“Behind a Vampiric Grin” (10/16/2013 & 4/16/2021)
Journeying into writing some on the psyche of the blutpir (and specifically myself as a blutpir otherkin), to get further in depth about some of what it is like and entails beyond just outward behavior and [perceived] appearance. One of the most notable things I’ve come back to numerous times and taken to trying to learn more about the “why” behind it is the particular tendency for blutpirs (or at least me as one) to make a certain kind of grinning expression. When jotting down a list of some vampiric traits/behaviors of mine back in 2012, I specifically wrote “wide-mouthed, sly ‘grin’, baring teeth and fangs—predatory and confident mindset”. I’ll get back to this more later, but that’s actually a behavior displayed frequently by Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge (the main vampire) in Fright Night 2011, and the way he does it (among some other expressions and behaviors of his, and the general mindset he shows) is part of what drew me to thinking he is the best-acted depiction of a vampire I’ve come across thus far. I know that cattish grin, all too well, from myself doing it for years, yet it isn’t just the expression itself, but also the mindset and emotions behind it—the ‘psyche’ part of it.
It’s the kind of grin that makes me think “if cats could grin/smile, this is basically what they’d look like when in predatory (even sometimes playful predatory) mode”. It’s the grin of a predator enjoying being predator—of it embracing, maybe sometimes “reveling” in its predatory nature and its confidence in being a predator. This ‘cheshire’ grin is rooted in, from what I can decipher, a sense of pride (not really in an egotistical or selfish sense, but more in a “self-confident” way), pleasure, and satiation in acting on the predatory, vampiric instincts, or even times outside of that when the vampire feels particularly comfortable and confident while knowing that it can snap instantly into active predatory mode if the need or opportunity arises suddenly. In some contrast, a blutpir in aggressive (without predatory-specific intent) or angry mode probably isn’t apt to make the cattish grin much or at all. Like the difference between a cat bristled in offensiveness or defensiveness at something they perceive to be threatening to them, verses a cat consumed in ‘playing’ with a live animal until the animal dies from the ‘play’ or shock (if it doesn’t manage to escape)—the blutpir’s grin would be like and happen with a mindset similar to what the cat is like in the latter scenario.
In Fright Night 2011, Jerry was portrayed as tending toward making that cattish grin even when his intended prey injured or otherwise physically harmed him, because (from what I gather) he wasn’t in that offensive/defensive or angry mindset, instead he perceived the attempts to stop him by harm to be just a more motivating and elating part of the challenge of capturing and destroying his intended prey. He didn’t seem to perceive them as a genuine threat to him—he knew they weren’t harming him in any lasting, let alone fatal, way, and that he would quickly heal any injuries they made. So they were, in a sense, just whetting his appetite for the hunt of them even more. He was allured by the challenge they presented—that they actually fought back and kept managing to get away from him, which so much of his prey didn’t do. I also love that Colin Farrell sort of verified this in one of the interviews he had about the movie, specifically saying:
“Jerry was just bored with being 400 years old….So, you mess around with backstory. He probably was a little bit bored, so he was pushing the envelope, which explained certain behaviors that I found it hard to rationalize, like the motorbike and the blowing up of the house, and that drawing of attention. His preternatural skill allows him to get out of any jam. Even if the fucking National Guard descended on him, he’d be up in the air and sitting in a cave in Venezuela, in the space of a couple of hours. You’re unbound by this mortal logic that we all live in. This guy is pretty bored with the tedium of life. He really sees Charley as a challenge, and he’s enjoying the game. He’s like a cat with a ball of wool.” Source: https://collider.com/colin-farrell-craig-gillespie-fright-night-interview/
And I wonder about how this kind of mindset relates to how blutpir manifests in me during sexual related activities, giving that my supposed ‘prey’ at the time isn’t even someone I’m wanting to significantly/badly harm, nor kill, and the person (my partner) isn’t acting in a way that is like a prey animal in defense mode of some type or otherwise presenting me with any kind of notable ‘challenge’ as a “vampire”. However, I’ve had to try to think of this situation from the context of specifically blutpirs and not a lot of other renditions of fantastical vampires (including Jerry from Fright Night). Blutpirs, due to learned and evolved survival reasons, don’t aim to kill humans most of the time when they are intending to feed on fresh human blood. Their means of ‘hunting’ and ‘playing’ with their prey is much less about physically and psychologically terrifying their prey and more about making sure they get the sustenance they need, while gaining some playful enjoyment out of the experience.
