You know Twilight. Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular vampire book, and the film adaptation, starring Robert Pattinson, has had teenage girls – and 20-somethings, and 30-somethings, and beyond – swooning and obsessing for months. The book outsold all others last year, and the film’s opening weekend was the biggest ever for a female director.
We may tell you that we love this paint-by-numbers romance because we admire director Catherine Hardwicke’s stamp on Hollywood or the protagonist Bella Swan’s headstrong attitude. But the real reason is much simpler: We love vampires. Give us a hot and brooding bloodsucker – really, any vampire this side of the ’90s that’s not selling children’s cereal – and we’re in.
Why do we love vampires? Simple. Everything about vampire romance is latently sexual. The man wants to penetrate the woman – with his teeth in her neck, or otherwise – but must resist if he cares about her. He has strong, animalistic urges, and darkness within; she is pure and good.
The allure of the hot vampire is so strong that Twilight’s cheese factors can be forgiven. I went to see Twilight with women old enough to remember punk from the first time around. We cackled at the bad CG, and at Robert Pattinson’s diamante skin.
Then, when the DVD came out, we had another party. Not because it’s a good film, though. Our attraction to Twilight is far more basic and animalistic: It’s sexual. Mention Robert Pattinson and you will hear grown-up women swoon like young girls: “I love hiiiiim!” And now you know why.