An increasingly common phenomenon where mythical creatures traditionally feared and shunned, especially such horror staples as vampires, werewolves and demons, somehow become the targets of sexual desire. It's like All Girls Want Bad Boys taken to absurd levels.
Positive attributes of these creatures will be exaggerated, if not fabricated out of whole cloth, and negative aspects will be reduced or removed entirely. Yet often as not, these now romantically inclined monsters will retain their definitive characteristicssuch as the fact that they must prey on humans to survive, derive power from suffering, or are just plain evil.
Most often this is seen in erotic romance novels, or their counterparts in other media. The main character will be an ordinary woman, the better for the reader to relate to her, and the love interest may be anything from an ordinary man with a monstrous curse to a ravenous werewolf, bloodthirsty vampire or even a cruel and inhumane demon. At first, said monster will regard the woman as either a nuisance or an actual prey item, but through The Power of Love, she will persevere and manage to transform him into a Bowdlerised version of the source myth, perhaps retaining some rough edges but otherwise a relatively decent being.
Admittedly this can create some interesting story possibilities if done well, both in such a creature having an inherently contradictory nature and in how the creature and his lover deal with said contradiction, particularly in how they do or do not come to a better understanding and balance and whether the creature can fight his inner nature/become a better person while still retaining what their lover finds sexy about them. (I.e., Rule of Drama.) If done poorly, however, the result can be either a lot of Wangst or a very dark case of Values Dissonance, Protagonist-Centered Morality, and Moral Myopia.
This phenomenon has been around, especially applying to vampires, for quite a long time, making this Older Than They Think for people assuming this to be only a recent phenomenon. For instance, with the recent popularization of the fact that North American wolves are usually not that aggressive to humans and are loving parents, then it stands to reason that werewolves can be seen as attractive company to have. Also, considering some particular forms of mythology such as Horny Devils and the number of god/mortal pairings in Classical mythology, this attraction to the exotically dangerous may simply be an endemic part of human thought, reflected in stories throughout history.
This is particularly common in Romantic and Gothic literature. As Victorian England was a sexually repressed society, writers would often link sexuality with the dark and forbidden. Creating metaphorically sexual monsters was also a way of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
Related to Vampires Are Sex Gods, Boy Meets Ghoul, Villain Decay, Bishounen Line, Horny Devils, Interspecies Romance, Boldly Coming, and The Taming of the Grue. For fanbase attraction to a monster or Big Bad, see Rule 34 and Draco in Leather Pants. Compare Shapeshifting Seducer. Ultimately followed by I Can Change My Beloved in most cases.
If you're looking for the movie of the same name, see here.
- Furry Seme characters are a trend in recent Boys' Love manga, though no one particular title has hit it big as an example yet. But if you browse a lot of BL manga, you'll see a lot of them.
- Black Bird: Kyo is a tengu—a Japanese bird demon—and he is the only one who can protect Misao from other demons, and she finds love with him despite the fact that he wants to marry her forcibly.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer!: Maou, who still looks human in his true◊ form.◊
- Shinra from Durarara!! is exclusively attracted to his Dullahan housemate Celty — Not in spite of the fact that she's a headless unselee psychopomp, but because of it.
- In Kamisama Kiss Nanami falls in love with her familiar and guardian Tomoe; a Little Bit Beastly Kitsune.
- Evangeline of Negima! Magister Negi Magi deliberately tries to play the Vampires Are Sex Gods idea for all it's worth.
- In Wild Fangs, Syon, upon seeing Mao's beast form, instead of thinking "I could get so much money for him" like his fellow bounty hunters, decides to protect (and woo) him instead.
- Wolf Children Ame and Yuki: The protagonist Hana has the titular wolf children with a wolf-man. And he was in wolf form when Yuki was conceived.
- Ryuuko Konuma of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest certainly believes this trope, though instead of liking the protagonist's more positive traits, she actively hopes he is the most evil and violent thing that ever lived... and is disappointed when she finds out he isn't. And is turned back on when she learns that while not evil or outright violent, he's STILL the most powerful thing walking.
