For whatever reason, our popular culture links vampires with sex (actually sex is linked with almost anything, but the tie is especially strong with vampirism). Sometimes vampires are portrayed as sex fiends, other times male vampires are seen as being totally incapable of sex based on the penis. For this lot, their sexual pleasure is supposed to come only from blood letting and drinking.

What's up with this?

Of course, sex is probably at least as varied among vampires as it is among the non-wer. Still there are some sweeping statements that can be made.

In general a vampire (or other wer) can do anything a mortal can do (eat normal food, have normal sex - by the way, what is 'normal sex'?). And he can do whatever his totem animal could do. And he can do a whole lot more which neither could do. That is what he can do, but what is it that he does do? I write 'he' for several reasons: 1) I am a guy. 2) I know male vampires. I do not know any female vampires. 3) The myths sometimes suppose male vampires cannot get an erection, but, as far as I know, they never suppose that female vampires cannot engage in sex.

The wer has abnormal control over his body. As I imagine any guy might do who had such control, 'newbies' immediately enlarge certain body parts and enhance certain urges, which, when combined with a vampire's normal amazing endurance, results in an oversexed fool.

However, like too much of anything, after a century or so of overindulgence, a guy gets bored with it (yes, I am told this is not only possible, but usual). It turns out that sex takes time, has consequences and interferes with getting other things done. Increased bodily control means you can shut off the urge altogether for as long as you want, and then turn it back on later if the mood strikes you. But the mood for sex is usually driven by hormones and if you've turned off the body's production of those hormones, then the mood is going to be very infrequent and more or less intellectual. That means, when you meet some special person and you realize that you want to add sex to the relationship in order to make it deeper or more intense, then you might decide to turn back on the production of sex hormones. Once you've done that, who knows, you might
find yourself back into the sex maniac mode.

How about blood drinking and sex? None of the vampires I know drinks blood or plays blood games. They feel the thirst, but it is not associated with sex, and anyway they do not give into it. Dracula and Lorrigan both indulged in blood play, but Saragossa thinks Dracula had shut off his sex drive centuries ago (or rather, re-channeled it into his lust for power, domination and torture - it is possible that even in his human life his sex drive manifested only in torture). He still lavished special attention on women's sexual parts, but this, it seems, did not turn into sex per se. Lorrigan, on the other hand, apparently would turn on her sexuality with some frequency, and it was intimately associated with blood, torture and feeding. She had a sex magic which could make any guy intensely sexually responsive, even through the pain and fear she made sure he felt - even if he normally had no heterosexual inclinations. She was toad-ugly, but had a porn star's dream body, and knew how to use it. So, as I said, sex is at least as varied
among vampires as it is among the non-wer.

And the famous connection between vampirism and homosexuality? (See below and also Kernel of Truth among the Myths, question 22.)

This ties in with another sweeping generalization, which is the urge or rule to avoid procreation. This seems to be a universal among both the Quetz vampires and the day-walkers. (The descendants of Dracula versus the line that gave rise to Saragossa.) Perhaps partly it is the realization of the complications that arise from seeing your own children's children's children etc ad infinitum. When do you lose the sense of family? After how many centuries? At what generation? What do you do when you have thousands of direct descendants? Have you passed on immortality? If not, when do you choose to let your own descendants die? When do you 'turn them'? Do you overrun the earth with your descendants? Do they compete with other 'families'? This complication is multiplied by the concept of creating wer-children. Very seldom is this done. One then has an unending responsibility towards the child, a never fading vulnerability if an enemy gets a hold of your child, who will be weaker than you are. Weakness is an essential issue for wer to face because they do have mortal and immortal enemies and live or die by being careful to avoid weakness. Children, wer or not, are dangerous to have and only justified when their usefulness outweighs the risk they represent. Children are a liability. Dracula never had biological children after he turned. He created very few wer-children. Each such child could be an eventual rival, and maintaining constant control over them would be a huge demand of time and energy.

