Anton LaVey calls it "psychic vampirism".
Sarah Dorrance (1)( a self proclaimed Emotional Vampire ) says:
"One type of vampirism frequently gets swept under the rug in real-vamp discussions, and that's the need to feed on the emotions of others. It's a very real hunger, and it's just as demanding as any other vampiric hunger, perhaps even more unbearable because the vampire's own emotions are involved."
A new book (2)"Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry", by Albert Bernstein, (clinical psychologist and 30-year veteran therapist), is an expert on such creatures.
Dr. Bernstein says, "A quick primer: They're different from regular folks, their prey. They might appear sexier, more exciting, talented, charming, creative or successful. But they often see their needs as paramount to everyone else's and nurture the annoying belief that rules are for the little people. They're never at fault. (No reflections, remember?) They're powerful in the dark. They can turn you into one of them, or at least drag you down to their level. When denied, they throw massive, manipulative tantrums. And their shapes shift. They play roles so well, they often fool themselves. "
Daniel Rhodes & Kathleen Rhodes, D. N. Sc., write in their book, (3)"VAMPIRES Emotional Predators Who Want to Suck the Life Out of You"
"Very real vampires are stalking their prey from the shadows not the supernatural kind, but people we deal with every day, who deliberately drain our mental and emotional energy. Many of these predators know exactly how much frustration, anger, and anxiety they inflict, while others carry on virtually unaware of the damage they cause, and victim are many times unaware that they are being bled.
What is an emotional predator? These "vampires" manipulate, use, and psychologically abuse friends, relatives, and even total strangers. By controlling situations and people for their own purposes, these emotional "blood suckers" gain strength to strike again."
You are probably saying to yourself what does this have to do with BDSM. Well, after researching this subject for the last six months I've come to the conclusion that many Emotional Vampires live on line and many within the BDSM community. I personally can recall four or five past love interests and submissives who are Emotional Vampires. What I have also found is that most if not all of them do not realize that they are EVamps.
All of the Doctors and Sarah agree that all of us have the potential to be an EVamp from time to time when we face a particular stressful place in our lives. The difference is these EVamps live this way daily. What I've seen in the "scene" is the preponderance of what I used to call "Drama Queens" and now call "Emotional Vampires".
Both of the books I quoted speak about Emotional Vampirism and the emotional problems the EVamps have, Sarah Dorrance on the other hand disagrees, (of course she would, she's an EVamp). <g>
Sarah Dorrance says:
(1)"The other reason responsible feeding is tricky is that strong emotion of any sort is very addictive - like other forms of the hunger.<snip> Feeling hungry? Piss off your lover. Cling to a friend. Flirt with that guy who you know likes you, although you have little intention of actually delivering the goods. Go to a tent revival, a rock concert, a political demonstration. Argue about abortion rights with someone who has very strong feelings about the subject. Get someone to fall in love with you. Strip naked and let yourself be admired (yes, that can work for panic energy as well, but emotional energy requires far less concentration)"
Sarah Dorrance says EVamps need to learn to feed correctly so as to not make their donors flee in terror. All of the Doctors say, Flee in terror, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I suppose it all depends on how brave or skillful you are.
So why is this important to me in terms of my BDSM? Knowledge. It's that simple, if I find myself in a relationship or with someone who leaves me exhausted emotionally at the end of the day, I should probably start questioning why. If my relationship seems to always be in constant turmoil I need to ask myself why.
I believe EVamps are plentiful in the BDSM community because we offer a ready pool of donors. Especially on line, (but not limited to on line), we have a large number of rescuers who see this poor person all disheveled and an emotional mess and the rescue mode clicks on never thinking about this poor person being an EVamp. That is until they've been sucked dry.
Am I blaming the Emotional Vampire? Heck no, they are just doing what EVamps do, FEED, FEED and FEED some more. You can't take issue with someone for being what they are. My warning is though, get some silver bullets, grab some garlic, carry a wooden stake with you or run from the next Emotional Vampire you meet. Unless of course you like being a donor and in that case you now know the risks.
Now some EVamps will start to howl and bark at the moon about my post, after all Vampires don't like light. The point of my post is to shine the light on one problem area in BDSM circles.
You will never help this kind of person, never. Did I happen to mention, you can't help this kind of person? Once they have used you up they will move on to their next meal and forget you ever existed. No matter what they say, they don't want your help anyway, your a meal and they're just hungry.
Copyright 2000 - Blue