Cannibalism is one of humanity’s rare areas of agreements: it is universally impermissible and offensive. Yet, despite this consensus, we’re completely obsessed with people sucking our blood.
Vampire mythology has existed for centuries. In ancient times, various cultures told stories of blood-drinking creatures with demonic characteristics, who represented pure evil and the devil. Vampires started to make their way into mainstream media in the early 1800s, through literature and theater. It wasn’t until 1897, when the infamous character of Dracula was created, that the concept of vampires transitioned from that of a monstrous killer to a charismatic villain. However, the most important thing that defines a vampire in modern entertainment is the added dimension of sex appeal.
In fact, many movies and shows now focus on humans struggling to resist the vampires’ sexiness. In Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the human/vampire couples must prevent their intimacy from going too far or else something bad will happen, like losing one’s soul or being physically hurt. In some cases, vampire related films and shows tie sex to marriage and pregnancy. Ultimately, Hollywood uses the alluring archetype of a vampire to romanticize abstinence and teach the viewers the “dangers” of sex. Because their sex appeal is portayed as a dangerous thing, vampires’ presence in entertainment and media symbolizes risque human desires that many are ashamed to admit they possess. The sexualization of and obsession with vampires shows that people are intrigued by their habits of bloodsucking, killing, and nourishing themselves off of human life. We use their supernatural characteristics to cover up for the fact that humans desire these behaviors, even when it isn’t fantastical.
True Blood, which streamed from 2008 to 2014, quite deliberately draws the connection between bloodsucking and pleasure, which is very outwardly kinky. Some humans called “fangbangers” have a fetish of having their blood sucked during sex with vampires. Others are addicted to vampire blood as a drug, showing how the vampires’ supernatural characteristics quite directly induce pleasure among humans. But even in more innocent forms of vampire entertainment, like Twilight, the capabilities of vampires and their constant threat of harm is what makes them so sexy to viewers. So again we ask, why are we so obsessed with it?
There are many things that induce pleasure, two of which are food and love. Many are attracted to the concept of a vampire because humans can nourish them in both ways. This is rampant in the entertainment industry. When vampires are physically desirable, the viewers’ attraction to them as good looking people also comes with an attraction to their bloodsucking habits. Though kinkiness is so severely shamed in our society, it’s time to face the truth. A vampire obsession is kinky.
Before you become defensive, it must be stated that there is a clear line between cannibalism and kinks. In this day and age, we should be brave enough to talk about them, and Hollywood has clearly shown us we are interested. By acknowledging our odd fixation and attraction to them, we can create a more sex-positive society.
There are numerous other conversations to be had that are raised by the presence of vampires in entertainment, such as multi-century age gaps in vampire/human relationships or the cultural origins of vampire mythology. However, we can now recognize that our attraction to vampires has a much deeper meaning.
Update: This article was edited to correct an inaccurate date.