- In Fables, after Rose kills Leigh Douglas and claims the ring controlling Bigby for herself she becomes psychically bonded to Bigby and can feel his bestial wolfish nature. And she likes it.
- The premise of the My Boyfriend Is a Monster graphic novel series, which features sexy zombies, vampires, fairies, ghosts, and Frankenstein monsters.
- In the Untamed story, "A Night to Remember...", a woman lets her normal lover know that she is a werewolf in the most gentle manner as possible in bed. As it happens, her confession, followed by great sex, works so well that once the guy gets over the initial shock, he immediately reveals that he is a furry who likes to go fursuiting and notes she is a natural at that hobby.
- In The Unwritten, after Richie Savoy gets turned into a vampire, he apparently has lots of sex with gothy vampire groupies. (Helped along by the fact that he's outed himself as a vampire in a bestselling book.)
- The BBC documentary The Human Animal actually explains part of the reason this trope exists as well as All Girls Want Bad Boys AND I Can Change My Beloved in simple biological terms. The short of it is that the dangerous aspects of the target are sexual advertisements. According to the documentary, on a biological level, women are looking for signs of protective prowess. Displays of aggressive behavior are then read as signs of this prowess the same as the physical sign of broad shoulders in males (cultural signs of this vary greatly, but the intended messages are the same). Once partnered up, however, the female will actively work to prevent the male from displaying further (the 'taming' aspect of this trope), so as to prevent the male from gathering further attention from the opposite sex or hurting the offspring. There's a lot more to human courtship, of course, mostly because unlike other primates alive today, sex among humans lasts more than 8 seconds (usually).
- In The Heart Trilogy Smaug the dragon is the Love Interest of Kathryn, a human woman. Although it should be noted that neither of them really think of the other in more sexual terms until Smaug learns how to shapeshift into a human form (his human form is described as Tall, Dark, and Handsome, based upon Benedict Cumberbatch). They've previously had sexually charged dreams about each other, but Kathryn always imagined him as a human and Smaug saw her as a dragon like himself.
- Subverted in The Fly (1986). After he unknowingly undergoes a Teleporter Accident that turns him into a Half-Human Hybrid of man and insect undergoing a Slow Transformation into a form more the latter than the former, Seth Brundle does become stronger, more virile, and seductive, and his girlfriend Veronica initially finds him more attractive. It doesn't last — she doesn't have his stamina and energy, which frustrates him because his libido is virtually insatiable. He's also becoming egotistical, aggressive, and quick to anger, and on top of that he has odd hairs growing out of healing wounds on his back, bizarre blotches, and greasy locks. She realizes that he's sick and the teleporter must be to blame, but for trying to convince him of this he tosses her out of his loft. Not long after this, he learns what's really happening to him, and four weeks later, he asks to see her again. She finds he's now revoltingly disfigured, but he has regained his sweet personality and she turns to Supporting the Monster Loved One emotionally. However, as his transformation reaches its penultimate stage he sadly tells her that her love will not be able to stop him from doing harm to her if she stays, because his human reason and compassion is being subsumed by an insect's selfish ruthlessness. In the climax, upon learning she is pregnant by him and intends to abort the likely-mutant child, he kidnaps her and attempts to fuse with her in the telepod. He fails spectacularly, and the result is her having to Mercy Kill him.
- Genderflipped in Ginger Snaps. Ginger, who had been a moody and dowdily-dressed goth teenager before she was bitten by a werewolf, becomes a hot goth chick afterwards, her transformation making her more assertive and causing her to wear more flattering clothing in a manner that the film heavily compares to puberty. Even after her transformation starts making her look more visibly monstrous, Ginger attends a Halloween party and is treated as downright sexy because the partygoers mistake it for a costume. It's finally subverted, however, once she starts taking off her clothes and reveals that she's grown extra teats like a female wolf, just before her ultimate, horrific transformation.
