The vampire lifestyle, or subculture has existed for many years, although it’s been growing over the last few decades. Many believe that the lifestyle has grown out of and stemmed from the Goth subculture, while still retaining elements and mannerisms of those participating in the S/M lifestyle. The two types of vampires in the subculture are psychic vampires, or energy vampires, and sanguinarian vampires. Sanguinarian derives from a Latin term, that means bloodthirsty; so the sanguinarians feed on small doses of human blood. They believe that they need the blood in order to sustain their health. In the sanguinarian division of the vampire lifestyle, there are donors, vampires, and those who practice autovampirism. Autovampirism is the act of drinking one’s own blood.
Other members of the vampire community, or lifestyle, frown on the act of autovampirism because they believe that it possesses no benefits that can be passed to the drinker. It’s also viewed as a type of physical self abuse, by those in the community, and also by the majority of those outside the vampire lifestyle. Other members of the sanguinarian division of the vampire subculture are the donors. Just as the term implies, a donor is a person either romantically linked, or not to a vampire who allows he or she to drink blood from them. Usually no more than a couple teaspoons worth is taken. Often, there will be a vampire/donor contract drawn up to help set the perimeters of the relationship, as well as protect against any wrongful accusations of assault that may occur.
There are other groups, usually consisting of teenagers who claim to be vampires, roleplaying games, and many other media outlets for the vampire of history. Some are debilitating, and dangerous, such as the much debated Renfield’s syndrome while others just healthy outlets for a creative imagination. Vampires have held us, as a species, fascinated, horrified, and romanticised for hundreds of years. A world without them… would be bloodless.