A Necessary Look At Cutting, Safety, & Wound Care

Obligatory disclaimer: We at TRC take safety seriously. We are not medical professionals. We do not encourage the act of cutting and/or blood drinking. In no way is this article an attempt at downplaying the serious nature of such an undertaking. Please be aware that blood-letting is intrinsically dangerous and carries with it some huge, fundamental risks that can negatively impact all parties involved. Hazards and related complications include, but are not limited to, the transmission of blood-borne pathogens, permanent bodily/mental harm, social discomfort and stigma, legal damages and repercussions, and in serious cases, potential mortality. By utilizing any of this information, you agree to and assume 100% of the risks and liabilities involved.



You know what you need, but where do you start?

Sliding a blade through someone’s skin is a daunting concept to entertain, especially when it may harbor some potentially discomforting visceral imagery and inclination. Many of us, in fact, have gone through persistent, formidable bouts of self scrutiny / objection, cognitive dissonance, despair and guilt over it, yet none can deny the fact that there are few other ways to actually get what we need. Coming to terms with this part of ourselves and what it entails is extremely important, both for peace of mind and general health. It doesn’t have to be a dangerously unmanageable process and – this can’t be emphasized enough here – being cautious, alert, and well informed are crucial to that purpose. Being well informed about anatomy, physiology, and safety will help you get a decent bleed without accidentally maiming your donor in the process. Let’s be completely honest here: charging blindly into cutting for blood-letting purposes, like some proverbial bull in a china shop, is recipe for a probable disaster.
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Growing Up As A Med Sang

Trigger Warning: This piece contains themes such as self-harm and suicide.

I recently wrote about the lessons I would teach myself as a young sanguivore. After writing that, I wanted to delve a little into what I experienced growing up and sharing my personal story. I felt this would be better served as its own article.

I came across the Vampire Community when I was young. The years all seem to blend together, but I believe I was around 12-13 at the time. I first started to experience blood-thirst around the age of 12. It was around the time of a pretty traumatic event in my life where I was being stalked and harassed by an older man who made me genuinely fear for my life and look over my shoulder at all times. This situation eventually resolved itself, and to this day, I have no idea if it was some sort of ‘trigger’. What followed was far more long-lasting and terrifying for me.

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Lessons From A Young Sanguivore

There has been a lot of talk lately regarding young sanguivores and the ethics of teaching them. All of the content on The Red Cellar is aimed at those over 18 years of age for numerous reasons. In saying that, the fact is that sanguivores most often realize what they need at a young age. Puberty is the most common time I hear of sanguivores realizing how they are. I myself had this happen to me first beginning around 12 years old, and I was active in the Sanguinarian Community for some time at the age of 14-15. I was not allowed in certain spaces and was asked to leave because of my age. I had no guidance when I desperately needed it, and this resulted in me making an attempt on my own life aged 15 and being targeted by an online predator 12 years my senior. Even after that, I didn’t have anyone teaching me. I had to learn my information from the ground up, and then I began to teach this to others; a habit which continues to this day, 15 years later.

I made a lot of mistakes. I’ve seen plenty of mistakes from other sanguivores I grew up with as well. If I could go back and teach my younger self, there are many lessons and pieces of advice that I would give them. I have decided to share these lessons here.

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When Sanguinarianism Is A Chore

So, this is going to differ a little from the usual angle of sanguinarian self-empowerment because I think it’s important to be real about our struggles and share relatable experiences.

We need to ‘feed’. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to be the best we can be. It doesn’t impact only us in isolation if we do not. That said, it can be draining and exhausting to keep up with. This is especially the case with heavy feeders because it requires that much more upkeep.

When someone is new to sanguinarianism, particularly if it began in adulthood, some can adopt the ‘uber predator’ mindset and find ‘the hunt’ exhilarating. This isn’t a problem at all, but it can be when those individuals condescend or look down on those who’ve been dealing with this for a very long time and have grown weary of it.

To me, this isn’t new and shiny. I’ve been dealing with it for my entire teenage and adult life. Being a sanguivore to me is an identity only insofar as it has shaped my life as I’ve grown, and with the perspective and experience it has given me. I don’t invest much thought or time into it; only my work with TRC and my passion for providing support and content for sangs. My life priorities are quite different than the sanguinarian community or an identity as a sanguivore.

