Here’s what Stephen Moyer (the actor who plays vampire Bill Compton) has to say about vampire sexuality in general: “The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that? It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”
I disagree with Moyer on three points. First, there is nothing odd about a modern woman saying, “I want my man to be physical with me”. Like Buffy’s later seasons, True Blood showcases female sexual agency. Sookie and most of the female main characters on the show are active, independent, and sexually powerful. That is tied with the second point that Moyer is wrong on: the character Bill never rapes Sookie. The graveyard scene is consensual. Sookie is outspoken and knows what she wants, and never once does she have nonconsensual sex. Third, he evidently does not understand the attraction of True Blood. People don’t watch True Blood because the vampires are romantic and charming gentlemen. That might be the case for the watered-down morality tale Twilight, but True Blood’s appeal lies in its sexual intensity. It invites slash fiction writers with its homoerotic dream sequences between vampires. It takes the pornographic aspects of Buffy to new heights, with constant imagery of what Alexander calls “Beautiful bloodied male torso frequently served up in conjunction with aggressive female power”, outfits with a distinct fetish flavor, and explicit torture scenes.