Here’s What You Need to Know About Blood Fetishes

*Trigger warning: this post contains mentions of extreme BDSM blood play that involves cutting.*

While the link between blood and sex is often judged by those who don’t share in blood-related kinks and fetishes, there is undeniably some kind of link between blood and sex. 

Whether it’s the little blood that comes from a woman losing her hymen the first time she has sex or the idealized sexuality of violence portrayed in mainstream media...it’s not that difficult to draw a connection between the two. 

Everyone likes different things. If you find yourself aroused by blood, you’re not a freak or a sociopath - and you’re definitely not alone. And if the idea of mixing blood and sex makes you queasy, you’re not a prude.

When it comes to taboo and potentially dangerous fetishes like blood play, the goal is to find a positive, healthy way to express those desires and fulfill those fantasies in order to have a satisfying and exciting sexual experience. 

What Are Blood Fetishes? 

Blood-related fetishes or kinks are an extreme form of BDSM edgeplay that is considered to be extremely taboo, mostly due to the potential dangers that are involved.

Hematolagnia is described as a fetish for blood that induces intense arousal when blood is present during sexual activities. This can be anything from being aroused by bloody/graphic images to wanting to explore different forms of blood play such as blood-letting or knife play. 

For many, the mere presence of blood during intercourse is enough excitement. For others, they need to experience the feel or taste of blood to be aroused and have a satisfying experience. 

There are a few different kinds of blood kinks - some can be a bit tamer and therefore less taboo, such as indulging in a period panty fetish. And then there are the more extreme and oftentimes controversial blood-related kinks that can include knife play or a desire to feel or even drink blood. 

What is The Appeal of Blood Play? 

Blood is at the very center of our beings - our veins course with blood and even our language can be rather steeped in bloody imagery. 

Describing your family as your “flesh and blood”. 

The age-old saying “blood is thicker than water” or explaining how angry you are by saying something “makes your blood boil”. 

Blood is primal and essential to life, so it the idea that blood has been eroticized to some people really so hard to believe? For many who indulge in blood fetishes, it’s the very thought that blood is essential to being alive that brings intense feelings of arousal. And how is that so different than participating in any other fetish...don’t we all feel a bit more alive when experiencing something exciting and arousing? 

While bloodplay isn’t often widely discussed (even in online circles) due to backlash and controversy, there are still many people who find safe and healthy ways to express these desires. Looking for a partner who is into the same things as you? Consider some of these kinky dating apps

According to Dr. Galen Fous (a sex therapist turned fetish educator), the appeal of blood play is oftentimes rooted in primal instincts and the intimacy of being vulnerable with another person. 

He explains in this article that blood play for many people is about the passion of it, can often be associated with the heart and the color red, which has also been proven to be a color of passion and eroticism. 

Is Blood Play Dangerous? 

Obviously, when you’re dealing with cuts, blood, and potential blood loss, this can get very dangerous very quickly. 

There can even be dangers most people don’t take into consideration...for example, there is a hidden danger in drinking blood that many people may not think about when it’s a point of sexual arousal for them. 

Why is drinking blood dangerous? Blood is rich in iron, and our bodies have a difficult time getting rid of excess iron which can result in a condition called hemochromatosis, which is a condition that causes problems in the liver, heart, and pancreas. 

This is why it’s incredibly important to do some kind of research on what you’re interested in to ensure that you are carrying out your fantasies in the safest way possible. If you or your partner are interested in blood play, you must take every precaution to ensure safety and comfort for all parties involved. 

Below are some of the precautions you can and should take if you’re interested in experiencing any type of blood play.

TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING

Discuss boundaries, set hard limits and talk about safe words or gestures that can be used to signal when to stop. Ensure all parties involved have given their consent and understand the risks involved.

THERE’S TRAINING FOR THIS, YOU KNOW...

It’s not like you can sign up for an elective senior year that is called “Introduction to Fetishes 101”…how cool would it be if sex ed included things like that, though?

While that might not be an option, there are some other ways you can learn about how to participate in blood play safely. Searching places like Reddit, you can find some BDSM communities that offer hands-on training or instruction on safe practices when it comes to more dangerous edgeplay. 

You can also seek out a kink-positive therapist or doctor who is willing to give you some safety advice. 

GET YOURSELF (AND YOUR PARTNER) TESTED

While getting tested for infections or diseases is about the least sexy thing you can think of, it’s extremely important.

The sharing of blood can result in viral infections and/or diseases, and you and your partner need to know about any additional dangers like passing infections before engaging in blood play of any kind. 