When it’s for the purpose of maintaining health and you’ve had to do it for decades, collecting blood can become quite a chore. When you need to collect a lot of vials or need multiple donors, this can be even more so. Like a vitamin or medicine that you must go through hassle to get every time. Some can get by on animal blood, but those like me who are allergic to it cannot. That’s not to say blood can’t be exciting, passionate or intimate; but that does depend on circumstances and context, and is not the reason why blood is ingested for the vast majority of the time. It is for health maintenance.

I grow tired of the hunger. This thing can be exhausting. Yet I know this too shall pass. There is no point dwelling on an inevitable part of my condition. I don’t even know if I’d change it if I could because it’s shaped me in so many fundamental ways. It’s introduced me to some wonderful people.

A lot of people turn to me for advice on dealing with being a sang, and honestly it’s so much easier to deal with when you have experience and you’ve gotten used to it. However, I have days where I get fed up with it too. There’s nothing wrong with having moments when you just feel exhausted by it and we all have them now and then. This isn’t always an easy path to walk, and by sharing some of my experiences, I hope you realise you’re not alone when you have frustrations. As always, TRC is here to provide the community and support you need in both your dark moments and the good times.

– A

Why Do We Grill Sanguinarians? Help, Don’t Judge

No, I’m not talking about a sanguinarian barbecue. Though that could be interesting.

First, let me clarify my use of the term ‘sanguinarian’ for the purposes of this article. Sanguinarian is generally defined as someone who ‘needs’ to ingest blood for their health. That is the context with which I will use the term here.

I certainly believe that a degree of questioning and healthy skepticism is needed. Yet, there tends to be a bad habit of grilling someone who is trying to figure out their blood need as if to ‘discredit’ them as having a legitimate need or being a ‘sanguinarian’, as if it is some elite club to which only qualified members can join and use the term for themselves. “More vampire than thou” seems applicable here.

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Silence Is Their Greatest Weapon: Donor Exploitation and Abuse by CJ!

A private vent from a friend of many donors who have been abused by self-proclaimed “vampires” inspired this article. Many med sangs are loathe to acknowledge the existence of the “vampire community.” In the long run, active connections to the community may hurt our campaigns toward medical studies to find what may be behind our perceive need for blood, as evidenced through Dr. Tomas Ganz dinging Alexia stating that calling herself “Countess Alexia” resonates fantasy rather than actual need, despite the name being a nod to her Lady Gaga fandom rather than her sanguivory. Right now, providing practical support for blood drinkers with perceived physiological needs and donors without fantastic pretense is our priority and this necessitates some interaction with the vampire community. Many blood drinkers, donors, and even some metaphysically oriented people have found sanctuary in our community as an escape valve from the cults of personality and abuses of authority which permeate the vampire community.

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Sang ‘Feeding’ – Where To Learn Venipuncture

Many sangs require blood in a certain volume. Many stay underfed because they don’t know how to take what they need safely, or even that they need such an amount. As med sang ‘feeding’ methods have become more mainstream, a lot of curiosity has erupted about our practices. Some query how they can safely do the same things so they can get the volume they need.

The problem with this is that it’s impossible to write a guide for this, not only due to potential liability, but because it is such a complex, technical procedure. I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Venipuncture is actually a minimally invasive surgical procedure technically. People go to school for it for a long time. It does carry serious risk and consequences if performed negligently which I’ve covered in previous articles.

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Sanguivore Society: Our Culture, Conduct and Precedent

Cover art: Garth Knight

We have long espoused that blood drinkers do not have rules. There is no governing body. We have no laws other than those set by society at large. Laws are rules enforceable by an authority/the state which we are all expected to follow. Blood drinkers do not have any such authority, nor (I believe) would we ever. However, blood drinkers do not operate in a vacuum. As with all gatherings of people around a commonality, there are unspoken ‘rules’ or courtesies that we all follow. Cutting in line won’t end you up in Court (a real Court, not one of those vampire ones), but it will get you some serious side-eye. This is just one example. We are all, to a greater or lesser extent, expected to follow common sense boundaries set by society.

The blood drinker community is no different. There are unspoken courtesies that, over the years, have come to be properly expected of those involved in a topic so sensitive as blood drinking. Some people could lose their livelihood if ‘outed’. These can include things like discretion, trust, integrity. Not sharing confidential information, not blabbing or bragging about things that should remain private/between personal conversations. Talking about ‘the hunger’ and shameful feelings in the confidence that it will stay within that conversation. Use common sense. Be safe. Be trained. Don’t make the rest of us look bad through inappropriate or dangerous behaviour. There are little regional things I’ve noticed too – even so far as one sang offering another their donor, sharing sources or offering some vials of blood as one would offer a beer; a sign of generosity. There are obvious safety concerns with that with blood testing, but that is outside the scope of this article.

