Most of this article is based on comments from Lady Allania and Wednesday from the Drink Deeply & Dream forum. Some input was also received from the Smoke & Mirrors and Sanguinarius forums.
Basic Foundations of a Good Donor-Vampire Relationship
Be honest about what you need, want or expect. “Mixed signals” result in a miss. Understand that for some, feeding IS an erotic or intimate thing, and they may not be able to separate that when feeding from or donating to someone new.
The vampire is trusting that the donor is (still) disease-free regardless of how much testing has or hasn’t been done and that they’ll watch over the vampire during the feeding process if needed. The donor is trusting the vampire with a lancet/blade/needle, in a situation where they’re likely to be vulnerable.
Friendships and relationships are not the easiest thing to begin, whether short-term or long-term, without this.
Tolerance (particularly for the weird)
Let’s face it, blood drinking isn’t exactly a commonly accepted activity…
A donor is not a “possession”, or a lesser being to be manipulated. A vampire should never make a donor feel OBLIGATED to do this — the donor should always have a choice.
How Does It Impact a Preexisting Relationship?
It doesn’t inherently change it. However, it does add a new perspective…and the new perspective can, over a short or long period of time, change the relationship from what it was. Whether this is good or bad depends on the individuals involved. Understanding and tolerance of what may or may not happen is possible, as long as all people involved are willing to understand, and serious about making the effort. This carries over into any type of relationship, not just vampire/donor ones.
The donor is sharing part of themselves, some might say something like a spiritual essence, and depending on the situation, can have different reactions to it, such as feeling vulnerable if they feel it is inherently unequal. — The vampire gains something, while the donor loses something, or they can feel closer to the vampire that they’ve donated to by passing on some part — spiritual essence perhaps — of themselves in doing so.
Issues of trust:
The donor is trusting the vampire with a bloodletting instrument, whether lancet, blade or needle, and most likely in a situation where they are physically vulnerable, so this trust is particularly important to them. Likewise, the vampire is trusting that the donor is still disease-free, despite any passage of time after testing and such — blood-borne diseases are still a concern, and not all of them are curable. Also, feeding tends to leave the vampire very relaxed, sometimes somewhat euphoric, and they’re not always paying attention to their surroundings. If this is being done in a public place, the donor also needs to be a lookout, since the vampire may not be as aware of their surroundings as they should be.
Issues of intimacy:
Because feeding can be almost a sexual experience (not in the orgasmic sense, but deeply satisfying and potentially quite intimate nonetheless), some vamps may only want to feed from someone they are already sexually involved with, and likewise, some donors may only want to feed vamps that they are already sexually involved with. Others may be uncomfortable with, or not understand, the level of intimacy or the interpersonal bond that may develop — but whether such a bond develops depends on the individuals involved.
Issues of sanity or mental stability:
The vampire needs to be feel that the donor won’t develop an unhealthy attachment to them or become too possessive, and vice-versa. There may be some kind of bond or closeness that develops between the vampire and donor anyway, but this is dependent upon some factors, such as trust or mental stability, and other factors that are impossible to easily determine. The donor particularly needs to be sure the vampire isn’t lost in fantasy land with excessive claims such as physical shapeshifting, flying, etc.
Issues of secrecy:
Both donor AND vampire need to be discreet when talking about or handling a feeding session (or anything else pertaining to vampires). People still get fired for no reason other than being a freak, and both parties likely have mundane things they need to deal with such as work or school. Most people “Just Don’t Understand”, no matter how well you can explain it.
Questions for both vampire and donor
Recognize the possibility that a deeper bond (friendship or otherwise) may develop as a result of the donor/vampire relationship. It is ALWAYS a good idea to talk about what each person’s expectations are so that nothing comes as a surprise. Stating the “terms” of the relationship beforehand does not guarantee that nobody will be emotionally hurt, but being prepared always helps. Some individuals cannot help but get attached, and others remain detached. Still others maintain a middle ground. Whatever the case, always keep the lines of communication open to avoid painful misunderstandings.
- Should the donor be prepared to feed the vampire during the first meeting?
- Any amount of physical contact before/during/after feeding?
- Any sexual aspects to worry about (intimacy issues)? Any kink/fetish issues that need to be brought up or dealt with?
