Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vampire Appeal: What Makes Them So Irresistible

Photos: The Vampire Diaries CW Promos

This is a topic that is often brought up- why are vampires so damn sexy?

Seriously what is it that is so appealing that we just can't get enough of them?

Some books and movies depict them as grotesque, evil and downright hideous.

Even the sexiest vampires are still described as being walking corpses.

So what the hell is so sexy about something dead? (I ask not because I am grossed out but because I am curious that I find them so damn irresistible myself)

Let's take a look at some of the more common beliefs about vampires- they are pale, they are cold-like dead cold, they have bad breath and they lack a pulse or a heartbeat. What could possibly be sexy about making out with a cold, pale guy (or girl) with bad breath that doesn't even have a heartbeat ? Hmmm

And then there's the blood drinking. Ewwww. Yet somehow in the books and movies even that can be turned into something downright sexy but if you went on a date with a normal guy and he decided to down a blood shot I can't imagine that the night would end up favorably.

So why is everyone falling all over themselves to join the fangbangers club?

Really, when you sit down and seriously think about all the nastiness involved with vampires it looks like we should all seek serious counseling for even considering these creatures of the night to be attractive at all.

But we do.

Somehow the appeal of eternal life, eternal youth, and extreme power override all rational thought when it comes to vampires. We even overlook simple things in books and movies that taken in another context would have us totally grossed out.

Like the age difference between the centuries old vampire and the teenage or young twenty something girl he falls for.

Talk about robbing the cradle! I think author Nicole Peeler brought up a great point when she brought up the supernatural daddy complex. What makes us swoon for the ancient, alpha male?

Sure these vampires may look like an eternal teenager but that doesn't mean they are. They've lived far longer than any normal human ever would. (That brings up a question for me, are you only as old as you look- so age isn't really a number but an appearance?) And it's a storyline that never seems to get old: Buffy and Angel, Bella and Edward, Elena and Stefan (and Elena and Damon).

If these guys weren't vampires or other supernatural creatures but just plain "old" humans we'd all be grossed out about the older guy pursuing the young girl but with the vamps we're all for it.

Maybe it is how these creatures are described and portrayed on the screen.

Look at The Vampire Diaries- I don't care how evil Damon is- I can't get past that face- he's just so damn beautiful. And as the show has progressed the bad boy's heart is starting to show, which really adds to his bad boy with a sensitive side oh so sexy vamp appeal.

What is the ultimate draw for you? What makes a vampire sexy? What makes them so sexy that all the other stuff can be overlooked?

I think for me it all depends on the vampire- some are worth the fuss...others not so much. Damon is worth the fuss for me...Edward not so much.

Who is your sexiest vampire of all time and why?


Michele Hauf said...

Great article, Roxanne!

I can never figure out why women are so attracted to the 'dead' vampire, either.

In my stories, they are never dead. They don't have to die to become a vampire. Because...eww.

Sexiest vamp of all time? Have to go with Spike. He's got the allure, the attitude, the abs, and the accent.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

The whole dead thing I plan to address in detail in another post- for me I think if something walks around needing, feeling, loving, etc- and needs to feed and above all can heal- then there's no way they are "dead".

Something dead isn't going to need to feed to survive (and if you need to survive then you can't be dead)and a dead thing sure isn't going to heal if injured.

Trina M. Lee said...

I don't find the blood drinking gross at all. It's a constant factor in my books and people seem to enjoy it. Some of my books are labelled "bloodplay" because of it but I think that's a little misleading. I just find it erotic when done right.

Vampires aren't really dead though, they are undead. When I think walking dead, I think zombies. Ew. Lol. Sexiest vamp ever? I'd have to go with Spike too. I started watching Buffy because of him lol. Great post!

Leilani @Leilani Loves Books said...

I wouldnt mind a vamp at all.

Especially if he's Damon Salvatore!
Yummmy!!! He can bite me anytime.

Witchy Woman said...

To begin with, we try "not" to envision them as gross, dead, and having onion breath. We picture them as having a hypnotic, masculine, very hot-sexy allure that draws us in. Think about all those gorgeous actors they choose to portray vampires...point made. It may also be that feeling of rebellion and tempting fate. The feeling of wanting to be with someone dangerous and mysterious, that you really should be avoiding. How darkly yummy is that? A nonliving sexy bad boy!!!

Lorelei said...

The allure of vampires began when I was in my teens, so maybe there was a bit of the "supernatural daddy complex" going on.

I've tried to steer away from the "undead" thing altogether, and gave them a pulse, yet almost undetectable. Supernatural is what they are.

