Friday, November 21, 2008

On the eve of 'Twilight,' why women find vampires so sexy

BY ROSEMARY BLACK Friday, November 21st 2008
NYDaily News

Kristin Stewart finds herself drawn to Robert Pattinson's charming vampire in 'Twilight' - something women old and young can identify with.

They're creepy, they suck your blood, and they turn you into a creature of the night. So why do fang-endowed vampires spark love at first bite – or maybe even before that first bite – in so many women?

"The vampire represents the quintessential bad boy," says Joanne Detore-Nakamura, a professor who teaches a literary film and monsters class at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "He's got a terrible reputation, he's gorgeous, he's dangerous and most importantly, he's vulnerable. He lives on the fringe of society."

We're drawn to vampires because of the sheer, fearful thrill, she says. "We are drawn to that which we fear, and we love vampires for the same reason we love roller coasters and scary movies," Detore-Nakamura says. "And while a vampire has the power to kill, a crude wooden stake or a sunrise can dust him, too."

The newest vampire on the scene will make his movie debut Friday, when the moody, mysterious and impossibly beautiful vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) hits the big screen in "Twilight," opening nationwide. The film, based on the bestselling series of novels by Stephenie Meyer, has a huge teen audience, and hundreds of midnight screenings have already sold out.

It's not just teens and tweens who'll flock to the film, though, says Harry Medved of Fandango, the movie ticketing destination. Moms are hot to see Twilight, too. In his survey of 5,000 ticket buyers, 25 percent said they were going with a mother or a daughter, Medved says.

And Edward's not the only member of the undead who's popular these days. On the hit HBO series "True Blood," Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer) is strong, fast and has switchblade-like fangs that are an irresistible draw for viewers.

"There is something very sexy about a vampire's otherworldness," says Medved. "They have an intensity and a desperate need to be close to other humans that is appealing. It's exciting because you just never know when a vampire is going to lose control and have to bite you. There is a chaste sensuality at work."

For many women, a vampire like Edward is close to ideal.

"Here is a vampire who looks like a Greek god, he's insanely good looking, forever young and all he wants to do is read your thoughts and spend time with you," Medved says. "When is the last time most men told their wife he wishes he could read her thoughts?"

Women also love the concept of succumbing to a vampire, says Kristin Romney, an archeologist who's done a lot of research in Eastern Europe and is the science advisor for men's lifestyle site "Vampires have become a replacement for sex," she says. "A vampire is such a powerful figure who sneaks into bed with a woman at night and, though he doesn't ravage her, promises her eternal life. Once a vampire bites you, you become immortal."

Of course, it helps that vampires have changed in the last 100 years or so. "If you look at Bela Lugosi, who was in his mid 40s when he played a vampire, he wasn't exactly youthful or good looking," Medved says. "Now screen vampires have become younger and better looking. They are the perfect romantic lead for any entertainment vehicle."

"Vampires are the ultimate safe sex symbol," says Romney. "And this is why a Mormon mother of young children [like Meyer] can write a sexy novel. 'Twilight' doesn't involve any sort of sex and yet the protagonist, the vampire, is such a sex symbol he has the girls swooning for him."

Vampires cause hearts to flutter in girls of all ages because they are wise beyond their years and eternally youthful, Romney says.

"We find them attractive because they live forever, and it's not their fault that they are not monogamous," she says. "After all, their wives and girlfriends keep dying off."

also*Sexy Vamp gallery ( eric is #4) HERE