Even for mortals there is an inverse tie between long life and having children that runs across species. This can be seen in the phenomenon of extending lifespan through calorie restriction. There are hormones (insulin and insulin-like growth factor) that signal the body to make a choice between growth/reproduction and maintenance/repair of the body. Restricting calories tells the body to forego reproduction and concentrate on maintaining and repairing the body – resulting in (sometimes dramatically) increased life span. It runs backwards, too. Dramatically increased life span tells the subconscious to avoid procreation.

Recent research has shown that the testosterone levels in males reflect whether or not they are married, and whether or not they have children. When a man marries, his subconscious signals his body that it can tone down the “find-a-woman-and-conquer” urge, and testosterone levels fall. When he begets children, the testosterone levels fall further. His subconscious shifts from procreation mode to “raising-the-children” mode. Being heterosexually married and having offspring tends to shift the subconscious into a “sliding-downhill” endgame. A subconscious mindset of the adolescent male is: first get married, second have children, third raise the kids, fourth relax into grandfatherhood/old-age, and fifth die. If you avoid the first two steps you get shifted onto an alternative pathway that tries to avoid the other steps. The mind/body does not relax into “the program”. It is a little like a female plant that stops flowering as soon as it is pollinated. The program has been satisfied. If it is not pollinated, it will flower much longer since there is no switch telling the plant to move on to the next step. On a personal note, I saw high school classmates marry their high school sweethearts right after graduation and race into middle age in a few years – (sometimes very happily so).

These hormonal shifts play a complicated role in a being who is immortal and whose subconscious is therefore permanently in the maintain/repair mode, which means it is avoiding the procreation mode, which means there is a shift towards gay relationships. Nothing is an absolute, but these factors are present and are a part of the answer as to why there is a well-noted correlation between vampirism and homosexuality.

Heterosexuality almost always brings the risk of procreation. You can be oh so careful, but eventually you slip up and suddenly you have a 'problem'. If you do not have the mentality to avoid problems, you will not make a good wer - life will bring you circumstances where your attitude is going to get you killed and you will be removed from the race.

If you are gay, and you decide to make a wer-child (probably a lover) you are almost certainly going to chose somebody of your own gender. You are going to chose very, very carefully because if you make a mistake, you will have to live with that error endlessly. The actual physical appearance is less important than it is for mortals, because your wer-child will be able to alter his looks (still, I guess innate physical beauty gets priority, but so does beauty of mind or spirit). Do your minds mesh well? Do you laugh at the same things? Can you relax into each other's arms and presence and turn your backs on the world for decades at a stretch? Are you natural companions and partners? Slowly and seldom, the choice is made to 'procreate' - to create a wer-child.

If you are bisexual, the pressures will push you more and more in the direction of being solitary or finding a same-sex partner. There are simply too many issues that arise from many straight relationships (mostly centered around the issue of children, but not exclusively). Actually I do not understand the dynamics, but I can see it in the guys I do know. Saragossa is, I guess, nearly perfectly bisexual, but at this point I cannot imagine him with anybody but Jon. Sandman seems to have an absolutely balanced relationship with both Laura and Rafael, but I think he could not survive without the male element in his life.

If you are exclusively heterosexual, you will discover over the decades and centuries that your prohibitions break down and that it matters less and less how your partner looks, what your partner's gender is. If you are a man, you live in a male body - you play with your own male parts, which means you do not find male parts distasteful per se. Rather, you have internalized a rule that says, 'Male parts are okay, unless they are attached to another male. In that case they are not okay.' With age, you lose the inclination to obey such rules. You experiment; you relax; possibilities open to you that were closed before. You become more cosmopolitan, more bisexual, more and more indifferent to the rules you were born to.

This is the best I can do to respond to the question of why there exists a link between vampirism and being gay. But in truth, I guess I have missed some essential part of the answer.