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Vampire Guide: Donors: Finding & Keeping Donors
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Remember this: Those you take from are people, men and women, human beings. And so are you, for that matter, despite whatever else you would like to think, or have been told. You are not better than they are, just different. "Humans" are not to be viewed as cattle or to be ruled over by those who are vampires.
On Finding a Donor
While I've heard many vampires complain about the difficulties of finding a donor, I nevertheless feel certain that vampires must but look in the right place to make locating donors an easy task. I suggest attending conferences, classes and lectures on subjects in which you have a divested interest, and that contain some link to vampirism -- anything from folklore and anthropology to film and literature. Also, it would be a good idea to join clubs and organizations that cater to an occultically-minded audience. Other avenues to explore when seeking a donor include the role-playing or BDSM scenes. But, perhaps one of the most overlooked ways in which to find a donor is right here at the tip of your nose; you guessed it folks: the internet. On the internet, you can join e-mail lists that cater to real-vampires and through which you just might find a donor in your area. Then, there are message boards on which to post, not to mention classified ads. Keep in mind, too, that oftentimes a donor is right beside you -- never rule out close friends and/or new aquaintances. But remember: don't solicit donors at your place of work unless you work in a vampire-friendly company. :)
I met my vampire in an English class that concentrated to some extent on Gothic representations in Victorian literature. She was auditing the course while I was an enrolled student. Coincidentally, we were partnered together to analyze a section of Tennyson's "In Memorium" (how apropos!). We clicked and ouila! She had a donor. That is not to say that she approached me at random and said, "Excuse me, but may I drink your blood?" It was only after forming an acquaintance/study partner relationship that she began, ever so slowly, to feed me the idea of donating to her.
If worse comes to worst, you could always put an ad out in the paper. (Seriously!) Just make sure it's the right paper! If there are any local "scene" / entertainment / what's happening-types of papers (usually aimed towards the college-aged or twentysomething crowd, check in them and see if they have Singles sections or Alternatives sections. In one paper from where I used to live, in the Singles part, was a "Just Friends" part. This more often than not had ads running that, at the very least, contained the word "vampire" :-) (And they weren't all from me, either!) Sometimes they got pretty blatant: So-and-so vampette in search of such-and-such male donor to share blood with..., bloodletting..., Seeking Countess..., etc.
Depending on the type of Singles ads, I would recommend putting in anything from "In Search Of others who like vampires" to "ISO those who like bloodplay" to "Vampire seeking ..." (Be careful of those who respond, though. This sort of thing does seem to draw out the fringe-crowd...). I would recommend including several different things such as, "~~ ISO those into vampires / vampirism ... collectors, fans, etc. Anyone wanting to Masquerade--" [don't gasp! It is a valid avenue of exploration to meet others who are involved in some way with vampires; and these people may know other people who are, too ... network -- the more vampire-oriented people you know, the greater your chances.] "--Vampires themselves are welcome, too."
There are other ways. It just depends on how daring and brazen you want to get. I have on more than one occasion picked up, -- er, I mean, let someone pick me up (or at least, let them think they were... *innocent look*) someone right out of a bar or coffee house after getting them all fascinated with vampires, and letting on kind of coyly that I was. (I think they would have jumped off a bridge at that point, if they thought it meant getting laid...) I would not recommend that way, though. Fortunately, I never came to any ill of it. (See? God DOES look after fools!) That sort of blatant activity causes people to talk a lot...
Depending on where you live, there may or may not be a b&d / s&m scene going on. Some of them are --discretely-- into bloodplay. Amy Krieytaz can be more helpful than I regarding that scene, though: Finding donors in the BDSM scene.
If you know of anyone who is masochistic (likes to inflict wounds to themselves) then you might work on cultivating them for a while. *wistful sigh* Knowing someone like that is always good. :-)=
Another thing you could always do is to move to the country and raise various animals. (Depending on your preferences, you may want to consider the animals you'll be raising, their size.)
Some Advice on Reassuring Potential Sources
Q: When I have tried to find a willing donor, I have been met with what I will charitably call resistance. I am certain that I am overlooking a number of obvious approaches, and would appreciate the wisdom of those having successfully gained willing donors.
A: I think some people are less afraid of the process than others. It helps to assure the potential donor that you will not cause much pain (be sure of this. Try testing a blade on yourself first!) or take much blood, or cause actual harm. It also helps to reassure them that you are aware of the HIV / hepatitis risk, and are taking precautions against it -- discuss safer sharing, talk about how clean both of you might be, make sure you have no wounds near your mouth or in your mouth, etc. Finally, remember that this is definitely a trust issue. If a donor trusts you, there will be much less resistance. Drinking blood is far more intimate, in many ways, than sex. It takes a while for most people to establish that sort of intimacy. The few times I have drawn blood from someone I barely knew, we had already known each other well via correspondence or mutual friends or some other medium.
Dealing with Potential Donors: Things to Consider
How young is too young when it comes to donating blood?
To comment on the "age" question, I would say that it is always a good idea to follow the "laws of the land" with regards to potential donors who are near, but still under the age of, 18. I feel the amount of knowledge they have is irrelevant in regards to them being donors to an adult vampire. As adults, vamps or otherwise, we have a duty to set an example to our "young".
As to the age of understanding, that, as with many things in this world, depends on the maturity of the individual. Some 18-year-olds may not have the slightest idea of what being a donor means, while there may be some 16-year-olds who are mature enough to want to participate, knowing full well what it is that they are doing and the significance thereof.
What basic knowledge does one need to know about blood vampires in order to donate?
> Well, I want my donors to know what a vampire is, and why I
> do need to feed in the first place. They should also understand
I'm married now and take no other donors but my wife, but in the past, that was one of the first things that I did with a potential donor: sit them down and explain what I was and what the "feeding process" might involve. If they were still willing, then it progressed to its conclusion. If there were doubts, or suggestions of what was percieved by the donor as a more "comfortable" way of proceeding, then these were discussed as well. I discussed all of this at length with my wife before we were married, she knew fully what and who I was before we even took the marriage step.
As to the amount I take/took, I never gave a second thought to an age-to-amount ratio.
I have a two-part kind of rule that I have always gone by: 1) Only take as much as what you NEED, 2) Only take as much as is comfortable to your donor. No matter how "into" it I was, if my past donors, or my wife now, said "STOP!!", I stopped.
It is a good idea in general to keep an eye on the "health" of your donor, if they are weak, tired, sick, or just generally run-down, it's always best, in my humble opinion, to let them regain some strength before attempting to feed.
Eerie America TV Series
Eerie America could very well be called The Fodors Travel Guidebook for The Addams Family. I read some in-depth information about the show and saw the promo, and from what I can tell, this will be an absolutely AWESOME series if they can get it off the ground. (I'm actually praying they will.) Let others know and see who can help. This is something that should happen! Let's pull together and make it so!
New Orleans Vampire Association
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