Vampires have always been sexy, from Bram Stoker’s original smooth operator to Brad Pitt in Interview With a Vampire. But why have True Blood and Twilight sunk their fangs so thoroughly into today’s erotic zeitgeist? For starters, they're modern-day Romeos for angsty Juliets, Newsweek reports, a hypersexualized update on the feared and misunderstood outsider. "It's all about the classic, tormented relationship, the otherness," says one shrink who calls himself a "short Jewish guy" who loves vampires.
But it’s probably the danger that enthralls most readers: A researcher of vampire fandom finds that women want a break from being in control and get off on the fantasy of being the victim, not the vamp. “It's a metaphor for dangerous sex,” she suggests. “Because if it goes wrong, you're gone." And all that near-death fantasy can translate into real-life kink. “My husband is happy I like this show,” one giggling True Blood fan says.