- Marsha Quist in The Howling, a sexy female werewolf who tempts Karen's husband Bill and turns him into a werewolf while having sex with him, even transforming into her wolf form mid-coitus.
- The love interest in The Shape of Water is a very handsome Creature from the Black Lagoon. The movie goes out of its way not to soften him, however, showing that he's still a dangerous and wild creature.
- In Teen Wolf, Scott instantly becomes popular with the ladies when he starts turning into a werewolf. People aren't as interested in him when he's not furry.
- The Underworld series presents most of its vampires as sleek and stylish figures. Werewolves seem to be all male, and are brawny, hairy types in leather. Each film features a romance between the races.
- Even zombies are getting into the act with the 2013 zom-com Warm Bodies.
- In Wolf, Jack Nicholson's cuckolded and emasculated newspaper editor gets bitten by a werewolf and becomes more self-confident and sexually aggressive as he turns.
- Discworld plays with this, on various levels. Vampires are generally depicted as suave and stylish (except when they arent, usually due to their own reasons ). Lady Margolotta, a vampire, has an unspecified, but close and long-established, personal relationship with Lord Vetinari, in the later books. Angua and Carrot avert this, with Carrot only interested in her HUMAN form, and Angua having doubts about her "dog-like devotion" to him, but Gavin the wolf is implied to have been an "old flame" of her lupine form. Werewolves arent generally described as classy, but Wolf and his movement are definitely with their uniforms and insignia . There is also a "the whole underwired nightdress thing"
- Lord Ruthven, of the short story The Vampyre. Lord Ruthven is a seductive figure and is considered one of the first literary vampires. The idea for the story was conceived on the same occasion as Frankenstein by John Polidori, Lord Byron's secretary who secretly loathed his employer, which comes across pretty clearly in Ruthven's characterization.
- Varney the Vampire, from the gothic horror novel by James Malcolm Rymer. The story is perhaps the first to treat a vampire sympathetically.
- Carmilla, from the gothic novella Carmilla, is a beautiful Lesbian Vampire who haunts a young lady.
- Geraldine from Christabel by Samuel Coleridge is another erotic Lesbian Vampire who preys on a woman.
- The Bride of Corinth, featuring the first female vampire with a male victim.
- Matilda from The Monk is not a vampire, but an agent of Satan who helps the title monk into damnation through her seductive powers.
- Invoked and subverted in Blood and Chocolate, but from the werewolf heroine's point of view (Vivian). After she shows her true nature (transformation into wolf being voluntary) to the Aiden, the man she loves (and who also happens to like the occult and things like this), he becomes scared of her, tell lies at school about her and, eventually, attempts to end her life by shooting her with silver. Later, the pack leader Gabriel reveals he was once in love with a human, but there were times when they were having sex and he ended up starting to transform because it felt better (to which Vivian recalls wanting Aiden to bite her at times). However, once he went too far and the girl noticed and started screaming. Gabriel tried to hold her to calm her, but with his strength, he killed her by accident. Vivian asks him why they care for humans, if they can't love them back. Gabriel merely state how sometimes they may invoke sympathy and the need to protect them.
- The half-dog, half-human hybrids in The Dogs are meant to be this.
- Dracula is a mixed case.
- In the original book, Dracula is a rather ugly old man who preys on young women, making him more of a monstrous pervert at the start; however, he becomes younger and better looking with the more victims that he feeds on. In later adaptations, Dracula is often transformed into a suave, sophisticated, exotic, and darkly seductive presence. Dracula's vampire wives, however, are attractive even in the original novel.
- In his Danse Macabre, Stephen King discusses the sexuality within Dracula at some length, saying that the novel "fairly pants with sexual energy". He points out that Lucy's reaction to being bitten by Dracula—sighing, moaning, and writhing—is Bram Stoker's "classy" way of telling us that she's having a mind-blowing orgasm.
