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The Myth of the Succubus & Sexual Consent — Episode 101

May 26, 2015 by Drinks at The Dal

Bo and Saskia in The Mourning After

We discuss the mythological origins and depictions of the succubus and how succubi are portrayed on Lost Girl with regard to issues of sexual consent. We are joined by Melina Pendulum, who comments about pop culture and race, sexuality, and other social issues on her YouTube channel.

Succubus of Mythology

  • Sexual predator, female sexuality as dangerous
  • Lilith as first succubus
  • Monks blamed succubi for their unchaste thoughts and nocturnal emissions
  • Incubus/succubus shapeshifter — succubus collects semen from its victims, while an incubus uses it to impregnate its victims. Its offspring are witches, more or less.
  • Scientific explanation: sleep paralysis

Succubi of Lost Girl

  • Sexual needs
  • Chi suck
  • Tingly touch
  • Blood binding (though seems to be unique to Bo & Aife)

Bo and Saskia in The Mourning After

Bo

  • Introduction of saving Kenzi from the guy who roofied her
  • Usually she doesn’t coerce people into having sex with her and those who do know she is a succubus
  • POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: fast food worker in “Something Wicked This Fae Comes” & Tad in “When God Opens a Window”

Aife

  • More of a traditional succubus figure
  • She apparently forces herself on Dyson in “(Dis)Members Only”
  • However, she herself is likely a victim of sexual assault multiple times over

Other Succubi and Sexy-time Related Powers

Anita Blake

  • In this book series by Laurel K. Hamilton, Anita Blake eventually becomes a succubus as a way to explain her supernatural sex vagina.
  • Consent is never really an issue in her narrative because everyone has always wanted to sleep with her (see: magical vagina) and most of her partners are supernatural and therefore know about sexy magic and want to give it a spin.
  • Her being a succubus is also used to justify her sexual nature. She has to have sex because she’s a succubus so it alleviates her from being a “slut” because there is a “real reason” for her to have 10+ partners at any one time.
  • Heteronormative overall, but she has had in more recent books female sexual partners and sees herself as “heteroflexible”

Georgina Kincaid

  • In this book series by Richelle Mead, succubi are agents of Hell. Georgina can change her appearance to become whatever she wants and targets evil people specifically in order to pin their souls for Hell and sometimes has to corrupt good people.
  • Outside of that, she is very Bo like it wanting to be monogamous with someone she loves and having guilt about draining the life force of her actual partners or potentially killing her partners.
  • Part of her issue is that since she is a demon she could end up sending her partner to hell, so there is that. She was not born a succubus she agreed to become one for loves (of course) and is heterosexual.
  • Consent is again not discussed because she becomes whatever the target wants her to be and for the most part they are bad people.

Alisha from Misfits

  • Misfits is very similar to Lost Girl in terms of being a campy supernatural show. In this show the main leads get caught out in a freak lightning storm and get powers.
  • Alisha gets a really shit power that makes anyone who touches her want to have sex with her instantly. This power is portrayed as being very dangerous and she is almost sexual assaulted many times because of it.
  • She tries to take advantage of it and have sex with people, but one of the main guys she sleeps with calls it out as rape because even though he is attracted to her and wanted to have sex with her the power removes any ability he has to say yes.
  • Alisha and Curtis then engage in a non-touching relationship because of her powers and it isn’t until they are gone that she can have a genuine sexual relationship again.

Lauren partially undressed in Like Hell Part 2

Other Lost Girl Moments Related to Consent

Lauren and the Ghostly Encounter

  • We have said our piece about the ghost sex(ual assualt?) in our “Like Hell, Part 2” episode. Melina also found it troubling and an odd writing choice.
  • While the scene itself was unsettling, the conclusion of the storyline troubled us the most. Bo makes a joke about it, and Lauren makes a jokey comment in return.

Lauren Helps Bo with Her Sex Drive

  • Listener Mahlers5th finds both Lauren’s line in “Faes Wide Shut” about every patient of hers being a potential tryst and the moment in “Big in Japan” when Lauren offers to help Bo with her lack of sex drive to be problematic.
  • Both Kris and Melina find the line in “Faes Wide Shut” to be strange. It strikes an uncomfortable or potentially skeevy chord. While Stephanie thinks the joke isn’t particularly good, she thinks it’s clear that Lauren is kidding, and she isn’t bothered by the line.
  • None of us are particularly bothered by the lab scene between Lauren and Bo because while we think of Lauren as a doctor, we don’t really think of her as Bo’s doctor.
  • However, in a real world context, Bo and Lauren’s relationship is inappropriate because it violates the Hippocratic oath.

Share your feedback or ask questions


9 comments »

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  1. Aaron says:

    I definitely remember the “Charmed” succubus episode and liked parts of it I have to say, it was always fun seeing the sisters out of their comfort level, but the succubus character was very one note and portrayed as only a bad guy. It was also very gender stereotyped regarding Prue suddenly knowing how to fix things and punching Manny; Prue was never one to back down from a fight but she wasn’t a punch first person either. Don’t be embarrassed to admit you love “Charmed” Stephanie.

