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"Strange Love," "The First Taste," "Mine," "Escape from Dragon House," "Sparks Fly Out," "Cold Ground," "Burning House of Love," "The Fourth Man in the Fire," "Plaisir d'amour," "I Don't Wanna Know," "To Love Is to Bury," "You'll Be the Death of Me"
by Bryant Frazer The notion of vampires and werewolves as romantic leads isn't exactly cutting-edge. Anyone who ever spent time in the '80s and '90s with cosplayers, Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts, SF conventioneers, and/or habitués of certain USENET newsgroups knows of a thriving subculture that imagines vamps and other shapeshifters to be highly potent sexual partners, if not outright preferable to human companions. In a cinematic climate where former nerd icons like Frodo Baggins, Iron Man, and even Alan Moore's Watchmen have been reinterpreted as big-budget propositions by the men in the suits, the eventual mainstreaming of vampire erotica shouldn't come as much surprise. In the romance aisles of your local bookstore, where "paranormal" is the preferred rubric for a burgeoning category of supernatural bodice-ripper, a reader may now find that vampires and werewolves really are that into you. On the other end of the spectrum, the brooding, outrageously popular Twilight book and film series pussyfoots around the central metaphor of vampirism, detonating a no-intercourse-before-marriage payload in the hearts and minds of a generation of teenaged girls enraptured by the idea of an impossibly ravishing, possibly fatal affair with a stormy Count Dracula type whose feelings for an awkward young thing from Arizona are stronger than his love of a virgin's blood.