Daily Archives: May 18, 2022

Succubus, Incubus … ?

If you are prone to operating within the fantasy RP space, or MMORPG space, or really just almost any place where someone will use the word ‘cleric’ that isn’t actually and literally a seminary, you’re going to hear the word ‘succubus.’ It’s a classic monster, because it asks the horrifying question, What If Girls, and then follows up on it in a way that tells you a lot about the creator of the piece. It’s a term that, as I understand it, owes its origin to Malleus Maleficarum, which is also extremely sketchy on what a succubus actually is or does – most of the heavy lifting is done by the word itself, which implies its meaning, as succubus had a coherent Latin meaning from the first read.

The next term is Incubus – which you will usually see as a masculine alternative to the feminine succubus. The idea is that an incubus is a hot dude demon, who wants sex, and that matches with the hot girl demon, who wants sex, the succubus. This is the kind of thing you’ll see in monster manuals, where these terms for what is probably the same species or heritage nonetheless has gendered terminology, like, you know, livestock.

And of course, when this comes up, I will be a tiresome chore of a dude and I will bring up: That’s not what they mean.

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