- Married, but with vampire or donor outside the marriage or other committed relationship?
- a) How will the marriage affect the feeding session or other aspects of the vampire/donor relationship?
- b) How will the vampire/donor relationship impact either party’s marriage?
Questions for the donor to ask the vampire
A donor’s ability to exercise good judgment and common sense is essential when considering whether or not to donate. New donors should familiarize themselves with how to spot a blood drinker (or energy feeder) who could potentially cause them emotional or physical harm. When thinking about whether or not to donate, a donor’s ability to exercise good judgment and common sense is essential when considering whether or not to donate. New donors should familiarize themselves with how to spot a blood drinker (or energy feeder) who could potentially cause them emotional or physical harm.
- 1) What are the health risks?
- 2) What method(s) will be used?
- 3) Hygiene/cleanliness methods to prevent/minimize disease and health issues?
- 4) If using a needle, has the user had phlebotomy training?
- 5) How much pain and/or scarring can be expected? (Pain amounts will vary with method used)
- 6) What effects does feeding have on the vampire? (Useful to know if the vampire will curl up into a contented ball, go to sleep, or something more drastic or dramatic…)
- 8) Are there other viable options if feeding isn’t an option at any particular point (ill health on the part of the donor, bad offline life timing, etc.)
- 9) How often does the vampire need to feed?
- a) How often is the donor expected to feed the vampire?
- b) Will the vampire accept “no” if the donor changes his/her mind, is sick, or if the donor is afraid the vampire will lose control?
- 10) (If asked by the vampire to be a donor) How/why was the donor picked?
Questions the vampire should ask the donor
There are stereotypes a lot of people have in mind when they think about vampires, thanks to Hollywood and popular fiction. As a result, vampirism is often surrounded with fantasy and legends, giving people an unrealistic idea of what it really means. Sometimes a donor is expecting something as seen in the latest popular movie (often dealing with fangs and immortality) when the reality is quite different. In any case, the vampire needs to determine that the donor is mentally stable.
- Why do you want to do this? (Especially if they volunteer without being asked.)
- What do you expect to experience?
- Why do you want to experience it?
- What do you hope to get out of it?
- a) Why?
- Do you already know what will happen during the process? (If not, take time to explain.)
- Any vices or bad habits? (Drinking, smoking, drugs, etc… These can have drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse side effects.)
- Will the donor stay for a little while after the feeding, or leave immediately?
- What sort of diet does the donor have, and are they willing to change it if requested by the vampire? (Certain foods, particularly junk foods, make the blood taste awful.)
- Has s/he donated to other vampires before? (Good to know how much info they already have.)
Questions the donor should ask other donors
How many potential donors simply decided not to be a donor for a vampire because they could not find enough information that would give them a balanced viewpoint? To be a donor requires a mindset open to the idea of real vampires, without being excessively judgmental about it. Some donors do it because they care for (or love, in some cases) the individual and want to help out. Usually the donor has known the vampire for a reasonable period of time, or sometimes for many years. Some do it for fun, or some variety of erotic pleasure. Others may be masochists or otherwise might enjoy (or at least not mind) the pain or potential scarring. (I don’t personally understand that, but I know some people are just wired that way…)
- How did you start?
- Why did you do it?
- Why do you keep doing it?
- What is the worst experience you’ve had?
- What is the best experience you’ve had?
- What is the scariest experience you’ve had?
- What is the funniest experience you’ve had?
- (Provided the donor is not a vampire) Have you experienced a feeling like you need to feed after being fed upon? (A.K.A. “sympathetic vampirism”) — If the donor IS a vampire as well, then this question does not apply.
- a) How were you able to deal with it?
- b) How often did/does it happen?
- If you’ve been a donor for a particular vampire for a long time, how has your relationship with him/her changed over the years?
These questions are just guidelines. When all is said and done, it’s a matter of trust and respect on both sides. Being a donor is not something to be taken lightly — the vampire is trusting the donor with their secret in exchange for a part of them. Likewise, the donor is trusting the vampire to treat them well in an otherwise vulnerable situation. Know each others limits, but don’t go beyond them. Respect each other and what you are considering doing. Respect what is being offered, and it’s implications — feeding is more than “just” an act, and donating to a vampire is more than “just” an experience.