Due to the nature of blood drinking and the vampire archetype, it goes without saying that sanguivores will be perceived/related with the whole ‘vampire’ bit. Some circles handle things in their own way. If an individual is particularly dangerous, ‘community warnings’ or ‘excommunications’ can be posted.

Despite no ‘legal’ binding beyond the actual laws we are all expected to follow, how leaders respond to situations does set a precedent. We have to be extremely careful in how we handle situations as they arise. People watch, people remember, and people expect consistency with someone’s principles. We set for ourselves a margin of acceptance within which we manoeuvre. As with law, each case is unique and facts change; but if we flip flop from one stance to another, our integrity and conviction will not be taken seriously.

I rarely defend people in situations. I defend my principles and what I think is right. Sanguivores are my first priority. That includes them, their donors and overall well-being. We make mistakes and what is important is that we learn from them. The precedent we set lays the groundwork for what kind of community culture is to follow. It is the responsibility of leaders to cultivate a culture that is conducive to the growth of its people (i.e. sanguivores). An example of this is with a dear friend of mine whom, several years back, accidentally botched the slaughter of a rabbit for blood. Another sang made this public. Despite becoming highly proficient at the skill, she was vilified and called ‘bunny butcher’. I have always been of the opinion that it was breaking an unspoken, almost sacrosanct, rule to not sell out another sang with something highly confidential discussed in trust. If she were still alive, and if the community culture is one of learning, she could have been able to educate someone to avoid her mistakes. My stance on such things has never changed. Of course, if someone is breaking ACTUAL serious laws, they should be reported to the authorities accordingly.

As always, the precedent I want to set for sanguivores is one of openness, learning, guidance, and support. I will always stand by my convictions in that regard and openly oppose anything which I feel creates, or could create, a hostile environment for sanguivores. We walk a difficult path with few who understand, and deserve safe spaces with those of like-kind.

No, Donors Are Not Your Food Or Farm Animals

There has been a trend lately that has been bothering me. The talk of donors as cattle. Some of it is subtle, but it is there. It is the same insidious condescension and oppression that other minorities experience, and as feeders, we should know better.

Donors aren’t things to be ‘farmed’. We should not objectify our donors. Donors are autonomous human beings, and we have a symbiotic relationship. In fact.. we need donors. Donors don’t need us. Wanting our donors to be healthy should be common decency as a human being, not viewing them as an object of use.

I have as much of a predatory nature as anyone else. Mine is intense and I had to practice daily meditation to control myself for years. That doesn’t mean we are okay to treat other people as food. Some may say the blood itself is objectified and not the person. When someone objectifies a woman for sex, they are still objectifying her as a person.

We have a responsibility to encourage the right attitudes towards the very people who help us stay healthy and sane. If I was a blood donor and was spoken of in that way, I’d walk right off. It alienates people. There aren’t enough visible donors as it is. We are all human beings, and we should care for one another regardless. Donors have autonomy. They cannot be farmed. If you treat them poorly, they will leave and there’s not a thing you can do about it. It’s that simple.

Every sanguivore is responsible for:

  1. Managing expectations with their donor, and being clear what the nature of their relationship will be from the start;
  2. Making sure their donor is tested and keeping current with paperwork, taking into account any recent risk exposure such as sex. HIV takes weeks to show up on a test;
  3. Having thorough and complete knowledge of how to draw blood safely and best practice. This involves more than YouTube videos. Take a course (you can buy a venipuncture one online for $70), read books. Build on your knowledge. I’ve done a course and have practiced venipuncture for years, and I still read books on it to develop my knowledge and keep it fresh. There are several available on Kindle. Learn about the human circulatory system and sites to avoid, regardless of how blood is drawn.
  4. Make sure the donor is safe to donate. Ensure they are not malnourished and do not take too much blood. Be mindful of things like a self-harming history if drawing blood through cutting.
  5. Practice after-care with your donor. Dress the site appropriately, whether with cuts or needles.
  6. Treating your donor with respect. They are not food. They’re doing this to care for you. They deserve nothing less than your respect and appreciation.

There are more things, but this is a start. Be safe, be mindful and be CAREFUL. Know that how you talk about donors reflects on you and also influences how others see them.