An incubus (nominal form constructed from the Latin verb, incubo, incubare, or “to lie upon”) is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have intercourse with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death.
That makes Incubus very interesting. Of course, it also makes them even more attractive to fiction writers than your every-day demons. Demons, that I profiled in the last post of this series, had over 500 search results at Amazon.
Incubus and Succubus have over 450 each.
It’s hard to resist a demon that has to have sex in order to survive. Most fictional versions that I have read or seen in contemporary popular fiction, though, have dispensed with the idea of the victim being asleep at the time. Most victims are awake, aware and often fully cooperative.
One of the more interesting versions of the incubus/succubus retellings I’ve seen lately is the Canadian-made series, Lost Girl, featuring Anna Silk and Kristen Holden-Ried (The Tudors). Silk is a succubus, and fighting to maintain her independence in the middle of a fae war. My jaw sagged in the middle of a recent episode when she found solace after being dumped by a guy by indulging in an MFF menage that was filmed all the way up to everyone taking off their clothes, kissing and caressing each other before the scene ended… I guess Showcase can give HBO a run for its money.
Lost Girl just received funding and started filming its third season.