Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Female of the Species...

Vampires are everywhere, and a staple of the genre is the human/vampire romance. Nor am I complaining! The eroticism of the whole idea clearly strikes a chord in many a distracted audience member (yours truly included). Bill and Sookie on True Blood. Edward and Bella in Twilight. The looming triangle in The Vampire Diaries. Henry and Vicky from Blood Ties. The list goes on and on.

But isn't something missing? Or someone?

What about a love story between a human man and a vampire woman? I mentioned this to a good friend on Thanksgiving. Her response managed to intrigue and disturb. "But it is bound to come up," she said, "that the gal can beat him up." Now let us take that apart for a moment. I've been involved romantically more than a few times. Which of us would be able to physically assault the other successfully never seems to have come up in conversation. Never that I can recall, anyway. In response to this, my friend confirmed such had never been an issue in her relationships either.

So why bring it up?

Methinks this has something to do with the notion that be a vampire's lover is in some sense to be a victim, or at least submissive. Male submission is pretty much taboo in our culture -- all the more reason to dip one's toe in those waters, so say I! But then, I also really loved the movie Mishima (check it out, the flick is awesome).

On the other hand must a love story be about any other kind of submission than that to the passion itself? When I think on many of the real wonderful romances of film and literature--from Romeo and Juliet to The English Patient and even A Mighty Wind--relatively few involve submission, overt or covert. Others, such as The Lover and The Secretary, do and do so very well.

Methinks this might be the natural direction for vampire love stories to go. More, to some extent it already is headed there. Consider the underage "couple" at the heart of Let The Right One In, or the adorable pair that are Hoyt and Jessica on True Blood. Nor is this some kind of "modern" idea, as anyone who saw Son of Dracula with Lon Chaney Jr. can attest. Ditto the first filmed sequel to Bram Stoker's famous novel -- said novel itself including an act of near seduction between Lucy Westenra and her still-breathing fiancee, Lord Godalming. Fans of Dark Shadows might also recall Angelique Collins and her "harem" of handsome young men with fang-marks on their throats (at least until she finally bit the love of her life). The first film inspired by the series included an undead Carolyn in nightgown very diaphanous summoning an eager Chris (or was it Tom?) Jennings to her arms.

But things, including story ideas, go in cycles and maybe we're approaching a time for the vampire woman and her male lover/victim. Lord knows there are many a story possibility inherent in the idea.

Towards that end, consider this bit of photo manipulation and the alternate (fictional) history it might represent...heh heh heh...


Jeff Winbush said...

I'm not a fan of the Stephanie Meyer/Ann Rice school of sexy vampires, but I recognize I prefer my Nosfertau to bring the fangs a bit more than the average 15-year-old girl. As far as erotica goes, I'm wondering where are all the lesbian vampires who seemed to exist in old Hammer Films, but seem to be otherwise out of sight and out of favor?

Anonymous said...

I think the male vampire/female human triangle is attractive because the vampire acts as the 'bad boy' in a female fantasy. It's a great fantasy to take a bad boy and turn him good. Twilight does this excellently -- Edward shuns all the human girls, except for Bella, who melts his heart and makes him want to be a better man.

Your friend's comment does bring up a good point, in that it's acceptable to have the stronger vampire male in love with the 'weaker' human female -- I think that adds to the attraction, that he's so strong and can hurt the female, but instead chooses to protect her -- whereas if you have a stronger female, the story won't 'sell' as well. Gabriel brought this up in a comment on Taliesin's New Moon review -- in New Moon, you have many women (25+) crowing about seventeen year-old Taylor Lautner's abs, and no one's making a stink about it. If the situation were reversed and you had theater full of middle-aged men screaming lustily at a seventeen year old girl, can you imagine the outrage?

While falling in love with a vamp is a great fantasy, I always wanted to BE the vampire, hence my (shameless plug here!) book, Release, features a female vampire (as well as a female demon and werewolf). My vamp does have a human lover

Mike said...

I love human / vampire relationships. I do agree that it does tend to be very Male Vampire / Human Female dominated. Would love to see more variety. I am currently writing a fictional blog about the life of a vampire ( ) and my vampire happens to be a homosexual. So I am toying with eventually having a Male Vampire/Male Human romance later in the story. I am at least trying to shake it up a little! lol