By Nancy Gideon
Author of Hunter of Shadows
From the haunted halls of Dark Shadow‘s Collinwood to the sexy patrons at Merlotte’s in Bon Temps, I’ve always had an affinity for the tall, dark and deadly type. Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, ghosts and ghoulies: What is it about these terrifying should-never-be-heroes that gets the blood pumping?
In honor of Halloween, let’s take a look at why women are so eager to bring Creatures of the Night in from the cold, whether between the pages of a book or on the movie screen. Here are the qualities that make our guards drop and our hearts open to that unlikely lover—the elusive paranormal male.
He’s mysterious and unavailable and therein comes the challenge. We always want what we can’t have. We always desire that which is juuuust out of reach. Contrast the chatty accountant who corners you at a party to that dark, delicious, smoldery-eyed stranger you can’t take your eyes off from the second he enters the room. He’s more than good looking. There’s an aura of danger and risk about him. Catnip to the female psyche.
He’s forbidden, an outsider, not a team player, who sparks our rebellious streak. He’s Romeo and James Dean all in one, an irresistible “It’s you and me against the world,” because if you follow him, you’re leaving all you know and are familiar with behind you. A tantalizing choice.
He’s powerful. We’re drawn to power. It’s not just financial. It’s more than just physical. He’s that protector/hunter women have sought out instinctively since the beginning of time for his ability to provide and keep us safe (never mind that he brings his own kind of danger into the mix!)
He’s vulnerable despite all that strength. He has a secret or a weakness that appeals to our nurturing, sheltering nature. By opening up to share that Achilles heel with you, trust becomes a compelling bond.
When he loves, it’s completely, totally, almost obsessively. What woman doesn’t want to be adored, no, worshipped? Your safety, your happiness, your satisfaction is his consuming focus.
He wants to be “more” to be worthy of your love. He longs to change what he is, to be redeemed or accepted in your world in order to have you. He can’t quite believe you could love him as is. Who can resist a strong man’s humility?
He only bends to your will. You are the only one who can tame him. It’s the ultimate Beauty and the Beast relationship. Who wouldn’t want an alpha male on their leash?
He will fight for you, against all odds, even when impossible. He’s that knight, that rescuing prince, that ideal valiant who risks all for you. Sigh.
He desires a bond with you, a link, whether physical, mental or preternatural, reserved for soul mates. And once created, cannot be broken. No prenup. No infidelities. A real ’til-death-do-us-part agreement. And possibly beyond…
His is a love eternal, beyond the boundaries of mortality. He will cross time for you, wait centuries for the promise you offer, follow you beyond death itself to keep you. It’s the Happily Ever After we all dream of, because it never ends.
Whether they sparkle, growl, grow fangs or facial (and body!) hair, they fascinate us and tempt us to walk on that dark side with them. For Frank Langella’s coolly elegant Dracula (not Gary Oldman’s chinless version), Jonathon Frid (and soon to be Johnny Depp!) as the cursed and tormented Barnabas, Ron Perlman’s Beast, all the barely or rarely clothed fellows on True Blood, the glittery-versus-hunky boys that have Twihards in a dither, and all those supernaturally sexy bad boys who populate the pages of paranormal and urban fantasy novels from the MacGrieves to Bones, from the Dark Hunters to my own Max Savoie, we’re willing to risk the sometimes dangerous trick to have the decadent treat of fantasy that safely reflects our all too human needs and desires.
This Halloween, walk on the wild side. Indulge in things that aren’t necessarily good for you, but taste wicked good. Share the night with those dark, dangerous men from the paranormal realm. Bon appetite!