All about being a vampirette and other thoughts.
Honey was once considered a divine substance that fell from the heavens. I think of honey sharing a similar viscosity to blood. Vampire’s honey trickling down slowly along the river, sweet nectarine, red as can be. Someone once told me that in some languages, there’s a word that means both to copulate and to eat. To love your prey is the characterization of the vampire for the last couple hundred years.
Violence and sexuality are the two most consistent and significant elements in vampire lore and mythology and my latest obsession with The Vampire Diaries is no exception. As I’ve been neurotically binging the series for the last couple of months, I find myself gasping every other scene, even more so as the show progresses. While I should find it to be no surprise that vampires are violent and horny, I find that the lore in TVD is especially violent and horny - in fact, I would say that the sex senes and neck-snapping scenes occur back to back until the episode is over.
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The first real documentation of erotic vampires most likely originated in 1872, with Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”, which also happens to be the first lesbian vampire story. While previous vampire tales only alluded to potential homoerotic desire amongst male vampire friendships, Carmilla was written to fully realize the eroticism present in male friendships, through her vessel of predatorial vampirette. When Le Fanu writes, “I live in your warm life, and you shall die- die, sweetly die-into mine”, it quite literally becomes the first real and gay vampire climax, in a century’s worth of homoerotic vampires novels.
Interesting to think about how from the beginning of time, men were essentially writing ‘no homo’ in their intimate, homoerotic novels about male vampires, only to have the guts to fulfill such desire through the creation of the Carmilla. I wonder if the lesbian porn fantasies that men possess originate from Carmilla or if it’s predated.
I would assume that the early male authors of vampirism sought out a need to create the ‘other’, to separate themselves from moral ambiguity, or at least for their own conscience. Some believe that the earliest vampires were actually female - as Judeo-Christian philosophy needed to construct an unholy monster to describe the women who embraced prehistoric rituals of blood, death, and sexuality. In fact, Carmilla is written to be possessed by the spirit of an ancient female vampire. The existence of the vampirette is to both instill fear and provide explanation for the inadvertency and loss of boundaries present in a woman of spectacle. In the 1920s, the word ‘vamp’ was used to describe women (such as Theda Bara), synonymous for a femme fetale, dangerous and seductive, most likely translating from the mid 18th century Turkish word ‘uber’, or witch. Donna Haraway writes about the existence of vampires presenting “a figure that both promises and threatens racial and sexual mixing.”1
Don’t ask me what happens from Carmilla to The Vampire Diaries. Something in literature and history changes where vampires become both predator and protector, and the vampirette becomes prey.
Ok byeeeee <3
Donna Haraway, Universal Donors, 1995