LV
Ssthuck Your Blood
And Other Delicious Abominations
prettyfangs

 

The Vampire Archetype has always been associated with sexuality which is colored by whatever is on the cutting edge of the forbidden in a given time and place.  It's spanned the Satanic to sadomasochism and anything else the buttons in people's minds are hooked up to.  The vampire proffers an opportunity to step out of the bright sun of the workaday world and into one of enticing shadows.  The two essays below by Michelle Engel and Lady SilvereyesAndromeda expand brilliantly on this idea.

 

The Forbidden: Past and Recent Vampires as Symbols of Changing Sexual Mores
An in-depth study of vampires both as mirror and influence on historic and current sexual mores.

by Michelle Engel


"The girl went on her knees, bent over me, simply gloating.  There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive... I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips in the super-sensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there.  I closed my eyes and waited- waited with beating heart."
—Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Over the centuries, the vampire has undergone radical changes.  From the Count in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel to the alcoholic New Yorker Sam in the 1997 film Habit, the figure of the vampire has evolved with society.  The personalities of vampires in recent movies reflect modern attitudes toward sensuality and pleasure.  Emerging from the mists of our own collective unconscious, the Children of the Night represent forbidden rapture.  After all, blood drinking is the oldest taboo of Judeo-Christian tradition because the blood was thought to encompass the God-given life force of a living thing.  Even the consumption of animal blood was outlawed.  Thus the connection between vampires and sin was forged.

Soon they came to stand for all of our transgressions - chemical addictions, sex addictions, egotism, greed, and vanity.  We have praised them and cursed them in the same breath, grateful for the vicarious experience they afford us yet horrified at how deftly they mimic the monsters within our own hearts.  The evolution of the filmic vampire mirrors cultural beliefs about eroticism and guilt.  Through a careful study of this vampire, one can make out the veiled influence of the Puritanical guilt complex we inherited as Americans and its resulting psychological sadomasochism.

In order to begin this undertaking, it is necessary first to discuss our point of origin.  Eroticised vampires existed at the very beginnings of modern Western civilisation.  For example, in ancient Roman literature, there were the Lamias.  "They were a breed of extraordinarily bloodthirsty vampires, who seduced young men, had intercourse with them and attacked them at the peak of orgasm, drinking their blood with feverish delight" (Masters 196).

A study progressing forward from ancient Greco-Roman vampire myths would undoubtedly prove most fascinating; however, for the dual sakes of brevity and an emphasis on a far more recent age, the two main points of historical reference will be Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and its 1922 film adaptation, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror.

Thus, no attempt will be made to analyse the vampire as representative of non-Western cultural sex guilt.  Contrasting modern characterisations of the vampire will include The Hunger, The Addiction, and Habit, three vampire films of the 1980s and 1990s.  While the world of film abounds with other viable examples (among them Coppola’s Bram Stoker's Dracula, one of my favorite films), I have selected these three for their specific emphasis on the vampire as addict.

Beginning, then, with Stoker’s Count Dracula, the vampire embodies untempered lust.  His appetite has made him a monster, cursed to live outside of society, beyond the will of God.  In the words of Jonathan Harker, "Have you ever seen that awful den of hellish infamy with the very moonlight alive with grisly shapes and every speck of dust that whirls in the wind a devouring monster in embryo?  Have you ever felt the Vampire’s lips upon your throat?" .

The Count charms beautiful young women from their beds to receive his kiss, seducing them into a state of wanton submission.  He is the ruling alpha male, powerful, aggressive, and dominant.  It is his desire that matters, not that of his devotees.  This point of view reflects the sexual politics of its era.  Women are passive receivers of sex, never equal partners or initiators.  And while they may partake of some degree of pleasure, there is always some pain and suffering involved, at least in the beginning.

