Tuesday 11 May 2010


With the third film installment of Twilight fast approaching, I was trying to explain the allure of the vampire phenomenon the other day - or as I call it, female porn -  to a male friend of mine. He was utterly confused as to the mass public’s fascination with it (okay, downright obsession) as many who have not read the books I suppose are. And when I say mass public, I am of course talking about the female population [as I consider us in charge, I deem us the masses. But of course].

Trust me, at first, I didn’t really get it either. When my best friend would clutch onto the books like they were encrusted with diamonds I found it a bit worrying, as she is a very rational, intellectual person who usually has quite evolved tastes when it comes to her literature. But knowing her the way I do, the suspicion was too much to ignore - there had to be something to this. And low and behold, once I got over thinking they were kid’s books, and bought my first one, well, that’s when it all quickly started to make sense.

There is a reason I call these books female porn. For women (and I'm speaking for all of us here, so forgive me), it’s all about imagination, the profound romance of a situation, being swept away – be it a book, film etc – even if it’s highly improbable, like say for instance, the protagonist and love interest is a vampire. I’m willing to overlook just about anything when it comes to being entranced by my fiction.  And of course, the character of Edward Cullen – as I tried explaining to my male friend – is the epitome of the perfect man. He’s neat as hell (almost OCD for that matter which makes me tingle with delight!), has his own car (and a nice one at that), doesn’t talk much – and yet totally understands the woman’s mind and can sense when she needs him - is cultured, doesn’t eat (and hence, won’t run up the grocery bills, stare in the fridge saying there is nothing to eat, or spill things on the carpet and try to hide the stains with potted plants), and furthermore, can’t have incessant sex (at inopportune times like let's say when you're trying to wash the dishes) as he’s scared he’ll suck every ounce of blood out of you. So hence, just the right amount of sex, from a mute, neat man that pledges to love us forever. UTOPIA. Plus, the man is easy on the eyes, which is always a plus.

The other part of it is sheer nostalgia for one’s youth – that’s my theory anyway. Most of my friends I consider incredibly smart, cultured individuals - fine, I do have a few friends I gladly look at gossip rags with and eat fish and chips - but that's just a different type of culture and one has to love it. And collectively none of us feel our age. Not that we’re old by any means, (you hear that, we're NOT old!) but it’s that sudden realization that you've reached the number you have, but it just doesn’t feel like it should (damn it, my jeans from high school still fit and I want to go drink a wine cooler). So when something like Twilight comes along, it reminds us that there is a young girl inside all of us wanting to be seduced by some blood-sucking vamp on the grassy knolls of Forks Washington. Hell it beats thinking about how much ironing one has to do.

I remember when I was reading the books, my partner actually started to get a bit threatened. In his defense, I would barely leave the house. In fact, I flat out ignored him - which I thought he'd like as he is always wanting to spend time on his work (you see, you can't win!). The poor man could’ve been on fire, and if I was in mid chapter, forget it, it’s every man for themselves. It got to the point where he contemplated hiding my books – but of course he quickly gave up this idea when he saw the ‘you mess with Edward, you mess with me’ look in my eye. Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely irrational and can still maintain reason – ahem, I can. I am not naming my first child Cullen or any such thing  [although it’s kind of a cute name] and I would never hunt down Robert Pattinson so he could sign my chest. At this point I think I would scare him. It is the mere existence of Edward that holds my allure; the creation of a character that has so struck a nerve in the female psyche - whether admitted to or not - that I truly appreciate.

So come June, judge me if you will (I can take it) I will happily skip off – not sure at nine months if I can skip; it may be something more of a fast paced waddle – and see Eclipse to get my fix. Bring on the bloodsuckers!
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