Blood Ties Theme ( "Live Forever" by Tamara Rhodes) w/ show intro.

A Fang-Phile Fille, Tweets!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

(Part 2) I like Vampires...

but I wouldn’t want to be one!

... (continued from part 1)

Is it that I feel this way (liking vamps, but not wanting to be one) because I’m female?

And I deduced the answer to that, (as it pertains to me anyway), is indeed a resounding YES!


‘Cause when I think: Vampire, being a heterosexual female, I think: Male, when I think male, I think: Seduction and who isn’t a sucker (no pun intended) for seduction when it comes to vamps? And as we know, it’s all about the seduction, n’est pas?

Case in point, my mind automatically goes (to name a few): to Lestat and Dracula (Gerard Butler’s version anyway in Dracula 2000) and Bill Compton (True Blood) and Angel and Spike (from Buffy) and Henry ( as portrayed by Kyle Schmid in Blood Ties) and David (The Lost Boys) and D (Vampire Hunter D) and yes, even to the fangless Edward Cullen (but only to an extent).

Bear in mind dear reader, that several of these examples are the quote/unquote “romanticized” version of the traditional vampires of yore.

But nonetheless, there is something to be said for the power exuded by these seductively fascinating creatures.

Vampires are the ultimate predator.

And considering that most vampires are usually depicted as having been human before their transformation, and some (though not all) ultimately retain their souls (Blood Ties, vampire Henry Fitzroy is an example of such) – then the danger associated with them adds to the seductive quality. It translates basically to the fact that, if he so chooses, a vampire could as easily kill you, as much as just take some of your blood.

Unlike other creatures, who most times, would undergo some intense physical transformation – for example, the man turning into beast, that the quintessential Werewolf (often times depicted as the arch enemy of the vampire) – most vampires’ physical transformations are usually more subtle (the vampires of Buffy and The Lost Boys are among the few exceptions).

Glowing eyes, fangs, pale (sometimes cold) skin - despite these differences, at any given time, a vampire could continue to pass unnoticed among humans, and there in lies an added danger, which again, adds to the seduction.

To quote film critic Maitland McDonagh (on a recent Space: the Imagination Station special – Pretty Bloody: The women of Horror, © 2009): “Vampires have always been the mainstay of women in horror… explicitly tied with ideas of seduction and of giving into impulses that are perhaps socially unacceptable… Vampires are very sexualized. …not the brutal sexuality of say Werewolves, who are the embodiment of the beast within…. Vampires are seducers....”

Furthermore, there is no escaping the implied (or explicit) sexual connotations associated with most vampires, especially those of the fanged variety (here Edward Cullen and the other Twilight vamps do not apply).

Vampires’ fangs: the long, pointed, sharp teeth of its mouth (usually incisor, some times canines, other times both), are meant to penetrate. To penetrate the (preferably human) flesh from which it must get blood to the sustain itself. And the parts of the body usually preferred by vamps, where the veins run deep and strong, are also some of the parts of the body where one would find (some of the most sensitive) erogenous zones: the neck, wrist, inner thigh and to a lesser extent breasts.

Thus when it comes to the vampire and the act of taking blood (fangs penetrating the barrier of the flesh), there can be no denying the parallels to the physical act of sex.

And this is especially brought to more evidence, if the vampire takes blood whilst engaging in said act. (There are however some exceptions, i.e. vamps which are physically sexually impotent. For example: Anne Rice’s vampires have no use of their sexual organs after being turned. Nevertheless, the fang penetration connotation still applies.)

Then there is the being desired.

There is definitely something to be said for being the object of want and desire to a vampire. True is may be for the blood that lies beneath (the body). But to know that in essence the vampire literally can’t live without “You”. Well!

As a warm and red blooded woman, I find that thought rather appealing, in spite of the apparent danger. And again the sense of danger adds fuel to the seductive fire that is the modern image of the vampire.

To conclude, as much as I wouldn’t want to be a vampire, the thought of being on the receiving end of a vampire’s attention can have its appeal.

Of course, the idea behind this sentiment is in the context of the romanticized fantasy perpetuated by many (mostly female) authors of the genre. And is reiterated in most of the vampire based films and Tv shows we see today.

In fact, even yours truly has penned a poem or two with emphasis on the sensual/seductive/dangerous/erotic appeal of the vampire. As in My Life, My Love, My Blood , (recently featured on Roxanne Rhoads’ Fang-tastic books blog).

