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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  10.29.08 - The Fang's The Thing - Indy.com 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 10.29.08 - The Fang's The Thing - Indy.com  (Read 1717 times)
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« on: October 31, 2008, 11:26:55 am »


The fang's the thing
by Amy Bartner

Posted:   Oct 29, 2008  in Culture, Music, TV and Celebrities 

Vampire of fiction and film has gone from horror to hottie, from ravaging to ravishing, from blood-lusty to just plain lusty.

With dark features and glossy red lips set against a canvas of pale skin, this creature boasts an allure like none of its supernatural peers.

It needs you. It needs you to want it.

And it's that treachery and temptation that's shot the vampire into the realm of modern-day sex symbol.

"Even the sex act doesn't seem to be as intimate as someone lying next to you and sucking your blood," said Lynda Hilburn, a psychotherapist and vampire fiction author based in Boulder, Colo. "It's kind of like, here's this immortal godboy who's great looking, floating outside your window, asking you to make a dangerous decision."

Just consider the hit HBO show "True Blood," in which a small-town Louisiana waitress played by Anna Paquin has an affair with the new vampire in town. In the movie "Twilight," due out in November, Kristen Stewart plays a teenager who falls for her biology lab partner -- a vampire. Both the show and movie are based on popular vampire novels, among thousands on the shelves.

The idea of what a vampire is rests with the character's creator and with the demands from admirers who crave dark sensuality. But there's one major similarity: rampant sex and sometimes-alluring violence.

No longer is the vampire limited to Bram Stoker's horrifyingly hideous Dracula, with a receding hairline and a schnoz more terrifying than his fangs.

"It was a little more of the monster variety," Hilburn said. "Most of the vampires now can have regular sex. It's easy for us to suspend disbelief and see the vampire as an extension of humanity."

Hilburn says that because she's a known vampire enthusiast, she regularly has clients in her practice who say they fantasize about the undead creatures.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

"It falls in line with women expanding themselves and allowing themselves to be sexual," she said. "The whole realm of paranormal romance has brought it out into the open. Blood is just so primal for all of us."

Sarah Foster, a 32-year-old employee at Tasty's Gift Factory in Indianapolis, is an avid fan of all things "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." Tasty's carries some vampire-themed erotica in the store, but she says a lot of it is too violent for her.

"They're so different because they're human, but they're not," she says of vampires. "It's the sexy stranger seducing you because they need something from you, and you have the power to give it to them.

"And the strength. They're supposed to be incredibly strong."

The rise of the vampire hottie

Hilburn said she is able to pinpoint the exact moment when vampires started to become sexual: a 1979 version of "Dracula," starring a sensual, human-looking Frank Langella.

"I often talk about that as a turning point," she said. "I never thought of vampires as sexual creatures until I saw that movie."

In a few years, people began to realize how dangerous, even fatal, blood could be. Vampires, she said, acted as a metaphor for a disease that was gaining fear and momentum: HIV.

"Letting them in without protection -- which is what AIDS is all about," she said.

Meanwhile, vampire fans have gone from an elite fantasy crowd and those who truly consider themselves "real" to the average person with a curiosity. In the Indianapolis area, there are two vamp-centric groups on www.meetup.com: One is a book club; the other is a private group with 34 members. The latter's mission: "To mingle with the awakened and share sanguine tales and dark greetings with your fellow kindred (sic)."

Indy.com made several attempts to contact this group, but was ignored. Maybe they're lying low because, according to Steve Deangel, a "real" vampire and creator of www.vampirewebsite.net, Indianapolis isn't a "vampire-friendly city" such as Los Angeles, New Orleans (No. 1 on the list) or...Enid, Okla.

We also made countless attempts to contact local "vampires" on MySpace, and discovered a listing for a vampire fetish/literature and goth store called Exquisite Corpse, but the address brought us to a historic home with a cornhole set in the yard. Don't worry -- we knocked on the door, just in case. No one answered. Goth-and-vampire-themed bar nights around the city, such as ones at Locals Only on Keystone Avenue and the Casba in Broad Ripple, were populated by the same group of about 35 people -- and most of those theme nights no longer operate.

Apparently, in Central Indiana, vampires figure prominently only in hot HBO shows, movies and books.

Charlaine Harris, who wrote "True Blood," and other vampire romance authors such as Stephenie Meyer and, of course, Anne Rice, have inspired scads of followers who want to contribute to the genre.

Leigh Carpenter, a 23-year-old mom from Peru, Ind., is working on a fiction series called "Vampire World." Carpenter said a gutsier horror-loving audience helped transform the modern vampire.

"Now they're misunderstood creatures of the night who just want to hop into bed with a mortal, instead of monsters that want to eat you if you happen to be out alone at night," she said.

"Monster and horror stories were pointed toward bad things happening to sexually active people and people who were unlucky enough to be walking to their car at night. We know none of this is going to happen anymore, and that monsters are myth. So now, we're going to make monsters into sexual beings that will make all our desires a reality."

Carpenter said that, for women, fantasizing about a sexy vampire is a side effect of having or wanting more sexual freedom.

"The statistics of women who aren't satisfied with sexual intercourse or their own sexuality says that we're looking for something new," she said. "This is just another magical cure for unhappy people.

"Just like Viagra."

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