polite amounts of blood

In this otherwise unwittingly hilarious article on vampires there is a funny little quote:

‘Blood-drinking, or sanguinarian, vampires have to consume small, polite amounts of human blood from willing donors,’ Merticus said.*

One might point out that quite a few sanguinarians consume more than small amounts, but of course Merticus is speaking to the press, so i understand leaving out what is really a small minority of the overall vampire community. It still raises some critical questions about just how inclusive the vampire community wants to be; will extreme sangs be ignored in the sidelines as a kind of embarrassment in the quest for social recognition? It wouldn’t be the first time that a social movement sidelines the more extreme segments of its community in favour of getting more recognition for the already socially (more or less) respectable segments.

But i got sidetracked, the point which made me both laugh and a little annoyed was the idea of a “polite” amount of blood. I’m reminded of my post on donors being “nice” (we aren’t). In many contemporary “modern” societies even dishes prepared with animal blood are considered taboo. Consuming the blood of humans…

I’m not saying that vampires aren’t polite. Many are polite to the point of exaggeration, in particular when they think the other might become a donor. The actual negotiations just pre-feeding are often almost formal. But when it comes down to it, when you’re cutting or being cut, when rich red blood is flowing over skin, when lips and tongue and skin and wound and blood and flesh all come together, there is nothing polite about it. One might as well speak of having a bit of polite sex.**

So why the insistence on politeness? And come to think of it, why the exaggeratedly formal language in so many documents of the vampire community (i’m thinking of the various forms of the Black Veil, or the Donor Bill of Rights, but others are similar). I’m not going to answer that, but propose that maybe it is a way of dealing with the otherwise outrageous concept of drinking blood.

Anyway, i’ll leave you all with this, i had intended only a short post. I have finally read Laycock’s “Vampires Today”, and found it very interesting. Look for an extensive review of it here sometime soon.

*Merticus is deeply engaged in the Vampire Community, you might call him a community organiser. If you’re involved in the community, you’re probably aware of who he is. I rather like him.

**As always the usual disclaimer: for vampires blood-drinking is not sexual. However the intensity of the experience and the sheer carnality of it means that sex is often an obvious point of comparison.

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