"Contemplations on Vampire Otherkin" (January 20, 2012)

Note: Within this writing, I'm not referring to vampires like the energy-deficient, prana-feeding ones of the vampire community. I'm meaning vampires in an otherkin sense, or as someone experiencing part of oneself as identifying strongly *with* vampires in a way that is more similar to otherkin than that of 'pranic-vampires' (please forgive some of my short-hand phrasing to easily refer to and distinguish between the two different kinds of vampires I'm talking about in it).

This is in part sparked from discussions regarding vampires not being a kind of otherkin, which in terms of “vampires” like those in the vampire community, I agree. Still, I do wonder sometimes about those people who identify, in an otherkin sense, as being non-physically a vampire (whatever myth/fantasy interpretation of them). I can’t recall ever coming across one, though maybe I have at some point and just don’t remember. That and searching for them specifically is difficult because all the topics and such I come across about vampires in any relation to otherkin are the energy-deficient vampires (or, I’ll alternatively call them pranic-vampires, though the term “pranavore” is also an interesting alternate word for them). I suppose I could call the ones I’m referring to as myth-vampires, or vampire-‘kin—but just to be clear, of course I’m not at all talking about them being “real” myth-type vampires physically, as I’m just meaning they have a non-physical vampire identity/’kintype.

It intrigues me what many of those vampire-‘kin experience and how they personally interpret what a vampire is, yet I’m currently stuck with a distinct lack of experiences to read about them. With so many different interpretations of what a humanoid vampire is (including weaknesses, strengths, abilities, etc.), I think it would be fascinating to see how diverse (or even common) vampire-‘kin believe their vampiric ‘kintype to be like. I’d assume that many, if not most, would view their vampiric ‘type as being either incapable of being in [direct] sunlight or otherwise very sensitive to sunlight and living a primarily nocturnal life. I wonder about what physical features they believe their ‘kintype would have if it was physical—non-human eye colors/pupil shapes/etc., specific ‘fang’ types, specifics of claws, pointing of ears, shapeshifting capabilities, among various other things.

What do they believe are the typical abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and so forth of their vampire ‘type? Is the mentality different from what they see as “human”, including what they view as their own “human mentality”? Is that mentality more “animal-like”, per se, and maybe similar to some therianthropic experiences? To what extent do they usually experience blood-feeding desires, and are they often restricted to cravings for human blood or does it often apply to blood of numerous other animals or animals in general (or, I suppose, vertebrate animals, probably)? How do they deal with/manage those cravings (actually consume blood in some form, whether from a human donor or animal blood; or preferring rare meat sometimes; maybe choosing to not physically act on them, etc.)? I bet my questions could maybe go for awhile longer, so I’ll stop there with them.

Honestly, a big reason why this all interests me so much is because one of my symbolic “connections” with certain fantastical creatures includes that of vampires (at least numerous interpretations of them). These “connections”--which is a poor word for them—are similar in some ways to therianthropic or otherkin-based identity aspects, yet I personally view them as still distinct and separate from those concepts. Although explaining exactly (maybe even remotely) how I can tell the difference between them is very difficult for me to verbalize adequately. I symbolically identify *with* vampires, angels (some particular interpretations of them), and various types of shapeshifters or other animal-human ‘hybrids’. Granted, parts of my therianthropy do pervade some through those symbolic “identity-aspects” because each one involves to whatever extent a mix of human and non-human animal, and I think sometimes those myth-identity-aspects (seriously, I’m failing already at finding a proper term or phrasing) are experienced through my therianthropy.

I especially know that there’s a notable connection between my cat-‘type and my vampire-aspect, with various levels of overlap (most prominently in regards to phantom teeth, phantom claws, parts of the non-human mentality, and sexual-based desires, reactions, and behaviors). It should probably thus come as no surprise that my personal ‘version’ of vampires involves them being rather “cat-like”, and sort of like “amplified cat therians” (in the sense of having physical characteristics and physical abilities seemingly more cat-like that aren’t found in therians—whom of which have very much human bodies). I might someday go more into the overlapping between the shapeshifter, angel, and animal-human hybrid aspects with that of my therianthropy, but this writing is specifically about my vampire connection and aspects.

If anything, maybe what I experience with my vampire association is like a strange, altered, and maybe diluted or ‘dampened’ experience similar to otherkin (I’m wary about saying it would even be on the scale or spectrum of otherkin). However, I must admit that I recall it going back to my childhood before my therianthropy either developed or manifested (which that was around age 11, I think). It’s not a vampire fanaticism thing, it’s not remotely like being a pranic-vampire, and it’s far from being a fetish thing. Vampires, for whatever reason, seem to resonate with me in a way that, I assume, lets them stand symbolically as the primary and most ‘ideal’ representations of animal-humans in my personal view of what I prefer the most (for reasons I have yet to understand). Maybe it’s because of that whole “amplified therians” concept I mentioned, and my long-term preference and draw toward feline-humans and my own cat therianthropy (albeit, anymore I’m more balanced about my theriotypes and don’t tend to favor experiencing cat, or any of them, more than the others most days). Heck, it may even be some contributing factor for why I ended up with a cat theriotype and didn’t end up with a wolf or canine theriotype (despite me being more connected with and drawn toward canines when I was a kid, prior to my therianthropy manifesting). Just *shrugs* to that one, though.