But what say you dear reader: What is it about the vampire (or the genre that appeals to you)? And in the context of the statement, would you like being the vampire or its vassal?

I invite you to leave your comments below.


Zahir al Daoud said...

Methinks I see your point, but the archetype of the Seductress is no less appealing. Consider the sultry power of Angelique on Dark Shadows, the allure of Darla or even Drusilla on Buffy, the sheer attractiveness of Jessica on True Blood or the exotic beauty of either Janette or Urs on Forever Knight...

As to being a vampire, it nearly totally depends upon the "rules" involved. According to folklore, vampires don't burn in the sun. Nor do they kill with one bite. I'd hate to be a vampire a la 30 Days of Night or Twilight but I'm hard-pressed even to see many disadvantages to being on in Moonlight.

Demzon said...

Interesting point of view; and definitely one of the more well thought out versions I've seen. I do have to agree with Zahir that females are just equally seductive if the role is carried correctly. Now as this is a "what if..." post I would offer that you could start from another point; what if it was just the original legends and not those embellished versions that have come to exist? Able to go out in the day, just feeling like one had a bad hangover; not needing just blood to survive, but wanting it with such a passion that the hunt becomes a life to itself; no immortality; but definitely looking better for longer than one should.
Personally though I like the version in a manga that I heard about that I need to start ordering some time here. It's called Vampire Wing and the rules are as follows; vampires are normal people with a genetic anomaly that grants seemingly superhuman powers upon the ingestion of human blood, they become semi-immortal after the first time, and they work for the military in trade for being kept out of the public eye.
I will have to watch this a little closer, see if you have more interesting ideas to think about.

Soni said...

Thank you for your comments readers. Much appreciated!

@ Zahir, I don't doubt the seductress is any less appealing. But, as I pointed out, my thoughts while writing this commentary was from a female perspect. - thus emphasis on how I'm affected by some male vampires.

However, although I did say I "wouldn't want to be one"... upon reflection, if I had to, I would prob. like to be most like "Vampirella" (always thought her sexy - maybe it's the costume LOL!)

But ultimately, as you said, it would depend on the "rules" that applied.

I'm in pro-gress (slow as it may be) of writing a vamp genre short story. Maybe I'll try being inventive and create some "new" rules (but Hell No, no "twinkling" in the Sun, a la Twilight!)

I have yet to see "30 days", so what was/is it about those vamps why you won't want to be one?

Zahir al Daoud said...

30 Days of Night vampires (the film, not the comic books) burn up in the sun. They have claws and jet-black eyes as well as teeth like sharks. They cannot pass as human and evidently speak their own language--which has an eerie beauty to it (reminded me a little of Klingon). One bite was enough to "turn" someone so they kill/burn/destroy their prey.

This kind of undeath would not appeal to me at all. On the other hand, the vampires of True Blood are a different story.

Soni said...

@DemZon, thanks for the compliment! When I began thinking on the topic and then composing it, I hadn't expected to have such an opinion - because for years of watching/reading vamp related material, I had never thought to explore what it was that drew me to it. It wasn't 'til that pivotal moment in "True Blood" that I challenged myself with that question "Would I want to be a vamp?"

Now if I were to explore it from the other point, as you suggested, I'll have to make myself much more acquainted with the original legends, which unfortunately, I'm not 100% up to date on.
But ultimately, I think, with the way it is today, esp. when it comes to vampires - the rules can be bended, molded, added to, re-invented and hell, even broken!

I'll have to check out that manga, thanks for mentioning it!

Back @ Zahir, re: "The vamps of True Blood are a different story".
So pray tell, what do you like a/o not like about them?

Zahir al Daoud said...

Back @ Zahir, re: "The vamps of True Blood are a different story".
So pray tell, what do you like a/o not like about them?

Actually I do like them. They still appear and can pass as human. They don't kill or mentally rape those upon whom they feed (unlike the vampires of Twilight or Dark Shadows). They can even survive sunlight (for a little bit).

This last of course is pure show business. Up until NOSFERATU there had never been any hint that vampires were harmed by sunlight. But that, as they say, is a tale for another time...

As far as the rules for vampires (at least in t.v. series or major movies go), those of True Blood or Moonlight are best as far as being one of the undead goes. Second best would probably be Blood Ties and maybe Forever Knight (it seems very "normal" for vampires in the latter to kill their prey).