The dos and don’ts of vampire sex
I couldn’t help but wonder if the clever producers over at the CW played their cards to perfection, airing the turning point episode where Elena and Stefan finally surrender to and consummate their steamy, on-again off-again love affair the night before the second installment in the great vampire chastity saga is released in theaters nationwide. As Damon so flippantly pointed out at the beginning of the series, if the Vampire Diaries have the mythology right, Twilight ends up looking like child’s play. Then again, compared to pretty much any other vampire mythology Twilight reads a bit adolescent. Still, I have to admit, emo music, dim lights, and luxurious skin on skin montages aside, the chemistry in Stefan’s childhood bedroom left something to be desired.You might have to wait several thousands of pages to get to Bella and Edward’s consummation, but the sexual tension between them once she becomes a vampire rivaled anything I saw last night between Stefan and his lady love (more here on those same power relations I was harping on last week). What does intrigue me is the way each mythology handles the idea of vampire sexual desire. Edward is terrified to go too far with Bella for fear he’ll lose control of himself and accidentally rip her throat out or at least crush, mutilate, or break her. His fear acknowledges the close connection between lust and sexual desire and the vampire’s unending thirst for blood. But what seems so frustrating about that mythology is the either/or-ness of it all. With Stefan (not to mention the oh so adult vamps in True Blood), the connection between lust, hunger, and general excess of emotion (cue Damon’s little chat with newly minted, not made for the afterworld, vampire Logan about the intensity of vampire emotion) exists in spades, but there is also an acknowledgment that as much as these passions exert control we can never full understand or eradicate, there are channels and habits and practices of control that allow some modicum of self-restraint. If Stefan can learn to turn down his lust for human blood he likewise seems to be able to keep his freaky eyes in check as he gets it on with Elena. Though interestingly, only with her care and acceptance. The scene where she insists on seeing his mottled face and gently strokes his mutating eye skin was the most provocative and intimate (if a bit over the top) – here we see what can make sex so amazing and so terrifying, really being naked under someone else’s touch and gaze. While chastity and self-control are far sexier than most people admit (and as Twilight is currently about to prove at the box office again), so too can be self-control in sexual expression. We’ll just have to see if there are more layers to this vampire sexual mythology.
But enough about sex for the moment – the Elena and Stefan finally do it plot was not even my favorite part about last night’s episode. What I loved best was the growing mystery of Alaric! Color me gullible, but I was sure he was a vampire and probably an evil one at that. Granted he might still be a vampire – he does have that mysterious ring and he sure knows about vampires – and he might be evil – though I think his whole “I’m not violent by nature” speech before he stakes Logan is meant to disabuse us of that idea. Maybe he is some sort of mysterious vampire hunter? Or vampire guardian? I want to know more!
And maybe it is just New Moon on the brain, but what was up with the long, lingering shot of the full moon as Tyler broods and bemoans that he doesn’t know what is happening to him. It was far too long a shot to mean nothing – any chance the mayor’s family is going to have a different kind of alpha male secret in its closet? [random possibility: could Alaric be a werewolf? Clues to this latter option: strange German name, and werewolves are often associated with German legend. Long shot, I know…]
OK, I’ll sign off here and go plot when to enter the vampire teenage frenzy at a cineplex near me, and leave you to ponder why things always go so badly for Caroline?
Well, I am sorry to be a little late in responding to your lovely analysis today – you see, I hit my local theatre early this morning for New Moon. Far from being filled with teenage girls, though, it was overflowing with middle aged women swooning at Jacob’s pecs and abs rather than Edward’s, but more on that this weekend once you’ve had the chance to see it too (stay tuned readers for the moth chase’s foray into movie critique).
I think you’re right – the CW absolutely timed their sex scene to coincide with New Moon’s debut! And yes, Stefan and Elena have got nothing on Edward and Bella when it comes to heat (at least, as you say, in the final Twilight book, if not the movie). And I wonder if that’s because Elena is way more badass than Bella. I was reminded again this morning (and again, I’m trying to resist talking about New Moon, but it’s really difficult) how pathetic Bella can be with her desperate, whiny neediness in relation not only to Edward, but Jacob too. Elena at least has a full life – friends, family, work, her writing, etc. She loves Stefan, but he’s not her only love. She has other people she cares about, including herself, and so she doesn’t let him walk all over her.
It seems that the heat between Bella and Edward grows out of their imbalanced relationship and their adolescent inability to control themselves, whereas Elena has self-control, as does Stefan, and they seem more evenly matched. Their’s is a more level headed love (inasmuch as love between a hundred and something year old vampire and a teenage girl can be level-headed). Of course, I’m not suggesting that sex between more balanced couples can’t be hot – of course it can. But it seemed that sex between Stefan and Elena needed to communicate more of an acceptance, love and settling into a comfortable life together rather than a rip your clothes off, can’t resist your neck kind of boot-knocking. It needed to let us feel like they were equals rather than imbalanced horny teens.
What I wondered though was why every time this show introduces a vampire I come to love, they kill them off? First Vicki, then Stefan’s old friend, and now Logan. I didn’t like that guy as a human, but he was pretty funny on the dark side. Between his playful grappling to come to terms with his new status and his thirst to kill causing him to be ‘conflicted’, he just sort of played it all with a wink and a smile that made me wish he could stick around a little longer…even if it put Jenna in danger. So what was up with the sheriff’s plan? Why did she turn him and who will she turn next to keep her army strong?
I’m with you on Alaric – what an interesting guy. He’s certainly blocked from entering homes (remember last week he didn’t pass the threshold when Jenna didn’t invite him in) and yes, he’s got that weird ring…so my hunch is vampire, but I’m intrigued by your vampire-slayer suggestion. I’m also wondering what his angle with Jeremy is. Why does he care so much about him? And why did he instigate this family history project for Jeremy that led to Jonathan Gilbert’s diary with all the stories about ghosts and vampires and the like?
Not to mention that Alaric got the best line in the whole episode last night – the idea of a local public school teacher in a sexy leather jacket calling the mayor an alpha male douchbag is sort of hilarious and awesome – so what gives him that courage and confidence? I’m hoping we find out next week!
And no, I don’t think you’re reading too much into Tyler’s weirdness – they definitely lingered on that moon, following Jeremy asking him why he was so weird and him responding that he had no idea…we’re definitely going to get some werewolf action here!
Ok, please – go see New Moon so we can talk about it!! Oof, and make sure you psych yourself up for lots of broody looks and Kristen Stewart’s panicked heavy breathing at everything or you might not make it through (seriously, there’s a moment when someone offers her a muffin and she looks and sounds like she’s going to have a panic attack – someone needs to get that poor girl some Zoloft!).