We thought sex and vampires hadn’t mixed since HBO’s True Blood went off the air three years ago, but an Austin, Texas couple is keeping the trend alive with a bedroom blood ritual they call better than sex.

Lea, a 20-year-old fetish model and her tarot-reader boyfriend Tim, 31, went from meeting at a vampire festival to sharing their lives together in a blood-sucking relationship. And they say sucking each other’s blood, which they do regularly, is a rush like no other.

“When I feed via blood it is it just as good as sex because as I feel this rush of life, their essence, their energy is coming into myself and I am taking it in and I feel empowered,” Tim says. “I feel the person I’m feeding from on a whole different level and in a totally different way than I could with words.”

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The couple, who plan on getting married in a vampire-themed ceremony next year, says they engage in this bizarre practice by cutting each other with razor blades or using syringes to draw blood, then drinking it from either a cup or directly from the wound. Lea says it’s a sexual experience that she prefers to actual sex.

“It is a sexual experience and we often draw blood in the bedroom,” she says. “I actually prefer drinking blood to having sex. You are taking the essence of a person and that to me is ecstasy. There is no better feeling.”

But the ritual comes with a few perils. Namely, HIV and Hepatitis, blood diseases they say they get tested for regularly.

“We go and get tested for diseases together and it’s almost like a bonding experience,” Lea adds. “I feel like it strengthens our relationship.”

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