But, hmm, how can I go about describing what it is like for me to experience being a vampire—albeit, in a more symbolic way, so to speak? Many of the very internal feelings, thoughts, sensations, and so forth are seemingly too difficult to split them from my cat therianthropy experiences because of the overlap. The other parts I think are easier to verbalize, even though some of them I’m more cautious of letting them be known by most people who would read my therianthropy writings (let alone anyone else). In a sense, I can see myself in vampires (some versions more than others, and there are some versions I don’t connect with at all) and I can “see” myself symbolically and mental-visually as a vampire at times. I resonate with viewing myself in a fictional sense as an original character that is a vampire (kind of persona-like). I’m notorious for watching vampire media (not as much for reading it anymore, but I barely read fiction anymore in general), and even for shows/movies/etc. that I may not have liked but had vampires in them, if I liked the concept of the vampires enough or was particularly intrigued or connected with a certain scene with them in it, then I’m apt to periodically rewatch that given medium (or a specific scene or few in it) to “relive” that part. I do a sort of “pseudo-empathy” with one or more of the vampire characters on screen and mentally view/project myself as being that character in that situation or scene (which tends to also involve phantom sensations).

Possibly surprisingly, but I don’t ever have cravings for blood (human or otherwise), and really don’t like to eat meat that is rare or anything under well-done. Yet I still have the desires at times to bite into a person’s flesh, mainly at the neck area on the carotid arteries (especially during sexual times, and when I’m feeling rather cat-like “feral” (for lack of a better word) or watching vampire media that gets me in that pseudo-empathy mindset). I don’t know why exactly, but it’s like the blood-craving ended up manifesting in a much more indirect or redirected manner so it’s not the actual taste of blood that I desire at those times but instead the act of feeding “vampire-like”, which isn’t just limited to the neck-feeding style for me. This vampire-aspect does seem to rather blur the lines between therianthropy/otherkin and other forms of non-human animality or deep connections.

I might also be rather reluctant to consider myself a “vampire-‘kin” because of the amount it overlaps with my cat therianthropy, and thus it’s like some ‘chicken or the egg?’ scenario in which I don’t know if I’m experiencing at a certain time the vampire parts due to my cat therianthropy or the other way around. As also, being a cat therian isn’t a symbolic thing for me, in the sense that I don’t identify as a symbolic or archetypal concept of cat, I identify as an actual cat—just non-physically, of course—and my cat therianthropy doesn’t seem to stand as a representation for something else to me (unlike vampires being like an ideal representation of animal-humans for me, as I mentioned earlier). Plus if I did consider myself vampire-‘kin (aside from the major issue of it being confused as me wrongly classifying pranic-vampires as otherkin—damn, I’d need a different word than vampire, even though that is the best word for it), I feel confident that it would have developed largely due to external factors, such as influence by vampire media, despite the fact that if this supposed vampire-‘type of mine was a specific kind of vampire, it wouldn’t be one I’ve yet seen or read of in any media, published or otherwise. However, I’m one of the people who believes that some people can and do “become” therian or otherkin and that one or more of my theriotypes came into being in part because of external, childhood factors, so you’d think I’d be fairly okay with the idea of me having “became” vampire-‘kin.

Eesh, when I started writing this, I wasn’t even intending or expecting to go in the direction of at all questioning if this vampire-aspect should be considered by me to be a ‘kintype. Part of the answer for me would come down to the question of “do I believe I am in part [mentally] a vampire?”, and the answer is yes, though it still *feels* like it’s in a ‘different way’ than that of my four theriotypes. Could that be because it’s such a humanoid and myth/fantasy-based aspect? It seems more similar to my symbolic identifications *with* angels, shapeshifters, and animal-human hybrids that I mentioned above, than it does to my therianthropy, and I don’t have enough reason to believe that those other three are also ‘kintypes of mine.

And yet, I must admit that the vampire-aspect runs more deeply in how it affects me and how I react to vampire-related things than the angel-aspect (which is even more symbolic, like it represents something I wish to see myself as, how I would like to be in terms of morals, confidence, strength and power, and various other characteristics—it represents what I am but more so what I aspire to be). I feel that the shapeshifter and animal-human hybrid aspects emphasize my therianthropy, my strong connections to many animals in general (I’m an “animal person” on many levels), and symbolic associations with those fantasy creatures—I am, in essence, already a shapeshifter and animal-human hybrid non-physically, but they aren’t ‘separate’ ‘kintypes because it’s more like a representative culmination of what is human and non-human animal within me. Which I’m not sure if that’s also the case with my vampire-aspect, but that part seems to be closer to either *representing* what I am now and have been for a long time, or that it isn’t actually a representation at its core but instead an identity similar to me being my theriotypes. Blah, I feel confused now. Eventually I might figure it out. 

Though one of the points I was aiming to explore in this writing is something that has been on my mind for writing about for a couple of years now: the similarities and distinctions between therianthropy/otherkin identity and other forms of personal animality (or experiences similar to “animality” that are of non-animal, non-human entities), particularly fairly deep, yet symbolic identifications with [insert creature(s)], which include but aren’t limited to daemonism and totemism (neither of which fits what I experience with my fantasy creatures aspects). It’s that therianthropy/otherkin aren’t the only ways to validly experience some personal, deep identification with, connection to, etc. one or more creatures/entities (regardless of if I happen to conclude that my vampire-aspect is otherkin-based or something else). I do actually have a longer essay in the works that I may hopefully finish eventually that delves into that matter further, mainly from my own personal experiences with my various kinds of animality. For now, this writing is simply a small look into that part of me and my perspective on the concept of non-therianthropic/non-’kin-based animality.