Difference Wiki

Incubus vs. Succubus: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 6, 2023
An incubus is a male demon believed to have sexual relations with sleeping women, while a succubus is its female counterpart, engaging with sleeping men.

Key Differences

Incubus and succubus are entities rooted deeply in folklore, mythology, and superstitions from various cultures. An incubus, traditionally, is a male demon believed to visit women at night and engage in sexual activity while they sleep. Such encounters were often used in historical contexts to explain pregnancies that couldn't be otherwise justified. The term "incubus" is derived from the Latin word 'incubare', which means 'to lie upon', hinting at the nature of the demon's interactions.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Succubus, on the other hand, is the female equivalent of an incubus. This demon is believed to visit sleeping men and partake in sexual activity with them. The term "succubus" originates from the Latin word 'succubare', meaning 'to lie beneath'. Like the incubus, the succubus has also been a subject of fascination in various tales, often portrayed as a seductress luring men into her web.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Throughout history, the tales of incubus and succubus have been interwoven with explanations for sleep paralysis, nocturnal emissions, and other sleep-related phenomena. In many cases, these entities were invoked as reasons for unexpected or unwanted pregnancies, providing a supernatural explanation for what was, at the time, socially unexplainable.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Cultures around the world have their own versions and names for these entities. However, despite the cultural differences and the various names they might bear, the central theme remains consistent: nocturnal demons that engage in intimate acts with unsuspecting humans. Both the incubus and the succubus are symbolic, in many ways, of primal fears, societal taboos, and the mysteries of the night.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Comparison Chart

Gender

Male
Female
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Origin of Name

Latin 'incubare' (to lie upon)
Latin 'succubare' (to lie beneath)
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Traditional Victims

Women
Men
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Portrayal in Stories

Often forceful or predatory
Seductive and enticing
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Relation

Counterpart of succubus
Counterpart of incubus
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus and Succubus Definitions

Incubus

A cause of distress or anxiety.
The guilt was an incubus he couldn't shake off.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Succubus

A female demon believed to lie with sleeping men.
Tales warned of the succubus luring unsuspecting men.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus

In folklore, a demon causing unexpected pregnancies.
Stories spoke of the incubus visiting the village women.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Succubus

A seductive woman who drains the energy or life force.
The femme fatale in the story was like a succubus.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus

An oppressive weight on one's chest, associated with nightmares.
He felt the presence of an incubus during his sleep paralysis.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Succubus

A demoness extracting the seed from men for the incubus to use.
Legends said the succubus and incubus worked in tandem.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus

A male demon believed to lie on sleeping women.
She dreamt of an incubus pressing down on her.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Succubus

An enchantress ensnaring men with her allure.
She moved with the charm of a succubus, captivating all.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus

An evil spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

An entity in folklore causing nocturnal emissions.
He was told a succubus visited him at night.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Incubus

A nightmare.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

A female demon supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with a man while he sleeps.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

An oppressive or nightmarish burden.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

An evil spirit; a demon.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

(medieval folklore) An evil spirit supposed to oppress people while asleep, especially to have sex with women as they sleep.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

(medieval folklore) A female demon which comes to men, especially monks, in their dreams to seduce them and have sexual intercourse, drawing energy from the men to sustain themselves, often until the point of exhaustion or death.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

A feeling of oppression during sleep, sleep paralysis; night terrors, a nightmare.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

A strumpet, whore or prostitute.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

(by extension) Any oppressive thing or person; a burden.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

A demon or fiend; especially, a lascivious spirit supposed to have sexual intercourse with the men by night; a succuba. Cf. Incubus.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

(entomology) One of various of parasitic insects, especially subfamily Aphidiinae.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

The nightmare. See Nightmare, 2.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

A demon; a fiend; a lascivious spirit, supposed to have sexual intercourse with women by night.
The devils who appeared in the female form were generally called succubi; those who appeared like men incubi, though this distinction was not always preserved.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Succubus

A female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

The nightmare. See Nightmare.
Such as are troubled with incubus, or witch-ridden, as we call it.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

Any oppressive encumbrance or burden; anything that prevents the free use of the faculties.
Debt and usury is the incubus which weighs most heavily on the agricultural resources of Turkey.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

A male demon believed to lie on sleeping persons and to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

A situation resembling a terrifying dream
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

Someone who depresses or worries others
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 14, 2023

Incubus

A nightmare figure causing feelings of suffocation.
The incubus in his dreams was a recurring figure.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

FAQs

Are these entities always evil?

Traditionally, yes, but modern interpretations can vary.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Did people truly believe in them?

In historical contexts, they were used to explain unexplainable phenomena.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Is sleep paralysis linked to the incubus?

Historically, the sensations of sleep paralysis were often attributed to the incubus.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Are incubus and succubus real?

They're mythical entities with roots in folklore and superstition.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Can an incubus and succubus procreate?

Legends sometimes suggest they can, using stolen essence.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

How can one ward off a succubus?

Folk tales suggest various talismans or religious symbols.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Have incubus and succubus been depicted in media?

Yes, they've appeared in films, books, and TV shows.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

How are incubus and succubus viewed in modern times?

Mostly as mythological or fictional entities.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Are they always sexual in nature?

Primarily, but some stories focus on their draining energy.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Are there any positive portrayals of these entities?

Modern works occasionally depict them in a more neutral or positive light.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Can someone invoke an incubus or succubus?

Folk tales warn against trying, but it's pure superstition.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Do they have any weaknesses?

Folklore assigns various vulnerabilities, often religious.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Have they been subjects of art?

Yes, from ancient sculptures to modern paintings.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Are there any famous stories about them?

They appear in various classic and contemporary tales.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Can they shape-shift?

Some tales suggest they can assume different forms.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Do all cultures have similar entities?

Many cultures have nocturnal demons, but details vary.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Are there any famous incubus or succubus figures?

None historically verified, but many appear in fiction.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Were they used to explain certain medical conditions?

Historically, yes, like nocturnal emissions or sleep phenomena.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Are they related to vampires?

Both drain energy or life force, but they're distinct myths.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Are they immortal?

In most myths, they're ageless and immortal.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons