Must the Male Vampire Always Be On Top in Paranormal Romance?

FangsAlotI’m not saying this is bad – I’m just asking if this is how it has to be.

I am a male writer who tends to write strong female characters in paranormal horror. This isn’t just my opinion (although it is my intent), but I am told by readers that I do. If a heroine is going to step up, I feel they should hold their own; they make the decisions and accept the consequences for their actions. Blechdel Test be damned, females do talk about males, and often there is romantic inclination or outright sex with a male character; hey, it happens.

I enjoy the inherit vampire and horror elements in these stories, but I am noticing a trend in several of these stories, particularly the one billed as “paranormal romance.” The female character – whether merely human or already vampire – appears to be smitten with or otherwise bonded to a superior male specimen. These dude-bros have names like Caleb, Stefano, Morbius, Vlad or something else overly masculine. Head-over-heels attracted to them, the heroine obeys – or is given no choice but to obey – this dominant character in all things despite yearning to be an equal in their eyes. Time doesn’t seem to be a factor; these women often have been kept under thumb or under house arrest for centuries. The smitten female underling, of course, is the main character, and they aren’t only being mentally subjugated but often physically – but no permanent harm done since they’re a vampire, right?

To contrast this, what I am not reading about is an intelligent, handsome young man being kept under the thumb of an ancient vampiress who has strong feelings for the lad but believes him incapable of surviving on his own. In spite of proving himself up to the task or otherwise demonstrating the potential for an equality to their sire/object of infatuation, each scene of the story is a compact lesson in why the dominant female is the alpha, subjugating the omega male to repeated but doomed attempts to measure up time and time again. With no regard to the male character’s secret paranormal lineage, forbidden knowledge of ancient magics, or in any way possessing skills and ability superior to the dominate female vamp, he always crawls on his belly back to the feet of the creature he can’t wait to be dominated by. Oh, and the main character must be HIM, not the alpha vampire mistress.

Does this exist, is this an impossibility or do I need to write this and see just how twisted I can make it?

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4 thoughts on “Must the Male Vampire Always Be On Top in Paranormal Romance?

  1. You need to write this. I am working on my own vampire novel with a female lead and I will be damned if she is “bottom” to any set of fangs. Also in the rarity of things: check out Kiss of the Damned if you have not…its close to what you are seeking. Close.

  2. In my Matriarch story, there IS an alpha vampire that my female protagonist has to deal with, but there is NO romantic entanglement with him; he treats her more like a evil stepfather than anything else.

    Too many of these stories all seem to have “The Master of the City” or “The Prince of Region Twelve” or “The Sheriff of Louisiana,” and the heroine is too often SEEKING to be dominated by this individual, even as the main character. Sometimes the author builds in reasons why their protagonist needs to be kept under thumb (a natural klutz, too clingy, a busybody), but there is usually abuse as well – what difference does it make that they “can take it?” If any character is a mouthpiece for the author, there’s often some bit of prose about “old fashioned” or “that’s how they were raised,” all of which sounds like a cop out condoning caveman behavior. Shouldn’t that be reserved for the villain? Additionally, these are among the lines even your typical antihero shouldn’t cross.

    If it was a period piece set a hundred years ago, your typical bodice-ripping story, that at least has an excuse; it’s just the idea that a woman showing independence yet still needing to be attached to a dominate male isn’t mutual or a relationship; it’s indentured servitude and wholly disrespectful.

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