Why are Vampires so Sexy?

Vampires are so sexy.  You’ve got the incarnations of Lestat in the movie versions of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned, Selene in Underworld, and Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned (may she rest in peace).  But who can forget the super sexy Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga?  No one is who.

Some argue that it’s the influence of books and movies like Twilight that vampires have become explicit sex symbols in some sort of nefarious plot to exploit young people’s sexuality.  But this isn’t true (well maybe twilight is build to exploit young people’s sexuality, but it’s not the source of the sexiness of vampires).  Vampires have always been sexy.  But why?

Because vampires are symbols of sex and sexual desire.  Since Bram Stoker the  story of a vampire has been a seduction story.  The vampire is a supernatural monster built out of the vice of lust.  Classically vampires are portrayed as undead creatures who are seductive, have generally (Twilight excluding) have lost much of the ordinary human ability to feel, and are consumed by the desire to feed.  (The act of the vampire bite so obviously parallels sex and deflowering that I’ll only mention it and not describe it in its detail)

The classical vampire story is like Jekyll and Hyde but for sex instead of for booze.  A vampire is consumed by a hunger for blood and is obsessed with exchanging a particular kind of bodily fluid with someone of the opposite sex (usually this is also a male vampire with a classically virginal woman, adding a creepy power dynamic to the relationship).  The story centers around the innocent human being seduced by the vampire.  After giving in to the overtly sexual seduction, the innocent human being receives an unpleasant surprise.  The vampire is allowed to penetrate the innocent human being with his teeth.  This human giving in to such the seduction and allowing the “bite” results in one of two results.  Either the human is dead or the human is turned into yet another monster consumed by lust, living forever with the one all consuming desire to feed.  The death is the lucky fate, as otherwise one has turned into the very monster that was the source of fear for the entire movie or book.  Vampires appeal to us because of our fear of losing our rationality and being consumed by our base desires.

Vampires are usually a kind of morality tale about the dangers of seduction and sexual activity.  Vampires are the embodiment of all consuming lust and sexual desire.  That is why vampires are so sexy.

Now, there’s also an interesting question of whether series like Twilight interestingly undermine our expectations for the vampire genre or simply exploit it’s built-in sexiness to appeal to young people, but that’s a question for a different time.

Leave a comment!  Tell me what you think about the vampire genre. Why are vampires so sexy?  Let’s talk about it.

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Peace be with you.
-JS