Their allure, is that they are dangerous, yet what we get from it is that dark, primal need in all of us that we bury deep inside. That's what I think it is. Who wouldn't want to just let go and do it with a supernatural hunk? Fangs or no fangs, whatever. Don't matter, it'll feel "good". I have to agree with Whitchy Woman on that one.

Sexiest guy to play a vampire in my book goes to Frank Langella. Who can get past those deep dark, ethereal eyes of his?

Great post, Roxanne! I'll have to do something like this on mine and mention it @ VampChix--my favorite blog!

L.H. Parker said...

Sigh. For me it's that whole tortured soul complex. They're so dark and twisted and suffering—and they still look fantastic. It's definitely a case of being attracted to the bad boy—and wanting to join in all the fun. ;)

Derek Tatum said...

From a guy POV, non-vampire Elena Gilbert ain't so bad herself.

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

The vampire appeal isn't for the corpse-like ones. The living dead, risen corpses that are icky and decay, are not good.

But the undead,vampires that have transcended life, moved past the mortal coil...there is much appeal there. No longer constrained by humanity, or the lingering knowledge that every day is one day closer to the grave. Powers beyond human, even with the drawbacks. Time to study, and learn, and travel, and experience. All of that is very appealing.

I admittedly have a daddy complex. Having an older man to guide and instruct, that can show a girl a good time, that's great. I think there's not enough of the century old vampire having nothing in common with the girl, and finding her too immature to deal with. That's got to be a problem for both of them. I know I have problems relating to my parent's generation, or to twenty year olds who don't know what the Challenger accident was.

As for sexiest vampire? Mine, of course. Varick's old, but not hidebound. Protective and possessive without being smothering. Lithe, with white hair, and a tattoo, and Doc Marten boots, and long nails, and a classic Charger. I wrote him, I should hope he's the sexiest vampire in my eyes.

But if I had to pick someone else's, I think it would be Lestat from The Vampire Lestat (didn't like him in most of the other books), or Eric from the Sookie books. Even Alexander Skarsgaard from the show. They border on evil, they're powerful and good looking.

Shauna Leigh Kemp said...

Wow, great article! I like many kinds of vamps so that is a tough one, but my favorite of all time is Angel. I still like Edward, gasp, I know! I also like Stefan from Vamp Diaries and although I HATED Damon in the first 4 books (not so much in the 5th), my friend has helped me appreciate him and Ian S. makes him mighty likable, if that is the right word, and easy on the eyes so I do see the allure! So, good choice there. And well, Spike, hmm... he is growing on me, I'm just now watching Buffy! :) And, last, but not least Henry from Blood Ties is awesome. So, I think that covers my faves... Did I forget anyone? :) And, great pics of "Damon" by the way, WOWZA!

As far as the "dead" topic I think I do prefer the undead or supernatural idea best versus just plain dead. :) I like Vampire Diaries take on vamps pretty darn well actually so good example all around as far as I'm concerned. And, Stefan's eyes are mighty dreamy too. =] I think I keep saying this to people, but they sure cast that show fabulously!! As, even the men seem to agree. I think it has been a great job all around, fun season. And no, I get no commission for this ad what-so-ever. Just fun! :)

Gypsy Jane said...

The sexiest vampire of all time, for me, is Saint-Germain (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro). Of course, he's had 4000 years to perfect his technique.

But I was maybe 10 when Mom & I read Dracula aloud and I fell under his spell. I didn't even know what sexy was, but...

Sandra Gonzalez said...

I agree about the masculine bad boy idea of the vampire. It goes along with my main idea of the vamp falling totally gaga for the Juliet of the movie or book.

What do women yearn for in a relationship? In the case of a vampire, his need for blood turns to needing her blood only because once his fangs penetrate her flesh and consumes his first taste, no other will do. A man deeply committed to the woman, one woman, his mate for life.

And isn't that what we hope will happen? A love so special that lasts a lifetime? No divorce.

You mentioned age vs looks. People, especially women, tend to give a little more leeway when it comes to their beaus being older and many accept that men will be more 'experienced.' Looks play a big part in that. Does anybody remember Tom Selleck with Courtney Cox on Friends? Forget age. He's hot!

As for dead, undead stuff, I tend to throw it to the side as minor details like many women do with the little pet peeves we all have with men. Why do you think homes have his/hers sinks? Although I do prefer the vampirelike beings who were created to be special. Take Christine Feehan's Carpathians for example.

So who is my fave? I honestly don't know, but I will say that Frank Langella's Dracula stayed with me for a long time and he was a horror vamp. It's all in the eyes. Angel over Spike because I like my men big. Damon over Stefan because I like my men bad. J.R. Ward's vamps are bad-##### too.

Whew. I am sooo copying this comment and using it as a blog. Thanks VampChix for bringing this topics up. I had blogged about it last year but your points made me look at it more thoroughly. :)