Bonnie, a 30-something non-binary artist who makes avant-garde fetish adornments, has a very specific blood kink – nosebleeds. Although considered a BDSM fetish, blood play lies within the ‘edgeplay’ category – meaning the kink is generally considered unsafe due to its extreme nature. There’s a variety of types – from period blood and ‘sucking blood out of tampons’, knife play and virginal fantasies of women bleeding ‘for the first time’ (note – this does not happen to all women), to nosebleeds and vampirism. Research on blood play is scant, but it’s not a new topic; one study dates back to 1964, and investigates the urge of ‘sucking or drinking’ blood.
Out of the many fetishes out there, hematolagnia is considered so taboo even porn sites stay away from featuring it. One popular site has just 19 results for ‘blood’ (none of which actually seem to feature the fetish), while another has zero results. Dive into Tumblr accounts however, and you’ll find graphic pictures of people bleeding from their mouths, blood running down throats and blood-filled bathtubs. Some blood play fans turn to forums to chat about their fetish or to ask for advice from the more experienced. We ask Bonnie about loving nosebleeds and how others have reacted to it.
Tell us about your nosebleed fetish
When I was at school, I saw a kid get a nosebleed in the playground. I was really fascinated, but also extremely jealous – I wanted so badly to have one myself. My current partner and I have taken photos of us kissing while I had a nosebleed. It’s not exactly easy to introduce, because I have to give myself the nosebleed first. Without the constraints of reality, I would like to give someone a nosebleed with my mind. Not a small one either, but a gush of blood. Similarly, I’d like to be able to have one myself by sheer will.
What is it about nosebleeds that turn you on?
Mainly the look of them, there’s a feeling of drama, like something might be really wrong with the person who has it. It also looks quite fierce. It’s a combination of vulnerability and strength. It’s hard for me to pinpoint what it is exactly – I just think it looks incredible. If I have one myself it feels empowering. I like the feel of it when the blood first starts to come out, like a release and I also like tipping my head back and feeling it run down my throat. I like the taste, the way it feels. I don’t masturbate during a nosebleed, but I might use the memories afterwards.
Is it only nosebleeds or is blood in general a turn-on?
Blood is also a turn-on but nosebleeds especially. It has to be in the right context; an accident or something like that wouldn’t work for me. It has to be either fantasy or if it’s in real life, there has to be an element of consent. Periods are not a turn-on. Vaginal bleeding maybe, but not mensuration. Living with a uterus while not wanting one kills off any sexual feelings for what comes out of it.
Have you ever done any other form of blood play?
I did blood play once with an ex and I didn’t really get off on it. Things turned out very badly between us and I still have a prominent scar from it, which has put me off wanting to do it again. I’d be happier to just blood play with friends, but haven’t found guests for that particular kind of tea party as yet. I don’t have any interest in smearing blood. Smearing seems to be more of a rebellious act, whereas I’m more interested in the release of blood flow. That’s why I’m also not so interested in blood play. It’s not a turn off exactly; I just want to see blood pouring. Once it has stopped pouring and it dries, I don’t have much interest. It’s not a very sustainable way to play.
How do people react to your kink?
I haven’t had a partner with a particularly strong positive or negative reaction to my fetish. I’m a pretty out-there individual in general, so it’s just one of my many quirks. I’ve been with my partner for over 12 years and they are very aware of it as I’ve never exactly been quiet about it. They say it’s just a part of me. I’m pretty sure most of my friends know about my fetish too. I had a montage of photos of my nosebleeds for my Facebook profile picture for a while – that sort of got the message across.
What’s the best nosebleed you’ve ever had?
I wouldn’t say this fetish is intrinsically sexual, so I don’t have any sexual scenarios to draw from. I do remember that I was writing a birthday wish for an online friend so I thought why not do it in nosebleed blood? I cut the inside of my nose and the blood really gushed out everywhere. It made for a cute photo and I had ample material to write with. I used to have a ketamine addiction and during that time I could get nosebleeds very easily because the inside of my nose was always raw. That’s when I had the best nosebleeds. Once, I woke up because my nose had ruptured and there was blood pouring down my throat. It was just about the nicest way to wake up that I could think of – it tasted like sweet chestnuts.
Do you think that people are judgemental of unusual fetishes?
People will always be judgemental of what they don’t understand, it’s human nature. There is always going to be something that’s considered taboo. The vast majority of people have some kind of fetish, no matter what they say. It’s part of natural psychosexual development to pick a few up along the way into adulthood. I enjoy it and I don’t have any negative effects from it. I don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed about my kink; it doesn’t have any moral complications and I only need myself and my nose to practice it.