Moreover, the idea that one night with the hungry vampire can vanquish a young woman’s spiritual virtue reflects the Christian ideology that virgin females are purer and more sacred than their sexually active counterparts for their likeness with the Virgin Mother of Jesus.  In addition, the tale of the Old World vampire serves as a warning for adolescent girls.  Forsake from the handsome stranger and love a boy whose family your family knows for the wanderer in fine clothes with an exotic accent will take advantage of you

From the masculine point of view, this same idea signals a pervasive fear that you, too, could lose your woman to the powerful enchantments of another man evil enough to ignore your claim to her.  Arthur Holmwood lost Lucy to the grave, and Jonathan Harker almost lost his Mina.  Another implication here is the fear that a man who cannot fully arouse and pleasure his wife will lose her to one who can.  Both Arthur and Jonathan were very noble men, but neither one could erotically possess a woman as could Dracula.  The common threads running through all these interpretations of the novel are pleasure, suffering, and guilt.  Interestingly, they are not separate entities but rather a trinity of facets belonging to the same experience, namely of an erotic encounter.

The aristocratic Old World Dracula fathered the far beastlier vampire of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror, henceforth to be abbreviated as Nosferatu.  "Because Prana films, the company that produced Nosferatu, did not purchase the screen rights to Stoker’s Dracula, Murnau and screenwriter Henrik Galeen – at least in part to circumvent potential legal problems – changed the names of the principal characters, developed a new set of physical characteristics for the vampire, and shifted the story from England in the late nineteenth century to Bremen in 1838" (Waller 177).

The resultant vampire, the Nosferatu, was much closer to an animal than a man in appearance and behaviour.  He was bald and long-faced with pointed chin and ears.  His fingers were elongated also and taloned with sharp claws.  The deep black circles around his eyes made his gaze far more chilling than that of the stately Count, but yet his violence seemed more random, less controlled and intentional.

Viewing this again through the spectrum of sexual mores, the Nosferatu is a man who has lost his intellect, self-control, and humanity to his lust.  Everything he does from his first to his last waking hour of every evening relates to satisfying his need for pleasure.  He is unable to focus on anything else because to him, there is nothing else.  And once again, responsibility to protect his intended "victim" falls upon another man.  Be wary, gentlemen, of other men who might seek to ravage your woman, this story seems to say.  And to the women, the message is much the same as in Dracula, only perhaps more fervent.  Some men are sex monsters waiting to devour you.  Be careful who you trust.  Again, there is the paradigm of pleasure and guilt.  There seems to be no third option of a female who seeks out the vampire’s bite for the female is always the passive victim.  Nor can she truly defend herself against this attack, except by means of her wits, as did Lucy Harker.  Allowing the Nosferatu to drink from her as if she wanted him to do so, she tricks him to stay with her until the sun has risen.  As the new day dawns, he dies from exposure to sunlight, and she dies from excessive loss of blood.  The male sexual aggressor – perhaps here understood as a savage would-be rapist – has been vanquished, but at the cost of an innocent female.

Recent interpretations of the above characters reveal changes in sexual mores.  One of the most fascinating trends is the vampire as drug addict.  Tony Scott’s 1983 film The Hunger had no overt reference to drug culture, but the vampiric characters had the look of 1980s cocaine chic.  Thin and glamorous, pale and sleek, they could have been fashion models.  Played by Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve, and David Bowie, these vampires epitomise nightclub decadence.  Also, David Bowie was himself an icon of 80s Hedonism.  Deneuve’s older vampire remains beautiful over the centuries, but her offspring, further from the original bloodline, eventually begin to age very rapidly.

Here, the trouble in paradise reflects the fears of the 1980s young adult generation that their wild behaviour may have disastrous side-effects a few years down the road.  Later in this essay, The Hunger shall be considered again as an example of the vampire as sexually uninhibited.  For the time being, consider two more filmic examples of the addict-model vampire: 1996’sThe Addiction and 1997’s Habit.

The Addiction tells the story of a college student who is attacked by a vampire in an alleyway.  The newly born vampire, played by Lili Taylor, begins to neglect her studies, having discovered that the experience of having an addiction can teach her more about life than any study program.  Her use of hypodermic needles in her feedings equates her with a glamourised, pseudo-1990s Beat Generation Heroin addicted poet/intellectual.  She finds meaning through suffering, both own and that of others.  Once suffering has been idealised to the status of a revelatory experience, it becomes a viable means of obtaining pleasure.

This theme isn’t a far stretch from the ecstasies of the saints or the masochistic punishments used by monks and priests long ago for spiritual atonement.  The saints were racked violently, body and soul, when invaded by the Holy Spirit.  The maniacally fervent Sons of God, for their part, whipped themselves and each other, beating their imperfections into numb submission.  In much the same spirit, Taylor’s vampire begins her quest for vital human experience.  Like the saints and the monks, she discovers pain and pleasure to be alternate extremes of a circular spectrum, best enjoyed together.  Her impulse may be Hedonistic rather than spiritual; nevertheless, her cynicism embodies religious sexual guilt, and her passion reveals the secret joys of self-abasement and submission, extreme interpretations of religious law.

