By C. Michael Forsyth
The nation’s most prominent organization of female vampires has angrily denounced Hollywood’s widespread depiction of them as lesbians, branding it “an ugly stereotype.”
“Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of female vampires are heterosexual,” declared Anita Sweltword, president of the 1,300-member Daughters of Darkness.
“Yes, we primarily choose women as our victims, but that’s because they are generally smaller and weaker. Honestly, do they expect us to take on some lug who looks like Larry the Cable Guy?”
The notion that lady vampires prefer the company of women can be traced back to the classic horror tale “Carmilla,” penned by J. Sheridan Le Fanu in 1872. In the story, a female vampire preys on a young woman with whom she’s developed a close, intensely powerful bond.
“The word ‘lesbian’ is never used, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the nature of their relationship,” explains Dennis Furtwyn, author of Vampires Through Time, a 900-page tome that covers blood-drinkers from their earliest recorded doings in ancient Egypt to the present day.
The lesbian vampire image was cemented in the 1983 film “The Hunger” in which Catherine Deneuve starred as a centuries-old vampiress who seduces a mortal, played by Susan Sarandon.
“There are graphic scenes of hot and heavy lovemaking between the vampire and her victim,” the author observes.
But such fictional portrayals are highly inaccurate, Sweltword insists.
“You’ve got to understand that most modern-day vampires were converted during the big wave of the late 19th century, the Victorian era,” she points out. “In those days of prudish sexual mores, most young women led sheltered lives — and homosexuality was an unmentionable subject, referred to only vaguely as ‘the love that dare not speak its name.’
“Most newly turned vampires had never even heard of lesbianism. I myself knew nothing about it until the mid-1950s when I entered the bedroom of a professional golfer. After I sucked her blood and turned to go, she grabbed my wrist and begged me to stay the night. At first, I had no idea what she was driving at. But when I finally got the drift, I was horrified and dove out the window like a bat out of hell!”
Sweltword doesn’t deny that a handful of her fellow female nosferatu have dabbled in same-sex love romps.
“Yes, some of us who joined the ranks in the last few decades experimented with other girls in college, after a few beers or whatever,” she admits. “But in most cases that was before they were converted.
“The idea that we are all a bunch of girl-crazy, lustful lesbians is just plain wrong.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth