Letâs shed a little educated light on the resurgence of this whole âVampire Romanceâ genre. Now, before you justifiably click away, assuming Iâm going to start talking about Twilight, let me assure you: This is not about Twilight. This is about vampires. Twilight is not a vampire book, itâs Hello Kitty caliber softcore pornography for First Level Goths. It is entirely unconnected to the true resurgence of the vampire, present in anything from True Blood to The Vampire Diaries to Anne Rice to Being Human and on and on. No matter how effeminate, emotional, romantic or just unabashedly gay the shows, movies, and novels featuring the modern vampire might be, they do undoubtedly contain actual vampires. Not pallid fairies that glitter when you tickle their anus: Vampires. Theyâre back. But why?
Itâs clearly apparent that this resurgence is geared almost exclusively towards women, so to truly understand the re-emergence of the vampire, you first need to understand the female mind. Luckily for you, I majored in Feminist Studies in college (mistakenly believing, due to the exclusively female attendance of the classes, that I had somehow stumbled upon an unattended all-you-can-eat buffet of hot, nasty bitches. But I found no hot nasty bitches there â only proud, strong women who deserved my respect and admiration. Later, I found all the hot nasty bitches in the sociology wing, but thatâs a story for another time, and another court stenographer). The vampire, if broken down by its core story components, should have a primarily masculine appeal: Super-powers, monsters, hot lusty bitches and vicious maulings â on paper that sounds like classic Man Territory.
Watch out, it's sticky. All of it.
For women, however, the appeal is something beyond the core components: Vampires are cold, dead, emotionless creatures. Most women want two things from a romance: To be physically
saved and occasionally dominated by a big, strong, impassive man, and to in turn emotionally
save and dominate that same physically strong, but psychologically weak man. Vampires, being quite literally dead, are the most in need of saving. They have lost touch with life itself and need to be ânursedâ back into their own basic humanity, the ultimate metaphor for a crippled emotional state. And their supernatural strength and monstrous nature means theyâre always able and willing to both save and dominate their fragile women (especially appealing in this case because the women need not be insulted; theyâre only âphysically weakerâ because they lack those accursed vampiric powers).
"No, I don't feel like I'm re-enforcing gender stereotypes by playing up my weakness, he's a vampire and batman!"
Vampires have experienced this resurgence among women because they most represent this dynamic without further interpretation. If you tell a basic vampire story, the domination/submission elements will always be present, even if you donât actively try to include them. But most supernatural fiction possesses these same elements as well; they need only be presented with slight tweaks to fit the âRomantic Monsterâ genre. Like so:
Werewolves are already starting their resurgence, but unfortunately itâs usually as the antithesis of the vampire: They are, if anything, just too in touch with their emotional side and baser animal natures. They just live too much; donât try to tame them, baby. And so sadly, their place is usually to lose to the vampire in a womanâs heart, because the vampire needs them more. The solution? More aloof, emotionally distant werewolves. A sample:
The full moon illuminated a soft meadow of heather, swaying almost imperceptibly one moment, billowing in great wave-like surges the next. At one stood Bertrand, a haunted visage of an afflicted man, his pale skin glowing gently in the moonlight. At the other stood Sophie, his beloved, in naught but a house-frock (her bare ankles almost slutty in their wantonness). Sophie watched as the moon-rays washed over Bertrand, and observed an odd happening: As the light moved across his body, it was briefly as though he were two separate beings - one in shadow, one in light - somehow occupying the same space. When at last he was out of shadow and the light shone down on him completely, revealing his form in full, Bertrand was gone. In his place stood a wolf of a size Sophie could not have imagined. A great, heaving beast, full of passion and violence. She sensed the bloodlust rise in the creature, and she averted her gaze, mentally preparing herself to be torn to shreds â though to be honest, she wasnât all that into it anymore; itâs just like, he seemed to