Vampire Lovin'

In the spirit of the new vampire movie Twilight...

Do you ever use (playful) biting as foreplay?

(Had to.)

UPDATE: So how about vampires? Do they use (playful) biting as foreplay? The answer is simple: Of course not! But but... Don't you "but" me. Just ask vampire expert Leslie S. Klinger, who wants to make one thing very clear: Vampires aren't real. "I have never seen any evidence that confirms the existence of vampires, and I don't know anyone who has," he says.

But since everyone is up to their necks in vampires lately, I still proceeded to ask the very brainy, very funny editor of The New Annotated Dracula that and a few other quick questions about "vampire lovin'"--as gathered from fellow iVillage editors (who are apparently just as obsessed with Twilight as the rest of you). What I won't do for the teammates I love! Here's what Mr. Klinger, my very best "vampire expert" friend, had to say:

On Why Vampires Are Just Misunderstood...

"In most mythologies, vampires are evil. They have no souls. They're living unnaturally. Death is supposed to be the end, so being undead must be wrong. But if they don't hurt people, well, then maybe they're just misunderstood! [Note from Josey: Having one's blood sucked may not kill, but it does seem like it would hurt! I'll let it slide, though.]

Some women like men who are bad, rebels, outside the norm, because being with them lets us be 'bad' without being bad ourselves. And, of course, we all like to think that we can change the ones we love into better people. So a non-harmful vampire--with lots of cool powers--who is 'bad,' but not really dangerous to us... that's potentially very appealing.

I think that women who want to imagine a relationship with a vampire are (a) interested in a partner who is a little bit dangerous, outside the norm, and 'bad' or (b) interested in 'mothering' the vampire into being non-dangerous or both."

On Vampire Significant Others...

"Certainly vampires in literature have companions. Although the three women vampires who are in the book Dracula are commonly called his 'wives,' they're not, but one particular exchange is worth reading: The fair female vampire, after she is called off from attacking the narrator Jonathan Harker, says to Dracula...

'You yourself never loved; you never love!' On this the other women joined, and such a mirthless, hard, soulless laughter rang through the room that it almost made me faint to hear; it seemed like the pleasure of fiends. Then the Count turned, after looking at my face attentively, and said in a soft whisper--'Yes, I too can love; you yourselves can tell it from the past. Is it not so?'
--Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

I'm sure you're familiar with Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both of whom love Buffy. Later, Angel loves Cordelia. Other vampires throughout film and books have had love relationships. There are numerous Dracula films showing this, including the romantic Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola (1992), as well as Anne Rice's numerous vampire novels and the 21 Count St. Germain novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. True Blood, the current HBO series, depicts a vampire lover, and last year's Moonlight had Mick in several love relationships."

On Vampire Sex...

"There's no sex in Dracula, but then, it's a Victorian book. There are a number of scenes that might be sex, but it's implied, not explicit. I'm not aware of any Dracula film that contains actual sex. Certainly Angel and Spike both have sex. Anne Rice's vampires do not have 'genital' sex; their genitals don't function that way. [Josey scratches her head.]"

On the Sexiness of Vampire Stories, Despite The Lack of Sex...

"The vampire has seduced his or her victims from the beginning of vampire literature. Seduction isn't about sex. It's about the suggestion of pending intimacy. The BBC production of Count Dracula in 1978 has their incredibly good-looking Dracula (Louis Jordan) explain the origin of the kiss to his victim Mina: It's nourishment!"

On Good-Looking Vampires (and Stinky Ones)...

"In the beginning, vampires were just walking corpses, with all the unpleasant aspects associated with corpses. Even Dracula (in the book) has foul breath and hairy palms. [Note from Paris Hilton: Hot.] But beginning in the nineteenth century, with the birth of the 'Gothic horror' novel, the vampire was viewed as powerfully magnetic and irresistible, regardless of his looks. It wasn't until Dracula was produced on the stage in 1924 that the suave, good-looking, magnetically handsome male became associated with the vampire, and this image became the popular view. Blame Bela Lugosi!" [Note from Josey: You hear that, Kristen Stewart? Lugosi.]

And finally: On Vampire Relationship Advice...

"Love sucks!"

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