Here is a taste of a review by John Safran, writing for Vice magazine, of Donovan's book Blood Brotherhood:
Blood Brotherhood is a survey through history, mythology, and literature, uncovering these bloody rites of male alliance. The bulk of the anthropological research comes from his co-writer – and fellow gay against gay culture – Nathan F. Miller.
The introduction tells gay couples to use this book as a “toolbox for the imagination.” Choose one of the rites or mix and match your own!
There are fairly simple ones. Shaolin monks in 17th century China “pricked their fingers, and mixing blood with wine, drank it and swore an oath of brotherhood.”
For something more flamboyant, perhaps plan your big day around the initiation rite of the Mala Vita, an Italian criminal organisation: “the leader of the band and the novitiate both made wounds in their chests, and then they sucked and drank each other’s blood.”
If you’re a right wing homosexual environmentalist you are catered for too. The Timorese drank blood from a bamboo container, then hung it on a freshly planted tree, vowing “If I be false, and not a true friend, may blood issue from my mouth, ears, and nose as it does from this bamboo.”
The European and Asian rites were to prove courage and devotion; to say this bond is serious; we are kindred spirits in a conspiracy.
The African rites are all this, plus divine threat. Break the oath and there will be voodoo retribution. In Uganda men cut their stomachs and roll coffee beans in the wounds. They then feed each other the beans. Sleep with your blood brother’s wife and the bean will swell up and kill you.
Blood Brotherhood makes a pretty convincing case that men are instinctual cutters. Throughout history everyone was doing it, unaware everyone else was doing it too. The blood chugging enemies of Alexander II King of the Scots weren’t to know the nomads in Borneo had been smoking blood across the equator for an eon before them.