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Joseph Kaminski

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November 18, 2019

Quick History: Vampires and Sexuality

How and when did vampires become synonymous with sexuality?

carmilla, vampires and sexualityVampires became synonymous with sexuality as the folkloric ideologies of vampires merged with popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. The topic of “sexuality” had been present in certain strands of vamires in folkloric mentions (ie. certain vampires returning to ‘eat the breasts’ of female relatives in German culture (doppelsauger) and other forms that would specifically target females as targets. Asian and American concepts usually had sexual undertones as well. Psychotic vampires went a step further than simply drinking blood – they received sexual arousal from the sight of victims bloods and often used this as encouragement to continue killing.

The 20th century edition of vampires such as Dracula became “sexier” than the folkloric myths. Certain novels, such as Carmilla, focused on lesbianism and the sexual nature of vampires as well. With the new medium of television playing an important cultural role in not only identifying but mass marketing the topic of vampires to a new aged society, new vampires became more and more sexual. Think of “Vampyres” in the 1970s which specifically exploited sex, nudity, and overall violence. Modern day television shows and movie series such as True Blood, the Vampire Diaries, and Twilight have all created a new sensation over what the typical vampire sex scene should be. LGBT references may have began with Carmilla in the 1890s lesbianism novel, but gay relationships and diverse relationship statuses are prevalent on television shows to this day. Other broad themes would include seduction, illusion, and the overall romanticization of the supernatural themes. No longer are vampires considered horrifyingly “undead”, but simply a new entryway into the romance/sexual genre of entertainment.

Related: Anthropology of ‘Dying Peoples’

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