The vampire/addict in Habit, however, begins his journey with no delusions of enlightenment.  He simply cannot handle his life sober.  Abandoned by his woman, he stumbles drunkenly through life, too heartbroken and depressed to try to help himself.  Sam’s life seems to take a turn for the better, however, when he meets Anna, who bites his lip to draw blood while kissing him good night on their first date; however, she becomes a substitute for his alcoholism.  He quits drinking, but he is now addicted to Anna and her wild, blood-fetishist sexual behaviour.

The conscientious lack of mainstream glamour in this film reflects the aesthetics of what one might call "alcoholic chic."  With his chipped front tooth, greasy dishwater blond hair, and frequent blackouts, Sam is the deeply wounded soul searching for peace in emotional oblivion.  The message here is cautionary, as well.  You want a lusty vixen for a sex partner?  Fine.  But watch out.  She’ll destroy you.  Certainly this attitude pervades films about dominant females.  Consider Glenn Close’s role in Fatal Attraction or Sharon Stone’s part in Basic Instinct.  The sexually dominant female is portrayed as vicious, cruel, and psychologically unstable.

Considered as encoded sexual morals, these films offer many bits of information.  Firstly, pleasure leads to addiction.  Don’t have too much fun, or you won’t be able to do anything else.  And once you’re addicted, the rest of your life will fall apart.  Secondly, as alluded to in the preceding paragraph, these films also display more modern sexual practices.

In all three, we have a female stalker character: Catherine Deneuve’s bisexual vampire in The Hunger, Lili Taylor’s intellectual seducer of her own professor in The Addiction, and the apparently bi-curious, very sexually aggressive Anna in Habit.  In fact, in the words of Sam, "She (Anna) jerked me off on our first date."  Indeed, she did, in the middle of a public park, then left him unconscious from blood loss after having bit his lip and thigh.  Perhaps the implication here is that sexual deviance is what leads to addiction.  Anything outside the norms of society is so intensely pleasurable that conventional, or "vanilla sex," will never again suffice.

In the three aforementioned films, the vampire retains the beauty of the Count, in most instances, as well as the beast-like attitude of the Nosferatu.  This melding of characteristics has bred the addict vampire, beautiful and seductive yet overwhelmed by primal appetite.  As a model for progressions in sexual behaviour and standards, this implies that despite our physical differences from animals, we are nonetheless animals within; however, unlike the animals, we still punish ourselves afterwards or feel as if someone should punish us.  The undercurrents of illicit pleasure and its disastrous results represented in these films underscore that point very powerfully.

Indeed, even what some may consider the most deviant forms of sexual behaviour, namely extreme sadomasochism and domination/submission, achieve their effectiveness by capitalising on Puritanical guilt.  When whipped and beaten for our sexual recklessness, we are freed to become ever more reckless.  The physical punishments of sadomasochism and the humiliation of submission satisfy the guilt response and permit the animal brain to do what it will.  Also, the contrast of pleasure and pain, freedom and guilt, creates a powerful tension, making each opposite seem more extreme.  The greater the pain, the greater the pleasure.

This is the irony of sexuality often explored through the vampire.  His eternal night is the sexual underbelly of society, where the forbidden fruit is the main entrée of every meal.  A realm of excess devoid of spirituality, it is both our heaven and our hell.  The dualism of the vampire’s existence mirrors the dualism of humanity.  We desire and degrade the same subjects with equal fervor.  We feel guilt at our pleasures and feel pleasure for our "virtuous" guilt.  And this paradigm shall perpetuate itself into infinity, for hypocrisy, duality, and irony are our birthrights as self-aware, reflective, "high order" beings who possess all the appetites of every member of the animal kingdom.


Used with kind permission of the author
Michelle Engel http://netvampyric.com


 

Sexuality and the Vampire

Essential to understanding the appeal of the vampire is it's sexual nature. While it has been frequently pointed out that traditional vampires do not engage in "normal" sexual activity, the vampire is not necessarily asexual.  As twentieth-century scholars turned their attention to the vampire, both in folklore and in literature, underlying sexual themes quickly became evident.

