Blood donors are great. Seriously. Let’s raise a glass and give a hand to all of our blood donors.
No, this is not another April Fool’s article, by the way.
I was surprised at the response to my article about the nurture of blood donors. The number of donors who commented about sang abandonment was interesting indeed. It saddened me to see that people who understand something which is, let’s face it, pretty weird to the outside world had their heart broken for caring enough to give.
Now, I know there are two sides to every story. I will attempt to cover some of these points here. Still, I wanted to write this piece to share my personal appreciation of donors and share some thoughts about blood donation.
I hereby declare that I renounce med sangs, and that as of today, I am forming the Court of Bloodshadow. I will head the Court as Alexia Bloodshadow, Vampire Queen of Washington and God-Emperor. I expect dues to be paid by all vampires of Washington by both worship and blood donations. If you don’t, I will declare you sin nomine. Appropriate dress for Washington vampires is to remain, at all times, fangs that are at least 1cm in length, and contacts in either light blue, yellow, or white. Ankhs worn around the neck, silver only, at least 1 inch in length are also required. This is to express our true inner vampire. Black clothing and lots of eyeliner is preferred.
Happy April Fool’s Day and Easter from The Red Cellar!
This is what is so admirable. Overcoming adversity, the willingness to be different, a pariah, all for the sake of one’s own values. The willingness to stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it. The people who don’t give a fuck about adversity or failure or embarrassing themselves or shitting the bed a few times. The people who just laugh and do what they believe in anyway. Because they know it’s right. They know it’s more important than their own feelings and their own pride and their own ego.
– Mark Manson
In society, we have an expectation to live up to. We aren’t skinny enough. Not wealthy enough. Often, people feel the need to protect themselves from the masses. Online, we can portray a version of ourselves that we want to be. Egos are protected. This breeds defensiveness. We want to feel successful. Some are so afraid of failure that they never even try.
Giving blood is the ultimate self-sacrifice. Donors give of themselves to us for us to feel better. Or is it? Is giving blood such a huge sacrifice? Stay with me here.
Many sanguines are troubled by a notion of hurting the donor. The fact that a donor has to be stuck, cut, or somehow ‘harmed’. I feel that the innate nature of sanguivores is the cause of that. We have urges. We want to bite. We hunger for that blood. We twoof. We then feel horrible for doing so. Some feel ashamed, guilty. Some, over time, have accepted that this is simply who they are. Some stay stuck in this negative feedback loop of self-loathing. But donors don’t often feel the same way about giving their blood. The two perspectives can be in juxtaposition.
An article was recently posted on Ranker discussing the horrors that come with drinking blood. You can find it here. It demonstrates how many external ‘real vampire’ authors push for sensationalism and a juicy editorial piece for their readership. Unfortunately, this often comes at the cost of accurate data, proper research, and a thorough understanding of the subject matter. A more realistic article for me would have been ‘the horrifying consequences of NOT drinking blood. It’s not a choice. It’s a need, and something we have to live with. Our bodies fail us if we don’t.
Let me address the plethora of inaccuracies and logical holes in the article.
Given the advent of social media in today’s world, it is all the more imperative that those who can’t afford for their identity to be revealed are protected.
Please be aware that these agreements do carry with them certain implications, and may, in some cases, make a donor wary among many other complications.
You can access a free, editable NDA document that is specific to our situation here. Please note that this does not constitute legal advice. If you are worried about legal implications, please see an attorney.
Fun fact – you can use this if you’re into kinky sex, too. Just change it to ‘Dominant & Submissive’. 😉 “Alexia Grey will see you now…” *commence The Weeknd – Earned it*
As a professional, I have a voracious appetite for knowledge. I spend time learning in the majority of my free time every day. Lately, I’ve been enveloped in the world of marketing, and I can’t help but think of how the core principles mirror what is needed to help in building a community.
These principles are: providing value, a point of differentiation, and then segmentation, targeting and positioning.
What do I mean by this? Firstly, you can’t make everyone happy. Medical sanguivores have very different experiences from some self identified vampires. The not using vampire alone is a point of difference. Criticisms sometimes arise regarding segmentation, but I find this a necessary principle. To focus on your niche of people, you position yourself to provide the greatest value to that niche. Content and support tailored specifically for them. This is one of many reasons that I encourage everyone to acknowledge and celebrate differences. Find your tribe, and work tirelessly to provide for them. You will never please everyone and if you try, you won’t be providing the best value to everyone. Someone will be doing it better than you.
How to create value? Well, there are a whole number of ways. Here are some things that come off the top of my head:
Create a culture of learning. No one comes to anything knowing it all from the get go. Even masters continually learn, and it’s the ability to move between learner and master that helps the best leaders provide for their people. Keep learning. Encourage learning in others. Share information and knowledge freely, and help others to cultivate their skills. Help them to provide value in their own ways.
Find your pain points and target them. Discover what is missing and what there is a need for. I did this when I saw a clear need for atheist, scientifically-oriented sanguivores whose needs were not being met. This could be something like knowledge about blood safety, or what additives are safe to consume. These needs will differ drastically depending on the individual. Tailor your efforts accordingly.
Build infrastructure. Not everyone has the time, resources or personality type to create an organisation or group. Some people desperately need it all the same. Some are too young to be able to establish a group. Build. Create. Start projects and help to make things better. Do in-person meets and training sessions. Provide the framework for growth and people will follow.
Ask questions and leave ego at the door. Listen to what people are telling you. As with market research, study your target audience and ask for feedback. Observe. Ask what people need. Serving those who need it is a privilege; exercise humility. Ask how you can better support those around you and what would make their lives better. Help them find their own voice. Work for the betterment of others, not for the praise or swelling of your ego.
Teaching others and sharing knowledge is extremely rewarding, and by finding your niche and applying the above principles, you can help to build a support network that provides for all those within it.
Everyone has their opinion on what can be done better, what improvements can be made, or how things should be run with a project. A recurring theme I notice is people who are disillusioned with the status quo or how things are being done. I often then ask, “why can’t you start these things yourself?”..
One thing I try my hardest to do with med sangs, or to be honest, anyone who asks is to encourage people to take action. It’s easy to get bogged down with your doubts and thoughts. It’s easy to believe you’re not capable of making waves, of enacting change, of helping others.
The people you surround yourself with greatly influence how near or far success feels at any given time. Action begets action from others. So what if you’re new? So what if you don’t yet have it all figured out? So what if you don’t yet command the respect you desire from your peers? These things come along the way and with time. People respect action and someone at least trying to make things better for people. If you screw up, at least you’ve learned lessons along the way. This can pertain to a number of things; starting a meet up group, a new organisation, a business, or a movement. People join when they see action and believe in your message.
I try to facilitate and encourage my friends to write and create projects. I aim to support initiatives of others if I agree with them. I think it’s important for us all to cultivate creativity and passion in people by giving them tools, a platform, and support.
Are you bitter, or do you want to make things better? If the latter, how? What can YOU do today to create value for other people?
Forget the haters. Leave behind the negative self-talk. Believe in yourself. Take action. Just DO IT.
After my recent post about safety with blood feeding, I had the opportunity to answer some questions from one of our readers. I found this conversation valuable, and so have decided to share it below (with permission). It is a long one, but I think it’s worth it.
I recently asked what content and resources are needed for blood drinkers. A topic that rightly came up was safety. How can I get trained as a phlebotomist? Which areas of the body should I avoid when using blades? How do I get a blood test? Is blood drinking illegal?