Link to original: http://sphynxcatvp.nocturna.org/faq/most-forreal.html
Yes, we are. And no, we're not going away. :P :)
What are the types of vampires?
In the vampire community, the "types" can typically be broken down into one of three categories: Sanguinarians, psivampires, and hybrids. Sanguinarians are vampires who physically drink blood, and do not feed on energy. Psivampires ("energy vampires" is another name) are vampires who feed exclusively on energy and do not drink blood. Hybrid vampires feed on both blood and energy.
Psivampires and hybrid vampires, depending on the individual, may be broken down into further subtypes depending on their preferred / most effective feeding methods.
What makes a person a vampire?
Sanguinarians (blood drinking vampires)
Vampsires that feed only on blood, not energy. For this category, attempting to subsist using energy feeding methods may be damn near impossible, even when they do know how to do it. Some people swear up and down there's energy in the blood, others swear just as much that there isn'tl...it's been the cause of many a flame war over the years. Blood can be gotten from different sources: donors, eating rare steaks, etc. (If a sanguinarian has no donor, what often happens is that they're in a perpetually Thirsty state of mind when they are without adequate substitutes. This is one of the reasons I have the getting blood from a steak article on this site.
Psi-vampires (psychic vampires, energy feeding vampires)
There are many "subtypes" that fall in this category, with the type names (such as "elemental vampire", "tantric vampire", and so on) mainly used as a reference for the preferred/most effective feeding method. No matter how it's described, it's still *energy* in some form. For other people, the differences seem more important, swearing they can use one type of energy but not another.
However, some things get lumped in this category that really shouldn't - like some people's descriptions of themselves as an "empathic vampire" - At it's basic level, being an empath means you're able to feel people's emotions. In some cases, or with unguarded or particularly strong empaths, they actually EXPERIENCE the other person's emotions. (Now picture that in a crowd, and you understand why some people just CAN'T deal with large groups of people for very long...) Taking on someone else's emotions is not a vampiric trait, just an empathic one.
Vampires can also be empaths. Not all empaths are vampires.
Hybrid vampires (utilizing both blood and energy)
This seems to be a pretty typical combination for the majority of vampires online, at least according to Suscitatio's survey results. These are the vampires that can use - or need to use - both blood and energy feeding for best results. Just one or the other doesn't seem to work as well for long periods. The types of energy used will likely vary per individual, the same as there are variations for people who are just energy vampires.
Is vampirism a religion?
Vampirism is NOT a religion. There are people and groups who incorporate vampiric aspects into their faith path, but that is their choice - not a reflection of the real vampire community as a whole. Most vampires tend to have widley varient faith paths, outlooks and life philosophies, the same as any collection of people would. There are vampires who are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Wiccan, or any other religious (or non-religious!) path you can think of. Those that promote a "vampire religion" are not selling anything any more valid than any other religion - so just hold on to your wallet, mmmkay? :)
Are vampires immortal?
I have not met any immortals personally. I am aware there are those on the internet who claim to be immortal, but that always begs the next question - why is their grammar and spelling so terrible, or another example, why do they only speak in "Internet shortcuts" or "txt spk"? If they've truly been around for a few hundred years already, their grammar and spelling would be substantially improved - and without excuses such as "using internet shortcuts" (I actually got that as an excuse from one person...) to save time, because that REALLY hampers communications, and anyone with such advanced age as they often claim would find it at LEAST as annoying as I do, if not more so with their longer exposure to proper grammar.
Can vampires go out in the sun?
It's possible, yes, but there are varying degrees of tolerance and/or discomfort that's often associated with sun exposure. Some of us can tolerate it better than others - this is in part due to genetics, and in part due to factors we *don't* understand yet.
For a genetics example, someone with pale skin will already be prone to sunburn if they're out in the sun too long. Someone who tans easily certainly won't burn as badly under "average" exposure times, if it all. If someone gets chronic migraines to begin with, they may find that any bright light - not just sunlight - is a migraine trigger, or even any UV source, such as blacklights, flourescent bulbs and LCD screens, in addition to sunlight. Moving to a more equatorial region (hotter and sunnier for longer during the year than the original location) will often find their sun tolerance has dropped - but for the merely mundane reason of being exposed to stronger sunlight rays than they're used to. (This particular problem is an issue for ANYONE moving to a more equatorial region, not just vampires.)
Personally, I'm a big believer in liberal applications of QUALITY sunscreen (I have a list over here), and keeping a good portion of my skin covered while in the sun. Keep an eye on the UV Index for your area, so you know how thorough your precautions have to be.
Do vampires have to worry about blood-borne diseases?
Absolutely! Blood itself can carry more diseases than you probably realize, and being a vampire does not make you immune to them, regardless of what some nutjobs out there would have you think.
Some typical blood-borne diseases include: HIV/AIDS, herpes, gonorrea, hepatitis and syphillis. Some "stomach bug" or food poisoning germs may also be transmitted by blood as well. Speaking of food, spongiform encephalopathy (otherwise known as "mad cow disease" - the "spongiform" part of the name refers to the condition of the affected brain, which has an appearance similiar to a sponge.) has been transmitted in the past by blood or meat contaminated by spinal/brain fluids from infected cows. The areas of the cow that are known to harbor that particular germ are now considered off limits in food processing - I mention it as an example of things getting INTO the blood that may not be there under normal circumstances, and which can have deadly consequences.
So yes. Blooddrinking carries risks.
Can vampires eat normal food?
*burrrrp* Yes, and enjoy it quite well, thank you. Rare steak anyone? There are some foods that tend to not agree with some of us, but which foods disagree are not the same for everyone - believe it or not, some of us CAN tolerate garlic quite well, and eat it regularly. There are still food allergies to consider, and ailments like Chron's Disease or Celiac Syndrome that will prevent a person from eating certain foods, however that would be an issue whether or not a person is also a real vampire.
Aren't people claiming to be vampires just crazy?
We're actually more sane than you think.
But consider this.....crazy relative to what?
Religious fanatics who refuse to have a reasonable conversation with anyone who doesn't agree with them? Politicians who insist on taxing the poor and giving to the rich (as if THAT is ever a sane way to support a country...)? Sp