The sexual nature of vampirism formed an underlying theme in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it was disguised in such a way that it was hidden from the literary censors of the day, the consciousness of the public, and probably from the awareness (as many critics argued), of author Bram Stoker himself.  Carol Fry, for example, suggested that vampirism was in fact a form of "surrogate sexual intercourse."

Poison by Aeturnus The sexual nature of vampirism manifested initially in Dracula during Jonathan Harker's encounter with the three vampire brides residing in Castle Dracula.  Harker perceived them as extremely appealing objects, who also embodied an element of danger. Harker noted, "I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with their red lips" (Chapter 3).  Stoker went on to describe the three as sensual predators and their vampire's bite as a kiss. One of the women anticipated the object of their desire, "He is young and strong; there are kisses for us all."  And as they approached, Harker waited in delightful anticipation.

Attention in the novel then switched to the two "good" women, Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray.  Lucy, as the subject of attention of three men, reveled in their obvious desire for her before she choose Arthur Holmwood, the future Lord Godalming, as her betrothed.  Mina, on the contrary, was in love with Jonathan and pined in loneliness while he was lost in the wilds of Transylvania.  While preparing for her wedding, however, Lucy was distracted by the presence of Dracula.  While on a seaside vacation in Whitby, Lucy began sleepwalking.  One evening, Lucy was discovered by Mina, in her nightclothes, across the river.  As Mina approached, she could see a figure bending over Lucy.  Dracula left as Mina approached, but she found Lucy with her lips parted and breathing heavily.  Thus began Lucy's slow transformation from the virtuous and proper, if somewhat frivolous, young lady, into what Judith Weisman termed a "sexual monster."  By day she was faint and listless, but by night she took on a most unladylike voluptuousness.  Shortly before her death, she asked Arthur to kiss her, and when he leaned toward her, she attempted to bite him.

Stoker's understanding, however unconscious, of the sexual nature of the vampire attack became most clear in the blood transfusions that were given to Lucy in the attempt to save her life.  Arthur, who never was able to consummate his love for Lucy, suggested that in the sharing of blood he had, in the eyes of God, married her.  The older and wiser Abraham Van Helsing rejected the idea, given the sexual connotation for himself and the others that had also given her blood.  But by this time, the sexual interest of Dracula in women was firmly established and led directly to the most sexual scene in the book.

Having given Lucy her peace (and, by implications, returned her virtue) in the act of staking and decapitating her, the men called together by Van Helsing to rid the world of Dracula, were slow to awaken to his real target- Mina.  When they finally became aware of this, they rushed to Mina's bedroom.  There, they found Dracula sitting on her bed, forcing her to drink from a cut in his chest.  Dracula turned angrily to those who had interrupted him.  "His eyes flamed red with devilish passion..." Once Dracula was driven away and Mina came to her senses, she realized that she had been violated.  She declared herself unclean and vowed that she would "kiss" her husband no more.

While overt sexual activity was not present in Dracula, sexual themes were manifest in the vampire literature of the previous century.  The original vampire poem written by Goethe, "The Bride of Corinth", drew upon the story from ancient Greece concerning a young woman who had died a virgin.  She returned from the dead to her parents' home to have sexual experiences with a young man staying temporarily in the guest room.  The strong sexual relationship at the heart of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Christabel" was expanded in Carmilla, the popular vampire story be Sheridan Le Fanu.

In the story, Carmilla Karnstein moved into the castle home of Laura, her intended victim.  She did not immediately attack Laura, but proceeded to build a relationship more befitting a lover.  Laura experienced the same positive and negative feelings that Harker had felt towards the three women in Castle Dracula. As she described it:

Now the truth is, I felt unaccountable toward the beautiful stranger.  I did feel, as she said, "drawn towards her," but there was also something of repulsion.  In this ambiguous feeling, however, the sense of attraction immensely prevailed.  She interested and won me; she was so beautiful and so indescribably engaging.

Carmilla went about her assault upon Laura while seducing her cooperation.  She would draw Laura to her with pretty words and embraces and gently press her lips to Laura's cheek.  She would take Laura's hand while at the same time locking her gaze on her eyes and breathing with such passion that it embarrassed the naive Laura.  So attracted was Laura to Carmilla, that only slowly did she come to the realization that her lovely friend was a vampire.