- Kitty Norville lampshades this concept in the second book of her series, suspecting that those who saw her Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee were expecting a tall and intimidating predatory sexpot rather than the rather normal looking blonde she was.
- Mercy Thompson is a coyote shapeshifter herself, whose husband is a werewolf.
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries series is built on this trope, with vampires. There's even a special term for people who like to have sex with vampires: "fangbangers".
- Twilight and its movie adaptations, as everyone even casually familiar with the series knows.
- The series downplays or eliminates almost any negative trait that could be associated with a vampire. Part of this is because Meyer was not interested at all in vampires until having a dream that inspired the series (or so she claims) and she intentionally ignored earlier vampire "traditions" in favor of coming up with something she found unique.
- While the werewolves are considered the protectors of people in the series, one still ought to not dismiss the dangers of being romantically involved with one, mostly because anger and stress can trigger a transformation. This was proven nicely by Emily, who refused Sam's advances and led him to shape-shifting too close and slashing up her face. They get engaged anyway.
- J.R. Ward seems to do this in her body of work. Especially evident in the vampire-laden Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
- Wicked Lovely does this for The Fair Folk. It portrays them as dangerous, cruel, and definite users of Blue-and-Orange Morality, if not truly evil. It also portrays faeries of both genders as pretty damn hot.
- In Big Wolf on Campus, Tommy begins to worry that perhaps Lori is only attracted to the werewolf part of him.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel:
- A group of youngsters were into the whole Vampires Are Sex Gods thing until the vamps came and started killing everyone.
- Angel, Spike, Darla, and possibly even Oz seem to apply. Not to mention Dracula. And who can forget vampire Willow and Xander?
- The first episode had Jesse become suddenly more confident and charismatic after becoming a vampire. Joss Whedon acknowledges the use of this trope on the DVD commentary.
- Xander considers himself a romantic demon magnet; he's had relationships/attractions with at least three supernatural creatures, not to mention losing his virginity to a vampire slayer.
- Doctor Who:
- Doctor Who has occasionally dipped into this territory with the Daleks:
- The new series did a variation of this with its Continuity Reboot of the Daleks in the episode "Dalek", which is written as a love story between the Doctor's trusting, enthralled human companion and the iconic science fiction monster that terrified hundreds of thousands of children in the 60s and 70s. According to the creators, the Daleks were redesigned to look more beautiful in order to facilitate this - but the Dalek certainly does not get the Draco in Leather Pants treatment, becoming if anything more genocidal and hateful than ever, even if you do feel a lot more sorry for this one than ever before.
- The actress playing one of the classic companions did a "Dalek porn" photoshoot for a skin mag, involving her posing naked with her genitals obscured by the plunger, caressing its gunstick, and so on.
- "The Dalek Book", a tie-in released in the Dalekmania craze, gave "Dr. Who's grand-daughter" Susan a Dalek love interest in a photo-story using repurposed stills of "The Daleks". The Dalek admires that she isn't scared of them, finds her pretty, and even leaves its city to follow her back to the TARDIS, begging her to stay.
- The Japanese novelisation of "Spearhead From Space", the serial about Autons (alien, murderous shop window dummies) went with a sexy legless, armless Auton gesturing with the detached arm lying at her side. The Autons in the show were British 1970s shop window dummies, cheap and badly-designed things that inspired horror even before every English child had watched "Spearhead".
- The promo pics showing Susan in the clutches of the Voord (a monster they were hyping up as a new mascot in the vein of the Daleks) are obviously supposed to invoke this◊.
- Doctor Who has occasionally dipped into this territory with the Daleks:
- Usually averted with the demons in Good Omens (2019), except for Crowley. Most of the humanoid demons, even the female-presenting ones, are decidedly grimy, but Crowley looks like a snake-eyed David Tennant in tight pants and expensive sunglasses. Overlaps with Snakes Are Sexy, as Crowley was the Serpent of Eden.
