30 Days of Vampires, Vampires—Sexy or Sexless?

30 Days of Vampires Schedule

Blood ClaimHello, I’m Laura Baumbach and write and publish M/M erotic romance. I’m published with MLR Press, Aspen Mountain Press, Samhain Publishing, Changeling Press, LI and Torquere. I also own MLR Press, a small print house for M/M erotic romance and gay fiction. My work can be seen here: www.laurabaumbach.com

I have written a number of paranormal stories featuring werewolves, ghost, and my favorite—vampires. I love the sensual, seductive, and forbidden nature of vampires. I’ve had a long and lasting relationship with my love affair with them dating back to my childhood.

Mesmerized by the ’60′s soap opera Dark Shadows, I would race home from school every afternoon, sit down on the floor as close to the television set as I was allowed to be, and waited nearly breathlessly for witches, ghosts and, of course, the vampire Barnabas Collins, to appear. He was neither gorgeous or young, barely handsome in a gaunt, haunted way that added to his brooding mystic. But as a young girl, I was still enthralled by him. And I was not the only one. Just about every female character on the show was swooning in his presence. And a few of the men appeared not to be immune to his charms as well.

While Collins actively courted the women, the one person he choose as his eyes and ears was a man, Willy Loomis. A man he kept control over by regularly feeding from him. This vampire didn’t feed from the major vessels in the man’s wrist, either. No, the vampire choose the traditional close, intimate feeding position of a tight body hug, taking his nourishment and his pleasure from his manservant’s neck. He wasn’t the least bit ruffled by the fact the person in his arms – pressed against him, skin warm, blood pulsing hotly into his mouth — was a man. He was definitely interested in women, but the person he choose for an intimate was a man. A frightened, weak young man.

Which makes me wonder — does gender matter after being turned? One assumes that in life this person had a preference for one gender over the other. Does that disappear when they cross over or are turned? Does death destroy all barrier?

In the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, the main character Lestat has a history with women, but his attraction to a man, Louis, mourning his wife’s death is clear. Lestat’s primary plan was to acquire Louis’ plantation but his desire for Louis is obvious. He refuses to release Louis as a companion. And later in the story, the widowed Louis is attracted to another male vampire Armand, who returns his affections.

In The Queen of the Damned, the central character, again Lestat, is kidnapped and turned unwillingly by ancient vampire Marius. The conversion scene is intimate and sensual, leaving little doubt that Marius choose Lestat because of a sexual attraction. They remained companions for centuries. Yet when finding victims, neither one shows a preference from men over woman or vice versa.

So why is it that once a human becomes a creature of the night that it no longer matters who flesh is press between the vampire’s lips? Apparently any warm blood do.

The Lost TempleI have written numerous vampire stories. Sin and Salvation, Winner Takes All, Walk Through Fire, Dark Side of the Moon, plus a few more short stories. The Lost Temple of Karttikeya, 2008 EPPIE winner for Best GLBT novel, has vampirism as a central element to the story. My writing all involved same-sex romantic pairings, but if they have the need to feed from someone other than each other, I can see all of my male characters easily charming and seducing a woman into their arms in order to feed from them. Although many see vampires as sexual beings, I don’t think feeding necessarily translates into sex.

But this opens up more questions for me as a writer. Does blood taste different in a male than a female? I know that what we eat taints the odor of our skin and sweat. Strong flavors like garlic and certain spices permeate our systems and are excreted in our waste like the sweat on our skin.

So what do these strong essences do to the taste of our blood, if anything? Like the smell of fresh baked bread, does that special appetitizing scent attract a vampire to a certain person?

You are what you eat?

Does O positive taste the same to vampires no matter who the donor is? If a strong, bold flavor is preferred does a vampire look for a male construction worker to be his dinner? If he is looking for a delicate, light taste does he look for a willow school girl?

Or maybe the degree of attractiveness of the donor is what makes the difference in the pleasure the vampire receives during feeding? I know I prefer a lean well-cooked steak to a grisly chunk of stew meat. Does presentation still matter?