The sexual vampire is also apparent in folklore.  While there is little evidence that Stoker was intimately aware of eastern European vampiric lore, he could have found considerable evidence of the vampire's sexual nature, particularly in the folklore of the Gypsies and their neighbours, the southern Slavs.  For example, corpses dug up as suspected vampires occasionally were reported to have an erection.  Gypsies thought of the vampire as a sexual entity.  The male vampire was believed to have such an intense sexual drive that his sexual need alone was sufficient to bring him back from the grave.  His first act usually was a return to his widow, with whom he engaged in sexual intercourse.  Nightly visits could ensue and continue over a period of time, with the wife becoming exhausted and emaciated. In more than a few cases, the widow was known to become pregnant and bear a child by her vampire husband.  The resulting child, called a dhampir, was a highly valued personage deemed to have unusual powers to diagnose vampirism and destroy vampires attacking the community.

In some cases the vampire would return to a woman with whom he had been in love, but with whom he had never consummated that love.  The woman would then be invited to return with him to the grave where they could share their love through eternity.  The idea of the dead returning to claim a living lover was a popular topic in European folklore.  By far the most famous literary piece illustrating the theme was Gottfried August Bugar's ballad "Lenore", known in English by Sir Walter Scott's translation.

The folklore of Russia also described the vampire as a sexual being.  One of the ways in which it made itself known was to appear in a village as a handsome young stranger.  Circulating among the young people in the evening, the vampire lured unsuspecting women to their doom.  Russian admonitions for young people to listen to their elders and stay close to home are reminiscent of the ancient Greek story of Apollonius, who saved one of his students from the allure of the lamiai, whom he was about to marry.

The langsuyar of Malaysia was also a sexual being.  A female vampire, she was often pictured as a desirable young woman who could marry and bear children.  Langsuyars were believed to be able to live somewhat normally in a village for many years, revealed only by their inadvertent involvement in an activity that disclosed their identity.

The Sensuous Vampire On Stage And Screen

Carol Fry, author of the article, "Fictional conventions and sexuality in Dracula," has properly pointed out that Dracula was in part a stereotypical character of popular 19th century literature, the rake.  The rake appeared in stories to torment and distress the pure women of proper society.  The rake was to some extent the male counterpart of the vamp; however, the consequences to a woman of falling victim to a seductive male were far more serious than were the consequences for a man victimized by a seductive woman.  The man who loved and left was thought to have left behind a tainted woman.  Just as a state of "moral depravity" contaminated the fallen woman, so vampirism infected the one bitten.  The vampire's victim became like him and preyed on others.  The fallen woman might become a vamp, professional or not, who in turn led men to engage in her immoral ways.

Once brought to the stage, Dracula's rakish nature was heightened.  No longer hovering in the background as in the novel, he was invited into the living rooms of his intended victims.  In this seemingly safe setting, he went about his nefarious business, though what he actually did had to be construed from the dialogue of those who would kill him.  Only after the play was brought to the screen, and the public reacted to Bela Lugosi, did some understanding of the romantic appeal of this supposed monster become evident to a widespread audience.  However, not until the 1950s would the vampire, in the person of Christopher Lee's Dracula, be given a set of fangs and allowed to bite his victims on screen.

Interestingly, the obvious sexuality of the vampire was first portrayed on screen by a female vampire.  In retrospect, the scene in Dracula's Daughter (1936) in which the female vampire seduced the young model was far more charged with sexuality than any played by Lugosi.  A quarter of a century later, Roger Vadim brought an overtly sensual vampire to the screen in his version of Carmilla, Blood and Roses (1960). In 1967 French director Jean Rollin produced the first of a series of semi-pornographic features, Le Viol du Vampire (released in English as The Vampire's Rape).  The story centered around two women who believed that they were cursed by a vampire to follow his bloodsucking life.  The sexuality of Carmilla was even more graphically pictured in The Vampire Lovers, Hammer Films' 1970 production, in which the unclad Carmilla and Laura romped freely around their bedroom.