    I think you can say no to a succubus, just as they can say no, and a no is a no; the security guard in “Food For Thought” had the line “Me too.” talking about loving men in uniform and Bo realizing that wasn’t going to work, you had Lachlan in season two telling Bo she over believed in her power and he resisted her, and Dyson as we know said no to Aife. Now physically only Lachlan was shown really being able to resist in their situation so physically you might not be able to say no to a succubus but you can resist one and if they continue to push themselves onto you then that’s rape and a non consented encounter. I agree with Kris about the 2.01 scene.

    I don’t think the guy in 5.04 knew Bo was really a succubus, but I agree he didn’t look thrilled to be passed along as it were.

    I can see the issue with Persephone because she knew who Bo was and Bo didn’t so she was withholding information which would have changed Bo’s decision, but with Mark neither of them knew so I don’t have an issue with that; I agree you can argue it was done just for shock, but consent wise I don’t have an issue with it since it was clear Mark was of legal age. I agree there is an issue with Bo using sex to help Mark later in his intro, but I think consent wise everything was on the up.

    I do wishe they had done more with Dyson being attacked by Aife because as Melina said there aren’t a lot, if any, plots where you really see the issue being addressed.

    I definitely get what Melina is saying in regards to the ghost sex making no sense because it doesn’t fit into the other actions the ghost took; the sex was loving where as everything else was attacked based. I get the issues Malther stated, the comment about needing a doctor’s touch in season 5 I don’t mind so much because it felt like something a doctor would say to a person they’re dating but I did take issue with them having Lauren sex up their first meeting in “Faes Wide Shut” because it felt out of character given Lauren’s professional standards. I get the dating a patient issue, but it’s not like Lauren rushed into it, she feel in love with Bo and so I was okay with it and so was Bo; there is consent from both and as long as Lauren doesn’t share Bo’s medical file she’s technically not breaking any major ethics codes.

    I think there are other fae doctors, but again Bo doesn’t have an issue with things so it’s ok. “Lauren is a doctor, but I don’t think of her as Bo’s doctor.”, that’s a good statement for this, yes Lauren has treated Bo in the past but it’s not like Bo has ever picked a doctor like most people would; it would be a more gray area I think if like a long time Light fae patient started dated Lauren than the situation we have with Bo and Lauren. With Doccubus it’s like Bo is getting medical advice from her girlfriend who happens to be a doctor rather than she started dating her doctor like most would. If that makes sense. I also agree that the “every patient” line was a joke.

    It wasn’t discussed in the episode, but what are your opinions of the Dyson-Bo sex in the interrogation room scene in S3?

    I personally definitely have an issue with this scene because it has a very negative vibe to it; it felt like Dyson limited Bo’s choices for his own gain and that’s not okay. She made it clear she didn’t want to sleep with him in any form but was forced to when he pressured her with the possibility of dying. There were other options available in that moment such as Tamsin or going to fae hospital and hoping no one tells Lauren because again there are a few other doctors I believe or calling in another nearby fae if Tamsin didn’t want to help, Dyson was not the only option and to present himself as such felt dirty. What do you think of this show situation?

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      I think we talked about that encounter between Bo and Dyson in our “Fae-de to Black” episode, but basically I see that moment as the Dyson equivalent of the “spybang” in “Vexed.” I think he was well-intentioned and worried for Bo, but you can see that he knows he is lying to her about no feelings being involved. I think he was worried, but it does feel off that he insisted that having sex with him was her only option. Why couldn’t she feed off him without having sex as a band aid until Bo could call Lauren or something. Why couldn’t she have fed a little off of several of the cops at the police station? His ultimatum to her does ring very false, but personally I think he meant well.

      • nypinta says:

        Seriously? She’s supposed to take the time to coerce & take some chi from a bunch of police detectives, putting the secret of Fae existence in danger, over healing completely & quickly with someone she knows & trusts? That doesn’t make any sense as an option & is a long way to go to turn Dyson’s common sense solution into a deception.

        Dyson telling Bo it was either him or 911 is nothing like the spybang. The spybang was that because Lauren specifically seduced Bo to prevent her from doing something she wanted to do. All Dyson did was prevented Bo from bleeding out. He was under no obligation to tell Bo about his feelings as they are his, not hers, and he had no intention of using that encounter to get back with her. When he said no strings he was not lying.

        • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

          I think Dyson’s option was the most practical one in the moment. I meant to be more clear that as an audience member the ultimatum rings false to me because I can see other options that wouldn’t involve Bo having sex outside of her (at the time) monogamous relationship, which did seem to be very important to her in this episode. They would not have been the most expedient/practical, but there are other alternatives that would have prioritized Bo and Lauren’s monogamy. But that’s on Bo more than it is on Dyson to say, “Hey now. I don’t want to break my agreement with my girlfriend if I don’t have to. Can I try feeding on you first?” Also, the fact that it’s never been super clear when Bo can just feed off of someone to heal versus when she needs to have sex to heal doesn’t help either.

