away. got home around 9:30 am.

any of those would have made for a good day, getting them all together was almost too much. i must say that the zombies greatly overshadowed any of the rest, it’s a shame none of my friends wanted to come along. or perhaps it was better like that, this way it was my thing and mine alone.

none of that actually has anything to do with vampires, which is why i’m not writing more about them. but at the party after the burlesque i spotted a vampire.

i doubt most people would have spotted her. she wasn’t dressed extravagantly, at an event where lots of people were dressed wildly. she wasn’t behaving strangely either. i noticed when i started shifting to my dragonform, and in that state i could feel the strange pull of somebody feeding. i was quite easily able to trace the energy back to the vamp, who was quietly feeding from the crowd. at that point i severed the link, and hardened my defenses.

at about that point a friend came up and asked if i was okay (i was concentrating and my hands had curled to claws), and i allowed my focus to shift. after all i was at a party. she didn’t try to feed on me anymore.

i saw her several times more during the party, and saw her hanging out with some gothy people who even in that crowd stood out with goth dress, brandings and scarifications. i overheard them at the bar speaking english and italian (the local language would have been german). i didn’t get any sign that she noticed me at all, and didn’t approach her either. i’ve already got enough vamps in my life, after all. though i wouldn’t have minded talking with her.

anyway, that’s how i spotted my first vamp out of the internet.

blackswanhaven is currently down

just a quick news-item.

the forums at blackswanhaven are currently unavailable. they’ve been down for about 24 hours now. they might be back any time, but i don’t have any news currently.

my best guess is that it’s a temporary closure to deal with a spam issue.

anyway, here’s hoping they’ll be back soon, blackswanhaven is after all the largest donor organisation around.

ETA: BSH is back up, upgraded to the latest version of the software. yay!

what it feels like

recently i wrote here that being fed on feels good for me. i stand entirely by that statement, but want to elaborate. the only slight difficulty is with words, i don’t know what words to use to accurately describe the sensations i experience. from what i’ve read and talked about with other donors, i get very strong – not to say extreme – reactions. this is therefore not exactly a normal experience.

before feeding, if it’s been more than a day or two, i feel very agitated. this is a physical feeling, but also emotional, and my concentration is shot to hell. i get brusk, even agressive. after three or four days i’ll go on the prowl looking for vampires i might donate to. i no longer want to give myself to just anybody (at least i’ve learned some self-respect), and with an inexperienced vampire it’s usually just not worth the hassle anyway. usually i’ll be on the lookout for one of my regular energy vamps.

i’m going to put the whole description of what the feeding feels like below the cut, as it’s a long post.

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