They’d prefer prey that is actively engaged with them to some or a great extent—as cats tend to get bored with prey/toys that are motionless and passive, because they want the prey to be active and keep them engaged in interest and enjoyment. Sometimes, I imagine, blutpirs would be apt to take non-consenting prey, and I think that would probably be especially a preference for those who are ‘bored’, per se, with the routine of feeding from just consensual prey. Heck, some of them may at times take to hunting nonhuman animals in part because of the sheer challenge presented in hunting and capturing them in order to feed. But consensual prey can be easier and safer in numerous ways, so while doing that, maybe the blutpir instincts crave for the prey to be actively engaged with the blutpir physically, rather than passively sitting/laying there while the vampire drinks. It would be for the blutpir more enticing and satisfying to, for example, be involved in sexually related acts (whether they end up involving penetrating sex or not) while they consume the blood they are seeking. So during such times, the blutpir is experiencing mental and physical pleasure, partially from the successful attainment of blood and partially from sexual activity. Yet it’s the sort of pleasure from playing/toying with their ‘food’, per se, successfully while being able to ‘be’/reveal their vampiric self (physically, mentally, and behaviorally), rather than just hiding as they usually do, that I think draws out that characteristic grin of prideful confidence and cattiness.
I just wonder if in some cases a blutpir mindset (of course, fictionally/hypothetically) would veer toward a forceful, vicious predatory manner if a consensual, sex-related feeding turned into being non-consensual (maybe due to the human deciding that the pain involved is too much, or otherwise wanting to end the act of the vampire feeding and/or sex)—as in, maybe the blutpir would continue to perceive the human as prey and something becomes triggered in them to see the human as a challenge to be attacked, seized, and potentially destroyed. It likely would go along with being another aspect of their human/nonhuman instincts and nature that they have to, as individuals, choose how to balance and to what extent. In that some blutpirs could possibly become so enveloped in the act of ‘hunting’, ‘playing’, and feeding on their prey that if their consensual prey decides they aren’t going to consent anymore at that time before the blutpir feels they are finished enough, the vampire could continue their ‘hunting’ or ‘play’ more viciously to the victim and severely harm the individual or kill them. And it could be a line that is very thin and fine to walk for some blutpirs, while for others it could be a distinct, thick line they manage to stay well away from. Potential victims, however, would probably not know the difference until it was too late.
This all makes me think of the variation in personalities amongst different vampire characters and how the more ‘brooding’ ones that dislike or outright hate being vampires are ones I’m not as drawn to, in general. My mind is drawn more toward ones like that version of Jerry Dandrige with his cat-like viciousness and wickedness and his sort of charisma. Which is actually kind of weird and interesting considering how much of a caring, docile, and pacifistic person I really am. It’s a stark contrast in my mentality that I get during a lot of my vampire mental shifts. It doesn’t even ever involve me craving blood, it’s instead a predatory mindset colored strongly by high self-assurance in my abilities as a vampire (that I, of course, don’t actually have) with a readiness to ‘hunt’ or viciously ‘play’ with some kind of prey.
That mindset is also something that I’ve always steered away from letting other people see with the exception being my long-term partner who has seen me kind of vampiric during sex. I think these vampire m-shifts are a big contributor to me feeling ‘monstrous’ inside and being so hesitant for a lot of my life to accept and embrace my monster-heartedness, especially with that mindset being so very different from my normal personality. I felt (and still feel to a notable extent) that it was something I should hide away from everyone–and seeing myself echoed in stories and characters of monsters who felt they had to hide their monstrosity from others. It’s not just experiencing the m-shifts that feels monstrous but also the fact that I simply enjoy the feeling so much–it’s freeing and sometimes borderline euphoric (more so during sexual activity with most of my pleasure coming from the mental shifts rather than physical pleasure). The shifts give me a sense of pride and confidence to extents and in ways I don’t otherwise experience, and it’s honestly so nice to be able to feel that way, however fleetingly. If I could have been somehow born in a world as a blutpir or became one, my personality may have turned out more like how I am during those m-shifts, yet it wouldn’t be the entirety of my personality–just a portion of it with my meekness and docility replaced by something bolder and more confident, while keeping a lot of the remainder of my personality as I am in this life. My experiences in being vampirekin give me glimpses of not a past life but what could have been me in an alternate life if blutpirs were actually real instead of just concepts in my mind and subjective otherkin experiences.
I have multiple human(oid) original characters but Sonne–despite how rough of a concept she ever was–is ultimately the one I see myself in the most: a strong, powerful, bold, and self-assured vampire who is also very caring, passionate, and protective of what and who she cares for; things I’ve often aspired to. In some sense, that rough character concept became part of me as I further developed my animality and vampirekin identity until I came to take on her name as my own ‘true’ name. It’s really in these writings and the therian/’kin communities that I feel the least hidden from the world and the most comfortably like my true self–that I get to let who I really am inside shine, and it is in that experience that I find The Sanctuary of my soul I’ve written about before. This all speaks of just why I believe I am vampirekin–not for wanting to drink blood, not just the fangs and claws, not for liking vampire media–rather it’s a feeling, mentality, and experience that runs deep into my soul and that which is truly me, no matter how few people ever get to see or experience that part of who I am. I feel more assured in who and what I am even as I sit here reflecting on this and singing vampirically along in my mind to music, with my fangs shifted and lips peeled back to accommodate them. I’ve missed feeling this over the years.