The Lure of the Vampire
By Lisabet Sarai
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 http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=876) 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 http://www.lisabetsarai.com or her blog Beyond Romance, http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.comhttp://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com.
[In case links don't come through – MSF, ebook, Kindle and print links below]
The Lure of the Vampire