The Lure of the Vampire      

By Lisabet Sarai

 Good morning, 
You have chosen an interesting topic!

Why are vampires sexy? Why do romance readers never seem to tire of stories about eternal blood-drinkers and the lust and love they inspire? Why do our hearts beat faster when one of these seductive monsters bends to sip the fluid of life from his swooning victim's veins?

Even Bram Stoker's Count Dracula exercised a kind of spell over his prey. What lies at the root of this allure?

I think that there are a variety of answers to this question, all with some merit. In romance, at least, vampires usually possess unearthly beauty that evokes more than that just attraction―the typical reaction is closer to awe. The genre has adopted Anne Rice's notion that the transformation from mortal to immortal somehow physically perfects the vampire. The blood drinker acquires a kind of glamor (in the magical sense) that snares the attention and stirs the senses of mortals.

Power is another draw. Although the powers attributed to the undead vary from one author to another, all vampires have capabilities unmatched by mortals. Some possess preternatural strength. Some are able to read minds, cloud perceptions or plant thoughts in the minds of their victims. Some can fly or move so quickly that they might as well be flying. The existence of such power―the revelation that the magic is real, not merely a fantasy―excites us poor humans. And who can help imagining what it would be like to be gifted with this kind of power oneself?

Paradoxically, fear can add to the appeal. The risk one assumes in loving a vampire, the sense of danger, can serve as an aphrodisiac. The whole experience becomes more intense than mere mortal couplings.  Freud postulated that humans have a death wish. I'm not sure that I concur, but death does have a sort of perverse fascination for many of us. (Witness the enduring popularity of horror movies!)

There are two other important factors I think contribute to the vampire's lure in romance. First, we like to fantasize that we are the special individual who can kindle love in the cold heart of a lonely blood drinker. Many vampires are ancient and solitary, bitter or cynical. They have watched generations of mortals die. They know that love is fleeting and futile. To be the one mortal who can give them solace―who can soothe their pain and light up their dark world, even for a little while―is tremendously satisfying, from an emotional perspective.

Second, many vampire-mortal encounters incorporate elements of dominance and submission. The victim surrenders to the terrifying, glorious power of the vamp and experiences a sort of ecstatic communion similar to that described by BDSM practitioners. Of course some vampire romance contains explicit BDSM elements―which tend to fit very well with the genre. But even when the trappings of D/s are absent, the emotions are there: the passion to submit, the devotion to the Master (or  Mistress), the final release.

I tend to focus on these last two elements in my own vampire tales. Nothing excites me, personally, as much as the idea of yielding to a powerful, seductive, beautiful blood drinker.  There's always the  temptation to submit completely―to prove one's love by offering one's life. Objectively, it's a scary scenario, but it has an emotional kick that never fails to move me.

I just edited an anthology of vampire erotica and erotic romance entitled Coming Together: In Vein which brilliantly demonstrates the points above. The stories in this book are simultaneously scary and sexy, even though in some cases the vampires are far from traditional. In my story, “Vampires, Limited”, for example, the vampire is a blond college guy who just happened to have been bitten by an undead coed at a frat party. He's not ancient or mysterious, dark or brooding. He looks like what he is (or was), a corn-fed twenty one year old from Wisconsin. That doesn't mean he's not dangerous and seductive, though.

 Meanwhile, the best thing about Coming Together: In Vein is that it's for a great cause. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They're performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.

 You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook, Kindle format, or print. Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone's life.

 To thank you for reading this post, I'm giving away a copy of my own vampire romance novella, Fire in the Blood. (For more information about this book, visit  Leave me a comment telling me why you think vampires are so popular. I'll randomly choose one winner next Saturday. (Please include your email address in your comment.)

