What is it about vampire fiction (movies. books, etc) that makes women so sweaty and moist?

What makes bloodsuckers so sexy?

Was vampire fiction popular with women before Twilight?

My theory is that vampires are just a metaphor for seduction in general. But placed in a horror context, so they (the women fans) can pretend they are not thinking about sex.

You could write a book about this (and I’m pretty sure people have). I don’t find it that odd. If women want to screw – sorry, get ‘bitten’ by – a sexy, suave guy but will be shunned if they have sex too soon/out of wedlock/with a foreigner/whatever’s the in-thing from 1897-2010, what better way to get away with it than to say he hypnotized you first? I think I mentioned this in a bad boy thread, but I think it applies there, too. You get to live vicariously through an independent male and get felt up and when you’re done you can blame it all on his being from the wrong side of the tracks/Europe so you can still find a husband to take care of you.

Judging by Anne Rice and thrice accursed Vampire AU fanfiction, yes.

AFAICT, it’s an excuse to have an eternally young, pretty man running around, with “vampire” being shorthand for “this character is interesting and dangerous”, without having him do anything I’d identify as interesting or dangerous.

Yeah, I gradated from high school in the 90s and lot’s of girls were reading Rice and others. Unlike Dungeons and Dragons, you could always find a lot of girls playing Vampire: The Masquerade which was an RPG were players take on the role of vampires. I completely understand that my personal experience is anecdotal and may not represent a national norm. It’s just that in my experience a large subset of vampire fans are women. Twilight is just a really successful vampire story that managed to attract both teenage girls and thirty year old housewives.

Twilight makes me ill.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series get me all ‘sweaty and moist’ as you put it.

The Sookie Stackhouse series is just ridiculous. (though the TV series is good…)

Like any other genre, for me, it’s the talent of the author to create the characters and make the narrative interesting. I don’t want to live in Bella’s world, nor Sookie’s. I would, though, in a heartbeat, step into the shoes of any of the females in the Brotherhood series.

'Course, Bella and Sookie are rated PG next to J.R. Ward’s characters.

I don’t think it’s just vampires though. A whole new batch of supernatural authors are hitting the public radar lately. How many different ways can you describe the perfect man or woman in your typical romance novel? After a while, you run out of options and realize you’ve read the same book over and over. The only difference is the character’s name and the picture on the front cover. Adding a supernatural twist gives an whole new set of traits and personality quirks, and conflicts and resolutions.

In Danse Macabre Stephen King actually goes on about this a bit, stating that Vampires, like a lot of monsters, are all about sex and seduction.

That being said, this cracked me up to a HUGE degree…

Can’t they just have him smoke? :wink:

Thanks. I ask because Twilight is fundamentally different from the vampire fiction that preceded it. As far as tone, before it was macabre and goth; now it’s pouty and emo. Thematically, before it was about repressed sexual desires being expressed in the story; now it’s repressed sexual desires staying repressed.
To women, before it was being unable to resist a seductive but dangerous man; now it’s about a perfect man finding you to be so special he’ll change his very nature just for you.

Maybe that’s what passes for ‘empowering’ these days.

Its about the specialness of Bella. Shes not an ordinary girl but a special girl that even an immortal cant help but fall in love with. These stories put the idea of the exceptional girl into the reader. What girl doesnt want to be exceptional, different, and wanted? This concept is especially easy to sell in the hackneyed world of the paranormal with the added plus of the drama of being in love with a dangerous magical creature.

My guess is it’s because women have been girl-ified by the pill.

I rather like wierdaaron’s take on it:

You know, sex is inherently dangerous for women. At best even having sex in a socally acceptable context risks pregnancy and possible death in childbirth or if you live, weight gain, aging, and a life of responsibility and messes. Vampires at least don’t lead to drudgery. For the right girl they lead to sex, perpetual youth, power, and never having to have dinner ready again, and the outfits are awesome. Vampires are also neat (most have OCD doncha know) and never throw their dirty socks under the bed. They are strong. They don’t scratch themselves while sitting in front of the television while watching football. Perhaps best of all, being seduced by a vampire means that you will not turn into your mother.

Great articleby Caitlin Flanagan in the Atlantic on the point.

Some quotes:

Well, from a male perspective a girl once offered me the opportunity to go down on her, I did gladly and with much passion, our first encounter… I went to the bathroom afterward and my mouth and face was a smeared crimson blood smile. I came out of the bathroom and noticed the bloodstain on the floor. That was without warning and I think I induced her period with oral sex, I’m sure she was on the cusp, but she probably wouldn’t have let me do it if she were flowing. I am still confused, did I turn her, or did she turn me… It wasn’t at all unpleasant.

My old pappy always told me… You can wade the Red River… but don’t take a drink!

You are leaving out the important part. Edward, with his constant desire to eat Bella, still is dangerous. There’s no guarantee at any point that he won’t give in to his vampiric urges

And Bella, the character you are supposed to identify with, is pretty unrepressed. The difference is that, rather than giving her what she wants right away, Edward “protects” her by holding off until she’s ready.

So basically, you still get the thrill and sexual expression of being with a vampire, without all the nasty downsides.

Well, to quote myself from that thread:

Depending on how they are portrayed, vampires can be a male power fantasy as much as they can be a repressed-woman’s sexual fantasy. In fact, I think there’s at least three major vamp categories here; male power fantasy vampires, female romance/sex/danger fantasy vampires, and Just Plain Scary vampires. With a fair amount of overlap with the milder versions of course; but sparkly “emo” TwiVamps and monstrous, badass mastermind Kain of the Legacy of Kain games are wildly different in style.

I think the dark brooding bad boy thing for sure, but I think many women also like the “tortured man” element. I’m not crazy about most of the vampire stuff, as it is layed on too thickly IMO, but I do, in fiction, find it sexy if a man suffers a bit. I’m not particularly comfortable with that, but there it is.