Are You Hungry?

I am an energetic vampire.  I feed, and fuel myself, off the energy others give me.  In modern psychic vampire language, I would argue I am an ethical secondary psi-vamp functioning both on ambient feeding and direct feeding.  In lay language- I only take what is given or sitting around unused, and I don’t need it, it just makes my life easier and happier sometimes, and its hot.  To be more honest, I am an energetic conduit in both directions, and that sometimes with the amount I give out, it must come back to maintain homeostasis.

Tonight I found myself talking with someone else who energetically feeds to keep their emotional, physical and mental health in check, and as part of a tribal community of other psychic/energetic vampires with a specific culture of their own.  I asked her how often she fed.

Oh, when I realize I have been being cranky or rude, I do, she commented.

So, when you are hungry, you go feed?

Well, yes, as soon as I can after that.

So, when you are starving?

It is fascinating to me that there is a lack of language in much of the psychic vampire community around when to feed.  I see the same issue in other relationships and communities as well.  These issues apply to the kink community, polyamory, and hell, interacting humans and other two-legged folks as well.

So, in our standard culture, when do we eat?  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Midnight snack, Tea… they are all cultural cues as to when to feed or fuel our physical form.  Other dietary cultural systems exist as well- the grazing, for example.  But when we are presented with the classic three meals a day model, there is a fascinating tool available for the eater.  Culture has said “it is morning- eat something.”  Though some parts of our world, some family traditions and habits, dictate what we should eat and how much… the tool called “meal” has the potential to be an amazing resource.  We wake and go to eat this breakfast meal- how hungry are we?  Do you want a bagel, or a handful of raspberries, or a 3-egg and cheese omlette with a side of waffles and gravy?

Our culture gives us the power to ask this question, do I need fuel, three times a day (or more).  Compulsion and habituation aside, it is a fascinating tool.  One that allows us to ask “how hungry am I” before we are hungry and grabbing for the first thing we can find.

This does not happen oftentimes in the psi-vamp community.  We wait until our batteries are on fumes or out, and hope we have somewhere not too far away and not too hard to work for.  We wait until we are assholes, to fix the issue, instead of having a system of regular check ins with ourselves and a culture to ask others in our tribal systems if they are hungry, before they are starving.

The same thing happens in the BDSM community.  We have built up a culture of safewords- tell me when we go too far, rather than happy words- tell me when you are happy or content with where we have gone and can end on a high note.  We do this in relationships, waiting until we are “lonely” to go looking at internet chat sites or dive into the dating pool, instead of going in when we have space in our heart for being happy still without partnership.

The psi-vamp community also has an ancient cultural issue.  Within the mythologies and truths of many, there is personal gnosis (verified and unverified) that in the past they were worshipped as gods, and their food was brought to them.  How does one ask to eat, when one was always simply brought food in abundance?  How do we learn to ask for our needs when we were used to being catered to?  Still anchored in that place, instead of 2010, profound sorrow and hubris can blend into a place that leaves those with non-normative fuel needs for full functionality operating in erratic manners and ways.

For what does a starving man do?  They beg.  They borrow.  They steal.  They resort to dumpster diving or withering away.  They get food boxes that are full of peas and carrots that have not seen their pea and carrot souls in many many years.

The same is true of the starving energetic thirst.  We beg.  We coerce.  We steal.  We resort to dumpster diving at clubs or withering away locked in our homes.  We go to anywhere desperate people are that have not seen their envigorized souls in many years.

We are what we eat, are we not?

I would like to see a cultural expansion, not just amongst psi-vamps, but amongst the world at large.  Cultural tools that can be put in place to ask each other if we are hungry, before we are starving.  Because we have all been attacked by starving mouths hungry for love and connection- people who we offered one smile to and then could not shake off.  What if we could cut this off before it becomes leech-like?  What if there were a way to encourage folks to get their needs met before they are on empty?

Today I am full.  Today I am happy and beaming, knowing I am loved.  Today I processed with a former partner, made dreams with a current one, had visions of passion revealed by someone that wraps up my heart… and I am soaring.  Today 6 random people sent me hugs or similar by text or email, and I folded space and time to pack my frame pack for my next trip.

But I am already considering for myself- what will I do?  How will I ask myself, in a few days… are you hungry?


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.


  1. Hmmm. Someday, you may be in the dictionary.

  2. Great post! Couldn’t agree with you more! I think if we all were more aware of our energetic and spiritual hungers, and fed ourselves before we were starving, not only would we be happier, but I have a sneaking suspicion we’d have greater physical health and less physical obesity in our society. I vote for more campfires, and home cooking, and passport stamps, and less frenzy and deadlines and Big Macs.

  3. Regarding the physical obesity comment:

    I vaguely recall a study about how the body responds to food. If I remember it correctly, the hungrier a person gets before eating, the more food will be converted to fat, as the body reacts to a perceived famine.

    Does a similar effect apply to psychic hunger? And if so, what is the psychic equivalent of fat?

  4. :continues to think of you and send energy your way:

  5. before I start internalizing everything, you’ve definitely given meaty food for thought. *hugs* question: what’s the difference between a psy vamp and a leech?

  6. I would argue that any individual that needs energy/chi outside of what their body naturally produces to stay healthy, hale and whole is in the overarching category of psychic or energetic vampire. Most of us slip into this state once in a blue moon, but some live there, it is a regular need, just like food or water or a place to sleep.

    How psi-vamps feed and conduct themselves determines whether or not they are a leech, someone who drains others without regard to that individual staying healthy, hale, whole and functioning to their best possible capacity on this planet.

    In classical magical texts, all psi-vamps were by definition leeches. I find this is not the case. It is like saying everyone who does kink are counter culture, etc. There are many who might fit the definition and perception, but not LARGE swaths of the psi-vamps out there. The texts in question were concerned about protection from those who feed heavily, indiscriminately, or in a way that negatively affected others. Individuals who did not do this were not considered worth thinking about, thus were ignored and not even considered by the authors to be psi-vamps.

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