- As a long-running series dealing with, well, the supernatural, it has touched on this trope. Sam's girlfriends have included a werewolf and a demon; he's also had romantic friendships with a vampire and a kitsune. Dean has generally avoided relationships with monsters; angels, on the other hand...
- Invoked in "Live Free Or Twihard" where a group of vampires was shown to be taking advantage of the sudden romanticism of their species due to Twilight and the like to seduce and kidnap young women.
- True Blood lives and breathes on this trope. Everyone should have sex with a vampire at least once. And you should see the werewolves and shapeshifters.
- The Vampire Diaries (as well as the book series that inspired it), as you might guess from the name, is also built on this trope. By the third season, every surviving member of the main cast has had a relationship (or several) with a vampire, except for one. Who is a witch whose mother becomes a vampire.
- Done with Gill Man (a.k.a. The Creature from the Black Lagoon) in Monster Bash.
Woman: "Wrap your flippers around me, fish-boy!"
- In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Benjy remarks that Eric's bestial monster form is 'prettier' than his human form. Benjy is a bug monster himself, but it's unclear whether his attraction to monsters existed even before his transformation into one.
- Changeling: The Lost: The advantage for being part of the Beast seeming is that "animal magnetism" is no longer just an expression - you gain bonuses on social rolls.
- Played with in Magic: The Gathering, specially in Innistrad. Vampires, while not always evil, are generally selfish creatures with sadistic tendencies and that hunt for sport. However, their aristocratic sophistication and appreciation of art and refined pleasures makes them the target of fascination for many innistradi humans. If the humans end up as vampires, however, they find that the sophistication comes after learning to control their bloodlust. Until then they go crazy at the first whiff of blood. Werewolves, on the other hand, are consistently feared, as they are mindless killing machines.
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse: This game has animal attraction as a game mechanic for shape-shifters.
- Spoofed in the Fuka & Desko Show, one of the DLCs for Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Knowing her Big Sis can't resist the lure of a hot guy, Desco (or her Enemy Without, rather) tries to tempt Fuka into staying in the Netherworld intead of reincarnating and losing her memory of Desco with the Demon Hunk Troop. Unfortunately, Desco isn't exactly knowledgeable on what teenage girls find attractive.◊
Desco: L-look at all these handsome devils! This is bad! Like, totally really bad! Big Sis is at just that age... How could they not make Big Sis' heart throb!?
Fuka: Um, no.
- The Elder Scrolls has the Tsaesci, a race of supposed "snake vampires" native to Akavir, a continent far to the east of Tamriel. They invaded Tamriel late in the 1st Era but were defeated, and the survivors were incorporated into Reman Cyrodiil's fledgling empire. They are said to have left behind children with the Tamriellic races who are said to be "beautiful, if frightening". (Sources conflict over just how serpentine the Tsaesci really are, though some state that they have fully snake-like lower bodies.)
- Seemingly invoked in Fate/Grand Order. During the America singularity, Medb uses the Holy Grail to wish for an evil Cu Chulainn to be her lover and partner in conquest. The resulting Cu Chulainn Alter looks like a Stripperiffic hybrid of Lancer and Godzilla, and Medb is extremely pleased.
- In Buster Wilde Weerwolf, at first everyone feared Buster because he was a werewolf wandering the streets but when they realized that Buster was harmless and only loved to go clubbing, they became used to his presence and eventually some people started to find him attractive◊ despite him being a werewolf.
- Taken to ridiculous levels in Chainsawsuit, which has a parody of The Fly but everything's OK because his wife is 'a bug furry' and prefers him that way.
- One of the most (in)famous 'yiff' series in Furry Fandom of this is Jay Naylor's The Fall of Red Riding Hood, which culminates with the Wolfen using a powerful mind-altering substance called Cottonwine to seduce a large part of the human kingdom before being driven back.
- Invoked by Winston in Freefall... to make Flo more human on cellular level.
- Happle Tea pokes fun at this.