Bio:   Lisabet Sarai is an author, editor and reviewer of erotica and erotic romance. She has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil, and publishing for more than a decade. Lisabet has visited every continent except Australia and now lives in Southeast Asia. She holds more degrees than anyone should ever want from prestigious universities who would undoubtedly be embarrassed if she mentioned them by name. To find out more about Lisabet, visit her website Lisabet's Fantasy Factory or her blog Beyond Romance, http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

[In case links don't come through – MSF, ebook, Kindle and print links below]


  1. Beth Trissel // January 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM  

    A warm welcome to the Fuzzies, Lizbet, on this bitter cold day. Yes. very scintillating topic. Maybe your post will get our blood stirring. I am huddled on the couch with my cat in my pink bathrobe (why bother?) and blankets in my cold farm house, circa late 1800's, drinking hot tea. Intrepid and far hardier souls are ice skating on our pond.

  2. Mary Marvella // January 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM  

    Good afternoon! Beth, I'm cold enough here in Georgia! Yes, this topic is hot! Hey, Lisabet!

  3. Autumn Jordon // January 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM  

    Welcome to the Fuzzies. I fell in love with Barnby Jones ages ago and like you I'm intrigued by the bad boys.

    I love the cover. Very eye-catching. Good luck with sales. A very good cause indeed.

  4. Mona Risk // January 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM  

    What a great cause to support, Lizbet. In one my books, Rx in Russian, the heroine is a doctor with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Belarus.I didn't know they also work in Syria which is a terrible war zone right now.Good luck with the sales.

  5. Barbara Monajem // January 25, 2013 at 9:31 PM  

    What an interesting discussion of vampires. I agree with many of your points, and got interested in writing vampires after reading Dracula -- funny, because Dracula wasn't really sexy, and yet he was in a weird sort of way. ;)

  6. Lisabet Sarai // January 26, 2013 at 2:00 AM  

    Hello, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

    @ Beth - I feel for you, but at least you've got the cat to keep you warm. I live in the tropics - it's in the high eighties here right now!

    @ Mary - Thanks for having me as your guest!

    @ Autumn - Greetings and thanks for dropping by. My favorite film/TV vampire has to be Spike. But Barnaby Collins was a heart throb back when I was in high school.

    @ Mona - The think that draws me to MSF is the fact that they really don't play politics. They help wherever they are needed, both sides of a conflict, recognizing that it's ordinary people who suffer when powers clash.

    @ Barbara - So you write vampire stories also? The original Dracula had the power, certainly, and also a kind of glamor (in the magical sense), to compel his victims to submit. And a great deal has been written about the Count's taking of Mina and Lucy as having sexual connotations.

  7. Suzanne // January 26, 2013 at 3:27 AM  

    I am so looking forward to reading this book. The story that interests me the most is the M/M/F. I am sure all the stories will be grat since their are some great authors.

  8. Urb // January 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM  

    Vampires are popular because they're sexy. It's fun to have a fantasy of being under their spell. Forbidden desire with a touch of danger!

  9. Debby // January 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM  

    Great post! I agree with you about everything you said. I think they are the ultimate bad boy and never boring. Pretty cold here.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  10. Helena Fairfax // January 26, 2013 at 8:33 AM  

    Hi Lisabet, I loved your post! I'd often wondered what it was about vampires that people really love. Your answers were great. I also loved the cover of your book. Hope sales go well and good luck with a great cause.

  11. Eleanor Bruce // January 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM  

    I think one of the reasons vampires are so fascinating is they were once us. With one bite, a human becomes an immortal. Who wouldn't want that? Of course, blood drinking comes along with that immortality, but, eh, minor details. My vampire obsession also began a very young age with Barnabas Collins. A vampire novel is on my to write list.

  12. Anne // January 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM  

    I think it might be the thrill of the chase on our part. Vampires tend to be aloof and apart from humans making us desire them.

  13. Christine // January 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM  

    I think Vampires are so popular because they are such a dominate force. Sexy, powerful with this take no prisoners attitude. OR, in some cases it is the willingness to take prisoners attitude??

  14. Patrice // January 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM  

    Interesting post, and great comments. I think the sucking the neck part is extremely sexy, but I'd hate to have to stay away from sunlight and only go out at night. I'd make a lousy vampire, I'm afraid.
    Good luck to you!

