If you’ve bothered keeping pace with Castlevania since its first season in 2017, you’ll have noticed the show provides raunchier fare than previous animated classics on the platform. Castlevania has never been afraid to show the adult side of Gothic romance, whether it’s murderous angst or just straight-up (or bicurious) vampire dong. Now, Season 3 goes even further by serving us some polyamorous gay realness. Curious about how to manage an ancient vampire army while keeping your secondaries happy? Here’s Netflix Castlevania’s guide to being in a queer polycule and how you too can slay the dating game.
Step 1: Communicate constantly
One thing people take for granted when they’re new to a polyamorous arrangement is communication. Having chemistry with your primary and being on the same wavelength is one thing, but being just as open and honest with your secondaries is fundamental to your polycule’s happiness. Take a tip from Carmilla and her coven: if you can always read each other’s minds all the time, then you never run the risk of miscommunication! Nothing quite says “I’m committed to talking about your feelings, baby” quite like a vampiric mind-meld initiated the morning after a big session.
Step 2: Make sure that you keep your interests yours
Even when you’re in a monogamous relationship, it’s very easy to be tempted to include your lone partner in everything you do. That’s just what happens when you all move in together sometimes! In a polycule, with more opportunities for hobbies to cross over between members, you run the risk of never getting any time to yourself — to focus on your own hobbies. Castlevania’s tip is to always make time to pursue your interests separate from the rest of the polycule, and to advocate for your partners to do the same. Just look at Morana! Like her, you can seek to perfect the machinery of empire while another plays Dungeons & Dragons in the bowels of your shared castle. It’s all about variety.
Step 3: Check possessive behavior at the door
If you’re new to the polycule lifestyle, it might be easy to forget that you’re dealing with not only your primaries, but also the secondaries in the arrangement. It’s important to be mindful of the separate agreements that your primaries will have with their secondaries, and to allow them their space and the freedom to play. We’re not saying that jealousy is illegal. It’s just important to recognize when being possessive over that kind of behavior won’t jive with everyone else. Sometimes you want to hook up with your vampire primaries (we all do). Other times you just want a puppy pile of three boys to turn into dinner later. All members of the Council of Sisters respect these ancillary relationships. If evil, world-conquering vampires can do it, you should, too.
Step 4: If you’re living together, give everyone their own space
So, you and your polycule have decided to take the jump and all live together. Honestly, that’s impressive and we’ve got nothing but amazement and joy in our hearts. That being said, just because you’re all one happy queer family doesn’t mean that you won’t go stir-crazy if your entire home is one big, shared space. Think about what it was like living with your parents at home. Now imagine being all up in the grills of multiple people that you have intense emotional and physical relationships with. Now imagine those people are blood-hungry supernatural entities. We’ve all got obstacles to overcome. Make sure to carve out little nooks for yourself that are for you and you alone. Just like Lenore, feel free to retreat the basement dungeon if you absolutely have to, or to go for a walk with your human pet if one of your partners requests some alone time.
Step 5: Have group rituals to recenter yourselves
We’ve already talked extensively about making sure that no one loses their individual identity in a polycule situation, but it’s also important to make time to do things as a group. Get everyone’s primaries and secondaries together — so long as they’re all willing — and maybe just… have a potluck. A nice, low-pressure social activity can be the way to everyone’s heart. Sure, the Council of Sisters meets weekly to discuss corralling humanity and funneling them into Styria like processed food after an extensive military land grab. Your activity can be a little less intense and singularly focused on the murdering and pillaging. Just make sure everyone is involved.
Step 6: Use blood magic to ensure everyone is vibing
Sometimes, it can still be tough to ride out the ups and downs of being part of a queer polycule. You can feel like you’re doing absolutely everything right, whilst also being sure that these are the people you want to spend your life with, but that doesn’t mean things always work out.
Maybe, like Striga, your obsession with cutting a swathe through medieval Europe is making your partners feel ignored. Never fear! Take a leaf out of Lenore’s book and use blood magic to tie yourselves together for an immortal eternity. The mere thought of betrayal will make your blood literally boil from the inside out, which means you’ve indirectly hit on a solution to all conflicts. Of course, this will require that everyone in the polycule have the same expectation of the future and undying trust in each other, as well as their goals for bloody conquest, but go off! If this will make you happy, then we want you to live your best (and most eternal) life.