From these and similar early soft-core productions, two quite different sets of vampire films developed.  On the one hand were pornographic vampire films that featured nudity and sex.  Amongst the earliest was Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (1969), in which Count Alucard kidnapped naked virgins to fulfill his sexual and vampiric needs.  Spanish director Jesus Franco produced La Countess aux Seins Nus (1973) (released in video in the United States as Erotikill), in which Countess Irena Karnstein (a character derived from Carmilla) killed her victims in an act of fellation.  (These scenes were cut from the American version.)  The trend toward pornographic vampire movies culminated in 1979 with Dracula Sucks (also released as Lust at First Bite), a remake of Dracula which closely followed the 1931 movies.  It starred Jamie Gillis as Dracula.  More recent sexually explicit vampire movies include Dracula Exotica (1981), also starring Gillis; Gayracula (1983), a homosexual film; Sexandroide 1987; Out for Blood (1990); Princess of the Night (1990); and Wanda Does Transylvania (1990).  Most of these were shot in both hard-core and soft-core versions.

The Vampire In Love

The pornographic vampire movies were relatively few in number and poorly distributed.  Of far more importance in redefining the contemporary vampire were the novels and films that transformed the evil monster of previous generations into a romantic lover.  The new vampire hero owed much to Chelsea Quinn Yarbo's St. Germain.  In a series of novels beginning with Hotel Transylvania (1978), St. Germain emerged not as a monster, but as a man of moral worth, extraordinary intellect, and captivating sensuality.  He even occasionally fell in love.  He was unable to have ordinary sexual relations because he could not have an erection.  However, his bite conveyed an intense experience of sexual bliss that women found to be a more than adequate alternative.

At the time Yarbo was finishing Hotel Transylvania, a new stage production of Dracula, The Vampire Play in Three Acts had become a hit on Broadway.  The play was the first dramatic production of Dracula to reintroduce the scene in which Dracula forced Mina to drink his blood.  The scene, a rape-like experience in the novel, had been transformed into one of seduction.  In 1979 the larger populace was introduced to this more sensual Dracula when Frank Langella recreated his stage role for the motion picture screen.  He presented Dracula as not only a suave foreign nobleman, but as a debonair, attractive male who drew his victims to him by the sheer power of his sexual presence.  The scenes in which Lucy, over the objections of her elders, rushed to Carfax to join her lover and drink his blood completed a transformation of Dracula from mere monster into a hero who lived up to the movie's billing: "Throughout history he has filled the hearts of men with terror, and the hearts of women with desire."

Langella's Dracula directly informed the more recent production of Bram Stoker's Dracula under the writing and direction of Francis Ford Coppola.  Coppola not only brought the vampire into proper society but turned him into a handsome young man who, with his money and foreign elegance, was able to seduce the betrothed Mina from her wimpish fiancé.  He returned the final blood drinking scene to her bedroom, revealed Dracula at his most human, and made their lovemaking the sensual climax of the movie's love story subplot, which Coppola had added to explain Dracula's otherwise irrational acts against the British family he had assaulted.

The transformation of the vampire into a hero lover was a primary element in the overall permeation of the vampire myth into the culture of late 20th century America (which included the emergence of the vampire in humor and the vampire as moral example).  As such, the contemporary vampire has had to deal with a variety of sexual patterns.  Television detective Nick Knight developed an ongoing relationship with a researcher who was trying to cure him. Mara McCunniff, the centuries old vampire of Traci Briery's  The Vampire Memoirs, was overtaken by her sexual urges for three days each month at the time of the full moon.  In Domination, Michael Cecilone placed his vampires in the world of sadomasochism.  Lori Herter's romance novels elevated the vampire as the object of female fantasies.

The response to the conscious development of the vampire as a sexual being has almost guaranteed future exploration in fictional works.  Prisoners of the Night, a periodical of vampire fiction that appears annually, has focused on sexuality in several issues.  Editor Mary Ann B. McKinnon has added an impetus to exploring the theme in her fanzine, Good Guys Wear Fangs, which covers good-guy vampires, most of them romantic heros.  Such sexualizing of the vampire, while departing from the common image of the vampire as mere monster, has not been foreign to the creature itself.  From the beginning, seductive sexuality has existed as an element of the literary vampire, comingling with that of the monstrous, and goes far to explain the vampire's appeal relative to it's monstrous cousins.


by Lady Silvereyes Andromeda  
http://www.geocities.com/ladysilvereyes

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