IF YOU’RE GOING TO DRAW BLOOD, KNOW WHERE TO CUT

If you’re interested in blood-letting, there are certain parts of the body that should be strictly off-limits (such as the throat or behind the knees) and other areas that are considered a bit safer (such as the top of your thighs). 

Consult this guide if you’re unsure about the safer places to cut on the body.

HAVE A PHONE WITHIN REACH, JUST IN CASE

Blood play can turn from fun to dangerous in an instant, and it’s important to be ready to call emergency services if something goes wrong.

EDUCATE YOURSELF AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

Research isn’t sexy, but survival is, right?
The best place to start if you are interested in any form of blood play is to research. There is tons of information online and entire articles from verified sources that can help you be safe.

There are also lots of BDSM forums where you can find people who are interested in the same things, who maybe have more experience in this area, and ask them questions.

Knife Play and Blood-Letting

Knife play is a kind of BDSM edgeplay that involves knives, but it doesn’t always have to involve blood. It can be something like being aroused by the feel of a metallic, cool knife, gently scraping your lover’s body to give a tingling sensation. Or it can be using that knife to cut yourself or a partner just deep enough to draw a little blood to cause sexual arousal. 

Blood-letting, on the other hand, is the idea of making a cut deep enough to have a continuous bleed and controlling the blood flow. As you can imagine, this can be extremely dangerous and every precaution should be taken if you participate. 

No form of blood-letting or knife play is completely safe - there is ALWAYS risk involved. Everyone participating in any form of blood-play should understand and discuss what they are getting into and give consent before anything begins. 

Knives can also be used in a non-harmful way that is still exciting - like being used to tear clothing or used in combination with other fetishes like wax play (to peel away the wax once you’re finished.)

For many people, the thrill of knife play lays in the sense of danger and fear, more than anything else. However, for others, the physical sensations and actual blood that comes from the cut are what arouses them. 

It’s incredibly important to note that if you do derive pleasure from the act of cutting itself, you need to set (and maintain) hard limits for how far you and/or your partner can go. While it isn’t the norm to have your extreme BDSM/edgeplay activities driven by emotional issues and feelings of self-harm, it is possible that this plays a role. If you’re participating in this type of play for the wrong reasons, things can turn bad very quickly. 

The use of safewords, safe gestures, and boundaries is particularly important when it comes to these kinds of edgeplay fetishes because you’re quite literally entrusting someone with your life.

That Whole Vampire Thing (Drinking Blood) 

Pop-culture has also had its hands in the mix, making this whole vampire thing more and more popular with hit franchises like Twilight or the Vampire Diaries that glamorize and fetishize blood and the idea of drinking it. 

However, the appeal in drinking blood was a thing long before that beautiful vampire Edward Cullen arrived. In fact, there is even a clinical diagnosis called Renfield’s Syndrome, that explores the psychological obsession or compulsion to drink blood. 

While many people who are aroused by drinking blood aren’t clinically diagnosed, having a term coined specifically to fit this obsession proves it’s more than just a trendy phase brought on by young, attractive vampires in movies. 

If you or your partner are interested in doing more than just roleplaying as vampires, do plenty of research into the potential dangers of ingesting blood as well as how this fetish could negatively impact your life. As with most everything, sometimes less is more and you can treat this as a little something special to partake in on occasion. 

Many people are able to curb their bloodlust by finding other alternatives to drinking blood, such as experimenting with different red liquids during sex. 

Period Blood Fetish

Period blood fetishes (also known as menophilia) is oftentimes more than just having sex while the woman is menstruating. Some people who enjoy menophilia often satisfy their fantasies by buying period-worn panties, like the ones offered on the Sofia Gray marketplace. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg...in fact, before I read this article, I had no idea how much more could be involved in period fetishes. I wrongly assumed it was merely people who enjoyed having sex during a woman’s menstruation.

In the article, our period-positive friend explains in more detail what his specific appeal to period blood is, and why his partner also likes it when they get down and dirty during that time of the month...

 “...something about the contrast of the red blood on her fair skin was intensely erotic, as was painting messages like “I love you” on her body...she loves it when I leave a bloody handprint on her…” 

He’s not alone, either. 

While some of us may find the idea of period sex a bit of a turn-off, many couples find a woman’s period blood to be sexual and intimate.

 According to this guy who did an interview with Vice magazine about his love of menstrual blood, the sexual appeal of having sex with a woman on her period comes from the idea of menstruation being the very essence of femininity.

How to (Safely) Indulge in Your Blood Fetish

What’s the worst that could happen? Well, you could die - or someone else could die.

That’s why it’s called edgeplay...you’re playing with the edge. While this sense of danger is what many people find so sexual about the experience, it’s not to be glossed over for the sake of sex appeal.

