This is a category defined more by clinical psychology than popular consensus. A blood fetishist is a person who derives intense erotic/sexual arousal or satisfaction from the taste, sight, or feel of human blood. In psychological terms, a true fetishist requires the object of obsession in order to gain any sexual release; in practice, blood fetishists may be more flexible. Blood fetishists themselves explain that they practice bloodletting as an expression of trust, intimacy and bonding, apart from specifically erotic aspects.
Blood fetishists are often found in the BDSM subculture, where their specific activities may be referred to as "bloodplay" or "bloodsports." These generally involve BDSM scenes that include bloodletting with razor blades or other implements (and sometimes by very imaginative methods). The amount of blood involved is almost always very small, and cuts seldom penetrate the dermis of the skin. Safe bloodletting techniques are highly emphasized. Blood fetishists may or may not be bona fide vampire-identified people, or have any interest in actually drinking or tasting blood. While often referred to as "vampires" in psychological literature, they seldom describe themselves with that word.
The BDSM subculture is often referred to as "the scene" by its members. A substantial percentage of the Offline Vampire Community, especially in the pre-Internet years, identified as vampires and became part of the the Vampire Community via the BDSM scene. They introduced a significant amount of terminology, concepts, structure and activities, particularly in the New York City, or Gotham, club-based network.
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