  15. hotcha12 // January 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM  


  16. Anonymous // January 26, 2013 at 9:13 PM  

    I think it's that vampires offer such a dramatic consequence to love; it sets up a whole dynamic of seduction and resistance that ups the stakes (no pun intended!) with excitement.

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  17. Lisabet Sarai // January 26, 2013 at 11:12 PM  

    Hello again!

    @ Suzanne - actually the M/M/F is my novella. In Vein does have a fabulous M/F/F menage, though, as well as a wonderful M/M story.

    @ Urb - "forbidden desire with a touch of danger". That's a great summary (or tag line!)

    @ Debby - get a copy of In Vein. I guarantee it will warm you up ;^)

  18. Lisabet Sarai // January 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM  

    @ Helena - Thanks for dropping by. You can help sales ;^) ... buy a copy for yourself and one for your friends (I think the ebook is only $2.99)

    @ Eleanor - Interesting notion. Perhaps part of the appeal is the notion that a human lover can manage to awaken the shreds of humanity still remaining in the vampire's heart.

    @ Anne - I think you're right, although in more traditional vampire tales, it's the vamps who are doing the chasing!

    @ Christine - Power is an aphrodisiac, no question. That's one reason there seem to be so many stories in which the hero is a millionaire.

  19. Lisabet Sarai // January 26, 2013 at 11:19 PM  

    @ Patrice - actually, the vampire in my In Vein story can go out in the daytime, as long as he stays out of direct sunlight. That's why he moved to England LOL.

    @ Hotcha - You're always so enthusiastic! Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Trix - "Ups the stakes"... ;^) But you're right. You're in for more than just a broken heart when you love a vamp.

    Thanks again to all. I will draw a winner on Monday night.

  20. Anonymous // January 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM  

    I tried to post yesterday, but blogger was hating on me again! Sorry to be late to the party. Vampires offer a sense of the forbidden, mystery and of course danger. No wonder teens go ape for them!


  21. hotcha12 // January 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM  


  22. Shannon Bereza // January 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM  

    I think vampires are so popular because of the recent influx of books (new and old). It definitely isn't a new topic, but when some books make it big in the reading world and especially when they are made into movies it seems that topic becomes uber popular for a while. Not that vampires are anything new, but when the spotlight shines the entire genre about that subject seems to gain popularity. My favorite part about vampires is the fact that certain characteristics tend to be pretty much the same, like blood and fangs, but besides that the vampires take on a whole new "life" based on each writers imagination. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

  23. Mary Marvella // January 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM  

    The comments are going well!

  24. Emily // January 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM  

    I think a big reason why they're so popular is because they've become highly romanticized. They're no longer just the murdering bloodsuckers, they're sparkly vegetarians, or they're sexy, dangerous alpha males who stir up the blood, or they're heroes. Plus, it's easy to love a bad boy. You know, the one your parents hate since they'd rather you date a lawyer or a doctor? Yeah, that bad boy.

    Plus, vamps do have an allure. They're lived and seen more (knowledge is sexy) plus they're strong (protection), they never age (can anyone say sexy for eternity?) and they could give you immortality as well, which is highly attractive to some people. They're the ultimate package, catnip for lots of people.


  25. hotcha12 // January 28, 2013 at 4:21 PM  


  26. Lisabet Sarai // January 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM  

    Greetings everyone!

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    I've randomly drawn a winner. It's ANNE. But you didn't leave your email address!

    Can you please contact me at
    lisabet -- at -- so I can send you your prize?

    If I don't hear from you by Friday, I will choose another winner.

    Once again I want to express my thanks to Mary and the other fuzzy pink ladies, and to all of you who took the time to drop by and comment.


  27. Mary Ricksen // January 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM  

    I love vampires!!

  28. Lisabet Sarai // February 1, 2013 at 9:56 PM  

    I haven't heard from Anne, so I've drawn another name - Eleanor Bruce. Please send an email so I know where to send the book!