It might sound dramatic, and I promise I’m not saying this to kill the mood: but when you’re dealing with any type of blood loss, accidentally cutting too deep or losing too much blood can prove to be fatal. 

This is why it’s critical for you and your partner to practice every precaution when performing any type of edgeplay. 

Getting Started...

If you’re interested in any kind of knife play or actually drawing blood from yourself or a partner, practice, practice, practice. And not on a human. Practice with a knife in a no-risk situation. 

As Minx, a blood fetishist from Washington, DC explains it: “what I think people don’t realize about [blood play] is how much responsibility and effort you have to put into doing something that’s a little off the beaten path...I practiced and practiced...countless tomatoes have lost their skin to my terrible scalpel practice before I could use it with a real live person. You don’t want to harm someone.” 

Ask Questions 

If you can’t talk about your fetish, maybe you shouldn’t be participating in it. 

This isn’t all fun and games - there are serious potential dangers involved and any type of edgeplay shouldn’t be a guessing game. Find a community online, seek out a partner who is experienced with your fetish or kink, or you can even ask a medical professional about the risks involved and what to do in case of an emergency. 

Our dear friend Minx even went as far as paying a visit to her doctor, explaining her desires and asking for safety tips. 

Create and Respect Boundaries 

When it comes to any form of extreme BDSM edgeplay, boundaries must be created and upheld/respected. 

One thing Minx explains that people should know about blood play is that while it can be incredibly hot for those who participate or are interested in it, any type of extreme play is always discussed and agreed upon before anything happens. “Actual sane people having actual sane conversations, not in the heat of the moment, about what’s going to happen.”

If your partner isn’t interested in blood play, you will have to find another way to satisfy those types of urges. If your partner is willing to give it a try, take things very slowly, explaining in detail what you are going to do and maintaining consent the entire time.

Comfort in Community 

If blood play is a no-go for your partner but you’re still interested in exploring this fetish on your own, there are online communities dedicated to blood play that can help you find healthy ways to explore your bloodlust on your own.

Are There Any Alternatives to Cutting That Let You Experience Blood Play? 

There are so many ways you can experience simulated blood play without actually drawing blood from yourself or your partner. 

Why would you try an alternative to blood play? For beginners, it’s simple - start easy. This isn’t something you should rush into and it takes a lot of experience to feel confident in participating in real-life situations where blood-letting or cutting is involved. 

You may also want to start with alternatives if you’re someone who...

  • Has a clotting disorder
  • Is taking prescription blood thinners
  • Is pregnant 
  • Easily feels squeamish around blood 
  • Has a history of cutting or self-harm that could be easily triggered 

From graphic and gory DeviantArt images to elaborate costume/makeup that can simulate blood on a partner during sex, there are an endless amount of ways you can indulge in this fetish without any actual blood being involved. 

What kind of alternatives are there to blood play that will still make the experience feel real and satisfying? Well, it’s more than just using your imagination, that’s for sure!

Bloody Porn

A natural starting point for any fetish is going to include watching loads of porn. Who said research has to be boring? 

This can help you figure out what specifically about this fetish gets you off, and from there you can look at taking things IRL. 

For example, soon enough you will discover that if it’s looking at blood that’s what gets you off, there is an entire Internet full of hematolagnia photos out there that can help get you where you need to go. 

Watching blood play fetish porn or keeping a folder of some of the sexiest, bloodiest photos can help you experience blood play, even when you’re going solo! If you’re super curious and want to create a longer-lasting experience, you and your partner can make some videos or take photos to make your own kind of porn.

Fake Doesn’t Have to Feel Fake...

Along with that idea, bringing it a bit more into real-life can include role-playing and the use of costumes, prop knives and makeup to achieve a bloody look that will satisfy your fantasies. 

If you want to keep the fantasy as real as possible, have your partner or someone else mix up a fake blood concoction before you start to play. If you’re into vampirism, there are tons of completely edible fake blood recipes that can do the trick. 

Other alternatives to real blood that you can use in the bedroom to enact your bloodlust can include tomatoes/tomato juice, strawberry/raspberry puree, prune juice...get creative with it! 

Introducing alternatives like these into your sex life can be a very healthy way to express your desires in a way that is completely safe for everyone involved, and is often a good place to start if you’re interested in this kind of thing.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you may think these types of extreme fetishes aren’t your thing, and that involving blood into your sex life is crossing some kind of line, and that’s fine...but as long as no one is being harmed and everything is consensual, should blood play really be that controversial? Of course, that’s for you to decide.
Information, education, and awareness are the keys to ending the stigma that goes along with enjoying something a bit more taboo, whether it be a little light choking in the bedroom or painting each other’s bodies with period blood.