“Vampires are immortal, you can do whatever you want, and get away with it. And there’s the seduction part of course, sex is a big part of the vampire thing.”
– Jonny Lee Miller
One of the many theories on humanity dictates that humans are primarily a fine combination between the instinctual (animalistic) element and that of the spiritual. We amalgamate the two to create a beastial nature leashed by a conscious mind. Thus we are capable of, and have the drives to, procreate, hunt, and defend what we ‘own.’ Even by murder if necessary. But we occasionally choose not to, to defend what we perceive as a higher form of life.
It can thus be said that if we did not have these physical needs to contend with, we may be far more attuned as a race, capable of overcoming the need for an environment held together by law. Or, vice versa, one might say we would be better off without a thinking mind to provoke us towards acts we believe we should not be committing. For instance, if we removed the conscious thought process, we would not understand a word such as taboo. It would not hold connotations for us, and we would not feel inclined to take a part in these acts just to say ‘I’ve been there.’ Sexuality, in and of itself, is a concept of the conscious mind. However, it is driven by the instinct within all people to procreate; to leave a legacy in the hands of a life which we were, in part, responsible for.
Intimacy is the desired response in the face of sexual interaction. Something which occurs if one has a conscious mind guiding one to behave with spiritualism in the face of an act with a purpose so sublime as to create life. If we only perform the deed and then move on, forgetting about the action which just took place, whilst subconsciously seeking out the next opportunity, we behave no better than animals.
So intimacy can be perceived as the bridge between the animal and the spirit inside us. Soothing the animal and placating the spirit.
It is in this vein that one should consider the subject of vampirism and sex.
For the vampire, creation shifts. It is no longer a physical drive that can be achieved in the natural manner (despite what Twilight is teaching kids these days), but rather a focus of the spiritual mind. An echo remaining from human days; that he needs company and a child. And the safety of knowing there is someone else attached to him, beholden to him in ways that only a child can be. There is no glandular need to create life, so the instinctual desire to procreate dissipates. Yes, as with any creature, the need for shelter, dominance (to some extent), and, most especially, sustenance is still there, but sexual intercourse is not a physical want. It can’t be, as anything other than a conscious desire to display intimacy.
In popular culture, we are faced with two opposing view-points on vampires and sex. Two extremes, really. Either the vampires we view are oversexed, constantly indulging in lust as a means to become more monstrous or more human. Or entirely devoid of the need to engage in sexual intercourse.
In the former category we have tales such as True Blood. In this television series, vampires relate sexually with each other and humans out of – what appears to be – a physical desire, not just for intimacy, but for the sake of having sex. It is a matter which is not clearly defined. And this may be my only gripe with the show; that vampires seem to have sex just because they can. I suppose if you have nothing better to do then it’s a perfectly decent way to spend one’s time. I’m not saying the nervous system does not react in the same way. But that is an element one needs to take into consideration. In the vampiric form, if the body is no longer driven towards procreation, is sex viable? Does the gratification system, the body’s reward system (good for your animal health equals nice feelings) still exist? I imagine that the only reason True Blood vampires seduce humans is as a precursor to feeding, and not for the giddy endorphin release.
As for the latter option on under-sexed vampires, one can look to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. These vampires are more than capable of engaging in sex, but, more than often, do not for all the reasons listed above. If there is no physical drive, then the point is moot. If the need to procreate does not exist, then, one can imagine, the reward system for that particular instinct no longer exists. And all is overwhelmed by the sensation of feeding. It is a common perception throughout vampire literature, and one that makes perfect sense:
Vampires are, physically, centred on one purpose, to satiate their hunger. Thus, the desire to have sex, and the feeling of gratification inherent in that action, is no longer there. So, one can conclude, that vampires would only engage in sex to verify feelings of intimacy, love, and desire.
It therefore follows that vampires cannot be considered in terms of a ‘sexual orientation,’ homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. If the need to procreate dissipates, so too do the lines between gender. Intimacy becomes a product of the mind, and gender, if kept in line, does not diminish the mind. Although, it is pertinent to understand that it is only in recent history that the majority of women have been educated and can converse in an intellectual and provocative manner. Coincidentally, it only fits that men would, prior to this occurrence, gravitate towards one another, and stray from female companionship. Consequently, if intimacy in a creature that does not crave sex is a thing of the mind, then intimacy would transfer more easily between men than between men and women.
If humanity is a higher form of consciousness because it combines both spiritual and physical, then vampirism, which has left the majority of the physical behind, is higher still. It is a state of transcendence, a ‘becoming,’ if you will. In such a state, the act of sex is obsolete. Love is not tied in with sex, it is only the urging of a body bent on creating more like itself that leads us to think so.