Let’s face it, eating is a pleasure in life. Sometimes even a sensual pleasure full of sexual suggestions. Some foods are aphrodisiacs, some are even called sinfully wicked pleasures.

I wonder if these human sensitivities carry over into the realm of the dark world vampires inhabit. Does feeding remain a sinfully rich pleasure? Is it one of the few delights left to the vampire combining the rich taste of blood and the sensual power of a warm body in their arms with quenching the unholy thirst that drives them to drink from others? Is feeding the ultimate sexual experience? One that can be taken from or shared with any gender? Or is it just nourishment, a need to be taken care of? Eating for eatings sake alone?

We’ve all read or seen viciously fast vampire feedings in stories. What I remember most about those scenes is that if the victim was unattractive or ‘bad’ person, they were disposed of quickly, the pleasure in the act being in taking their life. But if the victim was handsome or beautiful, the act sensual, prolonged.

I’ve given myself more questions than insights with this discussion. It’s made writing the usual vampire tale fresh again in my head. The next vampire story or novel I write I’m going to explore the gender issue in more depth.

Now I’m curious if I can convincingly write a romance where the vampire leads finds equal pleasure in feeding from both sexes. I have a novel titled Monster I plan to write in late 2009 or early 2010. It features a rock band and their newly acquired dark and mysterious manager. I think I’ll play a little with the genders in that one. Explore some of the questions I’ve raised for myself here to see where they take my muse.

What do you think? Can vampires find pleasure in either sex? Do they all become bisexual feeders? Not caring if they take nourishment from the same sex victim as long as it sates their hunger? And if they take pleasure from feeding from that person, do they take other pleasures from them as well? Regardless of gender?

Order Laura’s books:
The Lost Temple of Karttikeya
Blood Claim
Blood Desires
The Bite Before Christmas

27 Responsesto “30 Days of Vampires, Vampires—Sexy or Sexless?”

  1. Danielle says:

    In my opinion I guess it depends on the character… their background and past… things like that… you know their story.

  2. flip says:

    Honestly, I don’t want a story involving bisexuality and homosexuality. I have no issues with bisexual and homosexual characters in a book. However, I don’t want sex scenes involving it. I read a book by Jenna Black who is a talented writer. However, the m/m sex scenes were a huge turn off for me.

  3. Lori says:

    So far as sticking with your human sexual preferences, I don’t see any reason they would change once you were turned. Drinking preferences? I’d bet there would be more shades of that–some sticking purely with the gender that matched their sexual preference and some not.
    Kim Harrison’s books play with this a lot–and in those books it depends on how the vampire in question sees taking blood.

  4. I think they’d be just like reg. people, they could find their “pleasure” in male and female alike :)

  5. Mel K. says:

    We’re bisexual. It makes no difference if you’re male or female. Blood is blood. It all tastes the same. Who cares who you bite as long as you can feel the rush. The same can be said about love. Who cares who you love as long as you can feel love.

  6. Colleen says:

    That is a lot of in depth thinking… about things I never really thought about! Hmmm…

  7. I think when it comes to feeding, it’s just blood…though I suppose it’s better if you are attracted to them. I’m not really sure.
    Interesting thoughts though!

    -lauren

  8. blackroze37 says:

    guess it would be better with the sexual partner male of female, but if have to take from diffenrt sexual partner, prob less pleansant, and just food . substence
    but then again, i dotnj see why it wouldnt be pleasurable , if the turn on is THE bite and not anything else

  9. Donna says:

    Ive always thought it depends on what they were like before they were turned. But I guess as you live longer and longer some may change or have it no longer matter just for variety and have it more depend on the person not the gender. Although for the most part I still tend to think what they were like before being turned will affect their choices after.

    But a lot to consider. Hmm.

  10. Doing this blog made me think about a lot of things I hadn’t really explored even though I’ve written a lot of vampire stories. Made me think about different possibilities.

