Demons have sexual appetites for intercourse with humans. In The Zohar ("Book of Splendor"), the principal work of the Kabbalah, any pollution of semen results in the birth of demons, including intercourse with the night-terror demons such as LILITH. Demons in the shape of human males (incubi) prey on women, while demons in female shapes (succubi) prey on men. In Christianity, the possibility of intercourse with demons was denied prior to the 12th century. But as the Inquisition gained force, intercourse with demons was a focus of interest by the 14th century. In particular, witches and other heretics— enemies of the Church—were said not only to have sex with demons but also to copulate wildly and frequently with them, especially at sABBATs, and to worship them in their rites. In many cases, the distinction between the Devil himself and demons was blurry.
Inquisitors wrote a great deal on demonic sex. Sex with demons was portrayed as unpleasant and painful. Sometimes demons appeared to persons in the forms of their spouses or lovers. After copulation, they would reveal their true identities and blackmail the victims into continuing the sexual liaison.
Incubi, male demons, were especially attracted to women with beautiful hair, young virgins, chaste widows and all "devout" females. Nuns were among the most vulnerable and could be molested in the confessional as well as in bed. While the majority of women were forced into sex by the incubi, it was believed that some of them submitted willingly and even enjoyed the act. Incubi had huge phalluses, sometimes made of horn or covered with scales, and they ejaculated icy semen. When they appeared as demons and not as human impostors, they were described as ugly, hairy and foul-smelling.
Incubi were believed to have the ability to impregnate women. They did not possess their own semen but collected it from men in nocturnal emissions, masturbation or in coitus while masquerading as succubi. The demons preserved the semen and used it later on one of their victims. The children that resulted were considered the child of the man who unwittingly provided the semen; some horror stories held that the children came out half human and half beast.
In a small number of cases, claims of molestation by incubi were dismissed as the products of female melan cholia or vivid imaginations. False pregnancies that arose from this state were chalked up to flatulence.
The wild copulation between witches and demons was lamented in the Malleus Maleficarum (1486), which noted that "in times long past the Incubus devils used to infest women against their wills [but] modern witches . . . willingly embrace this most foul and miserable servitude." Some incubi served as FAMILIARS to witches, who sent them to torment specific individuals.
Since sex with incubi was expected of witches, many accused witches were tortured until they confessed to this crime (see torture). In 1485 the Inquisitor of Como sent 41 such women to their deaths at the stake. Their "confessions" were corroborated, incredibly, by eye-witness accounts, as well as by hearsay evidence "and the testimony of credible witnesses."
Incubi were believed to be always visible to witches but only occasionally visible to others—even the victims. Reports exist of people observed in the throes of passion with invisible partners. Husbands, however, could see in-cubi as they copulated with their wives who thought they were other men.
Succubi could appear in the flesh as beautiful, voluptuous women (perhaps an indication of male fantasies). They usually visited men in their sleep—especially men who slept alone—and their sexual activities caused erotic dreams and nocturnal emissions.
Succubi were not as prevalent as incubi. Because of the inherent evil of women, in the view of Christianity, women were morally weak and therefore more licentious than men. If a man were assaulted by a succubus, it was most likely not his fault.
The sex act itself with a succubus was often described as penetrating a cavern of ice. There are accounts of men being forced to perform cunnilingus on succubi, whose vaginas dripped urine, dung and other vile juices and smells.
Succubi appeared often in the records of witchcraft trials. Men accused of witchcraft sometimes were tortured until they confessed having sex with demons, among other diabolical crimes. In 1468 in Bologna, Italy, a man was executed for allegedly running a brothel of succubi.
The church prescribed five ways to get rid of incubi and succubi: 1) by making a Sacramental Confession; 2) by making the sign of the cross; 3) by reciting the Ave Maria; 4) by moving to another house or town; and 5) by excommunication of the demon by holy men. Sometimes the Lord'S PRAYER worked, as did a sprinkling of holy water.
It should be noted that cases of sexual molestation by demons did not die with the witch hunts; they continue to be reported to the present time, often in connection with poltergeist activities and possession. For example, The Haunted by Robert Curran (1988) tells of a family of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who said they were tormented by a hideous demon for several years. The demon manifested in various forms, including a hag with scraggly, long white hair, scaly skin and vampirelike fangs, which sexually molested the husband. (See NIGHTMARE).
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