Here’s the interesting thing about 2020: As bad as things get, they can always, always be worse. Case in point: President Donald Trump has championed the medical advice of Dr. Stella Immanuel, who believes masks don’t matter, hydroxychloroquine is a cure for COVID-19 and that demons are constantly fucking us. Thus, they spread their “demon sperm” among us poor humans, and guys? Turns out “demon sperm” is not good for you.
According to Immanuel, the result of demon sex results in many uncomfortable but extremely medically sound problems, including “breaking marriages, hatred by earthly spouse, serious gynecological problems, marital distress, miscarriages, impotence, untold hardship, financial failure and general failure.” If you’re a Christian, I have further bad news for you: The good doctor says seven of 10 Christian men have already been possessed by a demon, so it seems like everyone’s screwed one way or another.
To be fair to Immanuel, however, she’s not the first person to believe that demons can impregnate women, although she might be only the living person with an active medical license to do so. In fact, reports of getting fucked by a demon have been made pretty much such since the dawn of human civilization. In ancient Mesopotamia, circa 2400 B.C., a list of Sumerian kings cites the hero-king Gilgamesh’s father as a Lilu, sinister male spirit — a proto-Incubus, if you will — who assaulted and raped sleeping women. Lilu had a partner in Lilitu, a female spirit who seduced men and led them astray, like a Succubus. Originally, the Lilu and Lilitu referred to a group of spirits that were also associated with wind and disease, but over time, they each coalesced into a single entity and kicked wind and disease to the curb to become demons of the night, a.k.a. sex time.
Lilu and Lilitu, along with all the rest of Sumer’s demons, spread to Babylonia, to ancient Judaism, to early Christianity (and, by that token, medieval and modern Christianity, too). But many, many ancient cultures around the world had gods or demons in their religious pantheons that fulfilled the same roles: Egypt, Brazil, Africa, Scandinavia, Germany, Chile, Hungary and more each had their own nasty gods and demons whose purpose was to have sex with humans by whatever means possible.
Around the 13th to 14th centuries, medieval Christians first called these sex demons by the names we know them today: Incubi and Succubi, who were at this point directly serving Satan’s agenda. Like Immanuel, the church was initially worried about an Incubus’ demon sperm, but only until the 13th century, when St. Thomas Aquinas declared Incubi couldn’t be impregnating women, because only God can create life. Instead, he pitched the idea that the Incubus and Succubus were a single hermaphroditic being who could change genders at will. As a Succubus, it would collect human sperm, then transform into an Incubus, and deposit that seed in its next target using his enormous, ice-cold dick (as described by its victims).
Others disagreed — about the transference process, not the dick size — declaring Incubi and Succubi were definitely separate entities, but that they did the cum swap in a manner they hadn’t figured out yet. In the early 17th century, King James I of England solved that mystery in a book he wrote about demons, where he suggested that Incubi would steal the jizz of a very, very recently deceased man and then run as fast as he could to a female victim to do the dirty deed; if the Incubus was too late, the sperm got cold and lost its power. However, when the Incubus was violating women, it was understood that the sperm was still technically God-approved (every sperm is sacred!), but unfortunately, the Incubus’ demonic, sexual assault could still have grave consequences for the victim and/or the baby.
It’s impossible to know all the reasons why an Incubus would be blamed for a sexual assault, but there are several obvious answers. At its least upsetting, science suggests sleep paralysis, which is terrifying by itself, but can also cause sinister hallucinations, which happens often enough for some scientists to call it the “incubus phenomenon.” But there are far more depressing, and more likely reasons, too. An Incubus could be blamed for causing a miscarriage, or for the birth of a child with disfigurements or disabilities. By pinning the pregnancy on an Incubus, a man or woman could explain away a sinful out-of-wedlock tryst or adulterous affair to avoid shame and punishment. A woman who was seduced into having sex might genuinely believe she had been manipulated by an Incubus hiding the form of a normal man, or as a way to process the trauma of a sexual assault.
The half-human, half-demon children that resulted from these attacks were called Cambions (as were lots of other things, like half-fairy children, or demon babies who were secretly swapped with a real baby), but other than the horrors that were heaped upon any baby that didn’t meet perceived cultural norms, history doesn’t talk much about them. There’s one big exception, though: Merlin the wizard. In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12-century chronicling of Arthurian legend, Merlin is specifically stated to be the son of an incubus, which presumably gave the wizard his magical wizard powers.
While Succubi have long been a staple in literature and art — for some reason it seems like the idea of getting fucked by a sex-obsessed female spirit was especially interesting to patriarchal societies — Incubi and their jizz transference never got the same play. However, Satan’s sperm has become a rather popular topic in pop culture, reflected in movies like 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby, in which Satanists force the titular Rosemary (Mia Farrow) to have the devil’s son. While 1973’s The Exorcist is devil sperm-adjacent — Regan was a normal kid who got possessed by a demon — 1976’s The Omen, in which a couple unknowingly has their baby switched with the Antichrist, was so popular that generally people now think of the Antichrist as specifically being the son of Satan.
The results of demon sperm have also become quite popular, especially in comics. In 1973, Marvel introduced Daimon Hellstrom, the son of Satan, as a hero defending humanity from the minions of Hell in its first Ghost Rider series, quickly giving him his own series, titled Son of Satan. (The character will make his live-action debut in the Hulu series Helstrom, premiering in October.) In 1980, DC Comics created Raven, a Cambion whose powerful magic comes from her father, the demon Trigon; since 2013, she’s been one of the stars of Cartoon Network’s immensely popular children’s series Teen Titans Go! The superhero Hellboy, star of the long-running Dark Horse comics series and three movies, is the son of the demon Azzael and a human consort. And while Vampirella began as an alien vampire from the planet Drakulon, her origin was eventually retconned to be the daughter of Lilith, who was Adam’s first wife in medieval Jewish tradition, and who fled Eden and became a demon (a character who evolved from the Sumerian Lilitu).
Speaking of vampires, the bloodsuckers of Joss Whedon’s incredibly beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel are technically demons, meaning Angel’s son Connor is half-demon. Julian McMahon played a Cambion with the terrifying nom de plume Cole Turner in the WB’s original Charmed TV series, while the Adam Sandler bomb Little Nicky featured the comedian as the result of his human mother hooking up with Satan. Video games like Mortal Kombat, Devil May Cry and Darkstalkers all feature half-demons, as do anime series like Inuyasha, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fairy Tail. In literature, there’s Stephen King’s Mordred Deschain in The Gunslinger series, and in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, the Antichrist is just an affable kid. The young adult book series-turned-TV show The Mortal Instruments features tons of half-demons. (Disappointingly, and despite the name, Dean Koontz’s novel Demon Seed is about a woman impregnated against her will not by demons, but by a psychotic computer.)
Look, there’s just a lot of demon semen out there, all right?
So maybe Immanuel is right for people to be concerned. If you’re one of the few remaining people who haven’t been possessed by a sex demon, you should definitely take whatever precautions you can… just like you should take precautions against COVID-19 by wearing a mask and not taking completely bogus cures promoted by idiots.