-“Doctor…The best moment is when he’s ready to plunge his teeth into her neck.”
After more than 40 years of medical practice, we thought we had heard everything. How wrong we were. A few days ago, we were casually chatting about the latest streaming series with a lady patient, when the subject of Vampire stories came up. Slightly surprised that so many horror movies and series were shown during the sad times of this cruel pandemic, we asked her for her opinion with a tad of ingenuity.
She told us that not only she watches them but most of her girlfriends do the same. She explained to us that it was a harmless escapist relief for the domestic drudgery that the social isolation and safety requirements of the pandemic imposed on us. And the burden of keeping the household safe has fallen disproportionately on women. As a result, besides fulfilling their regular work and household duties, they have to keep track of the sanitary requirements of the national, state and county regulations.
Note. This reproduction of Edvard Munch’s The Vampire was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Gothic fiction is a literature and film genre dealing with horror, death, and romance; the attainment of pleasurable terror is the major emotional endgame in these works. In a deviant variant of the prevailing Romanticism of the literature of the 18th century, the Gothic writers aim to engage their readers’ energies into reaching The Sublime; for that end, they use scenes of decay, death, and morbidity to shock our sensibility. The first known book in the English Language is the 1794 novel by Horace Walpole initially titled as The Castle of Otranto and later renamed as A Gothic story.
The unique emotional aesthetic of this genre was given by Edmund’s Burke’s 1757 A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. In an excellent Wikipedia review article, they summarized Burke’s thesis like this: “the Sublime is that which is or produces the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling; the Sublime is most often evoked by Terror, and to cause Terror we need some amount of Obscurity—we can’t know everything about that which is inducing Terror—or else a great deal of the apprehension vanishes.”
In a now famous retreat hosted by Lord Byron in a villa au bord du Lac de Genève in the summer of 1816, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, John William Polidori and the mad-bad-and-dangerous-to- know-poet himself engaged in a competition for the scariest ghost story. From that unique engagement, two major works of art emerged, which have a special resonance for the plight of women under the yoke of the abhorrent Patriarchate. Don’t you know that the latter still exists?
Note. The expression mad, bad, and dangerous to know was used by Lady Caroline Lamb to describe her secret lover George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, commonly known as Lord Byron.
One of them was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and the other one was Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). In those times, women were not supposed to have the wits to discuss philosophical issues, let alone design books dealing with them. Mary Shelley had to hide behind her husband for 30 years before acknowledging her authorship. Polidori’s book was based on an earlier unfinished story written by Lord Byron titled The Burial: a fragment, with the story of a not yet dead character. The best version of Vampire lore—Bram Stoker’s Dracula—was published in 1897.
Why would modern educated women feel that irresistible attraction for Vlad Dracul? We might dare to suggest that, like their sisters of the nineteenth century, these ladies feel trapped by the constrictive corset of quaint social norms from the Patriarchate. Moreover, the added financial, labor, and cultural burdens of this pandemic have irked them so much that they are more receptive to the forbidden charm of eroticism. They are tired of “the same old” in workplaces, social reunions, beds.
To pick up any clues, you might want to pay more attention to your wife’s watchlist. If there are too many horror series, it might be time for action. Without any prejudice, you might want to pre-emptively avoid her jump from a virtual fantasy into the meatier world of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
Imagine if in a very casual, anodyne encounter with a total manly stranger in the elevator, she starts craving for le frisson from the parsimonious physicality of his feral kissing down her velvety neck…
In our book Emotional Frustration – the Hushed Plague, we cautioned distracted men:
“A nugget of Wisdom. You just found out that your wife is having an affair.
Not with an ex, a colleague, or a friend. The swipe-to-the-right kind of guy. What should you do? First try to de-familiarize and de-institutionalize your bond.
If the issue is a waning flame, why not fire it up ? On the spur of the moment call the baby-sitter , make a dinner reservation, and pick her up at work with a bouquet.
Booking a kinky room with mirrors galore in a tawdry motel is optional.”
Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.