Tuesday, August 18, 2009

V Is For Vampire

I think about vampires a lot. Not as much as men think about sex in a given day, but probably more than most women think about sex in a day. I think about how vampires, if they were real, would function in society. For example, would they need to go to the dentist? Would enterprising dentists start offering night hours to treat vampire patients? I think about whether they'd want human companionship other than for food. The title of this post comes from the fact that I spontaneously started singing "V is for Vampire" to the tune of "C is for Cookie." Vampire, vampire, vampire starts with 'V.'

These thoughts come out of my mouth at weird times, to my husband's amusement. The other night, when he walked into the bathroom to brush his teeth, I spit out my toothpaste and said, "It would be really hard to go back to human sex once you've had sex with a vampire." I wasn't trying to be funny or cute; it's just what came out. Its been a long time since I heard David laugh as loud as he did when I asked last night if we could go to ComicCon next year if there was going to be another True Blood panel. David takes all of this in stride, playfully biting my neck, trying to imitate the sound of fangs extending, and inventing the vampire smiley for texting :[. He's used to my obsessions and tolerates the harmless ones with good cheer.

Before you write me off as a poseur, I will write in my defense that although I never jumped on the Dracula bandwagon, I voraciously read Anne Rice's books in high school and probably watched "The Lost Boys" about 100 times. I am new to Twilight, True Blood, and Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels, which True Blood is based on.

One of the things I think about is why vampires hold so much mystique in our culture. Vampire myths have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. We never tire of vampire media, though its popularity certainly ebbs and flows. What is it that holds our interest through centuries? One possibility is that vampires usually mingle sex and death, which have always been inextricably twined. All the TV shows and films showing grieving people losing themselves in sex to numb out? It's real. Heck, look no further than the phrase "la petite mort," the little death, as a euphemism for orgasm. Sex and death are linked. I so wish I could take credit for the following, but my friend MB gets the glory. When I shared my sex-and-death theory of vampire persistence, she said, "And food! It mixes sex, death, and food." That's a pretty good summary of our id, right? Of course, since vampires are practically immortal, their lore also touches on humans' deepest fear and greatest weakness: death. If you combine this with the fact that it's hard to resist a scary tale (notice our persevering interests in zombies, werewolves, etc.), I think it's pretty clear why humans heart vampires.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post about why I love True Blood, and why Bill and Eric totally kick Edward's whiny ass.


Elise said...

Although I love Charlaine Harris' other series, I simply can't read her Stackhouse novels. I do, however, adore Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain series.

I don't think vampires would have to go to the dentist. They're immortal so I assume they'd be resistant to gum infections and tooth decay. Of course, let's say someone who is turned has yellow teeth or crooked teeth. Would they whiten and straighten as part of the conversion process? Or would such a vampire have to resort to Crest White-Strips and an orthodontist to be considered acceptable in what is presumably the most important vampire beauty category: teeth.

David said...

Of course, PVP has a lot of insight about modern vampires