- The entire lycanthrope cast of Peter Is the Wolf.
- Sam & Fuzzy:
- Sam at one point helps sedate a recently turned werewolf in the throes of Unstoppable Rage. After coming to, the werewolf returns to his old self mentally and is busy talking to his girlfriend when Sam approaches them with suggestions on how they can cure him. The couple decline, with the woman declaring she's "into that" when Sam points out he's now permanently stuck in werewolf form.
- Many Vampires believe this trope is in play concerning the Vampire species. Those Vampires are all wrong, as vampires are generally considered in the same way humans are, with some (like Tats Palegaardsen) being considered conventionally attractive while others (like Edwin) are less so. It helps that Sam and Fuzzy-verse vampires sit way over at the 'friendliness' part of the Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness and so the 'monster' aspect is almost entirely absent from the equation.
- The vampire variant is parodied in the Sluggy Freelance B Side Comic "Sampire". Sam tries hitting on a girl, she rejects him for being gross and creepy, and then he tells her he's a real vampire. She sighs, and suggests they go make out in an alley. Sam in general is a great big subversion of this trope, as he started off as a regular Casanova Wannabe, then became a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire with a variety of amazing powers but it still didn't help him with the ladies. He can even hypnotize young women to obey him, but if he tries to hypnotize them into thinking he's cool, they immediately snap out of it.
- Needless to say, common within the Furry Fandom. Their perspective on anthropomorphic characters often means that a piece of media's monster will attract a Misaimed Fandom instead of being feared as intended. Although the manner in which some monsters are depicted (either actual appearance or how their character is displayed/developed) can often suggest a pandering to such desires, or that the creator themselves had some ambivalence about the monster in question.
- Parodied Up to Eleven at "Kraken are the New Vampires", by adding intentional pathos. Entirely worksafe as the author, who writes in the genre herself, evidently never heard of Naughty Tentacles.
- Lindsay Ellis' video essay "My Monster Boyfriend" takes a deep dive into this phenomenon, explaining the long history of social evolution that eventually led into its increasing modern popularity, culminating in the mainstream and critical success of The Shape of Water.
- Most of the creatures in the Nonhuman section of Literotica are in some way monstrous, with vampires and werewolves as perpetual favorites. Also frequent at Renderoticanote . Including everything but not limited to the creatures listed in the above article.
- Parodied in a Newgrounds video/song. In the music video, it is arguable, since she is scared, and when she stops being so, she in fact is a vampire. The song, however...
- This is rife in Dave Rapoza's "Steve Lichman" comic. Dracula lives this up, and Flay really, really wishes it applied to him.
- Minerva Mink of Animaniacs is usually the target of lustful desire herself, but one day she meets a rather dorky Funny Animal named Wilford Wolf. Rejecting him cold, she's later shocked (and quite pleased) to discover that he's a herculean hunk of a werewolf. She didn't know they were the same person until she sees him transform during a kiss, and it leads to her reconsidering his offer after a brief explanation of how his "curse" works.
Minerva: Good things are worth waiting for!
- Globgor from Star vs. the Forces of Evil is definitely this—while he may not be handsome in a conventional sense (outside of his definite muscle mass), but Eclipsa clearly finds him attractive upon seeing the Box of Truth's hologram of him and even Janna agrees basically the second she sees him. It also doesn't hurt that when it comes to romance he has a ton of game along with a shockingly beautiful singing voice.
- A few kid-friendly examples from Fangface:
- In "The Goofy Gargoyle Goof-Up", Fangface (a werewolf) is flirting with film star Raquel Taylor (who thinks he's a normal man in an impressive werewolf costume). When she gets kidnapped by the gargoyle, Fangface dejectedly assumes that "she likes gargoyles more than werewolves" and left him.
- In "A Toothy Shark Is No Lark", when Fangface - after saving a cruise ship from a Fish Man and a Threatening Shark - is seen enjoying the gratitude of a gaggle of swimsuited beauties.