Today, vampires and sexuality are one and the same. They represent so many of our desires and fantasies, both fulfilled and unrequited. But it hasn’t always been this way. Going back through history, the folklore becomes a little less sensual. So how did we get from folklore to fantasy? Let’s walk that dark path through the woods, then talk with Marie about her thoughts on vampires. I promise we will talk about sex, but in appropriately naughty fashion, I’m going to make you wait in anticipation.😘
The linguistic origins of the word “vampire” are disputed to originate in Turkish, Greek, Slavic, and Hungarian, with Slavic being the most widely accepted. In support of this, the first uses of the term in Western European languages all describe Slavic superstitions. Linguists have tied the term back to roots in the aforementioned languages which mean “to drink,” “to blow,” and “witch.” One of the terms for vampire also means “werewolf.”
Romanian folklore describes both living and dead vampires. The dead vampire is a reanimated corpse, while a living vampire is a person capable of sending their spirit from their bodies, and will become a dead vampire when they pass. This act of sending the spirit, known today as astral projection, is an ability commonly attributed to witches. As such, there are instances where the spirits of witches and spirits of living vampires are confused.
The Romanian folklore also describes vampires working together with witches and devils. It is also believed the dead vampires teach magic to the living ones. This too, sounds similar to the narrative of witches summoning a spirit to grant them power. The vampire, like the witch, is also blamed for all manner of agricultural and child rearing failures by taking power from animals and crops, milk from mothers, and even controlling the rain.
Becoming a Vampire
The bite of a vampire making another is absent from the early folklore. Most accounts involve death in a state of sin, animals or objects passing over the body or grave, dying unmarried, and other random causes related to “improper” lifestyle or burial practices. The sexiest origin of a vampire is the result of a witch copulating with a werewolf or devil.
Research into the folklore reports tales of vampires returning from their grave, not just to suck blood, but also to fuck. They were often thought to come first for the spouse they left behind, but they were also known to prey on anyone they could get alone. Naturally, there are numerous accounts of perfectly normal, non-vampiric people taking advantage of this. The notoriety of the vampire was used to mask the nocturnal liaisons of widows and their new lovers, extramarital affairs, and the capriciousness of youth.
The Modern Vampire
While the elements of sex and death are present, the folklore sounds very little like the modern literary and cinematic vampire. So how did the modern vampire come into being? Well, as society changes, folklore changes with it. For a nice primer on the cinematic vampire, check out this article from Wired.
This is seen most strongly in the vampire’s creation. Gone are all the random methods that spawn a vampire. Now we have sexually transmitted vampirism. The vampire’s bite is a metaphor for sexual penetration, and with the metaphor comes the potential for reproduction and disease.
The literary vampire emerged in the Victorian era, when syphilis was the sexual bogeyman of the day, just as AIDS is now. While the eroticism of the vampire was a welcome distraction from the repression of the era, the fears of society drove the narrative. It is perhaps even more seductive as a result. Even knowing the danger, your craving doesn’t just go away. If the explosion of the impregnation risk fetish across the internet tells us nothing else, it is that rapture and risk together are a powerful aphrodisiac.
Hammer Studios was without a doubt instrumental in the escalation of vampiric sex in cinema. In a bid to attract viewers, Hammer focused directly on the sexuality of their vampires. Casting Christopher Lee as Dracula and Ingrid Pitt as both Carmilla and Elisabeth Bathory, they gave us tantalizingly sexy vampires. While Bela Lugosi gave us the Hungarian accent trope, Lee provided the power, presence, and aristocratic air that has become the de facto template for the vampire lord. The escalation of vampiric sexuality has been on ever since.
Speaking of, one of my favorite vampire sex scenes comes from the 2012 film Kiss of the Damned. It has all the essential elements, overwhelming desire, risk, the literal unchaining of absolute sexuality, and biting. I challenge you to not masturbate, or at least want to, during this scene. Just try to resist.
Naturally, this brings us to Bloodlust: Cerene, Affect3D’s in-house production of vampiric sexuality. There have been numerous depictions of vampires in pornography, but most of them depict the modern goth rock imagery of the urban vampire. Bloodlust takes us back to the gothic horror roots of Victorian literature and Hammer films, with a mouthful of Ravenloft and Castlevania for added flavor.
Cerene and Sophia certainly both get a mouthful, but the one thing nobody gets a mouthful of is blood. There is no biting. Above and beyond all other sexual fetishes, vampires are my favorite, and the one thing I expect from a vampire story is biting. While Bloodlust is a gorgeous production that is very enjoyable to watch, no neck nomming seems like a grave omission to me. Marie offers an answer for the lack of biting in the interview to follow, and sounds disappointed about it too. Here’s to hoping the sequel offers some blood to go with the lust.
Interview with Marie
What do you find sexiest about vampires?
“I’m not alone in feeling that vampires are innately all about sex. The carnal and insatiable lust for blood, the biting, the effect biting has — whether it’s to die, be weakened, or transform into a creature of the night yourself — it’s all just a fantastic analogy for sex, and sometimes the forbiddenness of sex. So I would hesitate to say there is one sexiest thing when they are pure sex, in my mind.”
What aspect of vampire mythology/pop culture is most interesting to you?
“Having said that, I think the different interpretations of the vampire across several different stories is what’s most interesting about them. Even a substandard vampire story like Twilight is interesting because the angle it takes on the sexual element (it’s heavily focused on the “don’t have sex ’til you’re married” message). Then you look at something like True Blood — which I think is the best portrayal of vampires in modern storytelling — and they really pull out all the stops on portraying the sexuality. Then you have a show like Buffy and the sexuality of each vampire really varies, with the female vampires taking on a more sexual role and the males more eager to hurt and kill. Interview with the Vampire, Lost Boys, the list of iconic vampire stories and how the sex is presented, that’s the best part.”
I noticed there is no biting in Bloodlust. Why?
“There was a bite in the original Bloodlust script but it didn’t make it to the final production, presumably to draw out the time before the human characters have to make that decision (or have the decision made for them). Without a bite, though, Bloodlust doesn’t really feel like a vampire story, and I hope Bloodlust 2 will contain this and the other important elements a vampire story needs. We have the raw sex which most vampire stories are short on, but for once we need more than just sex to make it work. And we don’t necessarily need more talking scenes… The key elements of a vampire story make for great foreplay.”
Will more of the backstory for Bloodlust be available for fans? More “episodes” perhaps?
“Some origin story ideas were tossed around when we worked on the revision of the first script, and we have some ideas for Bloodlust 2 already, but we don’t have any solid plans yet on when or how we’ll expand the story. With the amount of time A3D can dedicate to story and animation, I think all our future titles will probably benefit from the Blizzard approach of releasing a novel to accompany the story we see in the game, or in our case, porn. The DLC won’t have that, since it’s non-canon, but Bloodlust 2 (and Girlfriends 4 Ever 2) would benefit from it heavily.”
Marie’s thoughts on the vampire, and much of my own, really follow the modern sexual narrative of vampirism. That’s to be expected of course, since neither of us are hundreds of years old. She also hints at there being more to Bloodlust, something I am very much looking forward to. Additional backstory will provide a more immersive experience you can really sink your teeth into.
As can be seen, there is a huge gap between the folklore and modern vampires. Stoker did include some elements of the old lore in Dracula. Subspecies, a vampire film shot in Romania, does as well. However, working a heavy dose of the folklore into the narrative of the modern vampire could be compelling if done carefully, or a disjointed mess if not. Either way, the sexual mystique will always be there to keep your hunger alive.
The Vampire: A Casebook, edited by Alan Dundes.