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The sexualisation of the vampire

Posted on Wednesday, 30th November 2011 @ 10:19 PM by Text Size A | A | A

Literature is there to tell the reader a story, and in the best case scenario to teach the reader something. Vampires are not pure horror creatures, like zombies:  vampires live in a ‘horrotica’ zone. What do these ‘stories’ say? What do they all have in common?

They are sexuality ‘manifestos’. The message, whatever it may be, cannot be ‘neutral’  in the vampire story: there is always a personal take on sexuality, willy nilly, because the author who narrates a story about sexuality cannot really escape their own sexuality. Their own personal experience, their personal likes and dislikes and fears, and their own times, all shine through the texture of the story, sometimes strongly, sometimes less so.

We all resolve the issue of sex in our own personal way, coming to terms with what it means for example to be a woman or a man; or gay; or kinky; or disabled. It’s often a journey of self-love and acceptance, or the opposite. Meyer of ‘Twilight’ fame for example, through describing a teen fantasy romance, describes perhaps her subconscious desire and aspiration to romantic love. Surely many women caught that aspect of her book, and the fictional character ‘Edward’ has become the ‘aspirational boyfriend’ (and one who doesn’t exist). The disturbing hues of Anne Rice’s books describe incest, gay sexuality, pedophilia. ‘Southern gothic’ hints at rape and the seedy side of sex. ‘Vampires Los Muertos’ is an inn at the fantasy some men like to have of themselves, the all-resolving action macho-man, whose shoulders carry the world.

The vampire is associated to religion, sex, and reflects societal mores; you don’t see many sexy zombies around. Paradoxically, zombies are much more similar to what the original vampire used to be. The zombie and the vampire are in fact two living deads; something has died in a body that still moves. But what has died, if the body still moves and acts? The mind is still sharp, still there for the vampire; the soul has died, the emotional self.

That’s precisely what happens to an addict. Addiction gradually takes over the personality, and as it becomes more and more dominant, the person undergoes an emotional change. Everything becomes secondary to the addiction, and in name of this, the addict will steal, cheat, lie and kill.

Strange as it seems, recurring to an external substance is a ‘healthy’ response: the body is  instinctively trying to lift itself up from a mood slump, that has created a chemical imbalance. Slumped in whatever negative emotion (sadness, fear, worry, envy, you name it) the brain tries to recur to anything that will momentarily ‘lift’ the mood up; but, if the subconscious is storing negative patterns and emotions to start with (e.i it’s dysfunctional), the recall will fail. The experience will need to be repeated, but will not put the body/mind system back on a positive course; quite the opposite! This will create dependency on an external factor, rather than strengthening and helping the inner self.

In a perfect world, a stimulant would enact a process that would put the brain back on the right course; in a  world where we are lead to believe in false gods this can’t happen. The false gods of materialism and pleasure substitute values such a sense of  connection to other human primates, and a meaningful contribution to society with our work. Of course the tricky thing about free will is that things are never spelled out that clearly; if we were told clearly what the consequences are and what we are really choosing, then probably more people would be more disciplined about many more things.

It’s all very confusing. As it is, we are constantly fed with ‘suggestions’ (constant poisonous advertising, which includes celebrity culture) over what is cool and good and worth being. ‘Society’ is our collective soul as a group. Possessions and pleasure will take you only so far: they are a necessary part of our existence, but the needs of the soul go beyond satisfying the body and the ego. Spiritual needs, funny enough, are encoded deeply in our genes as social animals; perhaps, to be spiritual, we have to go back to being as intuitive as animals.

The sexualisation of the vampire does very little to solve the issue we face today: addiction on a very large scale. This problem will gradually generate mental/spiritual degradation and decay; with, consequently, large parts of society living a half-life, unconscious of their potential, unaware even of their sorry state. A model passed down form a sick generation to another. The few Cassandras, who for some reason  are aware enough to rebel and speak up, will be vilified. Obviously, no-one wants to hear anything important now day, and even if one told the masses that we are heading towards a precipice, they would not understand what that means.

So if you want to understand the vampire, it’s perhaps enough to observe most of your fellow primates in action; or develop an interest in vampire material. Either way, it’s a journey of self-discovery.

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