          I make the “spybang” comparison because in both cases we have someone with good intentions who lies or withholds information from Bo and has sex with her because they want to keep Bo from being harmed. I’m not saying the situations are exactly the same, but I do think they are similar.

          I don’t make the comparison to say that Dyson (or Lauren for that matter) is a bad person. I think they’re both acting out of a well-intentioned place in a complicated situation.

          While Dyson does say “There are no strings here, no feelings,” Bo asks Dyson, “No feelings?” before she lets him kiss her. While he doesn’t answer her, the way that Kris Holden-Ried plays that moment after Bo asks him that question (in my opinion) is that he knows he’s not being fully honest by saying he doesn’t have feelings for her. He looks conflicted to me.

          While I can agree that he didn’t have the obligation to tell her about his feelings before this point, I personally think he does have an obligation here. Beside the fact that I think it’s just good manners to be upfront about such things in intimate relationships, I also think that had Bo known he loved her again she might have made a different decision.

          Again, I’m not trying to make Dyson look like a bad guy. That’s just my take on the situation. If you don’t see the similarities between this episode and “Vexed,” that’s cool. We all have our own viewpoints.

        • Aaron says:

          I agree with you NYPinta in that chi sucking the other officers wouldn’t have been the best idea, but I do agree with DATD as well when they say there were other options available such as the chi suck until they could get to a hospital or another fae could have sex with her. It felt very forceful of Dyson to me. I realize he was trying to help but he did it in a shady way. As DATD said the way Kris played it it did seem Dyson wasn’t being completely honest when he said “no strings”.

          Also can we not use the word “spybang”? It’s rather inaccurate; yes Lauren slept with Bo in “Vexed”, but she did not do it for any other reason other than because she wanted to because she was falling in love with Bo and wanted to protect her and she did not report back what Bo said or did to anyone unless you count going to the Dal and talking to Dyson as telling what happened but Dyson didn’t tell her to do that so there was no spying. Lauren did not spybang Bo. You can debate the shade level of the situation, but there was no spying.

          • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

            I use it for brevity and clarity’s sake. Everyone knows what I’m talking about and it’s shorter than typing “when Bo and Lauren have sex in 1.08.” I don’t love it, but that’s how people know it in fandom. I put in quotation marks because I don’t think it’s an accurate description of what happened.

  2. Kevin says:

    It’s always been my impression that Bo sucks chi to feed but needs sex to heal. Sex is also a feast, if she’s not in need of healing. There’s also been mention, sorry I don’t know which episode, that sex is the best, if not only, way she can heal properly. Lauren made that pretty clear after Bo’s stabbing in “Big in Japan”,but it was also referred to previously.
    My other thought regarding her feeding is it slows down aging. Thus, her limited feeding engagements after puberty made her age 10 years (or so). Tamsin & Dyson are her only real back-ups, unless Ryan or the shape-shifter from Dyson’s pack were around. It seemed clear Lauren wasn’t enough to heal her internal bleeding.
    It’s also been my belief that people or fae are drawn to Bo, part of her chi influencing others, I guess. Main thing is they know they’re interacting with a succubus and the inherent risks..

    • Drinks at The Dal Drinks at The Dal says:

      In Season 1 and somewhat in Season 2 Bo needed to have sex to heal. When Lauren started giving her shots to lower her libido in “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae,” she tells Bo that she will need to have sex to heal because of the shots. Season 3 established that the shots were no longer working, and we have seen her heal from just feeding several times. Most notably in “Dark Horse,” Bo is beaten up pretty badly by Massimo — Tamsin names broken ribs among other injuries — but she feeds a little off of Tamsin and heals herself completely. In “Fae-de to Black,” we see that she is having sex with Lauren but isn’t feeding off of her, i.e. sucking chi, because Lauren is human. It’s the lack of both chi sucking AND sex that keeps Bo from being able to heal from just her interactions with Lauren. I agree that Lauren wasn’t enough to heal Bo’s internal bleeding, but because all of this confusion surrounding when Bo needs sex versus when she needs chi to heal, I have a hard time believing that she HAD to have sex with Dyson to heal the bleeding. Why couldn’t she just feed off him instead?

      That’s not a bad idea in regards to aging. We always need some healthy suspension of disbelief when it comes to characters who look 40 but are supposed to be 1000 and characters who look 80 but are supposed to be 900 exist in the same universe. 🙂

      • Kevin says:

        You made some good points but I guess I had Dyson & Tamsin in. League of their own when it came to Bo chi-sucking them. Other than Tamsin’s “don’t suck me dry” comment in “The Kenzi Scale”, she seemed to hold her own with Bo feeding off her (as well as Dyson, who was physically drained), especially when she’s apparently at an older & weaker stage of her life. Season 5 did have her healing Bo sans sex but then again, I have Valkeries pretty high up the Fae hierarchy. . Bo wanted Dyson to heal her in “Big in Japan” and I considered the emotional healing he could provide, as well, to her benefit.
        Thanks for listening & I apologize for getting off topic regarding the relevance of Bo’s escapades being consensual or not. To me, she’s a succubus with all that comes with & it’s in her nature, since she needs sexual chi & experiences to survive.
        Kevin

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