What's it Like Being a Vampire?

Written by: Sanguinarius
Link to original: http://www.sanguinarius.org/faqs/index.php?action=artikel&cat=3&id=24&artlang=en

How do I answer this? How does one answer, for instance, the question, "What's it like being human?" -- How can I explain it? It's a state of being, and it's all I really know. To me, it's completely normal, and I can only compare and contrast it to what I see of others who are not vampires in order to know that it is unusual or not the normal thing. I can hold my own self and experiences (as well as those of others who are also vampires) up to what I see of those who are mundane "humans", and list some of the things which I see are different. Then the differences I can label as being positives or negatives.

It's not like asking, "What's it like being blonde?" because then I could dye my hair blonde and see how things are different, then relate my experiences as both blonde and browne-haired. I can probably say that vampires don't have more fun, though. Or maybe we just have different types of fun?

Below, I have attempted to list some of the benefits and drawbacks of being a vampire as best I can.

Some benefits of being a vampire

  • Increased endurance, when you've fed well.
  • The euphoria and sense of peace once you have fed.
  • Better than average night-vision.
  • Garrison says, "Benefit: Knowing. Seeing. -- If you pay attention. Explanation: Vampires do have some sensory advantages. If you use these, you can perceive a lot more than most humans. It can be enough to make it seem that you're psychic. But it also requires that you watch what's going on around you and don't become overly wrapped up in yourself, which is very easy to do."

The flip-side: Some disadvantages of being a vampire

  • A good text to consult for the disadvantages would be Problems Vampires Have.
  • You are endlessly thirsty, it seems.
  • Weakness, lack of energy when one doesn't feed.
  • Every time you feed, you may be risking your life by ingesting blood and exposing yourself to some possibly fatal disease.
  • Negative reactions and/or lack of understanding from people who know you're a vampire; or when they know you "think" you're a vampire, but don't accept or believe it themselves.
  • You need to watch what you eat.
  • People who don't understand what we are and aren't wanting us to turn them.

Some advantages fantasized by wannabes, which aren't real (e.g. it will make you sexier)

  • It doesn't make you sexier. It just makes too many people perceive you as sexier because of what they read and see of vampires in fiction and movies.
  • Sexual prowess. Same as above.
  • They think it will give them power, powers, or immortality.
  • They think that, somehow, their problems will be solved, or their lives will be made better.
  • They think that vampires are better than, superior to, the average man; like once they are vampires they will be made better, faster, smarter, more powerful, suave, alluring, above men, impervious to injury or emotional upsets. That vampires are somehow Man, perfected.
  • I think some people feel that "the vampire" has a kind of power in his alone-ness.

Sebastian lists some of the fantasized/fictionalized vulnerabilities which aren't real

  • Garlic -- personally, I *love* the stuff. Its antiseptic properties brought it to attention during the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages, when the vampire archetype really developed a public profile.
  • Silver -- same as for garlic.
  • No reflections -- not a vulnerability, but relevant. This derives from the pre-photon era belief that people's reflections were actually reflections of their souls. Since vampires "obviously" didn't have them...
  • Running water -- I've crossed it in pretty much every way possible. This comes from the same origin as the "no reflections" idea, though it initially applied to witches, water being the only kind of mirror most people had at the time this idea gained currency.
  • Crucifixes -- Only psychological, where it applies. I believe the origins of this one lie with Dracula's past as a Catholic: such potent reminders of what he was in the context of his background upset him deeply. No damage to him, but he tended to retreat.
  • Same goes for holy water, and anything else of this ilk.
  • Coffin required for sleep -- we're not dead, and haven't been. They're not required, though the sunlight-sensitive with no curtains may find them useful for keeping sunlight away. And some, of course, just can't resist the romantic image.
  • Soil of the homeland required under bed/coffin -- only for the extremely homesick. And if it's that bad, they really should just go home.


All that swept aside, being a vampire can be very hard at times, but that is mainly because society is not capable of or willing to meet our particular needs, or even acknowledge them as being valid (maybe because then it would have the obligation to meet them, which is something that it does not want to do). If that sounds harsh, then, well, society is harsh on us, too.