By Suzanne Carré
To continue the tribute to love, I’d like to look at some of the myths surrounding vampires and their association with love, especially through folklore and fiction.
Vampires have long been the symbol of eternal love, with one of the first poems telling of a handsome man seducing a maiden, convincing her to leave the mortal world governed by morality to join him in unrestricted pleasure forever. The modern Western vampire evolved from the fusion of alluring immortality, obtained in defying death, and the sexual beauty of the night demons, the incubi and succubi. The original vampires sought and attained love in liaisons with their sleeping human lovers. In the manuals of demonology, the incubi and succubi indulge freely in sexual activity with both men and women, inducing erotic dreams and causing their victims to seek ease of their frustrations with masturbation.
This erotic nature of the vampire changed with the book “Dracula” focusing on an ugly grave dwelling beast. In recent times we have searched for the real man bearing the title Dracula, Son of the Dragon, vilifying him for his bloodthirsty exploits, finding reason for the historical vampire in his cruelty. So what of the man, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia? Our morbid curiosity with his epitaph “The Impaler” overshadows the more personal side, eclipsing the underlying love story predominate in the novel his name inspired. Within his story is a love so powerful, yet sadly obscured in time, this compelling relationship rivals even the famous love affair between Abélard and Héloise.
Not much is known of Vlad’s childhood sweetheart and first wife, not even her name, but from the fable their union was a blessing from heaven, enriching his life so that nothing mattered but her happiness. Tragedy struck in the form of an invasion from neighbouring Turks, robbing him not only the security of his princedom, but his life’s love. Terrified of becoming a victim of the feared Turks, she jumped from the highest parapet of their castle fortress, dashing her body on the rocks in a river below. According to legend, Vlad’s emotional state changed irreversibly when he heard news of her death, we then ask, did she also commit his heart to oblivion in her rash action?
So we have the eternal Dracula of fiction, reaching across the horizon of history to reclaim his love now reincarnated in Mina by Bram Stoker. From this myth arose the oath to the Devil for eternal life, a factor associating vampires with evil in the romance of literature.
Regaining Pure Emotional Love
Because of the volume of fiction popular in the 20th century, we imagine the love of vampires tarnished with misfortune, cursed eternally for the selfish evil driving the affair, with the forces of good set to prevent the unholy matrimony of vampire and human lover from ever being realized. In my novel, Vampire Sexual Secrets, I try to reclaim the romance of the original vampires, not from the theme of forbidden love in the vampire, but with the idea that vampires are the only creatures capable of controlling the powerful force of love. Vampires were once the guardians of love, in the form of incubi and succubi, they protected the purest form of love sought throughout the ages by human beings, and I believe this role needs to be reinstated to the vampire.
Although with a title promising sexual secrets, and yes the book does not disappoint in this regard, the novel is essentially a love story requiring my vampires to re-establish the balance of love, regaining their control after 300 years of dissension and infighting among the vampires threatens to destroy the original family lineage existing for millennia. The vampires recognize love is a male force, while sex essentially is a female energy, but in the 1700’s, one male dared to seize the power of sex from the females, creating chaos in his wake, affecting all creatures below heaven. Only one male vampire of the pure blood remains, set with the task of stopping the war and reuniting his extensive family, to restore order, not for us but his kind. To do this he needs a wife.
The Female Factor and Wife Status
A wife of the immortal realm is not the diminutive companion of her husband, but having attained the rank of wife by conversion from a mortal to vampire, she is the most powerful of all females. The marriage ceremony requires him to bite, but in creating an entity greater than himself, it is in his interest to love her while she is still mortal, ensuring her love will protect him. The vampire wife is the only female vampire capable of loving, when her human capacity for love transforms with her, allowing her control over all vampires, male and female. Only through his wife, can a male vampire conceivably assume command of the other vampires.
In my novel, the intrepid male vampire is named Vincent, fated to love a human named Marie. Their intense affair is brief before she learns the secret life of her nocturnal lover. The vampires separate love from sex, keeping the physical separate from the emotional, a task too demanding of his human lover when she finds him in bed with another female; but not just one, he holds a physical contract with 40 perfect vampire females intent on him begetting an heir. These vampires not only represent competition, but they must approve the marriage when this new wife will rule them too. To complicate matters, a male successor will not arise unless Vincent establishes love in his domain, so the females feel it, meaning he needs Marie to accept him. The instructions given in vampire love, in their manuals of love, then empowers her, as she wins the hearts and minds of the vampires, so she reclaims the intimacy with her husband without the compromises beset upon human relationships, proving that eternal vampire love conquers all.
Languages of Love
On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the wonder of love in its most ideal form: a perfect, unattainable love, glorified in the heroics of fabled lovers; cherished for its unsullied qualities, so only the pure of heart might attain it; forming the test of truth, guiding all devotees along a treacherous path, in the hope the greater sacrifice will finally set this precious love upon us all. Pure love is a gift of the supernatural world, and for this reason the vampire models the symbol of allusive love, with the condition of being eternal, untouched by the corruption of death. So to find this thing called love, embrace the vampire, attain intimacy with this bearer of true love; whence in the arms of the vampire, near enough to hear their whispers, it is possible to learn their secrets of love they have kept for centuries. With the nocturnal custodians of pure love, speak only the language of love, in the words of vampires, and liberate the human heart with the vampire wisdom.
I hope your this year’s valentine had fangs and gave a bite of love that definitely didn’t hurt.