Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone: Your Guide to Meeting, Dating and Seducing a Vampire
Elizabeth Barrial and D. H. Altair

Ulysses Press
Trade Paper, 216 pages, $12.95
Review by Sheila Merritt

Twilight – The Erogenous Zone: Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone will guide you to another dimension; a dimension of sound, sight, and other sensations. This is a “how to” book that gets to the point of what’s at stake in nocturnal necking with nosferatu. That throb in the vein could be deadly, and there in lies the attraction: “If your primary goal is to enter a relationship with power, passion, politics, and domination at its core, then romancing a vampire is right for you.”

The basics of amorous activities with the undead are copiously covered. Chapter titles include: “The Van Helsing Issue: What to Do When Your Friends Disapprove” and “Shapeshifting: A Form of Foreplay?” Within such topics, the pitfalls of ardor are tantalizingly played upon: “It is going to take time before you can begin to ascertain whether he is being charming and gracious because he is enamored of you, or if he is buttering you up for his feast.”

Each instructive chapter is headed by a memorable quote that relates to the topic at hand. A fine acerbic example comes from Mark Twain: “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” Irreverence and irony are a winning combination, and the co-authors of Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone know that very well. D.H. Altair is the nom de plume of Del Howison; author/editor, and the owner of Dark Delicacies book store. His collaborator on this volume is Elizabeth Barrial, a co-owner of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; purveyors of perfumes “whose thematic focus is literature and gothic cultural anthropology.”

Together, Barrial and Altair deliver sage advice about the world of occult dating and mating. It’s hard to dispute their common sense approach to the subject matter. When discussing the downside of a romantic entanglement with a ghost, for example, they are clear eyed in their evaluation: “Ghosts are irrevocably stuck in the violence of the moment they were killed and will spend most of their time relating the details of the incident ad nauseum [sic]. Conversations with ghosts tend to be one-sided streams of consciousness.”

For those interested in undertaking an intimate interview with a vampire, this is essential reading. It reminds that pragmatism can be eclipsed by desire, while under the spell of a new moon; dangers and delights await.

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