A Frivolous Note on Vampires

Okay, here’s the thing. Even in vampire folklore – the distant source material for the pop culture vampire – there are undeniable links between vampires and nookie. It’s a common motif in Eastern European vampire lore that a dead husband or lover will, if vampirized, turn up at your window late at night, looking for a few more rolls in the hay. Indeed, there’s a sort of casual feeling to some of the folk tales that makes it seem like no one would get that bent out of shape about nightly visits from the undead if only the uncleanness of it didn’t cause blights and sickness and other popular supernaturally caused ailments. If you’re looking for reading material on this topic, I highly recommend The Vampire: A Casebook, by Alan Dundes.

Personally, I don’t get the sex appeal of vampires in general. I just can’t get past the idea that they’re going to be cold and kinda clammy, and there’s nothing that drives me crazier than sharing a bed with someone who has cold, clammy feet night after night. Or day after day, if you’re following his schedule. For a long time, based on this feeling alone, I very vocally opposed the sexy vampire trend in pop culture. But in the past year, I had a bit of a vampire revelation, and I had it because of two TV shows: Buffy and True Blood.

I am not going to claim that either of these shows are perfect. In fact, when I first began watching both shows, the vampire leads left me cold. Angel? No thanks. Bill? Meh. There was something about their holier-than-thou attitudes and mopey tendencies that turned me off, not to mention the clammy feet.

But then, oh then. Then came the vampire bad boys with the hearts of gold. Spike and Eric. They both sent my little heart to pitter-pattering, despite my strict anti-vampire policy. Magill asked me if it was the bleached blond hair and propensity for wearing leather, but I assured him it was not. If we look at what these two figures have in common, the list is simple. They do bad things, and enjoy it. They fall for goodie-goodie girls, and (at least in Spike’s case – we have yet to see this with Eric, but I sense it coming) try to reform to please them. They fail. They are good in their hearts, but can’t seem to kick the bad boy habits and little cruelties that litter their day to day lives.

A lot of women go for this type in real life. I’m not one of those women. I go for the good, kind, honest to the bone guy every time. But there is an undeniable pleasure in going for the bad boy in fiction. Inner tragedy and cheekbones that could cut glass, all from the safety of your living room couch. What’s not to love? Well, besides the violence and clammy feet.

6 thoughts on “A Frivolous Note on Vampires

  1. Mmm, corpses that drink your blood. Tasty.
    On that note, I hear tell you have a finished YA novel I know you’re dying to share with me. Especially if I trade you a fourth (after I get this round of feedback and revise accordingly) draft of mine for it. Whaddya say?

    • Oh dear. Gotta watch out for that.
      I’m having a crisis of faith in True Blood, given the big reveal of what Sookie “is” – they’re gonna have to tread pretty carefully if they want to keep me watching!

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