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We know from TV and movies that vampires have more aphrodisiacal allure than almost any other type of magical creature. So, to sex up the Phoenix's Valentine's issue, I decided to ask a vampire a bunch of questions. Lord Ramirez, who dwells in an abode full of swords in Hampton, Virginia, happily agreed to chat so long as we plugged the always enjoyable Fetish Fair Fleamarket, where he's slated to appear.

This weekend, the New England Leather Alliance's bi-annual BDSM convention occurs down at the Westin Providence, right before Valentine's Day. Ramirez will be educating interested attendees in a few of his numerous areas of expertise, like ballroom dancing and maintaining healthy master/slave relationships. He also teaches the ways and techniques of the feudal-era Japanese police, and the construction of several varieties of crafts, such as liquid-latex apparel and orchestral instruments made out of lollipop whistles. On top of all that, he's garnered a minor degree of infamy for fashioning a steampunk-style raygun. The totally justified concerns of the TSA mean that he won't be able to bring that death-dealing device to Providence. But dude remains a samurai/vampire/mad scientist — which puts him in the running for most awesome person, ever, Valentine's Day or not.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE MORE BAD-ASS THAN JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY?
I've never looked at it that way. I've always figured my life has been interesting, and I'm one of the more interesting people you'll meet, but I'm obviously not the most fascinating person. I do have a beard, so that counts for something. Maybe one day, I will aspire to be the most fascinating. I don't think I drink enough Dos Equis for that, but with any luck, one day.

WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER WORKING FOR THE CIA OR THE JUSTICE LEAGUE?
I had a brief stint with Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow, but their ideals and mine were not entirely on the same page. The idea of a utopian playland appeals to me more than taking over small countries. If everyone was a little bit happier and a little less stressed, then everyone would be having a better time.

WANTING TO HELP EVERYONE HAVE FUN ISN'T VERY EVIL . . .
I've discovered along my path that even an evil genius should think, "The world would be a better place if I was in control of everything." I don't feel that way, because me in control of everything would be way too much work. Now, if I was in control of just a small amount of everything. . . . Let's say a couple of billion-dollar enterprises, without having to manage anything about them except for the spending of the money . . . Not even all the money, just the money that needed to be spent on good and fun stuff. That would work for me.

YOU'RE A REGULAR AT BDSM, SCI-FI,ANIME, AND STEAMPUNK CONVENTIONS. IS THERE A QUIRKY SUBCULTURE YOU REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN?
Midget peanut-butter wrestling. If that's your interest, you should go right ahead with it, but it's just not my thing. Y'know, the peanut butter really can't consent.

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