  11. Pamk says:

    i think sexual pleasure would be whatever tripped their trigger before they were turned. I think they could probaly feed from any sex but sex imo would be same as tthey liked before.

  12. Debby says:

    As we are all different, so too are vampires. I feel it wuld depnd on the one involved

  13. Deidre says:

    That seems to be the general concensus, any old blood will do.

    Don’t we find pleasure in eating food? Why shouldn’t a vampire enjoy his or her meal as well? LOL

    I loved Dark Shadows, both versions!

    Deidre

  14. Karin says:

    I definitely think there’s a difference between sexual desire and a vampire’s need to feed. Blood is nourishment, so the gender of the person being fed from shouldn’t matter as long as the blood tastes good to the vampire. However, I don’t think the same can be said of sexual desire. I have a hard time accepting the idea that being turned will change the sexual preferences of the person being turned.

  15. I guess any blood will do but the presentation is still important! And that presentation can be anything good looking. *G*

  16. Brooke says:

    I recently rented Dark Shadows off of Netflix! The first season you know something creepy is going on, but you never really see anything. I just have to get Season 2 now. :)

    As for blood, I think they just need it, and the sex of the person doesn’t matter.

  17. Teresa says:

    Hi Laura!!

    I too was entranced by the original Dark Shadows series. I remember coming home from school to watch it with a group of firends and were SOO scared! Compared to now it is childs play! I still would love to watch it again and relive the memories.

    Teresa

    PS- Love your books as you well know!! LOL

  18. Earlene says:

    :wink:
    I think whatever they were comfortable with in life should be the same when they’re the undead. Of course if they have a SO who
    may be jealous and they didn’t want to upset them, they could just bite the same
    sex.

  19. Of course if they have a SO who
    may be jealous and they didn’t want to upset them, they could just bite the same
    sex.

    LOL. NOW THERE IS A CREATIVE REASON TO TO GO SAME GENDER FEEDING! I LIKE IT.

  20. PS- Love your books as you well know!! LOL

    HI TERESA! NICE TO SEE YOU.

  21. Caffey says:

    {{waving}} Hi Laura!! I had no idea about that soap! I loved PORT CHARLES, the vamp soap opera, but I found out about it too late and it was on short til it was canceled.
    Too loved MOONLIGHT and they took that off too! I’m afraid to watch the new one TRUE BLOOD, I think its called, in case they cancel it too. Must be why I don’t watch much TV shows.

    The way I see it, is that if they find their mate, it doesn’t matter what their looks are, or of their blood, because they would be truly mated to each other. It wouldn’t matter what relationship it was, we all have our own who we make our own and those who are gay or bisexual or any of them, too have their own soul mate and it shouldn’t matter about their sexual preferences.

  22. Kimberly B. says:

    This is a very interesting question. Blood is blood, and in theory any blood should do. But at the same time, if the vampire in question sees feeding as a sensual pleasure as much as a necessity, sexual preference might play into it. And there’s no reason why a vampire’s preference in life wouldn’t cross over into undeath, so the physical contact required in feeding might make him or her stick with victims of the same gender as his/her sexual partners.

  23. Hi Caffey! It would be interesting to write a vampire and a ghost story where the het vampire finds the soul of its true mate in the body of the same gender person. Vampires and ghosts, oh my!

  24. Debbie says:

    I never really thought about it that way before. Vampires want blood so I guess to them it wouldn’t matter if it was coming from a male or female. Perhaps their previous sexual preferences wouldn’t matter to them.

  25. Margie says:

    I believe the vampire’s sexual preferences in life would carry over into his life as the undead. He would stay with the same gender he preferred when human.

  26. Pan Zareta says:

    Interesting question! Vampires want blood so they aren’t going to care if it comes from a male or female. With regard to sexual preferences, I believe the vampire will stick with the gender he preferred in life.

  27. Lori T says:

    I think that their preferences can run toward either male or female. I would imagine that males and females may possibly taste different and there may be times when one would be preferable to the other.