The vampire subculture is largely a social creation within Western popular culture, seemingly drawing disparate elements such as the styles of Victorian England, cult symbolism, horror films and goth music, the fiction of Anne Rice, while still retaining elements and mannerisms of those participating in the S/M lifestyle.
The Vampire subculture seems to exist in opposition to the Judeo-Christian principles of mainstream Western Society. Vampyres pride themselves on practicing the antithesis of Christian ethics and this is apparent in the sexual and violent activities that permeate their interactions and rituals.
However, vampirism is generally not considered a religion but a spiritual or philosophical path. Those who associate with this form of Vampiric identity such as the coven House Bennu hold the belief that their soul/psyche may travel into, and fuse with the soul/psyche and body of a younger Vampire with the goal of achieving immortality.
Many people are introduced to the Vampyre scene through the role-playing game Vampire: the Masquerade, others through the erotic nature of the lifestyle and many more through popular literature such as Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.
The subculture is typically delineated by a particular style of dress, referred to as "garb" and decor that combines elements of the Victorian, Punk, Glam, and Gothic fashions with styles featured in vampire films and fiction.
The general lay-out including but not limited to a very pale complexion, a wardrobe made up predominantly of dark clothing, a Victorian, or Renaissance fashion style of dress and hairs, black or blood-red lipstick, macabre silver jewelry, assortment of fetish, corset, bondage, sunglasses, long and sharp fingernails fangs, FX contacts, and a generally melancholy or lugubrious air to go with it. Preferred colors are usually red, black, and purple.
Music is dominated by Gothic; other genres include Industrial, Death Metal, Classical, Techno and a variety of other forms. Some of the more popular Vampyre bands include Inkubus Sukkubus, Type O Negative, Nosferatu and Malkador. Wine is the drink of choice and some members will also drink absinthe although it is illegal in the United States and most European countries.