Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Nothing But Sex or No Sex at All"

For anyone (anyone?) who reads my blog, my interest in the sexual politics of vampire/human couples is already known, especially couples in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, True Blood, and the Twilight Saga (this latter interest, is, ahem, purely scholarly). A.O. Scott's review in the New York Times today does an admirable job of outlining some of these issues, particularly as relates to vampires contrasted with werewolves. Scott's review doesn't address any issues of age (daddy complex!) or race (the deathly white and cold Euro guy versus the hot-blooded Native American one whose last name is actually Black), or family (it's all about chosen families replacing fractured biological ones), but it's right on about the pleasure of the series (it's either about "nothing but sex or no sex at all"), and the pleasure of sublimation in particular. While some people are touting the series' chastity, I think they are missing the fact that countless adolescent girls are getting intense sexual pleasure from movies that collectively feature nothing more than a handful of kisses. Oh, and a couple eight-packs of abs. Scott is right to focus on desire, of the characters for each other, and of the audience members for the characters. How and why marriage plays into this (will Edward, like Bill, be able to "put a ring on it"? will Sookie, like Bella, want to be changed? how much more awesome is Buffy/Angel for steering clear of these subjects?) is a subject for another post.

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