By Suzanne Carré
Vampires have long been portrayed as sexy beasts and this is very true for the first popular novel about vampires by Bram Stoker. In the novel “Dracula” there is a lot of sex, the repression of the Victorian age demanded discretion and therefore suggestion, but nonetheless the sex is palpable. So with our curiosity roused, but our concepts of “vampirology” restricted to interpretations in literature, clouded by the unnecessary detail of vampire sex, we’ve long made the assumption vampires have sex “just the way we do”—except they have fangs—don’t they?
Details of any exploits in the bedroom are therefore simply alluded to in terms of our experience and limited only by our imagination. Absence of an erotic culture associated with vampires (and their fangs) means vampire interplay with human beings makes us victims of violent and fatal sex. And a lack of necessity for sex between vampires means the subject is either tantalizing or absent.
In the novel—Vampire Sexual Secrets, the vampires are characteristically different to us—they have biological (as in physical), cultural (especially with regard to their sex education) and social variations (as in gender rules), and these factors dictate the vampire perception of love and sex. When their world interacts with ours, it is these differences that impact on the lovers and how they interact, especially when a vampire and human fall in love.
My vampires need sex to exist—they require sex to function and interact—and the reasons become apparent as the narrative unfolds. It is this focus to sex practice, and particularly the dissimilarities in practice, which forms a topic of debate between the two principal characters of the novel. In the process of understanding her vampire lover, my main character reflects on everything she believes love and sex means. Her comparisons between human and vampire sex helps to evolve her attitude to the love she has while extending her sexual experiences.