There’s something I’ve always wondered about vampire fiction, and while I’m going to throw out my own thoughts on it, I REALLY want some feedback on this, as it’s something I’m genuinely curious about. Specifically…
What’s so hot about cold vampires?
Traditionally — particularly in Anne Rice’s take on vampires and more recently in True Blood and Twilight — vampires are said to be undead (basically animated corpses), and thus generate no body heat of their own. The only time they’re warm is after they’ve fed and they’re flush with fresh blood. That makes sense.
It’s a cool idea, in fact — no pun intended. It helps to further underline the difference between vampires and mortals, something that’s a BIG theme in a great deal of vampire fiction. Coldness — something most of us instinctively avoid — makes for a great villain characteristic.
But it’s always puzzled me how it falls under “attractive” attributes.
Have you ever climbed in bed with your significant other, and they’ve yelped because you’ve got cold hands or feet? Or if you’ve just come in from the outside and are chilled all the way through, and they’ll unconsciously — or consciously — keep from cuddling up with you until you’ve warmed up? (Unless they’re trying to warm you up, that is.)
Granted, I know there’s certain primal attractions at play in vampire fiction, and it’s all about how alluring something as different as a vampire can be, but still — what’s the deal?
I would think one of the same characteristics that establishes vampires as “other” would be something that would REPEL us from them. Imagine cuddling up with what amounts to a block of ice… brrr!
As attractive as a vampire is from across the room or across a table, when they lay their frigid hands on you, wouldn’t that be enough to shock you out of your lust-trance? And I’d think the sex would be rather uncomfortable, whether you’re a male or a female… cold just isn’t conducive for performance. As a guy, I can personally attest to that — I believe the technical term is “chilly willy” — and I’m sure you ladies have similar feelings.
(Insert your choice of frozen hot dog jokes here.)
While reading vampire fiction over the years, that’s always made me scratch my head. I would think the cold nature of a vampire would prove a great stumbling block to their attractiveness. Even if they can hypnotize you into ignoring the cold, eventually your body is going to start having problems — possibly even hypothermia — by being in such close proximity to a heat-sink like a vampire.
Combine this with the traditional vampire fiction trope of a vampire having rock-solid skin, and it doesn’t exactly sound like a hot time in the ‘ol boudoir tonight. How many girls are REALLY looking for an ice-cold marble chest to curl up against?
That’s why in the Hollywood Vampires tales, our fanged friends are not only warm-blooded, but they’re actually slightly warmer than the average mortal. Instead of being cold and hard like traditional vampires, they’re warm and pliable, perfect for curling up with… it’s easy to fall into somebody’s arms when they’re warm and inviting, isn’t it?
What are your thoughts? Why doesn’t a vampire’s cold nature work against them in attracting people? Or is there something actually arousing about a vampire coldness that I’m missing?
If you’ve got any insights on the matter, let me know!